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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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TEENAGE BOTTLEROCKET:
Warning Device: CD
It’s been a good while since I have heard a Ramones-like band that actually sounded good to these ears. This band ripped right out with a catchy song and kept me at attention as song after song played. I guess I’ve been listening to way too much grind/crust/thrash/metal lately. The songs have hooks and the melody melts me like butter on hot popcorn. I catch myself humming instantly. Two singers who sound unique from one another but compliment each other well. Nice and bright guitar tones which brings up the fun factor. Punchy bass and drums bring on a bouncy energy that completes the music. I’m truly surprised that I like this. But those surprises are the best when you discover something that you like. –Donofthedead (Red Scare, www.redscare.net)


SPECIMENS, THE:
The Quick and the Deaf: CD
In the tradition of fellow Australian bands like Rose Tattoo, AC/DC, The Saints, and Radio Birdman, these guys take the Detroit’s bluesy, punked-up rock’n’roll template and just go to town with it, infusing it with enough swagger to blow the balls off a charging rhino at sixty paces. Collected here are two full-lengths and an EP, all of which are definitely above average for this particular pigeonhole, plus an interview with the band from an Australian radio show. Impressive stuff here, fo’ sho’. –Jimmy Alvarado (Zodiac Killer)


SMALL ARMS DEALER:
Patron Saint of Disappointment: CD
Some bands start big things, only to have waves of bands follow their path. This is a band that follows along the lines of the Gainesville hardcore sound, and doesn’t come up short in the ass-kicking department. Small Arms Dealer makes some great music. There are times when I wonder if they kidnapped Panthro UK United 13 and forced the band to record for them, and I really think they would hold that as a high compliment. There is a Southern California pop punk influence mixed in (think traces of Descendents or older Ataris), but I was surprised to see they were from New York. Listening to the album, however, you get the feeling you’ve heard it all before, even though it’s really good. It’s derivative but occasionally better than its influences. Try it, you’ll like it. –Will Kwiatkowski (Deep Elm)


SHOW IS THE RAINBOW, THE:
Perfect Push: 7”
This is difficult music. Difficult to classify. Difficult to listen to. Difficult to figure out why someone would produce such music and subsequently release it. Are you a weirdo? Do you like somewhat electronic spazz rock made by nerds? Are you ready to get stoked out by a 7”? If the answer to all three is “yes,” write Yosada records for your copy of this gem today. That was weird. That sounded like one of those reading rainbow segues. Segue isn’t spelled how you’d think it would be. I think I wrote that in another review awhile back. With the way I ramble in these things, you’d think they paid me by the word. They don’t. –Steveo (Yosada)


SHOREBIRDS:
Self-titled: 7”EP
This has been a long-awaited release for me. When rumors regarding the break up of Latterman began circulating, my heart sunk down to the soles of my shoes. It jumped right back into my chest, however, when word of a new band being formed involving Matt Canino from Latterman and none other than Chris Bauermeister from Jawbreaker began getting around. It stayed firmly planted there after the first listen of this record. This 7” is served up on clear gold, hand-labeled vinyl in sleeves of several different colors with two songs on each side. It doesn’t sound as close to a Latterman record as I expected, but you can definitely pick up on the influence. These songs have a bit more of a simple structure with Matt as the only singer. “The People I Live with,” first song side B, is the winner of this record. It will take some digging to find out where to get this, but some searching of Internet message boards eventually led me to an address that you can mail your four bucks to. Be sure to grab this before it’s gone. –Dave Dillon (Self-released)


SERIOUS:
Rejected: 7”
Ack! I can hardly figure out what the name of this band is! The 7” is covered with words, and I’m too stupid to figure it out! Sadly, I had to resort to MySpace for the answer. For shame! Anyway, although I was intrigued to learn that they’re recording their next record at Sonic Iguana (recording studio of choice for many pop punk legends), I must say that this didn’t get past your basic Cheerios for me. However, it does include the lyric, “All the other girls were laughing at me/I’ll piss in their face.” –Maddy (High School Reject)


BRASILIA:
A Life Desired: LP
When this record is playing, everything in my world is suddenly cool. Something about this music... Brasilia tread in territory similar to Broadcast and Stereolab. Synth driven with real back up instruments. The songs float in a trancelike shoegazer way with droning keyboards, dream-like female vocals, and throbbing bass lines. There is a haunting tone throughout that pulls you in, and puts you in the moment. I could, and do, listen to this for days on end. –Matt Average (Obscurist Press)


