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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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DRESDEN:
Final Hour: CD
Crust trappings—apocalyptic art, long strums on downtuned guitars, thrashy beats, metal riffage, growly/shouty vocals—coupled with often personal lyrics. This pigeonhole is usually not my preferred go-to spot, but these cats ain’t bad at what they do. –jimmy (profaneexistence.org)


DISCO LEPERS:
Rose Alley Inbreds: CD
To put it politely: a full-length’s worth of what sounds like South Park’s Eric Cartman fronting some treble-heavy and wincingly generic cowpunk. The novelty wore off after about half a minute. Meanwhile, they cast their net of offensiveness far and wide and finally came up with a button-pusher: songs belittling rape victims (“Rapist With a Heart of Gold”) will never be funny, no matter what wacky genre-spin you put on it. –keith (Shattered Debauchee)


DIRTY FILTHY MUGS:
All Yobs In: CD
From the first three seconds of this CD playing, I liked it. Usually, it takes me a little bit of time to warm up to something, but this is darned good: banjo-filled folk music that made my day the moment I heard it. I was almost scared to move to the second track, thinking it was too good to be true, but then, lo and behold, another good song in a completely different style, consisting of punk tones with background cockney essence with a theme of beer drinking. This band consists of ex members of Swingin’ Utters and you will probably warm up to them as fast as I did if you like a band like early Dropkick Murphys or other bands of that nature. –Corinne (DC Jam)


DEREK LYN PLASTIC:
The Smell of My Room Vol. 1: Drug Sounds: CD
Superficially, it’s easy to think that Derek Lyn Plastic doesn’t give a shit. First of all, the name Derek Lyn Plastic doesn’t actually appear anywhere on the album artwork. What does? A picture of a giant penis. If that doesn’t say “I don’t give a shit,” I don’t know what does. Look a little closer and it becomes clear that, although this may be “I don’t give a shit” music in terms of its philosophy, it’s not in terms of its craftsmanship. It’s a perfectly precise cacophony of confidently sleazy vocals, garage guitar solos, and dark new wave sounds. This is what you dance to after you break someone’s nose. –mp (NMG)


DEAD SOUND:
Monuments to Alienation: CD-R
First off, propers are in order for the effort put into the artwork accompanying what is, according to the liner notes, a demo. However, I put it in two CD players, into two computers, a DVD player, I put it on a boat, threw it in a moat, put it on a horse, spun it on some borscht, I plopped it on a hat, I dangled it on a bat, I smote it with a knee, and I treated it nimbly, but try as I might, there doesn’t seem to be anything on this here disc to be played. –jimmy (deadsoundfl@gmail.com)


D.O.A:
Talk-Action=0: CD
New one from Shithead and the gang. Hard and heavy, these guys have been on a hot streak lately with this one and Northern Avenger. And I was just lucky enough to watch them play from the side of the stage recently in Ohio and they still bring it live like a hot iron to a steer’s ass! Standouts on this one include “I Live in a Car” and “Don’t Bank on a Bank.” “The R.C.M.P.” sounds like The Sex Pistols, but not in a fawning tribute sort of way. There’s even a song about Star Trek, so what more do you need? –koepenick (Sudden Death)


CHRIS CONNELLY:
How This Ends: CD
Connelly is one of the many cats clustered around bands like Ministry, Revolting Cocks, KMFDM, Killing Joke, et al., and it shows here on his latest solo album. The “tunes” here consist of two tracks clocking at around a half-hour each, that in turn consist of people speaking and singing pieces about “death, genocide, homicide by corrupt powers upon innocents” over alternating bouts of noisy soundscapes and quieter piano interludes. The results often sound like the soundtrack to a splatter flick directed by Luis Buñuel. Decidedly not something to play at a birthday party for a manic depressive, it nonetheless is quite effective in its intent and definitely worth the time of those willing to invest the time in paying attention. –jimmy (lensrecords.com)


CHEAP SOLUTION:
Demo: Cassette
Hardcore is my Achilles’ heel. I listen to a good amount of it, but it’s by no means my favorite genre. My major problem is being able to distinguish between bands. They kind of collide with one another in my head. While I might not be able to immediately distinguish between Articles Of Faith and Social Unrest, I can tell you that this particular recording reminds me of Kill Your Idols and I thoroughly enjoyed it. My main annoyance was the medium of choice: cassette. Seriously, guys, cassettes are a pain in the ass. There’s no way to only listen to certain songs and there are very few places where a cassette player is readily available. What’s with the revival of these things? I guess if you have a cassette player in your car, but a better solution to that shit is to buy a CD player and get one of those input to cassette converters. Don’t bring back shitty formats just for the nostalgia of it all. That being said, I’m looking forward to the Betamax renaissance of next year. –Bryan Static (Fuck You In The Head, no address)


