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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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SUBMARINE SPACESHIP:
Self-titled: CDEP
This two-man band consists of a drummer and guitarist and generally has an indie rock style but with some strong drumming. The guitars seem to not come out and bite as much, though. Submarine Spaceship’s self-titled EP has eight tracks, some of which are titled after such celebrities as Brian Wilson and James Dean. The songs are short and there are a couple of throw-aways, but this seems like a good start. Evidently, these guys morphed into Bright Effs but they have since broken up. Oh well. –kurt (Gnarly As I Wanna Be!)


SUBHUMANS, THE:
Same Thoughts, Different Day: CD
When I was younger, I used to consider things like whether or not it would be cool if punk and underground music became more popular. It obviously could never have occurred to me that punk rock would become a career for some people. I could have never imagined a thing called “the Internet” where people fight to shell out high prices for records like The Subhumans’ Incorrect Thoughts. The popularity of punk rock is a double-edged sword in my opinion, but I feel overall that the world is a better place with this music in demand. However, in the case of this seminal Canadian band’s watershed release, the sword cuts the wrong way. Ebay prices have remained consistently high on Incorrect Thoughts. The record usually sells for between $35-$60 on eBay. (Some jackass has the cassette up for $125 as of writing this.) And the reason for these high prices is that another record company is claiming and retaining the rights to the album; there does not appear to be a proper release in the near future. And so lies the dilemma. Re-recording an album is almost always a bad idea. Yet these songs deserve to be heard by a younger, budding audience. Standing on its own, Same Thoughts, Different Day is better than any thousand punk albums that will be released this year. The uninitiated deserve to hear classics like “Big Picture” and “War in the Head” and the band deserves to be heard and recognized. As far as reduxes go, the album is well done. Aside from extremely distorted guitars, the songs sound pretty close to the originals. There are four additional songs, two of which are pretty rockin’. You can tell they still care. This version of these songs is the best way to support an important band and support a label that is re-releasing classic lost punk recordings by bands like The Eat and Th’Inbred. However, like most punkers, antiquity generally wins out with me for some unnamed reason. If my house burned down, could I live with Same Thoughts, Different Day as my primary link to this band? Eh. –Billups Allen (Alternative Tentacles)


STRAWBERRY BLONDES:
Fight Back: CD
This album is extremely derivative of Rancid, right down to recording quality and structure of the album. I always felt the extended appeal of Rancid lay mostly in the quality of Tim Armstrong’s voice. The Strawberry Blondes don’t have that personality working for them. The music is competent in the overproduced punk-with-ska-riffs vein. I’m not trying to be a dick about it; if you told me there was a band derivative of The Devil Dogs, I would probably give it extra consideration. So if you are esoteric about Rancid, this might appeal to you. However, I will be a dick about this: their bio claims that their songs are “based on the rudiments thrown down by the classic first Clash album.” Couldn’t this be said about almost any punk album produced after 1977? Oh, how bands will try and try to noncommittally edge The Clash into their bios. Punk 101: Don’t compare yourself to the Clash. –Billups Allen (Wolverine)


SPEARS, THE:
Shove: LP
I am pretty sure that I’m under qualified to review this. This band features members of Pink Lincolns, Hated Youth, D.R.I., and Down By Law. I am only familiar with three of those bands, and I only like one, but do not listen to them regularly. I can’t compare this to any of their previous efforts (though I can tell you it doesn’t sound a thing like D.R.I.), but it is good. It’s good enough that it makes me really wish I had made the effort to track down the Pink Lincolns before, as they both share a singer. Thanks for making me feel guilty, record! –Bryan Static (Sixty Nine Apple/Jailhouse, jailhouserecords.com)


SOUTHSIDE STRANGLERS:
Strangle You: 7”
As one might expect with a name like Southside Stranglers, this is raging punk, almost veering into hardcore territory. Actually, the first thing that came to mind when listening to this was that it sounds kinda like Electric Frankenstein, with some noisy vocals that bring Lux Interior to mind. The band features members from Government Warning and Direct Control. Good, solid single from this Richmond, VA band. Not much else to say. –frame (Fashionable Idiots)


SOCIETY OF FRIENDS:
Self-titled: CD
Some fifty-five tracks of spastic thrash that throws tempo changes around like spaghetti at a wall. Not bad at what they do, but after a while the tunes start to blend together into one big ball of noisy moosh. –jimmy (Insect)


