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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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MARK SULTAN:
Self-titled: 7”
One of three simultaneous Mark Sultan-manned releases (along with The Ding Dongs and King Khan And BBQ Show), heralding the return of Sultan Records. Not only this, but Mark Sultan also released two LPs around this time. Could he be the Billy Childish of the new millennium? Three garage stompers featuring Sultan’s bass-y croon and some layers I wasn’t expecting (organ, strings). “Pounding” is top notch! Good stuff… lookin’ forward to future Sultan releases. –Sal Lucci (Sultan, marksultan.com)


NUCLEAR SANTA CLAUST:
Self-titled: 7”
The hilariously named Nuclear Santa Claust play gritty, fuzzy punk with echoing, shouted vocals. Their lyrics are as hilarious as their name, involving conspiracy theories like the moon landing, and other topics. Their riffs have strong hooks, and they have some cool lead parts that held my attention. I wasn’t into how the vocals were mixed though, sounding all echo-y and distant compared to the rest of the band. While I would have liked this better if the vocals were mixed differently, I’d still say it’s worth checking out. –Paul J. Comeau (Don Giovanni)


NOTHING IS OVER:
Negative Fucking Energy: 7”
Everything about this screams ‘90s violence worship. It’s a like a modern day stoner, East Coast version of Spazz. Dirty power violence played by weirdo punk dudes who obviously don’t take a whole lot seriously. –Ian Wise (Sit And Spin)


NOISE NOISE NOISE:
Buck Kuts: CD
Billings, Montana’s Noise Noise Noise have a trashy punk sound mixed nicely with some straight-up rock influence—the sound is stripped down, skeletal, and raw, which works for me. Such musical stylings are not innovative, to be sure, and oftentimes are stale and derivative, but this is not one of those times. These guys are one of those bands that do better with less production value. Good stuff. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Tummy Rock)


MOTHER’S CHILDREN:
Are You Tough Enough? E.P.: 12” EP
I gave these Canadian power poppers a few spins. They definitely grew on me after some listens, but I realized that I would need to listen to ‘em quite a bit more before I had some unshakeable desire to put the record on again. And the only way that I would hear them again is flanked by some other power pop songs I really like on a mix—if I still made mixes for myself. –Vincent Battilana (Taken By Surprise, takenbysurprise.net)


MOMMY SEZ NO:
Eeeeeeeeep!!!: CD
There’s something wrong with this band. They play their classic sleaze rock a little too well. They sound a little too authentic when they’re revving themselves into a frenzy, singing about the voices telling them to kill. Actually, freaking out is the theme of this album, with songs like “Panic,” “Scream,” “Mental Problem,” and “Outta My Mind Again.” It plays like non-fiction to such an extent that you could almost believe they had to gnaw their way out of straitjackets to make this music for you, and their goal is to spread their crazy around. It’s definitely contagious. Is that my dog telling me to carve out someone’s eyeballs? But my dog’s been dead for years. –mp (mommysezno.com)


MAXIES, THE:
Going Clubbin’: 7”
This is some high intensity pop punk rock’n’roll from Greenland! Being from Greenland, of course, the songs are going to touch close to home, spreading the message of clubbing seals (pro), global warming (pro), and of course, the clap. On this record, The Maxies manage to touch on all of these heavy-hitting subjects and more with tongue planted firmly in cheek with only their live show rivaling the amount of social consciousness discussed. We can all stand to learn a thing or two from The Maxies… one slightly ridiculous pop punk song at a time. –Mark Twistworthy (It’s Alive, itsaliverecords.com)


MATT EVANS:
Senseless EP / Old Flings EP: Cassette
This guy could divulge the secrets of the universe on the second track of this tape, but I will never know. I had to turn this open-mic-night-at-the-coffee-shop singer/songwriter off half way through the first song. –Vincent Battilana (Self Aware, selfawarerecords.com)


