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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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AVERSE REACTION / TARGET SOCIETY:
Split: CDR
Holy fuck! This is bad! The sort of shit you “would rather stand out in front of the club in the pouring rain than listen to one more note from that band” type of bad. Fifteen songs recorded live, and poorly at that. I think this is pretty much the same band with members doing different duties on either or… One band is limp rock, the other is even limper grind. Or something like that. Blehhhhhh. –Matt Average (Frank Ross)


RETAINERS:
She Likes to Get Attention: 7”
Lo-fi trash rock with the sound so overblown I had to make sure it didn’t sound like it did because my needle was fucked up or something. Wasn’t too bad, wasn’t too stunning. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.plasticidoldrecords.com)


REPROBATES:
Self-titled: Demo Cassette
A five-song cassette of straight-ahead classic punk stylings. That should pretty much tell the story, but, hopefully, not in a bad way. Reprobates were a pretty good listen in my humble opinion; nothing wholly inventive, but it certainly held my attention for a long time. I had to dig a bit to find a working cassette player—a potential turn-off for some, perhaps. But since the cassette is an old Genesis release that had been taped over, it works really well as a physical symbol of the band’s mentality. I look forward to hearing more from these guys. –The Lord Kveldulfr (reprobatescum@gmail.com)


REPORT SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITITY:
Dreamland: CDEP
This EP has five songs that make it known in no uncertain words how pissed off RSA are about the Bush Administration. The band features Vic Bondi of Articles Of Faith on vocals and J. Robbins from Jawbox holding down the bass. Musically, this is post-punk that’s in the vein of Jawbox with a sound that alternates between angular and aggressive, and heavy melodicism. It’s a pretty good album that speaks to my inner leftist rabble rouser, but, just like with Jawbox, the cold post-punk vibe I get off the album doesn’t really induce me to throw it on too often. –Adrian (Underground Communiqué)


REGULATIONS:
Different Needs: 7”EP
Remember the band Yes? If not, you’re lucky. If you did, it feels awesome to hear, through bands like The Regulations, that Yes lost. There’s no need for a thirty-piece orchestra in a rock band. There’s no need for multi-part suites or mellotrons. Brevity, man. The Regulations are a big part of why Umea, Sweden is a hotbed for cultural ambassadors to modern day punk rock, and for good reason. That said, this four-songer didn’t immediately grab me by the short and curlies. It’s more of a Germs smolder than a Circle Jerks blast, but, I’ll fully admit that the last song, “New Ways,” pounces like a panther and wiggles like a cut worm. On-target punk rock. I’d be a douche not to like it and tell you that if you haven’t given The Regulations a chance yet, now’s a great time. –Todd Taylor (Havoc)


RED DONS:
Death to Idealism: CD
The Red Dons set out some scrappy garage punk whose pedigree includes members of the Clorox Girls and the Observers. I don’t really know the Observers, but I do love the Clorox Girls. Unfortunately, this release just doesn’t have the same instant catchiness and incredibly pervasive melodies that prime Clorox Girls (or maybe the Marked Men) have. I just don’t find myself going back to this CD much except for maybe the excellent opening track, “Walk Alone.” –Adrian (Deranged)


RED DONS:
Death to Idealism: CD
A couple of years ago—after the first Regulations record reminded me that there are still incredible bands who tour and release records—I began a frenzied hunt for any band that might fall under the “new-band-that-sounds-like-an-old-band” banner. This hunt eventually led me to The Observers, which in turn reminded me that my lifelong love affair with punk rock really had little to do with “thrashing” or “getting rad” or skulls with hats biting through skateboards; rather, it had everything to do with words and music that shook me to the core and haunted me long after the record had finished spinning. Red Dons, the new manifestation of The Observers, picks up pretty much right where that band left off. Death to Idealism, their first full length effort on the incredibly consistent Deranged Records, kicks the sincerity and conviction of its precursors up a notch while building on that mysterious, “exotic” vibe that these lads explored in a previous life. Just wow. –Dave Williams (Deranged)


