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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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SOMETHING FIERCE:
There Are No Answers: LP

Spores. Fungus. Mold. All flourish in shit, hidden wetness, and darkness. Some’ll kill you outright. Some, it takes years to get into your lungs, and, even then, the malady may be hard to diagnose. You’re taking a shower one day, and unexpectedly die when a lung collapses. So when Something Fierce shine their power pop halogens into the dark, slick, icky madness below, their songs don’t sound like bubblegum. They sound like bubblegum and jammed circular saws, lengths of too-short rope, and spats of far-thrown blood. If Roky Erickson, Fred Cole of The Lollipop Shoppe, and an excellent new century punk pop band got together, I imagine it’d sound something akin to Something Fierce. And that’s something I’ve been looking forward to hearing for years without realizing it. Highly recommended

–todd (Dirtnap)


SNUGGLE / NO HIGH FIVES TO BULLSHIT:
Split: 7”
Snuggle play tight and loose pop punk from Seattle with some snarlyness torn between olde heartbreak and vague anti-consumerism. Three dorkus malorki who seem know how to lose girls and party. As for No High Fives: Holy Crimpshrine! Take that as you will (I liked Crimpshrine…). –Andrew Flanagan (1-2-3-4 Go!)


SNUGGLE / NO HIGH 5S 2 BULLSHIT:
Split: 7”
Snuggle: like their regional brethren—Drunken Boat—they take the California pop punk sounds and warp them into a cloudy, rainy, flash flood of epic depression, resentment, and piss-in-your-lemonade punk. Two salvaged tracks from a doomed recording session a couple years back. “Sometimes things don’t work out so good.” I guess not. NH52BS: sure, plenty of people rip Tiltwheel off. Plenty. Of. People. But NH52BS do it with style. Incorporating heavier guitar parts that sludge through the groves, more in common with fellow Denvernians Git Some, than Burritofornia. Spot on stuff. I declare this to be the moodiest pop punk split 7” of the year. –Daryl Gussin (1-2-3-4 Go!)


SNAZZY BOYS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
Punchy and, yes, snazzy punk rock here, courtesy of four strapping Italian lads who deliver some catchy tunes. They could handily share bills with the Briefs and the Regulations with nary a problem. –jimmy (nofrontteeth.net)


SLUDGEWORTH:
Insubordination Fest 2008: CD
Incredible sounding live document of this band’s performance in Baltimore, MD on June 28, 2008. Having seen them at Riot Fest in Chicago the year before, I thought I knew what to expect. Think again. These guys pulled out all the stops during this set and I started getting kind of emotional about it all. I had to tell my festival cohorts that it was just Natty Bo that had gotten in my eyes, not a manmade substance. This is a sweet bookend to their studio work. Buy the bundle with the DVD for extra cheap. No, this is not hyperbole and I was not in any way influenced by the fact that my brother is featured prominently in the CD insert picture. He is wearing sunglasses. –koepenick (Insubordination)


SILLA ELECTRICA:
Hundir: 7” EP
Raw, straightforward punk rock from Madrid. They may not ever hit warp speed, but they definitely leave no doubt they’re plenty pissed about something. –jimmy (Blind Owl)


SIC & MAD:
Songs for the Revolution: CD
I grabbed this because I noticed that this was basically the Slackers with a different vocalist. My exposure to the Slackers mostly consists of my best friend in New Mexico making the proclamation about once a year that they’re the greatest band in the world. I’m a little less enamored of the band, but still was curious as to what this side project was like. Basically, this is some kind of weird amalgamation of dub, lo-fi, punk, jazz, and talk-sing vocals. It’s more stripped down and rough than the Slackers, but, at the same time, it’s still weirdly chill. With that description, it almost sounds like this could be a third generation Sublime rip-off, but, thank god, this album stays away from being another tired stoner-ska retread. It’s much more of a garagey feel than those types of bands. That said, there are a few problems with this album. Some of the stuff seems more like incomplete ideas rather than finished songs (like what the hell is the deal with the song “She”?). Also, the vocals by Happy seem can get old pretty quick because their pretty limited in range and seem to follow the same laidback cadence for most of the album. There are some interesting ideas that pop up at times, but, for the most part, this feels very much like a side project with more ideas than proper execution. –Adrian (Stubborn)


SHORTCUTS, THE:
30 Pack: CD
Minneapolis pop punk! Five catchy songs about relationships (duh, it’s pop punk!), including a Carbonas reference! Yay! The local comparison would be the Soviettes. With “Hey! Hey! Hey!” and “Come on! Come on!” back-up vocals! I’m really glad that the current pop punk revival has way more girl-led bands than the original Lookout heyday. (I’m not saying that I want Ben Weasel to be a girl, but you know what I mean!) If this were a cereal, it’d be Frosted Flakes! –Maddy (Self-released)


