Nouns (Sub Pop)
No Age married So Cal's sun-kissed optimism and L.A.'s city-in-decay nihilism on their 2007 singles compilation Weirdo Rippers (FatCat Records). It was enough to make the duo -- drummer-singer Dean Spunt and guitarist Randy Randall -- the de facto faces of Los Angeles' new DIY scene. Nouns is their proper debut LP, but it's not so different. No Age are a noise band, strictly speaking, but they're one of the cuddliest around. Spunt and Randall conceal pop melodies underneath precise distortion in ways similar to Sonic Youth, or even Guided By Voices. "Eraser" is the album's best and most accessible track, but the Flaming Lips-like swirl of "Impossible Bouquet" make it easy to like, too. And Spunt's vocals are just as hummable and sweet as any from Brian Wilson. "Jump on the tube just to see you/ My heart's in a tunnel, baby, what can I do" he laments on "Here Should Be My Home." No Age may have the minimalist timing of a punk outfit, but they're singing about California girls.