Words About Music
No Age “An Object”
It’s bands like No Age that keep punk interesting and exciting. Punk is a genre that, although extremely fun, has the capability of also becoming very stale very quickly. It’s part of the reason we only talk about The Ramones’ first few albums and probably why Sex Pistols only ever released one album—The Clash and The Replacements are outliers. No Age, along with groups like Titus Andronicus, Fucked Up, Japandroids, and the recently reunited Death From Above 1979, play a style of punk that is both a callback and an evolution.
No Age is a duo from Los Angeles who are currently signed to Sub Pop, and “An Object” is the group’s third studio album, following the critically acclaimed “Nouns” and “Everything In Between” albums. Both of those albums were somewhat straightforward, but still had a touch of abstract and avant-garde in them. “An Object” however, is a completely strange album that is a bit difficult to even accurately classify as punk, in terms of sound. There aren’t many drums on this record. It’s mostly vocals, bass, guitar, and some sparse percussive sounds. At first listen, I almost wasn’t even sure I was listening to the right album; I was taken very off guard.
Imagine what it would sound like if Joey Ramone recorded an album with members of Black Dice and circa 2004 Animal Collective. That’s basically what “An Object” sounds like. It’s very odd in its production in that the guitars are relatively quiet in relation to the vocals. There’s even a few synths thrown into the mix to make it interesting. And “interesting” is an understatement with “An Object.” It truly is unlike any punk album ever released. I feel like my reaction is similar to the reaction when Suicide released its debut album in 1977, although I’m not entirely sure “An Object” will stand the test of time like that album did.
Either way, “An Object” is extremely fascinating, and one of the single greatest left-turns a band has ever taken. I really hope that No Age continue to expand their sound as they have here. It’s extremely minimal and creative, and insanely well produced, even though I imagine it isn’t the ideal record No Age fans want to hear. Who knows? Perhaps these songs will see more energetic performances when played live. I just know I’m extremely happy with the way “An Object” turned out.
SCORE – 9.2
FAVORITE TRACKS – No Ground, I Won’t Be Your Generator, An Impression, Lock Box, Running From A Go-Go, Circling With Dizzy, A Ceiling Dreams of a Floor