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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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LO-LITE:
Sidekicks: CD
Dirty sounding hipster blues somewhere between Pussy Galore and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. The blues influence dominates the sound, which is a good thing. Better than most bands who do this stuff. –Matt Average (Slovenly)


LEFT WITH NOTHING:
Wishing in Reverse: 7”
What the kids call hardcore these days is nothing like what we old geezers called hardcore back in our days. Hardcore in the modern age is very (and I mean VERY) metal. The down strumming of the guitars. Double bass pedaling of the drums. The extreme baritone screaming. Man, my head started banging the instant the needle dropped down on this puppy. The riffing was heavy the way I like it. I love hearing double bass drums. That adds to the heaviness factor. This Tacoma, Washington band is very metal. They reminded me of many death metal bands I have heard through the years mixed with the band Strife. Anger management compressed into tiny little grooves for your enjoyment. Features former members from Trial, if that means anything to you. –don (Excursion)


LAB RATS, THE:
Start Thinking: CD
Since this band is based up in the bay area, I would picture them perfectly at a
Gilman Street
show. These guys blew me away! I get goose bumps when I hear elements of Nardcore meets late eighties fastcore. Intensity that doesn’t waver. The speed without going into a blur. Punk rock that has the snottiness, speed, and musicianship that pulls it all together. They definitely kept my attention. I felt like I was back at the Cathay de Grande. If you don’t know about the Cathay, it was my Gilman back in the early-to-mid eighties in Hollywood. With the name they have chosen, I swear I was going to get to listen to some mediocre melodicore band. Loved to be proven wrong. I am a fan! –don (New Disorder)


KUNG FU KILLERS:
Game of Death: CDEP
Okay, so the kung fu thing was getting tired five years ago and it doesn’t need to be brought back here, but this is a great little record. “Wasting Time” has me pining for the full-length. Also features a nice rendition of The Misfits “I Turned into a Martian” and a blistering cover of Black Flag’s “Room 13.” Rumor has it the members of KFK really are martial arts fanatics and are former hardcore heads from back in the day, but prefer to keep their identity a secret. I can’t figure out who they are, but I suspect “KFK Theme” holds the key… –jim (TKO)


KUNG FU KILLERS:
Burning Bush: 7”
Wha?!? Sounds a lot like the Adolescents “blue album” era. Bullshit, you say? Well, check the vocal delivery, guitar work, and how the music has that cruising feel. Now, are you convinced? My only gripe is this is two songs. Don’t hold out on us here! –Matt Average (TKO)


KOOPAS, THE:
When Opposites Attack: 7”
A six layer log of smelly EMOtional songs that smacks of trying (yes, trying) to lift late ‘70’s-era guitar riffs of the Ramones. I fucking pray that Joey and Dee Dee haunt your ass for this abomination. –dale (www.thekoopas.com)


KID WITH MAN HEAD:
Cassius Coleman: CD
There’s a picture of Gary Coleman superimposed as Muhammad Ali on the cover. Wasn’t a knockout to me. For some reason they reminded me of the Lemonheads. –don (Boss Tuneage)


JOLT, THE:
self-titled: CD
Prime-grade English mod-punk from way back when that’ll whet the appetite of both the average Jam fan and the average punker with a jones for something good that predates Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Included in the deal are extra tracks from assorted singles/EPs and a great cover of “Whatcha Gonna Do About It?” Pretty up there on the recommendation list. –jimmy (Captain Oi)


JOHN WILKES BOOZE:
self-titled: 7”
This outfit rocks and rolls southern style while wielding a white-hot poker, swinging at your head punker style with the rasping and ripping “Whiskey and Pills” and cooling out on the flip with a tune called “Marc Bolan Makes Me Want to Fuck,” complete with slide guitar. I can totally see these guys raging onstage with Throw Rag or even Tom Waits. Like to see a full length from JWB, hell yeah! Even the name of the band kicks ass! –dale (Family Vineyard)


