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· 1:The Rikk Agnew Band, Symbol Six, Barrio Tiger and A Pretty Mess
· 2:Interview with Adam Gnade
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· 4:Burn Burn Burn Interview
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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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BATTLE RIFLE:
Guaranteed Ta Rattle Dat Trunk!!!: 7” EP
Grindy ADD-core that’s pretty much mix’n’match with most any other band playing the same stuff. The smartass, gangsta rap-inspired song titles are a hoot though—”I Believe You, but My Tommy Gun Don’t, Bitch,” “Bow to the Chocolate Crucifix,” “Ain’t Got No Love for Dem Triflin’ Ass Hoes,” you get the picture. –Jimmy Alvarado (trekbgh@yahoo.com)


BASTARD NOISE, THE / ENDLESS BLOCKADE, THE:
The Red List: CD
Bastard Noise is sounding more like later period Man Is The Bastard. As though they’re picking up where they left off with “Thoughtless”: signature bass domination from Wood, with blasts of electronic noise from Nelson. They veer off path with “USA Today,” which is more of a soundscape and really suffers from too long of a duration, and “Underworld” which segues from “Mutant World of Shame.” This has its moments, but this group is capable of doing better. The Endless Blockade, as always, destroy. They’re delving more into the noise similar to Bastard Noise on here as well. “Deuteronomy” is a bit of an epic, with some of the headiest lyrics I’ve yet to encounter in the underground music scene—religion, politics, manipulation all in one song. “Advance Directive” sounds like a song on fast forward and looped, and “Model 49 Rebreather” is an exercise in noise and endurance. –Matt Average (20 Buck Spin, 20buckspin.com)


BASS DRUM OF DEATH:
High School Roaches: 7” EP
“High School Roaches” is the catchiest tune here, a nice bit of trash with a memorable hook in the chorus. The other three tunes are equally well done, with “You’re Haunting Me” being the zippiest and “Spare Room” being the most brooding and experimental. Nice bit of work here. –Jimmy Alvarado (Baby Donut, no address)


BALACLAVA:
Shame: 7”
I don’t spend too much time, err, really any time at all listening to crust or d-beat. I mean, my favorite Dis-band is Discount. Thus I can’t really say if this going to float the average crusty’s boat or how it compares to genre-mates. Personally, I think it’s okay, but, as I said, I don’t really have a good basis for comparison. –Vincent Battilana (Forcefield)


BAD TASTE:
I Was a Teenage Jack the Ripper: 7” EP
Eighties-tinged hardcore that sounds like they’re paddling for that spot between Negative Approach and Bad Posture. Tunes are solid, ADD length, and appropriately primitive. Also includes a sloppy cover of “Summertime Blues.” –Jimmy Alvarado (feralkidrecords.com)


AYE-AYES, THE:
Bravado: CD
Pretty general rock’n’roll, though it’s kind of quiet and reserved most of the time. As I keep listening, there’s a few goofy moments where I’m briefly reminded of Egghead, but they’re very brief. There are a few odd solos throughout, but I can’t really figure out any specific influences. Ultimately, the whole thing feels thrown together. –Joe Evans III (Self-released)


AUDIO OK:
Good Men: CDEP
Weird sounding. Like if you got Bela Lugosi to actually front a minimalist post-punk/goth band. A bit more German though. Unfortunately, that’s a little cooler sounding than the results here end up being. –Adrian (Pussycat Kill Kill, info@pussycatkillkill.de)


ANGRY SNOWMANS:
Self-titled: CD
It’s weird getting a Christmas CD in June and even more odd is me listening to one. A fun collective from Victoria, BC who have taken the model that Manic Hispanic have made popular and bring you elf-core. They take many OC and punk classics and put on the X-mas and elf flavor on top. Taking the Misfits “Last Caress” and making it into “Last Christmas” or converting the Adolescents classics “Kids of the Black Hole” and “Amoeba” into “Elves of the North Pole” and “Hannukah.” Definitely a keeper and that one record you go to when making X-mas mix tapes for you friends as gifts. I wonder if they only play the last three months of the year? –Donofthedead (Angry Snowmans, myspace.com/angrysnowmans.com)


