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Razorcake #86
Wailing Of a Town, by Craig Ibarra
Razorcake #85
Pale Angels, Imaginary People LP
Toys That Kill / Joyce Manor, Split 7"


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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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TERMINUS:
Going Nowhere Fast: CD
Reissue of a 1990 record from this English band, a band I’ve never heard before and a fascinating listen. Musically, it covers a lot of territory, from speedy hardcore to slow, dark, doomy punk, to melodic mid-tempo punk, all with a constant undercurrent of classic crust. Oh, and some very un-technical metal solos. There’s a sprawling, epic nature to this very raw record that adds some weight to the very political lyrical content, sung with a lead vocal that’s sort of The Baron-meets-Dave Vanian. Sounds like a mix of various recording sessions, and they needed to use an original vinyl copy to create this reissue, so sound quality is average, but definitely does not detract from the content whatsoever. A nice surprise of a record and something I’d seek out a vinyl copy of if it wasn’t so rare. Fans of bands from Amebix to Chron Gen: get this now.  –Chad Williams (Bosstuneage Retro)


TEENGENERATE:
Five Covers: 7”
Cover projects can be throwaway vinyl at times, but Teengenerate bring their blazing train wreck speed to DMZ’s “Boy from Nowhere,” The Real Kids’ “She’s Alright,” and The Pagans’ “And Change.” Good taste and crowd pleasers don’t always translate to vinyl, but these three tracks create serious rattlehead in the comfort of your own home. The Queer’s “Kicked out of Webelos” and an Elvis cover are only nominal by Teengenerate standards. These tracks are taken from nineteen-year-old demos and show the raw power of a band that everyone should kneel before.  –Billups Allen (Crypt)


TANKIFIED:
Volume I: CD
If you like your generic SoCal-style punk rock with a generous dose of arena hair metal, then run—don’t walk—to get this record. Me, I’m gonna stay where I am. There is cowbell. Lots of it. Guitar solos and effect pedals, oh my! Remember that time Green Day covered The Scorpions? This is like The Scorpions covering Green Day. Well, not even The Scorpions—more like Dokken. If Wal-Mart went into the business of opening dive bars, these guys would be the house band.  –Lisa Weiss (Mystery School)


SUICIDE SYNDICATE:
In It for Life: LP
Suicide Syndicate sounds like a lot of bands. The first track is almost a complete AC/DC ripoff. I hear Rancid and Motörhead and The Misfits. More than anything, it seems that Suicide Syndicate wants you to know that they are tough. Even if their songs sound tired and repetitive, Suicide Syndicate play to say, “Fuck that weak shit,” which just happens to be the title of track two, side two. When will someone say, “Fuck that tough-guy shit”? Clichés are clichés for a reason, I suppose.  –John Mule (Switchlight)


SUBURBAN MUTILATION:
The Opera Ain’t Over Til the Fat Lady Sings: CD
Fuggin’ awesome! This is the first time I’ve listened to this, despite knowing about this band for the past thirty years. Why it took me this long, I have no idea. Maybe if I had heard this back then, my life would be better, and maybe I would have more friends, and a better job. Whatever the case, this is highly recommended, and maybe even essential. Originally released in 1984, and featuring Rev. Nørb of Sick Teen zine (and later Razorcake), these guys cranked out some intense hardcore punk that definitely didn’t take itself seriously, but still has a sonic punch. The guitar sounds like hell, the vocals are gravelly and raspy, with the drums pounding and thundering underneath. The songs range from super fast to more mid-tempo fare. And the lyrics are pretty good as well. Teen angst with a humorous edge. “Apathy” and “I Reject U” may become your anthems. There’s a ton of bonus material on here as well. Along with the original seventeen-song LP, there are thirty tracks of recordings done in basements and garages, varying in quality, but the energy comes through loud and clear. This stuff is so good, and so different than Boris The Sprinkler? Who saw that coming?  –Matt Average (Beer City)


SUBURBAN MOMS:
Turning Schools into Stone: 7”EP
Suburban Moms comes out with their latest 7”, which I have to say is quite good, despite their awful band name and bleak cover. At least it caught my curiosity? A-side’s “Turning Schools into Stone” is very similar in sound to Synthetic ID with a melodic post-punk guitar, propelling beat, and jumping bass line. Vocals are a-melodic, almost used as percussion, punctuated from the ebb and flow of guitar. It’s good. Really good. B-side features “Tolerating Intolerance,” less catchy, tinges of Adolescence, more straight- ahead ‘80s early punk, vocals a bit more screechy. Keep A-side on replay.  –Camylle Reynolds (Pashtone/Plant Bullshit)


