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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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42 FORD PREFECT:
Self-titled: LP
Wow, by my reckoning, this is the first time I’ve run into glow-in-the-dark vinyl. The band member trading cards were also a nice touch. Musically, this bounces between Northern California vats punk and Midwestern hardcore with, as Donny Osmond would say, “a little bit rock’n’roll” veined through thrashy beats, brittle guitars, and raw production. They seem to be enjoying themselves and it comes across on wax. –Jimmy Alvarado (Volume Bomb, volumebombrecords.wordpress.com)


YOUTHBITCH:
Don’t Fuck This Up!: LP
Poppy, punky stuff that has bit of early NYC punk and some power pop. Sort of sugary, to the point where too much might make you sick. It’s okay, but this isn’t something I’ll go back to and listen to later. But I’m pretty certain there are hordes of folks out there who would lose their shit over this stuff. It’s all a matter of taste. –Matt Average (Jonny Cat, facebook.com/pages/JonnyCat-Records)


THOSE CROSSTOWN RIVALS:
Kentucky Gentlemen: LP
They call themselves a buncha rednecks making punk rock and that sums it up pretty well. They’re far from being a band like Nine Pound Hammer or Hammerlock and are as good as those bands are at the style. –Mike Frame (Self-released, thosecrosstownrivals.bandcamp.com/album/kentucky-gentlemen)


SLUGZ:
Empty Space: 7" EP
Something about the cover—a fuzzy pic of someone’s face, the title, and the band’s name—said “I sound like early 1980s punk,” and I guess there’s a bit of that in there, but it ain’t exactly a moldy throwback. Things are kept at an even mid-tempo with chord changes a bit more complex than the usual box pattern variants, the lyrics are shouted from beginning to end, and the band attacks full force. Not quite was I was expecting, but what they’re serving up is nonetheless quite tasty. –Jimmy Alvarado (Cowabunga)


SLENDER LORIS:
Live at Doors Pub: CD
Quirky, screamy, mathy emo (in that early ‘90s sense of the word) that certainly brings to mind the Ebullition classics and has me wondering where I lost my 400 Years LP. Slender Loris certainly plays with the passion and intensity of their forebears, coupled with an early At the Drive-In and/or later Fugazi delivery at times. Pretty cool stuff that is likely easy to fall in love with in a live setting, which I’m sure the Slender Loris folks are well aware of (hence the live releases). –Dave Williams (Self-released, slenderloris.bandcamp.com)


ROB THE BANK:
Spoken Codes: LP
Rob The Bank are grown folks playing punky rock’n’roll with four-on-the-floor glam drums, crooned female vocals, and no shortage of catchiness. The back story is that they were a popular Dayton band in the late ‘90s who put out an LP then went on hiatus for a decade while its members played in Guided By Voices and The Breeders. It sounds like they haven’t missed a stride. These fifteen songs are sweet and fiery like cayenne chocolate, and I’d happily go see them played in a shitty dive. –CT Terry (radgirlfriendrecords.com)


REDBUSH:
Wonder Nugget: 7"
I dunno. Well-played, well-recorded rock songs that don’t really move me at all. There are ‘90s elements but they aren’t overwhelming. I watched some Youtube videos and it seems like they’re a little more rockin’ live. There are occasional Nomeansno elements and I like that at least. –Ryan Horky (One Legged Pup, no address listed)


RATIONAL ANIMALS:
Cross Eyed Delights: EP
Caught these guys last summer in Long Beach and thought they were pretty good. I’m told their LP is the record to get, but they were out of that, so I picked up the singles. This was available as a tour edition, and I don’t know if that was pressed just to have something to sell and this version came later? But, really, the most important question is if this is any good. The title track is definitely along the lines of later Black Flag material, but with more of a loose rock style. It’s the guitar that makes this song stand out. Imagine a more melodic side to Greg Ginn in parts, and it’s what really carries this song through, especially towards the end. Almost like later Die Kreuzen. I think that’s a good thing; you might feel otherwise. The B side, “Way after Midnight” is a throwaway jam type song that just drags on to nowhere. Get this for the title track. –Matt Average (Katorga Works, katorgaworks@gmail.com)