JOHN SPARROW, THE:
self-titled: CDEP
These guys in The John Sparrow have got to have some ‘Mats, Big Drill Car, All Systems Go!, or Scrimmage Heroes lying around their stereos. Don’t get the wrong idea, it’s somewhat leaning in that direction, but the rwb (rock w/ balls) fails to come through on this here CD. Pretty decent recording, but I like to get my feet lifted off the ground when something’s trying to kick my ass through the speakers. I’ll be interested hearing a follow-up to this CDEP. And a free drink to the band member wearing the chimp mask on the inner sleeve (I’ll show you later, Tony). That’s just great. Why is it great? Because I said it’s fucking funny, that’s why. –dale (Johanns Face)


JFA / THE WORTHLESS / BLUE COLLAR SPECIAL:
Concrete Waves split : CD
During the early to mid-‘80s, my cousin Scott was a dare-devilish semi-pro skater who chaotically careened across many a plywood flux ramp in backyards and skateparks throughout the entire nation. I’d often accompany him to the local flux, which was situated right smackdab in the middle of a loblolly wilderness several miles outside of town. There in the heavy and humid summer heat, Scott would perform some of the most amazing aerial acrobatics on his splintered and chipped skateboard, occasionally bailing and hittin’ the bottom of the ramp full-force and body-first. I distinctly remember a well-worn, multi-stickered old jambox was always blaring the latest and liveliest California skatepunk cacophony, which provided the ultimate energy-enhanced soundtrack for an endless afternoon of spectacular death-defying skateboard feats. Yep, what ya have here is exactly the same kind of teeth-gnashing “old school” skatepunk bombast that inspired a sweat-drenched legion of diehard ollie-grindin’ enthusiasts to grab their boards and giddily hit the ramps a-runnin’ during the culturally retarded Reagan era. JFA (one of the indelibly inspirational originators of the skatepunk genre) and The Worthless and Blue Collar Special (two youthfully exuberant newer groups who passionately carry the skatepunk torch in the most frenzied of fashion!); three bands, three-million decibels of all-out raging fury, and fifteen bone-shattering songs about skating and being a social outcast in today’s fast-food, quick-service, throw-away society. What a raucously cool combination! –Roger Moser, Jr. –Guest Contributor (Disaster)


JFA / THE WORTHLESS / BLUE COLLAR SPECIAL:
Concrete Waves split: CD
The JFA songs were so miserable that I just couldn’t bring myself to even acknowledge the tracks by the Worthless and Blue Collar Special. It’s very traumatizing when a band you have effectively worshipped for nigh on twenty years suddenly sucks this bad. Don’t think I’m gonna be able to sleep tonight. –jimmy (Bomp/Disaster/Alive/Total Energy)


JAN:
Fire of Love: 7”
Billy Childish with more overdrive pumped into the guitar sound. I dunno, but I was expecting a little more considering the single is named after a Gun Club album. C’est la vie, I guess. –jimmy (Fanboy)


IRONBOSS:
Rides Again: CD
These are the things I think about when I hear this band. The movie Easy Rider, Coors beer, hot rods and seventies southern fried rock. –don (Reptilian)


(INTERNATIONAL) NOISE CONSPIRACY, THE:
The First Conspiracy: CD

I think that by now a lot of people know what these guys sound like. This is political, dance-oriented and garage influenced music, offered up to us by ex-members of such Swedish luminaries as Refused and the Doughnuts. This is (I believe) their first offering, and by now they have two more records that have been released by Epitaph. They’ve also been through the US on tour at least twice, and I’ve enjoyed them live. This bunch of songs is catchy, and the lyrics are definitely oriented towards a socialist perspective, focusing on resistance against unequal distribution of power and resources. I pretty much agree with their political agenda, and I like the simplicity of the production here. A lot of people say that this band reminds them of the Make-Up, and I definitely recognize the influence. This is not a bad thing in this case, though. They’ve subsequently made more exciting records than this, but this one is a good place to start, especially if you like seeing a band progress in a relatively short period of time. Recommended. –Yemin

–Guest Contributor (G7 Welcoming Committee)


