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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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SOILED DOVES:
Soiled Life: CD
The collages in the booklet were neato. I pinned it to the wall next to the disc, which got embedded there when I chucked it across the room in disgust. –Jimmy Alvarado (GSL)


SMOGTOWN:
Tales of Gross Pollution: CD
You know what? Fuck Smogtown. Do they not know how fucking hard it is to simply FIND a favorite band these days, let alone flat-out adore every release said favorite band manages to release? This has been the case for notoriously picky-ass me, who has not gone more than a few days without listening to something by them since having Beach City Butchers blasted into my ears while taking a trip in the Retoddmobile not long after its release. I even became a “Smog City Waver,” the first time I’ve EVER come close to belonging to anything even remotely resembling a fan club (thanks Todd, by the way). Smogtown was the ultimate statement of “real” Southern California at the turn of the millenium, a final “fuck you” to the limp joke that the ‘90s turned out to be and a rousing “where’s the fucking party, asshole?” welcome to the zero years we currently find ourselves in, a reaffirmation to those of us who’ve been around longer than Green Day has existed that the good shit was still alive and kicking and still not making radio waves. With two albums, a 10-inch and a slew of singles and comp tracks, these guys are responsible for ramming some truly crucial “we just don’t give a fuck” punk rock noise up the ass of an American punk underground that had apparently forgotten that it was supposed to be a threat to the cultural mainstream and not a breeding ground to tomorrow’s boy band heroes. And now they’ve fucked off and broken up. Yeah, they were kind enough to toss us this helping of early demos on their way out the fuckin’ door, and it is some righteous shit, but it just ain’t the same knowing that, aside from a rumored final album due from TKO, this is all there’s gonna be. They’re history now, the fucking bastards, and we are all the worse off for it. In emulation of Money’s sign-off on their obit a couple of issues back, I remain… –Jimmy Alvarado (Disaster)


SMOGTOWN:
Tales of Gross Pollution: CD
Yes! I love Smogtown! A Southern California retro explosion! The sort of thing that would not be out of place on the Beach Blvd. compilation (for the record, the greatest comp of all time!). And that’s saying a lot! Totally crazed beach punk ‘80s new wave hardcore insanity! This CD puts together nineteen early recordings – great stuff! But if you haven’t heard ‘em yet, buy this AND their album DomesticViolenceLand. If you don’t like it, you must not like punk! And if you do like ‘em, it’s time to put a gun to your head, ‘cause they just broke up! This is Corn Pops! –Maddy (Disaster)


SLANDERIN, THE:
A Rhumba of Rattlesnakes, a Murder of Crows: CD
This is one very fucking cool CD. The Slanderin don’t do anything unique by any means. Their lyrics are horror themed like The Misfits, their music is mostly rockabilly like Reverend Horton Heat (even got the stand up bass) and the vocals seem a lot like Lemmy is singing a lot of them (my friend Darby gave me an even better description: TSOL meets Dick Dale meets The Misfits). Their songs vary a bit from surf guitar to straight up rockabilly to even a waltz (which is one of the best songs on the CD). If you are a fan of this type of music, you will no doubt enjoy The Slanderin. I have worn out this CD already and am looking forward to their next one. –Toby Tober (Split 7)


SHUDDER TO THINK:
Curses, Spells, Voodoo, Mooses: CD
A reissue of this long-running DC band’s first album, long out of print and making its debut on CD. Originally released in 1988 on Sammich, this is very much a product of the time and place from which it came, in that it is intelligent pop with punk influences coming from the same primordial soup that spawned emo (a term I use in reference to the post-DC hardcore sound and not the insipid drivel that goes by that name these days), creative and inspired in both delivery and structure. Also includes the band’s first 7” and an unreleased track. –Jimmy Alvarado (Dischord)


