Primitive Plus | No Age


Photo by Will Branch

Sarah Beltran

After a nearly five year hiatus, No Age is back with a full album titled Snares Like A Haircut. As you are plowing through the tracklist for the first time, that familiar hazy punk sound will surely reset your heartrate to super speed and your feelings to super sad (flashbacks to 2008’s release of Nouns right?)

While the whole album drives, it seems to truly exit off the expressway at its closing track “Primitive Plus,” and not just for some gas or McDonald’s. The extensive intro makes you lean into the song with curiosity, as synths, guitar and vocals layer over each other lazily. The effect being, when the full band finally enters the build up is explosive. Then at the end of the song, every sound just as easily melts away until you’re left with only the outro leading you steadily from where you were.

So what is this arrival point “Primitive Plus” is giving us? Aurally, I think it sounds like hope. It sounds like the point during a trip when you look around at the people sitting close by, and at the stars that hang far, realizing things could be okay. This would be the optimistic take, knowing No Age’s adoration for sad rock. As you dissect the lyrics, you realize they may not be too reflective of the sound. Not that the band tries to be inherently sorrowful, but rather pensive. Maybe the arrival point is just the opposite, and “Primitive Plus” leaves you free-falling without a landing or in an ocean of questions you have no answers for.

You’ll have to listen and decide for yourself.