SHITTY LIMITS, THE:
Beware the Limits: LP
Beyond the monkey-fisted initial impact of a completely focused punk band getting down to the business of not fucking around, the U.K.’s Shitty Limits affect the little-understood glandular and deep brain systems. Pituitary punk rock? Endocrine rock’n’roll? Insect instinct? There’s an amazing amount of post-shorn sheep of notes, a chopping down to the inner rings of trees, and an ammunition-like reassembly in Beware the Limits, all ready for the right crack, plunge, or push for the shaped explosions to burst into deep places in your body for maximum affect. Imagine Minuteman-like bursts, swapping funkiness for Wire taughtness. Motivated and spot on. –todd (Sorry State)


SHIELDS UP:
Self-titled: CD
Fast, relentless hardcore from Edinburgh, Scotland. It’s tough and tight without resorting to youth crew clichés. The second guitar player keeps it bigger than power chords, adding some interesting melodic bits. At thirteen songs in just under twenty-five minutes, the assault blows by and leaves you panting. Good shit. –CT Terry (Wasted State, wastedstate.com )


SHANGHAI WIRES:
Upsetter Democracy: LP
Fans of The Stitches, listen up! Did you spend the mid- to late-‘90s as I did, scarfing up every 7” release from Witmer/Lohrman and company like it was gold? And, have you been in Stitches withdrawal ever since they went inactive, at least on vinyl? Then Shanghai Wires may well be the band for you. They may be from England, but they have clearly soaked up the vintage Southern California punk rock vinyl so much that it courses through their veins as much as any of their native country’s fine bands do. If I have any criticisms about this at all, it would be that I wish the mix had a little more bottom end to it. Other than that, I’ve played this many times through and it more than holds its own. –chris (May Cause Dizziness, mcdrecords.com)


SHANG-A-LANG:
Sad Magic: LP
Shang-A-Lang is one of the few bands that I actively check in on every few months to make sure I haven’t missed any releases. I stumbled upon their songs a bit before their first 7” was released. It was amazing stuff, and with every release their momentum just keeps increasing. I was the first of my friends to have a copy of this record and waited forever for someone else to get a damn copy so we could talk about how good it was. If I had the money, I would buy everyone I know a copy, but I’m poor and I’d be lucky if this convinces someone, somewhere to buy a copy. So, get off your ass and find this, because you will not find any tighter science. –Bryan Static (Fast Crowd)


SERVO:
Everything: CD
Finally! A discography has been compiled! This band was a favorite of mine for the duration of their short existence from 1997-2000. It all started for me with their Blueprint 7” and the full-length, Everything’s Difficult CD. Both got heavy rotation in my house. A dreamy blend of infectious melodies and strong pop hooks filled the air. I always got a cheery feeling with a hint of despair from their songs. Female-led vocals are delivered with innocence and a striking, honest quality. The bass stood out for me as the driving force of the songs, while the guitar complimented and added texture to the songs. The drums are what add the punk flair to tie everything together. So glad to finally hear songs from various splits that I missed and the unreleased tracks are a bonus. Hope a renewed interest in the band emerges so that a reunion is possible. –don (Crackle)


SELMANAIRES, THE:
“Princess Illusionist Frankenstein” b/w “Beneath the Brights”: 7”
Slightly droning, almost psychedelic, Brit-flavored postpunk that makes me think of the phrase “pop sensibilities,” even though I’m not sure why. Slight ‘80s feel, and not at all in a bad way. I initially thought side A had two songs, titled, “Princess Illusionist” and “Frankenstein.” “Princess Illusionist Frankenstein” is my new favorite song title. –Sarah Shay (Rob’s House)


SEASICK:
Ennui: 7”
Thick, dark hardcore from New Jersey. It’s got a metal influence that comes through in the melodic leads and adventurous, but smooth, tempo changes. You can tell that the guys in Seasick are great musicians; the playing is tight with technical flourishes, but they hold back and concentrate on kicking ass instead of impressing you with shredding or weird time signatures. If you like skewed hardcore like Born Against, His Hero Is Gone, or Deadguy, there’s something here that you’ll find worthy. Each side has two songs that run into one another, and if I hadn’t looked at the insert, I would have just thought there were two five-minute songs on this record. Also, if I hadn’t looked at the insert, I wouldn’t have seen the grouchy, “I hate the scene” lyrics. Hey chief, if you can’t go on with your life, then cheer up—your band just put out a ripshit record. –CT Terry (Headcount, headcountrecords.com)


SCHWARZEN SCHAFE, DIE:
24 Years of DIY: CD
They sound like yer average German bald boy punk stuff, but based on the pics, there doesn’t seem to be a skinhead anywhere near the vicinity. Stuff here follows the basic oi template; not revelatory, not horrible. –jimmy (sp-records.com)


SCA:
Decadence & Rage: CD
Heavy, big sound hardcore with a slight metal tinge here and there, not unlike bands like Voorhees or the Horrors. Lyrics appear to lean toward the angry and nihilistic; the beats are fast, the playin’ furious. –jimmy (SCA, no address)


