Denmark’s finest confirm themselves as the band of our generation with their third album – a captivating concoction of contemporary, accessible punk and beautiful, experimental post-punk.
Their second, You’re Nothing, was an undoubted musical progression from 2011’s brutal debut New Brigade, but the hyperbola of their progress grows ever steeper. Plowing Into The Field Of Love flits seamlessly between raucous noise-punk, C86 jangle pop and brittle, mellow post-punk, firmly asserting itself as a front-runner for best album of 2014.
Opener ‘On My Fingers’ kicks off with an intense drum march before opening into a piano-led, cinematic chorus. “Free my shackles, I’ll be coming after you,” sings the ultra-charismatic Elias on this dramatic, powerful and quite gripping opening to an album that only gets better.
It pounds along with its skiffle bassline and screeching Fall guitars, stumbling through Gun Club punk-country guitar licks and a Birthday Party-era Nick Cave chorus
The album’s first single, ‘The Lord’s Favourite’, ought to be the indie dancefloor hit of the year. “I think I am the only one breathing on this planet tonight,” is about as obnoxiously brilliant a rock n roll line we’ll ever hear. It pounds along with its skiffle bassline and screeching Fall guitars, stumbling through Gun Club punk-country guitar licks and a Birthday Party-era Nick Cave chorus. A perfect single.
For that matter, Nick Cave influences are strewn throughout the record. Take ‘Stay’, for example, a slow-drifting ballad, or the bass-driven military march of ‘Let It Vanish’. However, listen a little deeper and you’ll also find much more – the initially Cave-esque sombreness of ‘Against The Moon’, for instance, actually finds more in common with These New Puritans’ Field Of Reeds or Faris Badwan’s Cats Eyes side-project.
Plowing Into The Field Of Love takes a jump well beyond other contenders for 2014’s best album
‘Abundant Living’ sees Elias perform his best Mark E Smith impression while his band provide a jerky, breathless slice of twisted, demented guitar pop. Likewise, ‘Simony’ sees the band take a very English approach to 80s guitar pop; fast-paced, jangly guitars combined with a Vaselines bassline. The album-closer and title track opens with a delightful, all-too-familiar, earworm of a guitar riff and expands into a Britpop acoustic chug. It’s the most accessible and openly beautiful track of their work to date.
Plowing Into The Field Of Love takes a jump well beyond other contenders for 2014’s best album. It remains sonically brutal at times, yet extends into territory that it never seemed Iceage would be able to reach. It is a simply delightful listen from start to finish, challenging and rewarding in equal measure, with pleasure to be found by any and every music lover.
Alex is listening to: The Growlers – ‘Dull Boy’
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