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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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HOLY SHIT!:
Jazz Phase: 7”
Early F.Y.P. meets early Die Kreuzen sez my friend who knows these things. But really, they don’t sound like anyone. They’re that crazy, fast, and awesome. Ten songs on one 7”! And they’re from Milwaukee (my hometown)! Holy Shit! is 0 percent metal and 100 percent hardcore goodness! I like ‘em, and the most common hardcore (?) record on my turntable is 7 Seconds. (In other words, I’m such a girl.) If this were a cereal, it’d be Rice Krispie Treats. Crazy concept, but it totally works! –Maddy (Trigger On The Dutendoo)


HOLY ROLEMODEL:
The Sum of Our Parts: CD
From what I can tell, this band has gone through a major line-up change, as this record had two female players on it. Looks like they didn’t make it into 2008. But this platter has some choice cuts on it: “Blister,” “Believe,” and “Skulls” are pretty tight. This comes across as some weird concoction of Social Distortion and Mary’s Danish (just the female singers) getting it on in the back of a Chevy conversion van. –Sean Koepenick (Self-released)


HIPSHAKES:
“I’m Gone” b/w “Do It!”: 7”
Really wanted to like this—straight forward garage rock with nice flourishes into This Bike Is A Pipebomb territory on the B-side—but after repeated listens, it just lacked its own strong personality. It’s a band that kept reminding me of bands I like a whole bunch and wanting to listen to their records instead. Perhaps it’s the mastering. The band sounds so clustered together that maybe their own identity wasn’t allowed to spark. Dunno. –Todd Taylor (Die Slaughterhaus)


HINDI GUNS, THE:
Self-titled: CDEP
I was going to make a joke like “Maryam b/w Count to Ten: CD” in the title, but didn’t, and then I opened this up and saw that it’s one of those CD that looks like vinyl deals, so I regret that decision (I’m not going to lie and say I thought of it before seeing it. I have integrity like that, or something). It’s fitting, since the songs on here are somewhat jazzy, mildly psychedelic, and fairly light in comparison to what I think the subject matter is (I could be wrong though). It’s good stuff, but I wish there was more than two songs. –Joe Evans III (French Fan Club)


HIDE YOUR DAUGHTERS:
The Teen Girl’s Guide to Social Success: CD
This one gets filed in the “book by its cover” file. The cover sports nice drawings of bears and birds in relaxing shades of white, grey and light blue. Calming to say the least, but had me concerned about what lay in store for me musically. Let’s just say that I wasn’t expecting a mutated Melvins/Jesus Lizard hybrid to jump out and start smashing my head into the desk and punch my brain from the inside out. The vocalist kind of falls somewhere in between the aforementioned Lizard’s David Yow and Rick Froberg of Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes. As for the tunes, they’re heavy and sludgey with little sprinkles of Nomeansno—like bass rolling through them. Pretty good stuff. –Ty Stranglehold (No List, myspace.com/nolistrecords)


HENPECKER:
(Band): CD
These Arcata rapscallions mask some smart-aleck social commentary with bar rock tinged tunes. While it ain’t “punk” in the stereotypical mohawk-mania sense, songs like “Chicken Hawk” are considerably more biting and astute than anything SUM-41, Bowling For Soup, or even the Virus have said their entire careers combined. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.henpecker.com)


HELLSHOCK:
Shadows of the Afterworld: CD
Heavy, angry crust. Sometimes sludgey, sometimes fast, quite often metally, and always heavy. To top it off, the singer sounds like he’s singing from somewhere within Dante’s seventh circle of hell. With songs like “Welcome to the Void,” “To Hell,” and “Night Terrors,” this band definitely has a lot on its mind and it’s probably not just girls. These guys are making Tragedy proud. –Adrian (Crimes Against Humanity)


HEARTATTACKS, THE:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Could take or leave the a-side tune, “Stay/Go,” and the b-side closer, “That Girl,” but “Nothing Better to Do” is one catchy bit of up-tempo, trashy punk. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.plasticidoldrecords.com)


HEART BEATZ:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Loud, overblown Reatards worship. Could be worse, I guess—they could be fascinated with Piebald. –Jimmy Alvarado (Going Underground)


