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No Age


Randy Randall (guitar) Dean Allen Spunt (vocals/drums) started No Age in late '05. They soon took up residence in a downtown L.A. club, formerly a Mexican grocery store, called The Smell - a snide reference to a nearby coffeehouse named the Aroma Café.

No Age released vinyl singles and EPs to get noticed. They succeeded in attracting FatCat Records who collected the group's output onto 07's "Weirdo Rippers" album, which was branded as 'experimental Hardcore Punk'. Good reviews and fan buzz led No Age to sign with Seattle's Sub-Pop where they released "Nouns" in '08.

The next year, No Age unfurled the "Losing Feeling" EP. They then finished a follow-up full-length album slated for September, 10, release. "We're pretty ambitious as it is," said Spunt, "but we're definitely trying to shoot higher. The new songs are experimental but there are hooks. It doesn't sound like a lo-fi pop record. It just sounds like awesome."

For this set they brought in F. Bermudez, the producer of No Age EPs. "Adding him helped open up our writing," added Spunt. "It was like having another brain. And we've really been able to make songs that are way more intricate sample-wise."

"We worked up a large palette of samples," concluded Randall. "We're more adventurous and going down the rabbit hole, not knowing what to expect."




No Age issued their third album, "Everything In Between," in '10. The set contained "Fever Dreaming." "It reminds me of a tougher Ramones song but if you were listening to it in a garbage can," said Spunt. "Depletion," according to Spunt, had a Husker Du vibe.

With a pocketful of favorable reviews, No Age took a turn toward conceptual art. They accompanied video artist Doug Aitken and actress Chloe Sevigny to Athens and Hydra Island to perform the multimedia installation piece Black Mirror.

That was followed by a soundtrack and installation piece for Hedi Slimane's California Song at the Museum Of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Pacific Design Center. No Age performed their piece with audience participation at the beginning then put that recording on a continuous loop that played for the duration of the show.

No Age also released the "Collage Culture," a soundtrack to readings of excerpts from the book Collage Culture written by Aaron Rose, Mandy Kahn and designed by Brian Roettinger. One channel had readings and the other was No Age music written specifically for the release.

In a little more traditional vein, No Age's fourth album, "An Object" was a '13 release.


No Age Discography

Albums:

2007 Weirdo Rippers
2008 Nouns
2010 Everything In Between
2013 An Object

Calling No Age 'experimental' is not entirely accurate. They actually trade on noise and intensity. There are times when No Age sounds like a Punk take on the ethereal '80s New Age - so their name is a bit of a pun. Obviously, the group doesn't have a bass player but Randall's guitar, distorted with pedals and effects, more than fills the space.

Where "Nouns" works best is when No Age shed the sonic maneuvers and just play Punk. "Teen Creeps" is two chords and a ton of energy topped with sneering vocals. Check out the churning-burning "Errand Boy," the descending "Sleeper Hold," "Cappo" and the ripping good "Ripped Knees." On the downside, "Keechie" is just aimless noise while "Thing I Did When I Was Dead" sounds it, with otherworldly vocals and electro-sounds. The album closes with "Brain Burner," a great title for a kick-ass Punk track.

The band's trademark guitar racket permeates "Everything In Between." But when they simply crank it up and play it straight on "Fever Dreaming," a cut-loose track that exactly matches Spunt's description (see above), or "Shed And Transcend," they are at the top of their game. Even when they venture into power-pop on "Valley Hump Crash" and "Chem Trails" they are still damn good.

During the heyday of the Bowery/Houston Street music scene there were two venues with different but not quite opposing perspectives. CBGB's promoted Punk, in all its iterations, as long as there was an inescapable din. The Knitting Factory, just blocks away, leaned toward heady shoegazing. "An Object" covers the distance between the two.


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