BROKEN:
At the Border: 7”
They say this slab of (gorgeous clear blue) vinyl is “dedicated to any band that has had to deal with tight-assed customs and immigration officials at bullshit border crossings. Music has no boundaries.” For my sake, I’m sure as hell hoping Chicago just got some of those fancy borders. A waste of a (physically) beautiful record. –Megan Pants (Vex)


BUDGETS, THE / BUST!:
Destroy Modern Rock/Improve Modern Rock: Split 7” EP
Budgets: The opening salvo, “City of Devils,” is a nice, catchy bit of punk rock. The next tune ain’t quite as catchy, but does the trick well enough, especially considering they’re apparently a two-man outfit. Bust!: Aggressive alt-rocky punk stuff. Recording’s a bit thin, but there’s enough of interest coming through to leave the impression that they’re probably be interesting live. –Jimmy Alvarado (Cassette Deck)


BROTHERS GROSS, THE:
Introducing the Brothers Gross: 7”
Straight ahead indie rock, but they sound like they love what they do and it’s catchy enough. Just not shaking my tree. –Speedway Randy (Silly Girl, myspace.com/sillygirlrecords)


BRAINDEAD:
No Consequences: CD
To their credit, these guys try to stir things up by soldering a smidge of pop sensibilities to the nouveau hardcore template, but ultimately the lack of conviction inherent in said template results in something that’ll probably appeal primarily to the scads of kids who think Hot Topic is the punkest fucking place on earth to spend twenty-five dollars on a Converge T-shirt. –Jimmy Alvarado (Burning Bridges)


BUGS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
From the first song, I’m thinkin’ “Wow, these guys sound like they desperately wanna be the current Queers trying to be the “We’d Have a Riot Doing Heroin”-era Queers, only with dopier lyrics about “lesbos,” smoking dope, fearing becoming gay, a desire to be Mexican, and an unhealthy obsession with Dave Navarro’s goatee. Then I look at the press sheet to see who these quasi-Queers are and, lo and behold, one of ’em is a Queers bassist. Dunno what’s sadder, though—that their strained efforts at being frat boy offensive ring hollow, or that the music’s light years better than the last Queers album I heard. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.myspace.com/zodiackillerrecords)


BOTTLE UP & GO:
These Bones: CD
Normally I look forward to two-man bands like most look forward to drinking radiator fluid strained through soiled underwear. This is different, however. For one, the guitar player has a slide and he knows how to use it. He also knows how to compensate for the absence of a bass player by filling in the empty spots. Add on one wailing drummer and an unabashed love of drug-tinged blues and you’ve got yourself something worth a listen. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.killnormal.com)


BLOWTOPS:
Brainshaker: 7”
Mysterious, gloomy punk rock with keyboards and a deep sound; the garage noise that a decade of horror films, drawn curtains, and depression would make in a basement in Buffalo. “Brainshaker” is more punk rock electric shock, whispering lines like “Shake you outta your skin.” While “Crime & Remorse” is a slowly burning fuse. –Speedway Randy (FDH)


BLOWBACK:
Living Vibration: CD
Fifth installment from this Burning Spirits-style band. Sonic as hell. They attack full force in a near blinding fury. Tracks like “Left Hand,” “Color Water,” and “Crash” break up the wild pace without losing any momentum; shifting to mid tempo—in comparison to most of the songs—letting the rhythm come to the fore, and burning into your memory. Eleven tracks of all killer songs. Not one drop wasted. Essential, really. –Matt Average ()


BLOOD STAINED REALITY:
Nazi Scum Burn in Hell: 7” EP
While these kids hail from San Diego, they sound like they just crawled out from the Wayback Machine after leaving Ohio or thereabouts circa 1981. Quick-tempo hardcore, plenty pissed off about what they’re pissed off about and proficient enough with their instruments to make a good impression. Looking forward to hearing more from ’em. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.myspace.com/bloodstainedreality)


BOYS CLUB:
Girls of Today: 7”
The title track is decent power pop. The B-side felt like the song that comes on when you’re dancin’ with the chick (or dude) you wanna make it with, but then this song comes on that you really don’t want to be dancing along to, but you need to keep dancin’ if there’s any chance of getting any action from said dude (or chick), and you end up doing this miserable side-to-side hop that pretty much guarantees you’re going home alone again. –Megan Pants (Douche Master, www.douchemasterrecords.com)


BRAIN DEAD / ROT IN HELL:
Millennial Psychosis: Split 7” EP
Brain Dead: Grindy, crusty hardcore concerned with pro-lifers and the end of the world. Rot In Hell: More gloom’n’doom, this time with a metallic hardcore soundtrack. –Jimmy Alvarado (Vinyl Addict)


