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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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Fury: CD
Wild rock’n’roll that sometimes dances a fine line between Poison 13-inspired garage rock and hardcore punk with the odd slice of country. Pretty good stuff from a band I know fuckall about. –Jimmy Alvarado (Arkam, no address)

Alcoholic Lady/Soda Pressing: 7"
Attention all bands! Attention all bands! The official best format for the seven-inch is the time-honored “hit single” style – a great, original tune on the A-side, and then a cover on the flip side! Occasionally, one other song may be allowed. There will be no debating on this issue! Having said that, the Vultures have the formula right, but I wish side A rocked a little more – still, it’s decent rock’n’roll (a la a mix of Pelado and Rip Off records – ya know, what everyone likes these days!). Side B is where it’s at, though! I’m a sucker for Boys’ covers, and their version of “Soda Pressing” is pretty true to the original, nothing breathtaking, but pretty cool nonetheless. Probably a good band to check out live, if ‘77 rock and roll is your thing! (And it better be!) This is pre-sugar-added Kix (remember those days?). Kix was still a good cereal back then, but nowhere near as good as it would become in later years. Hopefully the Vultures will one day reach the sugary Kix level of greatness! –Maddy (DirtNap)

Singles & Rarities: CD
I declare, this record sounds like it’s got two different bands on it – a UK-‘77/‘82 one and a NYC ‘83 one. It’s a little distracting. The UK one’s a little too plodding and deliberate to be much fun, but the NYHC one kicks some frightening ass. There’s studio and live stuff AND an Exploited cover. –Cuss Baxter (Punk Core)

Apocalicious: CD
This is a monstrous, thundering barrage of industrialized sound that comes uncannily close to capturing the explosive musical essence of an action-packed, violence-strewn video game. The apocalyptic guitar strafings threateningly loom large within a murderously rampaging mix of nuclear-charged synthesizer expulsions, tribal barrel-pounding drum beats, and a bass that furiously rumbles along like a division of panzer tanks. The vocals are loopy, psychotic, and confrontational without being hostile and full of testosterone-fuelled rage. If ya want comparisons, I’m vaguely reminded of Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Rollins Band, I Against I-era Bad Brains, and even a bit of Faith No More in spots. But, then, with its intricate jazzy undercurrents surging throughout, I’d almost surmise that an intergalactic Miles Davis dervish has possessed the sonic soul of Victims Family and tainted their blood with radioactive alien-mutant hemoglobin. Damn, this is difficult to categorize ‘cause it’s so undeniably unique, flamboyant, loud, and lively – just plain out oozing an inimitable style unto itself! Here’s to a hefty dose of aural originality in the form of Victims Family... -Roger Moser, Jr. –Guest Contributor (Alternative Tentacles)

Singles and Rarities: CD
I had a hell of a time finding out who the hell put this out and just what was on it. See, it came in a little paper cover with no track listing and no label printed on the disc. After an hour of searching I found out all I wanted to know on a fluke. The disc? It’s its damn good, covering both their early days and their “damn do we love Discharge!” days as well, with early demos, unreleased tracks and comp cuts alike. It’s really good, but after all that searching, I’m not as into it as when I put it on. –Jimmy Alvarado (Punk Core)

Viva La Vinyl Volume 4: LP
Fifteen bands doing fifteen tracks of hard-hitting punk rock. Although there’s a definite lean towards the more “rock” side the equation, there’s enough tracks touching on other sub-genres to keep you on your toes. Best of all, there’s not a clunker in the lot. Highly recommended. –Jimmy Alvarado (Deadbeat)

Supersonic Sounds from the Fuck You Movement: CD
Someone tell me! Why can’t the established underground labels cobble together a compilation this varied and high caliber while some kid in his shit-town bedroom can? From the Charm City Suicides’ over-the-top version of Reagan Youth’s “Go Nowhere,” to the excruciating noise of Crank Sturgeon, Irreversible Nerve Damage and (MITB completists take note) Bastard Noise, to the fat grind/hammer damage of Suppression and Pus del Recto, and back to the fleshy and raucous punk rock of Kojak, ain’t a bad pickle in the barrel. And to ice this pickle cake, you’re treated to prank phone calls between tracks! Some of them are pretty funny, too. You have eight dollars, right? –Cuss Baxter ($8 ppd; C.N.P.)

