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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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BLOODY LOVELIES, THE:
Some Truth & Some Money: CD
This is what I picture: Dave Jones leaves the Monkees and sings for a time with the Doors, the Beatles or covers Elton John songs –Donofthedead (Cheap Lullaby)


BLOOD DRAINED COWS::
13: CD
Heaping slops of psych-rock, trash punk, Leonard Cohenisms, lyrics that touch upon what goes on in one’s mind, semi-acoustic ramblings, and other assorted weirdness are mooshed together on a plate with a side of “Chupacabra Rock ‘n’ Roll.” A bizarre meal, indeed, but when one of the chefs responsible for this meal is Angry Samoan guitarist Greg Turner, the mess before you, as well as the cover of “Little Black Egg,” which was a staple of the Samoans’ set, makes complete sense. Is this the long-hoped-for answer to Back from Samoa? No, so get over it. Is it a good listen? Without a doubt. –Jimmy Alvarado (Triple X)


BLOOD DRAINED COWS:
THE: 13: CD
An odd record that features ex-Angry Samoan Greg Turner. More on the college rock side of things than punk. Songs that sound like children’s riddles to sonic ‘60s garage to the blues. The lyrics are pretty interesting and sound abstract to an average person while it makes perfect sense to the author. If you want to hear something outside the box, this might make your prostate swell. –Donofthedead (Triple X)


BLACKTOP:
I Got A Baaad Feelin’ About This: CD
Subtitled “The Complete Recordings”, it appears to be the complete recordings of a twangy garageswamp combo fronted by hoarse ex-Gorie Mick Collins. Twenty-six tracks bust out a Cramps-meet-Birthday Party skid row-meander thudverb party that gets under your skin like a dirty needle and makes a little infected area that throbs for a few days and grows a little crusty scab that’s irresistible to pick at. A little more reigned-in than some In The Red product, but fully fleshed-out in it’s own particular suit and tie. Oh, and, “Your Pretty Face (Is Goin to Waukeegan)”! –Cuss Baxter (In The Red)


BLACK PRINT:
Movement: CD
Five sincere but emotional outbursts from this Chicago band; I could just be lazy and call it emocore, but that wouldn’t be fair. Four of the five tracks aren’t half bad, but they are good enough musicians to get to a stronger and more original place. If Slayer and Crackerbash had a love child, it might sound like Black Print. Sadly, similar bands already littered most of the ‘90s. -Wanda Sprag –Guest Contributor (Quincy Shanks)


BENCHWARMER:
Self-titled: CD
I just can’t nail this one in the head. Me thinks this sounds like the singer of Sick of it All joins the guys in the Meat Puppets and brings back to life Kurt Cobain for additional guitar duties and summons Bill Stevenson from All/Descendents to drum along to play a weird jazz noise thing. –Donofthedead (UR)


BEN GRIM:
Retro: CD
As an official board member of The Committee to Preserve Pop Punk (CPPP), I should, by all rights, love this CD. I mean, what’s not to love? It’s decent pop punk. It’s recorded in Green Bay. It’s one of those career-spanning retrospectives, which allows me, the reader, to spend less time tracking down out-of-print records. After a few listens, though, the CPPP must release the following statement: This is indeed decent pop punk, but it won’t knock your leopard-printed socks off – except for the bonus tracks (sloppy and great!), and the rockin’ Zero Boys cover with Rev. Nørb on vocals (which is Cinnamon Toast Crunch). When this band is messier and less-produced, it’s a-okay! The rest is Kix. Punk! –Maddy (Boss Tuneage)


BEERZONE:
Live on the Dive: CD
A board quality recording of a live performance by this venerable English band, recorded live in Brighton in August 2002. Proving that they are not merely a “studio band,” the boys crank out thirteen tracks of Test Tube Baby-damaged punk rock, sick with hooks and heavy on the humor. Personal favorite here is “Strangle All the Boy Bands,” a sentiment I think we all can get behind. –Jimmy Alvarado (Beerzone)


BATON ROUGE, LES:
My Body-The Pistol: CD
Raucous, dark, female-fronted punk often similar in tone to bands like the Lost Sounds, although there ain’t a synth within miles of this. Things get a bit arty at times, but that doesn’t hide the fact that there’s some good noise bein’ made here. –Jimmy Alvarado (Elevator Music)


