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HomeArts & CultureTunes Review: No Age - Everything In Between

Tunes Review: No Age – Everything In Between

By Peter de Vries, Arts Contributor

Two people, a guitar, and a drum kit. Where have we seen this before?

The thudding blues-rock of the White Stripes’ Icky Thump and the ferocity of Death From Above 1979’s Romantic Rights both leap to mind, although Los Angeles’s No Age have been bringing their own twist to the two-person band since 2007. And on Everything in Between, the band’s second proper album and solid follow-up to 2008’s Nouns, Dean Spunt and Randy Randall sound very comfortable in their own skin.

No Age’s approach to music is perhaps best explained as subtle melodies and hooks disguised by layers of sonic fuzz and distortion. Fast-paced songs like “Fever Dreaming” come bursting out of the speakers with reckless frenetic energy, all the while remaining melodic in relation to the noise.

By contrast, the slower “Common Heat” trades the intensity of the noise on the album’s faster tracks for a more relaxed—though still fairly upbeat- tempo—emphasis on melody. The Strokes-like nonchalance of the vocals give the track the feel of something you would hum along to while riding the bus, rather than tearing up the person next to you in the mosh pit.

Speaking of which, when “Depletion” —the most blistering track on Everything in Between—zooms by about 11 minutes into the album, you can almost smell the smoke that might have been coming from the band’s recording equipment. It’s tracks like this and “Glitter,” a song that makes excellent entrepreneurial use of what sounds like hissing microphone feedback, that make the first 25 or so minutes of the album very satisfying.

Things get a bit strange afterward, though, as No Age take us on a three- track trip of ambient noise that becomes a little self-indulgent. “Dusted” is particularly confusing as it repeats the same hook over and over again while building up layers of melody and noise, but never reaches the climax that you would expect.

Thankfully, “Shred and Transcend” lives up to its name, unloading more of the frantic intensity heard earlier on the album. Vocals don’t kick in until about the last minute of the track, while the first two give No Age plenty of time to burn some serious sonic rubber.

Everything in Between is a solid outing release from a band that is continuing to grow, and should be followed closely by anyone who likes their melodies wrapped in noise for years to come.

Everything in Between hits store shelves on Sept. 28.


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