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Razorcake #90
White Murder, both LPs
Treasure Fleet, The Sun Machine LP
Razorcake #89
White Murder, Form Early LP (CLEAR VINYL)


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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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BADLANDS:
Dark Dreams: 7”
Adrian Chi currently known as the drum basher in Spokenest, illustrator of Bite the Cactus,and formerly of L.A.’s beloved God Equals Genocide, has taken a moment to slow things down and project through music her more laid back/mellow nature in the form of Badlands. The amps have been turned down and the mood is much more somber than most of Adrian’s previous projects, but her gift of genius songwriting is stronger than ever. “Dark” is a folky punk number that perpetually builds momentum as the song progresses. “Dreams” is slightly more upbeat and integrates some nice arpeggio guitar strumming while Adrian’s voice echoes in the background like a ghost happily singing in a desert prairie. Lyrical themes include the day-to-day struggles of life but with an overall positive message encouraging us to not succumb to our own fears and hold those close to us even closer. Just like on previous Badlands recordings, Adrian is the sole songwriter and musical performer, but I’ve recently learned that she now has a full live backing band, including current members of Bird Strike and Wreck Of The Zephyr. Can’t recommend this record enough.  –Juan Espinosa (Porchcore, no address listed)


BAND IN HEAVEN, THE:
The Boys of Summer of Sam: 7”
Really liked their last HoZac single and this one is right along the same lines. The title track is the more driving of the two here, a heady mix of psychedelic flourishes, shoegaze howl, and straight rockin’. The flip, “I Know You Know,” is considerably more mellow, almost dreamy in its woozy delivery. Me like.  –jimmy (HoZac, hozacrecords.com)


BIG DICK:
Disappointment: LP
Taking a cue from Nomeansno—the band that appears to have inspired their namesake—Big Dick presents the bass guitar front and center, which only appears to be unconventional if you’re some sort of guitar gestapo. Big Dick also seems to share a trait with the also great and guitar-less Street Eaters; that is writing thoroughly enjoyable and anthemic punk songs with unpretentious complexity. You’ll marvel at the deft musicianship but will still feel inclined to happily jump up and down in a room full of sweaty, fun-loving punks. Don’t let the album title fool you: this album is anything but a disappointment.  –Juan Espinosa (Dirt Cult, dirtcultrecords.com)


BIG SUZE:
You Guys Suck and It’s Too Loud: Cassette
Hitting “play” on this cassette is like jumping into a pit of rabid wolverines that have been starved for weeks. Or fighting lions in the Roman coliseum with no weapons. Or entering a dark room full of ninjas who think you killed their family. Whatever the metaphor, I was not ready for this. It’s aggressive as fuck and dirty and angry and chaotic. But that kind of controlled chaos. There are a few sludgy breakdowns where you can catch your breath, and try to regroup for the fight, but you better do it fast. As soon as you think you might be ready, they take the same sludgy tempo and just start adding more beats and notes in there. Your heart never has a chance to slow down; they thrust right back into the high speed intensity just when you thought you could let your guard down. They don’t even let you relax in between songs. There’s not a break in sound until the end of the tape. Those short lulls I mentioned earlier are transitions into the next track and I wouldn’t be surprised if each side was recorded as one long continuous take. Lead by vocals that make you imagine burst blood vessels and strained cords, they are also backed up by a set of vocals that are slightly less intense. This band totally rules and should only be played as loud as possible.  –Kayla Greet (Drug Party, drugparty.storenvy.com)


BLACK VOLVO:
Once We All Were Wolves: CD
Debut album from this three piece of Amsterdammers. A rowdy crew, I’d imagine. Seventeen songs that have been lovingly polished to metallic punk shine. You want infectious call and responses, looking for some new battle cries? Currently, my battles consist of picking up kids from school and getting the motivation to mop the floor; no matter your personal struggle, these fellas have just the shot in the ass you need to divide and conquer! I have to mention the album art as well—crazy-looking, stylized animal characters throughout and a sneaky fox anus to boot—done by the band’s own bass player, Jaap Baard. Check out the animation he did for their video “Steady Face.” It’s rad!  –Jackie Rusted (Round Dog, rounddogrecords.com / TNS, tnsrecords.co.uk)


