t’s easy to get excited about No Age, as Weirdo Rippers, a “greatest hits” package culled from five previous released, vinyl only short-players carves out a sound that was seemingly created from nowhere. (These days that’s instinctively where everyone wants to be from.) The thrill comes in discovery, like a child turning over a garden rock to find a civilization of ants hard at work, digging functional labyrinths into fresh earth. Theirs is similar to those tiny empires, only engineered with ambient buzzes and loops, quick disposable riffs, shambolic beats, and chanted fuck-offs; so fragile and neoteric it could be toppled in seconds, made archaic unless instantly called as one’s own. Let’s be frank, you’d tear it all down if you could? “I saw it first and I destroyed it.” That sensation is felt in nearly every moment of Weirdo Rippers, replenished with a glowing hope that the duo is building something out of nothing.
Guitarist Dean Spunt and drummer/vocalist Randy Randall, both ex-members of Wives, would probably admit that what came before was simply grunted post-punk, done before the millennium even started. What’s happening now, however, is the tapping into a transcendence found in jamming live, together, in cramped spaces, without rehearsal. Think back to what’s truly synthesized all six senses over the last seven years; sticking a face into cymbals and feedback at your first Lightning Bolt show, being transported beyond by the Boredom’s latest nth-trance incarnation, or lulled to a hypnotic pleasuredome with the Animal Collective’s native naiveté (the prismatic notes that surround “Neck Escaper” are a prime example). Somehow No Age found that g-spot.
Most rewarding is the unorthodox fidelity of the whole thing, or lack thereof. From the initial waves-crashing, guitars on infinite phalange of “Every Artist Needs a Tragedy,” to the similar oceanic white fuzz of the closer “Escarpment,” the album retains a certain penchant for the unrefined. But to call Weirdo Rippers lo-fi is denying the record its innate power. There’s a whiff of self-recorded catchy aggro-punk smelt on the blistering “Everybody’s Down,” vaporous, basement shoegaze in “I Wanna Sleep,” and first-generation garage structuring the immediate “so obvious” chords of “Boy Void,” and nothing to connect them to the SST compilation from which they betook their namesake. None of that truly matters, because as much as a casual listener might boast that they, themselves, could do it themselves, they couldn’t.
No Age possess a boundless energy, an urgency for an art-punk that doesn’t pose too much and rocks more than it displays new ideas—a punk form of art that doesn’t rely on euphemisms aspersing the administration (no one does that anyway), and instead calls for creation through radiant psychedelic swirls and primitive melodic means. The only thing more exciting than Weirdo Rippers is No Age’s potential. Who knows what could come when this friendship concocts something fitting a “real” cohesive full-length?