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Razorcake #84
Tim Version, Ordinary Life LP + bonus 7"
Radon, 28 LP
Zisk #25
Razorcake #83


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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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HALF EMPTIES:
Full Bore: CD
Nondescript punk rock. It’s not terrible, and it doesn’t sound anything like Blink 182 or NOFX, which I guess could be construed as a damn good reason to go out and buy this. You’ve also got to give props to a band with enough guts to attempt a Gears cover. –Jimmy Alvarado (Out of Step)


GORILLA:
Self-titled: CD
The disc was already broken in half when I pulled it outta the case. I guess they either figured they’d save me some trouble or the music on it was too hard, man! –Jimmy Alvarado (www.lunasoundrecording.com)


GOOD RIDDANCE/KILL YOUR IDOLS:
Split: CD
Good Riddance’s West Coast hardcore and Kill Your Idols’ East Coast hardcore make the argument that American geographical quibbles are essentially meaningless. Both are exciting bands, both are still gaining speed and smarts years down the line. Interestingly, they’re both getting harder and faster in a musical world that’s largely basking in emo’s mellowosity, which is a thumbs up in my book. Good Riddance: lead singer and lyricist, Russ, is becoming a smart, smart cookie and the band is following suit; sharp time changes, crystalline breakdowns, and swelling beats that makes them leagues beyond 1-2-3 youth crew stylings and beat-’em-about-the-head-and-neck politics of less finessed bands. It’s amazing how much Dave Wagenschutz’s drumming gives the band such a dark and compelling atmosphere. Kill Your Idols: I really had a problem with the production with their last CD. They excel as the musical equivalent to mistreated pit bulls, but it seemed that they’d been de-toothed and refitted with spongey dentures on that outing. Not so with these three short beatings of songs. They’ve re-harnessed their early 7”s power that can only come from severely choking their songs while slipping a wee bit of melody in for good measure (you know, like someone’s shoe tips on the floor when they’re being hung and a good song’s on the hi-fi). Short but very sweet. –Todd Taylor (Jade Tree)


GONADS:
Schiz-oi!-phrenia: CD
A new album’s worth of jokey oi stuff from a band I didn’t know were still around. “Hitler was an ‘omo” is destined to be a classic. –Jimmy Alvarado (Captain Oi)


GODDAMN GENTLEMEN, THE:
Sex-Caliber Horsepower: CD
Like a $3 donkey show, it’s fast and dirty and a little mean. There’s lots of shouting, and it wouldn’t be what it is without the organ – the thick and gleeful organ. Comparison points that come to mind include the Candy Snatchers, the Delta 72 and the Gun Club, but there’s way more energy than either of those last two. I don’t know about the Gentlemen part, but I’ll vouch for the Goddamn. –Cuss Baxter (Uppercut)


GLORYHOLES:
Screamer: 7"
Side One: Sweet, up-tempo punk ripper with just a touch of Flesh Eaters in the vocals. Ditto for side two. Engineered by Endino, produced by Tim Kerr. A good single and a definite keeper. –Jimmy Alvarado (Dirtnap)


GET UP AND GO:
: Split 7"
A couple of hard rocking Swedish bands lock Viking horns on the vinyl tundra. Get Up And Go’ers’ melodic hardcore reminds me of a tad slower, a tad more dirty, spitty, lower-fi Kid Dynamite. So, yeah, I’m predisposed to like the swelling to burst choruses, catchy slaps of melodies, and lyrics that deal not only – thankfully – with DIY culture and people giving up their dreams for security, but the appreciation of old juke boxes with Johnny Cash and Ronettes selections. I’d like a little more speed, but I’d definitely pick up a full length. Dead End start off on the wrong foot, breaking the “If your soundbite is over 10 seconds, especially at the very beginning, you suck” rule, but they make up ground quickly in a hybrid sound that’s equal parts the poetic penumbra of Marginal Man (with lyrics like “The process of communication never seem to be up for debate so we cover it up in beautiful descriptions,” and the pretty, languid breakdowns) which rips directly into scratchy voiced, vocal tagteaming that makes me think if Dag Nasty’s Dave Smalley gargling Drano. Which is a nice thing to hear when listening to music. Recommended. –Todd Taylor (Bridge, Armed With Anger)


