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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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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. –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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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)


BEYOND DESCRIPTION:
Proof of the Truth: CD
It’s been a good while since I have listened to anything from this Japanese band. I can’t recall what they sounded like in the past, either. I have a few releases but they haven’t seen the light of day in years since they were filed. Didn’t even know that they were still together. But here we are today, CD in hand. What ever they sounded like in the past, what I hear now really catches my attention. As the music pours out the speakers, I get the same sense of excitement as I did listening to Nuclear Assault or S.O.D.: Crossover thrash metal, true to the ‘80s style, with a tinge of Japanese hardcore added to it. Heavy and bright guitar riffings with fat bass tones create the sonic landscape. Punchy drum tones add the punch to the cheek to give the recording an almost concert-like experience. The vocals are gruff and add that punk rock flair. I personally like that none of the songs break the three-minute mark. Keeps the songs more focused. Fans of old school crossover or fans of modern bands like Municipal Waste should take note. –don (Crimes Against Humanity)


6MAS:
Rape the Earth: LP
This is a surprisingly well produced crust record with overtly “punk” (there is a song called “Fuck Punk Superstars” as well as “Emo Sucks” and “Arse Climbers”) and political lyrics that I assume lose a little in the English translation. The bulk of this album is played at a breakneck speed and the band hold their own with the more famous European crust imports, but I imagine that since this band is from the Czech Republic, they probably don’t get the accolades that their Western European peers do. However, 6Mas are more than competent at their style and would be right at home on Profane Existence or a similar label. They remind me a lot of the more metal-inspired crust bands like Extinction Of Mankind, but there are a lot of weird chord phrasings that pull easy comparisons to End Of All or Wolfbrigade. Very solid release for the style, but unfortunately, probably very hard to come by in the U.S. For fans of obscure crust, it’s definitely worth sifting through more internationally minded distros for this release, or trying to get in touch with one of the seven Czech labels that helped put this out –Ian Wise (co-release, bandzone.cz.6mas)


48 THRILLS:
Hand Claps and Ass Slaps: CDEP

 

This disc kicks right off with those warm Armchair Martian/Enablers-style guitars and I know I am in for a good time. The band has a real Banner Pilot/early Face To Face feel overall with some good melodic punk sounds and good vocals. Fans of Off With Their Heads would find a whole lot to like here as well. Good, ragged melodic punk from this Portland band. Seems like the average Razorcake reader would really love this. Would like to hear more from this band.

–frame (Self-released, myspace.com/48thrills)


ZOO:
Trilogi Peradaban: CD
A twenty-two song disc by an Indonesian band presented as a concept album in three movements about the evolution of civilization. The music itself is multi-faceted, chaotic, and challenging listening, to say the least. It’s rhythmic and its bass-heavy spasms give it some similarities to NoMeansNo, but its wild unpredictability and confrontational nature put it closer to Melt Banana and The Swans. Normally, music this experimental turns me off, but I found this release interesting enough to give it repeated listens. –Jake Shut (Tenzenmen, tenzenmen.com)


YOUNG GOVERNOR:
“Firing Squad” b/w “25 with a Bullet”: 7”
A mix of the Bay City Rollers and King Khan And BBQ? Does that sound too stupid? There’s a crisp eagerness and knowledgeable veteranship in Young Guv, matched to an infectious ear for music, and he’s not afraid to slow down, get electro-weird, go acoustic, or get lush. These two tracks show another dimension to the cut crystal of Ben Cook’s talent. Wholly enjoyable, worth tracking down, and I predict that his 7”s will become harder-than-hell to find the longer you sleep on it. –todd (Plastic Idol, plasticidolrecords.com)


YIS:
Kingdom of Fuzz: CD
Sometimes I wish I was a bona fide radio DJ, ‘cause a song like “(I Feel) Repulsed” screams “HIT TUNE” in big flashing red lights and I wanna be the guy that blasts it incessantly through the airwaves that permeate the Southern California basin. Its infectious retro new wave bounce brings to mind Echo And The Bunnymen in their more up-tempo moments, and lines like, “I love you so much it makes me sick/I feel repulsed” recall a sense of sly obnoxiousness that doesn’t pop up in similar sounding tunes quite as often these days. “Infin” similarly leans towards the new wave, in this case a bit more in the hypnotic direction of Tubeway Army, and the bulk of the band’s remaining tunes mine various hues of Detroit/’60s fuzz-inspired primal rock/punk, all of it done to the nines and infinitely listenable. A great debut, this, and definitely a band to keep an eye on. –jimmy (Yis, yisyisyis.com)


