Goons Be Gone No Age’s number 2 record for Drag City, kicks into gear, takes you out west and gets some dirt on it, with what’s possible their most honed in and direct record yet.
A guitar/drums duo (Randy Randall and drummer/vocalist Dean Spunt) with a penchant for self-recorded samples, No Age are mostly unconcerned with things like space or pause, and Goons Be Gone is gorgeously thick -- a hazy, delirious expanse that’s both comforting and disorienting. Opener 'Sandalwood' begins and ends in murk, and in between Randall and Spunt sputter and twitch and pound, alternately revealing and concealing a sweet, taut melody -- such is No Age’s agenda, burying an addictive little singalong in layers of effects and fuzz.
'Feeler' is more immediately user-friendly, opening with sunny guitar chirps and a knee-slapping drumbeat, before Spunt starts barking intelligible lyrics ("Attention feels overrated / Dismiss this crowded place / Come away with me / Disguise the impact from your face”) and the music goes steady and frantic. 'Working Stiff Takes A Break' is a summer song in the sweatiest, most realistic sense - it’s not the Beach Boys’ gooey, über-idealised, convertibles-and-beach-volleyball version, it’s the waiting-for-the-bus, sweaty and desperate but still-sorta-excited-about-all-that-sunshine take. 'Smoothie' is similarly exuberant, full of power chords and distortion; it’s arguably the poppiest thing No Age have recorded to date (all those cries of 'Tambourine' are practically bubblegum), and accordingly, completely addictive. 'Head Sport Full Face' meanwhile, is the sound - both literally and metaphorically - of everything happening all at once, an ecstatic, feedback-addled lullaby.
Ultimately, it’s part of No Age’s allure that Goons Be Gone is so difficult to figure out, that it manages to be so big while coming from a place so small: All you’ll know for sure is that you want to listen longer. Maybe forever.
Working Stiff Takes a Break
Toes In the Water
Turned to String
A Sigh Clicks
Head Sport Full Face
- About Drift
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