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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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GOD MACABRE:
The Winterlong: CD
This Swedish band’s 1991 debut gets the reissue treatment. The ridiculous Cookie Monster vocals aside, this is a decent bit of death metal thrashing, with the occasional classical/acoustic guitar interlude to break up the wham-bang and send it off in angles that are more akin to Black Sabbath’s more medieval moments than, say, Sodom or Death. Tacked on for good measure is an unreleased tune and the tracks from their first 7” EP.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Relapse)


GAS STATION OF LOVE:
Learning Curve: Cassette
Lo-fi bedroom shit pop. Repetitive, annoying, and generally frustrating to listen to. Often times, songs only qualify for the loosest definition of music. When they clearly are music, the songs are predictable new wave-inspired rock. Recommended only if you need something to play to get people to leave your house at the end of a party. Grade: D.  –Bryan Static (NRP)


GAS STATION OF LOVE:
Brown Tongues Are No Different Than the Pink Ones: CD-R
The cover looks like the graphic design work of a twelve-year-old child in 1993. There’s a pic of five young men sitting on the porch of a dilapidated house painted with peace signs, with the name of the band, songs, and the recording in old computer text blocks plastered on top. Certainly didn’t know what to expect, but the noisy experimental first track caught my attention. The second track, with its decent guitar and mocking of hipsters kinda lost my attention. Another all right experimental track popped up before the last song, which was a crappy jab at pretentious Californians. The project’s Facebook leaves me with the impression that this dude is trying to be offensive for its own sake, which has seemed rather adolescent to me since, well, when I was an adolescent.  –Vincent Battilana (Self-released)


FUR COATS, THE:
The League of Extraordinary Octopuses: LP
Tight punk pop delivered with a smirk. It’s never funny just to be funny. There’s always something more at work, like on drunken screw-up anthem “Goddamn, I’m a Handsome Man!” or the from-a-turkey’s-perspective “A Thanksgiving Day Murder.” The Fur Coats are from Punk House Heaven, Chicago. Two of them used to be in Das Kapital.  –Chris Terry (Dirt Cult / Artistic Integrity / Drunken Sailor)


FISCAL CLIFF:
Self-titled: Cassette
Fiscal Cliff is a great name. Admit it. First time I saw them it was their first show and were just a duo at the time—guitar and drums—but the sound was huge. Not in terms of volume, but it was so intricate with unique time changes and just sweet guitar lick’n’loop, one after the other. Drums pounding—slightly chaotic—but they definitely would catch up to the frantic, melodic guitar. Well, they’re all fine-tuned now, but have added bass to their lineup. Keith’s vocals undeniably sound like Ed Kowalczyk from the grunge rock band Live. It fits well with their Mission Of Burma sound. It’s got layers of alt and grunge woven through their post-punk sound. Rumors of an East Coast tour are circulating. Keep an eye out.  –Camylle Reynolds (Self-released)


FILTHY STILL:
The Last Six Feet: CD
This is twangy, blue grass, country, folk punk with a fiddle, banjo, and washtub bass. I’m sure you know the style. Typically, this is the counterpart to the exception of rap when someone tells you they like “all kinds of music.” Though I’m still failing to see where the “punk” part comes into play. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to exclude this type of audio venture, I just am unsure where it fits in with this zine. Most of the songs are about drinking? There’s a gruffness to the vocals? It’s DIY produced? I’m no expert on their scene but I’m just not convinced that songs about square dancing transfer to the pit well. Kudos to them all; they’re talented musicians and good at what they’re doing, but I don’t I get it.  –Kayla Greet (Farmageddon)


FILTHY SEÑORITAS:
Name Your Own Damn Album: CD
Dirty, drunken hardcore punk from deep in Canada’s heartland. I imagine going to see them play in some basement shithole, drinking warm whiskey and cokes, and loving every minute of it. I know they’ve come out to the coast before. I won’t miss it next time.  –Ty Stranglehold (FILTHY SEÑORITAS)


FEEL NOTHING:
Self-titled: Cassette
Knuckle-dragging “I’m going to punch you in the face” caveman hardcore. It’s slow, plodding, and contemplative at points. As if the band is trying to find the exact right moment to punch you in the face. The reading of violence in the music isn’t imaginary. The band puts it right in front of your face during the first track, “Fight Them All,” but not before you notice that the front cover of the tape is a man holding a shiv of some sort. The vocals are similar to something like Sick Of It All: deep and loud. Screams from the bottom of the throat that sound like the angriest, largest man has found something so upsetting that he is now angrier and larger than he’s ever been before. Decent, all in all. Grade: B-.  –Bryan Static (Self-released)


