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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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AMERICAN HERITAGE:
Sedentary: LP
The one record I got this month that I literally know nothing about. I thought they were European, but it turns out they’re from here. I don’t mean the U.S., I mean Chicago. I live here. How have I not heard of this? And they have three full lengths. What? They sound like early Mastodon in that most of the riffs are pretty technical but are played with a consistency that sounds like the guitarist moves in triplet time constantly and just sort of moves his left hand around. Does that make sense? I mean he sounds bored. I don’t really mean that in a bad way, it’s sort of a mark of a good metal guitarist. I don’t really see super punk dudes getting into this, but those with a lot of crossover taste will appreciate this and the RIYLs all come from the bands name-checked as “guest musician” creds on this record (Mastodon, Nachmystium, Black Cobra). –Ian Wise (Solar Flare, solarflarerds@gmail.com)


LAZY:
Party City: 7"
Title track is a fairly uneventful, quirky punk track. The tunes on the flip still have an arty tinge, but fare a bit better with a bit more pep in their delivery and a circa-1980 feel. –Jimmy Alvarado –jimmy (Moniker)


ALTERED BOYS:
Self-titled: EP
This record works perfectly with the sound of police choppers circling low over my neighborhood. Altered Boys, from New Jersey, crank out some burly, no-frills hardcore punk. The rhythm section is akin to an avalanche. The guitar races to keep pace and the vocalist barks out attacks on drug culture (“Drug War”), punk snobbery and the ultimate safe route it takes (“Ask a Punk”), religion (“Missionary Position”), decay (“Crashing Down”), and more. Plus, they have a song titled “The Nudge” where the only lyrics are, “Uuuhhhh.” Pretty good record. Hope they come to Los Angeles sometime. –Matt Average (Katorga Works, katorgaworks@gmail.com)


JOE VOLUME:
Lonesome Water, Lonely Sea: LP
Fairly diverse collection of singer/songwriter-oriented styles on this record. Joe Volume is pretty good at all of them, but I have a hard time getting into a lot of styles at once. I much prefer a record that sets a mood and rides it out to the end. –Mike Frame –frame (Self-released, facebook.com/joe.volume)


AGITATED:
Self-titled: EP
Agitated dish out primarily mid-tempo hardcore punk that has occasional bursts of speed here and there. There’s a particular rawness and purity in their playing. They make no obtuse observations lyrically, opting to give it to you straight in songs like “Gender Issues,” “First World Problems,” and “Dead in the Head.” I like “I Need My Fix” on here because it stands out a little from the rest in the way the vocals are delivered, and the playing is a little lighter. It also gives the heavier and hardcore songs more “zing” as a result. Good effort. I would hope there’s more to come; with a little extra fire in their sound, they could be a force to reckon with. –Matt Average (Helta Skelta, heltaskeltarecords.blogspot.com.au)


J CHURCH:
Four Track Demos: Cassette
The cassette tape that comes with a download code is an amusing foray into technology caving in all over itself. I have always been so-so on J Church and Cringer before them, though I think both are good bands. J Church just never really grabbed me and this collection of demos does nothing to change that. The tape comes in a cool package with extensive liner notes, patch, and button as well as the aforementioned download code. Any fan will want to be all over this. –frame (Tiger Force Ultra)


ACTION PATROL:
On Patrol: Cassette
I seem to recall seeing this band’s name all over the damn place in the mid ‘90s, though I don’t recall ever actually hearing them until now. Sounds a lot like something that would have been on Liquid Meat, Farmhouse, or Recess in the mid-‘90s. Sort of a ragged pop punk sound, like maybe Krupted Peasant Farmerz or that first Plow United LP, but with a bit more hardcore/emo in the mix. Pretty good stuff and I imagine the average Razorcake reader would find a whole lot to like here. –frame (Tiger Force Ultra)


AARON AND THE BURRS:
Self-titled: Cassette
Do you like instrumental surf music? Unfortunately, I don’t, so this ten-song tape from this upstate New York band does absolutely nothing for me. If surf music happens to be your passion, I might first suggest expanding your horizons a little bit, and then secondly would probably recommend seeking this release out, as it’s done with a level of competence to please fans of the genre—albeit just not very exciting to anyone who isn’t. –Mark Twistworthy (UT, ut-records.com)


