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Woozy dream-punk from
Los Angeles-duo

No Age - Everything In Between
(Sub Pop Records)
3 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Oct. 8, 2010
No Age

Review by Tony Bonyata

There aren't many artists capable of channeling noise into dreamy pop bliss, but No Age is certainly one of them. The Los Angeles-based indie duo, consisting of guitarist Randy Randall and drummer Dean Allen Spunt, have built on the strengths of their last album, Nouns, to deliver a platter of songs on their third full-length, Everything In Between, that are, at the same time, fuzzed-out and woozy, yet also subliminally catchy and even downright hummable.

As futuristic as the material on this effort may often sound, there's still an undeniable essence of the No Wave underground music movement from late '70s/early '80s present here (which not so surprisingly still sounds avant-garde and ahead of its time 30-some years later). It's as if Randall & Spunt have tapped into the noisy dissonance and frenzied feedback of early Sonic Youth and coupled it with the shoegazing pop punk of The Jesus and Mary Chain from the early '80s. This is most evident on tracks such as the albums' first single "Glitter," along with the cheery "Chem Trails," "Valley Hump Crash" and adrenaline-pumped tracks "Depletion" and "Fever Dreaming."

When the duo isn't trying to win over their audience with indelible hooks hidden deep under all the sonic mire, they take a scenic trip into some sort of contrasting noisy ambient music, as witnessed on the dreamy and droney tracks "Sorts," "Positive Amputation" and "Katerpillar." But it's not until they strike a balance between a pleasantly repetitive melody-line and blissed-out white noise on the lovely instrumental "Dusted" that would surely have eclectic pop musician and ambient music innovator Brian Eno nodding his head in approval.

The music on this underground dream-punk album is surely not for everyone, but for those who like their rock music on the experimental side of things will find this an exhilarating and sublime ride.

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