Iceage
Seek Shelter


1.5
very poor

Review

by SandwichBubble USER (63 Reviews)
May 21st, 2021 | 83 replies


Release Date: 05/07/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In an attempt to shake up their sound, Iceage strip away everything that made them great.

Some say that a band is only as good as their worst album. That a bad record can irreparably damage not only a band’s future work, but also their past work in retrospect. I don’t pay mind to that sort of negative thinking often. But I would be lying if a truly awful record can’t make the rest of a band’s discography look worse just by association. As tempted as I am to list off a bunch of examples here, I’ll just cut to the chase: With Seek Shelter, Iceage have made one of those records. An album that paints them less as art punk provocateurs and more as a weak bar band cover act.

Opener “Shelter Song” starts the album out on a distressingly plodding note, cribbing notes off of well-known 90s alternative rock acts to an almost plagiaristic degree. The overbearing mixing, the completely unfitting gospel choir in the background, and vocals that try and fail to evoke any actual passion. And this criticism isn’t just relegated to the opener. The entire album feels like a slow, unpalatable mush of pseudo-psychedelic britpop leftovers, well past their expiration date.

It’s difficult to describe just how sterile this album sounds, when the production is so bloated. But do not be fooled, listener. Iceage are employing the same trick that a lot of 90s and 00s alt rock bands pulled way back when. Peel back the layers and you’ll find nothing of substance on Seek Shelter. “Vendetta,” released as one of the album’s five singles, is a poor attempt at alternative dance that has nonsense lyrics that’ll make even the most stalwart Iceage defender scratch their heads in confusion:

“The plates from which we eat from. Life in the trenches of a Ponzi scheme to come. Cutthroat contract jackleg wildflower. A nettle in the nursery humdrum.”

This isn’t to say that Iceage were ever wordsmiths (unless you’re Richard Hell apparently), but any attempt at having some sort of message on Seek Shelter is muddled in a fog of lengthy nonsense phrases and garish vocals. Which brings up another good point: the track lengths. At 9 tracks, 41 minutes, Seek Shelter is much denser than any of their past work and it’s all the worse for it. These uninspired, mid-tempo rock jams are bad enough as the 2-minute 90s alt radio fodder they’re desperately trying to ape. But extend those songs to twice the length and it all just falls apart. By the album’s final track, you’re listening to shrill violin hits that sounds like they were recorded in a bathtub and you’re just praying for release.

I’m unsure what possessed Iceage to make an album as ugly and unappealing as Seek Shelter. Was their drive to make something “different” so great, they forgot to write good songs? Did they hear an Oasis b-side in the van and said to themselves “let’s just do that?” Whatever the reasoning, there is nothing to show for it here. It’s one thing for a band to water down their sound and add something new atop it, but what Iceage took out on this album was an essential part of their appeal. Their ferocity, their aggression, their energy. None of it’s here on Seek Shelter. And what you’re left with is just another set of bones, stripped of their flesh, half-buried in the sand.



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user ratings (117)
3.3
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
SandwichBubble
May 21st 2021


12984 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Stream: https://iceage.bandcamp.com/album/seek-shelter



Are you telling me that none of you thought about reviewing this? Well, you’ll just have to deal with this hit piece then.

It's not two reviews in one day thanks to sputnik's internal clock. Weeeeeeeee.

Digging: Dirt - Never Mind Dirt - Here's the Bollocks

TiedDown93
May 21st 2021


77 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

Band sucks so bad

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
May 21st 2021


24805 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

Couldn't agree more. Terrible album. Great review Susan.

Digging: Midwife (USA) - Luminol

SandwichBubble
May 21st 2021


12984 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Thanks, friend. Album is, in fact, a big clunker.

Surprised none of you staffers snatched up review rights already, it's been out for a few weeks now.

Cygnatti
May 21st 2021


35266 Comments


"Band sucks so bad"
wrong, good band, bad album tho.

TiedDown93
May 21st 2021


77 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

@cygnatti nah dog shit band

Cygnatti
May 21st 2021


35266 Comments


wrong

SandwichBubble
May 21st 2021


12984 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

We like to have fun here on sputnikmusic.com.

daiguit91Kider
May 21st 2021


26 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I didn't expected it, but I loved this, one of my favorites so far from 2021



good band, good album xD

SandwichBubble
May 21st 2021


12984 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Now we just need someone to say that this is their only good album or something and we'll have run the gambit of Iceage opinions.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
May 21st 2021


24805 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

"Surprised none of you staffers snatched up review rights already, it's been out for a few weeks now."



It is THAT bad lol



GhandhiLion
May 21st 2021


12840 Comments


Woah I was looking forward to this album

Digging: Elizabeth Colour Wheel - Nocebo

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
May 21st 2021


38843 Comments


Solid review and easily convincing enough that I won't bother with this but could you explain why the basis for your critique in the first 3 paras in particular doesn't also translate into a similar verdict for that Dry Cleaning alb?

SandwichBubble
May 21st 2021


12984 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Paragraph 1: New Long Leg was their debut, this section talks about discographies in retrospect.

Paragraph 2: New Long Leg doesn't sound like shitty 90s britpop/alternative dance.

Paragraph 3: New Long Leg's production is much better than this album's.



Hope this helps.

Pikazilla
May 21st 2021


17576 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

absolute drivel

Pikazilla
May 21st 2021


17576 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

pos'd for rating alone

sixdegrees
May 21st 2021


11712 Comments


Sounds like aoty material already

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
May 21st 2021


3170 Comments


god i love your display name
and also good review pos, heard one song and decided to not listen to this ever

DoofDoof
May 21st 2021


10020 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love this album gotta say



Top 3 of the year so far even looool

DoofDoof
May 21st 2021


10020 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The review:



- songs sound like 90s alt rock/Brit pop

- production sounds like 90s alt rock/Brit pop

- lyrics are meaningless

- songs are longer than they used to be



Really does feel like a genre mismatch more than anything - if you like 90s alt rock with a knowing twist and a little punk edge then this is an enjoyable one.



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