EXPIRED LOGIC:
Self-titled: 7”
With help of a theremin, the first track catapults into a sci-fi anthem dedicated to the Japanese monster Mothra. Though the only lyrics for this song are, “The wrath of Mothra” and “Hey!,” Expired Logic create a psychological terror in audio form. Drums are constantly building, the guitar has a sound of impending doom, and the theremin adds a spookiness to which words are unnecessary. Sadly, the remaining three tracks are sans theremin but still retain a high level of intensity. I was really getting in to the pew! pew! and eerie wobbling noises. “Spun” is an emotional recount of losing a friend / lover to heroin, while “Rotting Inside” covers suspicion and distrust of the system with a special focus on GMOs. Sonically, they’re daunting with a huge emphasis on the rhythm section and sharp guitar melodies. Their vocalist / theremin player is a seasoned vet when it comes to gruff, hardcore stylings and every word comes out clear. They’re tight, loud and fierce. Completely worth checking out.  –Kayla Greet (Self-released)


EX-CULT:
Midnight Passenger: LP
Memphis’s Ex-Cult is back with a second LP of aggressive punk/post-punk. The band is sounding more fully realized with each release. The low end is more present, giving them a more propulsive edge, more like their live show. Cheers to Goner Records for sharing one of their hometown gems with the rest of the world.  –Sal Lucci (Goner)


EU’S ARSE, THE:
Lo Stato Ha Bisogno Di Te? Bene, Fottilo: 7” EP
Originallyreleased in 1982, this virulent piece of wax is chock full of primitive Italian thrash rife with Discharge influence. At various times throughout, the vocals or some other instrument will randomly get louder as if the sound engineer sneezed will trying to inch up the volume—and the on occasion the band sounds like it’s on the verge of completely falling apart—but they never do, and these quirks do nothing to temper the proceedings a whit.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Black Water)


ESCATONES, THE:
So Long, Norman: CD
Formidable pseudo-folk that’s actually disguised as rock that was so in vogue about ten years ago. Listening to this record feels like a flashback, reminding me of all the unremembered bands that released an album, maybe a few EPs, and then disappeared forever. At The Escatones’ harshest moments, they sound reminiscent of Future Virgins or Sexy. During their lighter songs, a bit like Landlord. It could fit right at home on the Recess catalog. Personally, I could do without the four-minute-long blues jams and long-ass outro track, but that’s still a batting average of more than half the record. Grade: B.  –Bryan Static (Self-released)


ESCATONES, THE:
Slow Down Jackson: 2 x LP
They could’ve edited this down to a single LP, but I’m glad they didn’t. Even the slight misses on this collection are little gifts or buffers or something. It works as a whole, and it shows courage to put out something this huge. And it’s late ‘80s, early ‘90s-style jangly power pop but with a Southern lilt to it, and I keep picturing them on a bill with The Clean (Vehicle-era and onward), The Replacements (Tim-era), Robyn Hitchcock, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, maybe fIREHOSE or Uncle Tupelo. Feels rootsy and modest and smart and fun, like they’re your friends and you’ll go see them every chance you get. And then there’s the presentation. Stark illustration on the front, basic minimal info on the back cover, and no label mentioned. So it’s private press Southern jangle. Also, they put sides A and D on one record, and sides B and C on the other. They know what’s up.  –Matt Werts (Self-released)


EJECTOR SEATS:
…Like Apple Pie…: LP
Is there a line when a band starts being so toneless that they become a hardcore band? Or perhaps a limit of melody that a hardcore band is allowed to have before it’s shunted to the more melodic categories of the subgenre? Much like bands like Brutal Knights or Shitty Limits, Ejector Seats ride that imaginary line so tightly that’s near impossible to point to either side and claim that they belong there. The music is excellently written, though perhaps not recorded the best. It seems weird to complain about the recording techniques of a punk record, but there’s a point where musical instruments become distorted beyond the point of recognition. There are a few tracks where the backing music just sounds like shoegaze fuzz, and I can’t imagine that was intentional. Great record, poor production. They pretty much only lose points for not having a better recording. Grade: B. –Bryan Static (Collision Course)


DUI’S, THE:
/In’täksikât-ed/: CD
As you might have guessed from both the band and album’s name, these guys like to drink. Hey, so do I! This isn’t the booze talking. I really like this band. Extremely catchy songs dedicated to the delicate art of liquid liver decimation. The DUI’s are sporting some raspy vocals with a sometimes street punk feel, but with some hardcore breakdowns and some hooks. It may seem cluttered on paper, but it really works in my ear holes. If I ever see these guys play, I’ll buy them a round.  –Ty Stranglehold (THE DUI’S)


DEEP CREEPS:
Crown Gall: Cassette
My wife thought I was crazy when I suggested she eat a clove of garlic to get rid of a cold she felt coming on. She did, though, and the cold went away. It’s no surprise that Boise three-piece Deep Creeps chose a head of garlic for the cover of their tape: the music on here, what with its post-surgery Charles Maggio-esque growls, breakneck thrash pace, and alternately heavy chugga and/or dentist drill guitars, is the perfect visual accompaniment. Take a dose of it. It might not go down easily, but it’ll right what ails ya.  –Michael T. Fournier (deepcreeps.bandcamp.com)


