Released on 26th August 1991 on Rebel Records on LP / MC / CD formats.
As discussed, UK musical tastes were changing. Any audience left wanting a more guitar driven style of music now also had the American Grunge invasion to satisfy their hunger, further reducing the audience for the remaining Goth bands moving into the 90′s.
At this point the Rose has all but disappeared from the UK music scene, and between 1991 / 92 I’ve yet to track down a single gig played on UK soil. Following the success of “String ‘A’ Beads”, and the changing tastes in the UK, the band seem play exclusively in Europe. “I.C.E.” was very much a product for that audience.
Paul also notes by the stage they came to record “I.C.E.” the band had been going for some 7 years. The income from the music alone was never going to be enough to earn a full time living from, so the band members had growing interests outside of the band, leading to “I.C.E.” being recorded during the night shift.
I think this lack of focus and commitment is evident in the final product, the record lacking that enthusiastic feel of a band passionately throwing everything they have into it.
The opening track “Ride The Storm” launches the album with great expectation, being high tempo and catchy.
“Two Time Baby” follows, and is a steady if not spectacular. Here we see the changing style in line with the times. Paul’s guitar playing is much more rhythmic and broken up compared to the jangly Goth riffs of the 1980′s and Andy is using a disco style hi hat pattern on the verses. Here could be the root of the bands problem to keep up the changing trends. The music was adapting, but Phil’s baritone vocal style wasn’t adaptable enough to carry these poppier, groove driven tracks.
“I Love the Ice” is formed of a catchy guitar line, but again Phil struggles to carry the tune.
“Destination Nowhere” somewhat brings Phil back to his comfort zone, being much more suited to his voice, and is a passable track.
“The Garden” follows and is again is a catchy and progressive tune, but doesn’t quite hit the sweet spot.
“Lost The Chance” steps it up a gear and is a straight ahead fast and simple rock out.
“Wall of Pain” is one of Phil’s better performances on the album. The production on this sounds a little cold, the drums in particular being very tinny, but it’s a decent enough track.
“Everything’s OK” is a slow builder, but the vocal and lyric just simply doesn’t fit the track and the end product is awful.
The album closes with “Take All My Money” which is quite atmospheric, but ultimately as poor as “Everything’s OK”.
In summary I feel the album highlights a band coming to a point of disintegration. A lack of preparation and focus during the writing and recording is blindingly obvious. It would certainly seem Phil wrote the lyrics and laid down the vocals separately to the recording of the backing tracks as often tracks feel disjointed, with the lyrics fitting awkwardly around the song structures.
You can see why Paul said that he had enough and quit the band at that point because the band were coasting at a certain level. Doing enough to sell a few records and secure small / medium size European venue tours, but not really putting all they had into becoming bigger and better, and Paul still had that desire to not just “play” at it.
In summary “I.C.E.” is a disappointing final chapter in the career of the band, because it just doesn’t compare to the earlier body of work the band produced, however all good things come to an end at some point…it is no surprise that at the same time the Rose finally imploded so did many of their remaining Leeds peers like Salvation and Ghost Dance.
Ride The Storm (The Rose of Avalanche) (4:40)
Two Time Baby (The Rose of Avalanche) (4:15)
I Love The Ice (The Rose of Avalanche) (3:57)
Destination Nowhere (The Rose of Avalanche) (4:15)
The Garden (The Rose of Avalanche) (4:30)
Lost The Chance (The Rose of Avalanche) (4:04)
Wall of Pain (The Rose of Avalanche) (3:01)
Everything’s OK (The Rose of Avalanche) (4:40)
Take All My Money (The Rose of Avalanche) (6:00)
Catalogue Number: CD 084-30342