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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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GING NANG BOYZ: ::
Libido E.P.: 12”EP
I was attracted to this by the cover art, which has a drawing of some guy lighting a mouthful of cigarettes while kind of headlocking some boy who’s pissing on his leg. I thought it was kinda odd, though surely not as odd as it would be if the EP were titled Fetish. Still, I’m all about a mouthful of cigarettes. I didn’t notice it initially, but the back cover is a drawing of some people in a classroom; one of the guys has an erection that lifts his desk all the way up to the ceiling. The note accompanying this 12” also attracted me. It said something along the lines of this band being fans of EastBay punk and Weezer. I took that as an implication that they meld the two sounds together. Since I like EastBay punk and don’t like Weezer, I wanted to hear what this Japanese band did with their influences. Well, it sounds like what I would imagine a Ramones cover by Weezer would sound like. Take what you love about the Ramones (everything, I’m sure), drag it out so it’s between four and fives minutes or so in length, then completely ruin it by Weezering up with their annoying brand of pop. –Vincent Battilana (Phat ‘n’ Phunky Phonics)


G.G. ELVIS AND THE T.C.P. BAND:
Back from the Dead: CD
Oxnard band of roughnecks give us an all covers record of Elvis Presley treats. I like that the “Fat Elvis” is the singer. Members of Bad Samaritans, NOFX, and Ill Repute. Keep in ear open for the ‘80s hardcore snippets chucked in for kicks. I don’t know how many more times I would listen to this, but it did bring a smile to my face a few times. –Sean Koepenick (Mental)


FURIOUS SEASONS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
It is hard for me to approach a CD objectively when the first song contains the line, “I wish you wonderment.” I think my fifteen-year-old self might like this album because it seems like good music to sulk to, but my thirty-two-year-old self just got that uncomfortable knot near my sternum that comes when someone I hardly know tells me too much of their personal information. –Jennifer Whiteford (Eskimo)


FUR CUPS FOR TEETH:
Fun Luck You Keep: 2 x CD
This is a kind of weird arrangement, with two CDs in one case each with half an album’s worth of songs on them. One side is billed as “techno” and the other side as “rock.” I’m not super hot on techno most of the time, so I listened to that side first. The songs were all right but probably more suited to a club full of cute dancing people with brightly colored drinks than one Canadian writer’s quiet bedroom. Surprisingly, I ended up liking the techno side better than the rock side, mostly because the rock side sounds so much like Le Tigre, I would be shocked if they weren’t a direct influence. I like Le Tigre, but I don’t need more than one Le Tigre. –Jennifer Whiteford (Heartcore, www.furcupsforteeth.com)


FRIENDLY FIRE:
Demo 2008: CD-R
Cover art makes it look like some kind of Pat Hayes-era Lookout or Very Small Records dumpster-diving pop-punk project, but the actual music makes it sound like six outtakes from the first ((and only, come to think of it)) Rites Of Spring album, which was the first record anyone to my knowledge ever called “emo” ((don’t be scared, people also said that it sounded like The Jam. It actually sounded like neither)), and certainly the only record that anyone ever called “emo” that was actually any good. Beats me, man, that album is over twenty years old and this band hails from WashingtonDC same as Rites Of Spring, maybe it’s their kids or something. Sounds like the kind of thing that my drunken roommates would’ve woken me up with when they came home from the bars in 1987. Make of that what you will. BEST SONG: “Floodplane” i think? BEST SONG TITLE: This is not really a “Best Song Title” kind of band. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Band points out that they “are not the crunk band.” i will alert the media. –Rev. Norb (Friendly Fire)


FRANCIS HAROLD AND THE HOLOGRAMS:
“The Eagle Can’t Fly with One Wing” b/w “Two Faggots One Cunt”: 7”
After listening to the a-side, I’m surprised that I didn’t put on a different record when I got up to flip this over. It’s vacuous noise—no wave. (No, I don’t know if the b-side is derogatory. No lyrics were included for it, as opposed to the a-side. All I could discern through the blizzard of turds was the title.) –Vincent Battilana (Going Underground)


FPO:
2003-2007 Recordings: CD
Loud, political, pissed off, and silly fast, this Macedonian(!) hardcore band give pretty much any other band doing the same thing in any other country a run for their money. Mighty fuggin’ impressive they was. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.tolivealie.com)


FORGOTTEN, THE:
Self Titled: CD
Over the years, the only songs by The Forgotten that I’ve heard were ones on compilations. I always thought that they were pretty cool. Well, on my first foray into a full length record by them, this is the scenario that played out in my head: The Forgotten are in the studio laying down the tracks for this record. A call comes through and is patched through to the band. It is a lawyer representing Rancid, calling to let them know that they are treading on thin ice… Now, this is all fine and good, but then I started to read the liner notes. Wait a minute… THE CALL IS COMING FROM BEHIND THE MIXING BOARD!!!! GET OUT!!! GET OUT!!!! Yep, Lars Frederikson produced this baby and you can sure tell. This is the part where the review gets split. It’s a really, really good Rancid record. Better than said band has put out, well ever… The problem is that I don’t think it’s as good as The Forgotten are capable of, at least judging by the comp tracks I know them for. –Ty Stranglehold (TKO)


