Introducing Last Ice, The Internet Super Group Who Have Never Made Music In Person
Last Ice have successfully released their debut album, and now are rolling out their first performance style music video “Chains”, without having ever met in person as a band.
Last Ice is a collaborative project between Austin future punk duo Bloody Knives and Portland/Atlanta darkwave trio We Are Parasols. The fusion of their genre bending sounds and styles creates a style both novel and familiar, with sounds ranging from minimalist angular electronics to sweeping cascading atmospherics, and opportunities to visit sonic landscapes neither may have done on their own.
Last Ice began with We Are Parasols finishing songs from an abandoned Bloody Knives record, which in turn prompted Bloody Knives to begin remixing tracks from the We Are Parasols EP ‘No Center Line‘. What resulted were songs that held a coherent vision but were often far from their origin. The contrast between vocalist D’s witchy operatic and Preston Maddox’s ghostly monotone rests on Jake McCown’s steady backbeat surrounded by Alec Yeager’s layered polyrhythms, with Jeremy Wilkins adding guitar and synths along with mixing and mastering. D and Preston each contribute bass and synths along with Jack O’Hara Harris providing additional guitars.
Recorded in 2019, Last Ice found their stride as an entirely remote band without losing their stride or creative momentum, especially as the COVID pandemic put a damper on any prospect of in person work. The video for “Chains” was recorded entirely remotely, with different bands members in their respective cities, but despite this the chemistry comes through in droves and gives us reason to believe Last Ice will be a stellar live act going into the second half of 2021 and beyond. As guitarist Jeremy Wilkins puts it “’Chains’ is a performance video by a band that has never actually played together. The footage of one half of the band was shot in a living room in Portland, Oregon, while the other half filmed themselves at a house in Austin, Texas. Then I assembled and edited the footage.”
Their debut S/T album showcases all the band members’ individuals strengths and collective songwriting prowess as one cohesive effort; it’s one of those rare debuts that sounds well-worn and worldly, like the band has been playing together for years. Pulsing industrial dance mechanics in “Chains” and “Disease” help introduce the ornate atmospherics of “Fire” and “Divides.” “Prayer” combines a confessional whisper with art nouveau aesthetic on amphetamines. “Curse” and “Submit” are both deep trips into the void, while the ghostly invocations of Moriah West (Xibling) complete the ethereal warmth of “Summon.” “Rising” takes that ethereal energy and balances it on top of a mechanical stuttering beat wrapped in D’s angelic vocals. Closing out the album in summation of all that came before it is “End”, with its propulsive dance beats and rhythmic synths ramping up to an expansive ambience.
“Last Ice is a wonderful mix of industrial-tinged shoegaze with plenty of goth elements thrown in as well. The darkwave aesthetic leads to a lot of pop sensibilities, but we don’t hear the group delve into too much lo-fi sound, mostly opting for lush, clear textures.”New Noise Magazine
“Their debut single ‘Prayer’ is somewhat of a revelation, combining the best elements of west coast industrial with a swooping atmospheric feel, the cold and stark vocals draw you into almost a new era of what driving indie-electronica can do.“IDIOTEQ