No Age spent 2007 issuing a series of limited edition EPs, each one a combination of melodic punk rock and abstract noise, white or otherwise. Individual tracks from these vinyl releases ultimately came to form their debut Weirdo Rippers, a kind of “Best Of” compilation from those recordings that would become most future fans’ introduction to the band. In the two years since that collection hit shelves, the band has allowed their sound to evolve considerably, welcoming higher fidelity, stronger melodies and denser arrangements into their sonic world. With Losing Feeling, Dean Spunt and Randy Randall have returned to the EP format that suited them so well two years ago, but with a decidedly different result.
Losing Feeling is, arguably, the most melodic and accessible set of songs that No Age have released to date. The 13-minute set shares much in common with their previous full-length, Nouns, but with some softer and gauzier textures, and a stronger willingness to play down their aggression in favor of subtlety and approachability. The leadoff title track begins not with a rush of distortion, but with gloriously ringing notes, heavy on reverb and tremolo. Dean Spunt’s voice, though still somewhat detached and distant, sounds stronger than ever, which only aids in my conclusion that this gorgeously layered, yet still energetic track is one of their best. “Genie” is an even bigger surprise, an honest-to-goodness ballad that finds Spunt and Randall getting in touch with the softer side of No Age. With “Aim For the Airport,” the duo floats into outer space on one of their regular, if infrequent, instrumental trips.
No Age save their best track for last, however, closing out the EP with their intense, shoegazer punk rocker “You’re A Target.” It’s a strong summation of how far the band has come, while displaying what they’ve done best all along. On Losing Feeling, No Age offer up four distinctly different sides of their musical identity—the melodic art pop jam, the woozy ballad, the instrumental bliss out and the badass rocker. No Age have come a long way, which makes it all the more exciting to see just where they’ll go from here.
MP3: “You’re A Target”
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.