BLANK POSTCARDS, THE:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Debut release by The Blank Postcards, which came out back in 2012. It doesn’t appear the band has been terribly active since then, but difficult to tell merely via the internet. Two instrumental surf cuts that sandwich a garage stomper on each side. “I’m Covered in Mess” sounds strikingly similar to Tyvek. I’m into it. This band should do more, since they seemingly have some talent.  –Steve Adamyk (Laptop Smashing Party, no address listed)


BLOSSUM HILL:
Illustrate Your Grub: EP
What a trip; I put this record on in the house and the missus asked if this was Green Day. Not the “in the charts on major labels” Green Day, but the “1000 Hours, 39:Smooth Green Day,” the soundtrack to summer Green Day, the staying up all night in the attic with Jono drinking cheap cider Green Day, the stealing milk and doing LSD with the band Green Day. You want innovation? Get into experimental jazz. Reliving a sound or a feeling can be as vital as reinventing noise. This band from Finland brought back memories and feelings I thought long forgotten. It sounds exactly like the very best Green Day records. I’ve been known to be offhand and cynical, and so I should be, I’ve spent a ton of days on this earth ingesting shit. I love this. Unapologetic to all. Constant rotation; remembering being nineteen.  –Tim Brooks (Hold On, blossomhill.bandcamp.com)


BOATS!:
Black and White: LP
I can honestly say that Modern Action Records has never steered me wrong. I’ve bought records from many bands blindly just because MAR put them out. It always works out, and I am pleased to announce that the winning streak continues. Boats! are so good. The label has a signature sound and these guys fit right in. Upbeat pogo-rock songs that bring to mind many of the other bands on the label (Briefs and Sharp Objects come to mind first) but still managing to have their own thing going on. If you’re not down with the program, you better get there. Your ear holes with thank you.  –ty (Modern Action)


BOMB, THE:
Axis of Awesome: 12”EP
A six-song, one-sided record from this Chicago outfit. All cylinders are locked and loaded here, with everyone involved playing/singing at the top of their game. I even like their version of a Dwarves song, which comes as a shock to my system! The vinyl sold out like a second round of flapjacks at a pancake breakfast. Hopefully, they will do a repress for those who are just getting the news. I wish that the band decides to play out for this one, bolstered by the positive response. Only the gods can help us with that honest plea now.  –koepenick (No Idea, noisebynumbers@hotmail.com)


BP FALLON:
Live in Texas: CD
BP Fallon is an Irish storyteller and author with a varied and expansive career behind him, having worked with many legends of the rock music industry in various difference capacities since the ‘70s. With this release, he leads a band, putting the focus on his rambling stories placed over the top of mostly acoustic guitar. It’s pleasant in the kind of way that I bet my parents would like it.  –Mark Twistworthy (Saustex, saustex.com)


BREAK ANCHOR / LAWSKOF:
169 Miles: Split: 7”
Apparently 169 miles is the distance between Detroit, MI and Cleveland, OH, but honestly, the distance could be a bike ride seeing how nice these bands go together on this split. Both bands serve up one original and one cover. Break Anchor produces a competent, mid-tempo sound that reminds me of Dave Smalley era Dag Nasty, which seems fitting as their cover is of Dag’s “Under Your Influence.” Lawskof seems to be still honing their sound—nothing too memorable, yet filled with enough promise that I will keep an open eye for future releases, for sure.  –Garrett Barnwell (Underground Communiqué, undergroundcomm.org)


BROKEN GOLD:
Residency at Hundo Beach: CDEP
Broken Gold features current and former members of The Riverboat Gamblers, however, the layered guitars and stacked pedals are the focal point; they swoop and shimmer then burn out into a wall of fuzz. Ian MacDougall’s voice is reserved and sometimes lost in the mix, which helps to pronounce the sedated melodies and rich textures. Imagine The Replacements and Hüsker Dü informed by post-hardcore. “Let Go” dabbles in Weakerthans moodiness, but with no lyrics included I’m unsure as to if MacDougall is writing poetry like John K. Samson. “Shoulder” is a smidge too sentimental and grandiose, but “Dirty Vodka” is proof that Broken Gold knows how to crush. Just listening to the guitars build a wall of sound brick by brick is enough.  –Sean Arenas (End Sounds, endsounds.com)


