No Age – Everything In Between
[Sub Pop, 2010]
Jeff Pearson, September 2, 2010
Originally published by Life’s Sweet Breath
Experimental noise-rock duo out of Los Angeles, No Age, bring the release of their third album, Everything In Between. The band has truly developed their sound in a big way since first arriving with the lo-fi Weirdo Rippers. On Everything In Between, the band explores new sonic textures and moods that were uncharted territory for the band a mere three years ago.
The album opens up with a bass-drum jackhammer slowly pounding into your brain, with “Life Prowler”. Guitarist Randy Randall enters with a beautifully melodic, clean guitar line, which gradually becomes more and more distorted. The vocals are much more pronounced than you might be used to hearing from them, but as drummer/vocalist Dean Allen Spunt begins to sing “My life, my life, my life…” and a new layer of guitars hits simultaneously, you’re hooked. Next comes the album’s lead single, “Glitter”. The song has a bouncy, “Mickey”-esque drum beat (hand claps and all), but as the guitars build and layers form, you remember this ain’t Toni Basil. “Fever Dreaming” takes no time to leave you pummeled with fast-paced classic punk aesthetics, while keeping the No Age sound intact. Its fuzzed out vocals and effect-laden guitar overdubs bring to mind a Ramones/My Bloody Valentine love child. “Depletion” is an incredibly catchy, upbeat tune with a ska feel to it, which may very well be my final answer for the true summer anthem of 2010.
The album really settles in to this feel of punchy drums and guitar drones, creating this amazing feel of mixed identities. It is quite remarkable how cohesive the album is, considering this. “Sorts” is the perfect example, as it opens with an aquarium soundtrack-worthy soundscape—-do not be surprised if a jellyfish floats past your bedroom window—-which quickly gives way to a unique, rapid-fire drum line. The drums sound like a chainsaw trying to start up over a lovely drone of guitars. “Dusted” and “Positive Amputation” are two instrumentals placed back-to-back after “Sorts” that are equal parts haunting and beautiful. “Positive Amputation” has a simple piano line throughout, with wailing guitar fuzz skating on top. The album ends with “Chem Trails”, a happy, call-and-response tune which encompasses the overall sound of the album.
Everything In Between really showcases a band who is maturing and expanding their sound, while remaining totally true to that sound in which they are expanding. It can go from putting an image of a sunny, sandy beach in your mind, to putting you smack-dab in the middle of an avalanche in Alaska. Textures and layers run rampant, though never straying too far from home.