SMOKE OR FIRE:
Prehistoric Knife Fight: 7”
Remember those old fast food ads that would go something like, “We take a sizzling beef patty and pile it with crisp, smoky bacon, then drizzle on melted cheddar cheese and add a handful of zingy caramelized onions…?” By the end of the commercial, your mouth is watering because they’re exploiting your hungry, hungry senses that already know and love what a bacon cheeseburger tastes like. Well, I’m going to attempt the same thing with this 7”. “Smoke Or Fire flame broil Richmond by taking driving Hot Water Music punk and throwing in a sweaty former member of Avail. They top it off with high, clear vocals that make you miss those Richmond summer days when it’s so hot that you sweat in the shower.” Does that work? Does it trigger a Pavlovian response? Are you drooling and growing a beard and cutting some Dickies into a pair of Daisy Dudes? One question. Since when is it okay to give a title to a two-song punk 45? Isn’t there some kind of rule about this? Shouldn’t this just be called “Speak Easy b/w Modesty”? Rev. Nørb, where are you when I need you? –CT Terry (Fat, fatwreck.com)


SLACKTRENS:
Ur Balans: 7" EP
Fifteen tracks of silly fast Swedish hardcore that makes Mob 47 sound like Black Sabbath. Limited to 500 slabs of clear red vinyl, so start scrounging before Ebay starts gouging. –jimmy (rawby.se)


SKEPTICS, THE:
You Make Me Sick: 7” EP
Sludgy fuzz rock. –jimmy (franticcity.free.fr)


SINKS, THE:
I Drove the Sinks: EP
Two songs of lo-fi garage punk. The vocals are buried under the instruments and delivered in a garbled manner. Sort of works, but, at the same time, I’m not compelled to listen too close. In fact, this whole record passes by without leaving an impression. I listened a few more times. No difference. File under “ehhhh.....” –Matt Average (Fashionable Idiots, tchardcorejouranl.com)


SHADRACK WILDE:
Unforgiveable Things: CD
This Louisville musician plays country-influenced songs of self-deprecation, loss, and hardship (which I guess is to be expected on an album called Unforgiveable Things) in a style akin to Ryan Adams or any of his various projects. There seems to have been a lot of sorrow in Shadrack’s life, but he does an effective job of sharing it in a means that doesn’t seem too tiresome. I like the addition of harmonica, violin, and electric guitar to the songs, which give them a fullness and strength. Wilde is a decent songwriter, too, although his focus on the morose could stand to be tempered to a degree. I wouldn’t mind hearing the next album, though. –kurt (myspace.com/shadwickwilde)


SEXUAL SUICIDE:
Old School Rules: 7”
You wrote a song about Venom and Mary Jane gangbanging Spider-Man? What possesses people to do things like that? I’m not disgusted or offended or anything, but I just can’t comprehend why you would go out of your way to write, record, then use money on expensive vinyl to print something like that. I’m sorry I didn’t write about any of your five other songs, but that is just distracting. I guess if I were in a generic hardcore band, I’d try something strange like that too. –Bryan Static (United Riot)


SEVERANCE PACKAGE:
All Down Hill: 7”
This here is some speedy basic punk, falling somewhere between maybe the Loudmouths and the Motards or something like that. Good, solid punk featuring the singer and guitar player from Black Fork along with the drummer from Special Forces. Fans of Black Fork would certainly find plenty to like here, and I would love to see them live because every time I saw Black Fork, they were drop-dead incredible. Look out for this one if you like simple and fun punk rock. –frame (Shut Up)


SEDATIVES:
Human Beings: 7”
Straightforward, no frills punk stuff along the lines of bands like the Spits, only without the intentional dopiness. Good stuff. –jimmy (Taken by Surprise, no address)


SICK ELECTRIC:
Death by Electrocution: CD
Quirky guitar rock. –jimmy (no address)


SCEPTRES, THE:
Self-titled: 7”
Cover reminds me of something that would’ve sat in the 45 bin at Pasadena’s Poobah Records for ages, waiting for someone to polish it off ‘n’ give it a much deserved spin. “Flatline Generation” is a nice bit of thuddy punk with some definite artiness buried in the heft. The flip, “The Tow,” follows pretty much along the same lines; catchy, but packing a bit of punch to get the point across. This’ll definitely grow on me. –jimmy (Dire, no address)


