Iceage Puts in a Powerful Performance of its Post-Punk Glam Blues for Tapetown Sessions

Iceage in June 2018, photo by Tom Murphy

The Tapetown Session of Iceage displays a band in part studio environment and part live. But with this format the spontaneity and energy of the live show is preserved with the sonic fidelity that wouldn’t be possible in most concert environments. What also separates this footage from that admittedly excellent series of live sessions on KEXP is that the environment seems more gritty and like it could be in their own studio, perhaps, but is in fact the Tapetown Studio in Aarhus, Denmark. The band seems comfortable yet focused and performing a selection of seven songs from its two most recent albums Beyondless (2018) and Seek Shelter (2021). This set of songs has the Danish post-punk band in fine form performing a set of songs that showcase the breadth of its musical vision over the last few years having expanded well beyond the more angular post-punk of its early days into a fascinating amalgam of unvarnished punk waxing into forms that sprawl the sounds and the emotional expressions beyond any orthodoxy of style. This version of Iceage has as much in common with Stooges, New York Dolls and The Birthday Party as it does with hardcore and death rock mixing in elements of rockabilly, blues and country as well. Those hybrid impulses blended together could be a mess but here Iceage manages to synthesize it all with power and conviction for a music that because it can seem loose around the edges also conveys a sense of creative freedom and the ability to defy and grow beyond expectations set by its earlier music. Watch the Tapetown Sessions of Iceage on YouTube and connect with the band at the links provided.

Iceage on Facebook

The Tapetown Sessions Video of The Murder Capital’s “For Everything” Captures the Post-Punk Band’s Powers of Collective Catharsis

Dublin’s The Murder Capital has been one of the main buzz bands of post-punk of recent years and its Tapetown Sessions video of “For Everything” gives you a little taste of why. The group builds a brooding, seething, abrasive-yet-entrancing mood. The guitar bends and stretches into disorienting shapes while percussion and bass build a tense momentum that unleashes and releases a third of the way into the song. Echoing slashes of sound flash through the song and the hollow, forceful vocals haunts the sound with a commanding critique of a political and economic system that is failing everyone. But it is not didactic, it is visceral and comes from a place of genuine pain and frustration, of disappointed aspirations that need to be channeled into something productive and emotionally fulfilling. The song is six minutes long but it’s so electrifying and compelling you forget the time and get swept along in the shared catharsis.

Dumb’s “Content Jungle” is the Missing Link Between Post-Punk, Garage Rock and the Avant-Garde

On its Tapetown Sessions recording of “Content Jungle,” Vancouver, BC-based band Dumb sounds like the missing link between Sonic Youth, Parquet Courts and the Reatards. Its brash guitar riffs indulge beautifully odd bends and fragmented melodies. The shout along vocals do little to undermine the clever lyrics that cite dated cultural references that take us out of the current era (Kool Aid and cathode rays?) while injecting more contemporary cultural artifacts like Netflix to comment on the way so much of our documented history has been plumbed and gives people the impression that it’s all accessible and understood sans proper context simply because you can pick and choose and find anything on the internet for which the title of the song, “Content Jungle,” could be another name. The lyrics neither condemn nor glorify this feature of the world now but does highlight the absurdity of thinking mediated access to culture and the world is the same thing as direct experience.

Bull’s Tapetown Sessions Live Video for “Eugene” Displays the Magic and Chemistry of the Left Field Rock Band

Bull, photo courtesy the artists

The Tapetown Sesssions recording of Bull’s “Eugene” demonstrates how the band crafts what seems like a simple melody and song from complex components showing in detail the level of attention and effort and care went into the song’s dynamic structure and atmosphere. Even more so than seeing a live gig, the way the video is put together highlights the way Bull pulls off the delicate moments and play off each other in sync with each other as they shift from the quiet and delicate to the more impassioned passages of song. That the band has great chemistry together contributing in seeming equal measure to the graceful power of “Eugene” is on clear display. Listening without seeing gives one a sense of a band with more than four members but that’s just a testament to the songwriting and band logistics in making a mini-orchestral piece with what might otherwise be standard rock band instrumentation. And there’s nothing standard about the song other than maybe some conventional pop structure. Its chord choices reflect a coming at music from a refreshingly different angle the way maybe Pavement or Built To Spill have done—classic rock and punk elements skewed decidedly differently enough to be fresh. Watch the video below and follow Bull at the links provided.