SHARP KNIFE/QUEER WÜLF:
Split: LP
Both of these bands are fucking great. They both have bits and pieces of Fleshies and the Thumbs coupled with a fine tradition of bands that might not be revolutionizing rock and roll or anything, but will sure as hell rock your living room like their lives depend on it. Both of them play catchy, scruffy, sweat-drenched punk rock, which is just the way this reviewer likes it. This is the perfect excuse for buying a record player. –Josh (This Here)


SHARK PANTS:
Porno Snakehead: CD
I saw Shark Pants play in Torrance last year. They were sandwiched between two of my favorite bands: the Knockout Pills and Toys That Kill. Much to my surprise, Shark Pants stole the show. No disrespect to the Knockout Pills and Toys That Kill; they were both awesome, but I expected them to be awesome. I didn’t expect anything out of Shark Pants and they blew me away. It was a solid wall of sound that carried with it all of what I love about punk rock from Tucson: the noisy insanity of The Blacks, the trashy humor of the Weird Lovemakers, sneaky melodies like the Knockout Pills. Beyond all of this, Shark Pants seemed to simultaneously explode and keep shit tight as hell. That night in Torrance still ranks among my all-time favorite shows. I think of it so fondly that any Shark Pants album would have a tough act to follow. For me to fully endorse Porno Snakehead, Shark Pants would have to take all the energy and rock from their live show and capture it into plastic. That’s a pretty tough thing to ask of any band. Still, at first, it seemed as if Shark Pants were equal to the task. The first four songs explode out of the speakers like free beer and 2 AM promises. I thought we had a classic in the making. Then, “Later Alligator” takes its turn as the fifth song on the album, and, through some inexplicable force of nature, someone in Shark Pants starts screaming like Robert Plant “Baby, baby, baby (keep repeating).” And it bummed me out so much that I almost couldn’t listen to the next song. In fact, I get so mad every time I hear those baby, baby, babies that I can’t seem to enjoy the last four songs, though they do have all the rock I’d hoped for. In fact, this album is about seven baby, baby, babies from being perfect. But seven baby, baby, babies is a lot, especially when they’re right in the goddamn middle of everything, goddamn it. I think I’m just gonna burn the first four songs and the last four songs onto a CD of my own and start telling people that I have the elusive Shark Pants demo and that it’s way better than Porno Snakehead. –Sean Carswell (Recess)


SGT. 6 ASSAULT:
self-titled: 7"
Two short blasts, of lean, mean punk rock, the first being an original clocking in at 1:12 and the second a cover of Slaughter and the Dogs’ “The Bitch” that ain’t much longer. Good stuff. –Jimmy Alvarado (Rapid Pulse)


SGT 6 ASSAULT:
self-titled: 7"
“True drug-addled, hate-inspired, precision punk rock in the form of one minute tunes.” That’s what their label says about this record and even though the tunes were a little over one minute, that’s a good description for this. It’s a two-song punk rock single with all the trimmings. If you like fast and furious punk, here you go. Don’t mind that the band has long since split. The music will still remain the same: fast and rockin’. Well done and put out by Rapid Pulse, who are known for mainly doing 7”s of their favorite bands –Guest Contributor (Rapid Pulse)


SELECTER:
Real to Reel: CD
A mixed bag here. When they stick to the ska-oriented originals, one can still hear the creative spark that made them such hot shit back during the height of the original two-tone thang. Their covers of reggae standards like “Stepping Razor” and “Armagideon Time,” however, pale in comparison to the originals and come off here as nothing more than space fillers and time killers. Maybe I was expecting more than I should have, but when we’re talking about a band with as strong a rep as the Selecter has, it’s kind of hard not to. –Jimmy Alvarado (Captain Oi)


SCRAPS AND HEART ATTACKS:
Still Sick: CD
Pissed-off hardcore with that big Marshall sound. Surprisingly stronger than expected. –Jimmy Alvarado (Triple Crown)


