It still boggles my mind how much music there is out there and yet bands are still capable of shaping something new and sometimes interesting out of what has largely been done before. This past Saturday the cavernous confines of the Rickshaw played host to a trio of bands doing something forward moving, No Age being the draw for me, and the rest was mostly gravy.
Local coolies, Shearing Pinx, who I’d always wanted to see had the opening spot and drove it home. The drummer hit hard and took most of the vocal duties while his dual guitar-mates wove tapestries of feedback rich jerk-punk that pushed towards chaotic. I couldn’t hear much of what they sang or screamed as it was lost in the mix, or perhaps that’s just the normal for the Rickshaw. Regardless, the intention lay in the music, which sounded great and they did cool things with their instruments like grinding guitar heads into the floor for added effect. It was a good strong start and my hopes were way up. Olympia, Washington’s Gun Outfit graced the stage next, and they had an ultra distortion marble mouthed Dinosaur Jr. sound that didn’t sit well with me. Though their playing was sloppy tight and kind of cool I wasn’t convinced by the vocals, which lacked oomph. Then again I couldn’t hear so much of a word but by a few songs in I didn’t really care anymore. A fair number of folks liked them and that’s cool but I wasn’t down.
No Age managed to pull up my spirits though, and made it a night. The L.A two-piece came with a third who stood behind a mixing board, creating washes of sound that bridged the gaps from one song to another giving Spunt and Randalls atmospheric experimental screechy guitar rock its trippy flesh. Ripping through a steady dose from at least two of their three albums, visuals of themselves were screened behind and interspersed with reel footage, the band looking relaxed and having fun doing what they love doing as the all ages crowd gave it all back. Unfortunately exhaustion set in early and I was forced to take leave before shows end but not without the knowledge that on this evening No Age gave it up for their crowd and sent them home happy to have braved the chilly damp outside world for a little taste of creative wall tumbling.