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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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SWEETHEART:
XOXOX: CD
Having a bit of a tough time with this one, ‘cause… okay, the songs are goddamned catchy, okay? Thing is, the whole endeavor feels so contrived, so utterly manufactured, sicky-clean, and primed to grace the next teenybop love flick that it’s a bit hard to claw through the plastic ‘n’ get to the gritty human bits. Was gonna say that it might have a bit more sway with me if I was fourteen, but then I remembered at that age I was enamored with Black Flag and fully committed to ruining other people’s days. –Jimmy Alvarado (Sweetheart, iheartsweetheart.com)


SURGEONS:
Whip Them Lord: 7”
I saw these guys live a couple months back at Que Sera in Long Beach. While they were pretty good, that show was no indication of how good this record is. Definitely one of my favorite records of this year. They have a sound rooted in the early 1980s SoCal punk sound, with a nod to bands like Christian Death and TSOL with the dark and sort of gothy/deathrock style in the bass. The songs are at a mid-tempo gait, which allows the tension to take hold at a constant simmer. The guitar churns and scratches; the vocals are delivered in a direct, but not overbearing way. They have a sense of desperation without sounding fake or forced. Everything comes across loud and clear. There’s a sense of minimalism in the lyrics and songs. No filler, no wanky shit. Just the kind of songs you want to hear more of. It’s the bass that pulls me in and has me hovering over the turntable for another spin. Planning to catch these guys again in a couple weeks in some all-ages space in downtown L.A. –Matt Average (Total Punk, floridasdying.com)


SUICIDE NOTES, THE:
Suicide Notes: 7”
Bubblegum pop punk fronted by multiple female vocalists, which is decent enough in execution but lacks any real spark to make it stand out from the rest. Apparently, this band includes an ex-member of The Epoxies, who I loved, but it’s not really coming through here. This has potential and is certainly not the worst thing I’ve ever heard; it’s just not too terribly exciting. –Mark Twistworthy (Hovercraft, hovercraftpdx.com)


SUBVERSE:
Aural Regurgitations: CD
Subverse were a late ‘80s Vancouver thrash band who toured with MDC. This thirty-three track CD collects their EP, split 12” and demo. While their metal/hardcore fence riding sounds kitschy in 2012, they play with a newness and sincerity that makes this totally kick ass. If you’ve ever risked life and limb to steal a Metal Blade tape from your older brother’s room while he was in the garage huffing paint, Subverse will hit a pleasure center. Snap it up if you like Voivod and Anthrax. –CT Terry (bosstuneage.com)


STARING PROBLEM:
Self-titled: 7”
Illinois band Staring Problem play the type of post-punk that uses the bass as the lead instrument. Think Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division or early ‘80s Cure, but sped up a bit. Goth is back and it’s weird, because I work at an art school and now nineteen-year-old students dress like the women I was attracted to twenty years ago, when I realized that I wanted nothing to do with the preps. Three songs. Little bits of shoegaze and lo-fi pop for good measure. –CT Terry (blvdrecords.com)


SPENCEY DUDE & THE DOODLES:
Night Problems: LP
Snotty Oakland punk with short songs about girls, pizza, and more girls. Fans of Lookout Records, immaturity, and dudes talking about girls will dig this. –Matthew Hart (California Clap)


SOMETHING FIERCE / OCCULT DETECTIVE CLUB:
: Split 10”
Something Fierce’s sound is hard to describe and regularly argued over. It’s almost like they’re playing high-energy post-punk that’s actually fun to listen to. And above all, there’s no doubt that they do it well. Last year’s Don’t Be So Cruel LP is still in constant rotation, and these songs won’t be any different. Occult Detective Club crank out four classic punk jams. The vocals got some gravel to them; when the guitar leads kick in the world just feels like it’s rotating a little faster. I almost expected the solo in “Ships at Sea” to disrupt orbit, but it looks like that was just wishful thinking. –Daryl Gussin (Dirtnap)


SNAKE ISLAND!:
Self-titled: Cassette
Dirty, stomping blues riffs and a swaggering beat that verges on psychobilly at times. An indelicate mixture of the Cramps and White Stripes. Six songs, limited to one hundred copies, comes with a download code. Nicely done, as songs like “Oh Lord” come across as both reasonably rocking as well as mournful and kinda desolate. Not my thing, but they’ve got the bravado to pull it off. While I may not be swayed, gentlemen, I’m reasonably impressed. –Keith Rosson (Rainy Road)


