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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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RED PONY CLOCK:
Whatevz Forevzzz: LP
Lovely collection of songs with a nicely rounded sound including, but not limited to: vibraphone, oboe, flute, trumpet and accordion. Love the artwork portraying the band as Christ and disciples and angels. Fantastic cover of a hit ‘80s pop song that rhymes with “Bike a Sturgeon.” I love listening to this record on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Go see them live for a fun show and possibly a six-foot (delicious) burrito. –Samantha Beerhouse (no label listed)


REAL TALK:
Demo: Cassette
Born Against hardcore played Void sloppy with Crucifucks vocals and the occasional baroque metal lead. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, just imagine a guy with a bullhorn duct-taped to his face getting a violin-string catheter in a freight elevator. From Richmond, obviously. –CT Terry (realgoddamntalk.bandcamp.com)


RATTUS:
Invades the USA: 7”
I’m not the biggest fan of live recordings, but this is one of those exceptions. People not in the know, Rattus is one of Finland’s famous original punk bands. They formed in 1978 but became world renown during the international punk explosion of the early ‘80s. These songs were recorded live on a radio show on WFMU in New Jersey back in 2004. If I remember correctly, this tour was only routed through the East Coast. It’s five songs of classic Finnish punk rock that is very distinctive in sound. It’s a good starting point if you don’t want to pay collector prices on some of their original releases. It’s also a nice addition to the collector who has it all. Co-release with Psycho Wolf, Motorchest, and Cutthroat. –Donofthedead (Death Exclamations, deathexclamations.com/records.html)


RATIONAL ANIMALS:
Bock Rock Parade: LP
I wasn’t expecting much from a record with its band members standing in the snow with a goat in front of them but, goddamn, I’m impressed! Rational Animals sound like the chain-shackled, basement born and bred, bastard-in-love-child of The Process of Weeding Out-era Black Flag and Nirvana’s less commercially appealing songs off Incesticide. Fans of Slices and Middle America are in for a treat. –Juan Espinosa (Katorga Works, no address)


RAINBOW PERSON:
.Trade. Labour. Vocation: 7”
Describing this is really hard. Somehow it got me thinking of other bands I like which are hard to describe. As wild as it sounds, these three bands somehow point you in the right direction: Wire, City Of Caterpillar, and Christian Death. Yeah, I know, pretty cool, huh? Maybe even Fugazi. All their music is available for free download at RainbowPerson.wordpress.com, which I think is rad and a great opportunity for you to figure out if I have any idea what I’m talking about. I think it’s interesting how the A side starts out in a bit more straight-forward punk stance and gradually just oozes all over the place through the B side, leaving you slightly disoriented in just the right way. –Rene Navarro (Sad Bastard Music / Margin Mouth / Television)


ORANGE COAX:
Self-titled: 10”
I thought I had heard the punk spectrum, but, I’ll admit, band geek rejects playing jazz/trash/punk is a new one. It could be best described as psycho clown music or angry seal music; take your pick. It’s hard to escape from the sax as a honking horn metaphor. There’s no guitar, no piano, no rhythm section to speak of, just the haunting barks of a lone sax played over a manic drummer and a screeching vocalist. Honestly, one of the worst records I’ve ever heard. Whatever the fuck this record is trying to be is completely lost on me. All I can see is a horrible mess of noise and frustration with hints of true intent. If you want music that grabs your attention, you could maybe find some solace in this, but for my taste the gold isn’t worth the treasure hunt. –Bryan Static (Self-released, no address)


ONWARD PILGRIM:
Self-titled: CD
Conventional and non-threatening hard rock. I use the genre term very loosely in describing this to you, as I’ve concluded that the music on this disc is neither hard nor does it rock. Normally, this would be a prime candidate for something I’d take with me to sell at a used record store. But this time I think I’ll do the music world a favor and just chuck this coaster into the blue recycling bin. –Juan Espinosa (Brotherhood Of The Snake, brotherhoodofthesnake.com)


NO MORE SAINTS:
Consume: CD
Good socio-political hardcore with words you can understand. Always a plus. Sometimes the vocals seem a little slow for the music, but, overall, it’s a pretty solid disc. –Ty Stranglehold (myspace.com/nomoresaints )