STREGESTI:
Self-titled: CD
Super solid Polish crust/hardcore. Dueling female/male vocals scream and growl their way through thoughtfully written and thoughtfully translated lyrics. The packaging is pretty special, and from what little I could find out about the band, was handmade by them. Silk-screened cardboard cover and booklet printed on recycled paper; it’s a real labor of love.  –Jackie Rusted (Nikt Nic Nie Wie)


STREET EATERS:
BLOOD::MUSCLES::BONES: LP
There’s something empowering about bands self-releasing their records. Like an employee owned and operated brewery, it just puts a smile on my face. Record labels are as important as ever, it’s just different. Street Eaters kill it on their second proper full-length. The drums stampede in frantic unison while the bass sounds like a meteor shower, but the meteors aren’t burning up in the atmosphere. Hubs of civilization aflame. Chaos reigns. Process that and then add two of the most dynamic and powerful vocalists in punk today. If something gets described as crusty or art-punk, it can be met with reservations, but Street Eaters relentlessly bring those elements (and more!) together in true, devastatingly beautiful harmony.  –Daryl Gussin (Nervous Intent [US] / Contraszt! [Europe])


STRANGLEHOLD:
Trouble: 7”
I suppose that I am destined to write reviews of this band because of our names. I’m okay with that because I really liked their last 7”. Stranglehold is back with another three-song blast of dirty street punk. Musically, Stranglehold reminds me of a mid-tempo Bodies but this time out the singer sounds like she had really upped her cigarette and whiskey intake. Seriously, she is heading into Frankie Stubbs and Lemmy territory. It makes for a tougher sounding record for sure, but I wish there was just a little less gravel in her voice. It’s still a solid record though.  –Ty Stranglehold (Pirates Press)


STRANGE PARTY, THE:
Waste of Flesh / Radio(in)active EP: Cassette
A ton of potential here, what with their tried and true Misfits / SoCal whoa-oh-oh melodic approach. But it feels to me like this is a young band who, over the course of the two EPs on this tape, are spending more time working on their individual parts than listening to each other: there’s often so much going on that the songs don’t have much space to breathe. The last song here, “Angel of Summer,” is the best and most spacious. It’s also the one which sounds the most unrepentantly like ol’ Glenn and co.  –Michael T. Fournier (Pleasant Screams)


STILETTO BOYS:
Liberator: CD
This is the Stiletto Boys third full-length release, but first release in well over a decade. Why the wait? Originally recorded in 2008, the band scrapped the entire album in pursuit of perfection. Finally released in 2013, Liberator is a powerpop masterpiece featuring a spot-on cover of Stiv Bator’s “Not That Way.” But it’s not just fluff; there is some real substance here. Impeccable production, warm fuzzy guitar, and the harmonies... oh the harmonies! This album is the first spring day after a long, shitty winter.  –Jackie Rusted (Zodiac Killer)


STELLAR CORPSES:
Vampire Kiss: 7”
I’m way into the upright bass playing on this record. I don’t know if there’s any virtuosity going on, because I don’t know shit about upright bass. I just know that I hear a lot of psychobilly records with very neutered upright bass, as if they arbitrarily grabbed a jazz band kid, gave him a pompadour, and made him a member of the band without first indoctrinating him in the style. The upright bass playing on this record is a perfect rumbling undercurrent that’s like a knife to the neck, poised to cause serious harm. The rest of the music isn’t too shabby either. It’s nice and malicious. If there’s a weak link, it’s the vocals, which seem too clean and restrained. Needs more howling. Also, it’s probably not fair to call this psychobilly. Some of the tropes are there, but there’s not much of the ‘billy. The band draws just as much from melodic punk and even thrash, particularly on the B-side. It all comes together nicely.  –MP Johnson (Chapter 11)


STARZY SIDA:
Self-titled: CD
Apparently, this is a one-time side project featuring Patyczak on vocals and the band Starzy Singers from Warsaw. Late ‘70s punk seems to be the main influence on these tunes. Everything is played with controlled chaos and it seems to work well. I wish I could tell you more about how this connects with me emotionally, but all the liner notes seem to be in their native tongue. I’d really appreciate an English lyric section on their bandcamp page so I could follow along.  –Sean Koepenick (Nikt Nic Nie Wie)