HOT SNAKES:
Suicide Invoice: CD
First, the rant. Although I understand the music industry wants to give reviewers music before it hits the shelves to build excitement and that artwork often doesn’t get finished until the last minute, but I can’t help but feel like a chump when I get a piece of music in a clear plastic baggie solely with the album name, song titles, and street date instead of the full package. (This also coming from ex-members of Drive Like Jehu who silkscreened on their CD, “CD’s really fuckin’ blow.” Why do CDs blow? One reason – shittier, smaller artwork. But versus no artwork at all…? I digress.) It’d be like me sending out magazines “for preview” with a bunch of pages missing and without a cover. That shit just ain’t right. It’d be another thing if I wasn’t even a fan of music and I worked for Spin; if this was just my job that I hated, being a barometer of what’s hot, happening, and now and then just rewriting the press kit. I like the Hot Snakes, so it just bums me out that I don’t even know what the album looks like. Plus, without a package, I tend to lose all the skinny CDs in my piles. Now the review. This is the mellower, more rock’n’roll side to their debut, Permanent Midnight. The structures are tighter and more traditional, there are less sproinging angularities and meticulous breakaparts which smear into blasts and whispers. It’s all more straight ahead – well, as straight ahead as you’re apt to get from the twisty music from present and ex-members of Mule, Pitchfork, Rocket From The Crypt, and Tanner. It’s like with the first album, they were charting music as complicated as a heart – veins, arteries, and jumping, jittering parts – and Suicide Invoice is a large leg muscle being operated under ether with big, splotted tools. It’s creepier and more sparse overall and you can see how the all parts operate and help one another. The diagram’s simpler, the lighting’s steadier, but the result is pretty much the same. A kickass, non-traditional rock’n’roll album by a bunch of veterans who know how to not sound like a supergroup. (Name a single supergroup that was better than groups the members were famous from. Two points off if you even thought of Damn Yankees or the Traveling Wilburys.) –todd (Swami)


HOT POCKETS:
Kiss ‘n Run: LP
Yay! How could I NOT like this? It’s got a guy from the Spaceshits (one of the best garage bands of all time, easily), and they cover a Beat song (“Walking out on Love”) AND a Beach Boys song (“Girl Don’t Tell Me”)! And both of the covers rule! Total lo-fi garage and sloppy! Just the way I like it! A slight Devil Dogs influence on some of this stuff, and a total early nineties garage influence (think: Devil Dogs, Teengenerate, Supercharger….aaaahhhh…). One bad song, but what can you do? If this were a cereal, it’d be Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Gimme more, more, more! –Maddy (Alien Snatch)


HOT HOT HEAT:
Knock Knock Knock: CD
This really sucks sucks sucks. –jim (SubPop)


HOLLYWOOD HATE:
self-titled: CD
It’s here. It’s finally fucking here. The first Hollywood Hate full length that’s ready to be rammed down your throat like an oversexed face hugger from Aliens and rip you apart from the inside out. I can’t say how much you need to hear this first disc from what I hope, there will be lots more from one of LA’s finest outfits right this moment. If you have had the fortunate pleasure of catching the Hate live, then you know it’s all gold, here, baby. Punk that’s not afraid to rock without makin’ itself look like an asshole. The good stuff. Tooth-chippin’ music. I can almost picture myself ramming your too-hot-for-words Mom as I listen to songs like “Peacemaker,” “Slow Ride,” and “Kickboy.” If you don’t believe a syllable I’m spraying outta my loud mouth, just grab a listen to what they laid down in the studio here on the CD. Now, if yer a Doubting Thomas, cheap-ass motherfuck, you can also access a coupla tunes on their site, but don’t just be a song-sampling yutz. Experience the full-fledged fuck-upping that is Hollywood Hate. You can thank me later when I’m done with yer MILF of a Mom. –dale (www.hollywoodhate.com)


HISSYFITS, THE:
Wish You Were Here...: 7”
Three cuts that call to mind the sound of The Bangles, minus the polished candy glaze. Pretty cool tunes on this seven incher, but it’s not really my bottle of Diet Pepsi. I will say this, though – any band that uses an LP title in their lyrics (End of the Century) like the Hissyfits did is a-o-fuckin’-k with me. And if you have to ask who’s LP that is, your skull must be filled to the eardrums with feces, you shithead. –dale (www.hissyfits.com)


