Review Summary: If Weirdo Ripper was their announcement of arrival, Nouns is No Age's grand coming our party that shows they make sure everyone knows that they're here to stay. When you think lo-fi noise-rock, think No Age.
The success of Weido Rippers
was surprising, to say the least. No Age, a guitar and drum duo, burst from the LA art-punk, DIY scene in 2007. The Smell, a mecca for the LA’s local music scene, was home for No Age. With crazy live shows and crazier fans, it wasn’t too long before their appeal grew from blog to blog and eventually to listener. Nouns
is No Age’s sophomore effort, and they continue to grow upon the noisy and thick sound, except now it’s even noisier and thicker. Nouns
is a fantastic example of a band sticking to their guns and adding to an already fresh sound. There was nothing necessarily wrong with the hazy, shoegazy, borderline punk sound on Weirdo Rippers
, but Nouns reveals the duo lending a fresh coat of paint and clamor to their dirty noise rock trademark.
begins in typical fashion with “Miner,” an allusion to the fact that guitarist Randy Randall famously helped to trench the floors of previously mentioned club, The Smell, to add an extra bathroom. Dense and hazy, with a plethora of homemade samples and slow vocals over top, “Miners” provides a taste of what’s to come. From there, No Age brightens the mood with “Eraser,” a sunny little ditty that grows and twists, knocking traditional song structure on its behind, much like the rest of the record. By the time “Teen Creeps” begins to blast, the listener has a an idea of what to expect. “Teen Creeps” provides what’s expected in this facet, but they go above and beyond the expectations and limitations set up in the previous songs. The fuzzy waves of guitar and percussion come and go, crash and recede, and it becomes easy to lose your mind in the great atmosphere. The lyrics mimic this, and sound somewhat numb to reality, “Wash away what we create / My sins like funny calls you make / Teen creeps I've seen you on my street / Teen creeps get what they want and me / I won't end up like them at all.”
Even with its short span of 3:26, the longest on Nouns
, “Teen Creeps” leaves a distinct impression. And while it may be a bit tiresome, the next three songs give the listener a brief respite while managing to stay interesting as No Age slow things down and let the thick, fast atmosphere take back seat to a more subdued undercurrent. Nouns
continues in similar fashion, and whether it’s through the meticulous and trudging feel of “Keechie” or the energetic, distortion-filled, franticness of highlight “Ripped Knees.”
When you think lo-fi art-punk or noise-rock, think Nouns
. If Weirdo Rippers
was No Age making themselves a little more widely known, Nouns
is the grand coming out party where they let everyone know that No Age is at the forefront of their sound and scene. With very little filler or bland material, aside from the power-chord happy pop-oriented “Here Should Be My Home,” Nouns
is a well-constructed and fun-filled journey that won’t disappoint. With their thick, hazy tunes on Nouns
and always energetic live shows, No Age is here to stay; and the entire noise-rock scene, not just LA’s The Smell, is definitely better for it.