HAUNTED GEORGE / HEX DISPENSERS:
Forest Ray Colson’s Pile O’Meat: 7” EP
I like the concept. Two songs each. Both bands do the same songs: an original and a cover of the other band. Haunted George: Really? I can’t figure out if the joke’s on the listener or George. The first song’s a reverby, in-a-pool recording of a one man band that, I’m guessing, is supposed to be coming across as a paranoid stomp through a destroyed wasteland via a serial killer, but it comes across more as ooky-spooky camp that’d be playing in the background of a Munsters episode. Hex Dispensers: That’s more like it. Their version turns George’s “Pile O’ Meat” into an Undertones Vs. Marked Men powerpop raver that makes the song sound like a Winston Smith collage come to life: cocained-up, teeth-baring consumers thinly butchering the things that are truly ingesting them. Totally worth it for the Hex Dispensers side. I love danceable destruction. –Todd Taylor (Hook Or Crook)


HARRINGTON SAINTS:
Sounds of the Street: 7”
It’s been a bit of a skinhead kind of month for reviews. I’ll try to keep from repeating myself too much, but the same things can be said for so many of these bands. Harrington Saints are good. They’re tight and the songs really get you going. Lyrically, they’re not really exciting at all, but you can’t win them all. A lot of the typical catch phrases being thrown around. “Boots,” “Working Class,” “Hoist our pints,”… You get the idea. I’m just glad that it sounds good enough to forget about all of that. –Ty Stranglehold (Pirate’s Press)


HAPPY ANARCHY:
Reset: CD
Picked this outta the pile ‘cause I figured with the name as delightfully lame as “Happy Anarchy,” it would be good for a laugh. As a result, I was wholly unprepared for how appropriate the use of the term “anarchy” is in reference to their music: these guys literally throw everything, including the kitchen sink—swirling shoegazer atmospherics, ELO over-the-top bluster, Beatle/Beach Boy-damaged backing vocals, reggae, rock en Español, keyboards, horns—into a pop-coated blender and let it fly, and that’s only over the course of the first four songs. Most impressive, however, is that it’s good, fucking gloriously so, which, frankly, is a pretty rare thing for a rock band these days. Their musicianship is top-notch, the songwriting is really strong, the lyrics are intelligent—everything about this band shows they really put some quality work into what they’re doing—and the anarchic genre melding is reminiscent (if only in attitude) of bands like Argentina’s Bersuit Vergarabat. This is one of those bands you wish would hit the mainstream with a vengeance, but either get lost in the cracks or promptly lose their way if/when they do. I know I’m gonna catch a lotta shit with the fuckwits who are upset because I’ll find little memorable in an nth-generation carbon copy of Youth Of Today yet champion a decidedly unpunk band like this, but fuck ‘em. These guys may not be “punk,” but they sure as hell ain’t afraid to take the same kinda risks that made bands like Big Boys, Butthole Surfers, MIA, Wire, early Dead Kennedys, Fugazi, and a host of others truly great. –Jimmy Alvarado (Highlark)


HANDS OF DEATH / MANKILLSMAN:
Self-titled: Split CD
Hands of Death: Napalm Death kind o’ metal, which is usually hit or miss with me, and this one sort of falls between the crack of hit and miss. If you like that sound, you’ll like Hands of Death, I’m sure. Mankillsman: Neurosis/Mammoth kind o’ stuff. Not normally the cup of tea that sends me off into my day. If you like that sound, you’ll like Mankillsman, I’m sure. Transmission complete. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Laklika)


HAMMERHEAD:
Stay Where the Pepper Grows: LP
A reissue of what the liner notes intimate is one of the most important German hardcore releases of the ‘90s. Sound is very much along the lines of later, slower Poison Idea, which was never my favorite period of that band, so this ain’t exactly eliciting a “FUCK YEAH!” the way their countrymen Inferno continue to do some twenty years down the line. On the whole, this is loud, and if that’s pretty much all yer lookin’ for, this is indeed “classic.” –Jimmy Alvarado (www.x-mist.de)