READY THE JET:
New Record Highs: CD
You know the scene: the members of Spinal Tap are meeting with their manager to assess what went wrong. Their request for a nineteen foot replica of Stonehenge yielded a nineteen inch version of the same. The design was right, but the scale of the model was way off. New Record Highs suffers a similar fate. The plan looks good—Post-Hüsker Dü Bob Mould or Taang-era Lemonheads—but the scale, the magnitude, is a fraction of what it needs to be. The guitars are soft and watery where they need to be harsh and massive. The tempos are easy going where they need to be frantic. “New Rules for June” and “Your Cinema” would have made a good single—they’re faster, more aggressive—but the other songs are too small. End result: a disc in danger of being trampled by dwarves. –Mike Faloon (No Effort, myspace/readythejet)


RAZORBURNS, THE:
Ouch!: CD
The Razorburns put out some decent tunes in a Pink And Black Records style (and hey, look at that, they contain at least one member of Fabulous Disaster). Ouch! rocks socks off from time to time, but there is one glaring problem, and it’s a common one. This problem is the vocals. The vocalist is decent. She can hit her notes and sounds good about half the time. The other half of the time, her voice is not strong, and is sometimes downright annoying. I get the feeling a little more studio time or more harmonizing or something of that sort would kick this album up a notch. As it is right now, I’d say hold out for their second record. Or a Fabulous Disaster album. –Will Kwiatkowski (Emancypunx)


RAMROD:
Self-titled: CD
This type of punk doesn’t typically do it for me, but I’ve loved this band for a while. Bowie, Maryland’s Ramrod do a Fat Wreck skate rock type thing, which comes out sounding a bit like No Use For A Name, Lagwagon, NOFX, etc. That isn’t quite the description I’d like to use (they’re better than that), but it’s the closest I can get. Dual vocals, frequent tempo changes, and above average drum and string skills can be found all throughout the well written songs on this record. This follows up the Junk Rock EP that was released early last year. Check this out as soon as possible. –Dave Dillon (Cunt)


PUSHER:
Self-Titled: CD
Hardcore noise explosion with vocals that are more throat than cuts. Not really my thing. Has the look and sound of a Prank Records release. So I’m sure there’s some people who read this zine that are going to like this CD. Just not me. –Dave Disorder (Auxiliary)


AUSTIN LUCAS:
The Common Cold: CD
Heart and lungs folk. Austin Lucas gives us nothing short of amazing guitar and vocals. I have had the luxury of seeing Mr. Lucas perform twice; neither time was I familiar with his work. I remember his presence, controlling the silence, stopping even the rattle of the beer bottles in the dark bars he was performing. This release precedes his more notable split release with Chuck Regan of Hot Water Music fame, but it should not be overlooked. PS: Friends, I am three years late on this review. So good luck finding this yellow brick road of an album, but if given the chance to catch him live, I strongly recommend it. –Gabe Rock (Tiny Turtle, bikeamusprime@hotmail.com)


AUDACITY / THEE MAKEOUT PARTY:
Split: 7”
Audacity: Nice bit of punky pop with a singer not afraid to put some oomph into his delivery. Thee Makeout Party: Jangly ‘60s pop by way of mid-‘80s Redd Kross, as if Jeff ’n’ Steve suddenly sold all their Kiss albums and instead went on a Byrds bender. Sounds lame, I know, but these kids are actually quite good at what they’re doin’. Tip o’ the hat to both bands. –Jimmy Alvarado (Burger)


ARM THE POOR:
Blurring the Lines and Slurring the Rhymes: CDEP
Arm The Poor are from Tampa and play melodic punk that combines the urgent spit vocals and bass flourishes of Rancid with the surging, emotive elements of bands in the No Idea/post-Leatherface/Fest-swarming/Beard/PBR-powered-engine Florida scene. If you tend to like the beer chuggin’ pop punk that is often lauded in the pages of Thee Razorcaque Almanacke, then show Arm The Poor some love already! The cover photo even features a coffee cup and a Guinness bottle! –CT Terry (Hold Tight!)


