By Kevin Quandt //
Noise Pop: No Age with Cheatahs, GRMLN, Straight Crimes //
Brick & Mortar Music Hall – San Francisco
March 1st, 2014 //
Noise Pop presented a stacked billing of various punk-influenced rock bands from across the globe Saturday, anchored by the return of Los Angeles noise duo No Age.
The evening started with the youthful noise-punk duo, Straight Crimes, whom pulverized early attendees with a barrage of drums, guitar and sneering vocals. Having only played a handful of shows, these guys are sure to begin to circulate the local music scene in the City. Grab their brand new self-released 7” if you happen upon the band.
Next up was GRMLN, which is the stage name of Japanese-born, Cali-raised musician, YooDoo Park. New-school punk influence was strong in Park as he passionately belted out songs that had more to do with personal emotion than other common punk subjects. GRMLNs performance was genuine and well received as the temperature rose a little more in the packed house.
One of the more hyped, international artists on the Noise Pop bill was the rising stars that are Cheatahs. Though the band was marred by poor sound early in the set, they rallied to crush the second half of their set as the crowd began to open up to their sound. Borrowing from an array of American alternative rock bands (Alice in Chains to Smashing Pumpkins) these young Brits have created throwback sound that is refreshingly contemporary. Cheatahs are ‘guitar rock’ at it’s finest, mixing chorus sections with heavy use of whammy bar to develop a thick texture.
Randy Randall and Dean Allen Spunt are the noise-punk duo, No Age. Charging out of LA for nearly a decade, these two weave the post-punk sentiment of Fugazi with a wall of sound volume that shakes you to your core. The “adult” crowd got a rare treat as No Age generally play all ages shows that quickly turn into frenetic chaos. Starting the set off with cuts from their release last year acclimated the crowd before heading into more familiar territory, pulling tracks like “Teen Creeps” off of Nouns. After a couple of quiet years, No Age will need to regain some steam as they are truly returning with fires blazing.