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- No Age »
No Age are all smiles. So are we. It feels nice.
As the seventh or eighth wash of wondrously undulating guitar work, looped live on stage, rushes from stage to bar, covering bodies between points a and b in a sticky fog of tumultuous but oddly tender noise, all in attendance offer a collective exhalation in near-disbelief: here’s a band, a two-piece, with fiery punk roots playing inventive, absorbing future-rock that can’t quite be placed within the rigid pigeonholes of modernity. Two Los Angeles-living men wearing the broadest of grins, backwards caps and stripy fraternity-chump jumpers, make a racket more wonderful than that of so many more-acclaimed, overly-celebrated alt-rock sorts; theirs isn’t a unique sound as such, bearing as it does a succession of touchstones blaring and gazing, but the execution is admirably sweet. The execution makes the night, and the night sparkles long after the curtain’s fall.
Drones crack into cacophonous fret-rattling guitar breakdowns; drums are caressed temporarily before being punched drunk by limbs flailing faster than a frenzied assault against every odd in the book. Or the alley wall you’re up against, anyway. The kit is attacked like it’s actually threatening its master, such is the battering it sporadically receives. Cymbals, if they could talk, would be screaming throughout: for the love of all things you hold dear, let us be still. When they crash into quietness they’re spared but a temporary respite.
The specific songs that comprise this set matter little – it’s an all-inclusive deal from the outset, and nobody’s note-taking; all ears and eyes are fixed forward and stomachs are strapped in tight; hearts thump-de-thump against ribs contracted; smiles persist. The most excited people in the room seem to be the two on stage throughout, and their energy, palpable as it is, is hugely infectious – dancing’s a little frowned upon in these circles, circles drawn free-hand and with permanent marker, but a fair few stage an attempt to overthrown stereotypes. Arms are waved, hands brought together in unison – the celebration is celebrated, the crescendo matched decibel for decibel by a stunned silence: one up, one down, jaws agape.
Said maws, though, soon revert to type: smiles for miles, placed end to end. It feels nice.
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