No Age - Everything In Between

After two albums of sonically daring fuzz-punk and lo-fi noise experiments, California duo No Age have drastically broadened their sonic approach on their brilliant third album, Everything In Between. No doubt the new songs still assault with a distinct noise/punk sneer, but the band has brightened its corners with more songwriting focus, tighter melodies, and just about the greatest use of noise effects on a rock record that I can think of. The four-song album-opening run alone will leave you breathless – the personal “Life Prowler” kicks things off with heavy drums, abrasive feedback, an electric guitar line that is actually pretty, and blasts of noise that sound like horror-movie screams. With its building instrumental lead-in and near-anthemic vocals, first single “Glitter” comes on like an art/punk “Where the Streets Have No Name”. “Fever Dreaming” and “Depletion” then basically wreck everything in their path – the former perhaps the band’s best most melodic shredder yet and the latter not far behind. A few well-placed instrumentals pepper the rest of the album, which also mixes nervous sonic experiments like “Sorts” with full-steam-ahead rockers like “Shred and Transcend”. But Everything In Between’s most disarming song is saved for last. “Chem Trails” inconceivably sounds like a call-and-response combination of Modern English’s 80’s one-hit-wonder “I Melt With You” and Bowie’s “Heroes” (which along with LCD Soundsystem’s “All I Want” and Arcade Fire’s “Half Light II (No Celebration)” is at least the third great indie-rock song of the year to blatantly nod to this classic). It’s the band’s most pop-oriented song to date and an inspired way to end their finest album. As a whole, Everything In Between maintains the scrappy punk aesthetic of their early work but combines it with a greater emphasis on musicality and song craft. It’s easily one of the year’s very best albums.

MP3 :: Glitter
(from Everything In Between. Buy here)

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