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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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BEAST:
Dead or Alive: CD
Nugent. Sabbath. Priest. Black Flag. These T-shirts make one or more appearances in the band/touring photo collage on the inside CD layout. Beast play a more MC5 song structured (as opposed to The BellRay’s more Stooges’ attack) NWOBHM-solo-peppered (but much, much more Swedish) metallic rawk. There is no argument, while less throaty soul belting than Lisa Kekaula, that Maria can sing, her vocals easily being the most commanding thing about this release. Bands like Beast walk a fine line between staying engaging and becoming boring bar rock. Being from Sweden, they either have their tongues planted firmly enough in cheek or are playing with such conviction they command you to don the denim vest, grow a moustache, crack a Falcon beer, and throw the horns.  –Matt Seward (Gaphals, facethebeast.com)


BE MY DOPPLEGANGER:
Artless: LP
So this took a long to get out to the masses, but hell yeah if it was not worth the wait. Think Dead Boys or The Zeros but with even more melodic goodness jammed into every sweaty crevice. “A to B” rocks from note one and the manic pace is maintained until the very last fade. “Floor to Shoulder” and “In Love” are so good it really made me put down by adult beverage a couple times to do a quick rewind. Forget what you’ve heard and start here.  –Sean Koepenick (It’s Alive, info@itsaliverecords.com)


BÄDDAT FOR TRÜBBEL:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Clean-channel guitar rock/punk stuff with a singer whose voice has that rare quality that makes you wonder if yer playing the record at the right speed. Songs are short in duration, two of ‘em peppy and two slow to keep yer experience nice ‘n’ rounded.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Skrammel, skrammelrecords.se)


BAD SAM:
Working Class Holocaust: LP
Every issue I end up waxing lyrical about the “good old days” of the late ‘80s on that mean little isle called England. When I very first got into punk at the tender age of thirteen, I used to scour MRR from cover to cover, then fire off letters to bands. That’s what you did back then. I wrote to lots of people, many who are still friends. My favorite band at the time were the Cowboy Killers from South Wales—who sounded like nothing else from where I was—Dead Kennedys meets FOD with the craziest singer I have ever seen. Beddis from the CK’s would send me his old shirts, records, and giant packages of tapes where I discovered bands like Really Red, Dicks, and the Big Boys. There was no Internet downloading, no fancy reissue; it was tapes from other punks or nothing. Without that friendship I’m not sure I would have ended up where I am today (a grand assertion, but most likely true). The Cowboy Killers imploded in the ‘90s and since then I have waited for Beddis to get something else rolling. After jail time, kids, and realizing he couldn’t resist the pull of DIY punk, we have Bad Sam, featuring Kip the original CK’s drummer, some members of Dub War, and other elder statesmen of the South Wales scene. No disappointment here whatsoever. A similar sound to the Killers, maybe slightly more metallic with Beddis’s deranged vocals and songs like “Black John Wayne” (about Obama), “Snake with Tits” (about Thatcher), “Dicks with Dogs,” etc. This disc was self-released with only three hundred copies, so I would suggest getting out there and grabbing one before it’s eBay time. One of my favorite releases this year by far. Magic.  –Tim Brooks (Kriminal, kriminalgood@gmail.com)


BAD DADDIES / LOGNHALSMOTTAGNINGEN:
Split: 7”
There’s something in the water out in the desert wastelands of Northern Cali, all those fucked up bands from Sacramento. Bad Daddies can be added to the list: super scrappy femme-fronted punk. Bratty and loose, like riot grrrl on drugs. Flip it over and shit gets even weirder. Lognhalsmottagningen have really got to do something about their name. Music is more scrappy lo-fi weirdo punk, like some long-lost Swedish treasure from the late ‘70s or even modern stuff that throws back like the Secret Prostitutes.  –Tim Brooks (Emotional Response)


ATLANTIC THRILLS:
A Day at the Beach: 7”
I refuse to believe this band is from the East Coast. I’m from the East Coast, lived there damn near thirty years, and bands didn’t sound like this when I was actively playing music there. Atlantic Thrills sounds like some landlocked, stuck-in-a-basement Midwest shit. I know this, ‘cuz I’ve been a landlocked Midwesterner for some years now. The bouncy energy, the fun-seeking, good time vibes... You can dance to this, and shit for sure ain’t like this back home. People in, say, Passaic, New Jersey don’t know how to fucking dance! Atlantic Thrills should tour with Indiana’s Vacation Club. Cover art by Humanbeing Lawnmower zinester Ari Spivak.  –Sal Lucci (Almost Ready)