ANXIETIES, THE:
The Next Mutation: CD
The bulk of the stuff mines the same early West Coast punk sound that The Briefs and many others have put to good use, with varying degrees of effectiveness. While most of the tunes easily fall smack into the middle of the nondescript pack, when they are good, like they are on “Lab Rats” and “Gotta Getaway,” they show a glimmer of the makings of a really good band. Cautiously optimistic about ’em, I am (and apparently prone to occasionally talking like Yoda). –Jimmy Alvarado (Lab Rat Industries)


ANTiSEEN:
The Best of ANTiSEEN: 2 x CD
The year 2008 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of ANTiSEEN, the band that remains one of the most misunderstood in the history of punk. Formed in Charlotte, NC during the peak of the early ’80s scene, ANTiSEEN went from being known as one of a handful of hardcore bands with an African-American member to being questioned by knee-jerk PC police for their camp usage of Confederate iconography. Many punk bands from that era reunited over the years, but ANTiSEEN is one of a few groups that continuously toured and recorded over that time span. This forty-song collection is a must for fans and a perfect introduction to ANTiSEEN for the uninitiated, showcasing their one-of-a-kind mix of comedic lyrics, Ramones adulation, heavy distortion, hardcore, and a pinch of country. Find a junior high school student in the family and give them this sucker as a gift. I fully expect to still be seeing ANTiSEEN playing shows in another twenty-five years: canes, walkers, and all. –Art Ettinger (TKO)


ANDREW JACKSON JIHAD:
Only God Can Judge Me: CD
If my CD player had a replay button, I would have pushed it. Instead I got off the couch on which I reside to press play over and over again. The album artwork is really great and features sketches of very cute little animals. It made me wish the cats with whom I share said couch were smart enough to appreciate that someone had written a song about them and their little mouse enemies. Maybe they would end the war, but then again we have Crass and look at us. Imagine early Against Me! (Crime-era) meeting Bright Eyes just to jam acoustic at the park over a couple of beers. The music is very sparse with usually just a stand-up bass and acoustic guitar, but this guy’s voice is so raw and real; it grips your attention and doesn’t let go. –Rene Navarro (Plan-It-X)


ANNIHILATION TIME:
Tales of the Ancient Times: CD
Take a little later era Black Flag, Poison Idea circa Feel the Darkness, a tiny bit of Zeke, mix it up, and you have Tales of the Ancient Times. I like it. This hits me as the aural equivalent to the weird brothers in my hometown who were all grade school drop-outs who worked together in their parents’ motorcycle repair/leather jacket shop. If they knew how to play instruments, this is the punk album they would put out (after a false start as a Steve Miller cover band). “Bald Headed Woman” really gets into some serious motorcycle rock territory like early Turbonegro. My personal favorite is “Coming to My Senses” whose descending riff makes it sound like the best track Black Flag left off of My War. This is a worthy skuzzy punk album, with just enough old school metal influence for those who like to sport denim vests. Put it on while riding dirt bikes through the neighbor’s yards. –Adrian (Tee Pee)


ANCHOR ARMS:
Milligrams: 7”
Upon first listen, it’s absolutely no surprise that these lads call Gainesville home: gravelly voice, busy basslines, gang choruses, certainly no strangers to Fuel for the Hate Game. There’s something that separates Anchor Arms from the throngs of HWM copycats, though. These songs come off as totally natural, entirely sincere, as if maybe these cats were just so deeply immersed in hometown lore that they just live and breathe this sound. Passionate, memorable and genuine—I can’t ask for much more than that. –Dave Williams (www.myspace.com/theanchorarms)


