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« PS I LOVE YOU - Meet Me At The Muster Station | Main | GRINDERMAN - Grinderman 2 »
Friday
Oct012010

NO AGE - Everything In Between

No Age's guitar/drums/sampler template is as exhilarating as it is primed to one day expire, but maybe that's the point. It burns on a high octane brand of petrol, and for now, they sound like they’re living on anything but borrowed time—Everything in Between finds this pair subtly shifting their limited pieces to get the most out of their set-up.

The main thing one notices this time out is that melody is front and centre in all but the most soundscape-y tracks. "Life Prowler", "Glitter", Fever Dreaming", "Valley Hump Crash" and especially closer "Chem Trails" are all primarily wicked pop songs, likely to be at the very least appealing in even the most bland scenarios. And while no one will confuse drummer Dean Spunt for a great singer, he sounds more confident here than in the past, often digging into his lower range for near sing-speak vocals. Fans of the rock-ambient-rock tug-of-war that drove 2008's Nouns will find just as much to love here, too. "Katerpillar" and "Dusted" are as beautiful and briefly poignant as past such tracks, while "Skinned" manages to smartly dance between worlds—a nice moment of ambience that quickly turns abrasive as the band amps up their collage.

Which brings us to No Age's main strength. Aside from their youthful bravado and spunk, they've got an uncannily keen sense of the right noise at the right time. Whether its levitating sheets of aural wax paper wrapping themselves around a tune, or sonic scraps of 80-grade sandpaper scouring one another down to a smooth shine, each "non-instrumental" bit arrives with purpose and presence. Simply put, they're really, really good at picking and crafting this stuff and the duo's continued refusal to introduce anything bass-like into the mix just reinforces their clear belief in their methods: guitar + drums + a bunch of crazy noise = wicked. It's the new math, baby.

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