Thursday, July 12, 2007

No Age. Yeah!

No Age is another band who crept up on me unawares. I think the first time I heard about them was on the Upset! The Rhythm website, who put on a few gigs by the LA band in London recently. Then a heap of their records seemed to land in Rough Trade all at once a few weeks ago. So I endeavoured to check them out.

No Age consist of two guys – the excellently named Dean Spunt and Randy Randall – who formed the band last year after finishing their previous outfit Wives. They’re involved in DIY underground art and music venue The Smell, in downtown LA, which also features on the cover of their new album Wierdo Rippers (below). It’s the sort of venue that seems like it might make Barden’s Boudoir look like The Ritz. But in my book, that’s a good thing. I’d go there if I ever went to LA.

That’s because I like what No Age have got going on. Wierdo Rippers – which is a compilation of various limited vinyl releases that came out earlier this year – is not quite what I was expecting. I guess I thought it might be full of frenetic lo-fi punk rock, but although there is some of that, there seems to be more to No Age that thrashing one chord and flailing hair. Sure, lo-fi is what it is. There’s plenty scuzzy guitar licks and distortion, but they also do fuzzy atmospherics and it always seems like there’s a pop song waiting to break through, somewhere behind the noise. And it usually does. It’s a decent album, and a perfect introduction to Dean and Randy’s thing.

Given the low-grade production (which is fine with me, actually), I get the impression that the best No Age experience is live. I’ve heard good things, not least from Fiona at The Wirewool who reported on them tearing up Dublin recently. All of which just makes me wish that I could have seen them on their recent shows in London. Oh well, there’ll be another time I’m sure.

Download: No Age – Every Artist Needs a Tragedy
Download: No Age – Everybody's Down

Buy Wierdo Rippers. Or if you’ve got more money or love for the band, a selection of the vinyl EPs.

No Age @ Barden's photo from clxmxncx's Flickr.

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