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· 1:Punk Parenthood for the Sleep Deprived
· 2:#330 with Craven Rock
· 3:#329 with Daryl Gussin
· 4:One Punk’s Guide to Poetry
· 5:#331 with Mike Faloon and Todd Taylor


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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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AXEMEN, THE:
Derry Legend: LP
Derry Legend was originally released by Flying Nun in 1989. Hard to find even in New Zealand, Luxury Products stepped up with a great reissue. The label went with a faithful reproduction of the original Derry Legend sleeve and threw in a nice, two-page newsprint insert with photos, reviews of the album from the Flying Nun release (incidentally, mostly scathing), handwritten notes from the period, and show flyers. No corners were cut; this was a costly reissue (more of a reason to pick it up). Derry Legend is slightly more focused than The Axemen’s vinyl debut Three Virgins—and that’s likely attributable to Dragan Stojanovic’s presence on Derry Legend (Dragan’s a great guitarist) and access to The Skeptics’ sixteen-track studio. Nevertheless, The Axemen still sound like The Axemen. Shambolic punk rock (“Disc to Disk”), rapping (“The Tragic Tale...”) and stabs at girl-group harmonizing (“Hey Alice!”) are all present on Derry Legend. Steve McCabe’s catchy “Wharf with No Name,” conceivably a New Zealand radio hit, is on Derry Legend (check YouTube for the accompanying music video—yeah, that’s Celia Mancini miming background vocals). Like The Swell Maps, you either get The Axemen or you don’t. They were championed by some (notably The Clean’s Hamish Kilgour and Siltbreeze’s Tom Lax) and maligned by others (NZ’s music press—granted, that’s not saying much. Just read their pitiful reviews on the album’s insert.). For the uninitiated, Derry Legend or Peter Wang Pud, are great starting points. Derry Legend is my favorite Axemen record and that’s saying something: I put out their last full-length album! Highly recommended.  –Ryan Leach (Luxury Products, luxuryproductsusa.com)


ARROYO DEATHMATCH:
All of Them Witches: CD
I was going to call this “anarcho-flamenco punk,” but I don’t think what Arroyo Deathmatch plays is technically flamenco. There’s a definite Spanish feel to it and there’s a lot of flute work and there are moments that made me think of The Spirit of the Beehive. But, really, this is just a standard, excruciating folk-punk record—ostensibly radical/populist/authentic, though in truth it’s contrived and ridiculous and completely at odds with what people actually listen to. You get one singer who sounds like Chuck Ragan and another who sounds like John Darnielle, basically a lumberjack and an accountant screaming at you about straight edge and voting over acoustic fast-core with prog time shifts. I groaned and rolled my eyes, even when the band did something sort of cool like make an album without the use of electricity (you wonder how they manufactured the CDs and the answer is naturally occurring forest disc-burners running on syrup and good vibes). Another bohemian punkhouse vanity project, light years away from Wallace Berman or any of the real cool outliers.  –Matt Werts (Self-released, arroyodeathmatch.bandcamp.com)


ANTITHOUGHT:
Life’s Too Long: Cassette
Let’s talk about “fuck” for a sec. A quick preliminary scan of the lyric sheet revealed close to forty of ‘em in five songs (which turned out to be seven minutes long). I’m all for free expression, but I also believe in the law of diminishing marginal returns, which says something loses its impact with repetition. This is all in the way of saying I thought these cats had a tough row to hoe. Well, fuck me! Antithought’s gruff punk is perfectly suited for such fucking sentiment, what with their mixture of street punk and fucking Negative Approach: anthemic and pissed. That’s what I get for reading a lyric sheet first.  –Michael T. Fournier (Acid Kat)


