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‘SNARES LIKE A HAIRCUT’ CAPTURES NO AGE’S SHEER MAGNITUDE & VELOCITY (ALBUM REVIEW)

Tethered to their punk mother culture, No Age continues to experiment with various aesthetics, auras, and sounds. The duo, consisting of Dean Spunt and Randy Randall, is coming up on a decade since their debut, but their protean style keeps things fresh with their fifth effort, Snares Like A Haircut.  Unafraid to go from a dreamy narco-euphoric state to graveled gutter punk, No Age’s latest effort is a primal scream for the listener who lived through the bizarre-year called 2017.

The first single “Soft Collar Fad” burst at its seams with fast, blurred, guitar riffs and cacophonous bleeps and bloops, that mitigate any shred of self-seriousness. Pavement, Ramones, and Mission of Burma all seem to find a place in the psyche of the duo’s music influences. “Secret Swamp” has the 90’s art-punk appeal while “Third Grade Rave” is an instrumental that explores distorted synths and staccato percussion.

Melodic noise-pop rears its head across, Snares Like A Haircut, where songs like “Cruise Control” and “Stuck In The Changer” burrow deep into your skull. A distinct beauty springs from “Send Me” which exudes regret and loss, while the self-titled track is a floral, fuzzy, expanding instrumental.

The sheer magnitude and velocity of No Age can be found in “Tidal” which like its name suggests, consumes all with its wall of sound.  The highlight of the album might be found in “Squashed” which feels like an Avalanches-meets-Hole type situation, treading into unique territory.

No Age shirks complacency and conformity to define their own music style, which is a breath of fresh air. The Los Angeles duo seems to have committed to staying true to their vision of freeform creation and, their independent nature is evidenced by their departure from Sub Pop in 2013.  Snares Like Hair is a delightful and worthwhile listening session, but the real gold lies under the live performances that make No Age legendary.

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