HALF ACRE DAY:
Fourteen Trips around the Sun: CD
Fourteen Trips around the Sun is nearly an hour of dreamy, synth-laced, slightly folky, vaguely psychedelic indie-pop. The Seattle quintet’s music holds a certain off-kilter strangeness, particularly in the lyrics, that draws comparisons to Ween’s tamer work, but with a less aggressive approach, perhaps more like the Flaming Lips. And they really like the word “bionic.” –Sarah Shay –Guest Contributor (Hidden Peak, www.hiddenpeakrecords.com)


GORDON GANO’S ARMY:
Fifty Hours: 7”EP
Great debut release from an English DIY punk band. Gordon Gano’s Army has the cleanly polished, hard-gemlike quality of early Jam raveups: anthemic but not in “dudebroyeah” or soundtrack-to-sporting-events ways. Four tight, thoughtful, and tasteful pop-leaning punk rock tunes that’re chockfull of good advice, much like Smalltown and The Tranzmitors. Although corporations and their collusion with governments across the world is a horrible practice and there’s ample evidence that the world sucks, you’ve got to make the best of what you’ve got, even if it’s your stale bread and bad milk making it into the lyrics of uplifting songs. –Todd Taylor (AARBR)


GOOD TIMES CRISIS BAND:
Select a Gather Point: CD
Sounds like ‘70s rock as played by a bloodless UK postpunk unit like Wire or Gang Of Four, but from Austin, meaning that they actually sound like a version of Wire or Gang Of Four that you could sit down and have a beer with, and was recorded somewhere wooden and humid. This kinda seems like the type of thing where if it was your friend’s band, you’d listen to the CD and pick out a few interesting things about it that you could tell them that you enjoyed about the record, even though you wouldn’t have bought it or listened to it if it wasn’t your friend’s band—WHICH JUST GOES TO SHOW US ALL THAT THERE ARE NO STRANGERS IN PUNK ROCK, JUST FRIENDS WE HAVEN’T MET, AMEN. I think i saw that on a plaque behind a bar in Howard, Wisconsin once. BEST SONG: “Nose and Chin” BEST SONG TITLE: “Z.Z.Zephyr” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Band’s press kit compares them to Gang Of Four, OK Go, Nomeansno and the Knack. Seriously. –Rev. Norb (Australian Cattle God)


GOD DAMN DOO WOP BAND, THE:
“I’ll Always Be Your Girl” b/w “Young and Dumb” / Broken Hearts: 7” / CD
I’ve been hearing the name for awhile, but didn’t take the name literally, thinking it was sort of a Teen Idols trip, where the look was ‘50s-tough, but the music was distinctly ‘90s pop punk. Nope. This is a bunch of DIY punks playing straight-ahead Doo Wop. No tongues in cheek. No crunching guitars. No nyuck-nyuck, look at us, ain’t we clever? And it’s totally got me: heart-felt, incredibly well sung female harmonies, in-the-pocket, tasteful rhythm arrangements, bubbling guitars, non-hot dog sax, and music that avoids being kitschy. It just happens to be Doo Wop without the reek of dumbasses dressed in matching lettermen jackets, underscoring the safety of dead-era, didn’t-really-happen-like-that nostalgia that this could have easily fallen into. Here’s how I see it. Turn on the radio: ninety-eight percent of it is a shitstorm of robots pantomiming music. I’m not even talking punk music. I’m talking music that’s good, that hasn’t been played to absolute death, that hasn’t been infected and denatured by industry, bloated egos, or spreadsheets. So I’m totally backing DIYers taking up the abandoned musical from decades past—Stax-style soul, Sun-style country, whatever-style Doo Wop—and making great music that’s got a beat and you can dance to. Just by considering their name, I’ve got to assume they’re in it for all the right reasons and that just sweetens my feelings for ‘em. –Todd Taylor (7” Self-released / CD: Afternoon)


