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No Age: Nouns

C+

No Age

Album: Nouns
Label: Sub Pop

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The Los Angeles Times and The

New Yorker
(among others) have celebrated

L.A. guitar/drums/sampler duo No Age as punk personified, but they seem to be

confusing the band's DIY ethos, live energy, and general sense of community

with the sound coming through the speakers. It seems like a trivial point to

argue, but for someone picking up No Age's Sub Pop debut, Nouns, based on this sort of press coverage, terms like

"punk" can seriously shift expectations. Whether they're commercially tainted

or underground-oriented, those expectations will likely lean toward anger,

exuberance, and perhaps even velocity—not the sort of noise- and

sample-caked inertia Nouns

embodies. As with the duo's primary influences—Sonic Youth and (especially)

My Bloody Valentine—it's a rich, lovely sort of inertia, the kind in

which you can spend days uncovering previously unheard melodies or phrases. But

even as the drums bash away (the weirdly Jan & Dean-reminiscent "Cappo")

and the distortion meter redlines, Nouns' effect is hazy, numbing, and merely pleasant—quite the opposite

of experiencing No Age in person.