No Age

    {grate 4} In the 00s, punk belongs to Los Angeles.
    No Age perfectly encompasses the myriad of noisy kid-bands populating the Smell
    (downtown L.A.’s finest dive)
    through their own meticulous approach to a surface-simple art-punk duo. Dean
    Spunt and Randy Randall, the two heads, pilfer an array of favorites from My
    Bloody Valentine to Squeeze to Black Flag, and emerge with a tasty skate
    soundtrack that indulges in the finer aspects of shoegaze and ambient. Nouns is
    the house that DIY built.

    On first listen, Spunt’s off-key whine in “Teen Creeps” may
    not seem to gel with the track’s white wall of fuzz and hard snare hits, but it
    grows into a listening kinship normally felt for your cool friends and their
    even cooler older siblings. Nouns’ singles are more to-the-point than last
    year’s vinyl comp Weirdo Rippers, and its introspective drone segues are more
    lush and mood-appropriate. The dudes even try their hands at the mellow ballad
    with “Things I Did When I Was Dead,” which might portend more computer-loop
    chill outs on the next record. Moments like “Keechie”’s noise blanket
    periodically cutting out along to a clean guitar mantra make you wonder, “Where
    has this band been all my life? I want to start one like this!” Cue jittery
    optimistic dancing with the onrush of “Sleeper Hold”’s power chord overthrow.

    But oh, the carefree pop is there too! “Here Should Be My
    Home” grabs old boy-band melodic chops and injects them with a detached snarl,
    a perfect lead-in to the hazy chord cycle of “Impossible Bouquet.” Nouns’
    madness ends in an onrush of downstrums, the sampler cued to endless shock;
    “Brain Burner” has the energy of an 18-year-old outcast in the body of a
    balding 7” connoisseur, channeled through a bubblegum filter. Fuck Vampire
    Weekend, this is the real youth and worth at least as much breath.

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