FOR DICK:
Epic Thunder Demo: CD-R
I don’t know if I’d be more stoked about this if I found out that there are four people in this band or only one. It’s sloppy, lazy, and bordering on noise—I’m almost sure that it’s intentionally such. Anyhow, there’re four songs. Two of ‘em are right under one minute; the others are about thirty seconds in duration. I’d let the band (or guy) have another three minutes of my life. –Vincent Battilana (Self-released, p.watt43@yahoo.com)


FINAL DRAFT:
310: EP
I remember when these guys first started playing out. They were a decent powerviolence band, but nothing really stood out. Fuggin’ hell, they have progressed by leaps and bounds! This stuff is truly pissed! Nine songs hammered out with pure hate. Nothing sounds serene or proper here. It’s all fucked up, twisted, and bleak. And it’s all great. Antisocial sounds for the antisocial. I don’t know man, but I can’t help but think Final Draft are thee West Coast powerviolence band. –Matt Average (To Live A Lie)


EVEN IN BLACKOUTS:
Fall of the House of Even: CD
The folk-meets-punk sound these guys swim in ain’t something you run into too often. Can’t say it’s my particular bottle of Strychnine, but they do it so well, are so tight, and infuse the music with such conviction, punk intensity, and catchy hooks that it’s hard not to respect ’em and what they’re dishin’ out. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.fordocumentationonly.com)


ESTRANGED, THE:
Static Thoughts: CD
Minimalism is tricky to nail punk (and post punk). Because it’s a reduction to the bare elements without losing power. For maximum effect, it’s knowing exactly what not to play as it is what to play. Skeletons with phantom power. When to pound, when to tap. When to lunge. When to hide in wait. And that’s why any music that’s sparse, yet powerful and totally on target, there aren’t many bands that have stood the test of time. Wire. Early Gang Of Four. And to bring up those two bands isn’t in any way to suggest that The Estranged are regressive, it’s to show that there’s a high water mark, and if you’re going to be in band, why not aim for that? There’s no hiding behind a wall of sound, no banks of effect pedals, just well-constructed, icy, and sparse songs that are simultaneously filled with doomed thoughts, self-immolation, and joy. Excellent. –Todd Taylor (Dirtnap)


ENDLESS MIKE JAMBOX:
Another Hot Freshy Fresh: CD
Almost equal parts of a watered-down, slowed-down version of Lifetime and a Drive-Thru band without the turd polish. I don’t know what the band name means, but I think the album title means a steaming pile of shit. –Vincent Battilana (Madison Underground, www.madisonundergroundpress.com)


ENDLESS BLOCKADE, THE:
Primitive: CD
Genuine anger and disgust seethes in this music. Powerviolence that embodies the moniker. Auditory warhammers are swung back and forth with no regard to safety of those around. If you’re in the way, you’re gonna get your skull crushed into paste. Why hit once when you can hit again and again, and harder with each blow? The bass is laden in doom and fills the room with its presence, and the guitars send it over into the void. They also utilize noise and power electronics, as some may call it, to great effect. A masterpiece. –Matt Average (20 Buck Spin)


EMPTY GRAVE:
The Dark: EP
Hardcore, pure and simple. Definitely earl- to-mid eighties influences with its straightforward and tuneful aspects. More mid tempo than thrash as well. Five songs in all, and the second side, with “Mental Disorder” and “DUI or Die,” is the preferred. Comes on pink vinyl (maybe only 100 pressed?). –Matt Average (Absent)


ELEMAE / MEMORIAL / SOON:
Split: CD
All three of the bands on this three-way split play painfully bland, murky rock that relies on computerized effects to make the experience all the more excruciating. These guys all need interventions from friends and family reminding them that drum machines were never cool. Memorial is the least annoying of the three bands because of the sweet vocals, but, overall, this CD is less fun than a root canal. At least a root canal comes with drugs. –Art Ettinger (Engineer)


ELECTRIC BUNNIES, THE:
Chewing Gum: 7”
This was a definite surprise! The title track on here vaguely reminds me of the chorus of “Pepper” by the Butthole Surfers, but reworked in a jangley, minimalist via the Velvet Underground kind of way. The other track on the first side is a fuzzed-out little rocker. The third one is a spastic blast of rock that emphasizes, what I’m guessing to be, their affinity for aural dissonance. The song wrapping up this slab of wax is a Nuggets-esque piece that displays some VU-type noise without letting it engulf the song. I’m thinking that I’ll be spinning it every now and again. –Vincent Battilana (Forida’s Dying, www.floridasdying.com)


EGGS, THE:
Cut the Shit, Peepee: CD-R
A nice bit of noisy, vaguely arty punk that sounded a little like early Saccharine Trust joining the Urinals (whose “I’m a Bug” they cover here) and Julie from Sin 34 in an attempt to extract all the funky sophistication from the early Minutemen. It may not always be effective, but their batting average is good enough that they are worth looking into. Would love to see ’em with the added adrenaline infusion of a live show. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.myspace.com/theeggsgbro)


