Along with Deerhunter and their infamous "only available in one store on the planet" 7" release last year, No Age certainly have one of the most interesting record releases in the past couple years. Last year, the group put out five limited vinyl-only releases on five different DIY labels across the globe on the same day. Weirdo Rippers is a collection of songs from those releases, and it's a rollicking and noisy little blast through eleven tracks and just over a half hours worth of lo-fi noise pop.
A two piece comprised of drums, guitar, and vocals, the group keeps things interesting by separating themselves from the pack with a good portion of tracks that completely break down the conceptions of what a noisy, punk-rock influenced two piece is supposed to sound like. "Every Artist Needs A Tragedy" is a perfect example, opening with over two minutes of feedback and freeform drumming before locking into a short verse-chorus-verse-chorus section that's coated in grit. "Boy Void" is closer to what one might expect, with jangling verses that slam head-on into fuzzed-out moments while tinny, nasal vocals spit out lines over it all. It's like some bizarro-world hybrid that sounds something like the garage-band skate punks just down the street doing their cover of a Ramones song.
Scattered amongst the more crazy tracks are pieces that really make the group stand out. "I Wanna Sleep" is a droning piece with simple percussion and almost chanted, subdued vocals, while "Loosen This Job" is a hazy, syncopated piece that glimmers with pretty melodies and subdued drums. There are even several pieces that mainly explore guitar feedback through loads of filters, like the shorter, noisier "Sun Spots" and the fuzzy washes of the album-closer "Escarpment."
There's a good deal of variety on Weirdo Rippers that helps make it an interesting listen, but at the same time this sort of random-ness seems a bit awkward at times as well. There are some standout songs here, but also some repetition in terms of construction (the long feedback intro followed by one minute or so of madness is used several times). If you don't mind the lo-fi, the aesthetics of the recordings themselves won't bother you, but I personally hope they clean things up just a bit on that end before their next release because it could add even more pop and beauty to their songs respectively. A good, if not great debut.