ANCHOR, THE:
Self-titled: CD
It took me a couple of spins, but this is pretty alright. This album is straightforward, gruffy, pop punk of the melodic variety. One guy sounds like Jason Shevchuk and the other sounds like… well, a dude with a beard and possibly camo shorts. Listening to this makes me regret not going to see them when they swung through a few weeks ago, due to it being a work night (ahh, for the days of not worrying about getting less than eight hours of sleep). Is it groundbreaking? No, I wouldn’t say that, but the songs feel comfortable. I mean that in a good way. This would be a good soundtrack to go out for a walk when it’s warm out to decompress. Summer day punk rock… is that a genre yet? I was gonna try to avoid doing name drops this time, but I can’t avoid it. This sounds like the missing link between None More Black’s Loud About Loathing, Banner Pilot’s Pass the Poison, and a dash of Lawrence Arms, which is pretty good company in my book. –Adrian (ADD, Hot Dogs & Records)


AMISTAD, THE:
Kept Under by a Generation of Ghosts: CD
The Amistad are a British band that plays poppy emo punk, whatever that means. I already referenced them in another review I’m working on, but there are a lot of similarities between this band and the band The Reason from Ontario. I’m kind of tired of hearing so many bands that sound like this but, at the same time, keep me from hating them because their songs are kind of infectious. They provide no redeeming value but do provide some good toe tapping, head-bobbing times. Chances are, however, that you already have albums by bands like this in your collection that are just as good. These albums are the hardest to review, so check it out at your own risk or you too might be sucked into the great sound of mediocrity and indecision. –Kurt Morris (Bombed Out, bombedout.com)


ALICJA-POP:
“Shining Apple” b/w “Walking the Cow”: 7”
If you haven’t listened to I’m Your Negative by the River City Tanlines at least 1,000 times, I highly encourage you to track down a copy and indulge in the brilliance that is that full-length. Within that album you are exposed to a vast array of tempos and variances of hostility. From the most seemingly mellow to the most completely unchecked, unhinged, borderline psychotic aggressiveness. Moral of the story; Alicja Trout (songsmith of the River City Tanlines and the 7” at hand) has this ability to write these incredibly diverse songs that ooze of passion and complexity while always being completely and undeniably hers. So when a 7” single comes through that’s Alicja Trout recording two nonchalant synthy slow jams, it’s very easy for me to exit my world of angry, hostile, prejudices against stuff of the sort, and enter her world of tried and true songwriting, hence, me enjoying these songs for what they are. And they are awesome. –Daryl Gussin (Certified PR)


AGATHA:
Panic Attack: Cassette
Definite Olympia sound from the 1990s. Take some Bikini Kill, throw in some Sin 34, and you sort of get what this sounds like. Raw punk that refuses to be a pose. There’s a message in the lyrics and it’s delivered with convincing anger and insight. My favorite song of the seven is “Buying Time.” The music is urgent and the lyrics are great, with lines like; “Let us learn from our parent’s past / Put time in our communities, not in our shopping bags,” and “I’ve never had a picket fence, and I don’t want a cul-de-sac!” I’m a middle-aged old bastard, and lyrics like this still ring true! –Matt Average (agatha206@yahoo.com)


ABSINTHE ROSE:
Diggin’ Ditches & Escaping Holes: CD
I’m not normally a fan of the singer/songwriter setup. This hasn’t changed my opinion. A hatchling of politi-chick Ani DiFranco, Ms. Rose rips acoustic chords and pleads into the mic. If duplication is flattery, Ani should be blushing. Unfortunately, most of the melodies and rhythms sounded recycled and I would have appreciated more of a political slant instead of a broken hearted one. –Kristen K (Screech Owl, screechowlrecords.com)


