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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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She Like Electric: CD
This drum and keys sister duo of pre-teens are playing and writing better songs that three quarters of the self-important and “vital” bands out there. The collection of songs on this release is so chock full of fun and creativity that it’s no wonder the band has already played shows with Sleater-Kinney and Death Cab for Cutie. Adorable without being cutesy, light-hearted without being fluffy, and smart without wondering if it was someone else who wrote the songs… Smoosh are deserving of your attention, and not just for novelty’s sake. The only bummer? You probably won’t be seeing them play live until school’s out and they’re on summer vacation. –Kat Jetson (Pattern 25)

The Problem with Rock and Roll: CD
“The problem with rock and roll is the girls don’t like it anymore. Yeooow! [Guitar solo]” Well, if these guys are the ones making it, I can’t say that I blame the girls. –Megan Pants (Record Records)

Through the Opaque Air: CD
The placement of the bass way up in the mix results in an occasional early Cocteau Twins feel, but for the most part this comes off like the Cranberries bucking for a funeral gig. Not too terrible on the whole, but the minimalist quality of both song structure and instrumentation fails to gel more often than not. –Jimmy Alvarado (Stroll)

Live at the Magic Bag: CD
If you’re like me and you’re “road worn and weary” from the inhumane amounts of emo bilge that’s backed up and is spilling over everywhere, then this might be the disc for you. These Supersucker boys don’t wear their welschmertz on their sweater sleeves nor do they recoil at the sound of a simple power chord. They are not anguished milksops reciting couplets from their diaries while wearing “What Would Morrissey Do” wristbands. Far from it. In fact, they might just be self-centered dicks. If they have a self-conscious, over-sensitive hair on their bodies, then it’s buried in a crease somewhere that doesn’t see the light of day much. These are grubby rock’n’roll reprobates of the first order; they are a cross between the business side of Gene Simmons’ codpiece, Evel Knievel and something that fell out of Joey Ramone’s pant leg (when he was still around to have things fall out of his pant legs, that is.) This is a straight shot of swaggering Rock with a capital “R”—the bastard child of an unholy three-way tryst between ‘70s style arena rock, stripped-down punk and a spittoonful of outlaw country. Like all good sex shows, it’s a concoction that’s best taken live. And live this is—twenty-two tracks (counting a fake encore) of catchy, dirty, honest music that’ll kick up the dust and stir up your lust for drink and drugs and misrule. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Eddie Spaghetti and the boys somehow manage, time and time again, to sustain this impossible balance between being struttin’ cock rockers and being no-bullshit punk rockers and, most impressively, they come across as being absolutely genuine when they do it. Plus, they seem to genuinely have a helluva a good time, to boot. It’s cool what you can accomplish when you don’t take yourself so tight-ass seriously. –aphid (Mid-Fi)

1382 The Persian New Wave: Underground out of the Islamic Republic of Iran: LP
Iran hasn't been successful in winning the war on its black-market trading or Internet downloads, but it has pretty much outlawed music as a whole, so it is not surprising for one to assume that a country whose fundamentalist religious leaders have called Shakira "devil music," would have no punk scene whatsoever. Ten-year-old Tian An Men Records has disproved these assumptions, however. This label has been dedicated to pressing truly underground punk music from around the world (Kosovo, Madagascar, soon Iraq) for years, and they’ve put out yet another gem. This 12" comp has music that is so underground that the only place to play, practice, or record this stuff would be in the bedroom. Ah, the true essence of punk: 100 percent DIY. Ranging from garage to pop to satanic-sounding punk tunes, the music is all over the place, but in no way a turn off. Rest assured, when you get this not only are you buying a piece of history (THE FIRST EVER IRANIAN PUNK RELEASE), but you'll get a kick out of the originality and ingenuity of the bands (most of whom are probably using ancient equipment their fathers and mothers had purchased before the religious upheaval of the ‘70s!). I also found it interesting that the guy behind Tian An Men is a French Red Cross relief worker who has worked in Kurdistan, Iran, and Afghanistan—among other countries—and the many cities he’s lived in are where he’s encountered the punks whose music he’s helped share with the rest of the world. –Mr. Z (Tian An Men 89)

