Nice album cover this, brings to mind a close-up of a good marbled steak. Turns out, with my eye off the ball as is often the case, Iceage released the Plowing Into The Field Of Love album in 2014 so I've had to have a bit of a history lesson before getting to grips properly with Beyondless, seeing as there's an obvious maturation of the sound I had in mind from You're Nothing (and New Brigade, for that matter). I've also not played those albums for a few years so no harm in a refresher.
Beyondless kicks off with what sounds like a woozy bit of brass to begin 'Hurrah' so right from the off there's an obvious new element to the band's sound. No major cosmetic changes have been undergone though as the pace and attitude we've come to expect are still there as the songs pounds through its four minutes.
That brass is fully in evidence throughout track two, 'Pain Killer' which also features Sky Ferreira on additional vocals. Again though it rips along at a fair old pace so it's pretty safe to say we're on recognisable ground no matter what else has been introduced in the recording process.
Remaining far more relevant than the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Iceage have delivered a very good fourth album with Beyondless. Treading water is clearly something they're not ready to do, nor are they off down the road of attempting a misfiring consumerist commentary to deflect from weak songwriting a la Arcade Fire. Now each closer to 30 than 20 the quartet have clearly matured musically as they no doubt have physically & mentally and there are no signs here of a desire to regress to already charted waters.
You can of course break the album's title down into beyond and less & it's certain that Iceage have easily managed to progress far past less and into something very significant indeed.
Beyondless is available from Matador.