By Nathan Berrong
No Age brought their rowdy blend of punk-inspired noise rock to The Drunken Unicorn on Friday, January 21. From left to right on the stage, Cundo Bermudez (touring member) manned the keyboard and synth sounds, Dean Spunt beat the hell out of the drums and handlex vocal duties, and Randy Randall destroyed on guitar playing some of the loudest and overdriven sounds I’ve ever witnessed. At first glance, these dudes don’t look like they belong in the same band. Bermudez looks like a NYC hipster, pea coat and all, Spunt looks like he belongs in an early ’80s punk/hardcore band, and Randall keeps it real with his Nirvana-esque style and messy hair. And that’s exactly how I’d describe their sound: one part modern indie, part ’80s punk, part noisy-guitar grunge. No Age pulls it off with perfection and it sounds uniquely awesome.
It’s refreshing to go to a proper rock ‘n’ roll show every once in awhile and that’s exactly what you get with No Age. The sold-out crowd was unruly with flying elbows, surfing bodies, and plenty of head bobbing and jumping to go around. No Age played for a full hour, barely stopping to catch their breaths between songs. When they did take a breather, Randy Randall looked to the crowd and said, “Let’s hear it for Satan!” and then another time Spunt proclaimed “Hey Atlanta… we fuckin’ love this city!” Rounding out the rock ‘n’ roll vibe was a psychedelic video and light show that included trippy moving shapes and colors mixed with early ’70s-era B-movies.
No Age opened up with “Life Prowler,” the first track off their latest release, Everything in Between, immediately followed by my favorite song of theirs, “Teen Creeps,” off their Sub Pop label debut, Nouns. It was at this point in the show I realized the next 55 minutes would possibly damage my ear drums, and it was a risk I was gladly wiling to take. Highlights of the night were “Glitter,” which opens up with a drum beat reminiscent of Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” the down tempo “Losing Feeling,” and their closing song, “Miner,” which is chaotic (but precise) noise rock at its best.
Lastly, to add to their punk rock persona, I heard from a trusted source (Travis Keller of Buddyhead fame) that Dean Spunt once got hit by a car, driven by one of the Backstreet Boys. He apparently got a nice little settlement out of it and with that money started his own label, Post Present Medium. It doesn’t get much more punk rock than taking money from “the man” (Backstreet Boys) to help start your music career. Keep making good music, partying hard, and putting on badass live shows, No Age, because I’ll be watching!