XTRA VOMIT / TROPIEZO:
International Split: 7” EP
Xtra Vomit: Hardcore ranging from fast to faster with tons of lyrics crammed into each tune. They can come across as a bit raw, but they do what they do quite effectively. Tropiezo: As with every other release they’ve put out thus far, you get top-tier hardcore with time changes up the yin-yang and songwriting that continues to be something to marvel at. Fuggin’ amazing they are, and if you haven’t stumbled upon Tropiezo yet, you’re seriously missing out. –jimmy (Discos De Hoy, discosdehoy@yahoo.com)


WRONG WORDS, THE:
Self-titled: CD

Power pop with some psychedelic influences and a bit of early XTC. The songs are catchy without being overbearing. I like the backing vocals for how they give the music another texture—a little sunnier in an already sunny-sounding band (if any of that makes sense). The guitar has a somewhat sparse sound, but clean, and the drums really are direct and effective. Must admit the opening lines to “A Cold Wind” are funny. “Cross the Line” is the strongest of the twelve and, alone, is worth picking this CD up.

–Matt Average (Trouble In Mind, troubleinmindrecs.com)


WORLD/INFERNO FRIENDSHIP SOCIETY:
The Anarchy and the Ecstasy: CD
Only the most cynical person could say there aren’t many good bands active today, if one is willing to dig a bit. That said, though, it is still a rarefied air that surrounds a band one considers great. You know, the bands whose songs you want to be played during your wedding/ birthday/ funeral/ break up/ indie movie montage. World/Inferno has been on my honor roll ever since I first heard them, and this release cements that status. The “loose conspiracy” of members making up the punk rock cabaret orchestra has shifted since their last releases, losing such longtime members as guitarist Lucky Strano and mustachioed keyboard man Franz Nicolay, but the band holds solid around lead spiel man Jack Terricloth and bassist/vocalist Sandra Malak. There is not a dud among the songs here which carry on the band’s tradition of joyous hard-luck stories and vaudevillian politics. “Canonize Philip K. Dick, Ok” is one of the band’s finest songs and one of the catchiest indictments of disillusionment ever put to tape. The peak of the album, though, is “The Politics of Passing Out,” which is my favorite song this year and one of the few that would make it onto my personal list of absolutely perfect songs. From the slow-build start, to the simultaneously heartbroken and joyous lyrical imagery, and the rising vocal duet at the end, this song alone would justify the existence of this band and makes this album a worthy purchase. –Adrian Salas (Chunksaah)


WIZZARD SLEEVE / TRUE SONS OF THUNDER:
Split: 7”
Wizzard Sleeve! Love their LP on Hozac from a while back, and this song, “Setting Fire to Your Loft” is of the same caliber. Dark, lurking, and dirty. The music oozes and splurts. It’s the synthesizer that lures you into the den of iniquity. Comparisons can be made to Blank Dogs, but Wizzard Sleeve are much more sinister sounding, and what pop there is in their music is sparing. Music for those who want something different and something better than what’s on offer by the truckload. True Sons Of Thunder give the world “Butt Bong,” which is a noisy, lumbering song where the music drones and the vocals talk over the din. Kind of an afterthought. Pick this up for Wizzard Sleeve. –Adrian Salas (Jeth-Row, jethrowrecords@yahoo.com)


WHITE ORANGE: :
“…And This Is Why I Speak to You in Parables” : 12”
Thick vinyl picture disk with trippy, quasi-religious art. Side A: One thirteen-minute psychedelic metal song that alternates between hardcore slowbuilds and cool desert rock. The song carries the long run time well. It’s focused without being monotonous and dynamic without being scattered. Side B: Five-minute edit of Side A, for when you’re smoking a one hitter instead of a bowl. –CT Terry (Made In China, madeinchinarecords.com)


WHISKEY & CO:
Rust Colors: CD
Another good, solid, alt country disc from this Florida band. Featuring members of the Takers, this is perfect music for a cold beer and warm sunset evening. Not really much more to say than that; third album in and Whiskey & Co. is still going strong. –frame (No Idea)


WEIRD TV:
Self-titled: Cassette
Man, there’s a slight pop sensibility applied to these riffs that definitely didn’t come across in the live show. The vocals sound a lot more level and less growly than live, which, until now, has been the only way I’ve experienced Weird TV. This band is made up of some really cool kids from Olympia that are all about hardcore, fanzines, and, apparently, chola culture. I would highly recommend this for fans of Fire Party, the Gits, or even Spitboy. The cover of “Gloria” is sheer brilliance. This tape is punk as fuck and makes me feel the way I used to feel when listening to my Demon System 13 tape: on edge and ready to push someone. I hadn’t heard it since I saw them play and now I’m wishing I could turn back time and do it all over again. –Rene Navarro (Self-released)


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