No Age - Losing Feeling [12 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

No Age

Losing Feeling [12 inch] (2009)

Sub Pop

To say No Age is truly losing feeling feels harsh. But there's no denying the slightly less celebratory vibe present on their newest endeavor, the Losing Feeling EP, and the more concentrated reliance on the band's abstract atmospheres.

Where the band's 2008 full-length, Nouns was carried along by a steady mix of noisy pop songs and more caustic, dissonant soundscapes, the focus on Losing Feeling seems to be the latter. The band's generally lo-fi approach is still intact, to be certain, but the songs provide more of an abiding ambience. Drummer/vocalist Dean Spunt sings with a careful, deliberate steadiness that's almost too much so through Feeling's first pair of tracks, the title song and the lazier "Genie." Both are backed by a muffled sparkle of electronics and programming, while the latter flitters along with a slower guitar strum from Randy Randall.

"Aim at the Airport" is an indie-electronic Side B starter that's closer to early Styrofoam than later Sonic Youth, splashed with sounds of natural atmosphere (white noise human conversation at the start and beach waves and walking in the pebbles at the end), but the EP gets a sudden jolt with closer "You're a Target." There's a reason this song's being pushed the most out of the quartet, and that's because it's the closest thing here to a full-on rock song. The volume is fuller than the other three, the tempo is entirely more driven and Spurt's delivery is a tinge more adventurous, trying out subtle falsetto bits in between precociously snotty singing. There's some moving waves of sound that are rather thick but drive the track along well anyway, and a fairly dynamic lead guitar riff that provokes attention.

Nouns was assuredly more thought-out and accomplished, but Losing Feeling provides a pretty okay holdover. At least they didn't just toss off some gimmicky remixes.