Freedom Kills: CD
These guys have been dead in the water for me way before I have received this CD for review. I have heard stories about this band from many credible people here in Los Angeles that have been around a long time. It just left a bad taste in my mouth. The appearance is another thing. They always looked like they were put together too perfectly. The uniform of leather and studs. The spiked hair perfectly proportioned. Poster children for cartoon punks. The promo pictures looked like they were professionally done for a glam metal band. I have been at records stores and heard their output, but not enough to pay attention or shell out my hard-earned cash. Since this is sitting in front of me, I have to take a hard listen. I hate to admit it, but this release is pretty good. Sure, I can pull out the GBH, Conflict, Exploited and Motörhead references in their songs, but this time around, they play it well. The production is better than what most bands that play this style ever get to record in. With the raving comes my negativity. The packaging is way too professional looking and over-photoshopped and trying too hard to look authentically punk. It looks like they are specifically targeting the Hot Topic/Warped Tour crowd. Well... maybe they are. The cover of the Misfits’ “Attitude” was subpar. They should have stayed away from that one. Not musically their style. Also the cover of Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” is total cheese. If they wanted to be a glam metal band, they can just put their hair down and put on some makeup. I didn’t find it fun or funny. –Donofthedead (S.O.S.)

Fendi: CDEP
Fuzzy, heavily synthesized, and terribly dramatic goth rock that sounds like it was recorded in Siouxsie Sioux’s trash can. –Kat Jetson (Hungry Eye)

Gearing Up for Getting Down: CD
It would be so rad if they’d make their video next to a pool because then hi-jinks could ensue! Ringer-T pop-punk complete with strategically cropped shots of the one chubby dude with man-tits. –Megan Pants (Sucka-Punch)

Burning Farm: CD
A record originally released in ‘83 (with extra live tracks from ’84) by cute Japanese ladies who can barely play, and when in doubt, they sing the parts to cat food commercials: “Meow, meow, meow, meow.” And when the words are formed, it’s quaint stuff, like, “Heart is pitpat and dancing.” Fun, easy-to-listen-to, proto-bubblegum stuff that requires absolutely no thought at all and can be played when parents or authority figures are listening in. –Todd Taylor (Oglio)

SHAM 69:
Punk Singles Collection 1977-80: CD
Cleopatra released this collection of Sham's singles some years back (and they no doubt licensed it from somewhere else). Captain Oi has taken it, purtied it all up, added a few more tracks that were left off of the Cleopatra version, and sent it back out into the world. All the big hits are here, twenty-six in all, from "If the Kids are United" to "Hurry Up Harry," plus some rarities, like "What Have We Got," which was only available as a freebie given out at their shows. If by some fluke of nature you've never heard a single Sham song, this is the perfect place to dive in. –Jimmy Alvarado (Captain Oi)

2004 Sampler: CD-R
So, what would you say the odds would be that, two days in a row, i receive two completely different CD-R’s in the mail, and both CD-R’s contain the song “Put Anotha Rekkid On” by the Sex Robots? I guess if you’re not a total douchebag, the odds are actually pretty good! In any event, it’s been a while since i listened to any Sludgeworth or Naked Raygun, but those seem to be the associations these three songs are provoking (if i really wanted to be analytical, i might play this back to back with a Jawbreaker record, but, since Jawbreaker, unlike the Sex Robots, suck, i have no experimentational materials of a Jawbreakerly nature in my Rock Lab) (nor do i intend to obtain any). Pop-punk which is neither particularly happy nor angry, nor, for that matter, particularly poppy, and appears to be the better for the absence of all three. Fuckin’ STAUNCH. Not that this is the first time i’ve ever said this, but I NEEDMORE SEX ROBOTS! BEST SONG: “Put Anotha Rekkid On” BEST SONG TITLE: “Put Anotha Rekkid On” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)” is a really stupid song. –Rev. Norb (Roadhouse Tunes)

Hashish: CD
I bought a Satelliters record what feels to be about ten years ago, and the only thing i really remember about it was that it looked way cooler than it sounded. Hashish, however, filed under “Psychedelic Garage Punk” as the cover requires, actually sounds about as good as it looks: I am unsure as to whether this calls for a pat on the back for the band, a kick in the pants for the graphic designer, or, as a mere example of regression to the mean, none of the above. Be that as it may, although i quite understand why many people gravitate toward That Which Is To Be Filed Under Psychedelic Garage Punk—i mean, it’s kind of a fun aesthetic, what with all the inherent promises of “BIKINI GIRLS! CHELSEA GIRLS! PSYCHEDELIC GIRLS!” and cool lettering and Riots on Sunset Strips and what-not—i’ve always thought that the universe’s existing reserves of this music were far in excess of my projected lifetime demand for it, so, like, ah, why bother? I personally can scrape by quite nicely by merely spinning a Pebbles or Nuggets type collection every so often, and therefore have no pressing need to cram my dome with covers of We the People’s “You Byrn Me Up and Down” and songs with titles like “1969—The End of Time,” but if you’re looking for this kind of thing, i think you’ve found it. BEST SONG: “Anything I Do” BEST SONG TITLE: Against my better judgement, “1969—The End of Time.” But isn’t it supposed to be “Tyme?” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Band conveniently provides French language version of “Wham Bam Thank You Mam” for those of you whose pent-up demand for Small Faces covers en Français was not slaked by Plastic Bertrand’s 1978 version of “Sha La La La Lee.” –Rev. Norb (Dionysus)