ABOVE THEM:
Keep Smiling: CD Single
Two-song CD single from this U.K. punk trio. First song is from their first full length-Blueprint for a Better Time, while the second track is an acoustic reworking of a song from their first EP. Tough to judge a band on six minutes of material, but these tunes have got me amped up to do something nutty—like go grab a Big-Un at a 7-11! Next time send the whole record, boys. –Sean Koepenick (Inhaler, inhalerrecords.co.uk)


YOUNG LIVERS:
Of Misery and Toil: CD
While I “liked” The New Drop Era when it first “dropped” (not funny), for some reason I was quick to kinda shrug it off as yet another “We’re from Gainesville and man we dig HWM” band. It wasn’t until seeing Young Livers play that it really hit me. The on-stage intensity completely floored me, and since that Common Grounds set they’ve become a staple of my daily listening. And, sure, probably no one would be surprised to learn this band is from Gainesville, but they certainly bring a lot more to the table than I initially gave them credit for. The passion on this record (and its predecessor, for that matter) is palpable. But dang, the more intricate harmonies and melodies, both vocal and instrumental, totally rocket Of Misery and Toil to a different level than Young Livers’ debut. I can’t wait to see this band again with these songs in my brain, inevitably shaking an angry-yet-hopeful fist in the air and shredding these vocal chords. Killer. –Dave Williams (No Idea)


ALPHABET, THE:
Demo: CD-R
Energetic indie rock with Built To Spill guitar noodles. Keep an eye out for this band, but do your ears a favor and skip this demo because the recording is so trebly that it hurts to listen to. I kept going, “Hey, this sounds cool!” then turning it up and shouting in pain. –CT Terry (myspace.com/thealphabetva)


YOUNG GOVERNOR:
“Cindy’s Gonna Save Me” b/w “Cannabanoids”: 7”
Is Ben Cook the sleeper Canadian reincarnation (of a non-dead) Billy Childish from the early ‘90s? It seems that every two months, there’s new music by him, be it through Marvelous Darlings, Fucked Up, or Young Gov. I haven’t heard any flat spots. He’s got his aesthetic nailed: exploitation of limitations. And that equals effortless, prolific, insanely catchy songs. “Lo-fi, agitated pop” doesn’t quite do it justice. I’d say just-right-fi punk that’s as much about melody as it is shooken agitation. It’s like if mods, rockers, and punks weren’t allowed wear clothes to show how different they were; instead, they had to fight out their differences naked. With solely talent and instruments. The goal? Writing a song that’d have the whole room singing along by the time the stylus hits the taper-off groove in the center of the record. Young Governor wins again. –Todd Taylor (Dirtnap)


YOUNG GENERALS:
“Reconnecting” b/w “Thirty One Winters”: 7”
I like New Found Glory as much as the next guy—assuming the next guy doesn’t like them—and I like Hot Water Music, but probably much less than the next guy. I’m guessing that is why I think the only redeeming quality of this 7” is that the vocals are low enough in the mix to barely be bothered by them. –Vincent Battilana (Intervention, interventionrecords.com)


X:
Wild Gift: LP
A re-issue of Los Angeles’s X’s second full-length from 1981. The packaging’s gorgeous. The vinyl’s nice and thick. The mastering’s booming. If you’re new to X, here are the crib notes. The first four full lengths—Los Angeles, Wild Gift, Under the Big Black Sun, and More Fun in the New World—are well worth your time and are as good as any mid-paced punk during X’s early tenure. It gets pretty dicey after that. (Ain’t Love Grand was produced by a pop metal dude. Not a great idea. And Billy Zoom had one foot out the door, saying that he’d quit if the band didn’t get more popular. That didn’t happen. Billy left the band for many years in 1986.) In Wild Gift, X mastered the alchemy of twisting crooked country roots into the then-still-new punk blast, planting male and female vocals into that soil, fertilized it with poetry, and it bloomed like a rose garden. X’s early catalog is beautiful, it’s thorny, it was carefully cultivated, and since it’s been properly tended, has lasted decades and is set for a long preservation. As well it should. Highly recommended. (PS: On the back cover, Billy Zoom is sitting on an AllState scooter. Those were the American-sold Vespas that Sears had on their mailorder for only a couple of years. Stylish.) –Todd Taylor (Porterhouse)


