Iceage, New Brigade
An abrasive debut that convincingly resurrected the spirit of '77
If the Ramones had grown up under the influence of hardcore — and also if they’d all had impenetrable Danish accents — the result would have sounded a lot like Iceage. In a year that saw plenty of acclaimed artists mining the sounds of soft rock, New Brigade was a refreshing anomaly: an abrasive, out-of-nowhere debut from four Danish teens that convincingly resurrected the spirit of ’77. “Remember” sounds like a Wire song riddled with bullet holes, the lightning riffs on “Collapse”‘ teem with manic energy, and “Broken Bone” shrugs off all the carnage with classic punk apathy (“It was just a broken bone”). Twenty-five minutes of raw, pummeling power, New Brigade was perhaps 2011′s most succinct, and convincing, argument that punk’s not dead.