DECENT CRIMINAL:
Know Anything?: CD
This is a five-song CD that sounds a lot like the California pop punk of the ‘90s with the raspy vocals that are meant to sound vaguely political. It’s not my thing, but it’s well executed and catchy. Well recorded. Good playing. Good vocals. They’re a band to look out for if you’re into that sort of thing.  –Billups Allen (DECENT CRIMINAL)


CRETIN STOMPERS:
Looking Forward to Being Attacked: LP
Maaaan, I just can’t get into this. I mean, I am really not into it. Musically, this band offers pretty standard psychedelic and dreamy pop tunes placed over a modern Burger Records rock’n’roll frame. Melodies intertwine and are pleasant enough as to not offend… but then the vocals kick in and it all goes down the drain. Oh, shit! I just thought of what this reminds me of! The majority of the songs come off sounding like a psyche/garage version of the Cocteau Twins with painfully high-pitched vocals often layered in tons of effects. It’s way too intentionally wacky and seemingly trite for my tastes, and that’s exactly the reason why I can see the overly “hip” crowd being really into this. It would be remiss of me not to mention that the lineage of the players involved here include members of Wavves, The Barbaras, and Jay Reatard’s band, but not even that can save this record from mediocrity.  –Mark Twistworthy (HoZac)


COLUMNS:
Please Explode: CD
Metallic grindcore with the requisite schizophrenic breaks between thrash, hyper-thrash, and “mosh it up” breakdowns. Tight, and “Bear Molester” garners ‘em a nod for “best song title of the month,” but in the end they’re about as faceless as can be expected this late in the game.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Relapse)


CHRISTIAN TAYLOR:
Ampersand Blues Band: Cassette
As you might’ve guessed, this is a blues cassette, which varies in tempo and mood throughout. Some goofy-sounding stuff, some backed by a band, some serious, some serious Neil Young-y.  –Michael T. Fournier (Glory Hole)


CANCERS:
Fatten the Leeches: CD
A band called Cancers. Unfortunately, the likelihood of this three-piece getting shat on by the media for their name is quite probable. Good thing their band is pretty shit-hot. Well, that’s an understatement. I imagine they’ll do quite well in the long run. Aside from the soft-spoken female vocals (which I enjoy), Cancers sound like Seaweed! Even the production is comparable to some of their records from the ‘90s. Oh, wait. Jack Endino recorded and produced this record? Shit. Never mind.  –Steve Adamyk (Kandy Kane)


BUMMER:
Steal the Nights: 7” EP
I’m probably too ignorant to appreciate Bummer. Post-punk, singer is that type of singer who drags a throaty sadness on the last word of each line, cover has trippy photo art of dancers. Bummer is not my cup of rum, but I guess they play an effective shimmery-like-broken-glass not shimmery-like-rhinestones type of rock. If you like Japandroids, art films, spidery guitar spangles and chords, obtain Steal the Nights and listen to it before the first cold snap hits.  –Jim Joyce (Housebreaker / Le Tete D’Ampoule / Art Drug)


BUILDINGS:
It Doesn’t Matter: 10”
Brings to mind certain folks on the Am Rep roster, or, say, Tad doing mathy shit. This ringing any bells? This working for you at all? Would’ve been not remarkably out of place were any of these songs to be found on an old Dope-Guns-’N-Fucking In The Streets comp: Riff-heavy, almost stoner rock tunes fronted by a gruff vocalist and housed in song structures that veer and lurch occasionally into territory that one could easily call post-rock. If that makes a whit of fucking sense at all. Very accomplished and challenging and a little strange. Not bad by any means, just not remotely my particular area of amorousness.  –Keith Rosson (Riot House)


BLOOD COOKIE:
Disappoint Yourself: CD
There’s nothing quite as refreshing as a band that decides to get a bit ambitious. Even if they don’t quite succeed, the fact that they’re making a concerted push to find a sweet spot amidst a shitload of staid pigeonholes. Blood Cookie casts a wide net here—no wave-inspired skronk with odd time signatures, uptempo punk, noise pop reminiscent of both Mission Of Burma and mid-period Sonic Youth, alt-rock—and wonder of wonders, they do a pretty handy job of smacking every one into deep center field. Given the level of work put in here, I give ‘em two releases, at the very most, before they find a way to meld all of their influences into something truly mind-bendingly great. As it is, this’ll be spending some quality time in the listening rotation.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Blood Cookie)


BLACK EYED VERMILLION WITH THE INHERITANCE:
The Pleasure Tide: CD
The vocals on The Pleasure Tide are handled by Gary Lindsey of Black Eyed Vermillion who, when yelling, reminds me of an excited, drunken Tom Waits. His backing band is The Inheritance, an act with an Eastern European sound. I don’t really like Eastern European-sounding music and The Inheritanceis no exception. Any time I hear this style, I feel like I’m watching some dramatic film about Jews in Poland right before World War II. It all sounds the same. Granted, the whole album wasn’t entirely redundant, as some of the music had a bit more of a country influence to it. Still, mixing klezmer with the occasional twang of country and a guy who occasionally morphs into an intoxicated troubadour just doesn’t do a thing for me. Surprising, I know.  –Kurt Morris (Farmageddon)


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