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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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CHEEKY:
Choke on a Cheeseburger: CD-R
I don’t know if it was intended as such, but when I listen to Cheeky I hear a total throwback to the Recess catalog. There’s the fast, snottiness like mid-era FYP, with Bent Outta Shape-similar leads sprinkled throughout. Meanwhile, there’s young lady vocals screaming about jerks at shows, being mad because of jerks, and jerks in general. As a fan of a lot of these things from Recess I’m reminded of, I think this is a flawless EP, and officially think this band completely rules.  –Joe Evans III (Freedom School)


CHEEKY:
Choke on a Cheeseburger: 7”
This is easily one of the best records I’ve heard this year, and a debut record nonetheless. A primarily female band, Cheeky should fit in nicely for fans of The Measure or This Is My Fist, but by no means is this a copycat band. Cheeky does their own thing, punk as shit, but not necessarily breakneck. Just kind of deliberately badass. Top that with a twenty-year-old New Yorker girl (or two) screaming at you, “You namby pamby! You fucking twinkie!” And the charm is not lost on me. –Nick Toerner  –Guest Contributor (Freedom School)


CHEAP TIME:
Self-titled: CD
Four words: Falling Down, Ginger Snap. Buy the record and know what I mean. This ain’t no decoder ring marketing gimmick to tell you to be sure to drink your Ovaltine. I get nothing out of telling you which records are worth a damn. Here is a little story that to prove it. So I totally fuck over Razorcake every month by not doing my reviews because listening to seven records that suck monthly sucks. But every now and then you get a diamond in your butthole. A sparkling little turd that peaks your interest and turns out to be valuable. In fact, a friend sent me a text message warning me how awesome this record is. It actually got me excited to do my fucking record reviews. That never happens, unless Todd yells at me. Cheap Time is awesome poppy garage shit that is so flamboyant and redundant you can’t help but mouth the words to the chorus you can’t understand. Not surprised to hear another solid gold motherfucker from the motherfuckers who brought us King Kahn And The BBQ Show and the Jay Reatard. What? You don’t have those records either? Fuck you. Stop wasting my time.  –Gabe Rock (In The Red)


CHEAP TIME:
Handy Man: 7”
Every now and again, a record reviewer can be reminded why they put up with daunting task of writing endless slander about the steaming piles of record refuse dumped into our review piles. It’s a good thing I already have plenty of resale items to potentially fund my alcoholic leanings because this here record will not make the drive to the used record store. Cheap Time, who I believe just released a full length on In the Red Records, offer up two garage pop gems with all the right amount of fuzz and distortion in the tradition of bands like The Stooges and Red Cross, but also with a hint of the garage power pop of bands like Teengenerate and The Potential Johns.  –Dave Disorder (Douchemaster)


CHEAP GIRLS:
Find Me a Drink Home: CD
This is very guitar-driven, with a thick and fuzzy texture occasionally drowning out the vocals, which are very reminiscent of Michael Stipe. Unfortunately, when I’m getting into a record only to realize there’s no lyric sheet included I get somewhat annoyed. Instead, we’re given some out-of-focus photographs, including one of a shoe, and a recording note stating “Cheap Girls wear shoes made by No Sweat Apparel.” I think there’s no better way of telling people you have nothing to say than prioritizing apparel over content. I like the name of the band and album, but even after a couple of listens I found myself having trouble differentiating between tracks. Every song had the same tempo, and if I didn’t catch the breaks between them, I would have thought it was one really long track. The exception is “Her and Cigarettes,” in which they go acoustic and throw in some keyboards. Good background music to ignore while reading.  –Rene Navarro (BMP)


CAVALCADE:
Into Bolivian: CD
Marching powder? I’m assuming that my supply was left out of the press kit with this one. I could have just looked at the cover and told you I would despise this: cookie monster vocals backed by boring prog rock metal. I did listen to this a couple times to make sure—yep, this is bad. They also totally disembowel a Fugazi song at the end of this, too. Ever see a dead deer’s entrails on the side of the highway?Into Bolivian is the audio equivalent of that image.  –Sean Koepenick (BMP, no address)


CATCH YOUR BREATH:
Life & Sounds: CD
Pretty decent outing—eight-song howler of a hardcore record that speeds through and gets the hell out with little flourish or fanfare. What comes to mind is a mixture of the density and shooting-for-epics of Modern Life Is War and the heavy nod to Motörhead-rock that Burial’s full-length gave us. They don’t quite meet the stature of either of those bands, but it’s not for the lack of trying. The best thing they’ve got going for them is the fact that they don’t try and drag stuff out with wanking solos or lengthy intros that attempt to be all atmospheric but usually just come across as boring. This is some no-frills stuff, which works in their favor. Though the fact that they entirely discard said approach in the last song, “Don’t Let the Shadow Touch Them,” in lieu of that aforementioned note-heavy, drawn out, balled-style definitely doesn’t work in their favor and ends the record on a pretty lackluster note.  –Keith Rosson (Dismantle)