ANTISEEN:
Live Possum!: CD
In 1994, I thought that punk was ancient since the Ramones were on a twentieth anniversary tour, but now punk is turning forty, with hardcore-era bands like ANTiSEEN having thirtieth anniversaries. 2013 marked ANTiSEEN’s thirtieth year as a band, which, of course, included a big anniversary show with special guests. They also played several gigs with classic lineups from their past, including the Eat More Possum and Here to Ruin Your Groove rosters. This isn’t ANTiSEEN’s first live album, but it’s a great one. Playing songs not just from the fan favorite Eat More Possum LP, they rip through many other hits, especially from their earlier years. A sad fact about live records is that they’re usually only for diehard fans, with a handful of exceptions to that rule. But this album does not disappoint and is so chock full of energy, it could serve as a nifty introduction to ANTiSEEN to the uninitiated. ANTiSEEN remains steadfast in a scene that that’s given them mixed levels of support over the years. Don’t fear ANTiSEEN!  –Art Ettinger (Jailhouse)


ANTI NOWHERE LEAGUE:
We Are the League: 12”
I literally laughed when I saw this record sitting in a pile because it brought me back to my teenage years just looking at the cover and I thought it would be a fun listen, like watching an old movie thinking about how strange it was that you used to take it so seriously. Instead, I got a half an hour of kicking myself because I had forgotten just how fucking catchy all these songs are. While this is a far cry from an “essential” punk record by “rock” standards (I’m talking about London Calling and Road to Ruin), it really stands out as a great genre piece. Though it’s typically passed off as a cute piece of smarmy early punk in lieu of the more serious bands like Blitz or the 4-Skins, the League wrote songs that were somehow more accessible than their peers. While they certainly weren’t changing anyone’s mind about the world we live in thirty years on, this record probably provides a better time capsule about what it was actually like to be a punk in the U.K. in the early ‘80s. The reissue sounds good and is certainly geared towards the “audiophile” crowd in punk collectors rather than the history buffs, as there is a lack of contextual liner notes (something any of these reissues should contain, in my opinion).  –Ian Wise (Drastic Plastic)


ADAM WIDENER:
Make Out!: 7”
Five songs of extra catchy garage pop, a bit like the early (pre-BYO) output of the Clorox Girls crossed with Joe Jackson’s power pop and skinny tie years. Instantly enjoyable, Mr. Widener has written some incredibly fun, stellar pop gems and, impressively, provides for all of the instrumentation on the record by himself.  –Jeff Proctor (Fuzz City)


CARBELLION:
Headliner: CDEP
This new EP from these Midwest rockers would fit perfectly as a soundtrack behind a high energy car chase. The album opens with the Clutch meets Lamont rocker “Never.” Straight-up American heavy rock’n’roll at its finest. Other songs like “Risky Business” rip through the gears at a furious pace while mid-tempo tracks like “The Deafening” and “Unsafe Behavior” (complete with an almost minute-long rippin’ guitar solo!) still have enough horsepower to push you back in your seat. Their cover version of Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen” pretty much stays true to the original but with a lot more muscle in the instrumentation and production. Due to its shortened length, the album does indeed leave you wanting more, so in the meantime spin that volume knob; I’ll meet you on the louder side.  –Brent Nimz (Indie 500, indie500records@indie500records.com, indie500records.com)


WAY TO GO GENIUS:
Egg: 7”
This four-song 7” is another killer release from L.A.’s garage rock kings Way To Go Genius. Each track is exceptionally catchy, and the lo-fi recording suits the vibe tremendously. The packaging is hilarious and includes a salt and pepper packet to season the titular egg. Limited to just three hundred copies, this 7” is a must for fans of fun, catchy, garage punk. Way to go, Way To Go Genius!  –Art Ettinger (Self-released, waytogogenius@hotmail.com)