PINSCH, THE:
Inside Jokes for Outside People: CDEP
Catchy ‘50s surf-influenced poppy punk with female vocals and keyboards. It’s just five songs in thirteen minutes, so it’s a pretty quick listen. The vocals are solid but the music is pretty basic and nothing excited me, although I will give the band credit for at least getting my toe tapping. Any band that can get some movement out of me beside hitting the stop and eject buttons on the CD player should be commended, but not necessarily recommended. –Kurt Morris (Ramo, ramorecords@gmail.com)


PEG LEG LOVE:
United by Death: CD
Cramps-styled surf/death rock. To put it more appropriately, it’s graveyard rock. Halloween music, if you will. Deep, post-punk vocals over reverby guitars and minor chord progressions. Granted, there are people out there who live life every day like it’s Halloween, but for the majority of the population I’d say this disc is only serviceable every once in a while. This isn’t a bad thing. Having a niche that this disc occupies grants it a better re-listen when the time is correct. –Bryan Static (Death, no address)


OUTER MINDS:
Behind the Mirror: LP
Heavy psychedelic vibe goin’ on here, with Velvets and maybe some Beach Boys (!) mixed in with the Byrds, Love, and the usual lot. They get the sound down pat, staying true to the template but adding enough punk oomph to keep it from sounding like some stagnant museum-quality circle jerk. File next to the Last’s “She Don’t Know Why I’m Here” single. –Jimmy Alvarado (Resurrection, getresurrected.com)


OPEN SEX, THEE:
Self-titled: LP
The little one shit sheet that accompanied this record made a lot of lofty comparisons that are not true. Allusions to Rocket From The Tombs, Can, John Lydon, etc. They’re all bands and people I can get behind. They tend to have me putting the record on immediately. However, the reality is Thee Open Sex are just another boring indie rock band with a sound that’s accessible and non-challenging. You’ve heard this shit a million times before, and will hear it for time eternal. Doesn’t mean it’s a good thing, or something that needs to continue. Blehhhh... –Matt Average (Magnetic South, magneticsouthrecordings.org)


OLD LINES:
Self-titled: LP
Pummeling, raw, vicious hardcore from ex-Pulling Teeth and Ruiner folks, so you should have some idea of what you’re in for. Low, fast, hyper-aggressive hardcore with the occasional non-derivative breakdown and even flashes of gloomy melody. Hell, I might dig this more than both PT and Ruiner, and that’s saying plenty. Get this shit. –Dave Williams (Self-released, oldlines.bandcamp.com)


OCIO:
Guilty Beat: CD
A bluesy, slinky, kinda alt-rock thang here that really didn’t leave much of a lasting impression one way or another after a number of listens. –Jimmy Alvarado –Jimmy Alvarado (Ocio, ociorock.com)


NOT ON TOUR:
All This Time: LP
Is it wrong to judge a record for sounding too clean? Too polished? I wonder about this a lot. There’s a certain point where it’s hard to accept something that sounds so fiercely played yet gives itself away to being pristine and vacuum sealed onto a record. Not On Tour deliver a serving of melodic hardcore and pop punk on this digestible LP. The musicianship of the band is without doubt; each member pulls their weight in directions that showed how much they added to the band’s sound. The major drawback of this record is its overly slick production, backed by music that feels like it’s more raw than the delivery. Not a bad album, but one that has its problems. –Bryan Static –Bryan Static (Diner Junkie, dinerjunkie.com)


NONES:
Shake Your Brain: 7"
The title track is the most accessible of the three, with a swaggering beat, loud guitars, and a good hook. The other two, however, start off “normal” then quickly veer off into darker realms, with squawking sax in tow. –Jimmy Alvarado –Jimmy Alvarado (HoZac, hozacrecords.com)


MIGHTY FINE, THE:
In Revival: LP
Twelve songs on transparent red vinyl. The songs are mid-tempo and feature a good, full sound. Lots of group vocals, heavy drums, a good amount of guitar leads, and a bass that stands on its own. Strong and genuine vocals bring you lyrics about heartbreak, confusion, and the uncertainty of life. Side B has a few more laidback tunes, but that doesn’t mean at all that they are inferior to the other ones. Worth looking into. –Nighthawk –Nighthawk (Solidarity / La Escalera)


MDC / SÖM HI NÖISE / RAW POWER / NAKED AGGRESSION:
Split: 7"
This record has slipped through the cracks in my review pile a few times now. Sorry about that. A four-way split with some fairly notable bands. MDC (acoustic) kicks things off with a strange, jazzy number that I kind of dig. Söm-Hi Nöise is some pretty run-of-the-mill hardcore with very Muppet-like vocals. Both Raw Power and Naked Aggression do what they do well. It is a pretty solid record, but I don’t see myself going out of my way to listen to it again. –Ty Stranglehold –Ty Stranglehold (Tupatutupa, info@tupatutupa.org, tupatutupa.org)


