Wednesday, May 07, 2008

No Age - Nouns

Two Hundred Seventy-Four Words: This is what a Sub Pop band sounds like...circa 1991. Haven't we heard this before? Big indie label from the nineties signs unconventional, lo-fi throw-back band in hopes of recapturing the ears of generation 2.0. Yeah, they were called Times New Viking. But this time, the whole blogosphere is abuzz with praise for the SoCal, vegan duo and their just released Nouns, better known as No Age. If it weren't for silly inconveniences like the alphabet, No Age would sit nicely on Sub Pop shelves between Mudhoney and Nirvana.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the lo-fi, nineties' aesthetic taking its turn as the next retro fad. In fact, I welcome it. I find myself often replaying albums from my college days in between all the new stuff I accumulate. There's something artful and simultaneously real about that era of music. People making up songs for no one but themselves and recording those songs in bedrooms and basements added to an aura of authenticity. I want there to be another Sebadoh, Guided by Voices, and Pavement. I'm OK with this.

Reminiscing aside, I like the No Age record. I don't Pitchfork like it, but the record does rock. The swirl of feedback and guitars over a slight tape hiss almost always works for me on a first listen. The thing that makes this record worthwhile is that the songs are interesting and solid. What's also interesting is that No Age has found some way to capture a rich sound like a My Bloody Valentine record with a minimalist approach. That was completely unexpected and contradicts the lo-fi aesthetic, but it's true nonetheless.

The one song that makes it worth $17.95: "Eraser"

Pitchfork Says: 9.2

1 comment:

GE said...

I'm intrigued. Meanwhile, I'm glad you read Pitchfork - - so I don't have to. Reading those reviews feels like homework.