SLIPPING GRIPS:
Rural Blues Demo: CD-R
This CD-R is full of angry rudimentary lo-fi punk that sounds home recorded with just guitar, drums, and vocals. If they could transfer some of their abounding lyrical virulence into increased musical savvy, then they might be on to something. –Mark Twistworthy (Slipping Grip, facebook.com/slipgripproductions)


SIREN SONGS:
Demo 2011 II: Cassette
This six-track demo from a foursome out of Vancouver barrels out the gate with bright female vocals and pop punk power chords. Solid, feel good tunes from snout to tail with pit-friendly song structures and choruses you can’t help but sing along to. “Sunny Days” and “Nuclear Son” sprinkles in male vocals, reminding me of The Mark Sparkles with that same ebullient pop punk energy, while “Cans on a Shelf” had me circling my living room. “Secrets” takes it down a notch with an acoustic track, but the sound quality isn’t anything to write home about—so much so that the track is barely discernible. But don’t let that detract you from throwing this in the ol’ tape deck. Recommended. –Kristen K (Dead Broke)


SIAMESE TWINS:
“In a Box” b /w “Stutter”: 7”
This Massachusetts mash-up of members from Libyans, Ampere, and Confines deliver their vinyl debut. On the heels of their debut cassette, this trio of twins claims their stake in the hinterlands between post-punk and dream pop. “In a Box” takes a liking to early Cranes and 4AD material. Underscored guitars and vocals beget their chilly, autumnal, sweater-wearing sound. “Stutter” rolls into a droll bass line only Joy Division or early The Cure are capable of. Hooky wisps of female vox punch through the funeral procession to land somewhere between The Shroud and whimsical Elizabeth Fraser. Just in time for fall. Recommended. –Kristen K (Labor Of Love, laboroflove.tumblr.com)


SHIRLEY ROLLS:
“I Got Nothin” b/w “Busted!”: 7”
This is slightly psychedelic power pop and it’s not bad. It brings to mind The Pizazz and The Strange Boys, but it doesn’t grab me. Maybe it would if there were more than two songs, I could get into the groove of it. But when it comes down to it, I guess that doesn’t say much for it, considering power pop is a singles type of genre. Whatever. It was okay. –Craven (SRS, shirleyrolls.com)


SCUTCHES, THE:
Ten Songs, Ten Years: LP
Saccharine pop punk that seems entirely unapologetic regarding how ridiculously cheesy it is. And I don’t mean cheesy-clever like Mr. T Experience, or at-least-we-unrelentingly-rock-cheesy like the Parasites, I mean full-blown “neon pink hearts floating above these guys’ heads” and “melodies so sweet and overloaded they run the risk of providing diabetic shock with repeated listens” cheesy. Cheesy as hell. I mean a level of cheesiness and melodic goo akin to Fun Bug’s Tezbinetop EP, which I don’t sling around like it’s nothing. That’s the cheesiest record I own, and while the Scutches won’t take the title, they were in the running for a minute there. There’s not a whole lot going on the old “words” department—”In Dreams,” Weekend Boyfriend,” “Don’t Go,” and “Together Again” should give you a good idea of the lyrical prowess we’re working with here. It’s too bad, since I enjoyed a fair amount of the music (in spite of the string section and acoustic numbers), but the overwhelming sappiness is sinking this ship quick. Yikes. –Keith Rosson (Bright & Barrow, brightandbarrow.com)


SCHOOL DAMAGE:
Self-titled: CD
Pop punk with nasal, shouty/singy vocals. The six songs here pretty much stay in the mid-tempo lane and thankfully keep a polite distance from both the Queers and NOFX. –Jimmy Alvarado (My Fingers! My Brain!, myfingersmybrain.com)


S.X.R:
Feelings of Expiration: 7”
I really wanted to like this one because I’ve been through Redding, CA, where these guys are from—and know how much it sucks—but they play some pretty boring straight edge hardcore with dopey lyrics and lots of E chords and slow parts and breakdowns and blast beats. They do have a song called “Macho,” which refutes macho bullshit attitudes. I’ll commend them for that. –Craven (Mind Melt, mindmelt.com)


RUPTURES:
Deca: CD
Screamy vocal, late ‘90s-sounding stuff. Fans of Level Plane Records will wanna be all over this –Mike Frame (Ruptures)


