Guitarist Randy Randall and drummer Dean Allen Spunt formed No Age out of the remnants of a hardcore band in 2005. From the outset of the Los Angeles based band's first full-length to this, Everything in Between
(the band's third), No Age's sound hasn't really changed too much. In fact, this latest album brims with a knowing loyalty to the musical elements that have unbetrayingly defined them: Layers of gnarring reverb, pounding punk rock riffs, and subtle drips of melody — all distilled between ambient walls of sound — infuse Everything in Between
with more of what the band's fans know, and more importantly, more of what the band's fans have come to love.
The album starts out melodic and subdued — especially when contrasted against "Miner," the opener to 2008's heavily-praised Nouns
— luring listeners into a state of duress (Did the band mellow out? Are they trying to attract new listeners? What gives?) And then "Glitter" jumps right into a relentless '70s punk number ("Fever Dreaming") that squashes any lingering doubts about the band's intentions.
The rest of the album is a heady mix of No Age signatures, with new elements revealing themselves in snack-sized bites. "Common Heat" possesses an underlying country twang; "Katerpillar" is massive, short, and complex; "Dusted" is, for lack of a better word, beautiful; and "Shred and Transcend" is fast and angry, but with charm.
But for pundits looking for any sort of musical evolution, you'll be hard pressed to find anything new. Here, at least, the old maxim stands: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Everything in Between
may not have made any grand leaps, but it avoided the much grander sin of falling victim to "more." -chris gayomali
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