Sonic-Xperience: CD
14 tracks of German EBM, electro, dark techno, synth pop and industrial. A collection of fab songs, give or take one or two. From intense throbbing EBM ala’ Massiv In Mensch to drama synth-goth by November Process, this is a great introduction to the latest German electronic vibes. The only bad thing is that the cover/back cover is in English, when the inside is all in German, including band bios. But, it still makes me want to kill people and drive fast. -Sarah Stierch –Guest Contributor (Sonic X)

Reno: Where Dreams Come to Die: CD
Full-on, top-notch hardcore and occasional grind here from a bunch representin’ Reno. Most of the tracks on here are strong, and there’s no pop and no macho metal bullshit to be found anywhere. Features Redrum, Headgrenade, Vae Victis, This Computer Kills, The Livid, Bloody Victim, Iron Lung, All Opposed and the Scurvy Bastards. Damn good stuff. –Jimmy Alvarado (Sedition)

RAFR Volume 3: CD
The latest installment in what has become an ongoing series, this time featuring the BellRays, Motochrist, Darlington, Starvations, Hellbenders, Fuzztones (a great song!), Furious George, Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs, Humpers, Mad Daddys, Candy Ass and a zillion others. Seein’ as RAFR stands for “Rock And Fucking Roll,” guess what most of these bands sound like. Good stuff to be found here if you like your punk to swagger. –Jimmy Alvarado (RAFR)

RAFR Volume 3: CD
It utterly amazes me to no end that this warped world of ours is literally crawlin’ with a suffocatin’ over-abundance of lame-ass money-hungry record labels whose sole sickening purpose in life is to market the blandest, most reprehensible music known to man, and on the receiving end of such weak-willed entrepreneurial worthlessness, ya have the fickle semi-comatose masses who blindly leech onto each and every corporate-produced trend-of-the-moment as if they were hanging on for dear life. But RAFR Records is truly a sparkling, effervescent glimmer of hope in a recording world full of stagnant plastic-coated shit! It’s dedicated, small-label mavericks like Martin McMartin who crank-out the tuneage in the name of sheer indefatigable love for the music. Mr. Marty obviously has a deep-rooted appreciation and a fervent heart-wrenching respect for the raucous roster of sonic ass-shakers in his charge, which includes only the most bad-ass, most loudly blaring of today’s rockin’-and-rollin’ trailblazers. His genuine excitement for releasin’ such attitude-driven aural unruliness is more contagious than a laboratory-produced strain of non-vaccinable smallpox. So you can damn well bet your sweet bippies that the RAFR comps have always consistently outblasted any and all other competition – major label, indie, and everything in between! Volume 3 is certainly no exception. It contains some of the most outrageously thundering bands to cacophonously kick out the jams while frenziedly unleashing the mighty roaring beast known the world over as ROCK-AND-FUCKING-ROLL (includin’ The Humpers, Mad Daddys, Motochrist, The Bullys, The Weaklings, The Superbees, The Kowalskis, Short Fuses, The Chicken Hawks, Damnation, The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs, The Bellrays, The Fuzztones, Darlington, The Hellbenders, The Starvations, and so many more, it’s downright unbelievable!). Indeed, this is an eardrum-pounding plethora of audial decadence at its wildest and most ferocious! RAFR has once again restored my brew-slathered faith in rock’n’roll with this seminal collection of balls-out tune-crashers, and I aggressively implore you to drop everything right fuckin’ now and buy this disc pronto quick. And I don’t wanna hear no lame-ass excuses about bein’ short on cash. If that’s the case, then hold-up a liquor store, rob a bank, or filch your grandma’s social security check – beg, borrow, and steal until you’re completely breathless. Just do whatever it takes to acquire this disc by any means necessary (you’ll thank me in the afterlife, I promise!). What beer is to the spirit, what raunch is to sex, and what hedonism is to my personal philosophy of life, RAFR is to the future of rock’n’roll. Amen, and let us now shake our backsides silly! –Guest Contributor (RAFR)

Punch Drunk III: CD
This is a compilation from one of the my favorite labels, TKO. If you aren’t familiar with this label, crawl out of that damn hole and pay attention. They have been consistently putting of great punk bands since the mid ‘90s. Since then, I can guarantee that there has been at least one TKO CD on high rotation on my CD player at any given time. The Beltones, Reducers S.F., Workin’ Stiffs, Thug Murder, The Bodies, Bonecrusher, Antiseen, and The Forgotten are just eight of twenty-six bands here. Only one song is disappointing. It’s by Guitar Gangsters. It’s not that the song is terrible. It just isn’t that good. Other bands here are Limecell, Niblick Henbane, Terminus City, Sixer, The Generators, US Bombs, Bloody Mutants, Angelic Upstarts, Electric Frankenstein, The Stitches, The Partisans, The Riffs, East Bay Chasers, Hard Skins, Class Assassins, Those Unknown, and American Pig. Get out of that damn hole and check these bands out. –Toby Tober (TKO)

