Tuesday, February 8, 2011

No Age Shreds Everything In Between

No AgeWhen Wives, the hardcore punk trio from Los Angeles split, Randy Randall (guitar) and Dean Spunt (drummer/vocals) were hardly done. No Age immediately formed and was signed with Seattle-based Sub Pop. Several EPs and albums later, Randall and Spunt are on an evolution binge.

Everything In Between is stocked with surprises. The punk noise that the duo is known for has been refined into a collection of 13 tracks that ranges from trash rockers to electronic experimentation. All of them are oddly addictive, even if the entire ecstatic mix breaks every rule with only the constant hum of distortion and flashes of feedback providing a thread.

Everything In Between is still brutally stripped bare by Randall and Spunt.

Clearly, Everything In Between moves away from the free spirited veracity of their previous albums and toward a more deliberate dialogue for the everyday schmuck with a schedule. It's not a complete departure from their original sound as much as it is noticeable that their abstractions have more uplifts and their presentations more clarity.

The album was originally released a few months ago, but the arrival of a new visually muted and offbeat video has unexpectedly revived the entire set. The resurgence convinced us to give it another spin without the crowded field we found last September. It immediately gave us something to let smolder for awhile.

The video that resparked the release is campy and deep, enough that some fans feel the need to explain the concept, pointing out that everything in between the frame is the universe. Anything inside the frame gets squeezed and everything that falls outside the frame gets shredded. The album was made much the same way, with 25 tracks cut almost in half.

The video was shot by Patrick Daughters, who originally broke into the music video business after filming the Yeah Yeah Yeahs in 2003. This is his first music video after spending most of last year on commercial shoots. The real beauty here is that it almost plays like an anti-music video. Sub Pop also released a short "making of" clip.

It also captures the appeal of Everything In Between. No Age retains its minimal sound and deconstructs the stuff that you'd expect from straightforward punk or rock or pop noise.

While Fever Dreaming is an easily familiar punk favorite, the rest of the album has bite. Life Prowler opens on a relentless steadiness until it drifts into a bigger sound. Glitter laces together a stylish melody over electronic noise. Depletion is a lo-fi rocker, often called the highlight of the album.

Everything In Between By No Age Shreds A 4.8 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

When you spend some time listening to the lyrics, you might even come away with the notion that No Age has infused some unpredictable pop stylings into the mix. This might even be why the album sounds more cohesive. Definitely wear your headphones, especially if you purchase the album and enjoy the drifting dizziness that accompanies Dusted.

Everything In Between by No Age is available on iTunes, with the bonus track Inflorescence. On Amazon, you can download Everything In Between MP3s or purchase the CD, but neither have the bonus track. You can also keep up with the band's schedule on MySpace. They play the Rickshaw Shop in San Francisco at the end of the month.
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