LA underground punks No Age return from a five-year absence with a punishing new album for Drag City | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

LA underground punks No Age return from a five-year absence with a punishing new album for Drag City 

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click to enlarge No Age

No Age

Aaron Farley

Five years can be a lifetime in the career of a postpunk band, but that’s how long it’s been since the LA duo No Age dropped a new record. Singer and guitarist Randy Randall and drummer Dean Spunt have finally broken their silence with the exuberant Snares Like a Haircut (Drag City), a maelstrom of fury and melody that sounds like it must be the product of more than two people. No Age was a key force in the scene surrounding underground punk space the Smell during the aughts, but the music on the new album makes it sound like no time has passed. With the current state of the world, the blunt intensity of its music seems to make more sense now than ever. Although there are some lovely moments of surprising and welcome ambient drift, the band delivers its music with newfound melodic force; its skating tunefulness reminds me of the slack-jawed roar of primo Dinosaur Jr., with Randall surfing waves of riffs, feedback, and hydroplaning rhythms. While the new record suggests the pair has woken from a half-decade slumber—Rip Van Winkle style—the ear-clearing attack flushes out any clogs in short order.   v

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