MANIC DEPRESSIVES / 0:30 SECOND FLASH:
Split: 12” 45
…I was lucky enough ((or on the ball enough, depending on how much you do or don’t factor blind chance into these types of things)) to mail order some of the classic New Orleans punk records back in the day ((‘81-’82)), and, with the hindsight that comes with reissues and liner notes and thinking and shit, it’s somewhat apparent in retrospect that, of the New Orleans bands with which i was familiar back in the day ((Manic Depressives, Red Rockers, Shell Shock)), it was the least heralded of the three—the Manic Depressives—who were seemingly most representative of what a reasonably interested outsider might term a “New Orleans sound.” Starting with the Normals and Skinnies, and continuing through the Manic Depressives and follow-up project 0:30 Second Flash, I’m seein’ the tenor of the times as being a sort of sinuous, speedy, melodic, uptempo affair—riding more on fleet basswork and quick harmonies than trying to methodically saw the listener in half via guitar ((a la Shell Shock)), or some kinda junior Clash clarion call to arms ((a la the Red Rockers)). As to how all this historical conjecture affects you, Al Franken, i guess it probably doesn’t, but some people like to know what ingredients are in their food, ya know? I guess the real question at hand is how the Manic Depressives lifetime output—a three-song single and two compilation tracks—has held up thirty-x years after the fact. The answer, punctuated by a tinny but heartfelt “Huzzah!”—is “surprisingly well.” I never thought the 1980 EP was a legit BLOCKBUSTER or anything, but i dug it—and, at odd times throughout the last thirty years, i’ve been liable to erupt into a non-sequitur chorus from any of the record’s three songs, so there’s clearly significant sticktuitiveness at play here. I actually think “Going out with the In-Crowd” is BETTER now than it was thirty years ago, just because they printed the original hand-scrawled lyrics on the back cover, and they’re darn fine words. IT’S ANTHEMY, MAN, IT’S ANTHEMY!!! The two comp tracks—”Not Worth the Time” and “Think For Yourself”—are right in line, quality-wise, with the EP tracks, which means that the only colossal piss-off is that the Manic Depressives enthusiasts among us have all of a mere FIVE songs with which we are supposed to content ourselves FOR THE REST OF OUR FUCKING LIVES. Well i never. One’d imagine an interested observer could trace their influence thru fast/melodic later-80’s bands like the Nils, et al, were one so disposed. 0:30 Second Flash were head Manic Larry Holmes ((aka “L the P”)) similarly-themed follow-up project, and their “No No” is probably better than any Manic Depressives song ((although, like i said, there’s only five of ‘em, so the odds weren’t numerically daunting)). Further, “Another Time” sounds kinda like the Spits, so there goes your proof. Great music from a great scene that, pound for pound, seemed leaps and bounds more vital and productive than contemporaneous, similarly-scaled, better-curated scenes like Portland and Seattle ((or so it appears to me, a rank outsider)), and you can put Larry Holmes of the Manic Depressives/0:30 Second Flash/Final Solution Records front and center on any list of early US punk movers/shakers who didn’t get anything even vaguely approaching their due. Keep the Saints out of the Packers’ way as we march to Super Bowl XLVI and I’ll sing your praises forever. BEST SONG: 0:30 Second Flash, “No No” BEST SONG TITLE: Manic Depressives, “Going out with the In-Crowd” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I might have reviewed the Manic Depressives EP for Ripper fanzine from San Jose but i really don’t remember now and if you know where i put my box of old fanzines, you’re a better man than I. –norb (Rerun)


MAHLEKET HANIKOT SHOTRIM:
Self-titled: CD
Clean, tight-as-hell Israeli street-punk/hardcore here. Don’t have a fuggin’ clue as to what they’re singing about (everything word here is written in Hebrew) but they kick up the dust quite nicely. –jimmy (Punk Records, no address [at least not one I can decipher])


LUNAR OUTPOST:
Confusion Is Forever: CD
This album is twelve songs and twenty-nine minutes of Finnish punk rock with keyboards and a bad mix. The guitars and keys are too high and the vocals often get run over by them. The drums are pretty far down and I’m not hearing much bass at all. I think, in some ways, this might be up the alley of a lot of Razorcake fans, as it reminds me of some of the bands I hear on the podcasts, but the mix seems so messed up that I can’t recommend it. –kurt (Lunar Outpost)


LIFE PARTNERS, THE:
Music Is Hard: LP
Starts off with number that is the worst take on At The Drive-In and Slint that I’ve ever heard. Then there’s some number that is so horrible that I don’t even think Jello Biafra would touch it. Those two turds are followed by a really bad Pink Floyd type song—you know, like any of the ones they did without Barrett. I couldn’t be bothered to listen to the back half. I can only hope that this is a joke. –Vincent Battilana (Ride The Snake, no address listed)


