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Razorcake #90
White Murder, both LPs
Treasure Fleet, The Sun Machine LP
Razorcake #89
White Murder, Form Early LP (CLEAR VINYL)


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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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ABOLITIONIST:
The Vicious Rumor: CS
Totally solid, mid-tempo punk rock from Portland, OR. Normally, I am quick to find an easy comparison for stuff I come across, but for some reason none readily come to mind here. I have to offer you something though, dearest reader.... Um, how about more Midwest than Portland? That probably isn’t too accurate as, lyrically, these guys are straight-up PDX. Some days it just doesn’t pay to get up.  –Garrett Barnwell (Death Culture)


ABORTTI 13:
Punkit Ei Kuole: CS
I’m not really sure about the chronology of Abortti 13. Their first documentation is their classic 1984 split with Pyhäkoulu (which seems to be climbing in price as the current wave of KBD hoarders learn of its existence after running through the other classic Finnish releases by Terveet Kadet and Lama), but then there were no records until 2009—though I managed to find a reference to a bootleg tape that collects those “lost years.” This tape is a retrospective of some songs I know (all their tracks from that split are on here) and a lot I don’t know, so maybe they’re intending to close the gap with this release. The songs were re-recorded this year, which bummed me out at first. I was found to be mistaken though, as these songs sound great. I’m not quite sure how they managed to make this sound so fresh and new after all these years, but I honestly think this is some of the best material this band has churned out. The production is heavy and has more bite to it than their last LP, but is just as urgent and retains a classic Finnish punk sound. Sadly, this was limited to one hundred copies and looks as if it was only released in Finland, but maybe there will be a vinyl pressing in the future.  –Ian Wise (Self-released, abortti13.bandcamp.com)


ABSOLUT / PARANOID:
Jawbreaking Mangel Devestation: Split: 12” EP
Absolut from Toronto take no prisoners with a four-song d-beat assault. The Far East is most noticeably the source of their inspiration, as I’m detecting hints of Burning Spirit hardcore and G.I.S.M.-esque metal influence and guitar leads—fierce-as-fuck, as you may have guessed. Paranoid from Sweden’s delivery is slightly rawer than Absolut’s but just as pulverizing, if not more. Buzzing guitars, apocalyptic drum bashing, and manic vocal howling will surely rip posers to shreds. Highly recommended for fans of Aghast, Impalers, Desperat, See You In Hell, and everything in between.  –Juan Espinosa (Beach Impediment / Brain Solvent Propaganda)


ALL DOGS:
Kicking Every Day: LP
All Dogs, from Columbus, OH, emit chill vibes and unfiltered heartache that appeals to fans of P.S. Eliot and Acid Fast. Singer/guitarist Maryn Jones softly croons on opener “Black Hole,” which is a forecast for much of the record. Many of the songs don’t so much as strike you as they seem to slowly seep under your skin. You gradually catch on to the dense melodies and poetic lyricism. When “That Kind of Girl” kicks in with its upbeat tempo (and downbeat lyrics: “I know that I am always fucking up your world”), it’s a break from the dreamy, head-nodding atmosphere of the previous three songs. That’s not to say that the slow jams aren’t appealing—rather the driving songs, like “Flowers” and “Ophelia,” make the interpersonal tragedy of “Leading Me Back to You” and “Skin” much more tragic. All Dogs are a whirlwind of emotions that I don’t mind getting swept up in.  –Sean Arenas (Salinas)


ANGELIC UPSTARTS:
Bullingdon Bastards: LP/CD
Whilst many older punk bands might never again reach the heights of their earlier material, it’s heartening to hear those that can still write impactful new music. The lyrical targets for Thomas “Mensi” Mensforth haven’t changed at all; the government and fascists are still within his sights. There is a fine mix of songs here, some maintaining a harder edge whilst others taking on a more melodic approach that is even a bit poppy in places. It’s this variation which makes the album work so well, never allowing it to stagnate. Another plus is a guitar sound reminiscent of Stiff Little Fingers, one more reason why I know I’ll be returning to Bullingdon Bastards on many occasions.  –Rich Cocksedge (Boss Tuneage)