CAT PARTY:
Heartache over Headache: EP
This is a slight progression on their LP from a year or so ago. Heavily influenced by mid-’80s U.K. post punk, somewhere between The Southern Death Cult and The Wake. There’s a very cold and gray feel to their sound. I listen to this and think of standing on a foggy beach with the wind cutting through me. Instead of being irritated or uncomfortable, I feel enlivened and compelled to believe just about anything is possible. Much the same way I do when I listen to this record (and their LP as well). There’s an awareness of the past, and a forlorn feel, but there’s a sense of a brighter future for the taking. I like that the bass is very prominent, as it should be for this style. It provides the warmth. The guitar has a soaring feel at times, as everything moves forward at a good pace. When the vocals stop in “The Digital Age” and the guitar takes over at the end, it is so good that it requires repeated listens. It changes the mood from pensive to liberated, as suggested in the lyrics. The title track seems to be a song of regret, and the feeling comes across well. The music is more about communicating emotions and thought instead of bashing you over the head or being a soundtrack for a party. The sort of record you listen to alone in your room with the door closed. –Matt Average (Flat Black, flatblackrecords@yahoo.com)


CAMPAIGN:
It Likes to Party: CDEP
I try to go into this as open mindedly as I possibly can. I really do. That said, I really couldn’t go into this disc with a clear slate after looking at the cover photo. Seriously dudes, the tight denim jacket to bead ratio is off the charts! Factor in the “sullen, staring off into nothingness” looks on the band members’ faces and green screen that someone forgot to digitally enhance and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Odds were meant to be beat from time to time, and somehow I actually like the tunes within. Most of them anyways. Sure, there is a goofy emo-fied breakdown here and there (and there and there) but the tunes themselves are quite catchy and the vocals are pretty good, too. I’d like to hear some more and see less. –ty (myspace.com/wearethecampaign)


CAGEMATCH:
Self-titled: CDEP
Seven songs of heavy hardcore that come in, do their damage, and are out in under ten minutes. Not bad stuff at all. The first and sixth tracks come in with a slower sludge heaviness somewhat like Akimbo and the rest of the tracks are short, fast, bursts of super-pissed, super heavy hardcore aggression that would make Tragedy and From Ashes Rise proud. –Adrian (cagematchband.com)


BURNITDOWNS, THE:
We’re Not the Things We’ve Done: CD
Album artwork is admirable, but then again, I like anything with an eye patch. In this album, you will find an unlikely, but commendable, combo of country, punk, and hootenanny with some unexpected input from a banjo and a glockenspiel. I’m hearing fun, enthusiastic tunes with solid heart. –Corinne (Rubber Factory, rubberfactoryrecords.com)


BREAK IT DOWN:
Three Songs: CD
This is not really hardcore, it’s more like late ‘90s Epitaph generic Pennywise-sounding stuff. The music isn’t really heavy, but there is occasional chugga chugga that might sound a bit more raw live. That still wouldn’t change the fact that the lyrics say very common things phrased in common ways. It was recorded very cleanly, there are guitar leads and all that kind of stuff, but nothing really sounds heavy or, like, you know, hardcore except for the last minute of the last song which is the saving moment for this demo. The vocals are what really don’t do it for me. One moment he sounds like he’s going for the Jello Biafra thing, then its just generic pop punk vocals, then gravelly punk vocals, then hardcore vocals. From song one to three, the vocals go up a notch in terms of what I enjoy. There would still have to be one more notch up in the vocals, then two notches down in the recording quality for me to be truly stoked on this. –Rene Navarro (myspace.com/breakitdownhardcore)


BLACK100S, THE:
Fins: CD
It’s probably just me being a jerk, but I can’t help but wonder why people take on “full band names” when it’s clearly just one person. That said, I make big deals out of nothing at times. This is solo acoustic type stuff that skirts the line between solo blues and folk. It’s not bad, though it starts to drag after a while, and while people into this kind of scene would probably be more into it, I’d probably like it more as an EP. –joe (Self-released)


BIBLBROZZ:
Jeste Se Toci?: CD
Simple ‘82-style hardcore punk with a fork-tongued mohawk skull on the CD and face-melting guitar solos. Made extra badass by the lyrics being in Czech. –CT Terry (Papagajuv Hlasetel)


BERNAYS PROPAGANDA:
My Personal Holiday: CD
This band is from Macedonia. The lyrics (I hope I am correct) are half in Macedonian and half in English. The Macedonian lyrics are translated in the liner notes in English. The music is that dancier, edgier version of the new wave revival that is going around. Lots of ‘80s-sounding hi-hat work underlined with distorted guitar riffs that weren’t used so much in the ‘80s. The vocalist has a sort of Missing Persons quality to her voice. That’s the best part to me. The music is not bad for what it is, but not that interesting, either. –Billups Allen (Moonlee)


