L.A.'s ax 'n' drums duo No Age (along with a bunch of other young guns like Times New Viking and Pink Reason) has reconnected with the quirky and all-too-damaged spirits coursing through old-school American indie rock. Nouns' title stinks compared to that of their 2007 debut, Weirdo Rippers, but the jams are way better. There's this distorto-pop thrasher called "Teen Creeps" that rules the world. The lyrics — "Teen creeps, I've seen you on my street/Teen creeps, get what they want, and me/I won't end up like them at all" — could've been penned by Beat Happening or Some Velvet Sidewalk or some other K Records icon. Singing drummer Dean Spunt even croons those words as if he's the hard-rocking Doug Martsch of Treepeople, not the whiny drip behind Built to Spill. But it isn't all retro tricks for No Age — few of their tunes are built with the standard verse-chorus-verse framework. Instead, the group utilizes a lock-groove repetition (like the peak of a nitrous high) that betrays many late nights and early mornings spent obsessing over all those awesome records by Lightning Bolt and Animal Collective. For better or worse, No Age is even hip to the noise/drone scene: Of Nouns' 12 tracks, about a third are really nothing more than sampler-abetted clouds of pulsating static. But what No Age does best is revive all the endearingly cracked humanity that indie rock used to contain.
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