BRUISERS, THE:
Gates of Hell: 7”
Stale, bland, and boring sounds leave me expressionless and emotionless. I’d rather bang my head against a wall than listen to this. I want this record to stop so badly, I would chop off my own arm for it to end. Recycled garbage of “punk” and “oi” bands I’ve heard a thousand times, over and over, disguised under the name of The Bruisers, packaged and neatly pressed into grooves that play over nine minutes of absolute hell—and no, not the fun hell everyone dreams of with satan, fellow queers and weirds, with an endless flow booze we all like to imagine. After the first track, I become numb, and the feeling of extreme nihilism washes over me whilst trying to listen to this; believe in nothing, feel…nothing. Static in my brain, desperately searching for a channel to connect to, but, alas, only distain and disinterest.  –Genevieve Armstrong (Chapter 11, Chapterelevenrecords.com)


BUTCH VS. FEMME:
Eat Yr Heart Out: CD
Butch Vs. Femme have come out with a release after being a band for ten-plus years. Their album runs the gambit from dance punk, to queer goth, to rock, and noise. It’s weird and off kilter, but still catchy. Butch Vs. Femme features the sounds of accordion, keyboard, and drums which are cleanly recorded and the sound is fat. The vocals are recorded with an intentional weird lo-fi effect. It makes them stand out, in contrast to the instruments. It’s odd and super fun.  –Camylle Reynolds (Self-released, butchvsfemme.com)


CAFFIENDS / WOLF-FACE:
Split: 7”
Caffiends play party punk. I’m not talking about those kinds of parties with wine and cheese plates, where people have “important conversations.” I’m not talking about adult parties. I’m talking about caffeine-fueled, let’s tip the furniture over and play music so loud that there’s not even a chance to embarrass ourselves by saying dumb shit parties. On the flipside, Wolf-Face takes a much more serious approach to punk rock by dropping a bunch of songs about werewolves!  –mp (Mooster)


CASH REGISTERS:
Context Demos: CD
Eighteen tracks of various hues of poppy punk, including the occasional reliance on the obligatory Ramones template, recorded on a four-track over an unspecified two-day period. Sound quality varies from one tune to the next, and things get more interesting when they ratchet up the tempos. On the whole, however, the songs are neither offensive to the senses nor particularly earwormy.  –jimmy (Million Dollar, no address listed)


CAT JELLY:
Self-titled: CD
This six-song EP could use some work. The songwriting is basic and the music is painfully simple. It’s hard to tell if the band is trying to be experimental or if they’re just beginners. The liner notes inside the CD read like a high school year book signing, but it’s hard for me to tell what’s ironic or sincere these days. More than likely, Cat Jelly is giving their best go at Romeo Void-esque trash punk. Honestly, it’s not worth a listen, but they have potential. However, if their album cover featuring cartoon cats pulling out their own guts juxtaposed on top of photographs of pizza is any indication of talent, they at least have promising futures in a marketing department.  –Nicole Madden (Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert!)


CCR HEADCLEANER:
Cokesmoker: 12”EP
Cokesmokersounds like music by high people, for high people. There are a lot of ambient, post-apocalyptic noises going on that don’t make you feel very safe. If you enjoy feelings of anxiety, displacement, and paranoia, you should put this record in your ears or in you pipe.  –Ryan Nichols (Stale Heat, no address listed)


