No Age – Snares Like A Haircut – Album Review by Killian Laher
LA noisy punks No Age return with their first album in four and a half years. It acts as something of a primer for these guys. Opener Cruise Control barrels out of the traps with Randy Randall’s pounding guitar riffs and a mighty drum rattle, a bit like a poppier Sonic Youth. It does its thing with little fuss and is gone in three and a half minutes. Even more brief is Drippy, which crams the essence of Sonic Youth’s Teenage Riot into two and a half thrilling minutes. Elsewhere they do a fine line in dreamy, gauzy rock on Stuck In The Changer and later on the aptly-titled Squashed, possibly referring to Randall’s heavily-treated guitars. The latter also features seemingly incongruous keyboards, the track is simply bursting with ideas.
Send Me is one of the more accessible moments, a kind of ragged version of The Cure in their mid-period, dreamy commercial peak. On the other hand, at their most aggressive Tidal is a balls-out stomper while they borrow Nirvana’s Been A Son riff to belt their way through the brawny Soft Collar Fad. Popper starts out like the Ramones before bursting into a euphoric, feel-good chorus where Dean Spunt sings “I’ve got a lot to offer, I don’t think I should bother.” A late highlight comes in the form of Secret Swamp, breakneck power pop with a belting chorus.
It’s destined to be one of the best rock albums of the year and the perfect way to blow away the cobwebs. Play loud.
1. Cruise Control
2. Stuck In The Changer
4. Send Me
5. Snares Like A Haircut
7. Soft Collar Fad
9. Secret Swamp
10. Third Grade Rave
12. Primitive Plus