SCOTCHGREENS:
O.C.6.16.02: CD
Live country/roots-punk like Flogging Molly tearing a jig with the Supersuckers. Pretty good sound. Perhaps you will dance your own dance. –Cuss Baxter (Accident Prone)


RUNNAMUCKS:
Of a Different Breed: CD
Here’s the facts: this band who I am only vaguely familiar with fucking rocks (and thrashes) like a slightly better recorded Jerry’s Kids, who happen to be one of my all-time favorite hardcore bands. There’s werewolves on the cover, and I was too lazy to check the lyrics, but it’s highly possible that there are some werewolf songs as well. That’s just icing on the cake, though. When bands rip it up as much these guys, they don’t even need werewolf songs to rope me in. –Josh (Six Weeks)


ROCKET FROM THE TOMBS:
Rocket Redux: promo CD
Produced and recorded by Richard Lloyd of Television! Need I say more? Hey, even The Stooges got back together, so why not RFTT? If there was a Cleveland band responsible for spawning one worthy act after another (Pere Ubu and The Dead Boys), RTFF should take the credit, but they can’t hold a candle to glory of The Dead Boys. No sir. I know I’m getting a lot of flack for this because all you record collector types are immediately going to poo poo what I just said. Well, fuck you. I think The Pagans rule, anyways. –Namella J. Kim (Smog Veil)


ROCKET FROM THE TOMBS:
Rocket Redux: CD-EP
Three tracks (“Sonic Reducer,” “Amphetamine,” and “Muckraker,” respectively) from a forthcoming full-length release of new recordings from this legendary band, apparently their first ever proper “studio” effort. I’ll let you know more as soon as the full-length comes out. –Jimmy Alvarado (Smog Veil)


ROCKBOTTOM:
Throw Away: CD

If you wanted to hear four ordinary looking Japanese guys play a mixture of Cheap Trick and Kiss meets AC/DC, this is your potion for headbanging fun. If you are a drummer, this is even a bigger boner. The guy is a banger who is tech and wild at the same time. The songs are infectious and also on the border of being cliche. Songs sung in English with the strong accent off Japanese. Interesting.

–Donofthedead (Target Earth)


RIVERDALES:
Phase Three: CD
I never really bought all the claims that Screeching Weasel sounded like the Ramones. Sure, there were some basic similarities in the guitars and drums, but there were also some glaring differences: Ben’s singing style was snotty (he sounded more like Fat Mike than Joey Ramone), Dan Panic had a way of filling in empty spaces in the song with some genuinely amazing drumming, and Jughead’s guitar was way too happy to get confused with Johnny Ramone’s. When Screeching Weasel broke up for the first (or second, or third, I never could keep track) time, and Ben took his rhythm section with him and formed The Riverdales. They eliminated Jughead’s guitar and thus started sounding more like the Ramones. It seemed to be the point. Still, Ben’s singing was snotty and Dan Panic’s drumming was amazing. Then, we had some reunions and breakups of the Riverdales/Screeching Weasel combinations, some newcomers adding different wrinkles, some awesome albums and some albums we should all forget about (cough-cough-Emo-cough-cough), and now we’re back to a broken-up Screeching Weasel and a reformed Riverdales, minus Dan Panic, plus Dan Lumley on drums. And now, they really sound like the Ramones. I mean, they really sound like the Ramones. Like, I could be playing this album and you could walk into the room and get a weird look on your face for a solid five minutes as you try to figure out which Ramones album this is, yet not ask me which Ramones album this is lest you be caught not knowing all the Ramones albums instantly upon walking into a room. Ben’s singing has lost the snottiness, he’s deepened his voice, and he now sounds a lot like Joey. Dan Lumley doesn’t have the fills that Dan Panic had (damn, do I miss that Dan Panic drumming), and the bass for Screeching Weasel/Riverdales always sounded like the Ramones. So now they’ve finally gotten there. I’ll say it again, they really sound like the Ramones. But, of course, this begs the question: if you want to listen to something that sounds this much like the Ramones, why not just play a Ramones album? I’m not sure that I have the answer to that one. But I do keep playing this Riverdales album, even if I’m not sure why. –Todd Taylor (145 Records)


