By KYLE SHEARIN
Rock bands with a drums and guitar combo have become something less of a novelty as of late as L.A’s No Age has been one of the more adventurous acts to grab notoriety.
Featuring a singing drummer, Dean Allen Spunt, and plenty of distortion from guitarist Randy Randall, No Age had the tough task to keep things interesting without overexerting themselves. For a lot of people, their 2008 effort, “Nouns,” was the great indie-rock noise album of that year or perhaps even of the decade. It combined a dazzling take on shoe-gaze swirl and combined it with fuzzed-out punk mythos that was just as rewarding as it was accessible.
On “Everything In Between,” No Age is still working the same angles, but with a bit of a rejection to the reverb craziness that was on “Nouns.” This allows the music to stand on its own melodies and give the listener something of a different approach that we have not heard before.
It’s also important to note that “Everything In Between” is about 10 minutes longer than “Nouns.” The songs definitely thrive on less fat and more meat, but the album could stand to toss away a track or two. Folks who liked “Weirdo Rippers,” No Age’s compilation of their first singles and an EP, will feel more obliged here since the songs are denser and incorporate different styles and textures and often feel like the songs are a bit disjointed when played in one sitting.
Usually, vocals are given the back seat treatment when it comes to these kinds of outfits, but songs like the slowed-down “Glitter” and “Common Heat” give the listener something to sing along to or at least contemplate the meaning behind. The band seems more suited for additional instruments, as when synthesizers, piano, or even a drum machine like on the opener “Life Prowler,” are laid down. The group becomes more eclectic and the extra instruments are generally satisfying.
The guitars lack a certain sharpness to them, as songs on “Everything In Between” are less abrasive than previous ones have been. This gives No Age a more altered commercial aesthetic that becomes a bit of a tease once you’ve grown familiar with the songs and you want something ripping from the stereo.
All in all, the album still remains fast, noisy, melodic and integrates new ideas and executes them vibrantly to create something all the more rich.
4 out of 5 stars