A Healthy Distrust: CD
The beats are good, and the man certainly has some rhyming skills and a smooth flow, but I kept thinkin’ “Eminem’s whiny little brother” when I listened to him ask God not to take any more of his friends, and a couple more songs elicited the same response. In short, this is quasi-socially conscious hip-hop that misses the mark a little too often. –Jimmy Alvarado (Epitaph)

The S’cool Girls EP: CDEP
What we have here is a six-song offering of pure Revlon Rock; an infectious, unapologetic serving of good timey glam punk replete with bangs, false eyelashes and lipsticked pouts. This is basically a cheeky melange of early ‘70s glammy cock rockers like the New York Dolls, Sweet and T Rex. Picture the Alice Cooper Band without the guillotines and the boa constrictors and the songs about dead people. It’s a formula—like fat guys walking into sliding glass doors—that never gets old. Good catchy clean fun. –aphid (Intravenous)

Giggidagiggidagiggida!: CDEP
How many Ramones-influenced pop punk bands are there? I know, I know. But, how many of them do you actually find listening to over and over again? Yes, this is covered ground, but it’s worth a listen or twenty. The main vocals are damn near perfect for the style—not even a hint of the whine that a lot of pop punk bands seem to think works. Everything is pulled together tightly. The vocal harmonies are incorporated into the songs in a manner not overly bubblegum-ish. Plus, the last of four songs is“We’re from Haddonfield,” and horror movie references are one of the many paths into my musical heart. –Megan Pants (Punkhead)

Fulltime: CD
I got a little bored during the first song and said to myself, “I think I should floss my teeth.” Lucky for me, I had put the CD in my portable player. So, I walked to the bathroom and grabbed the floss. Then I walked back to my desk and sat down and started to floss. I appreciated its minty aftertaste. I walked back to the bathroom and put the floss box back, but kept flossing. Feeling much fresher, I threw out the floss. By the time I looked down, I was on track six. That’s how interesting this is. –Megan Pants (Arclight)

X Descendant: CD
This is neither savage nor psychedelic, just miserably uninteresting. I've heard crappy high school cover bands that rock harder. –Jimmy Alvarado (Alive)

Rock’n’Roll Outlaws, Assault & Battery, Scarred for Life, and Southern Stars: CD
It's funny how even some of the greatest stuff can fall through the cracks, you know? I remember seeing Rock'n'Roll Outlaws, what I now know is their debut album, in a long-gone record store back in '82 or so, being intrigued by their bald singer, and then putting it back on the shelves 'cause the band name was too wimpy. Now that I finally get to hear what was on that album, not to mention the four that followed it, I realize I should've taken that puppy home with me. Rose Tattoo's debut is surely the missing link between punk and bar rock—part Ramones, part AC/DC and maybe a dash of a pissed-off Faces-era Rod Stewart in the vocals—and one of the finest albums to come out of the late ‘70s. This was one of those rare bands that managed to wrestle rock back from the overpaid pretty boys and give it back to the streets, a band that you'd best believe meant it when they sang "Nice boys don't play rock 'n' roll" and drove the point home by adding "I'm not a nice boy." This is the soundtrack for an ass-kicking both metaphorical and literal. This is what rock'n'roll was born to do, namely scare the shit outta you while getting you to move a little. The band followed up their stunner of a debut with Assault & Battery, which, while not as intense as its predecessor, packs a mean wallop behind another strong set of songs. From there on in, as with so many other bands, it's downhill, with each of the last two albums losing even more of that crucial raw edge and sliding ever closer into bad ‘80s rock land, although, to their credit, they're even good at that. Captain Oi has seen fit to reissue all four of the band's albums with extensive liner notes and the requisite bonus tracks. Much thanks is due to the Captain for giving me a new favorite band of the week, even if it took me twenty-two years to pay attention. –Jimmy Alvarado (Captain Oi)

