14 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With song titles like "Shed and Transcend" and "Skinned," you'd think that No Age's new album is a love-or-hate leap into the unknown — a rebirth record that took six months of scrapped tracks and calloused hands to complete. While that's true on many levels, it's not that drastic of a shift. More like a refined take on the L.A. duo's last two LPs, a headphone-ready joy ride through the outer realm of ravaged indie rock, nail-gun-like noise, and meditative electronic music. So while songs like "Glitter" and "Fever Dreaming" balance their meaty hooks with sudden bursts of feedback and chalkboard-scratching chords, No Age also indulges their ambient side on "Katerpillar" and two solo efforts (the woozy downward-spiral loops of "Dusted," the brief but heartbreaking post-rock of "Positive Amputation") that suggest the band could pull off a 21st-century punk version of OutKast's Speakerboxxx / The Love Below double-LP someday. For now, we're more than happy to hear Randy and Dean do their thing, striking a balance between the skate parks they grew up in and the art-damaged road ahead.

EDITORS’ NOTES

With song titles like "Shed and Transcend" and "Skinned," you'd think that No Age's new album is a love-or-hate leap into the unknown — a rebirth record that took six months of scrapped tracks and calloused hands to complete. While that's true on many levels, it's not that drastic of a shift. More like a refined take on the L.A. duo's last two LPs, a headphone-ready joy ride through the outer realm of ravaged indie rock, nail-gun-like noise, and meditative electronic music. So while songs like "Glitter" and "Fever Dreaming" balance their meaty hooks with sudden bursts of feedback and chalkboard-scratching chords, No Age also indulges their ambient side on "Katerpillar" and two solo efforts (the woozy downward-spiral loops of "Dusted," the brief but heartbreaking post-rock of "Positive Amputation") that suggest the band could pull off a 21st-century punk version of OutKast's Speakerboxxx / The Love Below double-LP someday. For now, we're more than happy to hear Randy and Dean do their thing, striking a balance between the skate parks they grew up in and the art-damaged road ahead.

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About No Age

Los Angeles experimental lo-fi drum-and-guitar duo No Age are Dean Spunt and Randy Randall, ex-members of hardcore band Wives. Through assorted indie labels, No Age released limited runs of vinyl-only EPs before collecting many of those tracks for the singles collection Weirdo Rippers, issued by U.K. label FatCat in summer 2007. The record's cover pays respect to the Smell, a venue/art space they felt was partially responsible for the livelihood of both No Age and Wives. The duo is also known for its videos, performance art, and visual art, as well as curating an exhibition that included works by Devendra Banhart and others. The band moved to Sub Pop in 2008 and released its full-fledged debut album, Nouns. Partly recorded at Southern Studios in London, Nouns saw the band add a pop flavor to its hardcore punk assault and was widely critically acclaimed, charting highly on many best-of-year lists. The group's sophomore effort, Everything in Between, followed in 2010, and in between albums and tours they remained busy with other art projects, including a performance alongside video artist Doug Aitken and actress Chloë Sevigny of the multimedia installation piece Black Mirror on the Greek island of Hydra in June 2011. In 2013 they recorded their third album, An Object, a conceptual work as much about the process and texture of music-making as about the music itself, with every single aspect of production and design handled by the bandmembers themselves. ~ Kenyon Hopkin

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