Friday Night: iceage & Balaclavas At The Mink

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Photos by Allison Wagoner
iceage, Balaclavas
The Backroom at the Mink
July 15, 2011

A lot of folks have a dirty habit of going full-throttle on a new band with only one album and a few singles, lumping praise on them before they can really live up to it. Aftermath has done it in the past (Die Antwoord, ahem.). Months later, we ended up feeling guilty when they didn't do anything else to keep the hype going, and looked like a musical alarmist, or worse, a hipster flailing for something new and dumb to be the first on the bandwagon (planking, ahem). iceage is such a band right now, but they are in no terms dumb.

In the days leading up to Friday night's Balaclavas/iceage/The Energy gig at The Mink, we were going through the same motions, getting excited to see a band that most in our business were proclaiming had recorded the punk album of the year, and were in fact, on the cusp of starting a new worldwide punk movement, like the Refused sort of did in the '90s.

Yeah, the LP, New Brigade , is great and all, and it goes down smoothly and quickly in a matter of minutes filled with late-period Black Flag (think My War), Joy Division's precursor Warsaw, and Wire flourishes.

But the band are all teenagers, and with that age involved, it accelerates the blog love to almost intolerable levels. We get caught up in a debut album and fail to see the long-term. Yes, it's great that they are all under 20 years old, but what comes next?

Could New Brigade be the sole great contribution of iceage to the conversation? Kids grow out of sounds, and in five years they could sound like fucking White Lies. These are the things that went through our mind before the show.

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Well, that and this blog, which accuses iceage of playing with fascist ideals and offensive imagery. Klansmen and racial cleansing made appearances in lead singer Elias Bender Rønnenfelt's online blog too, but that doesn't mean he's condoning it. Aftermath puts up pictures of Marky Mark on our blog, and we don't condone the trickery and magick of Boston hooligans with washboard abs.

The Odd Future cult has done and said things just as shocking and headshakingly "young" over the past year too. But with iceage, and their Danish background, comes a "scary" fascist European bent that scares those with sensitive eyes. It's accepted already that a hip-hop crew will say things that that are shocking and sassy, right? Rønnenfelt and Tyler, The Creator aren't too terribly different.

All that aside, the first part of the evening (stay tuned for Allison Wagoner's rundown of The Energy's portion) was a thrilling coming-out show, for iceage and Balaclavas' new material as well.

Location Info


The Mink - CLOSED

3718 Main, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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