BLONDES, THE:
Summer Van: CD Single
A song about having a van for the summer. Simple enough. “Shazzam, I got a van.” Very poppy early seventies rock with double guitars and some synth for good measure. A one song single isn’t much to go on, but I’m a sucker for lyrics that deal with rock’n’roll, makin’ love, smoking pot, and getting caught. –Rene Navarro (www.teenaciderecords.com)


BLACKSTRAP:
Steal My Horses and Run: CD
Twelve songs of what can best be described as amped-up shoegaze. I know that seems like a stretch, but this band literally sounds like Jesus And Mary Chain or many Creation Records bands playing in double time. Overall, this is pretty strong fuzz pop with male and female-pretty trade-off vocals on a stoner rock record label. There is a lot to like here for anyone who likes their pop with some fuzz and not as blown-out or noisy as Swervedriver or My Bloody Valentine. –Mike Frame (Tee Pee)


BLACKOUT:
Stop the Clock: CD
They cop to a Poison Idea/Motörhead influence, and both are readily apparent from the get-go, but there is a copious amount of the blues stirred in as well. Strangely enough, though, I found the odd bits of gloomy metal they mine on three or so songs to be the most interesting here. –Jimmy Alvarado (Profane Existence)


BLACKLIST UNION:
Breakin’ Bread with the Devil: CD
This quartet looks like a bastard child of Motley Crüe and Poison. Predictably, they’re from Hollywood, and from the sound of this album, they listened to L.A. Guns, Guns ‘n’ Roses, and various ‘80s hair metal acts. The guitar solos are in abundance but are fuzzier than one would expect. Some notes the vocalist hits are reminiscent of Ozzy Osbourne, but it still seems like this is a regurgitation of a bygone era. If you like KROQ, especially ‘90s alternative rock played on KROQ, this might be for you. –Kristen K (Self-released, myspace.com/blacklistunion)


BLACKBIRDS / BRAINDEAD:
Split: 7”
Blackbirds toss out two originals and a cover of “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” which comes off more ironic than anything else. They fare much better on their own songs—dark and brooding hardcore stuff with some pretty goddamn serious drumming going on throughout. Band sounds like they’d be right at home on a Deathwish sampler, sandwiched between, say, Trap Them and Reign Supreme. Braindead follows up with two songs of their own—the excellent “4th and 26th” that shows they can slow shit down to a crawl and still sound mean as hell; the song’s terrific and closes out with some of that Aussitot Mort/Amanda Woordward-styled octave note shit that just I can’t get enough of. Then there’s “Knives In my Eyes”—a quick straight-up hardcore song that’s over before it wears out its welcome, followed with yet another Iggy cover, this time “Search and Destroy.” Again, it’s decent but doesn’t really add anything new to the song—would’ve preferred if both bands had ditched the Iggy idea and given us another original instead, as they’re both onto something. Complaints aside, some damn fine jabs being thrown. –Keith Rosson (Burn Bridges)


BILL BONDSMEN:
Swallowed by the World: CD
Boy, these kids keep gettin’ better with each successive release. They’re still kicking down some pummeling Midwestern hardcore, but the songs have gotten a bit more nuanced, often alternating between simmering rage and full-bore roar, often within the same song. Quite the impressive release, this, and a definite selection to crank up to “stun” when you’re sitting in line to use the last sixty dollars of your unemployment check to get a quarter tank of gas. –Jimmy Alvarado (Deadbeat)


BENARD / WORN IN RED:
Split: 7”
Beee-yootifully carved, spastic shit that harkens back to the days of 1993 or so, and I don’t mean that as a burn. Both bands are running the screamo angle with such perfection, this could’ve come out on Gravity fifteen years ago and no one would’ve been the wiser—except there’s a full-color cover here and no poorly typed insert with, I don’t know, drawings of stars all over it. Benard reminds me of Staircase, which is probably a fairly obscure reference in these parts, but that’s what I’m hearing. Worn In Red’s song has no less than five screamo-epic sections in it and the vocalist could be a dead ringer for Mike Carter from Glass And Ashes, except this guy’s slightly more decipherable. No information available whatsoever besides song titles, which is too bad, as it’d be nice to hear what these dudes are yelping about. Apparently, the label’s folded since putting this record out; if you’re into the genre and you come across this one in a bin somewhere, grab it up—both bands know exactly what they’re doing. –Keith Rosson (Alaska)


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