VORTIS:
Modern Savage: CD/LP
I haven’t heard anything from Vortis in over ten years, since I reviewed an album of theirs for my old zine. Back then, their singer was a fifty-nine-year-old professor at PurdueUniversity named “Fellow Traveler.” Now they’re down to a three-piece (with two vocalists and music critic Jim DeRogatis still drumming) and play fast, short, punk songs: seventeen songs in twenty-five minutes. It’s much better than the last time I heard them and any band that can keep me engaged for seventeen songs deserves some credit. Modern Savage has the brevity of the Ramones, with an occasional Big Black abrasiveness, and the aggressiveness of Dead Boys. It’s certainly not the best thing ever, but it’s much better than their last offering and the production is quite good. It didn’t blow me away, but it’s solid.  –Kurt Morris (Latest Flame)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Columbusblood: LP
In all honesty, I had no idea it was a compilation until about three songs in. And believe me I really tried to figure out what the fuck was going on, but the back cover just has a big red plus sign with a bunch of names (of songs? of bands?) all on the border, and no insert. But hey, confusion is half the fun of reviewing? Look, I avoid country-bar-rock like the plague, so after the first song, “Drink and Fuck,” I was hoping this was some sick joke? Next up, Day Creeper and Sick Thrills offered a needed change of pace, from terrible to completely bearable. Day Creeper dish some ‘70s punk with distorted guitar riffs. Honestly, I really like their song but it could be the simple relief of the last song ending. A true ray of sunshine on the A-side is Dead Girlfriends’ song, “Ed Gein,” whose female vocals are pretty perfect. The B-side begins with a slow rock ballad with country tinges to a more Stooges-style ‘60s vibe from Hexes. Next up, The Girls! features lovely, subdued vox a la Stevie Nicks, into the lo-fi indie sounds of Connecters. It ends with Nom Tchotchkes indie-Americana progression, sung with a reminiscent drawl of Neil Young. After a bit of online snooping, I learned Columbusblood is a release of local “rock’n’roll” bands of ColumbusOhio for Record Store Day. Kinda cool. It’s really all about supporting your local scene!  –Camylle Reynolds (Break-Up)


TIM TIMEBOMB:
Special Lunacy: CD
Tim from Rancid / Transplants enlists help from friends to recreate (cover) a series of classic rhythm and blues, country, folk, and rock’n’roll classics from artists such as Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb, LaVern Baker, Johnny Cash, and even Bruce Springsteen. At first listen, I mistook all of the songs as originals save for the Boss’s “I’m Going Down,” which I’ve heard ad nauseam through the radio channel at work, but I’m not even going to pretend that I knew who any of these songs were by prior to listening to this. The internet is a beautiful thing! Ultimately, the fact that all but one of the twelve songs are covers (which also happens to be the only one available in a physical format) comes across as an inauthentic and contrived effort by an aging punk rocker whose original music hasn’t impressed me in more than fifteen years.  –Juan Espinosa (No label credited, distributed by Pirates Press)


THROUGH THESE EYES:
Demo: Cassette
There aren’t many youth crew straight edge bands around these days, so I was pumped when this demo came into my possession. Through These Eyes features former members of Alert, Nation Of Thieves, and a number of other bands. My expectations were high, but this demo delivers the goods with four tracks of solid, no-frills hardcore and positive lyrical messages. The track “Mended” was my favorite both musically and lyrically, talking about finding happiness in non-material things. The opening track “Problems Faced” had some great stuff going on, but I felt the opening ring-outs were just screaming for a pick slide or two. Small things aside, this is sure to inspire furious bedroom moshing, and car-driving sing-alongs.  –Paul J. Comeau (Through These Eyes, throughtheseeyeshardcore.bandcamp.com, mpuffer0@gmail.com)


SUPPLEMENT, THE:
Step up from Zero: CD
SoCal seems to put a little bit of sunshine in their pop punk these days. I knew immediately that the Supplement were from L.A. as soon as I popped this baby in. Simplistic ‘90s punk flavor over beefy ‘70s rock’n’roll guitar riffs, melodic vocals, a hint of grunge, and alt indie. Comparisons to predecessors Green Day, Jawbreaker, Offspring, and Weezer are not far off. Reminds me of those youthful, drunken sunny days in L.A., all sweaty and rife with baseless optimism. Posi-punk all the way.  –Camylle Reynolds (Self-released, thesupplementrocks@gmail.com)


STRANGE TIMES, THE:
I Love Cops: CDEP
Satire is a fine line to walk. On one side is the ridiculous; attempts that falter into caricature. On the other side is the poignant; utilizing the absurd in a context that exposes harsh realities. Few artists are successful. Most punk bands scream their politics in your face. Subtlety is left by the wayside. The Strange Times, like in “Stop! Let’s Get Frisky,” try to shed light on police exploitation of power but the message is lost in translation and ends up sounding silly. The vocals are snotty and over enunciated, but the songs are memorable. By trying to channel the exaggerated satire of the Dead Kennedys, they end up sounding like a parody instead. This is a case of catchy song writing derailing the message.  –Ashley (Self-released, thestrangetimes.bandcamp.com)


