First thought, best thought. Until the next thought: a guiding principle for No Age in the 16ish years they’ve been around. Constantly responding to their own streams of consciousness with reductive flexibility, they’ve taken the basic duo of guitar and drums with vocals WAY farther than anyone listening in halcyon Weirdo Rippers days could have guessed. Expounding on those atomic possibilities, they’ve zig-zagged with serpentine precision, ranging outside and back in again—as befits the present thought, whenever it comes. And now, six albums into it all, these thoughts have guided them to People Helping People. Composed in their studio of ten years in the pre-pan days, then, following an eviction from that space, finished deep in the midst at their new basecamp: Randy’s Garage.
It starts with an instrumental, too. First counter-intuition, best counter intuition! There's a few of them lacing through the album sequence, visiting the far spheres of their imagination. Like with "Andy Helping Andy"— a zoom in from the upper atmosphere, Randy Randall's guitar clouds pulsing with radiation, paced by Dean Spunt's spare, percussive accents. Their exquisite version of ambient punk: elegantly corroded, like Loveless-era MBV (and even more wordless!), with snips and loops as disembodied DIY techno percussion pound units of infinite time.
This is (only part of) the sound of People Helping People: No Age, deep in the lab, scraping available nuclii together to see what new compound they find next. Erasing the starting points, reordering the pieces and beginning anew. It’s an everyday mindset — and as the first No Age album recorded entirely by No Age, People Helping People is a broadcast of entirely lived-in proportions. The most accurate display of the No Age ethos put to record. Yet!