The deed has come due in Iceage’s “Vendetta.” Whereas the previously released “The Holding Hand” lurched with grim determination, the new single cruises with top-down menace. “This ain’t no place for a sightseer,” Elias Rønnenfelt warns over a broad blues riff and big beat rhythm. The song is released alongside word that the band’s Mexican Summer debut Seek Shelter will drop May 7 and accompanied by an impressionistic video by director Jonas Bang.
Produced by Sonic Boom, Nis Bysted, and the band—which includes new guitarist Casper Morilla Fernandez and is outfitted on the song by a three-piece horn section—“Vendetta” feels custom built for the naked criminality of our day, when the various shams and schemes of the powerful are so often exposed they’re routine, if considered at all. But Iceage sets out to get even, edged into darkly comedic territory by Rønnenfelt’s seedy ramble. “In my own songwriting, no matter how tortured it might be at times, I never underestimate a sense of humor,” Rønnenfelt wrote for AD in a 2018 installment of Diversions. “Sometimes it’s a temptation I can’t deny: a need to add a perverse twist to whatever might be at hand.”
He’s in full trickster mode, slithering along the seedy margins of the band’s weighty groove like the serpent in Bang’s dream logic noir visual. The joke is simple but sick, too. When it’s really time to pay up, there’s no talking your way out of it. | j woodbury