STAGGER & FALL:
Hero to the People: 7”
Cool, a new release on Chapter Eleven Records. Seems like it has been a few years since I have seen something from them. Chapter Eleven has traditionally been a really strong label that was / is run by members of the Randumbs and known for releasing top shelf street punk type stuff. I am glad to say that Stagger & Fall continue that tradition, bringing some really tuneful working class punk that would have been right at home on TKO Records in the late ‘90s. This band basically splits the difference between the Beltones and Reducers SF, so if you love that melodic, gruff street punk, you will wanna be all over this single.  –Mike Frame (Chapter Eleven)


SPIKE PENETRATOR:
Yeah! Yeah!..Baby!: LP
This is a collection of recordings Spike Penetrator made in the early seventies when he was in high school and The Penetrators was still a ways into the future. It’s kind of fun to listen to. For people of a certain age who remember getting their first tape recorders and spending their free time recording songs off the radio and trying to be funny on tape. There are some funny Mad Magazine/Dr. Demento-influenced ideas and some neat lo-fi recordings of Spike experimenting with musical styles. Very goony and fun at times. It appeals to me as a history buff.  –Billups Allen (Feral Kid)


SPEEDOZER:
Super Charger: CD
There’s not an official subgenre name that I know of for seedy, raw, bar punk, but that’s what Speedozer goes for on this solid debut. The catch here is that the band is from Belgium, despite sounding like they’re from Detroit. Reminiscent of Nashville Pussy, or maybe a tougher version of Trash Brats, Speedozer delivers on the speed front, with most of the songs far exceeding the mid-tempo melodrama expected from this type of material. With lyrics about drugs, murder, and sex, there’s plenty of tongue-in-cheek tomfoolery at hand amidst the toughness. Sporadic use of mini lead guitar lines adds complexity while simultaneously, and thankfully, distancing Speedozer from metal. You’ll need a supercharger for your media device after playing Super Charger as many times as you’re going to want to.  –Art Ettinger (Zodiac Killer)


SONIC NEGROES:
Pucker Up: CD
Wow, been a spell since I’ve heard anything from the band and the label, but based on this, it sounds like both are still on the same trajectory since last we hung out together to do some damage to my eardrums. Sonic Negros churn out rock-solid boogie-punk ditties here, with Marshalls loud and the swaggering in overdrive. Been kind of burned out by the sheer volume of bands that have taken up this style over the past decade or two, but these cats do it with enough oomph to keep ‘em from getting lost in the shuffle.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Zodiac Killer)


SONIC AVENUES:
Mistakes: LP/CD
If you’re wondering if this record lives up to Television Youth: the answer is yes! Sitting in front of a computer trying to explain this band is just wrong. I should be doing a cannon ball off a roof with this blaring out of a boom box. But this isn’t just party punk. In fact, quite opposite. This Québécois band delivers some serious bummer jams via flawless, rabid power pop hooks. Song titles like “Better Days to Come,” “Wasted Summer,” and “Tired, Bored & Alone,” suggest a much more human element is at play than the insta-BBQ tempos would conjure at first listen. Making mistakes may just be part of living one’s life. But all hail the Sonic Avenues for pumping out another righteous, impeccable, turbo pop record.  –Daryl Gussin (Dirtnap)


SLURS:
Self-titled: Cassette
Melodic hardcore out of Winnipeg delivers dry throat, scratchy vocals on four tracks that precede their demo released earlier this year. Dense, melodic chords like Naked Raygun and G.B.H. bolster “Care Less,” while “Stay In” and “Pick Up” slow it down to a garage tempo, the latter relying on a chirping chord to carry it home. “N.I.L.” closes it out with a screechy, no wave guitar hook brining in elements of Deerhunter. While this is a good precursor to their five-track demo, the sound quality is muddy and the fact that only one track has managed to stick it out leaves me to suggest the demo over this. Still worth an ear if you can track it down. Recommended.  –Kristen K. (Self-released)


SLAG:
Self-titled: 7”
Members of Libyans, Broken Prayers, Mac Blackout Band, and the hype fest that is Narcoleptics. This is a lot more straight-forward hardcore than their other projects and it pulls out a lot of classic Chicago influences. I definitely hear Rights Of The Accused and Articles Of Faith in this thing and all the songs have catchy riffs played at less-than-breakneck speed, but that’s cool because they are actual songs instead of just genre pieces. An under-the-radar ripper from what is unfortunately a one-off band.  –Ian Wise (Hesitation Wound)