SOULSIDE:
Live at 9:30 Club: 7”
Pity the Dischord band: if they get within a hundred feet of me at a show, potluck, or funeral, I’m gonna bombard ‘em with questions of the highest order of geekitude. This is my way of saying that I’m biased as hell and predisposed to like this one, recorded live in 1988. These cats pushed the boundaries of punk and emo (before it was codified or the word itself became a cuss), and this 7”, part of a Polish subscription club, preserves a typically bombastic performance. All this plus gorgeous packaging, featuring a pic of a garage show in California, with Zack De La Rocha right up front. Probably wildly unavailable, but give it a shot.  –Michael T. Fournier (Antena Krzyku, no address listed)


SLEEP WALK:
Never Alone: 7”
This is an interesting record. The first tune relies on a hard-rocking riff to open up the record, but then things switch gears into a more straight-up punk / hardcore vein to close the A-side and open the B-side. The record finishes with a slower-plodding and stomping anthem reminiscent of a mix of crust and early ‘90s Dischord bands. On the whole, it works for me: musically eclectic, but it doesn’t stray far from the yard.  –The Lord Kveldulfr (No address listed)


SHARK INFERNO:
We Are Monsters: CD
This band accidentally made a grunge record, and not a particularly good one. Even if you spent the early ‘90s worshipping bands from the Pacific Northwest and wearing the same flannel shirt every day until your armpits smelled like a pile of dead rats, you still might not be able to get into songs like “Stems,” which features this little dab of poetry: “Her stems are long and fine. They really blow my mind. Caress them through the night. They make me feel alright.” On the other hand, there’s a nice tribute to Edie Sedgwick, and I can get behind that, even if it’s kind of awful. Also, despite what the run time says, I’m pretty sure this CD is one million painful minutes long.  –MP Johnson (Self-released, sharkinferno.blogspot.com)


RISK/REWARD:
Self-titled: LP
All the elements are seemingly here for a solid Jawbreaker imitation. Raspy vocals? Check. Heartfelt lyrics? Check. Melodic yet angular guitar riffs? Check. Steve Albini? Check. Now, if only Jawbreaker maintained a mid-tempo amble across the board and forfeited any and all hooks, then Risk/Reward would be an enjoyable doppelganger. Listen to Bivouac or 24 Hour Revenge Therapy instead.  –Sean Arenas (Self-released, riskreward.bandcamp.com)


REAGAN’S POLYP:
Number Ones: CD
Twelve-song overview of potentially the most important band from Little Rock, Arkansas that you have never heard of. These guys put out over twenty albums in fourteen years and this disc serves as a nice introduction to the band’s brand of insanity. While not intentionally “punk” per se, these guys were inadvertently punker than most will ever be. Includes my all-time favorite, “Pissed in the Fire at the K.O.A.”  –Garrett Barnwell (Vetoxa, vetoxa.com, vetoxarecords@gmail.com)


PYPY:
Pagan Day: LP
I know Taylor feels sorry for me after I bleat about aimless long hairs making boring, directionless drug music, so this month he rights the wrongs. Now THIS is drug music. Spaced-out, trippy psych with a banging metronome backbeat that fucking hammers. Heard some talk of these being a Canuck supergroup and these cats are getting play in all the right hip places, but as y’all know I couldn’t give two fucks about your club. This shit is real special. Heads who travelled the lands honing chops, listening to Can albums on long drives. Hypnotic psychedelic music that has both feet firmly planted in the punk world yet the tentacles spread into ‘60s garage, French pop, and kraut rock. Annie-Claude’s slurred drawl, sometimes sexy, sometimes caustic, carry the record through the peaks and troughs… like some kind of psychotic trip. This shit is banging. Bet these dudes get big. Boss sounds.  –Tim Brooks (slovenly.com)


PRAG:
Self-titled: Cassette
Prag is a tight mess, blending raw, raging hardcore with distorted, echoing, reverbed vocals. It has all of the feedback and distortion a Guitar Wolf fan could want but in the style of hardcore. The singer’s voice goes all over from whistling to echoed effects as the guitars burn through a short six songs. It’s the perfect noise to get me out of bed and raging.  –Craven Rock (brvcevon@gmail.com)


PINK EYES:
Holiday Demo 2013 with Love for Friends and Family: CD-R
If a drunken frat party got its hands on a karaoke machine and decided to record a demo on their iPhone, the result would be this CD-R. The sound is muddy and hard to discern, which I’d like to attribute to the poor recording quality but may actually be the result of the berating gang vocals. Also Pink Eyes is an unfortunate name choice; it just sounds gross.  –Ashley (Self-released, pinkeyeschicago.bandcamp.com)


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