CELA NR 3:
Stilonka: LP
I might be getting the information wrong on this record (all text on the record is in Polish and I’m doing research on sites translated, often clumsily, into English), but from what I can gather Cela Nr 3 were mid-‘80s punks from Poland. Starting out under the name Memory Loss, they were detained after a scuffle on a train ride and named themselves after their jail cell, possibly in an attempt to hide their identities. Stilonka—a collection of demo recordings from 1985—is a catchy, dark, odd, affecting mix of buzzing minimalist punk and driving post-punk melancholy, influenced by the Ramones and early British punks but filtered through harsh, thin guitars and Eastern Bloc amps and what I can only imagine were grey skies and cool, boxy cars. When I was listening, I kept picturing an alternate Rock ‘N RollHigh School starring Iceage but still set at the end of the ‘70s. Or maybe a cross between Rock N’ Roll High School and Over the Edge? The soundtrack’s already done, we just need the film. –Matt Werts (Pasazer, pasazer.pl)


CEMETERY:
Self-titled: LP
Death rock/goth-inspired punk rock which potentially could join the ranks of current stalwarts such as Catholic Spit, Rakta, and Anasazi but isn’t quite there yet. Perhaps it was a wee bit ambitious to press these songs to wax as they all come from demos: demos that could use some kinks worked out. If and when things improve, I can see the ghost of Rozz Williams giving Cemetery his approval.  –Juan Espinosa (Mass Media, massmediarecords.com)


CHACHI ON ACID:
You Communicate a Sense of Harmony to Others: CD
Let’s recap: Chachi On Acid is a legendary band from Southern Ontario that you’ve probably never heard of. They’ve been kicking their snotty, punk anthems out for almost twenty years now, I imagine. This here disc is the digital version of their first record (?), recorded in 1998. This whole thing reeks of punk in Canada many years back. It’s a real time capsule, and it’s great—don’t forget that part. I mean, provided you have a sense of humor.  –Steve Adamyk (BHJ, chachionacid.bandcamp.com)


CHICKEN CHAIN:
Birth of the Googus: 12”LP
Ridiculously good. Creepy thrash sludge hardcore punk out of Baltimore. Sounds like early ‘80s Urinals, with a bit of sped-up Flipper, and a whole lotta Lumpy And The Dumpers. It’s not meant to be taken seriously, so get your head out of your ass, embrace that shit-eating grin, and thrash. Disgusting hilarious zine insert that will both gross you the fuck out and tickle your funny bone (the dirty one).  –Camylle Reynolds (Snot Releases)


CHOKECHERRY:
The Future Was a Long Time Ago: LP
Imagine for a moment that folk punk in 2015 does not mainly consist of angry boys filming themselves playing tone-deaf Pat The Bunny covers on guitars made out of coffee cans. I want to call what Chokecherry does folk punk, because that’s what it is, but I don’t want to give anyone the wrong idea. It’s more like if This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb could—just barely—get away with playing an actual non-punk barn dance. It can come off as a little affected at times, but that tends to come with the (cactus-studded, tumbleweed-blown) territory. If you like some wistful fiddle and twangy Hank Williams yelping with your pop punk, this could be for you.  –Indiana Laub (Self-released, chokecherrympls@gmail.com, chokecherrympls.com)


CITY SAINTS:
Go and Die: CD
It is pretty impressive that this band started in 2012 and already has two full length CDs as well as this twelve-song “non-album cuts” compilation. Those are some hard-working, blue collar skinheads. The music is pretty “cut and paste” oi punk. There are lots of singalongs and an acoustic Cock Sparrer cover thrown in… All in all, it’s enjoyable but doesn’t have that “crack a beer and hit the streets with my friends” feeling that I get from a lot of these bands.  –ty (Spirit Of The Streets)


CJ RAMONE:
Understand Me?: 7” EP
With all original Ramones dead, CJ has successfully carried The Ramones’ sound steadily, and vividly, through Side A. The sound coming through to me is pop perfection, crisp, raw, and only brings feelings of nostalgia; intense, true, and pure happiness washes over me. I can’t help but play this over and over again, wishing it would never end. Side B is Black Flag’s infamous Rise Above, originally written by Greg Ginn, sung by both CJ and former Black Flag member, Dez Cadena. One of the absolute best, if not the best, covers of any Black Flag song I’ve ever heard (though I’m sure having a former member helps). This is an absolutely perfect 7” and stays true to the Ramones’ name.  –Genevieve Armstrong (Fat Wreck Chords, fatwreck.com, mailbag@fatwreck.com)


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