1984: CD
Agnostic Front is way better. Roger Miret is playing streetpunk oi now. He should have stuck with hardcore. I threw this in and immediately put on my Agnostic Front record Victim in Pain instead. What happened, man? Get old? Did Hellcat tell you to try to be Rancid? Song titles like “Loud and Proud,” “Riot, Riot, Riot,” and “The Boys” try to grasp hard at the unity message to oi hooligans wannabes in the suburbs. Then there’s the song “Street Rock n Roll.” Can you be any more generic for us? Boring. Has he turned into a Spinal Tap parody? The vocals sound like it. He sings, “I don’t like you, I hate you, fuck off.” Roger Miret never played ska, but he decided it’s cool to rip lines from second wavers anyway with this line, “These boots are made for stomping, gonna stomp all over you.” What a dipshit. –Buttertooth (Hellcat)

Get Your Wings: CD
If you have ever put in any time reviewing records and CDs, it can be very trying. After so many years, the act of getting my fat ass in the chair to sit in front of the computer can take days of procrastination. So far, one CD out six, I have liked. I reach into the bag to keep the process going. I put this release into the CD player and my head swings around in an act of whiplash. What is coming out of my speakers? The speed factor is up there, the anger is registering in the red, and it doesn’t sound like a sloppy mess. Most songs clock in at under two minutes. I have noticed on the net that this band has had shows with Oppressed Logic, Channel 3, and Dinah Cancer & the Grave Robbers up in Nor Cal. Using female-led bands as reference, the vocalist has characteristics that remind me of Cinder from Tilt (it turns out that it is her), but the music is much faster and aggressive than the mentioned band. You could say that they sound like All or Nothing HC or Naked Aggression but the production is much better and the speed factor takes into account. The cover of “Insomnia” by Agression almost doesn’t sound like a cover. They sped that song up and made it their own. I have listened to this on more than one occasion. As cliched as this sounds, this is a kick ass CD! –Donofthedead (Bleeding Bitch)

Self-titled: CD-R EP
When I first picked this outta the stack, I had to scratch my head. Is this a DVD? No, it’s a CD packaged in a DVD case. Must have been a Crazy Eddie sale at Blockbuster. But the songs are what matter. This five-piece outfit of young upstarts fry up some nice dual guitar riffs and drums that will have you reaching for the Advil—but with a smile. “Auctionary Blindness” has the singer thrashing against art and its commercialism—“here’s another one to hang in your gallery of dead-skin masterpieces.” “450Volts” surges forward with lines like, “We send volts through the weapons in our wallets that are soaked in the blood of workers a world away.” If you ever liked Embrace or Rites of Spring pick this up—there’s something here for you. Resonance puts their fists through YMCA basement ceilings so you don’t have to. Solid first release from this Richmond outfit. –Sean Koepenick (Self-released)

Monster Child: 7”
I’m continually amazed at how well the sound of teenagers falling on their instruments has translated to tape. –Josh (Zaxxon Virile Action)

John Says: 7”
There was a time early on with Down By Law where I’d given a lot of faith to them. It’s too bad that they became a band who went on to shit the bed over and over again—musically and as people—so much so, I find it hard to listen to songs that I once swore an allegiance to. Ran resurrect some of those early feelings I had for DBL: earnest singing, urgent playing, a watershed of familiar sounds somehow re-energized with interesting cuts and twists of their own. Think of early Dag Nasty and Double Image-era Marginal Man. Right about there. Not quite as good, but not bad at all. –Todd Taylor (Snuffy Smile)

Self-titled: CD
"She needs a facelift and she needs one now/she needs to alter her looks somehow...." Are you kiddin' me with this? Look, the Queers-clone school of stupidity became passé more than eight years ago. Please find another band to emulate. I recommend some emo group that's hot right now. Now there's a genre that should provide gobs of fodder for flaunting such an utter lack of originality. –Jimmy Alvarado (Cheapskate)

Self-titled: CD
(Make note, this isn’t The Ponys.) Spazzy DIY rock in the musical-notes-instead-of-rocks cement mixer of The Okmoniks, ADD/C, The Lipstick Pickups, Los Federales, and The Leeches, augmented by altitude sickness (they’re from Flagstaff) and screams into your left ear. At times, it’s endearing. At other times, it’s like getting a tamale and you unwrap the husk to find another husk. It’s annoying, but you can work through that, too, unpeel it again, and it’s nice and warm and soft inside with just a little bit of chicken knuckle you’ll have to spit out into a napkin. I’ve got the feeling they’re on to something, and haven’t quite figured out how their Optimus Prime should be assembled for maximum ass kicking, but am willing to double check how their creative underwear fill up for the next release. –Todd Taylor (DogPony)

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