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· 1:A Brief History of Punk in Izhevsk, Russia by Alex Herbert
· 2:Webcomic Wednesdays #131
· 3:#362 with Kurt Morris
· 4:Two New Installments in the Tear A Cognita Series
· 5:Featured Zine Reviews From Issue #86


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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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GRIPPER / THE DESTRUCTORS:
Les Fleurs du Mal: CD
Gripper: There’s definitely a reminiscent feeling of playing Tony Hawk games again right now. I’m not sure if this is a bad thing. Because, you know, those soundtracks were pretty fucking killer. The Destructors: Every time I think I know about all the classic punk bands, I find another that’s been around for thirty years. The Destructors have been on and off the radar since 1977 and their discography is huge! I’m amazed I haven’t noticed them before. A little bit Swingin’ Utters, a little bit Circle Jerks. I’m cool with this. –Bryan Static (Rowdy Fargo, no address)


GÖTTEMIA / LUCKY MALICE:
Split: EP
Hmm. Well, I don’t really like either of these bands. Göttemia play kinda trashy punk rock’n’roll that didn’t hold my interest for more than two short songs and Lucky Malice play upbeat, slightly rough-around-the-edges melodic punk rock with dual female vox, which amounts to being only slightly less forgettable than Göttemia. Just not my thing, I s’pose. –Dave Williams (Tonehjulet Kraftpest)


GLEAM, THE:
Sunrise: CD
This right here is a country album by some dudes in the Midwest. Sunrise has a fun, upbeat feel that is punctuated by harmonica solos and twangy guitar fills. This wouldn’t be bad for its genre if it wasn’t for the vocals. The half- drunken drawl of the lead singer and those group singalongs get so off-key that it’s kind of painful. The guy doesn’t quite have that gravelly country singer voice down, either. This band would probably be fun to dance to if they played at a local bar, but the vocals kind of killed this CD for me. –Lauren Trout (Self-released, thegleamusa.com)


GETBACK, THE:
Halfway Home: CD
This album is a strange breed. There’s a bit of Scared Of Chaka coming through. A bit of mid-’80s Social Distortion, and some of that mid-’90s Muffs songwriting and drumming style. It’d be kind of like if Mike Wiebe of Riverboat Gamblers fronted a moodier and pop punkier Toys That Kill. It’s better than you’d think, even if it seems a bit bipolar. It’s got soul, harmony, and pure punk spirit. –Mr. Z (Livid, lividrecords.com)


FUCKING BUCKAROOS, THE / LOS HELLDANDYS:
Split: 7”
I consider myself a TFB fan because if I saw a flyer for a show of theirs, I’d go. I saw them live once years ago at Revolver Café here in Tijuana and thought they ruled. This feeling led me to walk over, compliment them on their set, and purchase their self-titled compact disk. When I got home and played it, it just wasn’t as great as what I’d seen. The two songs on this split leave me feeling the same way. It’s banjo-driven rockabilly music about drinking. Los Helldandys I didn’t own anything by, but have seen a few times. They opened for TFB at the show I referenced, are from TJ, and have Oscar (Bumbklaatt, Thunder Cats, Magnum 757) on guitar, which is what really does it for me. They’re a pretty cookie cutter rockabilly band, and that’s what the first track serves up. The second track is more of a rocker and has female vocals, which makes it stand out a bit more. –Rene Navarro (Fort Faxon, thefuckingbuckaroos.com)


DRIPPING SLITS:
Short Skirts & Long Nights: CD
Twenty-six minutes of standard Dwarves style rawk is what is to be found on this disc. Actually, there is one stoner rock style instrumental kicking things off, just for diversity’s sake. As one might guess from the band name and the title, there is some real deep stuff going on here. The songs are as dull as the “offensive” band name. Yawn. –Mike Frame (Thinker Thought)


DOUGLAS SHIELDS AND THE X-FACTORS:
Self-titled: 7”
DSXF play a fuzzy, tender brand of punk over the course of the four songs on this 7”. This three-piece hails from Gainesville and has some similarities to some of the other punk bands from that great city but also seems to have some more heart in their music than any sense of overt anarchic spirit. DSXF seem like the type of band you’d catch opening at a basement show that you didn’t know but after seeing them you’d say, “Well that was a pleasant surprise,” and wouldn’t mind hearing more of them in the future. I wasn’t expecting much from this, but I can dig it. –Kurt Morris (Jeremy)


DIRTY FILTHY MUGS:
Up in the Downs: CD
New release from this L.A. five piece. Heavy punk rock that will shake the foundations of any manmade structure. Songs like “Bodkin Downs” push the proceedings full tilt but then they are followed up by mid-tempo songs like “In Walked the Devil.” “Plastic City” is my favorite song on here; for some reason I’m hearing Angus Young within the grooves. Hopefully this doesn’t blow any well-earned street cred. These guys are going places with this record. Catch them live if you can. –Sean Koepenick (DC-Jam)


