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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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RESIST CONTROL:
Dissipation: EP
Starting to think that on my next visit to the amazing East Coast I’m going to have to make time for checking out the scene in Buffalo, NY. Seems there’s a lot of good bands coming out of there lately. After a great demo from a while back, Resist Control get some music committed to vinyl. A few songs from said demo are re-recorded here, but for the most part, this is all new material. If Crossed Out had come from the East Coast, it might have sounded like this. Nice amounts of low end, pummeling drums, urgent vocals, a crushing assault, and timely lyrics addressing the ever-declining state of society and bank bailouts. Favorite track on here is “Modern Times,” and the breakdown at the end is a good change of pace. Comes on clear vinyl housed in a three-color screen printed cover. Which you clear-ly want. –Matt Average (Feral Kid / Shock To The System)


HI HO SILVER, AWAY!:
Compromise: 7”+ CD
This is an interesting release because I really didn’t like anything about the seven inch. They call it folk punk but there isn’t even enough there to even pass as that. There’s some quiet noodling on here that could push it just a bit into the Joan Of Arc area, but just barely. The lyrics were really honest and deal with some serious shit, maybe a bit literal and flat, but good. It’s the music itself that I just can’t do anything with. There’s just not enough here to be interesting. I almost didn’t play the CD because I figured it was just going to be the same songs for upload. But no, on it was a whole slew of songs that prove there’s a lot more to this band than the dull tracks on the mediocre seven-inch. What you get with the CD is some upbeat, folky punk. The lyrics are positive and youthful, if at times naïve. It’s that Plan-It-X Records style of punk with vocals in the same variety. It’s really not my thing but it’s got some heart and moxie to it. Go on, do what you do. –Craven (hihosilvermusic@gmail.com)


REHAB RATS, THE / THE DEAD PAWNS:
Split: CD
First up on this split release is five songs of angry, middle of the road, group chant-a-long street punk from the Rehab Rats. This might be your cup of tea if you like mohawks, 40 oz’ers, and butt flaps. On the other hand, the five songs which follow by the Dead Pawns were much more up my alley with simple, bashed-out, mid-tempo punk tunes which sometimes sound strangely similar to the old FL band Gay Cowboys In Bondage and other early ‘80s moody, noise punk. Of the two bands, the Dead Pawns showed more promise but need to more clearly define the direction of their sound. –Mark Twistworthy (8^ Punk, myspace.com/8records)


RED MASS:
Suicide: 7”
Some sorta dark, moody stuff here, featuring members of CPC Gangbangs. Reminds me a bit of the Starvations, which is to say there are Jeffrey Lee and Nick Cave vibes aplenty. Dueling typewriter breakdown in the middle of “Suicide.” Cut corner on the promo copy seems a little quaint in 2011. Damn rock critics won’t be able to get that nickel in credit down at the local rekkid shack that went out of business... Anyway—noisy, vaguely punky stuff that fans of Big Neck Records would probably like a whole lot. –Mike Frame (Certified PR)


RAW NERVES:
Burnt Skin: 7”
It’s always great to see a band live, especially bands you love. But I also love being surprised by a band I have never heard of. This band fit the latter. Playing a Weekend Nachos/Low Threat Profile show, they snuck in the middle and really caught my attention. Thundering hardcore energy that kicked me right in my gut. Equally powerful playing fast or slow, the crowd at hand reacted with excitement. A good year later while pre-ordering another release from the label, I noticed that the band had a new release coming out. A big bonus was they had a deal to package it with their debut LP. More records? Sure, I can always use more records! Not to disappoint, the record was every bit as good as I remembered when I saw the band live. Three tracks of straight to the point hardcore that gives me thoughts of ‘90s East Coast punk, even though their home base is Portland, Oregon. References of Citizens Arrest meets Negative Approach pop into my head. Punk that slams a 2”x4” against the head and—at the same time—has originality that makes it memorable above the generic. I see out on the interwebs that another 7” is out there that I need to procure. Another reason to spend that dollar. –Donofthedead (Inimical)


HERETIX:
Obdobie Neistoty: CD
From the looks and sounds of it, this appears to be some street punk from the CzechRepublic. Music’s about par for the course as far as this stuff goes, meaning it’s not particularly blazing new trails in a genre in dire need of exactly that, but it’s not quite deplorable, either. –Jimmy Alvarado (Two Fingers In The Air, myspace.com/twofingersintheair)


