The fact that this record’s release coincided with me preparing for and subsequently taking a vacation, and you know, having a life outside of writing record reviews, means you’re likely reading this well after numerous other Internet outlets have exhausted every possible way to dissect You’re Nothing, the sophomore outing by Denmark’s Iceage, and still come up with the same undeniable end result: it’s really fucking good. On one hand, I realize no apology is needed, as SPB is a webzine, which going by purely terminology alone, implies an Internet-based derivative of "magazine." Anyone old enough to recall a pre-Internet period of time when magazines were the main source of information for finding out of about new music will also know that reviews were something you were lucky to read once a month. That is to say, it was not uncommon to hear about a record several months after it's release date. Also, insofar as I can tell (having contributed for a few years now) SPB sustains its relevance online largely as a result of our collective labor of love rather than just being mindless competitors in promptness-driven, hit-generating rat race that is modern day rock journalism. Yes, we sell add space, and yes we do pat ourselves on the back when someone takes notice of our hard work, but mostly we’re here because of one very simple fact: we love the music. Besides that, I am of the belief that to truly get a feel for an album you need to spend a good chunk of time with it. Yet I feel compelled to apologize for the tardiness of this review. (I should actually be apologizing for taking up space that could be devoted to music that isn’t already covered extensively elsewhere.) That being said, I feel obliged to write this for a couple reasons. First of all, I promised our editor I would, and secondly, I feel some strange urge to indulge the ugly, self-gratifying part of me that wants everyone that covered it before me to know that, “Hey guys, I like this record too.”
But rather than reiterating what others have said about how You're Nothing is more aggressive than their critically acclaimed debut, New Brigade (which it is,) how Elias Rønnenfelt’s vocals are more present and urgent than before (which they are,) how the apathetic, gothic tendencies are gone in favor of enthusiastic, thrashing punk (which is fairly accurate but not entirely true,) and how it will likely not only be one of the best punk albums of the year (which it undoubtedly will be) but one the best albums in all of music (which is entirely possible)—even though in saying so, I just did exactly that—I would instead like to provide the following ancedote…
One day last summer I was standing in the bedroom, looking out the window, when I saw what I thought was a dead leaf sitting in the window sill. I have a cat that likes to go outside and roll around on the ground. With her long, straggly hair it is not uncommon for her to be dragging debris like dead leaves back into the house. So, initially I thought it was another dead leaf - no big deal. However, when I reached down to pick it up; I was like, “Whoa, that IS NOT a dead leaf sitting in the window sill - that IS a freaking bat!” I could see it was still breathing. “Oh shit, that chiropteran motherfucker is still alive!” I thought to myself. Now, I'm not afraid of bats, but I know my girlfriend, who was sitting in the other room, is deathly horrified by them. I didn't know how to tell her we have a bat in the house. I called out to her, “Ah honey, we have a situation here that we have to deal with.”
She's cautiously replied, "Okay…what do you mean?"
So I decide to just come out with it because there was no way I was going to be able diffuse the situation without her realizing what was happening and then going nuts with anxiety about it. Bracing myself for the wrath of her impending terror, I calmly and blatantly stated, “Well, I hate to tell you this, but there is a living, breathing bat sitting right here in the window sill.”
As predicted, she fuh-reaked-the-fuck-out and started hyperventilating and shit. She gathered herself best she could and asked, "Are you going to kill it?"
I killed a bat once. It was against my better judgment. It was many years ago, when I lived by myself in an apartment, and long before I had learned how to remove unwanted bats from your home without ending their life. (At least not during the extraction process.) I dropped a brick on that bat's head. And then I stepped on the brick...forcefully. “Shreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeak!” Let’s just say its scream was enough to make me wish it was me that had been killed. Never again will I kill a bat.
I repeat, NEVER AGAIN WILL I KILL A BAT! (At least not on purpose.)
So she’s wondering if I am going to murder this poor thing and sobbing in sheer terror. I was like, “Relax, I know a trick.” I quietly grabbed a towel from the hamper, went to the kitchen and dampened it with water, and then calmly walked back into the bedroom and tossed it over the bat. Then I scooped it up and took it outside, where I gently shook the towel, assuming the bat would fly off.
It's a trick I learned one night at a club where there was a bat flying around the women's bathroom. Some intuitive female patron told the staff, very matter-of-factly, "Just throw a wet towel over it so it can't fly - duh." Better than a brick, I supposed.
As I said, I was hoping the bat would have just flown away, but it didn't. It just fell to the ground where it lay, panting hard as can be. I quickly realized that if my cat didn’t get into this thing, surely one of the several others that room the neighborhood would. (The neighborhood is lousy with cats.) So I used a shovel to gently scoop it up and set it on the roof of the garage. I hoped it would get its bearings back and fly away upon nightfall. I checked on it periodically throughout the day and evening but the dude wouldn't move. I could see that he was still breathing though, so I remained opitimistic.
The cool thing is that through all this my girlfriend started pulling for the little fella too. She would intermittently ask me, "How's the bat doing?" Which she would follow up with, "I hope it lives.” She was genuinely concerned for this poor chiropteran motherfucker. It reminded me of the time when we were first dating and I taught her to cuddle.
True story, she was not a cuddler. She had this tough exterior like, "I don't need dudes. I don't cuddle with nobody." She also didn't like cats. Now she acts like the cat's mom and shit. So not only did she learn to cuddle, and to learn to like cats, she was now feeling genuine concern for something that the mere thought of had previously caused her great pain and suffering.
So now we are both hoping this bat doesn't die. But…well, I'll just jump to the end here...
I found it the next morning on top of the garage right where it had been since I placed it there. Except now it wasn't breathing anymore. Honestly, I think I knew this was coming because one of the last times I had checked on it, I think I saw it take its final breath—it was a big exhale, and then its body sort of just collapsed. I didn't want to believe it when it happened but I think that was it. The reality is that I probably gave the the little thing a heart attack with my constant pestering. At least there was no scream like with the brick-to-the-dome bat that still haunts me. We were hoping the little creature would make it but he didn't.
On the upside, in the interest of science, I took some photos of it after it had passed on, as is my wont, and discovered something in the process that I never knew before: bats have penises. I dont' know why this discovery was such an eye-opening experience to me. I mean, I realize they procreate and stuff. I guess I just didn't realize that the penis would such a prominant feature. In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit I used a stick to poke around the area just to make sure I was positive of what I was seeing. My girlfriend is concerned for her wellbeing now; she thinks I have some sort of psychotic disorder. But I think she just watches too much Criminal Minds.
So, in lieu of a proper record review, that was the story of the penis-having bat that was in my house before it eventually passed away despite my best intentions. If you’ve made it this far, I assume you’re asking yourself what any of this has to do with the new Iceage album. And I have to agree - that’s a pretty good question. While the answer may not be immediatley apparent, you'll have to trust me, there's a correlation in there somewhere.
9.5 / 10
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