LEGION DCLXVI:
The Final Days: LP
Whoa! A new record from these guys. The last thing I remember hearing was in the ‘00s. What you get here is some dark and crunching metal in the realm of bands like Axegrinder and Hellshock. The songs move at a decent pace, never sludge, nor thrash. The title track is a moody piece that starts slow and then builds to a steady and constant pace—quiet guitars that have a despairing tone—all to underscore the lyrics. Then you have the speedier songs that pack a killer punch: “Delusions,” “Inherent Flaws,” and the rager “The End.” You have to hear the 4Skins cover. –Matt Average (Schizophrenic, schizophrenicrex.com)


LASH OUTS, THE:
Elation and Shame: CD
Power pop is a label that gets frequently thrown around to describe bands, but seldom fits. The Lash Outs are one of the few bands to which the label does them justice. Their sound is a fusion of punk and rock’n’roll with strong pop hooks, tongue-in-cheek lyrics, and guitar wankery all over. The result is a catchy album that you can’t help but smile while listening to. –Paul J. Comeau (The Lash Outs, thelashouts@hotmail.com)


LANDMINE MARATHON:
Gallows: CD
The latest release from Landmine Marathon (the band’s fourth and second for Prosthetic), finds them showcasing their fullest production and sound to date. The band’s grindcore and death metal roots are entirely in effect over the course of the eight songs. Grace Perry’s vocals sound amazing and are the strongest they have ever been (and they weren’t bad before, by any means). She has been honing her craft and her vocals are the main propellant of each song. While the novelty of a female vocalist may have gained the band some notoriety in the metal scene, by now Perry has made it clear that she can hold her own, and then some. My primary complaint with Gallows (beside the mere thirty minute time length) is the lack of conviction from the rest of the band. The music doesn’t seem to match the ferocity of Perry’s vocals, nor does it excite or break any new ground. There are very few memorable grooves, riffs, or breakdowns and if anything sticks out it is the occasional catchy discernable lyric from Perry. The music plays homage to many genres—hardcore, grind, thrash and death—but on Gallows, Landmine Marathon seems to show themselves to be a jack of all trades but not quite yet a master of any of them. –kurt (Prosthetic)


KOMATOS:
Two Hands: LP
Well, apart from some pretty rad solos (no, seriously!) and a plethora of pick slides, this seems like pretty damn passable d-beat/crust worship with some metallic leanings. Nice production, plenty of skulls, lyrics in Russian and English, and involvement from roughly a dozen different labels. Folks into, say, Portland, OR bands like Hellshock or Nux Vomica would do well to track this one down. –keith (Total Punk)


KING KHAN AND BBQ SHOW, THE:
Self-titled: 7”
It looks like King Khan And BBQ have kissed and made up, as this is their first record since the unfortunate break up in 2010. I don’t know if this heralds a full-fledged return of King Khan And BBQ Show, as details are scarce. On first listen, I didn’t much care for this record. I’ll admit I’m prejudiced against two-song 7”s, especially if one song is a cover. King Khan And BBQ Show’s 7”s and EPs usually leave me flat. I don’t know if they save their B-material for 7”s but I have been disappointed by most of them, which is a shame because I love King Khan And BBQ Show so much. It’s starting to grow on me, though. –Sal Lucci (Sultan, marksultan.com)


KAMALAS:
Self-titled: 7”
It’s like the 90’s are back. The record sounds too slow at 33, too fast at 45 and pop punk is coming out at both speeds. Sounds a lot like a lo-fi Tilt or maybe Discount. This is exactly the type of thing that I would have bought from the Mutant Pop distro catalog and spun a few times. Fans of the late-’90s ragged pop punk style will find a lot to like here. –frame (Fucking Scam, fuckingscam.bandcamp.com)


JOSH DAVID AND THE DREAM JEANS:
Can You Believe We Landed on the Moon?: CD
This is more than a little reminiscent of a very brief period between the first and second waves of U.S. punk, when the old guard was just starting to get taken over by a harsher new breed, yet still well within the period when punk rock was less about being a soundtrack for assholes beating each other up and more about raising a bit of a fuss just for the hell of it. Though I haven’t clue one as to where these guys are from, this specifically reminds me of that little clutch of early Texas bands like Legionaire’s Disease and The Dicks, bands who could make being abrasive and obnoxious sound like the greatest thing in the world. Mr. David sounds here like he’s trying desperately to shred his larynx into tiny bits of confetti, while his cohorts sneak in some tasty, creative bits as they smash and bash at their instruments like they were piñatas stuffed with money. Loud, crude, chaotic and all kinds of fucked up, and you get fourteen glorious tracks of it, punk. –jimmy (Josh David And The Dream Jeans, joshdavidandthedreamjeans@gmail.com)