BRAMBLE:
H.A.G.S. EP: CDEP
This six-song EP started off with an acoustic guitar flourish and I hoped it was just an intro and would bust into some major contrast with some raging punk rock. But alas, no. Bongo drums kicked in and more acoustic instruments. The rest of the music continued to horrify me as some sort of dreadful noodley, hippy, dream-pop dreadfulness. There are no electrified instruments on the album, which is simply something I cannot accept. I made myself listen to it once all the way through out of service to the readers of Razorcake and then bits and pieces the next day to verify that my listening experience was not a horrible patchouli-soaked nightmare. Printed on the CD are the words “have a good summer” so it is ironic that this is the worst piece of music I have listened to this season, and for a half hour in August made my summer much less enjoyable. –Jake Shut (Self-released)


BRAINS:
Zombie Nation: CD
Pretty standard horror-themed rockabilly. I’m not exactly in love with the thousand bands that sound just like this one (who all, it seems, also have songs called “Evil Never Dies” and “We Will Rise”), so I can’t get too psyched about this disc, no matter how many pictures of half-naked zombettes are included in the album art. –mp (NMG)


BANDAR LOG, THE:
AK-747: CD
So the insert to this CD has a picture of some honky in khakis and a safari helmet wielding a huge modern machine gun. There beside him, a missile is imbedded in the ground, then off to the right there’s what appears to be a bunch of African natives with spears. Above all of this is an ambiguous use of a quote by literature’s most famous imperialist Rudyard Kipling from The Jungle Booksabout “Monkey-Folk who live in the trees,” called the Bandar-Log. So what is a socially conscious music reviewer to do? Pick apart all the songs to find out where they might be going with such imagery and figure out if it’s simply culturally insensitive or if they actually might be making a progressive political statement? Probably. But since this is crappy alternative rock, which nobody who found their way into this fanzine would touch with a ten foot pole, I’ll save myself the time. –Craven (no info)


BAKESYS, THE:
Return to the Planet of the Bakesys!: CD
I’m pretty open to all genres of music but, admittedly, whenever I have some ska come my way, I can’t help but think “Why?” Fortunately, this is more two tone similar to The Specials than “crazy ska punk,” so it’s not unbearable. Unfortunately, it’s a lot mellower and less energetic than The Specials, which is one of the reasons I like that band in the first place. And even though it’s a live record, there’s hardly any crowd noise in between songs! It’s still good if you’re that into ska in 2010, though. –joe (Do The Dog)


BAD AMERICAN:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Thrashy stuff that ain’t silly fast, but they definitely exude enough anger to leave you feeling like you just got yer ass handed to ye. –jimmy (Bad American)


BACKLINERS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
Web searches revealed that this is not the Backliners from Hollywood. Nor are these gents the Backliners from Springfield, Illinois. These are the Backliners from Tel Aviv, Israel, and they fucking rock. The musical formula is fairly standard: fast tempos, buzz-saw guitars, and snotty, aggressive vocals, but it sounds fresh every step of the way. If you’re into sounds the likes of the Riverdales, Nobodys, or Zero Boys, this should be a welcome addition to yer collection. It may take a bit of work to find ‘em online (their Myspace address differentiates them from other Backliners with a z at the end of their name), but these dudes are worth the effort. –The Lord Kveldulfr (myspace.com/thebacklinerz)


ARCTIC FLOWERS:
Self-titled: 7”
Please keep in mind that this review is being filtered through the drunken near-epiphany-like experience I had seeing Arctic Flowers at Chaos In Tejas back in May. Sure, I could barely stand but I was snared and dragged in. I honestly didn’t see how this record could possibly live up to that moment. It does... and then some. As soon as the needle hit the groove, I was mesmerized. The rhythm section locks you into the song and the guitar rips you apart. The vocals begin and the last piece falls into place. The best thing about the three songs here is the true sense of desperation, anger, fear, and depression that comes across without resorting to screaming. Vocalist Alex has a beautiful voice and even when it seems like she’s right on the edge, she still keeps it together. More records please (and come play somewhere near me)! –ty (myspace.com/arcticflowerspdx)


ANOMALYS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
Every now and then you run into a disc that makes you wanna see, rather than hear, the band that’s doin’ the hootin’ and hollerin’. The feral, almost atonal raunch these kids are putting down here makes this just such a disc. Sorta reminds me of mid-’60s beat stuff as interpreted by the Pagans or something—wild, primal, and mere millimeters from becoming completely unhinged, which is exactly how rock’n’roll should be. –jimmy (Slovenly, no address)


AN HISTORIC:
Ephemeral Stampede: CD-R
There are two camps of European folk-inspired contemporary music. The first include the bands and musicians who thoroughly enjoy the music of their fatherlands and wish to modernize the culture to allow greater access to the general public. The second consists of kids who listen to Flogging Molly and Gogol Bordello thinking themselves clever for being a band that pretends to have a wide worldview. I honestly don’t know which section Adam Matlock of An Historic should be placed in. He certainly seems more sincere about this music than most of the specimens I’ve ever seen. His arrangements are clever in parts and lead me to think he’s just a boy from 1930s New York longing to go back to his village in some small country that will soon become assimilated by the looming threat of the communist regime. If this is what he was going for, amazing job. –Bryan Static (Self-released)


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