ANTI YOU:
Blank Stares: LP
I’d say this is Anti You’s best material yet. Still as fast and thrashy as before, but it’s all tighter and more focused than the older stuff. There’s more punch in their sound. There are varying tempos in the songs, some quick guitar solos, and “whoa-oh” backing vocals to ensure that this whole record does not turn into one long blur. I like the transition between “Rat Trap” and “Too Young to Die,” where all the instruments, except the drum and bass, go away for a few seconds. Helps give this a live feel and keeps the urgency constant. What’s really cool about this is how catchy these songs are. They’re barreling down the whole time, and there are these choruses and beats that direct your attention away from the chaos. Check out songs like “Notions,” “Pull Through,” and “Final Scene.” They all have that manic energy and a way of working themselves into your consciousness. The kind of hardcore that will appeal to those who like their music fast, and to those who want to sing along.  –Matt Average (Six Weeks, sixweeksrecords.com)


AMPUTEES, THE:
Scream: 7” EP
The opener, “Beaner,” is a seriously nice bit of haunting rock/punk with an almost psych-pop undertow and nice drony duo vocals. The closer, “88,” is a catchy poppy punk driver of a tune. Sandwiched in between are two artier bits of oddball punk and a thrasher.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Money Fire)


AMBULARS, THE:
Dreamers Asleep at the Wheel: LP
This record took me back to the days when The Anniversary were still putting out records, only these guys don’t use keyboards on every song. The Ambulars have the whole power pop trio sound down. All the songs are well crafted, and, as a whole, the record flows together nicely. There are a lot of male/female vocals harmonies which add a nice dynamic to the songs. A lot of the themes of the songs seem to deal with growing up, feeling disconnected, and heartbreak. Recommended for fans of true emo, indie rock, and pop punk.  –Ryan Nichols (Salinas, salinasrecords@gmail.com)


ALL DOGS:
Self-titled: 7”
Punks from Columbus keep putting out the good stuff. All Dogs, a three-piece group hailing from thereabouts, will be counting this 7” as their second release following a split cassette with Slouch last summer. Here, four roaming and low-distortion tracks talk friendship and punk love calamity in the Midwest. The band is tight, restrained, and thoughtful, but it’s singer Maryin Jones’ melodic voice that steals the ears, floats above the rollicking steadiness of her bandmates, and makes with the considerate and nuanced and heartfelt shit that’s needed after a winter of bloodthirsty potholes and piles of angry, grey snow. For me, All Dogs are going to be the band to see the week after I lose my gloves for good and slice my jeans into shorts. Check out “Buddy” from this 7” and “Annoying” from their split, which rocks only slightly harder than the new stuff. Available on creamy mint vinyl, delicious!  –Jim Joyce (Salinas, Salinas.com)


666 ANIOLOW:
Czarcilok: LP
This is a full album of seventeen studio recorded covers of well-known songs by the Misfits. For some reason, Horror Hotel is listed in English but all the rest of the songs are given a Polish song title. Seventeen versions of Misfits songs with vocals and lyrics in Polish. There really is not anything else to say about this record.  –Mike Frame (Pasazer)


45 ADAPTERS:
Dress Well, Drink Heavily: 7”
Imagine Danko Jones meets oi. This is a nifty little record from this Brooklyn outfit who, on their web page, describe their music as “a truck full of Cock Sparrer records crashing into a truck full of Otis Redding records.” That about nails it. The 45 Adapters are sparse and tight, like a lithe and wiry boxer who can always beat down his bloated nemeses. Good stuff. White vinyl!  –The Lord Kveldulfr (Longshot / Contra)


#1S, THE:
Sharon: 7”
Sweet, sweet dripping power pop like chocolate syrup on a triple scoop banana split. What really makes this for me is the vocals. Each member has their different parts that they do; it really feels like a group effort. Dublin by way of Canada pop perfection. The pace slows down a little on the B-side, but only because after “Sharon Shouldn’t” you just want to curl up and figure out what just happened to you. This is how 7”s should be done. –Daryl Gussin (Sorry State / Alien Snatch)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Oi! Made in Holland: CD
What can I say? Twenty-nine Dutch bands of the street punk persuasion belting it out on this disc. A lot of stuff that sounds the same (not to say that it’s bad), can get a little tough to listen to, but there are some gems here. Polish up your boots and take this one for a spin. –Ty Stranglehold (Rebellion)