NO FUNERAL:
Self-titled: 12” EP
I know enough people into the super angry “I don’t give a fuck if this pleasing to your ears” punk/metal to understand the appeals of the genre. There’s definitely a raw element that isn’t in any other style of music. My opinions of the genre, however uncaring they may be, don’t excuse the quality of the music. God awful lyrics and even worse vocal delivery on top of ambient noise tracks whose only purpose is to confuse the listener into picking the wrong record speed. Morally, I can’t condone this record. It offends almost every musical aesthetic value I hold. (You didn’t use auto-tune and for that I thank you.) Recommended for people who need loud music to piss off their neighbors. –Bryan Static (Wands, no address)


NIGHT BIRDS:
The Other Side of Darkness: LP
Hitting like a radioactive wave breaking on the post apocalyptic concrete shores of New Jersey, the mutated DNA is strewn about for closer examination. Strands of Dick Dale, Steve Soto, and East Bay Ray are evident... It would appear that they have been steeped in a heavy dose of Richard Matheson, John Carpenter, and the like. The result is a new specimen all together; one that takes on the attributes of the individual strands and creates something that we haven’t seen or heard the likes of before. The stories of the “Paranoid Times” are revealed in all their horrors. Day-to-day survival and routine are interspersed with meditations/hallucinations of the previous world, making for a new perspective not seen before. Prognosis: Night Birds are the soundtrack to this strange new world we live in. Once this is accepted, the transformation will be much easier. –Ty Stranglehold (Grave Mistake)


NIGHT BIRDS:
The Other Side of Darkness: CD
First full length from this NY/NJ four combo. While their last release was a collection of demos and EP’s, this is a complete piece. The time in the van on the road is showing. These guys have brought it here, with each band member contributing songs—even the drummer! Heh, I kid because I care. But it reminds of the great Naked Raygun records of the past, where every band member brought in colorful songs. I’m not going to pick certain tracks here, since they all kick ass. But if you picture Dick Dale guesting with The Adolescents, you start to get the idea. Head on over to the other side. You won’t be disappointed. –Sean Koepenick (Grave Mistake)


NAUGHTY GIRLS:
Bad Habits: 7”
Canadian punk hardcore which, at times, reminds me of Blood Guts and Pussy-era Dwarves if you take away all of the lyrical content of fucking and doing drugs and replace it with “introspective” lyrics about drinking, working, and living. Montreal and Toronto seem to have a great up-and-coming scene for punk and hardcore bands, led by bands like Brutal Knights, Career Suicide, and Omegas, and Naughty Girls fit in with all of these bands perfectly. –Mark Twistworthy (Bad Vibrations, badvibrationrecords.bandcamp.com)


NATIVE CATS, THE:
Process Praise: LP
Embarrassingly bad indie rock. Pardon me for noticing but the “process” of mediocre bass playing paired with terrible drum programming only makes for songs that are capable of making a tree stump yawn. Nothing to “praise” here, folks. –Juan Espinosa (Ride The Snake, ridethesnakerecords.com)


MOSCOW MOSCOW MOSCOW:
Hammer, Sickles, and Girls: 7”EP
Mostly instrumental garage. The one non-instrumental is a tribute/reference/rip off/etc. of The Mummies. Not bad, but if I’m going to listen to this kind of stuff, I want something that makes me worry about blowing out speakers or eardrums (or, to be fair, a really over-explained, wackadoo concept, like Man? …Or Astroman?). –Joe Evans III (Eradicator)


MONKEY POWER TRIO:
Who Cares What the Vultures Want?: 7” EP
The back cover says this is the result of the band’s annual one-day get-together to record; their fifteenth to date. The songs vary from quiet interludes to skronk-fest and some points in between. I highly doubt any of this will earn ‘em a guest spot on American Idol, but they ain’t without their charms and, really, who fuggin’ pays attention to that show anyway? –Jimmy Alvarado (Pocahontas Swamp Machine)


MONDO RAY:
Hypnotized: 7” single
The Alex Fine cover art worked really well in getting me to pick up this record. Reminds me of Mike Allred (Madman, iZombie comics) in a lot of ways. Not only is the cover art really good, but so is the music: poppy garage punk that moves at a really nice pace. Both songs on here are pretty solid. Can’t decide which I like more, as they both have a way of staying with you long after the record is over. “Nothing” is the more poppy of the two and moves at a somewhat more mid-paced tempo. The repetitive riff is simple and catchier than hell. “Hypnotized” is a little heavier and more driven. I like the organ that is slightly buried in the chorus. The delivery is great and the line, “When I saw you I was hypnotized” sums it up. –Matt Average (Windian, windianrecords.com)