RATCLIFFS, THE:
Junkyard Barbecue: 7”
I fully admit to being a musical geographist. If an album with an address from a place like Serbia or Cambodia makes its way to my turntable, it is going to get more of a chance than one from the States. So, when this 7” from these Austrians came in, I scratched my head trying to think of any music I actually liked from Austria (more recently than the 19th century), and came up with nil. I put it on and cringed at the whiny, nasally pop punk coming at me, but (again with the geographist) I gave it some extra listens and some of the hooks caught me after a bit. It really isn’t bad, and I’m sure all the Screeching Weasel kids’ll just love it, but it just isn’t for me. –Megan Pants (Monster Zero/Be Scared)


RATCLIFFS, THE :
Captain Supermarket: 7”EP
European pop punk that’s mostly Ramones core with a little bit of old rock’n’roll, like a lot of their contemporaries. Given the choice, I might choose to listen to one of said contemporaries, but I’m also jaded as hell. If I found myself in whatever part of Europe they’re from on a night they were playing, I’d check them out. –Joe Evans III (Monster Zero)


RAMMING SPEED / A.N.S.:
Split: LP
I feel like I’m reliving my teen years again with all the new thrash metal that is making the rounds, making me believe it’s the crossover period again. Ramming Speed start things off with a bombastic blast of thrash metal that gets close to death metal and grind territory at times. A vocal delivery that is throaty and shouted then guttural. Bright guitar tones with a heavy dose of rapid chords and hyperfast solos are combined with thundering bass and drums to bring a force of sound to their music. A.N.S. are equal contenders with their contribution to this release. Crossover in the vein of Excel meets Nuclear Assault. The soundtrack to a good skate sesh on the backyard halfpipe. A raw feel to the production gives them more of a punk edge. But the metal is brought with the heavy chugging of the guitar. I really appreciated hearing the mosh part in one of their songs. I saw the band a couple of years ago and came away with a good appreciation of their live show. It’s a great pairing of two current bands that gives me the itch to experience Ramming Speed live when they come to town. –Donofthedead (Tankcrimes)


HEROES OF HISTORY:
Lightning and Thunder: CD
Cleveland! That’s the first thing that I thought when I put on Lightning and Thunder. I was wrong but close. They’re from Columbus, Ohio. So it’s an Ohio thing, apparently. If you were to ask me what this thing is, I really wouldn’t know what to tell you. It’s hard to put my finger on, but there’s this weird sound currently going on in Ohio and I can tell immediately where it’s from. I know that Ohio isn’t the only place that is putting out carefree, fun, shitty punk rock these days, yet, when I hear something like HOH, it immediately makes me think of bands like The Fucking Cops who are also from there. It’s not classic, timeless music or anything, but I don’t think that’s what they’re going for. However, if you want to bounce around at red light to some lo-fi, funny songs about werewolves and zombies and witches, then give this one a shot. –Craven (Self-released)


RAINBOW PERSON:
Trade Labor Vocation: 7”EP
Cold, raw strangulation. Scraping the flesh from the inside of a pelt with a stone. Without a melody in sight, Rainbow Person is a desolate affair—sounding bleach white and coal black—like the disintegrating silhouette of a Solzhenitsyn buzzard circling over a Siberian gulag. Dire shit. Makes Born Against almost sound like a hummable jingle for a retirement village advertising an attached golf course. I tip my cap to the disintegrating, teeth grinding atmosphere they pull off. Kudos, also, to the hand-letter pressed, thick cardboard cover and obvious close attention to the packaging. Bleak. Convincing. –Todd Taylor (Television / Margin Mouth)


RAD PAYOFF:
Self-titled: Cassette
I’m digging these Let’s Pretend cassettes. They’re completely different and entertaining in weird and surprising ways. “Top Kill” starts off with a very obtuse verse that would serve as a springboard for the first of many nitrous-fueled choruses, if it weren’t stopped by a couple of long, awkward pauses that you can’t help but fill by asking, “What?” And then on “We All Go to Hell,” there’s a guitar solo that seems to have fought its way free from a junk heap somewhere, but only for a moment before the drums suck it back in and the song ends. And then on the last song, suddenly they’re a hardcore band or something? My only complaint: You can fit more than five songs on a tape. –MP Johnson (Let’s Pretend / Dead Broke)