URINALS:
Negative Capability: 2 x LP
Goddamnit! I feel like I should have so much more to say about this record. I’ve only ever heard about The Urinals, only heard covers (specifically the Angry Angles version of “Black Hole”) and was really looking forward to this release. Finally hearing it inspires me to start a new band that takes things back to The Urinals’ basics. Ugh, this makes me sound so ignorant of musical history! I’m sure there are more qualified people to review this record. I’ll describe it as thud-punk. I am of two minds about including the entire output of any lost band on a super-release such as this. I can see why In The Red wanted to put every Urinals recording out there, but do we really need another version (and live, at that) of the 13th Floor Elevators’ “You’re Gonna Miss Me?” The answer is no. But “Ack Ack Ack Ack” more than makes up for it. –Sal Lucci (In The Red)


UNION HEARTS / THE CROISSANTS:
Split: 7”
The Union Hearts are exactly what you would expect from Brian Hanover, formerly of The Hanover Saints. These are street punk anthems to lace your boots up to. Good shit. The Croissants are of a different sound but the same attitude. They are darker and faster and more to the point, but still provide two great songs to prepare you and your droogs for some weekend hooliganism.  –John Mule (Asian Man, asianmanrecords.com, mikeparkmusic@gmail.com)


TELECOMMANDE:
En Ligne De Mire: Cassette
The artwork for En Ligne De Mire really threw me off. The front cover is an illustration of a shadowy figure emerging from a void, holding a bleeding remote control. The inside cover has a drawing (looks like it’s from a comic book) of someone holding an automatic weapon, cocking it with a “tlack” sound while someone watches from across the street, eating ice cream in broad daylight. This could have been a John Carpenter soundtrack or Hirax or who knows. Turns out it’s great raw garage punk from Lyon, France, with synth work that’s sometimes barely there, but without it, the songs wouldn’t be the same. Not far off from The Spits, but less fuzzy and a little more earnest. They like G.G. Allin, which is good. The songs are solid, and the band comes off wild and fun. If I was drunk in a basement watching these guys, I’d be like “FUCK YEAH” or the Gallic equivalent. –Matt Werts (Self-released, 6128frustration.blogspot.com)


TEENAGE MOODS:
Grow: LP
I liked their Mood Ring LP, and this, their latest, is a continuation of that sound, only sharpened and more solid. Teenage Moods have a noisy pop sound that takes the better elements of the early 1990s sound and brings it into the present. I can’t help but think that you could have heard these guys somewhere sandwiched between a few other bands on the early Kill Rock Stars and Yo-Yo compilations. Traces of punk mixed in with some early ‘60s pop, late ‘80s SST (Dinosaur Jr., Screaming Trees), to the grunge influence of the previously mentioned early ‘90s, and a singer who reminds me of Daniel Johnston at times. I think my favorite on here is “Teardrops,” which is a mid-tempo number with a catchy beat and some nice melody to offset the driving chorus. Pop doesn’t have to be a dirty word, and I guess it really isn’t with the readership of this publication, so what am I saying? –Matt Average (25 Diamonds, 25diamonds.com)


SWELLS:
Refraction/Incarnation: 12”
DIY metal with evil fiend vocals, cascading drums, fuzzed-out guitar leads, and parts that show the band’s conversance with turn-of-the-millennium artcore, from Union Of Uranus to Stop It!! –CT Terry (swells.bandcamp.com)


SVALBARD:
Gone Tomorrow: 10”
Here is a U.K. band with a Swedish name and a sound that, to my ears, has both American (Kylesa) and Japanese (Envy) influences, providing a truly international experience and one done extremely well. Svalbard cover the light and shade area of music, being able to combine a thunderous and thick—yet far from impenetrable—sound with moments that seem almost fragile in comparison. I’ve been playing this over and over and “Pick Up the Pieces” is a firm favorite with its galloping pace, nicely interspersed with moments of glorious chiming guitars. –Rich Cocksedge (Self-released)


