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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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TREGENZA:
Self-titled: CD
Riders of the new wave of post-emo art crap, they come along and assault the ears with yet another sub-sub-sub genre sure to inspire widespread hate.  –Jimmy Alvarado (www.tregenzamusic.net)


TOYS THAT KILL:
Flys: CDEP
At this point, it’s hard not being a cheerleader for Toys That Kill. They’ve more than proved themselves with every release, having cracked an unsuspecting part of my brain like an egg. They now seem to have set up a pup tent in where ever the fuck music gets impressed in my gray matter, reserved just for them. They’re wildly catchy, but in a way that’s as odd as it’s now comforting. It’s like they’re super-secret fisherman re-inventing a hook, hunched over a microscope, tying the line with an intricate knot so it won’t break and it’s almost impossible to untie. But that probably does you little good. What’s odd is how, at different times, I hear completely different influences, and those influences all seem like distant echoes instead of forever being the shadow of previous bands. They’ve got the Mediterranean, ethereal feel of Savage Republic, but via the revving of a Buzzcocks motor. They cover Wire, but in the way I’d think Turbonegro would approach it. They could be called pop punk and you’d be right, but you’d be more wrong. See? Not much of a help. Get Control the Sun, The Citizen Abortion, and their split with the Fleshies if you don’t already, then supplement your diet with this in a hurry, since it’s a limited release. Four songs.  –Todd Taylor (Asian Man)


TOXIC NARCOTIC:
Shoot People, Not Dope: CD EP
I was expecting the Casualties and instead I got Limecell. I’m happy.  –aphid (Rodent Popsicle)


TOXIC NARCOTIC:
Shoot People, Not Dope: CD
One of Massachusetts’ finest bands serves up five more blasts of rambunctious hardcore coupled with lyrics that are topical and take unapologetic stances against drugs, humans, and crappy punk bands. They even toss some reggae into “Cockroaches” to keep the punters on their toes. If hardcore’s your bag, these guys are consistently on the money.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Rodent Popsicle)


TODAY I WAIT:
Timelines: CD
I was so ready to hear another emo record. This thing was crying out emo. The name, artwork, and title were leading me to believe that this was more emo. I was thrown for a loop and bombarded with some metalcore (“hardcore” for you kids). The guitars screamed some heavy riffage as the double bass drums galloped along. The vocals screamed out of the speakers. I was taken aback. The only letdown was the cover of “Bullet,” which, if you didn’t know, was originally done by the Misfits. It just didn’t feel like the song was appropriate for their musical stylings. Only one minus with many plusses.  –Donofthedead (Friction)


THOSE UNKNOWN:
Scraps: CD
This is a compilation of previously unreleased or unavailable songs from one of the best street punk bands of the ‘90s. If you are a fan of the Swingin’ Utters, The GC5, The Beltones, The Brassknuckle Boys, and The Hudson Falcons, you will no doubt enjoy this band. This isn’t their best CD available (out of three total), but it’s still fucking great anyway. Must-have for fans of this short-lived band.  –Toby Tober (TKO)


THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES:
self-titled: CD EP
I don’t care what bands these people were previously in; all this EP tells me is that they left that band too soon or shouldn’t have been playing music in the first place. It’s the same old fucking droning post-core emo bullshit that I’ve been wading through for half a dozen discs now. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – as long as labels put out records like this, reviewers like me will make money selling them.  –Puckett (Jade Tree)


SUPERHOPPER:
Does This Sound Exciting Yet?: CD
To answer the title: No!  –Donofthedead (Guilt Ridden Pop)


SUBHUMANS:
Live in a Dive: CD
Back in the ‘80s, I truly didn’t appreciate this band, although I loved Dick’s band afterwards, Culture Shock. My favorite song by the Subhumans is “Rats.” Just my luck, that song is not included. Over the years, I have grown to really appreciate these songs. When I saw them last year, I truly enjoyed them more than when I saw them in the ‘80s. No punk band past or present sounds like them. They are a unique band. Dick is a wordsmith. I really shouldn’t have to describe this. Twenty-six songs from their vast catalog of material that should please just about every fan. For a new person, this is a great starting point to get a sample, then go out and buy the originals if you are impressed. Today’s generation of punks are very fortunate to have this legendary band get back together and to have the chance to see them in a live setting. We are also fortunate that they get their own Live in a Dive from Fat. It’s been so hit and miss in the case of this series for me, but I am not in the majority opinion. Also, for being a live recording, this is really good. That’s saying a lot. I really do not care for live recordings. The background noise bugs the shit out of me. This release should stay in circulation as long as the label stays afloat. The band is important and you should be listening to them.  –Donofthedead (Fat)


