No Age - Snares Like a Haricut

No Age
Snares Like a Haircut

One of the publications I read before diving into this album said: "The noise-rock duo's..." which at 8 AM on a Monday morning can send chills down even the most hardened of spines. Noise-Rock as a whole is frustrating, confusing, and more often than not pretty awful. Unorganized noise is a valid way of translating an idea, but actually enjoying what you are hearing is a whole other story in itself. I am happy to report however that this album is not quite that. There are plenty of distorted elements, but the record lands more shoegaze-punk than it does noise-rock. There are plenty of structures to these songs, bridges, choruses, but they sound absolutely fantastic. These songs without the sort of atmospheric nature of the music would be pretty standard punk songs, but it's the shoegaze elements that really set the songs apart. Even though the lyrics are delivered through a punk sneer the songs themselves are often beautiful and rich. "Send Me" feels like it has about 15 different personalities, sweet and endearing on one end, but mean spirited a bit on the other. Occupying these different sentiments all at once gives the album such real dimension, and the songs all feel like they link up with each other creating this one unified experience. The title track a almost four minute interlude sets things up but doesn't specifically move the album forward. It's interesting for an album that seems to be tightened and honed to allow for a much meandering as this track does, but it actually really works.

SOngs like "Tidal" are more classically punk, screeching guitars and blazing quick tempos. They are able to make punk music that feels somehow evolved. They aren't content with just going through the punk rock motions and singing about the same old shit with the same old chords. So many bands hang so tightly to the same ideas they had when they were 18 years old, which is just a total recipe for failure. No Age manages to hold on to that youthful  erratic hope while still sounding grown up. This may come as a bit of a shock but :Third Grade Rave" seriously sounds like a Tycho song blasted through a shoegaze filter. It is really rather amazing, and you start to pick up on those little Tycho elements for the rest of the album. Even the songs where lyrics evaporate really move and you never feel dragged down or like the album is moving too slow. Snare Like a Haircut is truly a standout in the music scene because in breaking the rules it creates a space all it's own. A really great surprise that takes those Monday blues and turns them right around.

8.4 out of 10


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