» LATEST FEATURES

LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
No Age
Nouns
Sub Pop

Rating: 6.5/10 ?


May 15, 2008
Initially it seemed appropriate to judge No Age's first proper album based on immediate reaction, good or bad. Rather than relying on moments that gradually reveal themselves, the duo previously seemed to thrive on the ultimatum, creating their music with a confrontational love-us/hate-us/but-feel-something-now format. And perhaps that's what's so surprising about Nouns: parts of the record eschew the noise-pop tendencies and deliberate lo-fi charm of last year's singles compilation, Weirdo Rippers, in favor of... well, it's hard to say. There is an inclination to say beauty, but that doesn't feel quite right; more accurate might be to say that there are moments that find the listener taken aback. You'll find yourself wondering if Nouns is really all that good or if you're just shocked to hear such songs on a No Age record.

Let's start at the beginning: No Age's live show sounds exactly like its recorded output. Which does a lot to suggest that the terrible backroom vocals, poorly mixed guitars (alternately often skillfully blended with home-made samples) weren't an accident; whereas a band like Guided By Voices or Pavement made such coarse recordings because of financial constraints or inability or indifference (the last one being Guided by Voices, for sure), No Age seems to be willfully making their music sound like it was recorded in a bedroom. Which isn't wholly uncharming. However, the borrowed nature of a band like No Age (sounds like an aural interpretation of Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azzerad, with the spikier, punky lo-fi sounds of Sebadoh, and the aforementioned Pavement and Guided by Voices thrown in for good measure) is usually something that's easy to shake when the songs and presentation are genuinely good. The Exploding Hearts, for instance, relied on mod-era punk for their songs, but were so innocent and idealistic that their enthusiasm bled through every note. No Age seems the opposite: seemingly jaded and opportunistic and using the do-it yourself format to sneer at those who try harder. They snicker at the delayed, My Bloody Valentine-esque guitar loops of Deerhunter with songs like "Keechie" and at punk's snottier past with songs like "Teen Creeps."

Perhaps what's missing is some heart: even the Sex Pistols stir up some emotion, if only because their snide fuck-you-all attitude was so sincere. The songs here expand a little on the Weirdo Rippers formula, sometimes finding new ways to make the duo format interesting (the single, "Eraser," makes delightful use of guitar loops, and almost bounces along), but it's moments like the previously mentioned "Things I Did When I Was Dead" (whose incomprehensible lyrics could be just as shallowly snide as "Teen Creeps" or anything else on the album) that are so sonically stunning as to briefly shake off the notion that a second before something about the music was saying "doesn't this sound familiar?" Looped, almost folky-guitar patterns overwhelm each other, laying into an ambient wall of sound and bouncing into contact with a squeaky tribal beat that wouldn't sound out of place on Panda Bear's Person Pitch, with soft backing vocals and a melody that begins to tug the heart strings with well placed piano and lead guitar parts. It's a stunning studio concoction and an inadvertent showcase of the best elements of the band: experimental, defiant and put together splendidly. Immediately following is "Cappo," which sprightly bounces and spazzes like a good post-punk song should but has a difficult time quieting its influences (J Mascis with Slanted and Enchanted sensibilities, fronting a punk band, anyone?) From there on out the sound of Nouns' references just become deafening.

Reviewed by Cory Tendering
No biographical information is currently available.

See other reviews by Cory Tendering

» MEDIA DOWNLOADS

» GOT STICKERS?

If you'd like to help spread the word about LAS, or simply want to outfit yourself with some adhesive coolness, our 4" circle LAS stickers are sure to hit the spot, and here is how to get them:

--> Send an with $2 in PayPal funds to cover postage. Don't worry, we'll load you up with enough to cover your town. Then just be patient. They will arrive soon.

» WORLDWIDE DOMINATION

LAS has staff and freelance writers spread across North and South America, Europe, and a few in Southeast Asia as well. As such, we have no central mailing adress for unsolicited promotional material. If you are interested in having your project considered for coverage, please contact us before sending any promotional materials - save yourself time and postage!