HEMI CUDA:
Classics for Lovers: CD
Surprise! I love it when my intuition is wrong. I thought this was going to suck hard! I hesitantly put the disc into the player, ready to dismiss it. Pouring out of the speakers was a blast of raw punk’n’roll mixed with a strong flavor of pop melody. Kinda sweet and dirty at the same time. Songs that barely cross over the three minute mark keep things interesting. They would probably be a band that is great in a live setting. Great songs that have them sounding like a cross between early Redd Kross and The Waitresses or Josie Cotton. Looking at the insert, I see pictures of the band. Out front are two women with matching outfits and wigs playing guitar and bass and trading off on the vocal duties. I read that the drummer is male, but no pictures are to be found. I guess the label didn’t think he was marketable for his sex appeal. –don (Pop Sweatshop)


HELLRIDE:
Troublemaker: CD
Scandinavian heavy metal with a punk edge. Now there’s something original. –jimmy (Scooch Pooch)


GREG MACPHERSON BAND:
Good Times Coming Back Again: CD
I don’t understand why I got this, or why they sent it to this magazine. The punkest thing about it is that one track has about fifteen seconds of Breeders-reminiscent intro, and the Breeders descended from the Pixies, and some punks like both of those bands (myself included). But fifteen seconds in the midst of twelve whole songs of Chris Isaakan altpop don’t mean shit to me. If this was some sort of cruel prank, I’m gonna jam a Twinkie in someone’s eye. –Cuss Baxter (G7 Welcoming Committee)


GRABASS CHARLESTONS/ BILLY REESE PETERS:
Split : CD
Fuck yeah. During this rotation of CD reviews, I though to myself, “Am I being too harsh? Am I becoming a flapping cockhole critic who can’t hear good in front of him? Why am I not liking a lot of bands I’ve never heard of?” That ends here. Both of these bands are great, and for reasons I can’t explain, the Grabass Charlestons win by a nose. (There are overlapping band members between the two bands and it gets confusing who hootenannies from one band to the other, even after it was explained to me that Will Beltone drums and sings on the first seven songs. The fact that the entire album repeats itself confuses my simple brain even more. But after a lot of deliberation, you know what? It doesn’t matter.) It’s prototypical (not to be confused with predictable) Gainsville punk – and what that means to you is that they’ve got an inherent love (either subliminally or explicitly) of Leatherface. They fit right into the pantheon/fireside ruckus of Panthro UK United 13, Radon, Dillinger Four and The Beltones. The music zings and crashes around like a drunk, sloppy, happy gang of friends that stomp on fires holding uncapped gas cans above their heads. Happy, strong combustion, pure and simple. It’s made by people who could give a fuck about being fashionable and can pull off Cheap Trick’s “Hello There” like they wrote it themselves. Take, for instance, what I pose is our generation’s “Pinball Wizard.” (Join along in this exaltation if you consider your generation having nothing to do with mall mentalities, music on the radio, moving units or Soundscan, just the love of loud, raw, fun music that ain’t afraid of thinking as much as drinking.) “Galaga Wizard” has got all this boy needs to fuel his brain and make him hoarse from shouting along. It follows a protagonist being picked up in a limousine full of dignitaries and “neon girls, minor legions with cocaine pearls,” pissed that he’s called an amateur, then locks into the world of the game itself, as “them falling bees is looking fucking scary,” ending, no less, with “it’s some sacred shit to be spreading ‘round.” It’s cool because it’s about playing a video game, but works on so many different levels, like meeting expectations, forever tagged as the underdog and not only being ready to prove yourself at any time, but succeeding in the world you’ve created. That hits so close to home, it’s not even funny. I can’t think of a higher recommendation for this CD. –todd (No Idea)


GEZA X AND THE MOMMYMEN:
You Goddam Kids!: CD
The sole solo recorded output from this former Deadbeat and famous producer, this long out of print gem finally resurfaces. For those who are either too young or too burned out to remember what this sounds like, imagine Are We Not Men?-era Devo trying to stretch out and get weird and jazzy, and then add a marimba. Believe me, it sounds better than that description. The music doesn’t sound dated at all and, in addition to “classic” tracks like “Isotope Soap” and “We Need More Power,” you get a couple of bonus tracks. Big thumbs up here. –jimmy (Dionysus)


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