With their tendency to traverse the unbeaten path, No Age are slowly redefining what it means to be an “rock band.” Brimming with creative ambition and sustaining their DIY ethos even as they’ve ascended to the indie rock A-list, they’ve played in basements, libraries, and even on the edge of the LA River. They’ve written alternate scores for silent movies, original scores for fashion promos, and have written their name in big bold letters with rainbow print on white T-shirts all across the world. In a barren creative landscape, where the most celebrated punk record of the year so far revels in the self-satisfaction of banging out half-assed mall-punk and Merriweather Post Pavilion retreads, the duo of Dean Spunt and Randy Randall seem more vital than ever.
Starting out with a driving drumbeat and heavily processed handclaps, new single “Glitter” (sadly not a concept track about Mariah Carey’s then-deteriorating mental health, but Sonic Youth has already explored this avenue on “Kim Gordon and the Arthur Doyle Hand Cream” anyway) finds Spunt’s most reserved vocals to date high in the mix. Just like the aforementioned Sonics, No Age’s primary use of noise has always been as a compositional element; here on “Glitter”, the blurry guitars that sound like synths are underscored by lacerating guitars that sound like power drills. “Thoughts surround me everywhere I go,” Spunt sings from behind his drum kit, “I don’t fear nothing, unless it’s broke,” which is ironic, considering that he and his bandmate have made quite the name for themselves spinning yarn from decaying art damage. Later in the song, Spunt drones, “I don’t fear God, I don’t fear anything.” There’s a chance he could be referring to something else entirely, but if I were asked to describe No Age in one word, “fearless” is without question the one I’d use. –DM
MP3: No Age-“Glitter”