BARGAIN MUSIC:
The Magic Is Over: CD
A weird mix of metal, dub reggae and Prince-influenced funk, ultimately landing on its ass in bar band land. –Jimmy Alvarado (Beatville)


BAR FEEDERS, THE:
50 Ways to Leave Your Liver: CD
Underneath one of the best album titles I’ve heard in a long time is some fast, sloppy drunk (duh) punk, kind of like Schlong or Your Mother mixed with a little bit of No Means No. Like the other Bar Feeders records, this is pretty good, but the real clincher for this band is their live show. Live, the No Means No influence shines through a little more, and so does the drunkenness. This isn’t essential, but it might be nice if you knew the words to these songs so you can sing along at their shows. –Josh (Attention Deficit Disorder)


BATHTUB SHITTER:
Lifetime Shitlist: CD
A Japanese grind band with some of the worst lyrics I’ve ever read. Granted, some of it may be due to a desire to sing in English being hamstrung by a rudimentary grasp of the language, but that doesn’t really explain away verses like “Countless tributaries of a river/ Where is it going?/ I drink and think about it/ But really need a snack/ And my blood vessel wants beer.” Musically it ain’t too terrible, and the cookie monster/high-pitched squeal dual vocal interplay is funny as hell, but I really shouldn’t have looked at the lyric sheet first. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.shitjam.com)


BAILER:
This Took Too Long: CD-EP
This took too long to get to the end. –Jimmy Alvarado (Not Bad)


BACKUP PLAN, THE:
Dearest Whomever...: CD
Dear Todd, I am too old to have to think of something good to say about ninth generation Dag Nasty rehashes. Please hire a fourteen-year-old for that. Thank you. –Cuss Baxter (New Day Rising)


ASSOCIATED SCUM:
free demo: CD-R
Picked this up outta the flyer pile at Dr. Strange and figured I’d give ‘em some free publicity. What you get here is direct, non-metal hardcore with some nice tempo changes here and there to keep things interesting. Five songs in nine minutes means they pretty much refrain from self-indulgence, as it should be when one is playing in a hardcore band. Just get in there, raise hell and get the fuck out, you know? Drop ‘em an email and check ‘em out. –Jimmy Alvarado (ASSOCIATED SCUM)


ANTI-FLAG:
ANTI-FLAG: CD
Here’s me scratching my head. Why is it that whenever this band, seemingly made up of intelligent, well-informed people, tries to write lyrics, they come out like, “We’re tired of lies; we want the truth!” and “It’s up to you to see through lies by those who’ve led us to endless world strife”? Why do they feel the need to dumb everything down for people? Why is the politically correct thing to be completely dogmatic and humorless? Why does everything about Anti-Flag seem so sterile and processed? The thing that baffles me the most is that this album is probably going to be wildly successful, while Last Match by the Thumbs, one of the most intelligent, visceral, fist-swinging punk albums in recent years, has been totally ignored. There’s no shortage of awesome politically-oriented punk bands out there. This just isn’t one of them. –Josh (Fat)


ANN BERETTA:
Three Chord Revolution: CD
Man, my wife is going to love this! One Man Army meets the Plimsouls. I need to give this to her now before she tells me that I never turn her on to new music again. –Donofthedead (Union)


AMBIVALENT:
self-titled demo: CD-EP
Judging solely from the sound of this, one is led to assume they’re an East LA backyard band. Decent, mid-tempo punk marred by a limp four-track mix job. They thank god and beer in that order. Now that’s punk rock, man. –Jimmy Alvarado (no address)


ALTAIRA:
Weigh Your Conscience: CD

Although they thank Bruce Springsteen’s hips in the liner notes (hot!), I couldn’t really get excited about this. Melodic punk with breakdowns, occasionally gruff vocals, you know the story. It’s not awful or nothin’, though. And, more importantly, what about the name? A quick google search revealed the following: 1.) “Altaira is a rule-based visual language for the control of small mobile robots, using a tile-based navigation scheme.” 2.) the Arabic word for bird or high-flying 3.) the eleventh brightest star in the sky (Altair) or 4.) a female fantasy character. Let’s hear it for tile-based navigation schemes! This is Cheerios. Okay!

–Maddy (A.D.D.)