ECOLI:
Self-titled: 7”EP
Ecoli reminds me of the very first wave of Touch and Go stuff. It sounds like the band can barely contain themselves, that eight songs is a good number to put on a 7”, and that they’re socially aware in warty, anti-authority, anti-racist ways. It’s chaotic thrash punk. Like both the Necros and Fix (and Out Cold), the more listens this gets, the more little musical flourishes—tempo changes, tricky guitar bits—seep around the initial face-peeling blast. Whores, cops, the military, and thrash ultimately rely on one thing to be judged by: effective penetration. –Todd Taylor (Stress Domain)


EATER:
The Album: 2 x CD
Hell yeah, this is great. You have your Clash, you have your Sex Pistols, etc., etc. You need to have Eater in your life as well. Otherwise it’s going to be a bit incomplete. This has been reissued a couple times before, but this is thee edition to pick up, fer sure. Everything they recorded studio-wise is on here, along with some live tracks. Primo U.K. punk from the “early days.” Driving, tuneful, catchy, lewd, crude, and on and on. All description used to turn you on to music can be applied. Songs like “No Brains,” “You,” and “I Don’t Need It” are punk personified, or sonic-fied. Get it?!? Then there’s the out of left field tracks like “Michael’s Monetary System” and “Luv & Piece.” Not to mention the great covers, a practice I usually frown upon. But Eater does it right. “Sweet Jane,” “Fifteen” (“Sixteen” reworked), “Waiting for the Man,” and “Jeepster” get ran through the transmogrifier and come out Eater-ized. Disc one is “The Album,” and disc two collects the singles and more. Absolutely essential. –Matt Average (Anagram)


DUTCHESS & THE DUKE:
She’s the Dutchess, He’s the Duke: CD
Though I might be confusing them with another band, the last thing I remember hearing from The Flying Dutchmen was a disc filled with no-holds-barred noise and little else. Expecting the same here, what instead came out of the speakers was surprisingly well written and catchy folk stuff with male and female vocals. Normally this ain’t my cup of tea at all, but these kids are more Dylan than Baez vocal-wise and know how to crank out an interesting tune on acoustic instruments with lyrics that more than hold their own. No small feat these days, that. –Jimmy Alvarado (Hardly Art)


DRYHEAVERS, LOS:
Words of Surrender: CD
Another excursion in writing to the Rancid template. Though it sports some Spanish/English lyrics, there’s pitifully little to separate this from the scads of nameless, faceless bands that populate each year’s Warped lineup. Really hoped for something a little more unique from these carnales from Watsonville, but ultimately ended up with more of the same. –Jimmy Alvarado (Lorelei)


DOUBLE NEGATIVE:
Raw Energy: 7"
Last year’s The Wonderful and Frightening World of Double Negative LP totally tore my head off, and I’ve been seriously anticipating some new material since shortly after its release. The Raw Energy 7” is said to more accurately recreate the band’s intense live spectacle, and it is indeed a raw, piercing, destructive six minutes of Void/early-C.O.C.-esque hardcore. Desperate, angry, and raging. –Dave Williams (Sorry State)


DONITA SPARKS and THE STELLAR MOMENTS:
Transmiticate: CD
It seems that L-7’s Donita Sparks has mellowed with time, but she can still get real heavy, fuzzy, and buzzy. Both the first and last tracks on this CD—“Fly Feather Fly” and “Into the HI FI” are the most rockingest, L–7ish tunes of the bunch with that familiar, dirty, wicked buzz, but it’s not punk rock…its punk-influenced rock that continues to grow on the listener with each successive listen. At first, it all sounds kind of the same, but turn it up and listen deeper. Donita is doing a lot within the slower rhythms with a lot of echo, vibrato, and multiple fluid-layers of sonic depth. Her vocals are still husky-sweet, and a distinctive sense of fun and humor floats up from the pleasantly vibrating resonance. Where L-7 was overtly angry and abrasive, this disc is definitely more laid-back, frequently introspective, with mid-tempo, head-noddingly catchy tunes that are rather trance inducing. At first, I thought “Dare Dare” was going to be an ELO cover, but it turned out to be a solid original performed with traditional ‘70s rock arrangement and a distinctly humorous edge. “He’s got the Honey” is the fuzziest of all and sounds like it could be the theme song for a punk rock kids show…tough punk kids. Yes, Ms. Sparks has evolved and grown over time and this is what it sounds like. She practically did this whole thing by herself and the others got to follow along. –Marcus Solomon (Sparks Fly)


DESTINATION : OBLIVION:
Winter Solstice: CD
This disc arrived scuffed. Of the nine new tracks, I could only hear one stuttering song. If a strobe light could play synths it would sound like this. Abandoning the CD, D:O’s myspace page had the first track “Awake Pulse,” reminding me of Halloween’stheme song with an intense piano line leading into crunchy guitars. Damian threw a few new mixes like “Sick v2” and “Self Inflicted Noise Mix” onto Solstice. It’s just too bad I can’t hear ‘em. –Kristen K –Guest Contributor (Apocalypse Machine)


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