People Helping People

People Helping People

The pleasure of listening to No Age isn’t just their contrast of “art” and “punk” or “beauty” and “noise,” but their total infatuation with sound. Fifteen years out from their 2007 debut, Weirdo Rippers, their song fragments aren’t just song fragments; they’re sculptures, or texture studies, or, in the parlance of the art world they sometimes visit, assemblages: the silicone-smooth rhythm track of “Compact Flashes” against its rough, offhand vocal; the goo and gauze of “Interdependence” next to the snap, crackle, and pop of “Violence.” Like all great designers, they know when to polish and construct and when to let things hang loose, and, like the groundbreaking early albums of Brian Eno to which they’re increasingly kin, how much art can be made just from putting one thing thoughtfully next to the other. Rock music almost never sounds this intentional, even when the intention is to rip.

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