When I told a radio DJ friend that I was reviewing the new No Age, he said: “I could scream into a phone for you, then you wouldn’t have to review it.” Fair enough, that fuzzy, atonal assessment more or less works for the experimental lo-fi punk duo’s two previous releases, the singles collection Weirdo Rippers and their Sub Pop debut Nouns. But right from the start of Everything in Between’s opener “Life Prowler,” it’s apparent we’re dealing with a different, more melodic beast. Over a simple, clear drumbeat, guitarist Randy Randall layers mellow and abrasive lines, and the duo actually sings (not screams) the life-affirming “live in the now” lyrics. I don’t want to say that No Age is completely scrubbed of grime, there’s still an aural patina. This time around though, the gritty feedback is merely the sheen and not the substance of finely crafted songs, from the glammy “Glitter,” to marvelously ambient and experimental “Dusted.”
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