PUNCTURE:
“Mucky Pup” b/w “You Can’t Rock and Roll”: 7”
If you’ve gotta make one important contribution to punk rock’s legacy, a band can do far worse than “Mucky Pup.” The tune, likely best known for the Exploited’s cover of it on their Punk’s Not Dead album, is a primitive, atonal squawk featuring obnoxious lyrical brilliance like, “I pick my nose/and I eat it up/I’m a real humdinger/I’m a mucky pup.” Unlike bands like Alberto Y Los Trios Paranoia, who were little more than rock bands trying to take the piss outta punk, Puncture seemed more of a punk band just trying to take the piss; a minor distinction, maybe, but one worth noting. The flip, “You Can’t Rock and Roll (in a Council Flat),” is a bit more melodic, relying on a more, uh, traditional rock feel (punctuated by some minimalist synth) to relate its tale of woe. Though at least “Mucky Pup” is available on a comp here and there, it’s definitely nice to see the whole package on vinyl again, even if the cat who put it out got a bit overzealous with his “promo” stamp—I know you wanna make it clear, but twenty goddamned stampings plus “Razorcake Promo” Sharpied across the top back of the cover? Not one for subtlety, apparently. –Jimmy Alvarado (Last Laugh)


PULLING TEETH:
Funerary: LP
Admittedly, I wasn’t super into Pulling Teeth when they first released Vicious Skin (or even Martyr Immortal, for that matter). Not because I didn’t think their shit ripped, but because I have an unhealthy, endless love for both Left For Dead and The Swarm, and I was very skeptical of this new band that was getting compared to my two sweethearts constantly. Somewhere along the way, however, as PT’s song structures broadened and they became more of their own entity, I was drawn in. And quite thankfully, I might add. Funerary picks up pretty much right where Paradise Illusions left off, continuing their Holy Terror-meets-Colohan-bands approach, while upping the sludge elements somewhat and even toying with quite memorable melodies on the back end of the record. Fans of the band will still be pumped and perhaps those who weren’t initially floored by Pulling Teeth will be feeling this one. Great work. –Dave Williams (A389)


HENRY DUNKLE:
Tom Karman: 7”
Jesus, this is great. I used to see Henry play when he was in high school with just an acoustic guitar, and this record expands on his style without the full band taking away from his voice. The songs are country-inspired with wonderfully simple modern indie style arrangements. His voice nestles nicely into the arrangements, coming together to create a haunting and catchy record. This is rough and unique enough to appeal to a punk crowd but crafted enough to get played on the radio. Get this and put it on a bunch of mix tapes. Girls will love you. –Ian Wise (Big Legal Mess)


PRETTY BOY THORSON & THE FALLING ANGELS / WORTHWHILE WAY:
Split: 7”
Finally, a way to trick my friends into liking the Mountain Goats! This fine record includes a cover of the Mountain Goats song “Fault Lines” by Minneapolis’ own Pretty Boy Thorson & the Falling Angels, with no apparent credit given to the Mountain Goats, which is all the better for my deceptive plan! Me: “You know that awesome Pretty Boy song?” You: “That song about the couple that wish they were dead? The one that goes, ‘And the fights, and the lies that we both love to tell fail to send our love to its reward down in hell?’” Me: “Yes, that one.” You: “What about it? That song rules.” Me: “You are correct, and you are a Mountain Goats fan.” Success! Plus, two songs by Worthwhile Way, a super poppy band with girl singers from Japan. Sample lyric, “I wish my family to be happy every day.” Punk rock! –Maddy (Eager Beaver)


DO IT WITH MALICE:
The Burned Over District: CD
There’s third wave ska horns which, aside from the very few bands that tastefully use them (i.e. Citizen Fish), I’m not big on already. The big sin which I cannot abide by here though is the autotune overkill going on all over the place with the vocals. Unless you’re making catchy dance tracks and are dressed like a robot, I’m just not down. –Adrian Salas (diwmny.com, doitwithmalice1@yahoo.com)


