FUNZONE is kicking off the new year right with a much-anticipated show featuring punk duo No Age on Jan. 26 at Santa Barbara’s favorite DIY venue. Dissonant and expansive, the band explores textured noise and raw energy in an intelligent and sophisticated way.
Guitarist Randy Randall and drummer/vocalist Dean Allen Spunt, both formerly of the band Wives, had their humble beginnings in 2006, with their first performance as No Age at a friend’s art show. This soon led to what Randall has described as a pivotal show at LA’s The Smell, a performance venue and beloved base for avant-garde artists and performers of all types. Randall credits The Smell for allowing the band a space to expand and experiment with their sound. It was there that No Age first managed to capture the hearts of the devoted members of LA’s DIY scene.
No Age’s first full length LP, Weirdo Rippers, consists of highlights of previous EPs. Despite its disjointed form, the album manages to rather impressively fit each of these scattered pieces into a beautifully cohesive whole.
Not long after taking the niche world of DIY dream-punk by storm, No Age signed to prominent independent label Sub Pop, under which they released Nouns, their first official album. The album infuses hardcore noise undertoned with pop themes while maintaining the compact, minimalist energy of Weirdo Rippers. As a whole, it reflects a band that is constantly evolving, funneling their sound into a more concise and developed vessel for their perfectly controlled chaos.
No Age’s 2010 release, Everything in Between, presents an even more refined, mature approach to their brand of art-punk noise. Though the album is starkly more sophisticated than previous releases, it maintains their masterfully expansive ambience, and doesn’t sacrifice any of the raw punky-ness of previous works.
In the wake of the album’s release, No Age entered a period of increased creative productivity. While in the midst of extensive touring, the band kept busy with collaborations on art projects with artists such as Doug Aitken and actress Chloe Sevigny.
Their newest album, An Object, released in 2013, is a wonderfully versatile, if a bit formulaic, conceptual album that features the familiar sounds of reverb, feedback, and harsh noise that have become the backbone of No Age’s sound. The most impressive aspect of the album, however, is the fact that Randall and Spunt handled every step of its production.
A decade after their formation, No Age is still pushing the boundaries of noise while following the art-school-dropout-turned-punk aesthetic. Each successive album further cements the band as an experimental noise mainstay, with no end in sight for their creativity.
Despite their substantial success in grabbing the attention of major news outlets and garnering high critical acclaim, the band has maintained the DIY ethic that set their career into motion. You’ll find them playing in the most unlikely of places, which makes FUNZONE a perfect choice for their upcoming show, sure to be an unforgettable experience.
FUNZONE is located at the East Beach Batting Cages at 226 S Milpas St., Santa Barbara, Calif.