RUPTURES:
Deca: CD
Intricate and well-recorded screamo that’s totally void of any band information, just a CD in a cardboard sleeve. Like I said, it’s well executed and tightly played, but there’s little to set it apart from the bajillion other yowling dudes doing the same thing. Lyrics or a few ventures on a few musical limbs would definitely help. Reasonably good, but I listen to reasonably good screamo stuff about as often as I listen to reasonably good calliope music. Sorry, guys. –Keith Rosson (Ruptures Collective)


RUN DOWN:
“American Despair” b/w “The Coming”: 7”
Reverby, dirty hardcore. Run Down reminds me a bit of the entire Northwestern hardcore scene (Red Dons, Observers, Autistic Youth). These two songs are good, but hard to sink my teeth into. As a single, I wouldn’t say this stands out in particular way, but the songs are solid. Run Down probably works better as an LP band. My overall rating of this record is “shrug my shoulders.” –Bryan Static (Firestarter, firestarterrecords.com)


RUBRICS:
Covers Vol. 1: Cassette
Ragged and raw pop punk is what this band plays and I know a lot of Razorcake readers dig that. The band is from South Carolina and seem to be really into Fifteen, Crimpshrine and the like. This is a collection of cover songs and proceeds benefit anti-mountaintop removal organizations. –Mike Frame (Get Better)


ROLL THE TANKS:
Self-titled: CDEP
Snappy platter from this rocking four piece: driving riffs, great harmony vocals, and more-than-capable songwriting from start to finish. The band’s not so secret weapon is the drums slammed into gear by Joe Sirois (ex-Street Dogs). “Goodnight Jimmy Lee” is my favorite on here. Looking forward to hearing more from this band. –Sean Koepenick (Self-released-info@rollthetanks.com)


RIPPERS:
Fire Tractaät: CD
Honestly dunno if I’m inadvertently chronicling the efforts of a number of different “Ripper” bands, but from what I can tell, this is the Spanish band, a single from whom I reviewed waaaaaaaay back in the Flipside days. Their sound is markedly different than the “77 punk” sound they were strip mining back then, with a much darker, heavier rock vibe going here. Can’t say I dig it all that much, but I did enjoy the instrumental, “Under Frozen Moon.” –Jimmy Alvarado (BCore Disc)


RIPPERS, THE:
Better the Devil You Know: CD
Decent early 1960s-influenced punky sort of stuff here. Kind of like a cranked up Rolling Stones before the drugs took hold. The tempos are fast and borderline reckless. They even throw in a harmonica and it sounds pretty good. Not many bands past 1975 can do it convincingly. “The Prey Is In” is a complete scorcher. They pace the record with some mid-tempo burners to keep you from burning you out—though there are times where it kind of bogs down a bit too much, such as “Just for Ten Dollars” (which sounds very Rolling Stones) being followed by “Here Comes the Lunatic.” –Matt Average (Slovenly)


RIPFACE INVASION:
To Not Give In: CD
Now that we’re on what I suspect to be the tail end of the recent thrash resurgence, the bands that are still in it are starting to explore some of the nuances of the genre, rather than just rehashing Bonded By Blood. On this short CD, Ripface Invasion fulfills the promise of their band name by slashing their way through the more muscle-bound side of crossover, spewing vitriol from the very start with “The Dominator.” It’s familiar, but not too familiar. –MP Johnson (ripfaceinvasion.com)


REVENGE OF THE PSYCHOTRONIC MAN:
Shattered Dreams Parkway: CD
Pretty uninteresting hardcore that’s somewhere between nineties Epitaph stuff and UK‘82 British punk. –Craven (TNS, info@tnsrecords.co.uk)


RACCOON:
Demo: Cassette
This is one of those demos that could fall under one of two categories: Either they know exactly what they’re doing in creating a kind of nihilistic, lo-fi anti-music not unlike if Flipper came out of the U.K. in the late ‘70s, or they’re just a really bad band trying to do something else entirely and this is just how it came out. I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt and think that they know exactly what they’re doing, and I suppose that it doesn’t really matter in the long run anyways, because their sound is the same regardless. Intriguing. –Mark Twistworthy (Raccoon, 351braccoon@gmail.com)


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·EVERYTHING FALLS APART
·ALOKE
·SHAT
·Vandals
·Extras from the George Hurchalla Interview
·COBRA SKULLS
·ANGEL SLUTS, THE
·BOMBSHELLS, THE
·Razorcake Podcast #59


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