Artist: No Age
Hype is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it can bring you some really great bands, like Vampire Weekend or LCD Soundsystem, who lived up to their hype in my opinion (if you haven't figured it out by now, I'm Lifer's new pretentious indie kid). On the other hand, it can give you undeservedly high expectations of merely average bands. Guess which side No Age are on. I was really looking forward to this debut full-length by the duo (Randy Randall on guitar, Dean Spunt on drums/vocals), since everything I'd heard about them had suggested that they were the second coming of Daydream Nation-era Sonic Youth, Loveless-era MBV, and Psychocandy-era JAMC, all rolled up into the best noise-rock/pop/shoegaze album of 2008.
While No Age may be derivative of all the afore-mentioned bands, they don't come anywhere near capturing any of the magic present on those albums. The music on Nouns is noise-pop by numbers throughout. Spunt bashes away in a basic fashion while Randall does some oddly tuned strumming and riffing, this continues for 2-3 minutes. None of it is really very memorable and by about track 5 or 6 it all starts to blend together. Occasionally they manage an interesting riff or two, but then they spend the next two minutes beating it into the ground. Apparently no one ever told them that being loud doesn't automatically make you interesting.
Another problem Nouns faces is that the new millenium has been filled with noise-pop, much of it great, and while No Age may be an adequate band, they just can't compare with the better bands and albums out there now. Bands like Times New Viking, The Legends (first album), Women, Jay Reatard, Japanther and many others are all doing the same thing much much better.
To quote Public Enemy: "Don't believe the hype."
Highlights: "Teen Creeps", "Eraser"
By P. Segal