HELLBASTARD / DRESDEN:
Split: LP
Crust songs warning of the apocalypse are a dime a dozen, but there’s never been one like “Arcadia” by Hellbastard. As much as it is a warning, it’s also a welcoming. The welcoming doesn’t come from the usual “I told you so” to those that didn’t conserve the environment, although that is a component, but from the rage and pain that comes from personal tragedy. Opening in the traditional manner (“These blackened skies, our darkest years”) the lyrics move on to horrific imagery (“Man will eat the flesh of irradiated man”) and then to a joyous acceptance (“We can ride hot rods to hell”) and finally an explanation, a list of losses and their uselessness and unfairness (“My brother starved and died in ‘07, and you shouldn’t be living”) that is so truly and mercilessly human—so much more so than the standard holier-than-thou “This is what you get for using too much oil” bullshit—that it really leaves you shaken and, more importantly, thinking. This record is worth whatever piddly amount it costs for that song alone. The fact that it also comes with two more Hellbastard tunes and a side full of the always-crushing Dresden is just a bonus. –MP Johnson –mp (beercity.com)


45 GRAVE:
Pick Your Poison: LP
A new lineup and a new album for these death rock stalwarts. While the absence of Paul Cutler’s distinctive guitar slinging and the more rock/less punk feel of the new batch of songs might be off-putting to older fans, Dinah’s inimitable warble and wicked sense of humor remain intact. While I can’t say anything here reaches the heights of “Wax,” “Dream Hits” or “Insurance from God,” it is nice to see a more consistent lineup making its mark. –jimmy (Frontier)


YOUTHBITCH:
Don’t Fuck This Up!: LP
Pop/garage Dirtnap Records hopefuls. I can’t complain that there seems to be dozens of bands that sound like this nowadays. It’s an unstoppable combination: sugary melodies with the speed cranked to eleven and the production values of a 1970s radio commercial. It’s simple, it’s rough, and it’s elegant in its practicality. Youthbitch is a rare band, in that its terrible name is surpassed by their solid music. If they are able to keep up this level of fun, then I see nothing but an exciting future for the guys in Youthbitch. –Bryan Static (Jonny Cat)


HAZEL’S WART:
Together We Didn’t: LP
From the sounds of it, these kids are swallowing massive doses of late ‘80s/early ‘90s alt rock, noise pop, and all points between. Offsetting noisy, sludgy guitars are laid back vocals topping the kinda rock fodder you’d find on your average left-of-the-dial station during college rock’s glory days. They do it well, to their credit, and they have enough sense to limit their cherry-picking to the time before big record company money came along and pissed all over the party. –Jimmy Alvarado –jimmy (Skrot Up, skrotup.com)


XAXAXA:
Siromašni I Bogati: CD
A little faster and more engaging that their debut, Tango Revolucioner, Siromašni I Bogati is a unique record that anybody who hears can’t help but inquire about. The vocals are completely sung in Macedonian and delivered in that yell-whisper style that warrants various mid ‘80s Dischord references. The music isn’t flashy or excessive, just song after song that kinda flow into one another, creating an overall mood. It’s dreary and solemn without being a bummer. It’s punchy and aggressive without putting its finger in your face. It’s a complicated record. I’ve listened to it almost everyday for weeks and it’s only getting better. –Daryl Gussin (Moonlee / Napravi Zaedno, napravizaedno.com)


GREG LARAIGNE:
Story Tellers, True Believers: CD
Swiss singer-songwriter with an occasional harmonica that wants to be like Chuck Ragan or Foundation (Rob Huddleston from Ann Beretta). If you’re looking for more material like the aforementioned artists (or albums with indecipherable text on the cover—I had to look on the record label’s website to figure out the artist’s name and album title), then this might be worth your time. –Kurt Morris –kurt (Shield)


WYMYNS PRYSYN: :
“Waste Yr Life” b/w “Keep It Simple”: 7”
 “Waste Your Life” is a solid bit of rockin’ with a strong riff and vocals that drone more than sing. “Keep It Simple” is a wee bit more esoteric, with a darker, more complex structure, but no less compelling. Good stuff, great cover art. –jimmy (Pygmy, pygmyrecords.com)


GOD MODE:
Glowing Eyes: CD-R
Slightly metallic, gallop-tempo hardcore. Singer eschews the gruff growlin’ route and ends up sounding a wee bit like the cat from Allergic To Whores. –Jimmy Alvarado –jimmy (God Mode, facebook.com/godxmode)


WYMYNS PRYSYN:
“Waste Yr Life” b/w “Keep It Simple”: 7”
Churning, dark garage rock with slurred ‘n’ snotty Darby Crash vocals, creative riffs, and a palpable air of danger. Great concept, but they need to tune the bass to the guitar and cut “Waste Your Life” in half. –CT Terry (pygmyrecords.com)


