The American punk spirit took a huge hit when New York's legendary CBGB's shut its doors and turned into a high-end John Varvatos boutique in 2008 after much ballyhooing, eulogizing and metaphorizing. All the while, on the West Coast, The Smell in Los Angeles has been keeping the flame alive in its own small way, thriving as an all-ages rock venue and serving as a home base to some of the decade's best experimental punk and avant-garde acts like Health, Pocahaunted and ipso facto valedictorians of the club, No Age.
Tapping into national acclaim in 2008 with their celebrated full-length debut, "Nouns," the guitar and drums duo of Randy Randall and Dean Spunt became critical darlings thanks to their art-rock aesthetic and distorted, skate-punk approach. With the 2010 release of their follow-up, "Everything in Between," the band pulled off the rare task of translating freshman success into a reputation as top-tier peddlers of D.I.Y. noise-pop. (In fact, I may be the only music writer in America that's yet to have puckered up to their hineys.) Expect a cacophony of fuzzed-out guitar loops, Monster-style drumming and sheets of off-key yarping.