DFMK:
Manual Practico Para La Auto Destruccion: CD-R
This band is probably the best thing that’s happened to the Tijuana punk scene in a while. They seem to be down to play almost every show that gets booked, and their set just keeps getting tighter and tighter, to the point where it’s squeezing you like a vice. This eight-song demo is recorded very well, which gives this recording a lot of energy. Lyrically, they tackle everything from walking through the parts of this city that resemble hell (“Cruce de Caminos”), not being a loser (“No Soy Un Perdedor”), and hopelessness (“Morning Blues”). Musically, it’s all over the place in just the right way. There’s an intro straight off a Fucked Up 7”, there are some moments you feel the breakdowns are about to cave in on you, and even some Millencolin-sounding ‘90s punk. These songs have carved themselves into my brain with hooks that gig deep and words that hit close. Did I mention these guys can actually play their instruments very well? Because they can. If ever anyone has actually checked something out I’ve recommended, this is the time. –Rene Navarro (Self-released)


DEMERIT:
Bastards of the Nation: CD

 

While I thought it was cool getting to check out a hardcore punk band all the way from China, slick production work by Brian Hardgroove (Public Enemy), and nice packaging were not enough to save this album. Demerit is a band with an identity crisis. This album sounds like the band couldn’t figure out how they wanted to sound or what genre they wanted to play, so they wrote separate songs for each of the genres they like. This gives the album a disjointed feel, like a really bad compilation, not an album. There’s some ‘80s NYHC-style songs, some oi and street punk songs, and some straight-up ‘80s metal, with an acoustic jam closing the album. With such radically different sounds to each song—and none of them particularly memorable—this album flounders around as if in search of musical direction. If Demerit ever finds such a direction, they will be a force to be reckoned with, but this album is lost, and should stay that way.

–Paul J. Comeau (Tenzenmen)


DEECRACKS:
Attention! Deficit Disorder: CD

 

There is a double edged sword when it comes to playing a Ramones-derivative style. Sure, it’s easy to play but it’s also easy to become stale. Countless bands take it on with varying degrees of success. I’m thankful for Dee Cracks because they totally get it. Simple and fun is the order. I really do like that new Screeching Weasel record, but, to be honest, this disc goes and knocks it outta the park. I hit play and I can’t stop bouncing around the room, and that is what this is all about! I might have to take issue with their trash talk on pizza and barbecue, but I guess I can’t knock it until I have myself some Ritalin for lunch. Look out Ben and Joe, Dee Cracks are coming outta Austria and they’re looking for you. The next heirs to the crown? I think they just might be!

–Ty Stranglehold (Stranglehold (Monster Zero)


DEAD FARMERS:
Go Home: CD
I’ve always had a theory that the best bands are the ones who listen to things that I would never listen to. Dead Farmers are definitely providing some good support for this theory. Distilling the best out of psychedelic rock so I don’t have to hear the shitty parts, Dead Farmers create a nice blend of garage rock with acid-fuzz. All in all a fun, solid album. –Bryan Static (Self-released, no address)


CONSTANT DOUBT:
On the Air, Against Their Will: Demo CD-R
Take the cheapest working stereo in your house you can find and set it in a room three doors away. Plop in a muffled recording of a friend’s band practice, press play, shut the door on the way out, head back into the original room you were in and enjoy the tunes. That’s what this sounds like. The occasional glimmer of something interesting can be heard in the muck, but for the most part, this doesn’t much register past “practice tape demo,” and as someone who’s made more than a few of those kinds of recordings, better placement of the boom box it was recorded on would’ve done wonders. –Jimmy Alvarado (Hostile Input)


COBRA SKULLS:
Bringing the War Home: CDEP
I’ve had a chance to see these guys live a couple times, so I have no doubt that they are an earnest bunch of fellows. I’m also glad they didn’t do another “theme” record like a few years back. So let’s get out the checklist, shall we? Produced by Fat Mike: check. Bad Religion cover: check. Punk rock tempos and political topics: check. For some reason I can only profess a marginal interest in this EP. Not something that I think will go into heavy rotation; it just doesn’t move me. –Sean Koepenick (Fat Wreck)


CITY WEEZLE:
Taboo: CD
Oh my. This might be the single worst thing I’ve ever gotten in my review package. (And that’s saying something—there are months that I’m pretty sure Todd’s just using me to review all the crap no one else will touch…) I guess I can put it like this: You ever had a friend that’s really good at their chosen instrument? They practice all day, and they know all kinds of stuff about music theory. Yet, when they’re in a band, it just comes out sounding like some sort of no soul, overly-complicated prog rock/funk/metal amalgamation of the worst shit that Primus and the Red Hot Chili Peppers never even dreamed of barfing on you. I do have a friend like that. I’ve had to suffer through his music for years and find nice things to say about it because I don’t want to cause trouble. Guess what? City Weezle are some French dudes I’ve never met, so I can say exactly what I want to say: THIS SUCKS. Avoid like the plague. –Ryan Horky (myspace.com/cityweezle)


