From Ear Noise to Ear Candy

No Age
Everything In Between
Sub Pop

You know what doesn’t suck, the new No Age album. I’m listening to it right this very moment that I am writing this. Not this very moment you are reading this because I wrote this on September 29th, but this review will not be posted until now, October 5th, which is a full eight days after the album came out. At which point, if you have any foresight into the future you already knew I was gonna rave about this album and went out and bought it.

All the fucking hipsters liked this punk band turned indie nipple twisters when their Sub Pop debut Nouns came out. I picked up a copy at the used store at that time. It was okay. The recording on the album was all over the place though and it sounded like a bad collection. Also, most of the guitars that were supposed to shimmer and glitter and be all twinkly were just too shitty. I mean that. The guitars on that record were not reigned in enough by any of the engineers. I liked this band a lot on paper but in execution I was not really digging it. There clearly was enough there though for me to keep my interest and I am glad that I did.

About a few months ago, No Age put out an EP called Losing Feeling and I was pretty psyched by it, because it felt a lot more well thought out and structured. Look, sometimes the best albums and music are those made with creative, reckless abandon, where the dudes just bash it out and take the shit to new heights. But there is something about the No Age aesthetic that actually lends it self to some further thought and care. This was hinted at and evidenced on Losing Feeling, which was a short, tempered burst of noise pop that all the hipster cocks seem to love. But, as stated the DIY, lo-fi sensibilities still reigned through. I dug that shit.

Now, they have this album called Everything In Between and all the fucking douche bags in tight pants and fake eye glasses (incidentally how did that mid-nineties fashion faux pas make a resurgence into the world. #wtf man, seriously) are getting 4″ chubbies over this shit. I guess I am too, because the song writing is really, really good. This is the clear distinction too. There are actual songs amongst the distorted, noisy guitars and cracking drums. Dean Spunt still can’t sing that well, but it’s not even that annoying as I think they must have employed the Steve Albini approach and mixed them vocals back in the mix. The singing creates enough sonic difference in the upper registers to make this not just two kids bashing out noise in a garage, so I won’t call them unnecessary,. But you aren’t missing much by not straining to catch what the dude is saying.

Everything you have previously read about this band is true. All the comparisons are fair and accurate. I don’t even think the duo would even argue against it. No Age is a band that people are going to be talking about for a long time. They didn’t change the game, but clearly they are doing things their own way. Everything In Between is a howling, infectious record. First listen and I already want to start it over again. If I wasn’t typing this in my parents family room, headphones on, I would put this sucker on in my car, drive around in the rain and pound my steering wheel in time to the cymbals. This is how this band should sound, this is the record they should have made right now, this is what rock music, punk music and all the like is all about.

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