X:
Home Is Where the Floor Is: 7”
Here is a re-release of the Australian band X’s 1978 debut single. Shredding early punk that immediately gets rocking in a Damned, U.K. Subs kind of way. Works for me. They re-pressed this and their first LP in time for their first American tour only thirty-two years later. The old geezers sound great live and it’s a real treat to have this record in my collection. –Ty Stranglehold (Rocknroll Blitzkrieg)


WOUNDED LION:
Self-titled: CD
Art + punk, as seen through the lens of early Talking Heads and Velvet Underground (plus a tiny bit of the Muppets). Wounded Lion are pleasantly minimal, sparse, androgynous, mid-paced, and jangly. They’re also secretly funny. The pretension and self-absorption that often goes with this style of music is replaced by a nice dose of humor. If David Byrne or Lou Reed singing about the Degobah System (where Yoda’s from) or Crünchy Stars (most likely an ode to the Swedish Chef’s short-lived Cröonchy Stars cereal (while avoiding a lawsuit)) sounds like a fun time to you, I roundly endorse Wounded Lion. Super solid stuff. –Todd Taylor (In The Red)


WILLFUL NEGLECT:
Both 12” on One LP: LP
Absolutely awesome reissue here! Willful Neglect was a hardcore band out of Minnesota that ran from 1981 to 1984. During that time they record two LPs, both collected here, and a third LP, Big Enough to Get It, that never made it to vinyl, but was issued on the discography CD that came out on Neglected Records in 2003. The music was fast hardcore with some rock elements to give them more mass: think of White Cross, but not afraid to slow down a smidge here and there. “E.M.S.& D.” is a great opener for their debut LP, and a song that will be instantly memorable. Both LPs are great, and there’s a slight progression between the two. The second has a bit more of an edge. They have a weird robot-like intro for “Scratch-N-Sniff” that breaks up the thrash assault. Glad to see bands like this getting the reissue treatment, as it shows a bit more of what was happening at the time than just the usual suspects from the coasts. –Matt Average (Havoc, havocrex.com)


WIDE ANGLES:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Take one: Vocalist sounds like: Beard inside his throat. Band smells like: Beer as a perfume. Lyrics sound like: Depression as a call to arms. Lettering looks like: Cometbus’s handwriting. Summer plans look like: Fest-bound. Sounds like the band listens to: Altaira, Tim Version, and Hot Water Music. Take two: While all the aforementioned is observable and verifiable, good bands always have a mystery; some deeply ponderous, and some, “Huh, I’m not sure why I like it, but I do.” The Wide Angles, although fitting almost too neatly into previous templates and jigs (devices that hold a piece of machine work and guides the tools operating on it; not the dance), I hear a spirit in the Wide Angles. It’ll be interesting to see how they flesh things out. –Todd Taylor (Let’s Pretend / No Breaks)


WHITE WHALE:
Demo: Cassette
Fuzzed-out garage punk played with hardcore intensity and velocity, but still retaining the essential vocal catchiness. Souped-up pop punk that reminds me of Scared Of Chaka, with an underlying weirdness like Monorchid and Skull Control. Terrific shit. Four songs. From Buffalo. –CT Terry (Self-released)


WHITE LUNG:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Was kinda worried, judging from the cover, that I was in for some sorta rock music stuff. Should’ve paid more attention to the label it was on, though, ‘cause what you get is female-fronted punk/hardcore that is more eloquent than those merely pushing for speed ‘n’ meathead points. The songs are more creatively structured than the usual lot, and the guitar shies away from relying on barre chords, but none of the anger is lost in the delivery. –Jimmy Alvarado (Deranged)


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