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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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BAD SIDE:
Everybody Wants Something from Me: 7”
Having reviewed their demo a while back, Bad Side has matured a bit in a few short months. Sure, they still offer up multiple songs of angry punk, but on this release it’s a little more restrained, a little more controlled than the previous demo, and that works for them. At times this reminded me of a more raw version of Pissed Jeans, who I love. Good stuff.  –Mark Twistworthy (Nervous Habit)


BODYFATHER:
Self-titled: Cassette
So, the ‘90s have made a comeback. I suppose there are worse things that could happen. Bodyfather fit in well with all of the other ‘90s comeback companion pieces. This release could hold its own among some of the mid-’90s noisy Dischord Records band like Hoover, The Crownhate Ruin, and Fugazi. It’s done really well and anyone who is into that kind of stuff would likely really like this. There are six songs here with not a single dud in the bunch.  –Mark Twistworthy (Muck Man)


CHILDEBEAST:
The Beastmasters: CD
I’m confused why I’m getting a CD that is seven years old to review. Why did you send this to us? Is this one of those things where you’re just trying to get rid of back stock? If that’s the case, just recycle the components. That’s what I wanted to do soon after hearing this. The group is composed of a male and a female vocalist, sometimes with the guy rapping and other times with both singing. The music often reminded me of some dreamy, but bad, band I’d see at a college coffeehouse back in the late 1990s. There was a flute in a song. No—just no.  –Kurt Morris (Fauxtown)


DRUG STORE:
“Deathwork” b/w “Surface”: 7”
This record reminds me of a heavy version of the Butthole Surfers. The track “Deathwork” shifts from slowed-down metal riffs to minimal breakdowns with obscure lyrics over them. The B-side track, “Surface,” is bass-driven and has a Flipper feel to it, only more pissed off. This is definitely the kind of record that your parents will hate.  –Ryan Nichols (Self-released)


FIST CITY / PISSTEST:
Split: 7”
Either each side of this record plays at a different speed or I’m confused and listening to one of these bands at the wrong speed, so take this review with a grain of salt. Fist City features herky jerky vocals over waverunner riffs and cascading fuzz. They cover Devo’s “Endless Bummer” with respect, but not a whole lot of inventiveness. Pisstest is jangly and irritating garage punk that thinks it’s funny, but it isn’t really. They have a song called “Necrophilia (It’s Halal).” That should give you a hint about their cleverness.  –MP Johnson (Drunken Sailor)


GUNK:
Gradual Shove: Cassette
Gunk play that sort of wimpy/heavy style of indie rock made popular by Sebadoh. The first song, “Photograph,” is a grungy, off-timed tune. The second track is slower, with softly sung vocals. Quiet and bittersweet, the song progresses into overlaid found sounds which blend into the next track, setting the tone for the album. The songs on Gradual Shoveare inwardly projected and navel gazing, yet big and complex at the same time. Gunk is best played loud (preferably with opium) to appreciate the big, fuzzy layers weaving these songs together into a deep, entrancing listen.  –Craven Rock (Ranch)


HUNG UPS, THE:
Against the Wall: CD
The Hung Ups play Screeching Weasel and NOFX-sounding pop punk with nasally and off-key vocals and sing about girls. From what I found on the internet, it seems they broke up. Can’t say that’s a big shame.  –Kurt Morris (Hung Ups, The)


INTERNATIONAL SWINGERS, THE:
Gun Control: CDEP
Second release from this rock band chock full of grizzled veterans of the music scene. There are traces of Still Little Fingers here, along with guitar lines that bring to mind The Clash’s greatest moments. But the songs here are totally original and burn from start to finish. I’ll leave it to you and your computer to look up the band members’ history, but I strongly suggest getting your hands on this one any way you can. The title track alone should clinch it for you. Excellent job gentlemen. Bring on the full length.  –Sean Koepenick (Self-released, theinternationalswingers.com)


LORD SNOW:
Solitude: LP
Screamo is a tag that invariably turns my stomach and it’s a genre that rarely does anything for me beyond raising my bile levels to the proportion of a volcanic eruption. However, although that description is often given to Chicago band Lord Snow, this trio stands firmly apart from—and head and shoulders above—all other bands I have heard under that banner. The main reason being that this is more a mixture of post-punk and noise than anything else. The vocals of Steph Maldonado, although screamed at times, offer so much more than what I hear from other bands where it seems faddish and generic. The musicianship across the eleven tracks is of the highest quality within what seems to be a controlled chaos being orchestrated by the band, one which shifts and changes almost without pattern or design, displaying quite a knack for song writing. This is an intense and exhilarating record. It needs no defining genre attached to it.  –Rich Cocksedge (Adagio830)


MODERN PETS:
Sorry, Thanks: LP
L.A.-via-Berlin-styled thud punk here right in the same bullpen as Regulations, Briefs, Rough Kids, and damned near every band that’s ever recorded for Hostage and Modern Action. They keep the tightly closed hi-hat tickatickaticking as they bash out hit after hit like it was no big effort to come up with an album’s worth of tunes this consistent.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Deadbeat)


MURDERESS:
The Gate: LP
Say whaaaaat? This band’s from Portland? My word. My ear is clearly pressed to the wrong set of tracks, since this is the first I’ve heard of em. A four-song 12” of fierce and brooding crust similar in scope to folks like The Awakening or Protestant, though Murderess seems more interested in the long game—again, we’re talking a pair of songs on each side here; the band’s clearly not afraid to stretch things out. I was personally hoping for a bit more variety or dynamics, but there’s certainly no denying that the band makes some convincing, furious noise.  –Keith Rosson (Aborted Society)


