No Age: Everything In Between

No Age
Everything In Between
(Sub Pop)

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No Age is back! This is good news for fans of raw rock with an indie bent. Everything In Between might not be Album of the Year, but it’s still pretty darn good. At its worst, I’d say it’s uneven. At least half of the songs feature some of the best noise that you can make with just drums and a guitar.

“Fever Dreaming” and “Depletion” are alt-punk gems that rock like Dinosaur Jr. They do the ragged-punk thing well, as “Shed and Transcend” is a highlight, driven home by Dean Spunt’s snotty-but-earnest vocals. The cracks in his voice fare even better though on the lighter tracks. The closing song, “Chem Trails,” is a catchy, pop song, while the quasi-ballad “Common Heat” is a definite stand-out.

What bogs the album down though, are the noise experiments that mostly take up the second side of the record. Everything In Between has three instrumentals with no discernible melodies to carry them. “Dusted” is just weird, repetitive samples and “Katerpillar” is simply a wall of ambiance like Radiohead’s “Treefingers.”
If they took the first six tracks and added the last two, this would have been a killer EP. I have no doubt that they could have written a few more good songs if they wanted and I’d really like to see them develop their quieter side a bit more. Still, this is a good album by a good band. But I know that they have a great album in them though.

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