MODERN PETS:
Vista Alienation: 7”
I’ve said it again and again in these very review pages over the years that I have a huge affinity for German punk bands. I don’t know why; there’s just something going on there that I like. I also seem to get all jacked up for anything that Modern Action releases. What happens when you put the two together? Very good things! Modern Pets travel in the same musical veins as the Briefs, and like those guys, do a very good job of taking a style of punk rock that runs the risk of being done to death and making it sound fresh. I can’t wait to hear an LP from these guys. –Ty Stranglehold (Modern Action)


MESRINE / SAKATAT:
Split: 7” EP
Mesrine: Fairly stereotypical grind/metal stuff that vacillates between blastbeats and Discharge-inspired tempos. Sakatat: Pretty much along the same lines: full-on sonic spazz-out with considerably less metal in their delivery than their record-mates. –Jimmy Alvarado (To Live A Lie)


MARVIN GAYS, THEE:
Self-titled: LP
With an album cover simultaneously reminiscent of both Nig-Heist and Rancid Vat, I expected at least semi-greatness from these squiggly Europeans. They turned out to be actually more of a low budget punk-psych excursion, with clean guitars inflicting a gentle punk pounding. The cover feels so much like the Nig-Heist cover in a tactile sense that i keep wanting to call this a cross between the second Jefferson Airplane album and Nig-Heist, but, really, that’s just kinda stupid, so forget i ever said it. Business picks up for a while on the second side, where the tempo ratchets up for a couple songs in a row, but “Tight Little Pussy” this ain’t. BEST SONG: “Get Married,” harrowingly enough. BEST SONG TITLE: “Desperately Ill.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The lightly penciled hand-numbering on the back cover seems to state that I have copy “009/600” independently of which way i have the cover turned at the time. –Rev. Norb (Frantic City, franticcity.free.fr)


MARGATE:
Rock’N Roll Reserve: CDEP
To me they sound like the early ‘00s, vaguely emo, slick-sounding Alkaline Trio, if they actually were on Fat Wreck. The cover of “Eleanor Rigby” being the second track kind of threw me. I don’t tend to listen to this stuff much these days, but if I was a teenager, I’d be super into it. –Joe Evans III (Room 57)


LENGUAS LARGAS:
Self-titled: 12”
I actually thought this record consisted of all new songs, but it doesn’t, which is kind of a bummer as I can’t seem to get my fill of these guys. The new stuff sounds a lot more ambient with parts that definitely show shades of Tristeza and The Velvet underground. I was recently fortunate enough to catch them live and they are currently touring with four guitarists and three drummers. No bassist. I’m still amazed at how a small room with forty people in it can ascend to a different realm through punk music. I love that there are still bands out there taking punk to different places and kids that love to smoke weed and listen to live albums by The Who and Grand Funk Railroad. –Rene Navarro (Tic Tac Totally, tictactotally.com / Recess, recessrecords.com)


LAURA STEVENSON AND THE CANS:
Sit Resist: CD
Pleasant, Americana-tinged indie rock with simple songs and big arrangements, like the Arcade Fire or Decemberists. The band photo shows them hiking along a sunny ridge. Overall, this is nice, but a little too mannered. The vocals may be a deal breaker as well, as the woman on the mic sounds like Regina Spektor doing a Geddy Lee impression. –CT Terry (dongiovannirecords.com)


JESUS OR GENOME:
The Veil Is Lifting: 7”
Acoustic stuff—guitar, cello, maybe a tambourine, and backing vocals—with intelligent lyrics. –Jimmy Alvarado (Sacred Plague, sacredplague.com)


HULK SMASH DEER:
++: CD
While I really, really appreciate the title and lyrics to “A Bunch of Your Friends Have Been Raped, It’s Time You Stopped Making Jokes about Rape,” there’s unfortunately little else I can recommend about this band. Entirely too drawn out and reliant on synthesizers and effects-laden vocals, it just trudges on and on. Fourteen songs of what could generously be called prog rock and ungenerously be called a jam band made up of motorcycle guys from the first Tron movie if they were still in junior high. Back to the drawing board, fellas: Dio and Iggy Pop covers did not come close to saving this. –Keith Rosson (SRA)


HOMEWRECKER / THE LOVE BELOW:
Split: 7” EP
Homewrecker: Hardcore-infused metal with nihilistic lyrics about pain, rage, destruction, etc. Second song even starts off with someone quoting Charlie Manson. The Love Below: More pained metal addressing addiction, being high, and people making the protagonist uncomfortable. –Jimmy Alvarado (A389)


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