GAMES:
Self-titled: CD
Dyed-in-the-wool power pop here. Sounds like it could easily be some lost ‘70s gem that’s been dusted off and given a fresh start, but it’s brand spankin’ new and ready to turn some heads. The vocals are a bit more monotone than’s good for ‘em in places, but on the whole this is pretty solid work. –Jimmy Alvarado –jimmy (HoZac, hozacrecords.com)


WILSON ST. PUB & SLUTHOUSE BAND:
Pirates of the West Bench: CD
This is country horror in the most superficial way possible. It’s country in the sense that it has acoustic guitars and a bit of a twang. It’s horror in the sense that there are a bunch of songs about zombies (“Zombie Girl,” “Red Neck Zombie,” etc.). I don’t get the sense that these dudes have spent a lot of time blasting Waylon and watching Fulci movies, and that they just kind of threw this together because they thought it was a fun idea and it’s not where their hearts are. If you’re looking for the real deal, find a band that knows that redneck is one word, not two. –mp (1332)


FRET RATTLES:
The First One: LP
After an initial eye roll at the stock car on the cover and the “garage font,” I dug in and found that it’s pretty fuckin’ rocking. Was expecting some ‘60s throwback schlock, but these Midwesterners have a way more rocking vibe. Remember bands like the Monomen or the Dummies from a million years ago? Or even the Cynics and Lyres? That’s the ballpark, as much ‘70s swagger as ‘60s psych, though. Hand-screened cover makes this a DIY deal as far as I can see and worth tracking down if any of that shit sounds up your alley. Feeling it. –Tim Brooks –Tim Brooks (fretrattles@gmail.com)


WHITE WALLS:
Self-titled: CD
Odd duck here. There’s a bit of shoegaze bluster here, but, on the whole, it sounds up to its eyeballs in mid-period Sonic Youth. The guitars are often much more overdriven than that more celebrated band usually employs, but there’s also less of an edge to the songs here. A bit derivative, I reckon, and the songs kinda blend into one another, but not a bad listen on the whole if you thought Daydream Nation or Goo were nifty. –jimmy (Poison City)


WET NURSE:
Daily Whatever: LP

Wet Nurse is an all-woman trio who play clean guitar punk with sugary vocal harmonies. I want to compare them to All Girl Summer Fun Band, but they are more cigarettes ‘n’ beer than tea ‘n’ blankets, defying all twee reference points with rock’n’roll spiked riffs, spite in the lyrics and what appears to be a wicked sense of humor—just look at the photos on the back cover, where each band member is staring into space while spilling something.

–CT Terry (Astro Girl)


FREAK IN A JAR:
They Don’t Call It Punk Anymore: CD
This three-piece band manages to pump out nineteen tuneful ‘90s punk songs on this CD with no frills. And when I say ‘90s, I mean that they were an active band in the Boise, ID punk scene in the 1990s who have just happened to recently reform to play some more shows and release this CD. Despite having quite possibly the worst cover art I’ve seen since the ‘90s, this really isn’t that bad. It’s definitely dated sounding though, which means if you long for the days of that decade for some reason, then maybe this is for you. –Mark Twistworthy –Mark Twistworthy (1332, 1332records.com)


WARTORN:
Domestic Terrorist: 7”
The third entry in the impressive Profane Existence single series comes from the stalwarts of Wisconsin crust, Wartorn. For nearly a decade, Wartorn has delivered record after record of brain-wrecking brilliance, consistently upping the ante and refining their destructive sound. While this record doesn’t necessarily break new ground, touches like the wild guitar solo on “Under Oath” makes it stand out from the countless samey-same bands that thrive on this genre. –mp (Profane Existence)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
NY/CY Hardcore Connection: CD
Quite possibly the dumbest hardcore compilation I’ve ever heard. Unbelievable. A collection of bottom-of-the-barrel hardcore bands that lack any depth or vision. A couple are decent, but as you get towards the end and hit bands like Carnage Krew, Side Swiped (the shittiest of the batch, with a real gem of a song called “Hor”), and the bands that follow, it just sinks down to the lowest common denominator. One band likes to repeat “fuck you, fuck you” over and over. Granted, bad reviews generally spark reader’s interest in checking out turd music, so if you really must hear this, just troll the dollar bins at your local record shop. –Matt Average (United Riot, unitedriotrecords.com)


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