ASHLEY REAKS:
This Is Planet Grot: CD
Ashley Reaks is a multi-faceted artist from England, with many works over the last two decades in collage, video, and music. This is his first true punk rock album, though you can clearly hear that he’s been a student of British punk since the early ‘80s, as This Is Planet Grot recalls elements of Crass, (English) Subhumans, and U.K. Subs. Unique songs and a unique perspective; this is an interesting listen, though some songs tend to be a bit repetitive.  –Chad Williams (Self-released, ashleyreaks.com, info@ashleyreaks.com)


AWEFUL KANAWFUL & HIS RUBBER HUSBAND’S BAND:
Brave as Hits: CS
Don’t be fooled by the corny ‘80s Glamour Shots photo on the cover that makes Aweful look like some sort of Christian rocker. Aweful Kanawful mines the history of American music, playing a bit of Sun Records rockabilly, a bit of sixties pop like the Grass Roots, some psychedelic rock, some Bob Dylan And The Band, some hootenanny stuff, and even some skiffle (which isn’t really American Music but Britain’s answer to... just forget it). He reminds me of Greil Marcus’s vision of Olde Weird America played with the (perhaps intentional) slop of a Richard Hell And The Voidoids bootleg, and some Mojo Nixon thrown in for good measure. Too diverse to be garage rock, I guess you’d have to call this garage Americana. Maybe that’s a stupid word, but Kanawful is takin’ it back.  –Craven Rock (Jelly Music, jellymusicinc.bandcamp.com)


AWEFUL KANAWFUL & HIS RUBBER HUSBAND’S BAND:
Brave as Hits: CS
Get ready to be bewitched by this magician musician. Loose-knit, lo-fi deep cuts sprinkled in rockabilly keef, unceremoniously marry manic piano to idiot-savant indie songwriting. Truly a bizarro wünderkind, Aweful Kanawful stitches together twenty-one mini-songs to make a colorful patchwork quilt of an EP, channeling Jerry Lee Lewis and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins while remaining wholly visionary. So helmets off to this daredevil crooner. He sure knows how to flip a mean single.  –Simone Carter (Jelly Music, reeltimerecordss@gmail.com, jellymusicinc.bandcamp.com)


BABY SHAKES:
“She’s a Star” b/w “Gimme Your Love”: 7” EP
Keep on walkin’ folks. Nothin’ new to see here. Baby Shakes offers up a mawkish EP featuring childlike vocals backed by cherubic “oohs” and “aahs,” tired ‘50s melodies, and trite lyrics. They’re like a really dumbed down version of Ex Hex, if Mary Timony tragically lost her moxie and all sense of dignity. Honestly, the best moment of this EP was the instant the last chord of the last song died. RIP.  –Simone Carter (Surfin’ Ki, surfinkirecords.bigcartel.com / Astro Girl, astrogirlrecords.bigcartel.com)


BABY SHAKES:
Starry Eyes: LP
Few bands are writing songs this good these days and none are better looking. I want to take this album into the bedroom and do terrible, terrible things to it. Perhaps I already have! Horizontally-striped Rock’n’Roll Girl rock’n’roll, that transcends the (admittedly not unwelcome) clichés of the art form. If I told you to quit your job, drop out of school, buy this album and run away from home, I wouldn’t be that far off the mark. BEST SONG: “All The Pretty Things.” BEST SONG TITLE: I dunno, do I get to make a joke about the Records song now or later? FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Packaging includes a photo of them getting their Undertones records signed by John O’Neill. THAT’S class.  –Rev. Norb (Lil’ Chewy)


BACKWARDS MESSAGE:
Self-titled: CS
All I can really say about this band is they play hardcore with barking vocals. There’s not much to differentiate one song from another, as the guitar rarely changes tempo and the vocals sound as if the singer was looped and dubbed over every track.  –Craven Rock (Self-released)