STREETWALKIN’ CHEETAHS, THE:
Greetings from Gainesville: CD
I bet these guys would poop where they stand if there was a sale at the Leopard Print Emporium.  -Potsi –Guest Contributor (Triple X)


STRAITJACKET:
The Loudest Voice: 7”
Mid-tempo punk, kinda poppy in spots. They somehow manage to vaguely remind me of both All and the Business, which is really weird when you take into consideration that they sound like neither.  –Jimmy Alvarado (www.straitjacket.net)


STERLING:
self-titled: CD
I typically like File 13 releases, but this avant-garde instrumental work seems pointlessly experimental. In some ways, the jangly melodies can seem soothing, but in most it’s just noisy post-core musical meandering with little effect. I was looking forward to hearing this; now I’m looking forward to removing it from my CD player.  –Puckett (File 13)


STEREO TOTAL:
Musique Automatique: CD
If Plastic Bertrand had recently formed up a team with Taco to attempt to revive the New Romantic scene of the early 1980s to kick the hell out of the nine-assed nu-metal monkey demon, you might well wind up with this collection of lilting electronic pop songs about love, dancing, radio and fleeting infatuations. It’s catchy, vaguely silly, and alternately Teutonic and Gallic. It is wholly enjoyable and fun.  –Puckett (Kill Rock Stars)


STATISTICS:
self-titled: CD
Really, disgustingly, ass-rockingly, I-can’t-believe-I-just-heard-that, better-than-it-has-any-right-to-be awesome. Combining new wave, blip-and-twitter and drone-core, pop hooks that go off like a neutron bomb, understated croons that sound more like breathy shoegaze from the 1990s and introspective lyrics fit for late-night sessions of wondering why life isn’t better than it is, this EP blows the doors off of… well, pretty much everything else I’ve reviewed for a long time. The songs describe a yearning for something else, carving dreams of better times out of musings about claymation being replaced by computer graphics and wanting to be on TV. They are nothing less than great.  –Puckett (Jade Tree)


STATISTICS:
Leave Your Name: CD
What’s left to say about “mullet” haircuts anymore and what’s left to say about “emo” anymore? They’re both tragically bad exercises in compromise and like a mouse in a Chicken McNugget suit, they both have been passed out of the exit chute of the cultural rear-end of this American Society of ours. Bring on the next bad idea.  –aphid (Jade Tree)


STATE PATROL:
No Escape: CD
Metal-y thudwumping hardcore from these Jehovah’s Witnesses from the Church of Discharge. They remind me a little bit of one of my favorite bands from days of yore: the Murderers – except without the human snot sprinkler called Bob Murderer. Here’s an example of where it’d be cool to have something akin to that rubber bulb thing with a snout that’s used to suck the snot out of a baby’s head – but one that works in reverse, pumping snot into something. If I were lucky enough to have such a handy gizmo, I think I’d give State Patrol a squirt or two. But that’s really a minor quibble. This is crunchy, spleen-bruising fun, even without the mucus coating.  –aphid (Rodent Popsicle)


STATE CONTROL:
No Escape: CD
There’s eight originals and a Discharge cover here, that is musically alright, but their whole “I ain’t gonna change, gonna be punk ‘til I die” stance just rings hollow. It all comes off as pretty meaningless shouting and defiant posturing, which is only amplified by trite lyrics that seem to avoid addressing any specific current events, of which there are many to bitch about. The result is sure to get the parrot punks pumping their fists in the air, but it really ain’t all that far off from the output of such hard-hitting “punk” groups as A New Found Glory and Good Charlotte, is it? Look, kiddies, the days of “calling myself a punk and having a funny haircut is a potent symbol of rebellion in itself” ended long before Avril started sporting studded belts and posh New York boutiques started hawking Black Flag shirts to the clueless bourgeoisie. If you’re gonna co-opt all the accoutrements of the “political” bands of yore, either take a stance for (or against) specific current events or give your instruments to someone who’ll put them to better use.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Rodent Popsicle)


START, THE:
Death Via Satellite: CD EP
I was so ready to write this off, but my interest was raised as soon as I started hearing what was coming out the speakers. Hard-driving, melodic rock mixed with some synth energy, topped off with female vocals that are similar to Gwen Stefani, like No Doubt meeting up with Concrete Blonde and adding some Cure influences to push the envelope and developing a little darker, almost gothic atmosphere in the music. The songs have a hard-driving beat with textures of keyboards that are not campy but add atmosphere. They take the experimental parts of ‘80s new wave but incorporate it with the right mix of modern rock. The vocal harmonies are the hook that catches the fish. Multi-layered and dreamy. A great beginning that hopefully will bear much more fruit down the road. Only thing that bugs me is on the enhanced video. Why have the bass player be portrayed by a female when the bassist listed on this recording is male?  –Donofthedead (Nitro)


