For the past couple of weeks I’ve been indulging, some might say overindulging, in generous helpings of noise-rockers No Age. Though often described as a punk band, I’d say that while such a label manages to somewhat encapsulate their sound and broader underpinnings, it also sells them a bit short. Yes, Dean Spunt and Randy Randall adhere to a decidedly DIY aesthetic and their lo-fi rock often reveals itself in raucous two minute bursts, but their music ascends beyond the implied simplicity of “punk”. Now, you may be thinking, “Um, they’re a guitar and drum duo. Isn’t simplicity kinda the point here?”… and you’d be right, but with those meager tools, No Age manage to create some deceptively sparse noise soundscapes. On their awesome debut full-length, Weirdo Rippers — which is really a collection of songs from a series of vinyl EPs simultaneously released on five different labels — walls of feedback, distorted buzzsaw riffs, and calculated, chaotic, crash cymbal-heavy assaults of drums yield a work characterized by serene moments of surging drone and pure noise attack. I just wish I had spent some time with it a bit earlier, because it’d definitely be sitting somewhere on that 2007 list I just put up.
Besides releasing an incredible album last year, No Age are already set to release their solid sophomore effort (and debut for Subpop) tomorrow! On Nouns, Spunt and Randall flex a bit more of their pop-muscles, crafting a batch of even more infectious noise-jams. You can even catch a glimpse of some non-distorted instruments (!!) on this record… okay, there’s about one. But don’t worry too much — while there may be some more pop appeal here, the album is still an uncompromising work. In fact, I’m even starting to feel like it’s better than Weirdo Rippers. In any case, it’s easily one of the best of the year so far.
Watch: On top of all that, No Age recently appeared on Pitchfork.tv to perform a few songs and talk about the new album, awkward tour stories, and family expectations when they hear that you’re “a singer”. Watch the whole session HERE.