GET HUSTLE:
Mad Power/Who Do You Love?: 7"
One of my favorite releases of the year, by one of my favorite bands. Get Hustle, once from LA, now from Portland, features ex-members of various hip San Diego bands. Some of the neatest art work as well, it’s a must have for record-art junkies. With a new track – “Mad Power,” you get to hear their distinct evolution from rock band (guitar, drum, piano) to cabaret style drama with an organ, piano, and drums, hrobbing organs, delicate piano, jazz drums and the infamous Valentine wailing her strong, possessive voice. It’s as if the Doors made love to Diamanda Galas and Gitane Demone. The second track is a fab cover of Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love?” with dancy piano and a gospel feel. You’ll be clapping your hands to this one. Who do you love? Get Hustle, baby. Woo! -Sarah Stierch –Guest Contributor (Gravity)


GAMITS, THE:
A Small Price to Pay: CD
What do you think of when you think of Colorado? I would venture a guess that most people think of skiing, hemp clothed hippies, or the Denver Broncos. When I think of that state, my mind always drifts to the wonderful folks at Suburban Home Records and their hardest working band, the Gamits. Under your nose, they have been striking out from the land of those powdery slopes and touring the shit out of this country. Chris, Forrest, and Matt have lived, breathed, ate, shit, and played their music and it shows on this new record. They deliver fun, tight, energetic poppy punk rock that is refreshing and genuine. I feel like the Gamits are one of this country’s most under appreciated secrets. This is the record to buy for your kid brother when he asks for a Blink 182 record. –Nathan Grumdahl –Guest Contributor (Suburban Home)


FLAMING STARS:
Ginmill Perfume: CD
These guys swim in that gray pool somewhere between punk, ‘60s garage rock, the Modern Lovers, surf music and Leonard Cohen, if you can believe that. I know that doesn’t sound like a good thing to most, but this is actually one of the better CDs I’ve heard this year. I’ll be playing this puppy lots, boyo. –Jimmy Alvarado (Alternative Tentacles)


FILTHY THIEVING BASTARDS:
A Melody of Retreads and Broken Quills: CD
Usually when people say the word “acoustic,” I stop listening. I generally don’t care about the context. I figure that there are only so many things that you can do with a guitar before you plug it in, and I’ve pretty much heard all of those things. Then, the Filthy Thieving Bastards (who, in case you don’t know it, are Johnny and Darius from the Swingin’ Utters, plus a bunch of musicians helping out) come along and prove me wrong. I’m trying to figure out why I like this album so much. I think it has less to do with the acoustic sound and more to do with how they filled in the song around the guitar. Unlike the first FTB EP, this album has drums on every song. A subtle difference, but it pushes the music beyond that acoustic realm. Then, of course, there’s the accordion, violin, piano, organ, mandolin, pedal steel, and upright bass that flow into some of the songs, each in a different way so that all the songs sound unique, even though the tempo doesn’t change much. A lot of what makes this album cool has to do with the influences, too. Sure, as with everything from Johnny and Darius, the Pogues are a strong background, as are Irish folk songs. Flickers of the Clash come through, too, but not as much as on a Swingin’ Utters album. Unlike the Swingin’ Utters, though, this album throws in flashes of Johnny Cash and even snatches of late eighties college rock (maybe this has something to do with Greg Lisher from Camper von Beethoven helping out on a few songs [rumor has it that Greg thought that Johnny and Darius were skinheads, so he kept trying to take them bowling. Take them bowling]). When you mesh all of these factors together, the songs become something that you’ve never heard before: fleshed out and mesmerizing acoustic songs. –Sean Carswell (BYO)


FASTIDOS, LOS:
Ten Years Tattooed on my Heart: CD
Italian skinhead music that is pretty good musically, but would someone please translate “Italians shouting ‘oi!’ sound just as stupid as Americans shouting ‘oi!’” for them? Thanks a heap. –Jimmy Alvarado (Mad Butcher)


