Published Nov 12, 2019Toronto's Ice Cream seem like a band out of time. On 2016's Love, Ice Cream, Carlyn Bezic and Amanda Crist cloaked dry, depersonalized songwriting in pre-programmed beats and austere No Wave atmospherics. Then they tore through rip-roaring hard rock with a jag of modern malaise as part of local supergroup Darlene Shrugg.
The trend continues on the pair's latest record, which harnesses Shrugg's brash energy to supercharge their debut's mechanical affect. Described as a response to late capitalism and the male gaze, Fed Up is Ice Cream at their most direct, a magnetic combination of vintage sounds and contemporary anxieties.
Take leadoff track "Bun Roo," which jabs at economic precarity over a distorted "People are People"-type beat. "Dove's Cry" tries and fails to find synth-pop salvation in a shopping spree, while "Peanut Butter" deploys "Bad Liar"-style repetition to strike back at a world built by men. What these eight tracks lack in cohesion they make up for in breadth, spanning everything from Lynchian saxophone nocturnes ("Not Surprising") to breathy pop ("Banana Split").
True to its title, Fed Up doesn't attempt to sublimate its bristling critique into a detached perspective. Raw, retro and relevant, it's an exciting next step for Ice Cream. (Independent)