20 Watts

20 Watts Reviews No Age’s Losing Feeling by Marc Sollinger

No Age craft one of the best EPs of the year.

No Age craft one of the best EPs of the year.

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD No Age’s “You’re a Target” MP3
WE GIVE IT: 18/20 Watts

From Sonic Youth, to My Bloody Valentine, to Fugazi, great noise rock bands delve into the curious relationship between tumult and transcendence.  What many bands forget is that, unless you can coax the sublime out of the hazy and the dissonant, you’re putting screwdrivers in your guitars for nothing.  Few bands today understand this better than No Age, the critically beloved two-piece from Los Angeles.

On their latest EP, Losing Feeling, No Age are at their most accessible.  Calling to mind later Sonic Youth, No Age craft four sweeping, fuzzed-out songs that each feel epic and grand, despite the fact that not one plays over four minutes.  The EP starts out with the melodic title track, a chugging, swirling, summer song that seems more appropriate for a barbecue than the impending winter.   This segues into “Genie,” a gently spinning track, with a bit of bite to it.

There’s a definite shoegaze influence on these first two songs, although No Age take their cues less from My Bloody Valentine and more from Ride, eschewing the ethereal for some (relatively, this is noise rock we’re talking about) straightforward hooks.

The third song is an instrumental, and although Allen Spunt’s always-nasally yet never ingratiating vocals are a great asset to No Age, “Aim at the Airport” is a lilting, clever, feedback-meets-ambient experiment.  The title even recalls Brian Eno’s Music for Airports.

Finally, No Age bring everything to a climax with “You’re a Target,” the EP’s highlight.  The track is fast, loud and melodic, inviting the listener to both headbang and sing along.  It gets stuck in your head, and you won’t mind a bit.

The EP’s only problem is that the listener wants more.  At fourteen minutes, Losing Feeling is short, but since not a single second is wasted, No Age can hardly be faulted for that.  As it is, the band has crafted a nearly flawless EP that serves as a perfect starting point to new fans, and will get consideration as one of the best short-length releases of the year.

— Marc Sollinger

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