IRON HAND:
Usurper Divine: 7” EP
Take everything I said about Iron Hand’s Liquid Assets release, and apply it here as well. There are four original tracks on Usurper Divine, including two of my favorite of their songs, “Old Habits,” and “Short Sighted.” There isn’t quite as much guitar wankery on this record as on Liquid Assets, but the riffs are just as awesome, and the lyrics are pointed and political, just the way I like. If crust or d-beat are your thing, you really need to check this band out already. –Paul J. Comeau (Red Scroll, ironhandcrushesall@gmail.com)


IMPOSTERS, THE:
Down by the Bay: EP
What happened here?! I thought their Pool Maintenance EP was pretty good, and heard a lot of good things about their LP (which I’m hoping to one day find). But this is not good. It’s as though they are working through some creative block and hammering out whatever they can. The songs sound uninspired and forced. Sounds like something bands do while messing around at practice, but that’s as far as songs like this should go. Blehhh... –Matt Average (Headcount, headcountrecords.com)


GRANNIES, THE:
For Those About to Forget to Rock: LP
Are the Grannies just a gimmick band, only entertaining because they play in drag? I think not. Now that they’re on their seventh full-length, it’s safe to say that they’re at least somewhat serious about their music. Or at least as serious as a group of grownups with a new song entitled “Denture Breath” can be. This is an almost too pretty package for the seedy Grannies: a beautiful gatefold LP, with a full CD copy of the album included as well. The music is the same as it’s always been, with aggressive verses bookending tuneful choruses/sing-alongs. Lot of similar, better bands (Trash Brats and Diesel Queens come to mind) broke up quickly, so these guys are scoring major stamina points, if nothing else. This is a solid sampling of the Grannies, as good as their earlier records I heard. At this rate, they seem to be in it for the long haul. They’ll be granny age for real by the time they hang it up. –Art Ettinger (Wondertaker, wondertaker.com)


GOD GIVEN ASS:
Checking If They’re Still Alive: CD-R
Atop my list of pet peeves are bands that send burned CDs of their 7” or LPs in for review instead of sending the actual product they wish to have reviewed. I instantly feel as if I cannot give this a fair review because of this, as I believe the review should encompass the entire package, which I don’t have in front of me. That being said, God Given Ass are a band from Finland who sent in a four-song CD-R of their new 7”. Musically, they play no-frills ‘70s-inspired punk. It seems fun and harmless, but I would like to have seen the actual 7” –Mark Twistworthy (Monsp, monsp.com)


GATSBYS AMERICAN DREAM:
Ribbons & Sugar: LP
The internet told me this was originally released by a Seattle band in 2003 and has been reissued on vinyl this year. The internet also told me this was Gatsbys American Dream’s second album and is a concept record loosely based on George Orwell’s important book Animal Farm. In turn, my brain warned me that ninety-five percent of concept albums are pretentious piles of shit and my ears confirmed this important axiom upon dropping the needle: a sprawling crap field of progressive punk emo with shifting time signatures and ill-advised songwriting twists and turns that never allowed any quality hooks to emerge. Avoid this at all costs unless complexity in rock and roll is your bag. –Jake Shut (Overdue Collection Agency)


FUTURE NOW, THE:
“Hangman” b/w “The Runaway”: 7”
I find the first song, “Hangman,” loses me quite quickly and drags on too long. It sounds like an outtake from Superunknown, which I still have on cassette. Busted it out to verify. Yep, sounds like the runt of the litter Cornell refused to sing on. The second song sounds like Stone Temple Pilots, and, yes, that really is all there is to say about it. I guess I just don’t understand the point of releasing something so identical to what I grew up listening to and, in its majority, completely ignoring. Pearl Jam released an album last year, and it didn’t sound like Ten. Real bands have their own sound, or at the very least their own approach. There’s no way this band can claim to have such a thing. –Rene Navarro (Kiss Of Death / Sound Study)


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