By Dan Potter
Feburary 24, 2018
VANCOUVER – Out of the inventive music scene of Los Angeles arrived a noise rock group like few have ever heard before. The pleasing and at times challenging mix of eclectic song structures and textures heard on their recordings made for a night of highly anticipated underground rock action. Touring in support of the just released album “Snares Like A Haircut”, their first full length in five years, the band seemed eager to get back in the saddle again and dish out some ear splitting good times.
The jagged dissonant guitar noise erupted early and often. Like a west coast version of A Place To Bury Strangers who replaced the feeling of empty warehouses with one of empty beaches, No Age launched into “No Ground” which is a perfect party anthem for a sinking world. The first half of the set was filled with minimalist rhythms and from the gut garage rock which seemed to stun the assembled crowd leaving them in awe of the two piece’s ability to throw down megalithic walls of white noise as well as high octane indie rock grooves.
Hypnotic echo-regenerations and pre-recorded loops from a massive bank of effect pedals would emanate from a wall of doom consisting of multiple stacked amplifiers before kick drums came thundering down into “C’Mon Stimmung.” The guitarist’s uncombed hair rarely revealed the face behind the sacred squall, which fed nicely into the mystery of where all those extra sounds were coming from. About mid set all that guitar thrashing had taken its toll as a high E string snapped forcing an on stage re-threading of his main axe.
The crashing cymbals and dizzying barrage of anti-guitar heroism subsided for a few brief moments. It was just long enough for an impromptu chat as someone in the crowd yelled out “where you been” to which the vocalist responded “making humans.” It was a good chance for the vocalist/drummer to catch a breath and detail how they were jamming to Cheap Trick and Naughty By Nature in the car ride to Vancouver. After a good gulp of oxygen they veered back into some eerie looping that sounded like a transmission from a forgotten world.
Relentless power chords married to deadpan vocals heard on crowd favorite “Teen Creeps” was enough to get the drink holding fans dancing and bashing into one another with abandon. The jam-band like element found in their sonic explorations really was a thing of beauty as creepy damaged sounds would swell to climax and the electro glitches would either melt into a haze of lingering mist or fly like a flock of birds over head. With all the droning feedback, modern math rock rhythms and spoken admiration for classic rock and hip hop its interesting to wonder where No Age fit in, are they the past, present or future?
Local opening act Jo Passed also put on an impressive show melding some Smith Westerns like jams into crazy My Bloody Valentine sonic chaos. They’ve done some serious touring recently as have tour mates Flesh World who kicked out some solid indie rock that was harder edged than the sight of strumming chords had you believe. Both acts set the stage nicely for the hour plus descent into the no wave inspired abyss that is Randy Randall and Dean Spunt’s atonal to the max offspring.
After ripping through the thick layers of sound like on the crowd stirring “Fever Dreaming” the two noise makers called it a night. But the spectators would have none of it chanting “one more song, one more song.” As though bewildered by their own sonic mayhem the duo returned and gave the crowd two more.
NO AGE, Venue