ALBUM REVIEW: No Age – Everything In Between






No Age - "Glitter"
No Age - "Fever Dreaming"

L.A.'s renown underground venue, The Smell, can be accredited to the metamorphoses of many DIY rock outfits relevant in today's punk scene, from HEALTH to Abe Vigoda. It seems more and more palpable though, that No Age is the most significant to emerge from the grungy concert-hall, which by day acts as a library and vegan snack bar. Guitarist Randy Randall and drummer Dean Allen Spunt obviously have a close affiliation to the venue, using a portrait of it on their debut, 2007's Weirdo Rippers, a collection of the five EP's they released one sunny day in March. There's a satisfied emotion involved with listening to a record that you initially fear won't be as noise driven or guitar heavy as its predecessor (Nouns), and if truth be told, might have surpassed it. My gratitude to No Age for Everything In Between as it's a rare feeling.

You'd think No Age would still be basking in the glory of 2008's very well received Nouns, a record that prompted Deerhunter's Bradford Cox to claim they were his favourite new band, bestowing upon them unconditional hipster cred. Underneath the conspicuous noise distortion and pulsating guitar riffs, you would find a sizeable amount of enchanting melody, mind you, it's a bit of a mission to locate it. Everything In Between is by no means approximate to radio or mainstream, but those gorgeous harmonies Randall and Allen are so wonderful at creating are way easier to hear.

No Age is still aiming towards those loyal L.A. hipsters who have been with them since '07, creating a record as avant-garde as anything promoted at The Smell. While it's indeed loud and experimental, the melodies found here are also more delicate and precise (see “Depletion”), posing the question: how the hell do these two create so many layers of noise and music simultaneously? They offer a broader range of moods on Everything In Between; moments entirely unorthodox and instrumental, moments where they go absolutely buckwild (see Ramones sounding “Fever Dreaming,” and the uberheavy “Shred and Transcend”), than engage in playful banter (see album closer “Chem Trails”).

It seems the duo is grateful for Bradford Cox's praise; “Sorts” and “Dusted” sound particularly like Atlas Sound songs. Their first single “Glitter” is all about tumultuous distortion but you can hear those bass lines so clearly, the clean use of hand clap samples, Randall's raw lyrics. It clarifies why No Age stand out amongst other outfits in the genre; they have easily crafted the lo-fi record of the year here, more charismatic than Wavves' King Of The Beach, Best Coast's Crazy For You, and everything in between.

87? — [Rating Scale]