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NO AGE

No Age

People Helping People

    First thought, best thought. Until the next thought: a guiding principle for No Age in the 16ish years they’ve been around. Constantly responding to their own streams of consciousness with reductive flexibility, they’ve taken the basic duo of guitar and drums with vocals WAY farther than anyone listening in halcyon Weirdo Rippers days could have guessed. Expounding on those larval possibilities, they’ve zig-zagged in serpentine precision, in and out of the teeth of the wringer — ranging outside and back in again, as befits the present thought. And now, six albums into it, these principles have led them to make People Helping People. Composed in their studio of ten years in the “pre pandemic” times, then an eviction from said space, and finished deep in the midst at their new basecamp: Randy’s Garage.

    It starts with an instrumental, too. First counter-intuition, best counter intuition! Nearly five minutes prelude Dean’s debut vocal interjection — a zoom in from the upper atmosphere, Randy’s guitar clouds pulsing with radiation, paced by spare, percussive accents. When the first song with singing (“Compact Flashes”) bounces in on an insane synthetic beat, the only recognizable sound of No Age is a sputtering of enchanted clicks and creaks — muted guitar strings and drumkit rattlings that cycle for a full minute before voice song and snare fall into place.

    This is the sound of People Helping People: No Age, deep in the lab, scraping available nuclii together to see what new compound they find next. Erasing the starting points, reordering the pieces and beginning anew. It’s an everyday mindset — and as the first No Age album recorded entirely by No Age, People Helping People is a broadcast of entirely lived-in proportions.

    Side one ricochets expertly back and forth between magisterial instrumentals and sing-song forms cut up on the mixing desk, as with the undeniable hitness of “Plastic (You Want It)”, winningly rewired to MIDI-mangled beat squelches. They don’t really land on a straight up punk-style riff until it’s almost time to flip the side, and even once they’ve got off on a run of rockers on side B, their aesthetic choices continuously reframe the norms, enhancing their inherent power. People Helping People finds their disparate desires operating in perfect sync; prolegomenic weirdness fused immaculately to classic rock propulsion, transforming the energy pouring out from their hands and feet with electronics.

    Dean’s lyrics are like pieces taken off the belt at the factory and put together into a John Chamberlin-esque sculpture, meant to sit out in the rain. Randy’s guitars, collaged into arrangements that reflect, again, boundless curiosity and exquisite restraint. This is People Helping People: unpretentious, suspicious, inviting, confident, left field. The most accurate display of the No Age ethos put to record. Yet!

    No Age’s ethos sings to us from beyond the clouds, with words and without, a conceptual boost to everyone helping everyone. Ensconced in Randy’s Garage without a clock to spit on ‘em, Dean and Randy composted drums and guitar and life on planet earth into a stream of miniatures, vignettes and reembodied images – an infinity of hits.

    TRACK LISTING

    You’re Cooked
    Compact Flashes
    Fruit Bat Blunder
    Plastic (You Want It)
    Interdependence
    Violence
    Flutter Freer
    Rush To The Pond
    Slow Motion Shadow
    Blueberry Barefoot
    Tripped Out Before Scott
    Heavenly
    Andy Helping Andy

    No Age

    Goons Be Gone

      Summer 2020, and No Age are back out on the street! 

      Effortlessly raw and extravagant in one practiced swoop, they set their live/bedroom internal clock and get out early into a glorious windtunnel of naked beats and sunbaked guitars, forming a wave from which they hang eleven tunes. 

      A perfectly balanced set, ranging from their classic punk and indie to ever-evolving soundscapes, in maybe their most direct statement yet.

      TRACK LISTING

      Sandalwood 02:31
      Feeler 02:40
      Smoothie 03:53
      Working Stiff Takes A Break 01:01
      War Dance 02:33
      Toes In The Water 03:11
      Turned To String 03:41
      A Sigh Clicks 02:26
      Puzzled 03:59
      Head Sport Full Face 03:55
      Agitating Moss 03:05

      No Age

      Snares Like A Haircut

        With the world around us bruised and bloodied with teeth already dug into the concrete curb, we fi nd ourselves with the shadow of a large boot looming overhead. What better time for No Age? Remember, they are the ones who fi rst brought you the hospital-bedfeel-good-anthem, “Get Hurt” (2007). They know how to ecstatically rage and power on thru pain, because what else are you gonna do? The future belongs to the cockroaches, and this record is made for the disparate band of misfi ts who 2017 couldn’t kill.

