No Age | Snares Like a Haircut | Album Review
Label: Columbia Records
Rating: Three out of five stars
No Age is more than a band; they are a wave of harmonious cacophony. The ambient punk band—also called “noise”—has released their new album, Snares Like a Haircut, which is a gritty, noisy return from their recent creative break.
More than cutting tracks and making music, No Age is more akin to performance art. The duo strives to give listeners a broader experience through mediums other than just their music.
Many tracks on Snares aren’t nearly as minimal as on their 2000 release of Nouns. Yet Snares’ first track, “Cruise Control,” sends the listener headlong into a smothering bit of distortion and squirreling guitar riffs while doing a smooth job of grabbing the listener and pulling them in. “Send Me” is a cleaner, more crystallized tune, not nearly as immersive as other tracks, with layers of droning synths and sharp snares. In other words, it doesn’t completely pillow-suffocate the listener.
No Age tries to create a good mix of styles, as heard in “Primitive Plus,” but in the end the incredible weight of their noise takes the listener down with the ship. Snares doesn’t lose the ambient grit of No Age’s earlier albums, yet what it does do surprisingly well is find a balance between vocal and instrumental ambushes.
Their five-year hiatus since their last album has given them time to “let life happen.” Maybe that’s what has given the duo a fresh start to come back to the market with Snares.