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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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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)


WHISKEY & CO.:
Self-titled: CD
For the past twenty years, pop music with a southern accent has been posing as “country music” and has given country a bad name. Now, here comes Whiskey & Co. to change all that. This album goes back to what I love about country – the remorse of a fucked up life, the pain of the working class, the way a banjo or violin can sound in the hands of someone who knows how to play it, the beauty of an open chord, and that steady, comforting drum beat that thumps along at about the speed of my pulse or the bumps on the road while I’m driving away from the city. My only caveat about this album is that the singer will remind you of a countrified Natalie Merchant. You’ll get over that after a couple of listens, though. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: one of the members of this band used to be in Asshole Parade. Go figure.  –Sean Carswell (No Idea)


WESTERN ADDICTION:
Remember to Dismember: 7”
I miss Dick Army, the tragically overlooked NYC trashy pop/ hardcore unit that could spin a melody into a tight tornado while spilling out some truly insightful lyrics. (Get Unsafe at Any Speed if you see it in a bin.) Although not quite as fast as Dick Army, Western Addiction’s singer yells and shouts, but in a melodic way that’s basically used as another rhythmic instrument (which I like). Fortunately, they also have the same knacks which keep Dick Army on a constant rotational cycle through my CD player: rough melodies, nice lyrical twists (“without rhyme or treason,” “stark raving glad”), and instruments that all play towards a bigger whole. Nice. My only question? Is “apparating” a real word?  –Todd Taylor (Fat)


WEIGHT, THE:
Ships: 7"
Mellow hippie shit for patchouli huffers.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Sabot Productions)


VINDICTIVES, THE:
Muzak for Robots: CD
This really is muzak. No, really.  –Sean Carswell (Teat Productions)


VENA CAVA:
So Evolved, Inhuman: CD
Wow, this is really good. Sort of like Jawbreaker-ish pop punk with male and female vocals. It took a couple of listens to grab me, but once it did, I was hooked. My only real complaint would be that they don’t sound very confident in themselves, but I can definitely see this band moving past that on their next album. And the cover of “We’re Desperate” was not the best decision in the world. But still, this is pretty highly recommended.  –Josh (Don’t Quit Your Day Job)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Untitled: CD
It was a grand idea for this record label to provide me with a list of bands to avoid in the future, but it’s really not a bad idea to include stuff like, oh, say, the title of your album when sending it in for review. -Potsi –Guest Contributor (Say Ten)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
The Rock Horror Punk Rock Show: CD
Opening with Me First and the Gimme Gimmes is a good idea, but it’s pretty much downhill from there. Or so I thought. –Megan Pants (Springman)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
No Thanks!: The 70’s Punk Rebellion: CD box set
The folks over at Rhino did it again with this four-disc library of essential ‘70s punk listening pleasure. The included 100+ page book itself houses some seriously bad ass reading in the sense that it talks about each song and band in the box set’s listed order, not to mention the complete info listings of each song listed in the back. And the band pictures… tons and tons of wonderful band pictures! Included on the discs are some NYC band staples like the New York Dolls, Ramones, Cramps, Blondie, Dictators, and Talking Heads, not to mention Ohio transplants the Dead Boys (who, after relocating to NYC, were to be managed by the owner of CBGB’s, Hilly Cristal). The golden state of California shines here, too, with Black Flag (Keith-era), X, The Weirdos, The Avengers, Fear, The Dickies, Dead Kennedys, Germs, The Dils, Runaways, and that other Ohio transplant band, the almighty Devo. A great selection of what the UK had to offer back then turns up here with the likes of The Damned, The Clash, The Jam, Elvis Costello & The Attractions, The Rezillos, Generation X, Buzzcocks, and a neat-o, edgier version of “The Wait” from The Pretenders (including yet another Ohio native, Chrissie Hynde). With the 100 songs total in this collection, there’s bound to be some voice-raising concern as to why this band or that band didn’t get included. All I can say is go make your own damn box set, cocko. I do have to give props to a few bands that should’ve been included, even if they are all LA choices: The Controllers, The Skulls, The Zeros, The Gears, and The Plugz. But, to be fair, I’ll also add that it was refreshingly cool to find Aussie legends The Saints, as well as Stiff Little Fingers from Ireland included in this set, too. For those of you who are waiting in line to suck John Lydon’s dick, you can all go home, ‘cause you ain’t gonna find any Sex Pistols here. Why? It seems that it wasn’t a personal choice with Rhino that the Pistols didn’t get their spot on here. Word has it that Lydon was being his usual twatish self about the whole song licensing situation. Pretty fucking small for a guy who toured in a chartered bus last summer and held concerts with his other Sex Pistol wash-ups at big venues like the Greek Theatre in LA. Christ. I know it’s wrong, but I keep saying to myself, “Why couldn’t it have been him instead of Strummer?” That’s just life, I suppose, so go figure. Then go grab this box.  –Designated Dale ()