SILVERHOUNDS, THE:
Hellacious: CD
This is very competent psychobilly. I have trouble with this genre, in part because of the inherent goofiness and in part because of a commitment to conformity. Same rhythm, same song subjects, same fucking hair. I can’t knock a band for doing their thing and doing it well, sprinkling in some rad guitar solos here and there, but why not open that shit up? I feel like these guys get there on the last track, “Live Fast,” which gets a bit more thrashy, lets loose a bit more, messes its hair up, and just charges forward. I think this is the kind of band that will just keep pushing it with each release. If you’re a rockabilly fan, you probably should keep your eye on The Silverhounds.  –MP Johnson (Zodiac Killer)


SHATTERED FAITH:
Modern Convenience: 7”
The title track is a potent grinder, similar in execution to D.I.’s “Richard Hung Himself,” or Adolescents’ “Democracy,” with lyrics name checking various conspiracy theory bogeymen and a shadow government that offers security in exchange for the liberty of the American population. The flip, “USA,” is a studio recording of a flag-waving rah-rah tune that’s been kicking around their set for quite a while. Much as I’ve loved this band—and the tunes here easily stand toe-to-toe with their “classic” work of three decades past—the country’s hard-right lurch over especially the past fourteen years renders songs that once felt like a well-placed jab in the eye to punk’s lefty sensibilities into jingoistic anthems that just don’t sit well outside the setting of some creepy Tea Party powwow. Ah, well, while I might not agree with ‘em lyrically here, the tunes are undeniably strong. Also includes a download card with a 1982 live set from the T-Bird Rollerdome in Pico Rivera.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Hostage)


SEX SCHEME:
Thruster: Cassette
Sounds like a kooky one-man band like Voot Warnings or Jaguar, backed by the White Light/White Heat-era Velvet Underground rhythm section, if all parties concerned got a bunch of fingers blown off lighting firecrackers behind the barn, and answering the musical question of what Darby Crash would have sounded like during that live set at the Whiskey if his slurring got so bad he actually wound up sounding like Kickboy Face as a result. Either way, these budding geniuses have surely done for Reverend Gary Davis’s “Cocaine,” what the Germs did for the Archies’ “Sugar Sugar,” and that’s saying something. FEEL THE VAST PANOPLY OF RICHES BROUGHT TO BEAR BY THE AMAZING CASSETTE FORMAT!!! BEST SONG: “Gratification.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Amputee,” which i don’t believe is the Rotters song of the same name, but it’s kinda hard to tell, really. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Handwriting on this copy’s j-card reads “Stale Heat.”  –Rev. Norb (Self-released)


SECULAR PLAGUE:
Vivisection: 7”
This is a punk band from France that sounds like Rudimentary Peni. Now, if you’re like me (meaning you have good taste), you just read that last sentence and have already decided to buy this record because, you know, French punk bands are generally great and... well, Rudimentary fucking’ Peni. However, they somehow totally fuck this up for everyone. Every song on this record is about animal cruelty (I think). I don’t think there’s necessarily anything wrong with that, but it just feels like this has been done to death and they don’t really offer anything new to the idea or the aesthetic. Honestly, my issue with this record that it just sounds totally phoned in. The vocals are totally lacking any urgency and, musically, it’s just a few mid-tempo anarcho stompers that all sound exactly the same.  –Ian Wise (Fleshmen)


SCAVENGERS, THE:
Self-titled: LP
This is a raw ‘77 punk relic from New Zealand. The Scavengers are high energy all the way, with heavy Buzzcocks snot. This release combines The Scavengers’ offerings for the seminal New Zealand compilation AK-79, along with other studio tracks and a few songs recorded after a name change to The Marching Girls. They stayed reliable while they were together; all the songs are good. As more and more ‘70s-era punk is unearthed in the digital age, you’re likely to come across some duds. But this release is solid. As the band was short-lived, they put all their catchy choruses up front. It’s pretty essential. And, unfortunately, expensive. It’s a New Zealand release. If you haven’t heard the AK-79comp, it’s acquirable through illicit means. For our history lesson, bassist/vocalist Brendan Perry went on to form seminal Goth outfit Dead Can Dance.  –Billups Allen (Real Groovy)


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