Neighbour Annoyer: LP
This is one o’ them post-Killed By Death boots that seem to be popping up outta the floor boards these days. This one has tracks mostly from the UK and mostly by bands I’ve never heard before. Much more diverse in sound than others of this ilk, this features the Pink Section, Scabs, Toys, Puncture, Vital Disorder, Visitors and others. If you find it, snatch it up. –Jimmy Alvarado (Address? Yeah, right)

Maximum Wage: CD
A pretty diverse sampling of underground sounds from groups channeling their energies into punk, art damage, dream pop and beyond. While some of the avenues explored here seem to just miss the mark, there are some stunners, courtesy of Simpler Machines, Mistle Thrush, Irish Crème vs. E-Rex, Brazen Hussies, and the always swell Buzzkill. –Jimmy Alvarado (Bureau of Dissonant Culture)

Killed by Hardcore, Compilation 2: LP
Retrospective. This is the second in the series after the tired but true Killed by Death series. I don’t think that this series will inflate an already inflated collectors market. The market for collectable punk rock is insane. God bless for bootlegs like this for me. The focus for this series is 1980 to 1985. This grandpa here was in his prime when this shit was coming out. Back in high school, I used to read Maximum Rocknroll like it was the bible. Reading about all the new hardcore that was coming out from all over the world was new and exciting to me. My brother and I sought out releases like they were going out of style. I heard a couple of MRR radio shows and listened religiously to the local punk show on KXLU. I think that was more important to me than listening to Rodney on the Roq. Smaller punk bands from all over were getting air time. To make a comparison of this comp, it has a similar feel and energy of Welcome to 1984 that MRR put out in 1984 and the P.E.A.C.E. 2xLP comp that Radical Records put out around the same time. International is the name of the game. Band names that were easily recognizable for me were Headcleaners (Sweden), Indigesti (Italy), Mecht Mensh (USA), Riistetyt (Finland), Suburban Mutilation (USA), Target of Demand (USA), E.A.T.E.R. (Sweden), Kuro (Japan) and The Abused (USA). That is only what I recognized! More is to be had here! It’s the same euphoria I get when I suddenly sneeze and a highly audible fart comes out simultaneously. Oh joy! Historically essential and it brings a tear to my eye for times long gone. Back to reality. –Donofthedead (Redrum)

Fire on the Brain Volume 1: CD
Assorted black metal shards courtesy of Gorguts, Behemoth, Internal Bleeding, Macabre, Jungle Rot, Withered Earth, and others. As can be expected, some of this is pretty terrible, but there are some pretty smokin’ tracks to be found here as well, most notably Angelcorpse’s “Wolflust.” If you can get past all the ye olde satanic silliness and the fact that the singers sound like pro-wrestlers backed by failed free-form jazz guitarists, you might actually find yourself enjoying some of this. –Jimmy Alvarado (olympicrecordings.com)

Chicago’s on Fire Again: 7" EP
Holy shit, this is a hardcore fan’s wet dream. A veritable who’s who of Chicago hardcore here, with Trepan Nation, Los Crudos (a track not available on their discography CD), Billy Builders, Charles Bronson (a Negative Approach cover) MK Ultra, Landmine, The Killers, Dangermouse, Authority Abuse, Strength In Numbers, and Kung Fu Rick, all scrunched up nicely on seven inches of wax. As can be expected, everything goes by in a blur, but shit howdy if it ain’t a glorious din. Four words kids: seek this fucker out. –Jimmy Alvarado (Lengua Armada)

Bomb Threat: CD
Whooo-weee! Squeal like a piggy, boy! What we have here is a killer-dealer crazed cacophony from the Carolinas, and it’s cram-packed to the gills with a comprehensive representation of every possible genre of punkrock madness, mayhem, and manic inertia, whether it’s old school, pop, hardcore, scum, melodicore, ‘77-style street scruffiness, noise, a bit of bowery brattiness, new wave, or just a bare minimum of emo (and thank sweet Jeeezus for that!). Each and every ear-blastin’ ditty is fever-pitched and vigorously delivered with the utmost of passion, zeal, and liveliness. All 31 bands contained herein crank the tuneage to the max and enthusiastically give it no less than 110%. While repeatedly assaulting my audial senses with an explosive hefty dosage of Bomb Threat, I just could not sit still no matter how hard I tried. This is a solid, well-structured comp full of wild frenetic fury and the ultimate in energetic musical brashness. I fervently recommend it as much as I advocate sex, beer, rock’n’roll, and other sinful forms of depraved debauchery. It’s that damn deliciously addictive, folks! -Roger Moser, Jr. –Guest Contributor (Suicide Watch)