HAZARDOUS WASTE:
Destroy: 7”
Two things pop off the top of my head when I read the band’s name. Crossover maybe ala Municipal Waste or the lead track off my old Hated Principles’ LP. I know the latter is isolated to me and maybe one other person in the world. Dropping the needle changes any preconceived thoughts of this Canadian outfit. Early ‘80s hardcore that easily could have been on a Mystic comp during that period. A similarity to countrymen Career Suicide come to mind and also I have thoughts that they sound a bit like SOA. Overall, straight forward, no gimmick punk always is a pleasure to these ears. –Donofthedead (Schizophrenic)


DISTRICT SIX YOUTH ENSEMBLE:
Certified Professionals: CD-R
It’s well documented that high levels of instant success irrevocably damage artists. Look no further than a boatload of child actors and author Joseph Heller. (Catch 22 cast a long shadow; one that he never escaped.) Bryan May, who I’ve chastised in the past never to send out band practice tapes as “demos,” heeded my advice. DSYE are good with flashes of being really good. The signposts and direction are clear: Denton, TX punk (wisps of Marked Men, High Tension Wires, Bad Sports). The good news is that the bands Bryan is playing in are getting progressively better by degree. That if these musicians keep chuggin’ away, they turn bright-hot instant success on its ear and fit the much better template of continually releasing stronger and stronger songs the longer they play. Keep plugging in and pluggin’ away. –Todd Taylor (Self-released, no address listed)


POOR LILY:
Self-titled: CD
Poor Lily is doing a throwback Minutemen meets Fugazi says hello to the Dead Kennedys thing. It’s pretty good, as far as those things go. But my Ramones-addled brain wants a chorus, and a chorus you shall not find (for the most part) on this album! Poor Lily offers angular tunes, shouted vocals, short songs (two minutes or less) and lyrics like, “Why don’t you stick a needle in my head and extract my point of view?” Bonus fact: This three-piece includes the former drummer for Sick Of It All, Murphy’s Law, and H20 and the former drummer for the 1980s New York hardcore band Beyond. Two drummers, one band! (One of them now plays guitar.) If you like the Minutemen, then this is worth checking out. And the whole album is on the band’s website for free. Easy decisions! –Maddy (self-released)


DISASTERATTI:
Transmissionary: LP
Big, blustery, and heavy stuff—with its AmRep stomp and grunge-sludge tempos in all the right places—that still has the sense to throw in enough hooks to keep you coming back for another ass-whooping. –Jimmy Alvarado (Learning Curve)


POLICE TEETH:
Awesomer than the Devil: LP
One of the most interesting things about a piece of vinyl is how it forces you to consider the cover. A picture of a bobble Jesus, next to a bobble luchador, shot with the color palette of a Small Brown Bike record. It definitely gave me an impression right from the start (i.e.: this band is going to have some Fugazi influence). Though it turns out I was correct, these guys deliver more than enough interesting riffs to show that they can stand on their own two feet. While the songs can get a bit long at times (forgive me, I have a short attention span), this disc is pretty solid. B+. –Bryan Static (Latest Flame)


HARCO:
Incredible Jazz: Cassette
I really like how this band seems to experiment with different sounds to meld together their own approach. Very spazzy, energy-driven punk that rarely gets out of the higher gears. You can clearly see the influences of such groups as Nation Of Ulysses and Blood Brothers, but there’s also a bounciness reminiscent of early Wire and Magazine. I really dug the handmade tape case and info sheet. Very cool. –Rene Navarro (Self-released)


DISAPPEARED, THE:
Bridges: CD
Bits of youth crew, pop punk, and corporate rock/metal add up to very little worth paying any mind. –Jimmy Alvarado (I Hate Punk Rock, ihatepunkrock.net)


PLATES:
Taking Pictures of Poor People: 7” EP
A-Side: L7-style hypnotic sludge riffin’ with a dude who sounds like he listened to a lot of Second Wind. B-side has two more tracks that are nary a whit faster, but definitely heavier. –Jimmy Alvarado (Feral Kid)


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·NERVOSAS
·FRET RATTLES
·VARIOUS ARTISTS
·FOXY AUTOPSY
·NOISE RATCHET
·GEISHA GIRLS
·KID WITH MAN HEAD
·Interview with DRI
·RAT COLUMNS


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