ANTILECTUAL:
Future History: CDEP-R
Antilectual is a melodic, political punk from the Netherlands with high production values… and a string section and piano from time to time. It kind of reminds me of a less heavy Propagandhi mixed with Dave Matthews or something like that. I like what they’re singing about, but I’m not enjoying the music. –Ty Stranglehold (Antilectual, info@antilectual.com, antilectual.com)


MAGIC TRASH:
The Way I’m Living: 7" EP
Two-man band playin’ loose, primitive garage rock. –Jimmy Alvarado –Jimmy Alvarado (Magic Trash, magictrash.bandcamp.com)


ANATOMMY:
Valens Times Day: CDEP-R
This local two-piece from the Highland Park area fuses members of Seasons and Bikini Kill tribute band, Bikini Thrills. With Charlene’s alto vox as the mouthpiece, this is less riot grrrl than garage pop equipped with sing-a-long choruses found in “Johnny Ramone” and “My Love,” while the love letter, “At Your House,” takes a sweet, acoustic, confessional turn. “Blue Spells,” the closest to Bikini Thrills, surprises by playing up a sharp contrast of Charlene’s charming vocals with heavy, hardcore chords the likes of other locals, Go Betty Go. A little bit of this, a little bit of that, Anatommy has enough here to define them against your run-of-the-mill chick band. Check ‘em out if you’re in the ‘hood. –Kristen K (Self-released, anatommyband@yahoo.com, facebook.com/anatommyband)


LOWER:
“Someone’s Got It in for Me” b/w “But There Has to Be More”: 7"
Two songs of lurching, brooding post-punk from Denmark. Futile attempts have been made on my behalf in trying to avoid bringing up two things: the fact that Lower are often mentioned in the same breath as country mates Iceage and how much this reminds me of early Joy Division. I hate to say this, but I can’t help but feel like this style is the soup du jour in the current underground music scene and I, for one, have enough sense to know that soup isn’t going to satisfy my appetite. –Juan Espinosa –Juan Espinosa (540)


LOW CULTURE:
Screens: LP
It’s not one thing that I can pinpoint as the reason Low Culture is so damned good, but it may be the sum of the parts. The music makes me so damn happy while the words sometimes make me sad and reflective… I do know that I really want to drink whiskey on the beach when I listen to this. It seems I need to sing and dance and jump around whenever I hear it. I’ve almost driven off the road a couple of times. It’s chaotic perfection. They got Mark Ryan to record it for them, and that is always a step in the right direction. In the end it doesn’t matter what makes Low Culture so good, it only matters that you get this on your turntable and make your life better. I give it an 8.1… This is really good because my scale goes up to seven. –Ty Stranglehold –Ty Stranglehold (Dirtnap, mail@dirtnaprecs.com, dirtnaprecs.com)


LEECHES, THE:
Underwater: CD
Italian punk band here goin’ for that “anthems for the ages” sound. Not much in the way of song dynamics, and they aren’t really doin’ much that sets them apart from the rather large pack of punters doing the same, but their efforts aren’t particularly noxious or anything. Produced by Daniel Rey. Those who’ve been keeping score will remember him as a former member of Shrapnel and producer for many of the Ramones’ later albums. –Jimmy Alvarado –Jimmy Alvarado (Tre Accordi)


AMERICAN HERITAGE:
Sedentary: LP
The one record I got this month that I literally know nothing about. I thought they were European, but it turns out they’re from here. I don’t mean the U.S., I mean Chicago. I live here. How have I not heard of this? And they have three full lengths. What? They sound like early Mastodon in that most of the riffs are pretty technical but are played with a consistency that sounds like the guitarist moves in triplet time constantly and just sort of moves his left hand around. Does that make sense? I mean he sounds bored. I don’t really mean that in a bad way, it’s sort of a mark of a good metal guitarist. I don’t really see super punk dudes getting into this, but those with a lot of crossover taste will appreciate this and the RIYLs all come from the bands name-checked as “guest musician” creds on this record (Mastodon, Nachmystium, Black Cobra). –Ian Wise (Solar Flare, solarflarerds@gmail.com)


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