No Age – Nouns
May 8, 2008
It’s hard to pull off a good duo. However, The White Stripes can do it. The Civil Wars can do it. Swearing At Motorists? They can do it!
No Age? They can’t really do it – I would think that probably more noise-duos are better than these guys than not. Half noise, half punk, half random clashes of cymbals and fast power chords on a guitar, Randy Randall and and Dean Allen Spunt try to convince us that they’re going to melt your mind with a guitar and drum only combo.
But, do they really believe that they can accomplish this? What’s going on with slow, boring jams like Things I Did When I Was Dead? Even the straight-out rocker and single Eraser is just….noisy. I love music, and I’ll never claim to be an expert – I always want to have a student mentality. Always learning, always expanding, always looking for a new way to look at things in order to make them better. I’m still trying to figure out why No Age noise is different from say, Japandroids’ noisier efforts. The more I look at it, the more I think it comes from simple laziness. Look at Keechie, this record’s longest track (it’s only 3:27 – No Age is smart enough to know their brand of rock requires short track lengths). You could argue to say that it’s not much more than some slow guitar work over some synths. Not even a slight vocal. Where is the appeal here…at all? Why did they think it would be appealing?
They slightly excel here only when they try not to push the noise so much – and give some slight attention to melody, as they do on Ripped Knees or Here Should Be My Home. Geez, even as I write that, it’s a stretch.
Nouns feels like a lesson that I just don’t understand, or maybe I’m naive to think there is a lesson here at all. I throw on Nouns when I have half-an-hour to kill. “Maybe I’ll get it this time – maybe something will stick out to me!”
I’ve owned this record for years. It still falls flat.
If you had to listen to two tracks: Teen Creeps / Cappo