920 Blues: LP
Whoah, I’m impressed! This is a comp of Wisconsin bands playing some flat-out rockin’ punk rock sure to make you tear shit up as you crank the stereo and shake your ass all over your parents’ living room. Ten bands representing, including the Reds, Shut Ups, Mistreaters, Teenage Rejects, and more. There ain’t a shitty song in the bunch, not even the track by the Strong Come Ons, whose seven-incher did nothing for me. Send every cent of your allowance to the address at the end of the review section. –Jimmy Alvarado (Trick Knee)

Pop Art: CD
The Unknown hail from the great underdog rock city of Cleveland, Ohio where they have been kicking around for the last ten years playing uptempo pop punk. They do an above average job of writing hooky driving songs in the tradition of such bands as the Descendents, Bad Religion, and Big Drill Car. The production is similar to a lot of early All records with clicky sounding drums, clanky thin bass, and heavier guitar dominating the mix. The vocals are well sung but somewhat undistinctive and predictable. I would recommend this record to someone if they were hungry for the early ‘90s crop of tight pop punk. Sadly, they struck me like a communion wafer. At the end of Pop Art, I am left with no taste in my mouth whatsoever. –Nathan Grumdahl –Guest Contributor (Boss Tuneage)

Porch Life: CD
This is robust, powerful, ballsy rock’n’roll thunder – heavy on the rock and even heavier on the thunder! It’s downhome whiskey-soaked punkrock of the rootin’-tootin’ rural variety. I say “punkrock,” ‘cause it possesses more attitude, vibrancy, originality, and passion than any of the spikey-haired suburban twits out there in Mallworld who pass themselves off as the epitome of today’s justifiably enraged youth (pppuuuuleeeaze, ya fake lil’ scrubfaced fuckers! Find another trend-of-the-moment to whorishly leech upon, go back to the bland ‘burbs where ya belong, do as your told, finish high school, go to college, and then become a corporate suit-and-tie swine-shit just like your daddy!). Anyway, back to the music: I drunkenly detect a diverse and colorful array of influences on this here barnstormer of a release, includin’ the likes of AC/DC, The Minutemen, Husker Du, early Replacements, and even a bit of ol’ hippyman Neil Young (the vocals are an incredible mishmash of Lee Ving, Bob Mould, what’s-his-name from The Offspring, and, oddly enough, an occasional Eddie Vedder-style warble). Utterly amazing, really! Unitas proficiently, yet energetically, create a truly authentic sound of rock’n’roll rebellion and pure unrelenting goodtime rowdiness (with a couple of slower, laid-back tracks tossed in for good measure). It’s so damn good to be alive, intoxicated, and well on a brisk autumn day like this while Unitas loudly caterwaul outta the ol’ hi-fi unit. -Roger Moser, Jr. –Guest Contributor (No Idea)

We Are Your Enemy: Split 7"
US Chaos: “Blame It on Sam” was recorded in ‘83, lost, refound almost twenty years later, and finally pressed. It stands up as catchy as, say, The Vibrators in a very bad, very cynical mood. It’s poppy in a mid-tempo, swaggering way, and the song’s basically about fucking shit up, not taking personal responsibility, and blaming the powers that be. Oddly soothing. Statch and the Rapes win the “Most Offensive Band Name Title” for the year and I wish the band was as aurally off-putting to back it up. They’re pretty tame and in a strange way remind me of a PG version of the Anti-Heros, where the songs are half spoken, half yelled, the lyrics are real easy to follow, and the instrumentation ain’t bad, but unlike the Anti-Heros, they don’t seem to have a lot of teeth and snarl to back up the barking. Not poo, but my pants aren’t on fire, either. –Todd Taylor (Punkrockrecords)

Bend Break Spill: CD
Boring. Bend CD to pieces. Break case with foot. Spill beer on top of mess to reclaim sanity. Emotive physical reaction with a play on words on my part to justify writing and having to listen. –Donofthedead (No Idea)

Self-titled: CD EP
This is a two track introduction to this Bloomington death-rock band, featuring members of Panoply Academy and Drekka. The first track is a poppier more Kommunity FK rock song with moaning Ian Curtis-ish vocals with a great, amazing bass line. This will have the kids dancing. The second track is a long, drawn-out wail ala’ The Birthday Party’s “Nick the Stripper,” with howls and hoots and death-curdling cries. Lots of drama, which is something much needed in this world. Can’t wait to hear more from this band. -Sarah Stierch –Guest Contributor (Turn Pale)

Self-titled: 7" EP

I heard these guys are no more. Pity, ‘cause they would’ve been nice to see ‘em blow up huge, or at least play on a double bill with Smogtown and Spontaneous Disgust. Three tracks, sparse production, total power.

–Jimmy Alvarado (Rapid Pulse)

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