The Danish band Iceage recently released their fourth album since 2011, establishing them as one of the best working bands today. With each release they’ve grown so much from the previous, and in the process have added to and enriched their unique sound. They’ve come a long way from the harshly beautiful punk rock of New Brigade, and Beyondless continues this thrilling progression into a full, rich sound complete with lush horns and violins still shrouded in the darkness of the brooding lyrics and vocal delivery. This album is concise and efficient, and even though it often sounds like it’s coming off the hinges, I have no doubts every step was methodically calculated. Beyondless is undoubtedly one of the best albums of 2018, and with such a huge leap in overall quality with every album they release, the magic this album conjures makes me incredibly excited to see where the band can go next.
Glassjaw’s first full length album in 15 years feels different. It’s the same bludgeoning, relentless, powerful music but it feels more calculated. More like it has a methodical plan with unknown intentions as opposed to their previous efforts which felt like a speeding train that could go off the rails at any moment. The hooks and melodies aren’t as apparent, but there is no doubt they exist. In any event, it’s good. In fact, it’s fucking good. Where their contemporaries At The Drive-In failed to captivate with their 2017 comeback which had it’s moments but overall felt hollow, Glassjaw delivered a nonstop stream of twisted consciousness that punches you in the mouth, and after all these years, that familiar pain is very welcomed.