STAKEOUT, THE:
On the Run: CD EP
From Finland, featuring a couple of members from Selfish. This reminds me of BGK, the first Suicidal Tendencies record, DS-13, and Amdi Petersen’s Arme. Mid-’80s punk rock that is straightforward, no bullshit, and a kick in the ass. With all the bands trying to capture the American sound of that period, the international community has it nailed down pat.  –Donofthedead (Deranged)


SPITS, THE:
Self-titled: CD EP
While maybe not as immediately satisfying as its two predecessors, the boys’ third self-titled CD is chock full of the same thick-headed brilliance we have come to love, and they still sound like the Ramones’ autistic cousins, which is a plus no matter how you slice it. I can think of no better way to start the new year than by blasting this bad boy with astonishing frequency.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Dirtnap)


SPF1000:
Witch Hunt: CD
Yet another band peddlin’ post-Marilyn Manson goth pap with lame lyrics. I have no doubt the guy responsible for this would’ve felt right at home with the ‘80s post-Poison Sunset Strip crowd, judging from the “pro” quality of this and the “glam” (in the 1988 sense of the word) feel bubbling just under the surface.  –Jimmy Alvarado (SPF1000)


SPEEDEALER:
Bleed: CD
More of this band’s sonic bombast, twelve tracks in all, alternating between the stoner sludge along the lines of High On Fire, and the full-throttle assault ala Zeke. They remain one of the few bands out there doing this stuff that are worth a piss.  –Jimmy Alvarado (www.deadteenagerrecords.com)


SPECIAL GOODNESS, THE:
LandAirSea: CD
...you know it’s a sad commentary on the times when i, the reviewer, have mentally written my review (“the most senselessly misnomered band since the Tragically Hip”) before i’ve even taken the disc out of the jewelbox; it’s even sadder when, forty minutes later, i’ve sat thru the whole disc and nothing has changed. Therefore, for the record, here is my review, in its entirety: The most senselessly misnomered band since the Tragically Hip. Thank you. BEST SONG: “You Know I’d Like...” BEST SONG TITLE: “Whatever’s Going On” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I’ve never listened to either Rocket from the Crypt or Weezer, and, after this album, i do not intend to alter that behavior.  –Rev. Norb (Epitaph)


SOULSIDE:
Less Deep Inside Keeps: CD
Mid-’80s DC punk was a strange beast. Sandwiched between the descent of what is now called harDCore, popularized by Minor Threat, Government Issue and others, and the ascent of the proto-emo scene kick-started by Rites of Spring and Embrace, a lot of bands coming out of the area at the time seemed hell-bent on broadening their horizons a bit, resulting in considerable experimentation. What often resulted was a sound firmly rooted in the past, yet paving the way for what was soon to follow, a sound exemplified by the output of bands like Marginal Man, Second Wind and, later, Soulside. Recently reissued by Dischord, Soulside’s 1987 debut screams with Minor Threat influence, particularly that band’s 1983 Out of Step EP, but there’s also a slew of other influences at work, resulting in numerous mid-tempo rock tunes and acoustic guitars, not to mention considerably less screaming than their hardcore forebears employed and considerably more balls put into their efforts than most of their present-day descendents employ. While some of the songs here are not exactly jaw-dropping good Soulside were indeed a good band that weren’t afraid to indulge some creativity between stage dives.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Dischord)


SMOGTOWN:
All Wiped Out: CDEP
Ahh, motherfuckin’ Smogtown, stalwarts of the New Beach Alliance. Is it true that All Wiped Out won’t be their swan song, that it wasn’t just a CD to crank, like summons for a dance to bring their acid rain of notes to melt that frown off my face and remind me of the good times? Will the Fuhrers of the New Wave resurrect themselves and not succumb to their own personal Bodie 601s?  There are rumors afoot that by the time this magazine hits the stands that the wheels will be back on the Gross Polluter and Smogtown will be back playing audio radiation live. Hope so.All Wiped Out’s got everything that made Smogtown the Southern California punk band to beat – songs about crazy bag ladies, bricks to the face, and the weeds in Western punk culture growing up through the concrete that wants it all to be smooth and does its best to weigh it down to look the same. Smogtown’s in fine form on these eight songs, flexing a throttle that can blast a hardcore beach tune then pull back with “Squares,” quite possibly their prettiest and catchiest song to date.  –Todd Taylor (TKO)


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