Only today did I find out that No Age were a two-piece. Sadly enough the reason for this was because I had a sudden urge to make one of the songs off of 'Nouns' my myspace profile song - in order to spread the word I guess. Because now that I find out No Age are just a two piece (even though a little more careful listening would have worked this out), they mean so much more. And 'Nouns' is so much more of an achievement.
The melodic drone/noise that lifted itself so proudly from debut 'Weirdo Rippers' has found its way once more on the follow-up. With 'Weirdo Rippers', the artwork was taken of the studio in which it was recorded in, No Age were just a band releasing a debut record. But now they're fitting into their new clothes and discovering that the world is their oyster, they just need to go in the right direction. 'Nouns' is mature and confident - sometimes you think you're hearing Razorlight (see the beginning of 'Eraser') but that shouldn't phase you.
A lot of 'Nouns' is naturally very lo-fi. Prior to a thrasing cry of angst and frustration from the pair of Randall and Spunt, you could be forgiven for mistaking the first few seconds of 'Teen Creeps' for a home demo from one of those school bands you were forced to witness before your mates band entered the stage and played just as poor a set. But then, as mentioned before, it kicks off, and when the noise becomes beautiful, you know you've found the right set of mind to be listening to No Age. The record is produced in a way that you can stay satisfied at what you're hearing, not too uncomfortable. 'Sleeper Hold', if it were adjusted in any other way, could just be unbearably repetitive but instead you find yourself nodding in unison to the flawless rhythm section. Strictly speaking it's all a bit of a mess, no song follows up another with perfection -but variety is the very essence of this record. What you hear are 12 punky short-spanning juggernauts passing you by before you can pay them your utmost attention - you don't notice the finer details of the piece until about five listens, but 'Nouns' is fortunately, a very easy record to come back to instantly because you can always tell there's more to unfold..
Since their early EP days, what's always been interesting about No Age is their sound is confined and thought about so much more than what's clearly suggested on record, the two-piece don't just sound like a two-piece and that is very clever indeed. A sound so big can only emerge from a passionate duo and 'Nouns' is the most passionate, blood, sweat and tears and all sounding record of the year so far. It's like this years 'Mirrored' - at first you can't tell whether you should be enjoying it, but your instinct tells you to go on and find your comfort zone. Once you get it, it's quite special. It's actually unbelievably difficult to talk about No Age. Their sound is original, incomparable almost to anything else - the highlight of the record 'Things I Did When I Was Dead' could be classed similar to a mellow, heartfelt version of Liars. Other than that, there's nothing else to compare any moment to. Essentially that's what makes this band so enticing, for me anyway. If you're in the right mood for 'Nouns', you know you're going to have a special half-an-hour of listening time.
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