SUSHI BOY:
Why Not?: 7”
Pretty average NOFX type stuff here. Not really doing it for me. –Ty Stranglehold (Gunner)


SURROGATES, THE:
Trainwreck: CD
Putting in The Surrogates’ DIY CD was like getting into a time machine, in a good way. Their sound reminds me of the pop punk band Lagwagon who I was never a huge fan of, but certainly played a role in the ear of anyone who listened to punk or went to high school in the 1990s. These are emotional songs about love and longing, sung over muted guitars, jangly bass riffs, a drummer who plays like his ass is on fire, and harmonized vocals. –John Mule (Self-released)


SUPERCRUISER:
Catnip Demos: CD-R
This band from North Dakota is kind of pop punk, kind of garage-y, and kind of indie rock all mixed into one. The vocals, because of the vocalist’s particular pitch, remind me at times of John Kastner from the old Canadian band Doughboys. There are five songs on here, and the two most aggressive of the bunch are great. Unfortunately, the others are not. –Mark Twistworthy (supercruiser.bandcamp.com)


SUNDIALS:
When I Couldn’t Breathe: LP
On their second full-length, Richmond’s Sundials have substituted early Weezer for Archers Of Loaf, and most of the songs are about relationships. It’s cohesive, with a broader appeal, but I miss the hodge-podge of voices and thoughts that made their first LP touch on so many facets of young punk life. –CT Terry (Asian Man)


SUBURBS, THE:
Si Sauvage: CD
I’m not real sophisticated, so I don’t know what the title means. But who gives a rat’s ass when the music is this good! First new record from this Minneapolis band in quite some time. “Turn The Radio On” is the single if that still means anything today. But dig deeper here my friends. Can you go wrong with titles like “Dumb Ass Kids” and “Reset the Party”? The answer is no! A welcome return and hopefully some touring will occur as well. –Sean Koepenick (Self-released, thesuburbsband.com)


STRAWBERRY RUNNERS:
Self-titled: CD
Pleasant indie rock with cool rhythmic interplay between the vocals and various instruments. Female bandleader. I’m surprised I didn’t see them with Jejune and Rainer Maria in 2000 or so. Reminds me of the sweet spot of my early twenties, when I could drink coffee until two am, everyone was my best friend, and I wasn’t sick of having six roommates. –CT Terry (wildbabyrecords.com)


STOIC VIOLENCE:
Self-titled: LP
This album features eight tracks of raw hardcore which has its roots firmly in the 1980s from a band seemingly intent on trampling all in its path with fists and boots flailing wildly. On the whole, it’s quite a rudimentary affair but is highly effective in its execution, as guitars and drums rage away with some nasty—and occasionally whacked out—sounding vocals up front and center. For all the fury dished out in a shade over nine minutes, I actually find this album quite catchy. It’s clearly not for the timid. –Rich Cocksedge (Video Disease, videodisease77@gmail.com, videodiseaserecords.com / Katorga Works, katorgaworks@gmail.com, katorgaworks.com)


STAGNANT YOUTH:
Demo: Cassette
I don’t give a fuck what you say; Texas is a shithole. I’ve been stuck on the never-ending circle of fly-overs and freeways. That place fucking sucks. So why am I always there? Shitty, harsh environments make for the best music. Fact. Take a look at the music that’s come out of Texas. Raw shit. Crazy shit. Houston is the end of the fucking earth. So, of course, it makes sense that this bunch make some unholy noise. Hard to pinpoint, but I’m hearing fellow Texans Spazm 151 filtered through the down-tuned mayhem of His Hero Is Gone. Not sure their sound is fully realized but this is a cassette demo, so I’m guessing the next release will be a barnburner. –Tim Brooks (stagnantyouth.bandcamp.com)


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