No Age – Nouns

In anticipation of the new No Age album Everything In Between I’m taking a look back on their two previous albums, last week was Weirdo Rippers, here is their sophomore album Nouns.

In 30 minutes and 12 songs, No Age made one of the funnest rock records of the decade. I didn’t expect how much the whole lo-fi rock trend would catch on and stay popular even now, but if you go back a lot of the bands are pretty forgettable. Nouns, however, is an album that I think will stay pretty well respected through the years, mainly because of how genuine Randy Randall and Dean Spunt sound. So much has been written about “Eraser” which seems to have attained status as a classic,  it perfectly encapsulates every element that makes No Age great in under 3 minutes. it deserves the title though there are so many highlights on this album it would be criminal to just concentrate on that.

The big brash rock songs on here are the best of No Age’s career. “Miner” and “Cappo” combine explosively noisy music with sensitive vocal which in “Miner’s” case are mixed so low as to give it a sloppy shoegaze feel. “Cappo” despite being one of the most feedback drenched songs on a very feedback drenched album actually has clear and touching lyrics and has one of the most memorable lines on the album: “Don’t you wanna cry?/If I were you I’d wanna try and force it out.” Elsewhere “Teen Creeps” gives one of the best hooks on the album, a brief  and startlingly clear guitar riff in the midst of the storm of distortion. They don’t overuse it as either the second long riff in “Teen Creeps” only appears twice in the songs 3 1/2 minutes, which makes you want to listen all over again. That 1/2 minute at the end is worth noting, its a gorgeous little coda in the tradition of Loveless that appears out of nowhere and has nothing to do with the song preceding it.

There’s nothing quiet on Nouns, but relatively speaking,  the quieter songs on Nouns are breathtaking. “Impossible Bouquet” buzzes beautifully like something off of Deerhunter’s Cryptograms, an album that has a lot to do with No Age’s sound. “Errand Boy” chaotically shifts from being the quietest song on the album to the most uncontrollably noisy and back again. “Kappo” was easily the prettiest thing No Age ever recorded, which while not their most common quality is nonetheless an important element to their sound. I say “was” because their is a  song on the upcoming album that sets the bar very high.

Even with pretty ambient washes, No Age are a punk band, a true punk band. What defined punk in the 70s was the attitude and personality, and Nouns has that in spades. The screeching and unbelievably catchy “Sleeper Hold” in under 2  1/2 minutes  manages to out-do entire discographies of other bands from this scene. It all comes back to the the amazing personality on this album, you get the feeling they really care about their music. The music is so positive that I’ve been able to put this fierce little noise rock album on at parties and had people jumping around loving it.

No Age’s music seems simple, but I assure you its not shallow. They are a tremendously talented pair crafting some stunning music, and on Nouns they make it look effortless.


~ by cheesedog22 on September 20, 2010.

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