BAD BEATS:
Tough Luck: CD-R
Bad Beats is the essence of party; party is the essence of Bad Beats. Boil ‘em down, chop ‘em up, swallow ‘em whole, then puke ‘em out and you still have unadulterated fun in its most potent form. Tough Luck takes you to one hell of a sonic kegger: punk moshes into surf which twists into doo-wop and back again. It’s like they harnessed the incongruous DIY aesthetic of Parquet Courts to the brilliant pseudo-simplistic song crafting of Jay Reatard and rode that pony all the way to your local sock hop. So look for Bad Beats on the horizonthey’re bound to charm their way into the hearts of critics and neophytes alike and leave the dance wearing the world’s letterman jacket.  –Simone Carter (Self-released, badbeatstx.bandcamp.com)


BAD BOYFRIENDS:
Songs Yer Mom Taught Us Demo: CS
There’s a little something for everybody here: spastic-thrash, punkabilly, fuzzed-out lo-fi with just a touch of British punk kind of deal that was probably recorded in an empty grain silo. –Jackie Rusted (Gotcha! Comix, gotchacomix.wordpress.com)


BAD MOJOS:
Punx Faggots Freaks: 7”
Absolutely bizarre vocals highlight this instantly grabbing, Spits-inspired band from Switzerland. The singer is in the upper echelon of odd, sounding somewhere between a Muppet and a stroke victim in speech therapy. Most, but not all, of the songs are in English, with really silly lyrics presented totally humorlessly. Standing out due to the sheer craziness of the vocals, Bad Mojos is anything but bad.  –Art Ettinger (No Front Teeth)


BALLOT BURNER:
Forward into Extinction: 7”
Hailing from Regina, Saskatchewan, Ballot Burner is a d-beat/crust band with a populist approach. A lot of similar bands are totally inaccessible musically, but Ballot Burner is on the catchier end of the genre, reminding me of the classic 1990s group Dis Sucks. The lyrics are shrewd, the packaging is beautiful, and the recording is slick. The drumming is proficient and ambitious, the vocals are evocative, and the lyrics are political without being preachy. There’s not much more you could ask for in a crust record, so despite the title, they aren’t likely to face extinction anytime soon.  –Art Ettinger (Harvest King, harvestkingrecords.com)


BALLOT BURNER:
Forward to Extinction: 7”
The music is gritty, devastating, thrashin’ hardcore punk that borders on “crust-as-fuck.” The lyrics are thoughtfully pissed. The cover art is taken from Les Diableries, which according to the insert is “a series of early stereoscopic images published in Paris in the latter half of the 19th Century, depicting scenes of daily life in Hell.” All in all, solid, well-rounded release. Perfect for the next time you wanna listen to something that’s gonna kick your face in.  –Daryl Gussin (Harvest King, harvestkingrecords.com)


BEACH PARTY:
Broken Machine: LP
This is catchy and smart as hell. Beach Party draws on some of the best stuff that’s happening in punk right now. There are the jangly guitars, the perfectly strained vocals, the dead-on harmonies… and of course there’s that mid-tempo, ‘90s alt sensibility—so easy to get wrong but so, so good when it’s right. I hear a little of each of the college rock regulars—Superchunk, Dinosaur Jr., Hüsker Dü, everyone knows the list—but it’s cleaner than that, somehow still fresh and new for all its nostalgia. Actually, maybe this is even more reminiscent of the buoyant emo bands that followed that era, particularly The Promise Ring. Say what you want about the recent overabundance of “beach” bands, but Beach Party have definitely earned their spot in alphabetized record collections (especially if you’re gonna be putting them next to Beach Slang). Would love to see this band venture down from Portland more often (hint hint); this is something a lot more people ought to be hearing.  –Indiana Laub (Sex Sheet)


BIG WHITE:
Teenage Dreams: CS
I liked Big White quite a bit the first few listens. They have a distinctive no wave sound, but manage to not come off as blatantly derivative as some of the more tiresome bands I’ve encountered in the same genre. It was nice to listen to this for what it was, and not immediately pin down a single overarching influence. The variety of sounds from song to song almost made this feel more like a mixtape than an album from a single band, and I appreciated the eclecticism that Big White brought to the table. After multiple listens though, this started to grow a bit stale. Countless artists have been exploring sounds akin to Big White’s from the new wave era to the present day. It didn’t do enough for me to stand apart from the background noise of the rest.  –Paul J. Comeau (Burger)


