“‘Serf to Serf’: No Age’s Self-Fulfilling ‘Punk’ Prophecy”

Oh, Mike. (I’m talking to myself here.) Sometimes I just lose ALL hope in you. Like you get so up in arms when Pitchfork calls No Age “punks.” What’s the difference, at the end of the day?
I’ll tell you what the difference is: punk WAS a fist in the face. And now we see it, again (which is almost as noteworthy as HEARING the new No Age single): and it’s that SAME fist. So if we’re supposed to believe that “punk” is still a viable thing (by the way Dean Allen Spunt here not only sounds like an LCD median of Rancid’s Tim Armstrong and The Misfits’ Glenn Danzig, the song itself almost completely a “Teenagers from Mars” cover) — if we’re supposed to believe that “punk” is still a viable thing, then we’re supposed to believe that that INITIAL thing unto which it laid the superb punch is still thumbing its little Cold War, New Wave nose around, when everyone knows it’s not.
Plus, where does “Things I Did When I Was Dead” fit into this picture? “Errand Boy”? “Dusted”? The unorthodox phrasing of the unforgettable “Sleeper Hold,” the ingenious structure of “Eraser”?
Now, I’ll admit, it’s getting harder and harder to make a statement in music these days. A select few have done it at all in the last five years, and many of them women, from Fiona Apple, to tUnE-yArDs, to Julia Holter… LA is more crowded, and angrier, than ever. This video of fighting seems in no way inappropriate. What I have a problem with is that No Age thinks they have a MUSICAL thing to say about all this when, as with An Object, it’s clear at this point they’re just trying to pay the bills with what’s now their tired old m.o., just rehashed.

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