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Maybe Chicago: CD
If you’re paying attention to the right types of punk rock, you may have come to this conclusion: punk rock is once again regional. The interweb’s fine for getting info, there are improvements in interstate communication, but there are definitely bands that are huge in their hometowns who make considerably less impact the further they travel away. I think this is a good thing. It gives local scenes time to grow and mature, for weird cross pollinations, and an umbrella of sound to develop. It also forces folks who love music to once again be vigilant seekers instead of wincing as some of their heroes desecrate themselves by providing songs for cleaning products commercials. I’ll place Maybe Chicago in a contemporary league with Seattle’s Dirtnap Across the Northwest, Southern California’s Hostage’s Tower 13 and Hostage Situation, Minneapolis’ No Hold Back… All Attack!!, and Gainesville’s The Shape of Flakes to Come! No, you’re probably not going to like every track on here, but it’ll give you a definite flavor and a barometer of what’s coming out of Chicago’s garagey underbelly in the near future. The only caveat is that the recordings are uneven. Some of the songs seem to be on a stereo that’s walking away from you at times, but that’s also part of the charm. My personal favorites on this: The Hot Machines, Baseball Furies, Tyrades, The Ponys, and Functional Blackouts. A valiant effort.  –Todd Taylor (Postmersh / Criminal I.Q.)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Hardcore from the Early Days: 3-Way Split: Target Cells, White Pigs, and Chronic: CD
Twenty-five tracks of obscure-but-spot-on early Northeast American hardcore, released by an Australian label. Those of you who can’t get enough of Killed By Death-style punk will plunge right in. First up is Connecticut’s Target Cells’ Cerebral Hemorrhage demo from 1982, of which about twenty-five were originally sold via Maximumrock’n’roll’s mailorder. It’s a little rudimentary and not as exciting as the Circle Jerks, who they cover, but it’s forceful and gets the job done. The White Pigs (1982-1997) flirt with crossover, and, thankfully, never take the plunge in. There’s only one big question mark hanging over the band, and I’ll leave it up to you, the reader, to make the call: “Saying things that are on my mind/ hating spics in the unemployment line.” Last up is my favorite band of the three, Chronic Disorder (1983-1992), who seem more discordant, spastic, unique, and revved up, like a hyperactive Dils (they’ve got a political sensibility) cross-spliced with the Angry Samoans (they’ve got a lot of snot). Not a bad split at all. Definitely a labor of love.  –Todd Taylor (Coldsweat)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Hangover Heartattack – A Tribute to Poison Idea: CD
Well if you just can’t help yourself and you find you just have to put a tribute record out, go whole hog, which is just what the people responsible for this Poison Idea tribute have done. Sure, the covers are great (thanks to Rat Bastards, Ratos de Porao, Agrotoxico, Paintbox, Kill Your Idols, Calibre 12 and a bunch of others), but the love directed at the band is really evident in the thick-ass booklet that accompanies this, which includes pictures, old interviews, Jerry A.’s 1991 tour diary, and a personal reminiscence or two on why this band was so important. Slagging this off as another pointless tribute would be like shooting fish in a barrel, but it’s so obvious that those who put this together have their hearts in the right place. You can’t help but feel great respect for ‘em, ‘cause it’s patently obvious they’re fans more than anything else. Recommended.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Havoc)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Greaseball Melodrama: CD
Sixteen different tracks by sixteen different bands, all compiled by Eric Davidson of the New Bomb Turks. You should know what to expect… kick ass rock’n’roll. This doesn’t disappoint. There are sixteen bands on here I have never heard of before and I will definitely try to find more material from a handful of them (that’s the great thing about compilations). The bands are Rock’n’Roll Soldiers, Gypsy Witch, Baseball Furies, The Cuts, Lost Kids, Chargers Street Gang, The High Beams, Scat Rag Boosters, Geraldine, The Diverters, The Hunches, Mystery Girls, Exxon Valdez, Colombian Neckties, The Blowtops, and The Goddamn Gentlemen. Okay, not every band kicks ass, but you wouldn’t have to push the skip button more then a few times on this one.  –Toby Tober (Gearhead)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Delta Masters: CD
The Heroine Sheiks, Rube Waddell, Los Mescaleros, Boxcar Satan, Immortal Lee County Killers, White Hassle, the Crack Pipes and others render virtually unrecognizable blues classics by Son House, Charley Patton, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Bukka White and more. Their renditions are strange, to say the least, and some of them go waaay out there, but all also have this oddly traditional feel and almost a sense of reverence to ‘em. Too bad Top Jimmy didn’t live long enough to add his two cents to this project, ‘cause, judging from his last album, he would’ve had a field day joining in this fray.  –Jimmy Alvarado (www.dogfingers.com)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Bloody & the Bastard Children – A Tribute to Bloody F. Mess: CD
I think it’s been well established by now that most “tribute” records suck ass. Admittedly, this, a tribute to Bloody F. Mess, is better than most, but, ultimately it does little to change that assessment. You get twenty-five tracks from twenty-five bands. Sure, it’s nice to be paid tribute, and I’m sure Mess is touched, but this is about as crucial as yet another Doors “greatest hits” package.  –Jimmy Alvarado (bnbrecords@aol.com)


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