No Age’s gig at the Four5Nine Bar was a small but fun affair for the punters who wandered over early on a Sunday night. The evening opened with Furchick and her unique experimental approach to sound/music-making via loops and noise-generating devices.
The Mascara Snakes played their fast paced, rock and roll with aplomb. The vocals gave a punk tinge to the 60s garage sound, what you’d expect from a band featuring members from Debbie Downers and Thee Loose Hounds. Technical difficulties towards the end of the set only increased their energy and added to the general, raucous atmosphere of their songs.
No Age took to the tiny stage with most of the small Four5Nine Bar filling up for the hour long set. The noise-pop duo is comprised of Dean Spunt (drums) and Randy Randall (guitar) from Los Angeles, who put on a rollicking performance in support of their latest album, last year’s acclaimed Snares Like a Haircut.
No Age launched into a set featuring a range of old and new material, smashing out the hooks and rhythms with verve. An advantage of the stripped-back band format is to hear the bare bones chassis of these tracks, without multiple voices clamouring for your attention. With just voice, guitar and drums, it was actually refreshing to be able to zoom in on one particular part of the music. Spunt’s voice is from the indie punk rock school – i.e., regardless of your vocal cords, let it rip, so long as there earnestness and guts in the delivery – and the singing sounded great cutting through the din of the guitar and drums.
New tracks from Snares Like A Haircut included standouts such as the catchy Send Me and Soft Collar Fad with its high-pitched electronics triggered by Spunt somewhere around his drums, and a shredding guitar solo by Randall.
The yanks forced a bit of banter, likely prompted by the typically polite Australian smattering of applause followed by a quiet sip of the beer or just standing there with hands in pockets. Spunt recollected they were here in Perth 10 years ago (to which a punter yelled out “When?!”, which he probably regretted immediately) at Laneway Festival when it was still in the Perth Cultural Centre. It was a reminder that despite their edgy, up-and-coming sound, this is indeed a veteran band.
The encore consisted of a few very short tracks, including the excellent Fever Dreaming from 2010’s Everything In Between. For a Sunday night, it was a show with a relaxed, informal vibe, and overall was a fantastic evening of soaking up some well wrought low-fi noisy mayhem.
Photos by Brandon Wilks and Paul Doughty