No Age: Goons Be Gone (Drag City) - Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, February 22nd, 2024  

Goons Be Gone

Drag City

Jun 18, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


It’s been a glorious 15 years of noise and confusion for arguably one of the most innovative two-pieces in the history of guitar music. Revered with equal measure by alt-rock, punk, and shoegaze audiences alike, No Age have built their entire ethos on being unpredictably unconventional without ever compromising.

So, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that Goons Be Gone is no exception. This is their sixth album and second in two years since signing to Drag City, which revitalized their creative spark. It’s a sprawling collection that fuses sonic experimentation with classic song structures to devastating effects in parts.

Whereas previous No Age records have often confounded expectation, Goons Be Gone feels like a sweeping summary of what’s gone before. Hints of the duo’s influences shine brightly—opener “Sandalwood,” for instance, echoes mid-period Velvet Underground, and Guided By Voices reverberates in “Head Sport Full Face,” arguably representing one of the most radio-friendly offerings Dean Spunt and Randy Randell have penned thus far.

“Feeler” spins the pendulum full circle back to the days of Nouns, when both pairs of feet firmly pressed the accelerator to the floor, whereas “Smoothie” showcases an off-kilter amalgamation of freeform jazz and hardcore punk.

One could argue that Goons Be Gone comes split into three parts, each separated by two short experimental interludes (“Working Stiff Takes a Break” and “A Sigh Clicks”), something that’s been an ongoing feature of No Age records from the outset.

Spunt and Randell have also been busy with their own solo projects, so check out the former’s EE Head EP and latter’s Sound Field Volume One LP. No Age records might materialize less frequently than we’ve come to expect in the past, so when a record like Goons Be Gone comes along it demands (and deserves) to be cherished. (www.noage.bandcamp.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 3/10



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