AGAINST ME!:
As the Eternal Cowboy: CD
I’m probably the only person I know who didn’t go completely apeshit over this band’s first record. Don’t get me wrong, I like it and everything. It’s just that every time I’d listen to it, I’d think of something else that I’d rather listen to, like Sockeye. I didn’t have any expectations for this album, but it really caught me off guard. The drumming sounds a lot better than their first album, the singing is much more tuneful, and the guitar sounds, surprisingly enough, like it came off an early Cure album. Granted, I think the last two songs on this album completely suck, but the other nine songs are pretty fucking awesome, so I guess I’m converted. –Not Josh –Guest Contributor (Fat)


ADAM WEST:
God’s Gift to Women: CD
In the ROCK vein of Zeke, The Hellacopters, or The Candy Snatchers, but what makes me love a band like The Candy Snatchers is that Larry May can sing and has more personality in his big toe than entire bands of this genre. I have heard quite a bit of Adam West over the years and the vocals have always held me back. Try as I might, this one thing keeps me from being a fan. –Wanda Sprag –Guest Contributor (I Used To Fuck People Like You In Prison)


30 YEARS WAR:
Under the Gun: CD-EP
Balls-on-fire hardcore or sort of tidied-up crust – I don’t know exactly where the punk pundits would put this one. Chain of Strength with industrial strength itching powder in their jock straps. I like it. –aphid (Substandard)


PRIZY PRIZY PLEASE:
Self-titled: CD
So I first heard of these guys after a bunch of praise from my friend/their label mate Jimmy of The Sass Dragons. Then I get this, with a fancy little promo/press sheet, which includes “RIYL Talking Heads, They Might Be Giants, Fugazi, The Unicorns.” Okay, nothing wrong with that. It just threw me for a loop. Then I put it on, and establish “Yeah, They Might Be Giants if they were some crazy, tiny record store/warehouse-playing hyper punk band” (and don’t get me wrong, I love me some TMBG). Calling this indie rock is an insult to innovative/creative punk bands. –Joe Evans III (Let’s Pretend)


ZENO TORNADO AND THE BONEY GOOGLE BROTHERS:
Self-titled: CD
The cover describes this as “dirty dope infected bluegrass hillbilly hobo XXX country music,” and that pretty much sums things up nicely, although I’d be inclined to add “brilliant” to the description as well. Imagine Andy Griffith as a doped up porn hound and you ain’t far off.  –Jimmy Alvarado (www.voodoorhythm.com)


WILLOWZ:
self-titled: CD
As might have been apparent over the course of the last few issues, i was, for a time, more or less completely obsessed with this band and their almost unfathomable ability to sound like The Great Lost 1981 Posh Boy™ Records band. I found myself breaking the contents of their first single down into a host of brief, intra-song sonic events, and running a mental Google™ search on each tiny song fragment, in the attempts to ID the origin of every beat pattern, every chord progression, every note and sonic idiosyncrasy that transported me back to, i dunno, junior year of high school or whatever, when me and my posse (of two) would sit around my parents’ living room after school, spinning whatever mysterious new 45s i had mailordered that week and reading Flipside, occasionally consulting a road atlas to find out where exotic-sounding places like “Upland” and “Cerritos” were. Buuuuuttt... just like with all those bands whose singles we dug in 1981, the at-least-somewhat awaited album, as always, fails to meet the (admittedly lofty) expectations projected upon it by myself, the consumer (who, naturally, is always a bit disappointed when he doesn’t hit his best-case-scenario projection of an album composed of about twelve a-sides) (and one cool cover). The “a-side” of the album (or diskly equivalent) is still pretty cool, like some manner of Red(d) C(K)ross Xerox™ from an era of the band that never actually existed; the “b-side” gets flat-out weird with a ballad seemingly crooned with three guitar picks under the singer’s tongue, a female-bassist-sung slop-fest, a pysch-out number not terribly unlike The Craig’s “I Must Be Mad,” and “End Song,” the dumbest album-ending “Gloria” rip-off since “Seven Toes.” I dunno. I guess we can still go out, but i’m not stalking you any more. BEST SONG: “Meet Your Demise” BEST SONG TITLE: I used to like “Equation #6,” but now i think i like “Meet Your Demise.” It’s so much more swashbuckling. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Special Thanks: Robbie Fields, Andre Duguay, Madeline Follin McKenna, and the Willowz Street Team!  –Rev. Norb (Dionysus)


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