BUSAN, South Korea — Ripping through Busan and Seoul this month is the long-awaited Los Angeles punk/noise-rock duo No Age. With an immense international following—and toting enough DIY indie cred to make the FBI suspicious—No Age have made themselves a dynamic household name amongst the muddy underground music scene. Their subtle but loud, shoegazey style brings to mind a wide range of influences, from legendary bands like Sonic Youth, Hüsker Dü and Dinosaur Jr. to more recent groups like Lightning Bolt, Atlas Sound and Japandroids.
Since their formation in 2005, No Age—who are Randy Randall and Dean Spunt—have led a prolific career, cranking out a firestorm of singles and EPs, and receiving some serious kudos for their two latest long-play releases (the folks at Pitchfork gave Nouns a stellar 9.2/10, while their more recent Everything in Between landed an impressive 8.8/10). When discussing the impact of the band’s growing popularity, Spunt shrugged at the significance in the surge of internet accolades: “We just do our thing and try to do it as best we can, and have fun and be positive.”
In this vein, No Age have earned grassroots notoriety for their work at The Smell—LA’s avant-garde, volunteer-run, DIY art space/concert spot—where they form the venue’s performing mainstay with the likes of Health, Mika Miko and Abe Vigoda. Rooted on the cusp of LA’s edgy “Skid Row” district, The Smell is a bona-fide diamond in the rough, a shining beacon of “artistic innovation and freedom” that shares Randall and Spunt’s interest in promoting creative projects over profits, and keeping these initiatives accessible to general audiences.
Shortly before their takeoff, No Age signed with indie superlabel Sub Pop records, a move which helped gain the band significant exposure and recognition from audiences less familiar with LA’s murky and out-there, underground art scene. Since No Age’s success with their last two releases—according to Randall and Spunt in an interview with Noisevox—instead of being completely shrouded in public obscurity, strangers recognizing Randall and Spunt now occasionally approach them in an endearing, “I know you guys! New Age… right?”-sort of way.
Whether performing at The Smell or putting on a set at a roadside taco shop, No Age have earned a reputation for going the extra distance to put on new and innovative live shows. The band has played at numerous less-than-orthodox venues, including a library, an Ethiopian restaurant and on the concrete banks of the LA River. Although they now include multi-stage music festivals on their repertoire of live venues, No Age remain dedicated to the principles of DIY experimental artwork and, most importantly, the audience.
The band has also collaborated with numerous other musicians across genres, releasing a split-single with Liars, and even launching a handful of sick, granular remixes of Crystal Castles and Bloc Party tracks. If that’s not enough, No Age has been the lynchpin factor in numerous multi-band live projects, perhaps most notably in 2009, when the duo joined forces with the dynamic Deerhunter and Dan Deacon for an earth-shattering three-headed No Deachunter American tour.
For indie tastemakers and audiophiles alike, seeing No Age in South Korea is an opportunity that cannot go missed. The band’s sound reflects and focuses the best and worst aspects of LA; a Hollywood porn overdose, fin-tipped Cadillacs on boulevards lined with palm trees and Rat Fink skate punks carving up the inside of an empty pool. Somewhere in that mess of fish-eyed skate videos and roadside fruit stands, No Age make their home; fanning cryptic, spiraling smoke signals and thrashing into the future like first-edition comic book heat seekers, crash landing in the Mojave Desert. Go see No Age.
Friday, April 27 – Vinyl Underground, Busan
Saturday, April 28 – Rolling Hall, Seoul
For tickets and more details, check out www.supercolorsuper.com