BLACK ABBA:
“Betting on Death” b/w “Civilized”: 7”
Proof positive that a dopey synth riff can make a decent song out of even the most threadbare garage-punk plodder. Problem is that I don’t really hear anything resembling an A-side here, just a B-side and a B-minus side. BEST SONG, BEST SONG TITLE, and FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT suspended due to lack of motivation.  –Rev. Norb (Goner)


BLACK MONUMENTS:
Self-titled: 7”
I’ve listened to this record several times now, trying to find something to convince myself that this isn’t a second rate Lost Sounds rehash. I could maybe keep trying, or I could just listen to a Lost Sounds record.  –MP Johnson (Independent Fries)


BLACK PANTIES:
“Prophet of Hate” b/w “Violence”: 7”
Crazed, lo-fi shenanigans abound as two brutally ultra-cool garage tracks leap off of the latest slab of vinyl from scene darlings Black Panties. I’m not sure what to make of it, other than it’s gritty and makes me pang for seeing them live. Slower and more sludge-laden than the majority of the garage records of today, this single is an attention-getter, that’s for sure. Definitely one for the ages, this cruel little record is worth looking for. –Art Ettinger (Total Punk)


BLACK PANTIES:
Future: 7”
Thuddy, mutoid garage punk that can suck in any positive vibes and effortlessly shit a dump truck of fecal matter on ‘em. Pessimistic, morbid, and broken. With most punk records you can always retain some level of ambivalence towards lyrical content and get what you want out of the music. It doesn’t seem so easy with Black Panties. If you’re not on a nihilistic tear—hell bent on total annihilation—then maybe this record isn’t for you. Yet, if you’re feeling like everything around you is sugar-coated horseshit, and the sun just can’t go down fast enough: Black Panties is waiting.  –Daryl Gussin (Windian)


BLOBS:
Demo: CS
Blobs are the Platonic ideal of punk. This Buffalo quartet has a woman doing the shouting, early-Black Flag riffing with surprising guitar hooks, a sloppiness that adds power, and seven songs in eight minutes. The results are feral, like mid-’90s Recess Records stuff or a wilder Neighborhood Brats. Total win across the board, I played it three times in a row. Gonna go throw a trash can at something now. –Chris Terry (More Power, morepowertapes.bandcamp.com)


BLOBS:
Shame: CS
Not to focus too heavily on their name, but I just read Josh Max’s piece in the New York Times about becoming a nude art model (“Zen and the Art of Art Modeling”), the quiet exhilaration and anonymity of it, and the support he got from both the teacher and the students, until he saw a drawing of himself by one student, “a lanky guy wearing a fedora, a beard and a slight smirk,” who had drawn “basically a blob with arms and legs.” Max feels stricken that he’s rendered not as “a lovable blob, a sexy blob, a confident blob,” but as “a repulsive blob, a loser blob.” Buffalo’s Blobs have perhaps dealt with the fedora smirk in one way or another (we are all dealing with fedora smirk), and are perhaps alienated blobs, wondering-why-life-is-so-terrible blobs, Charlie Brown blobs. But they’re also relatable, high energy weirdos who have made one of the best tapes I’ve heard in a while. Singer Amelia is just on the border between exhausted and unhinged, reaching her limit and going crazy over hyper rock’n’roll. She’s not accepting calls today. The band as a whole are not wasting any time. You are dancing no matter where you are when you hear this, you cool, smart blob.  –Matt Werts (More Power, morepowertapes.bandcamp.com)


BONES HOWELL:
Self-titled: CD single
People, this is a CD single! I’m so glad to see this thing. I used to get these all the time at the record store. If you grab a corner of the little cardboard sleeve and flick your wrist quickly, you can shoot the CD out like a rocket into the street. Bands are releasing records way too soon these days; you don’t have to put out a record just because you recorded something. The punk thing to do right now would be to stop blowing your money making pressing plants rich and start making CDs again. They’re cheap as hell and you can get them back immediately. The music on this release is well done, but a little too pop punk/affected America for my taste. If you like that sort of thing, it sounds good. The CD single is a shot across the bow. Well done.  –Billups Allen (Bones Howell)


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