It's not really the fault of any particular band if I happen to have seen quite a lot of their sort of show lately. It's mine for going to far too many shows. No Age, for instance, couldn't have known that I saw Lightning Bolt and the Death Set just two weeks ago (and Magik Markers just a couple weeks before). They couldn't have guessed that I wouldn't be bowled over by the exhilarating weight of noise that they, as a two-piece, were able to produce. That said, the surprisingly noisy two-piece is an excellent format, and No Age reminds me why: with a simple bass/drums setup, there's neither clutter nor excess. Every feedback-infused note comes through crisp and clear, every kick hits home hard. Admittedly, No Age do pad out their sound with some pre-made loops, but these tend to be in keeping with their generally spare sound: distant ocean waves of static lapping the edges of their riffs, clipped sequences of dissonant notes supporting a skeletal framework insulated in distortion. (In an odd side note, the new issue of Believer features both bands.
Headliners Meneguar, never straying far from a basic “rock band” designation, might seem ideal candidates for the “types of bands I see a lot” (see previous paragraph). But not too many Brooklyn bands are actually making straight-ahead rock these days. Dodging usual post-punk influences by an unusually wide margin compared to their counterparts (they still have some post-punk inflections), the four-piece played brisk, effective guitar rock songs. In a field crowded with bands trying to set themselves apart from the “formula” (i.e. by being a two-piece, which is perhaps just another formula now?), it's tempting to say that there's something refreshing in a return to a standard line-up. Tempting, yes, but what can I say. I guess I'm still more of a sucker for noisy bass/drums two-pieces.