No Age Everything In Between

No Age Everything In Between
If you were to trace when lo-fi became the recent sound du jour for up-and-coming underground bands, the line would undoubtedly lead back to No Age's 2007 twelve-inch compilation, Weirdo Rippers. However, 2008's follow-up, Nouns, proved Dean Spunt and Randy Randall were more than just part of the pack; they're humble maestros successfully applying their DIY punk roots to exploring their interests in both experimental and pop music. Everything In Between expands their paradigm without putting too much stress on the need to evolve from previous work. Dedicating the first half to fleshing out their songwriting chops, Dean and Randy come up with some of their best songs to date, wadding some rhythmic clout and hooks into "Skinned," and aping Dino Jr.'s early sludge with "Depletion." The second
half, on the other hand, careens between the thrash-about anthems and white noise ambience that made Nouns so listenable. The seamless transition from the distorted tranquillity of "Positive Amputation" to self-explanatory romp "Shred and Transcend" is the perfect entry point into a cavorting duet like "Chem Trails." Everything In Between may not be the next step people were expecting in No Age's evolution, but it safely upholds their status as sonic adventurers. (Sub Pop)