SATURDAY’S KIDS:
Demo: CD
I’m not really sure how to describe this band. The music is melodic, slightly “quirky” mid-tempo post punk, I guess. These folks are no strangers to early ‘90s Dischord bands, that’s obvious. The vocals certainly leave something to be desired, however. Monotonous, as the subgenre would suggest, but kinda obnoxious, as opposed to the requisite strained, passionate thing you’d expect from a band of this ilk. Anyway, it’s not terrible, but there are a lot of bands doing this kinda thing who happen to be doing it better. Cool lyrics and rad handmade packaging, though. –Dave Williams (Self-released)


RVIVR:
Derailer: 7”
Here’s the scoop: two songs: one song an acoustic version that will show up all done out on a future full-length. The other: some of the best DIY, community-conscience, melodically inclined, dual-male-female-vocal pop punk that hosts both a trumpet part and some ridiculously powerful (both auditory and symbolically) gang vocals, you’ll hear all year. I’m not lying. I’m not even really joking. Once again, RVIVR seem make big waves off a small platform. Impressive. –Daryl Gussin (Rumbletowne)


RUMSPRINGER / SLEEP LIKE A DOG:
Split: 7” EP
Rumspringer: Saw these guys turn in a great set at the Razorcake benefit, so I naturally picked this out of the review pile. Two tracks from ‘em here, both catchy bits of poppy punk that. Nice enough to make me wanna hear more. Sleep Like A Dog: They follow along the same lines as their record mates here, though the heavy Japanese accents make the lyric sheet indispensable. –jimmy (Traffic Street)


ROUGH STUFF:
Self-titled: 7”
Rough Stuff is an example of a band that makes me feel uncultured to be an American. The group consists of four guys from Japan who sing in English and whose music is released on both an American and a Spanish label. (I barely moved outside of Colorado last year.) With that said, these are two mid-tempo pop punk songs. For what they lack in fierce beat, Rough Stuff makes up for being genuine. Sample lyrics from “Out of Control”: “The council enacts various ban but you don’t care, you’re having fun.” –N.L. Dewart (Long Shot Music, True Force)


RIVERWINDS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
Because of the genres of music that we usually review, I know that if I make a reference to country music, you’re probably going to assume that this album is going to be some cool alt- country or folk-punk record, but let me tell you right away that this band is neither Wilco nor Defiance, Ohio. The Riverwinds play the straightforward kind of country music that you hear blasting out of pickup trucks when you make a pit stop at a local convenience store on a road trip from Houston to Dallas. Clean-sounding, mid-tempo electric guitars ring along with lyrics about broken hearts, rock‘n’roll, and small-town angst. The CD is produced with that big, full sound complete with perfectly harmonized backing vocals and organ fills in the background. Now, country music isn’t my thing, but after ten years of living in the South, I’ve at least gotten used enough to it to tolerate it as a cultural thing for people in this region. This album wasn’t particularly bad for its genre, except that the singer goes over the top with his exaggerated (fake?) Southern accent. The Riverwinds didn’t change my opinion on country music, and they probably won’t change yours, either. –Lauren Trout (LP-EP, www.lp-ep.com)


RINGERS:
Hurry up and Wait: 12” EP
Well-made, earnest, and entirely listenable melodic street punk from Boston. Like watered down whiskey, the record is rough around the edges and smooth going down. But here’s the deal: if you’re like me you don’t want water in your whiskey and you don’t want your punk to go down smooth. You want it to knock you on your ass. There is no ass knocking here. I kept waiting for it, like the album title told me, but the ass-knocking never came. It just made me sad. Now melodic doesn’t always mean mellow, but here it does. Big time. It might even mean soft. Maybe I’d like it more if it didn’t keep reminding me of One Man Army, only their vocals were way better and they actually rocked. –Jim Ruland (1-2-3-4 Go!)


RINGERS:
Hurry Up and Wait: 12” EP
Let me preface this shit by saying that I’m not a completist. I liked some of their previous bands’ work more than I liked Ringers’ material, though I thought there was a vast improvement from these dudes’ first full-length to their second. Thing is—and I don’t know if it’s time, a serious stepping up of craft, or the format itself (seven songs on a 12”), but Hurry Up And Wait easily blows both LPs out of the water. All the songs have room to breathe here, and what came across as static or a little run-of-the-mill in the past has been sharpened and transformed into some really rugged, bad-ass, anthemic songwriting. I get Todd’s comparison of Bent Outta Shape and The Clash now—there’s that same snarl coupled with a confident, easy strut and exuberant catchiness. These tunes come across more like rough-hewn folk songs (and I mean that in the sense of a very misleading simplicity, how goddamn joyful this noise is) juiced up to ten than anything else. They just nailed it here. Totally awesome record. –keith (1-2-3-4 Go!)


RF7:
Hatred on the Rise: CD
Hardcore progenitors RF7 manage to do it all over again, thirty years after their first album, Acts of Defiance. Like clockwork, every few years a new incarnation of RF7 creeps into a studio. A ton of past and present members of RF7 contributed to this recording and it’s a damn fine example of old meeting new, meshing like fishnets on a fashionable rocker. Naysayers will yawn at these aged dudes trying to keep up with hardcore, but it’s a ton of fucking fun, especially the danceable title track. Count me in. –Art Ettinger (Just 4 Fun, www.j4f.dk)


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