GOAT BELL / POOL PARTY:
Split: 7”
Goat Bell: This band must be awesome live. I can’t think of any other explanation for why somebody would release this. I mean, there are a lot of bands that I say suck. Usually, this boils down to it being my opinion. But when I say that Goat Bell sucks, I am stating this as an objective fact. Pool Party: They sound so familiar that I thought I might be able to yell the lyrics out while I was listening to ‘em to the first time around. Can’t put my finger on it. Definite ‘90s influence. It’s all right, but the raspy vocals seem really forced. It sounds like something that coulda been on Go Kart vs. the Corporate Giant or some similar comp or sampler. –Vincent Battilana (www.hipkidrecords.com)


GET RAD:
Bastards United: 7” EP
Remind me—is this the band that’s STONERS doing STRAIGHT EDGE hardcore, or vice versa? Or a little of both? Either way, this sounds like if Minor Threat was on something—what I’m not entirely sure—but whatever it is, it’s the right stuff, because this is some pretty great thrash that’s fun to listen to. –Joe Evans III (Level Plane)


GAYE BLADES:
I’d Brave Anything for You: 7”
Good time, bathhouse rock’n’roll from the sexy, shirtless, and unshaven Gaye Blades, Jared Swilley of the Black Lips (holding an appropriately phallic sawed off shotgun on the record sleeve), and Bobby Ubangi of the Lids. The song titles are winningly hysterical—“Whore Hunt,” “Treat Me Like a Man,” “Pulling Out,” and “Keep Your Hands (Off of My Baby)”—and any one of them could have appeared on Swilley’s and Ubangi’s other musical projects’ albums. “Treat Me Like a Man” is in the same vein as the Black Lips “Dirty Hands,” and “Pulling Out” could have been a hidden track on the Lids Rip Off album. The homoerotic shtick is carried through to full effect with both band members writing the other a love letter, but it doesn’t overshadow the simple catchiness of the tunes. –Josh Benke (Rob’s House / Die Slaughterhaus, www.robshouserecords.com / www.dislaughterhausrecords.com)


GAGFACTORS, THE:
We Rock You Suck: 7”
Pretty good Italian pop punk on this record; reminds me a bit of the Crumbs side project, the Basicks, from a few years back. A little like their fellow Italians the Manges and Canada’s The Vapids, as well. Loved the liner notes where they say the reasons to love their band are “Jay Reatard is not in involved in the project” and “there isn’t any ex-Oblivian in the line-up,” amongst other gems. The liners are hilarious and the record is decent, as good as any other pop punkers around for the most part. –Mike Frame (Rockin Bones)


FY FAN:
Self-titled: 7”EP
Sometimes—and this is one of those times—it’s nice to get stabbed in a vital area musically by a Discharge-influenced band from Scandinavia. You know the shape of the knife when it’s unsheathed, you know the moves they take before they plunge the blade, but it’s still sweet if they hit a major artery dead-on on the first stab. (To me, it’s like watching a great knife fight sequence (a la Under Siege). Or, for you pacifists, a gnarly pillow fight.) No surprises, but that doesn’t take away from the execution. For some reference points, think DS 13 and Amde Petersens Arme. Nice. –Todd Taylor (Feral Ward)


FUNERAL CRASHERS, THE:
La Fin Absolue Du Monde: CD
I’m going to be the first to admit I’m not a goth music expert. Not that I don’t like my share of dark and depressing stuff, but usually my first choice is going to be something more along the lines of the Sass Dragons. However, I still like this. It’s dark and eerie, but it’s different from song to song, not just the same old shit over and over again, kinda like Suicide one minute, then Interpol the next. I thought this was pretty cool. –Joe Evans III (Self-released)


FUNCTIONAL BLACKOUTS:
The Very Best of the Monkees: CD
Apparently, these guys threw in the towel when I wasn’t lookin’, which is a fuggin’ shame ‘cause as this collection of odds ‘n’ sods illustrates, they was somethin’ special. Take the aggression and thud of early hardcore, marry it to the dissonance of no wave, add enough pop savvy to make the songs catchy, and give the whole thing a trashy sheen and you’ve pretty much got yerself a racket that’ll stick in yer noggin’ and inflict as much damage as peanut butter ‘n’ asbestos flambé. A tip of the hat to ye, kids, for you will be missed. –Jimmy Alvarado (Deadbeat)


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