        Yeah. New No Age! Not new age No Age (except for the odd “Sun Spots”/“Keechie”-style shimmer that only ever makes everything better), but defi nitely an age of album-making located somewhere beyond and back from where we last heard ’em in aught-13, when they’d wrapped their process in as much deconstruction as An Object could bear. Reimagined rippers, compelling ever forward; something that provokes challenges on the ear — that was always the goal, but after a few years spent not No Age-ing, just working on that thing called life, is it any wonder that Dean and Randy wanted to pump out some rock and roll for the black hole? Does time mean nothing to you? Don’t answer that.

        Snares Like a Haircut sounds like the good shit, and smells like the buzzy burning off of an aura, the marine layer suddenly vanished, leaving a thin layer of smog over the songs, simmering sock gazing tunes, revved and displacing enormous amounts of sound soil. This is pure driving music, for the bus racer and the car driver, with too many signs, bells and little lites fl ashing, ticking away. This is a record for the Foothill and the Valley, with a chemical sunset fl owering at the end of every day. It’s a feeling made by driving music for driving music.

        Recorded in a few days and mixed forever, Snares Like a Haircut finds No Age in full on mode, because there was nothing else to do but go full on. In the songs inside the songs, the thumpy/thwappy drums, the desperately voiced paens to determination, the churning and the stinging-but-shiny fuck-it built into the structure, a promise from the 1980s echoes once again across today, for the undetermined in-between generation reality seekers. With Snares Like a Haircut, No Age scrub the itch in the little moments, engage actively with the process and carve/plaster/shave something in an album shape that’ll last. You don’t have to drive, but you can’t stay here. Let No Age do all the driving for you. Snares Like a Haircut.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Laura says: A welcome return from Dean and Randy. This album follows in a similar vein to 2013's "An Object", combining their raucous, hook-filled guitar fuzz gems with spacey, experimental interludes. They seem to have got it pretty much spot on this time around too, balancing everything out perfectly and seemingly knowing exactly how much of each ingredient to throw into the mix at any one time.

        TRACK LISTING

        1 Cruise Control
        2 Stuck In The Changer
        3 Drippy
        4 Send Me
        5 Snares Like A Haircut
        6 Tidal
        7 Soft Collar Fad
        8 Popper
        9 Secret Swamp
        10 Third Grade Rave
        11 Squashed
        12 Primitive Plus

        No Age

        An Object

          With An Object, their fourth full-length album, No Age has forgone the straight and narrow route, landing in a strange and unexpected place, feet planted in fresh, fertile soil. This new LP finds drummer/vocalist Dean Spunt exploding from behind his kit, landing percussive blows with amplified contact mics, 4-string bass guitars, and prepared speakers, as well as traditional forms of lumber and metal. Meanwhile, guitarist Randy Randall corrals his previously lush, spastic, sprawling arrangements into taught, refined, rats’ nests. Lyrically Spunt challenges space, fracturing ideological forms and complacency, creating a striking new perspective that reveals thematic preoccupations with structural ruptures and temporal limits.

          As the title An Object suggests, these eleven tracks are meant to be grasped, not simply heard. Whether in the fine grit of Randall’s sandpaper guitar scrapes on “Defector/ed,” or Spunt’s percussive stomp and crack on “Circling with Dizzy” and “An Impression,” these are songs that pivot on the sheer materiality of music-making, incorporating the process every step of the way. Still, this is hardly a work of avant garde noise music. These songs are hummable, political, recognizably rooted in underground rock, and informed by an understanding of sound as a material to be shaped, handled, and worked over. It is an aesthetic in which the relationships between guitar, percussion, and vocals—as well as those between rhythm and melody—become relationships between things.

          These relationships are built into An Object at every level. In collaboration with friend and Grammy-nominated designer Brian Roettinger (5 EP‘s, Nouns, Losing Feeling, Everything In Between), the band prepared and assembled the physical packaging of An Object, including jackets, inserts, and labels, fusing the roles of manufacturer, artist, and musician into one. It is this sense of the total work of art that underlines An Object as the culmination of two years of touring, writing, and performing, finding No Age moving into new terrain at the height of their powers.

          An Object was recorded by longtime No Age collaborator Facundo Bermudez and No Age at Gaucho’s Electronics in Los Angeles.


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