Monday, June 25, 2007

Season full of bee stings

The drug-induced (er, cold medicine) fog has finally begun to dissipate. Last week was a tad hellish.

Everybody's Down
- No Age

Given the collective critical swoon and bloggy hot n' botheredness over No Age, the LA skaterat-rock duo normally wouldn't merit mention from me. Cept damn, this stuff is fucking great! The band's superb
Weirdo Rippers (out in Europe, soon to be released in North America) is a singles collection but so sure-footed an art-punk statement of cohesively sequenced lean, brisk, stunning songs, that we might as well call it an album proper. And I can barely listen to other proper albums right now because they sound so boggy, artificial and calculated in comparison. (Not that these No Age kids are wide-eyed naifs and aren't themselves doing plenty of savvy image puppeteering and product positioning; their assent in online awareness, at least, has been remarkably swift.) The singles have been trickling my way for a while, and for most of last month I was almost exclusively under the hammer-thrash thrall of "Boy Void," but this is the song that's got me in its sharp and slippery teeth these days. Even when you know it's coming, even though the song's been building to it the whole time, the last 42 seconds are like the climactic scene of the best kind of Hollywood action pic, where the explosions and car chase and shoot em' up are diegetically predictable and necessary, but also totally unexpected because they so wonderfully exceed your expectations. You know, because the scene's so bloody great, it effects a kind of narrative rupture.

No Age's Myspace

Town and Country
- The Shot Heard 'Round the World

This is the other song that I love right now. With its tripartite structure and
multiple POVed morning-day-night panorama, it could be the awkwardly named Brooklyn band's "Day in the Life." Or a rough-spliced Dusk at Cubist Castle outtake. More country-wistful than town, it creeps in AM Gold on orange rooster feet, scatters its seeds in honeyed harmonies and sunsplashy chamber pop, then finally featherbeds down to sleepy guitar and toms. The more you play it, the more its nooks and crevasses divulge: midnight swimmers, bee stings, a tingly glockenspiel, bopping bassline, rhythms that shake and sway and caress. Its bulging middle is particularly lovely -- a hot and rippling summer day of forever-reaching blue-blue sky and white-white clouds .

Ten Songs for Town & Country (Artist direct, iTunes)
The band's Myspace


Blogger jonderneathica said...

Amy is a punk rocker!

10:12 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Haha. Of course! But your phraseology reminds me of an annoyance. I've read a bunch of critical scribbling that's compared No Age to The Ramones. That always seems to me as duh-obvious a thing to say about a punk band as saying a pop band "sounds like the Beatles."

10:44 AM  
Blogger sean said...

The "Town and Country" link isn't working for me...

I like your description of the No Age track but none of their stuff has really grabbed me so far. It's all a little willfully un-pop (in a trad punk way, i guess) - rhythm and crash taking a front-seat to melody. Whereas I prefer my messy punk stuff in the form of something totally sing-along-able, epitomised in the Exploding Hearts. I guess I'll never be as hardcore as thee!

12:06 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Link fixed.

I hear a lot of pop in No Age and I'm a total fascist about demanding hooks. Depends how you sing along, I suppose:) And I've noted and filed the mock in your "hardcore as thee," Sean! I may just have to bust out with a post on Amy's favorite straight-edge anthems.

12:52 PM  
Blogger sean said...

no mock! i'm mock-free! all you were detecting was a healthy dose of self-deprecant.

1:03 PM  

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