RIPCORDZ:
What if They Held a Revolution and Nobody Came?: CD
These guys are punk as fuck and play fifteen tracks of good punk rock. The songs go from fast to slow to mid-paced, and you’ve got your singalongs in here, too. It’s all good stuff. They hail from Montreal, Quebec and have been around for over ten years. The lyrics cover a wide variety of topics. This is a solid release and I must also say the packaging is good. From all the pictures in this CD, the crowd at their shows looks like they are having one hell of a time. Get this CD and you will too. –Guest Contributor (Mayday Records)


RICKSHAW:
Sonic Overload: CD
Big sound Scandinavian rock bands are dime-a-dozen nowadays. Time to find another genre to run into the fucking ground, kids. –Jimmy Alvarado (Devil Doll)


REVOLVERS, THE:
End Of Apathy: CD
The Revolvers straddle a line between The Boys and The Supersuckers with surprisingly good results. It’s pretty amazing how well bands from Europe can take American rock and turn it on its ear. Melodic punk, with a huge rock sound, but they do start to lose some steam three-quarters of the way in. –Guest Contributor (I Used To Fuck People Like You In Prison)


REAGAN NATIONAL CRASH DIET:
Sucktastic: CD
Of the eight tracks here, only “White Man (Remix)” didn’t sound like a variation on the bad college punk that comprise the other tracks. “Sucktastic,” indeed. –Jimmy Alvarado (Rooster Crow)


RADIO ONE:
demo: CD
This is a nine-song demo of power punk. Reminds me a lot of the US Bombs recent material. Good punk songs with lots of hooks and melodies. It’s well done and there’s even a reggae tune at the end for you. Yes, they have been influenced by the Clash and US Bombs, but who cares? That’s not bad and this band makes good music, which is what counts at the end of the day. If I’m not mistaken, these guys are from Southern California, too. All in all, a good demo. Check their website to see how you can get your copy and check ‘em out if they play your town. –Guest Contributor (Radio One)


QUEER WÜLF:
Self- titled: 7"
Fuck yeah, what a good record. If you’re looking for a new favorite band that doesn’t fit into any pre-existing punk rock niche, and you often find yourself soaking your undies to the sound of bands like the Grabass Charlestons and the Dead Things, look no further. You can almost smell the stale beer and sweat while this record is playing. –Josh (This Here)


PURRS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
In some ways, this is exactly the type of album you would expect from a label called “Garage Pop,” and songs with titles like “Got Kissed” and “Birthday Party” sound pretty much like you’d expect them to. It’s female-fronted (the band is seventy-five percent female), and it owes a lot to Nikki and the Corvettes, the Go-Gos (or at least Jane Wiedlin), and Holly Golightly. There’s even a song that asks the age-old question, “Why can’t I have two boyfriends?” I can’t answer that one, but I can say that The Purrs do have enough pop to keep me singing along, and enough of an edge to keep me interested. They haven’t quite mastered this type of rock’n’roll the way the Gore Gore Girls have, but this is still a solid album. –Sean Carswell (Garage Pop)


PURPLE HEARTS:
Beat That!: CD
A reissue of the first album by one of the UK’s premier ‘70s mod outfits, long out of print and now making it to CD some twenty-three years after its initial release. Unlike the bands that comprised the US “paisley underground,” the Purple Hearts, like the Jam, have a more ‘60s-channeled-through-punk sound, meaning that, while the songwriting shows a strong ‘60s influence, the actual sound of the band is considerably more modern, eschewing stereotypical trappings like Gretsch 12-strings and faux sitar solos for a more solid guitar attack. Included are informative liner notes on the band’s rise and inevitable fall, plus assorted singles and B-sides. –Jimmy Alvarado (Captain Oi)


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