Fun Fun Fun Fest Live Shot: No Age

Punk rock tea with L.A.’s stomp-and-shriek duo

Fun Fun Fun Fest Live Shot: No Age
photo by Jana Birchum

The two-man punk rock band remains a time-honored template. It goes past the White Stripes and Flat Duo Jets, to No Means No and Mecca Normal in the Eighties. Even then, L.A.’s No Age has created a whole new science out of this sound and ideal.

First, guitarist Randy Randall runs his semi-hollow electric through three amps: A clean Fender, a crunchier Mesa Dual Rectifier, and an enormous Ampeg SVT bass amp. That means he gets the effect not only of two guitars, but a bass line, too. Occasionally, he stomps a fuzz box, unleashing an unholy squall of a lead line.

Meanwhile, singer/drummer Dean Allen Spunt beats seven shades of holy hell from his kit, emphasizing an especially hard attack on his kickdrum and his cymbals. The result? Every bit of sonic space bursts from the inside.

No Age doesn’t bash indiscriminately. There’s light, shade, and dynamics in their sound, plus skilled playing and songwriting. Tunes like “C’mon, Stimmung” or “I Won’t Be Your Generator” are two-minute bursts of energy, perfect soundtracks for the duo to shake its lank, unwashed, we’ve-been-in-an-Econoline-van-for-six-weeks hair. There’s a tunefulness here, and musical excitement to spare.

The oddest response to all this stomp-and-shriek was a group of young men thrusting fists in the air, pinkies extended like they were drinking punk rock tea. Is this half the devil horns? Whatever it is, I’ll have what they’re having.

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