November 12th, 2013 | Album reviews

Brock Potucek

No Age
An Object
Sub Pop

Can’t you smell that Smell? No Age is back, cutting through the bullshit with a leaner, meaner third slice of an album. An Object rearranges your expectations, identifying and emphasizing the minimal elements that make No Age what they are: 21st-century schizoid noise for the ages. Randy Randall and Dean Spunt peel off their sound’s skin to show you the inner workings … let’s just say the emperor has some pretty bad-ass clothes. Opening salvo “No Ground” is a Glenn Branca–styled two-pronged guitar orchestra assault. The unexamined self is put under the Hubble, beaming their otherworldly vibrations back to Earth. “C’mon Stimmung” is dissonance personified—thrusting its feedback beyond the plastic sea of apolitical “indie” trendiness—with cymbals thrashed, guitars slashed and indifference dashed to ribbons. This is not just another shoegazing, head-in-the-sand album on the prowl for cool points. Songs like “An Impression” and “Running from A-Go-Go” benefit from a thoughtful, reductive approach, giving the band a new direction that is both subtle and sincere. “Circling with Dizzy” shouts through helicopter blades, dropping a payload of distorted bombast. “Lump forms in my throat, so big I begin to choke/the words keep coming, as though complaining I’m broke.” No Age has plenty to say here: themes of alienation, miscommunication, self-reflection and rebirth. The album closer is a droning meditation on growth versus stasis. “Time opens up, like the back of a pickup truck/there is no here, there is nowhere/you can fill me up, so I wont get stuck.” Great care was taken in the delivery of this “object,” every copy of this record was apparently hand-packaged and shipped by the band themselves. An Object is the sound of No Age chimerically shifting their shape, like the myth of the kirin, careful not to cause harm with its footprint, but turning fierce when the pure is threatened by the sin of banality, repetition and falseness.
Eyad Karkoutly