CHRIST WRONG:
Demo: CD-R
This appears to be a compendium of two demos from these guys, “Vipe” and “Christwrong.” Both are very raw, very fast, and with a recording quality that sounds like a well-leveled practice recording, very much in line with the lo-fi, indie, blurt-vocal hardcore demographic they’re aiming for. Can’t say it blew my skirt up significantly, but it definitely looks like they put some work into it, right down to the origami-style packaging. –Jimmy Alvarado (Christ Wrong, myspace.com/christwrong)


CHIXDIGGIT:
Safeways Here We Come: CDEP
Here’s the thing about bubblegum—it’ll give you a nice high, but you can’t live off it. Sticky sweet stuff like that is best in small doses. I don’t think I could handle more than one Chixdiggit song at any given time, because I don’t want to get cavities. If you are the type of person who eats those candy necklaces and bright sugar dots on paper, you probably have the necessary resolve to enjoy this entire CD in one sitting. –Candice Tobin (Fat Wreck, fatwreck.com)


CHEAP MEATS:
Self-titled: 7”
Simple, no-frills punk rock. With short, beguiling tunes, some definite Ramones influence is in evidence, but they hold back enough to keep things from stepping into tributesville. –Jimmy Alvarado (All You Can Eat)


CHEAP FREAKS:
Teenage Brains: CDEP
This is retro garage punk from another dimension. There is so much intensity and badassery condensed in this woefully short EP. Surf rock guitar flies in from outer space, heating up and melting into organs and tambourine. It crash lands in your ears and all of a sudden you’re dancing along. –Candice Tobin (Psycho Sound, psychosoundrecords.blogspot.com)


CELLMATES:
Shoulda Kept That Quarter!: 7”

 

 

It’s so hard to review stuff like this. Cellmates play fast, kinda garagey (maybe garage-ish?), kinda hardcore-leaning punk. It didn’t make me want to cut off my ears, nor did it rock my socks off. Finding anything interesting or insightful to say about it is apparently beyond my abilities as a reviewer. –Ryan Horky (Wall Ride, wallriderecords.com)


BY A THREAD:
Self-titled: CD
Apparently, this is ex-members of Strain. Had I’d known, I would have steered clear. Strain were a tepid “hardcore” band in the ‘90s, and By A Thread are being touted as “post-hardcore.” Sounds like radio-friendly garbage me. Whiny vocals, over emotive delivery, polished recording, vapid lyrics, and the list of negatives go on. Gutless rock for a docile audience. –Matt Average (Revelation, revelationrecords.com)


BRICK MOWER:
Under the Sink: CD
Dirty, catchy, fun as fuck. Brick Mower favors simple see-saw chord changes, which happen to be scientifically proven to get you tapping along. These guys remind me of my favorite basement bands. –Candice Tobin (Viking On Campus/Stumparumper, myspace.com/vikingoncampusrecords, stumparumper.com)


BLABLA BLACKSHEEP:
Secret Messages: CD
Sesame Street for people in their twenties and early thirties? Wide-eyed enthusiasm. Light and tinkly instruments. An almost subliminal feeling that the listener’s learning things like “records are great!,” “apples are good,” “dancing’s both healthy and fun,” and “say hey to your neighbor.” It’s way twee; the opposite of the Raider Nation of Punk Rock, a land where good behavior is given gold stars and “nice is the new punk.” Yeah, the cute-o-meter’s pegged in the red, replete with toy xylophone, but they come across as very charming and earnest. Includes a really cool cover of FYP’s “Come Home Smelly.” –Todd Taylor (theblablas@gmail.com)


BIRDSTRIKE:
Demo ‘10: CD-R
Practice-room recording of jittery mid-tempo punk with huge jumps in volume and lyrics in Spanish and English. Not sure what the lyrics in Spanish are about, but the English stuff is pure nonsense. Pretty forgettable stuff; its biggest asset is that it’s over pretty quickly. –Keith Rosson (Bite The Cactus, bitethecactus@gmail.com)


BIG EYES::
“Why Can’t I” b/w “Your Lies”: 7”
Pop punk-inspired indie rock. Or maybe the other way around. Either way, they belong to the crop of bands like Teenage Cool Kids or Hard Girls or Halo Fauna. I guess what I’m trying to say is that this 7” is like the William Faulkner of 7”s. By which I mean, hey, this is pretty good –Bryan Static (Don Giovanni, dongiovannirecords.com)


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