Danish band Iceage released their first collection of non-LP songs, Shake The Feeling: Outtakes and Rarities 2015-2021. The album covers cuts recorded during and in-between sessions for Plowing Into the Field of Love, Beyondless, and 2021’s Seek Shelter.
Admittedly, I listened to very little to Iceage prior to this record. They are darlings of some of the more upper-crusty music critic spots like Pitchfork. This turned me off immediately, to my loss. Rather than being an indie art-rock band like I suspected, Iceage walk the line between early punk, garage, and 70’s rock. They manage to create a sound that pays homage to the past while also advancing the genre. Formed in 2008 as teenagers, the band’s efforts towards longevity while remaining just on the edge of breaking out is admirable.
It’s clear these tracks were recorded after the first two albums. Their quality are much more polished than what is found on You’re Nothing and New Brigade. Which is interesting because releases like this (B-Sides and Outtakes) are usually a little less polished, rougher around the edges and not fully baked.
Several of the songs have already been released and are available to stream. This includes the excellent closer “Shelter Song (acoustic)” which is on the Deluxe version of Seek Shelter (whose electric counterpart opens the album). Tracing the development of any band through a multi-album cycle can be an interesting experience. Although there is a diversity of explorations into genres, Iceage have a solid foundation in making good old-fashioned punk rock and roll that carries throughout.
One track to mention that stands out amongst the bunch like a sore thumb is “Lockdown Blues.” Written, rehearsed, and recorded in three days at the beginning of the pandemic, it’s a weirdly uncomfortable rocker that plays fast and loose with a world event that would end up deserving more thought than was given here. You can’t fault them for making it, but I would certainly question why it needed to be put on this release. Vocalist Elias calls the track “on-the-nose” and it is definitely time-stamped. For me it’s a cheesy, cheeky, and unfortunate blemish on a collection that is otherwise rock-solid. However, its inclusion won’t turn me off from the surrounding music. After all that’s what the skip button is for.
In the end, the ideas and sound found on Shake The Feeling are fully realized and easily listenable for more than just the hardcore fans. I fully enjoyed listening through it several times before I dove into anything else from the band. And that’s saying a lot because I usually reserve spinning these sort of releases for the very end of a band’s discography, if ever. Follow Iceage HERE, catch them on tour in a city near you, and spin Shake The Feeling HERE.