Beyondless is the fourth LP from Iceage, produced by the band and Nis Bysted, recorded all-analog by Mattias Glavå at Kungsten Studios Göteberg, and mixed by Randall Dunn at Avast Studios Seattle. Pay attention to the journey, from New Brigade, a juvenile delinquent take on post-punk, full of cold, distant condemnation, and onto the ecstasy of You're Nothing, shedding the more aggressive hardcore influence and dragging in more light, a tendency followed on Plowing Into The Field Of Love. The intoxication is consistent, this has always been drunk music, but it's less a stumbling confusion and more a sturdy heartfelt confession with each record.
They have finally caught up with their ambition here. Their entire charm has always rested in their running ahead of themselves with blind confidence, taunting you to follow and you follow because wherever they are going is vital, is alive; on Beyondless they are treading with an assurance that is disarming, but there is no loss of charm, you are arm in arm now, whispering intimacies. Intimacies that recall other intimacies: something must have happened whenIceage heard Gun Club's Miami. Some traumatic event! A wild band has not been tamed, but is in repose, retaining an edge but expressing something less definite, something about hurt or longing or regret.
Attention must be directed toward the brilliant lyricism on Beyondless. In the evocations of beauty in profane imagery, in the plumbing of the depths of betrayal and criminality, there are suggestions of Jean Genet and the disgraceful slurring of Leonard Cohen. Love's Forever Changes is an appropriate reference point for the record, orchestral touches to rock music that reached in a very affected/effected manner toward some transcendent experience. You can hear blissful catatonic evocations of the Waterboys, slurring face down on the bar some holy affirmations. Overall, the strongest suggestion is of the Stones in their Exile period, holed up in some decadent mansion attempting to pay tribute to American music from country honk brawls to sleazy soul revues to cocaine blues, it has this confident air of music written in the midst of excessive reveries.