FAINT, THE:
Danse Macabre: CD
This is the latest release from The Faint, who are gaining quite a reputation. A killer live act, it is represented fine on their latest album. Evolving quite a bit from their previous release (Blank-Wave Arcade), they incorporate a stronger use of electronic instruments to their repertoire, as well as a local black-metal guitarist, Depose, who joined the band on their record and on the road. Whether it’s a great dance song or a dramatic minimalist electro track, The Faint deliver it all. Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, and New Order always come to mind, for the more popular comparisons. A great album. Thank god for vocoders. -Sarah Stierch –Guest Contributor (Saddle Creek)


ETERNAL 13:
Layback Grind: CD
This 13 song release is cool if for no other reason than that the packaging is designed like a giant matchbook. This is driving and noisy and has a little bit of a Black Flag feel to it, although not nearly as intense as I would hope for. The fourth song gets pretty thrashy, but doesn’t manage to kick the energy level over the top. Overall, a cool aesthetic and a cool sound, but something’s missing for me. Also, the lack of lyrics pissed me off. These guys could develop into something monstrous if they keep at it. –Dan Yemin –Guest Contributor (Extravertigo)


EASY ACTION:
Self-titled: CD
This is pure skull-crushing Detroit-bred rock’n’roll brutality! It’s a mammoth screaming slaughterhouse of sound that’s drenched to the bone in blood, sweat, attitude, and crazed balls-out fury. The razor-slashed gargoyle vocals demonically shriek and growl in unbridled fits of roaring rage. The guitars are thickly laden with maximum distortion overdrive makin’ ‘em heavier than a tyrannosaurus rex’s testicles. The bass furiously belches forth an unrelenting maelstrom of low-end locomotive rumble and the drums stomp, bash, and boom along like the explosive end result of 100 million Tomahawk cruise-missiles obliterating their intended targets deep in the heart of Afghanistan. Since Easy Action are so obviously incomparable to any other band I could possibly mention, I’ll just state for the record that this cacophonously killer combo is comprised of former members of Negative Approach, Laughing Hyenas, The Necros, Gravitar, and Thrall. Indeed, they’re a ferocious sonic force not to be dealt with lightly. After several enthusiastic listens, I sit here shitfaced and stewed, wondering what in the hell just hit me upside the head with such lethal fullforce intensity; the life-altering auditory terrorism of Easy Action, of course! -Roger Moser, Jr. –Guest Contributor (Reptilian)


DILS, THE:
Dils, Dils, Dils: CD
Fuckin’ commies. For only officially releasing three singles, the Dils left pretty deep slashes across the chest of LA punk. It doesn’t sound groundbreaking today, but the Dils burst the US punk scene’s hymen when it came to politics and were not-very-arguably the first west coast band of their kind, sorta like a state-side Clash in a left-leaning flashpot. And they went for the jugular. “The Sound of the Rain” may sound a little Peter, Paul, and Mary-ish until you listen closely to the lyrics: “I don’t listen to the cops. I wish they were all dead.” This is a re-release of the Dils first demo version of “Blow Up,” The 198 Seconds of the Dils Dangerhouse single from ‘77; (“Class War” and “Mr. Big”); and the Les Dils single from Vancouver’s Rogelletti Records (“Sound of the Rain,” “It’s Not Worth It,” and “Red Rockers”). Falling into a strange pattern of the last two Dils collections I’ve stumbled over the years – this is the third record of theirs that’s half very good studio, half sorta poopy live recordings (still weirder yet, the one from Lost Records, was called Dils Dils Dils, too, but it has a couple of different live songs, but Lost Records is out of business). My personal bias is that the studio stuff rules, the live stuff – it’s okay, but not essential. So, Dionysus knows what they’re doing and/or they know what you want. Not on here is the smoking pressure of the “You’re Not Blank” / “I Hate the Rich” single. Those are on theClass War Dionysus reissue. Woo. Sorry about the geeking out. FYI, the Kinman brothers are still around – after becoming Rank and File, after Blackbird, and currently as Cowboy Nation – but this is what the punks’ll remember ‘em by. –Todd Taylor (Dionysus)


