All the rage

Pub date September 12, 2007
SectionMusicSectionMusic Features

Los Angeles two-piece No Age — ex of Wives — ply a grimy, low-tech hybrid of fuzz-prone guitar loops, surfy psych-noise, and ear-shattering skate rock that’s been hell-raising the SoCal music scene since the band’s April 2006 debut.

When they’re not generating a shoegazey yet Ramones-channeled noise punk, vocalist-drummer Dean Spunt and guitarist Randy Randall use the band name as an umbrella under which to display their talents as visual artists. Firmly ingrained within their city’s underground art community alongside punk diehards like I’m a Fucking Gymnast, Abe Vigoda, and Silver Daggers, NA frequently perform at and curate art exhibits for the Smell, the all-ages downtown LA performance space dedicated to promoting DIY art and music. The pair also like to sport their own rainbow-colored T-shirts, and over the phone from LA, Randall recently revealed that they were hard at work silk-screening bandannas for their fall US tour.

"I’ll let you know that Dean just printed an amazing pink bandanna with gold ink on it. It’s metallic gold that’s sparkly," he exclaimed. "It looks fucking awesome."

Sharing their band name with a 1987 SST compilation of instrumentals, NA recently embarked on a similar path — sort of. In March the two dropped five limited, vinyl-only EPs on five different record labels on the same day. NA’s first full-length, Weirdo Rippers (Fat Cat), compiles cuts from those releases — it’s a remarkable documentation of Randall and Spunt’s progress as musicians since Wives went their separate ways in late 2005. Interchanging drumstick-splintering hysteria and seedy feedbacked blasts ("Boy Void") with ambient garage ("Neck Escaper") and Christian Fennesz–styled guitar squalls ("Escarpment"), NA (who recently signed to Sub Pop) sound aggro-driven without coming off as bombastic — something Randall admitted the group has avoided since its birth.

"I think Wives had a bit of a macho-guy complex, and that’s certainly something we didn’t want to work with in No Age. Hence maybe the rainbow T-shirts," he said with a laugh. (Chris Sabbath)


With KIT, Mi Ami, and Party Fowl

Tues/18, 9 p.m., $8

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St., SF

(415) 621-4455