ANCESTORS:
Neptune with Fire: CD
Meshing doom and psychedelia that borders on being spacerock at times. You seriously can’t go wrong with that combination. Or maybe you could. Nonetheless, Ancestors execute the whole shebang with undeniable style. Seriously epic in composition. For a while you’re on a heavy riff, and then it washes out into psychedelic guitar meanderings that conjured up images and memories of surf films from the ‘70s, mentally replayed in slow motion. Two songs that clock in well over ten minutes each. However, this is all conceptual, so each song takes on various moods to move you along the path. So damn good. –Matt Average (Tee Pee)


ANALS, THE:
Commando of Love: 7”
The title track is an arty cross between, say, Monitor and The Normal. The flip is another bit of arty minimalism. Twenty-seven years ago they would’ve been regulars on New Wave Theatre, which means this is good in a “Gee, I don’t hear stuff like this enough anymore” kinda way. –Jimmy Alvarado (Sweet Rot)


AMEBIX:
No Sanctuary: The Spiderleg Recordings: CD
U.K. anarchopunks who have been around a long, long time. This record is a remastering of the band’s first three EPs from the early ‘80s that have been moldering in some basement for the last quarter century. I’m not an aficionado of this genre, but I do like such stylings, and, for the most part, I liked this record. It appeals to the sense of malevolent self-righteousness deep inside o’ me and makes me want to break shit. But, there was nothing truly earth-shattering on this record for me. Not that it sounds like another pasty, one-legged entrant in the anarchopunk footrace, it’s just that the record never made me sit up and take notice. It was great background music while I was reading a novel about World War I. But what the hell is with all that warbling on track six? It sounds kind of like the painy strains of a moose being dragged by the nuts from a snowmobile. Very odd, that one. All in all, this held my attention reasonably well, but there were a few misses for me on it. That’s only a personal reaction, though; if you like Amebix, I’m sure this will be a welcome package. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Alternative Tentacles)


ADRENALIN O.D.:
The Wacky Hi-Jinks of…: 2 x CD
Breakneck speed: check. Jabbing guitar: check. Rough but catchy singing: check. Lyrics about dead-end jobs, hating Trans Ams, smashing things in suburbia: check. ‘80s style hardcore literally from the ‘80s: checkity check. I remember hearing A.O.D. and liking them alongside D.R.I., early Bad Religion, and Government Issue, but not listening to them as much for some reason. Maybe they weren’t doing anything different, but they do it good. This double CD for their twenty-fifth anniversary holds up: mad teenager lyrics and plenty of cool hooks. They are being sold as “wacky” and goofsters, I suppose for their fuck your parents lyrics, dicking around live, and the Brady Bunch cover, but this is solid stuff. Disc two is the best part, containing their full Let’s Barbeque EP, comp tracks, and a live WFMU show in 1982. Suburbia has not gotten any better. Maybe another generation can be saved by hardcore. –Speedway Randy (Chunksaah, chunksaah.com)


ACTION STRASSE:
American Gas Jive: CD
The band apparently boasts some heavyweights—former Zero Boys, Lemonheads, Ice Nine, Burn It Down, and United States Three members—and the one-sheet alludes to some “brutal hardcore group” called the Majhas, but what you get here is pop with some tinges of ‘70s rock thrown in. The end result is neither bad nor good, but I’m fairly certain I ain’t gonna remember a note in about, oh, twenty minutes. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.musicalfamilytree.com)


999:
Gimme the World: 7”
They may look like a bunch of lager-loving football supporters, but Nick, Guy, Pablo and Arturo continue to soldier on. Sure, they had to withdraw from a few shows in May due to illness, but have several European dates scheduled. “Gimme the World” is a great song that sounds like something off the Weirdos Condo album. B-side track “The System” doesn’t miss a beat and does some cool stop-start stuff with tricky vocals. Nice to see a band producing challenging material instead of pandering to an audience that probably doesn’t exist any more. Could do without the lame romanticism of the last song, “Stealing Beauty.” She’s the prettiest girl in the world? Really? –Jim Ruland (Dr. Strange)


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