DICK ARMY:
Unsafe at Any Volume: CD
I reviewed a couple of Dick Army seven inches back in the old Flipside days. They were trashy punk rock songs, fast and snotty and seemed like they were held together around the edges by patches that were as threadbare as the knees of their jeans. I just dug out those seven inches not too long ago and wondered if these guys would ever put out a full-length album. Then, what do you know? Here comes Unsafe at Any Volume, which is kind of like a full length, only about ten minutes too short to be called that. Still, this CD has eleven songs, most of them two minutes and most of them sounding like the band listened to some Stooges and some Adolescents, then got drunk and played whatever the fuck they wanted. And there’s something about that that hits me just right. –Sean Carswell (Vital Music)


DIABOLIC:
Vengeance Ascending: CD
Pretty typical as far as black metal goes, maybe a little bit better than others, but by no means original. The beats are frenetic and the music’s a pretty good listen, but the lyrics are kinda dopey and when one refers in print to the other guys in the band as “my fellow battle-demons,” you gotta expect that most people reading it ain’t gonna to be able to control the laughter.
–Jimmy Alvarado (www.olympicrecordings.com)


DEPARTURE, THE:
A Necessity for Ruins: CD
The Departure play what has become the teenage sound of punk today. That “almost metal” guitar playing and three part harmonies are lost on me, but the ultra high energy of earlier punk rock and hardcore is there. The singing is fast and pushed to the wall and you can feel the sweaty boys playing the shit out their instruments behind it. It is a recording that would make you drive your car faster on the way to high school. Unlike a New Found Glory or No Motiv record, there actually is some fresh and unique production to this recording. They get serious points with me because they are not afraid to track a tambourine over a heavy guitar breakdown on “Bleached Just Right.” –Nathan Grumdahl
–Guest Contributor (The Departure)


NEINS, THE:
Self-titled: 7"
The Ventures-styled Mosrite guitar that the Visible Woman is holding on the cover is a tip off here. Simple, good-timey, ‘50s-influenced garage rock with friendly guitars and perky organs and golldarnitall if it doesn’t make me want to play beach blanket bingo. This record’s not going to make me sell my Dick Dale and His Deltones records, but I like it. My only gripe is that, at two songs, it’s too short. –aphid (www.theneins.com)


NAIILED DOWN:
Resurrection: CD
Obnoxious hardcore/grind from a band that’s been around for a while. The songs have enough twists and turns in ‘em to keep things interesting, and no doubt some of the lyrics will piss off a few people, as they should. –Jimmy Alvarado (First Blood Family)


MYSTERY GIRLS:
Something in the Water: CD
Bluesy, ash tray-smelling, roots rock that falls somewhere between the Yardbirds and the Catheters. Nay-sayers could certainly make a case for the Mystery Girls being just yet another band aping Jet and hoping to follow their path to wealth and fame, but this stuff has a certain rawness to it that doesn’t seem cooked up, and plus, it’s pretty catchy. Try as you might, there’s not much here to hate. –aphid (In the Red)


MY SO-CALLED BAND:
Weapons of Mass Distortion: CD
If the Chris Peigler who plays bass in this band is the same Chris Peigler whose been preaching reason to MRR editors about the whole Rich Mackin saga, then, Chris Peigler of My So-Called Band, I salute you! MRR-letters-to-the-editor-based-compliments aside, I couldn’t get into this. Power chords, standard punk rock thing, with not that great political lyrics about Rachel Corrie (an activist who died in Palestine), the Patriot Act, and even my favorite kind of war—class war! I really wanted to like this, but, unfortunately, it’s just Oh’s. I like honey-based crunchy stuff. I like Honey Nut Cheerios. In theory, it sounds so good, but then, you eat it. –Maddy (SW Records)


MY DAD IS A DINOSAUR:
Self-titled: CD
I knew that I should’ve avoided this at all costs when I saw that it involved two people and a harmonica, but nooooo, I had to go and be mister nosy. –Jimmy Alvarado (Prison Jazz)


MUGGERS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
Ten study-at-home lessons right out of the Punk Rock 101 curriculum. The Muggers play sneery, energetic ‘77 style ham-and-egger punk with vocals that bend nicely out of tune in spots. The emphasis here seems to be more on having fun than trying to be dangerous. They sound a little bit like Green Day before they became MTV darlings. Probably a lot of fun live. –aphid (Radio)


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