Album Review

Everything In Between

Everything In Between

by No Age


Sub Pop
7 / 10
11th November 2010

Reviewed by Michael Harvey


No Age are masters of the album format. Sure, they've released some undeniably powerful singles over the years ("Teen Creeps", "Everybody's Down"), but they craft the kind of records that flow seamlessly from track to track, using dynamic shifts and ambient interludes to great effect. Everything In Between, their third album and second for venerable label Sub Pop, continues their progression as shoegazing-yet-punky noise-poppers. The balance this time around is more skewed to that "shoegaze" and "pop" side of things. Whereas previous release Nouns opened with no-holds-barred rippers "Miner" and "Eraser", the opening salvo here is more subdued and somewhat restrained - "Life Prowler" and "Glitter", the first single from the album, both emphasise a more melodic approach that demonstrates how far they've come as songwriters.

Indeed, Everything In Between smacks of that word assigned to many bands' third albums: maturity. The rough edges that some of the songs on Nouns possessed are somewhat smoother here, the ambient sounds are better integrated into the structures of the songs, experimentation with electronic instrumentation abounds and vocalist/drummer Dean Spunt's nasal voice is clearer and more defined. Not to say they don't rip shit up when things requires it: "Fever Dreaming" and "Depletion" nail strident garage punk riffs to some straight outta Loveless guitar squalls. "Common Heat" strips things down to an acoustic strum, while "Sorts" and "Dusted" utilise samples and electronic textures to propel the songs. "Positive Amputation" ventures into Brian Eno-like ambient territory, before "Shred and Transcend" kicks in with a driving krautrock rhythm and soaring guitar lines. Closing song "Chem Trails" features a duet between Spunt and guitarist Randy Randell, as well as fireworks going off through Randell's laidback solo.

Everything In Between sees No Age expanding their sound into new areas, most effectively on tracks like "Glitter" and "Common Heat". The more you listen to this new record, the more it grows on you, as any good shoegaze record should. At the same time, this comes at the cost of some of the immediacy and energy that made Nouns such a great album. A big part of their initial appeal was how they married the sound of influences like My Bloody Valentine and the Clean with SST-era punk rock - the punk rock just happens to take more of a back seat on this album.




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