SAIRAUS:
A Sickness Called God: 2 x Mini-CD
The name’s Finish, meaning “disease.” The band’s composed of the ever-revolving, constantly incestuous L.A. hardcore/grindcore scene, featuring current and ex-members of Kontraattaque, Hated Principles, Cthuwulf, and Progeria. Sairaus sounds like the wall between Mexico and America being blown up. Or the dismantling of the houses of all the men and women who penned, voted for, and are currently enforcing Arizona’s Senate bill 1070, which demands that all immigrants meet federal requirements to carry identity documents legitimizing their presence on American soil. Sounds like that, with some Motörhead sweating it out with Terveet Kädet. –todd (Self-released)


SCARE, THE / OK PILOT:
Split: 7” EP
Says on the insert that this is the first installment of a split series of seven-inchers featuring one band from the U.K. and one from the U.S. The Scare: Poppy hardcore stuff that sounds very late-’80s in a good sorta way—not too fast, with just enough dissonance to give ‘em an edge. OK Pilot: Pretty much ditto for these guys. –jimmy (allinvinyl.com)


SASS DRAGONS:
New Kids on the Bong: CD
If you have not yet experienced the Sass, then be warned, they are all over the fucking place. However, this is why I love them. It’s not like they don’t have a sound of their own, but part of that sound is doing the most random genre bending that they can think of. It’s all the pleasure of watching a surrealist art house movie without all the work of pretending you understand the thematic implications. Long live the Dragons. –Bryan Static (Johann’s Face, johannsface.com)


SABERTOOTH SNATCH :
Project Sherm : 7"+CD
A five-song, lowish-fi, jazz-core mini-opera that the producers claim to be about some wacky space adventure of some sort, but sounds to me like it is actually about the life and times of Stephen Egerton. Comes with a fold-out poster sleeve, a CD-R, and a libretto ((well, a piece of folded-over paper detailing the story)) ((which in and of itself is quite amusing and well done)). I hope Project Sherm means a lot to some people. I may not be included in that particular subset of humanity. BEST SONG: “Space Niggas” BEST SONG TITLE: “Red Light Planet” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Shermy, along with Patty and Charlie Brown, were the three characters featured in the first-ever Peanuts strip in 1950. –norb (Goin’ Ape Shit)


ROCK THE LIGHT:
Let’s Do Something We’ll Both Regret and The Summer We All Got Laid: CD
Longhair rock played by a buncha shorthairs. There’s something to be said about a band that is not only unashamed about playing bona fide cock rock; they fly the flag proudly. Tunes on both discs are quite catchy and funny, with Summer... sounding the more “slick” of the two. –jimmy (rockthelight@gmail.com)


RIB CAGES:
Self-titled: 7” EP
A live recording here from a band that apparently hails from Portland, Oregon. Tunes are short ‘n’ delivered with intensity, yet not hardcore in the “let’s mosh, man!” sense, and are simultaneously catchy and atonal. Definitely worth a listen. –jimmy (lemon-session.com)


RF7:
Acts of Defiance: 7” EP
A reissue of this long in the tooth Southern California punk institution’s first four-track EP, originally released on their own Smoke 7 Records imprint back in 1980. The tunes are a bit more rock-oriented, or downright funky in the case of “Grey Air,” than those turned onto them later might be expecting, but Felix’s unmistakable voice is out there front ‘n’ center to ensure there’s no confusion as to what band is on the turntable. –jimmy (Puke N Vomit)


RED CITY RADIO / THE GREAT ST. LOUIS:
Split: 7” EP
Appears this is the third in a series of splits featuring U.K. and U.S. bands. RedCity Radio: Sorry, but a wee bit too much of an emo undertow for me. Great St. Louis: Two tunes of catchy Leatherface/Hüskers-influenced pop punk, noodley bits without degenerating into wankiness, and conviction in delivery. These guys handily win this round. –jimmy (allinvinyl.com)


RATFACE:
Ratassed: CD
Have you ever walked into a conversation and laughed because you thought a joke was being told, only to find out it was a serious discussion? It can be confusing and embarrassing, especially when you thought the joke being told was a dead baby joke. That’s how I felt when I put this disc on. The music is a bizarre and perfectly executed Finnish interpretation of American thugcore, complete with pseudo-rap breakdowns. At first, I couldn’t put my finger on whether they were making fun of the genre or paying tribute to it with songs like “Crazytown Coolio” and “Kingking of Blingbling.” Actually, I’m still not sure, but I’m going to consider the following line the band’s mission statement: “Giving all you PC kids a stupidity injection.” –mp (Full House)


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