No Age – Everything In Between

No Age’s third album is here and there as been a lot of anticipation for it (mind you not as much as Deerhunter’s fourth album). The band promised a new songs would be more mellow and incorporate so many tape loops that they need to tour with an extra member now. Those elements are definitely present, and looking at the album as a whole No Age almost sound like Disco Inferno at their best. Rest assured though there’s a ton of noise on this record and No Age are still punk as fuck.

Everything in Between is a great record because for every great classic sounding No Age moment, like opener “Life Prowler,” there are also moments where Randy Randall and Dean Spunt sound like they are really stretching themselves in a good way. After a record like Nouns, this band could have shot out countless records that sounded exactly the same and been very successful, but on songs like the first single “Glitter” and “Common Heat” No Age sound like they are pushing themselves into new places. Said songs have clearer vocals and a clearer sound, which gives the album great contrast when they’re sandwiched around the burning and fierce “Fever Dreaming.”

This is easily the most dynamic album No Age have released, and surprisingly it features the most instrumental and ambient elements of their career. The entire second half of Everything in Between is really pushes the new sound Spunt and Randall discussed in interviews. Starting with the short and pretty “Katerpillar” the album really starts incorporating the tape loops and the guitar haze. The trio of songs, “Sorted,” “Dusted,” and “Positive Amputation” come near the end of the record and really show how much No Age push this new approach. Two of them are instrumental, the other might as well be, and after all the rock songs before hand they remind the listener how No Age can make tremendously beautiful music. “Positive Amputation” has a fragile piano melody that rises just about all of the soft guitar squall; “Sorted” does something similar with percussion that’s high in the mix and vocals that aren’t. “Dusted” is all guitar and tape, it doesn’t really go anywhere or develop during its near 3 minutes, but I would argue that it is the most blissful song Randal and Spunt have ever recorded.

The centerpiece of the album “Valley Hump Crash” has a shockingly crisp and poppy guitar melody accompanied by samples of cars speeding before laying on the noise in its brilliant final minute. Finally there’s “Chem Trails” a closer which sums up everything No Age are about. It starts soft and distant, and quickly moves into the warmest and best song on the album. Spunt and Randall trade vocal lines back and forth, and drums, guitar, and tape loops all work in perfect harmony. The song appropriately features fireworks exploding which is all the more fitting because Everything in Between is a huge success.

Track List:

* – Recommended

  1. Life Prowler – 2:38
  2. Glitter – 3:49
  3. *   Fever Dreaming – 3:50
  4. Depletion – 3:18
  5. Common Heat – 2:27
  6. Skinned – 2:58
  7. Katerpillar – 1:31
  8. * Valley Hump Crash – 3:52
  9. Sorts – 2:35
  10. * Dusted – 2:44
  11. Positive Amputation – 2:53
  12. Shed and Transcend – 3:21
  13. * Chem Trails – 2:55
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~ by cheesedog22 on September 27, 2010.

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