CATALYST, THE:
Marianas Trench + 9: CD
Following in a long line of similar bands from their home state of Virginia, The Catalyst play epic, screaming hardcore. The thing that sets them apart from the pack is the murky, manly AmRep rock element that they add to their basement-core. It anchors the better songs on this CD, which is a collection of out-of-print EPs and splits. The weaker songs are kinda herky-jerky and unfocused, almost as if they were trying to see their instruments through a cloud of smoke, if you know what I mean. I don’t know what your weekend’s looking like, but I suggest you turn offJerry Maguire, get off the couch, and give this a listen, especially if most of your friends wear tight black T-shirts and never shave.  –CT Terry (www.theperpetualmotionmachine.com)


CARRY-ONS, THE:
Is Anyone Listening?: CD
Nashville’s Carry-Ons are a very simplistic, stripped down political melodic punk band with a slight ska influence. There’s a dark, morose quality to the vocals that I like and this is a solid release overall. Listening to The Carry-Ons is like eating above-average, regional fast food. You’re glad you didn’t go to Burger King, but you’re still eating a fast food burger.  –Art Ettinger (Stik Man)


VAPID:
Do the Earthquake: 7"
This female-fronted Vancouver, B.C. band make this shit that’s playful, urgent, snotty, and super rad. Their sound is rather reminiscent of early riot grrrl and grunge on a punk tip. Because I can’t even pogo rhythmically, I typically don’t like songs suggesting that I do a dance—I still can’t walk like an Egyptian. But I find here the exception to the rule. The title track is total fun. I was spazzin’ out before the chorus even hit. The two tracks on the other side are just as good, if not better. Here’s the rub: only 312 of ‘em were made. –Vincent Battilana (Nominal)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Insubordination Fest 2007: CD / DVD
While nothing can quite compare to the incredible experience of attending the second pop punk festival hosted in Baltimore by Insubordination Records, this twenty-seven (that’s right, the magic number of pop punk) track set does its best. Nearly thirty bands from four different countries played, running the gamut from classic figureheads of the scene such as the Mr. T Experience, Beatnik Termites, Ben Weasel, Wimpy Rutherford, and The Parasites, to rising stars such as Teenage Bottlerocket, The Ergs!, and The Steinways. The audio on the CD does a good job of capturing the live feel of the weekend while still having better quality than many live recordings. The DVD portion has both clean audio and video while also showing the view of the show from the back of the room as well from the stage. Due to the blackout that occurred on the first night, Egghead and Dear Landlord performed an impromptu basement show and were not able to have their sets recorded. This compilation serves as both excellent documentation of the weekend and as proof that pop punk is stronger than ever these days. Nothing can capture the heat, the dancing, the excitement, the bar-b-cue fare prepared by Baltimore’s own Sick Sick Birds, or the other aspects of this festival that will be stuck in the minds of myself and its other attendees forever, but this collection is as close as you can get. –Dave Dillon (Insubordination)


TOUCH MY RASH:
Doomed from the Start: CD
By all rights I should dig the minimalist thud-punk these guys are dishin’ out, but something is lacking from the finished product—Conviction? Hunger? Desperation?—resulting in more style than substance. –Jimmy Alvarado (Bittersick, address illegible)


TOOTH:
Animality: CD
Hardcore-metal hybrid music that’s adequately played. “Moderate Monster” has an overly long intro before kicking into a chugging first verse. The tempo slows for what I think is the chorus (but can’t be sure), and the chugging continues after that with some finger-tap soloing. There’s an annoying note in the one sheet stating that the second song, “The Stallion,” has explicit lyrics. Hey, pal, this is punk rock. We don’t need no warnings; bring on the swearing, goddammit! “The Stallion” also has a great deal of chugging, sticking with the unintended chug theme of the EP. More chugging on “Dogs of the Fight,” (thank god!) and the singer really shreds his vocal chords on a couple of screams. “Ants” is the final track and rounds out the animal chug-o-thon. It’s actually the best song on the CD and probably should have appeared first. There’s some cool artwork under the CD tray. If this were a basement show, I would have walked out after they strummed the first chord. –Josh Benke (Churchkey)


TEENAGE BOTTLEROCKET:
Warning Device: CD
Teenage Bottlerocket are one of the relatively few bands that stick very closely to the Lookout Records formula for pop punk that still keeps my interest peaked. I progressed through the early part of my teenage years without failing to acquire piles of records from Ramones and Screeching Weasel wannabe bands that now collect dust, but all of Teenage Bottlerocket’s releases still get frequent plays from me. It will take some time before I can decide on whether or not this release tops Total, the full length prior to this one, but I’d say it’s damn close. I’m not sure if I like Kody’s (ex-Lillingtons) songs on this record more than on Total, but they aren’t bad by any means. Ray, who has always been my favorite half of TBR’s vocal section, puts out songs that are equal to or better than Total’s content. The formula certainly does not fail on this record. –Dave Dillon (Red Scare, www.redscare.net)


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)


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