NUBS:
Little Billy’s Burning: 7”
A reissue of some primo ‘70s snot punk here. Both sides of this ooze with a kind of dumb sincerity that’s both hard to ape and in short supply these days, which gives ‘em a bit more heft that propels the tunes much farther than they would normally go.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Last Laugh)


PÄÄ KII:
Self-titled: Cassette
Well done Finnish punk that sits somewhere between a hopped-up Generation X and maybe a slightly more stolid Randy, which is a pretty amazing combo on paper, but Pää Kii suffer from pretty warbly and quiet production, and said weak production pretty much chops a lot of this cassette’s strength off right at the knees. Weak packaging, but catchy as hell and resoundingly well done. Songs are mostly in Finnish, but there’s an obvious buoyancy here that’s pretty universal. This shit’s got verve, okay?  –Keith Rosson (No address listed)


PAGEGRIPPER:
Self-titled: 7”
My first impression of this 7”was one in which I considered all five tracks to be fairly indistinguishable from each other, all offered up with an intense jackhammer delivery. Oh was I wrong. Subsequent listens were like peeling an onion with the discovery of previously unheard layers which added a new depth to the songs, allowing me to discover the nuances hidden within the bluster. I actually think that comparing Pagegripper to Kid Dynamite would not be too far off the mark.  –Rich Cocksedge (Sex Sheet)


PAPER FLEET:
Self-titled: LP
A new band that sits on the edge between indie rock and punk. Feels like a second- (or third?) generation of Pavement and Superchunk fanatics. The guitar work on this record is clever and the songwriting in general is very well done. Ultimately, it feels more like a lo-fi pop record than a punk record, but it’s not bad by any means. In fact, I think the cover, featuring three cartoon dogs, represents the record perfectly. One of the most perfect visual representations I’ve seen for a record. Grade: B.  –Bryan Static (Ottomen)


RAPTUROUS GRIEF:
Self-titled: 7”
Destructive grind in Spanish. This record offers no breathing room, no time to get comfortable. You are going to be assaulted, and you are going to like it. Even the cymbals are primed to slice into your brain matter. You’ll be hearing them ring well after you’ve finished listening to this, begging you to give the record one more spin.  –MP Johnson (No Breaks)


RED CAR BURNS / ANTS!:
Split: 7”
This split brings together Italy in the form of Red Car Burns and Austria, which is represented by Ants! The former deals in gruff, melodic punk. The recording does the band no favors, as it features an overly heavy bass which detracts from my enjoyment somewhat. The two songs aren’t bad but they just don’t leave me wanting more. Ants! is a different proposition, heading down the Lifetime/Kid Dynamite path with a much clearer sound and “1+1=3” is a definite winner to my ears, featuring a strong intro that is simple but effective in setting up the rest of the song.  –Rich Cocksedge (No Reason)


SANGESUGA:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Opener is a zippy driver of a tune heavily tinged with that “classic” Scandinavian hardcore sound. The remaining tunes are slower but clump and trample with maybe a bit more rock influence in evidence. Sound’s blown out, but not so much that it renders everything unlistenable, and they get in, lay the smack down, and get the fuck outta dodge before you even have a chance to wonder if you might be getting bored. Nice work, this.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Sangesuga)


SOCIAL SCHISM:
Destination Nowhere: CD
Really good political punk rock. You know, the old kind with mohawks and leather jackets. Great male and female vocals offset each other nicely. This disc does a great job of staying urgent without sounding cliché. The message isn’t old if nothing ever changes. I like this.  –Ty Stranglehold (Dead Lamb)


SPERM DONOR:
Accidental Incest: LP
The couple of fast songs have a Shotmaker syncopated hardcore feel, but most of the record is lurching, heavy, mathy Shellac/Melvins worship. It’s been done better before, and the “provocative” song titles (and band name, and album title) have me rolling my eyes.  –Chris Terry (Self-released)


STAB ME KILL ME:
No Ledge EP: 7”
At a glance, their drippy black metal-esque logo gave me the impression of a much harder sounding band, especially with a name like Stab Me Kill Me. I was pleasantly wrong. This is aggressive power pop with raucous melodies, muddy, jangled bass lines, and sugary hooks. Mixed in with snotty vocals, this Seattle band brings you four songs that get stuck in your head as quickly as they’re played. Available on red transparent vinyl with rad artwork from Tom Lowell, this EP is a surefire soundtrack to any shitty day.  –Kayla Greet (Double Dos)


STELLA:
Post Grippo Empire: CD
This mysterious three-piece from the lovely state of Ohio offer up a loud and in-your-face seven-song platter here. ‘90s-era DC guitar rock seems to have gotten some recent spins before this recording popped out. Swiz, Bluetip, and Shellac roll off my tongue after first listen. Jagged and abrasive, I’m sure this will bring converts to the table after one playback. One song is called “Pop Song in B.” Is this the first one? Only Rev. Nørb knows for sure.  –Sean Koepenick (Self-released)


STUBBORN FATHER:
2002-2012: Cassette
This album collects all of the tracks from the band’s previously released EPs, split EPs, and compilation album appearances and punches them together in one neat little package. From what I understand, this is the first international release from this Japanese hectic hardcore outfit. The songs are intense, fast, and brutal. If you are a fan of Swarrrm then I’m sure you have heard of Stubborn Father. If not, do yourself a favor and pick this up. Listen with caution!  –Brent Nimz (Meatcube)


STUPORHERO:
Let Jo Jo Drive: CDEP
This is some distorted mega pop rock that I think features a married couple (?). They don’t seem to have any problems or angst, so I’m wondering how the fuck do I relate to this, but they’re also smart and the songs are loaded with sugar and hooks and they’re kind of undeniable. Reminds me of Nerf Herder a little bit. If these were my married friends, I’d go to their house for dinner every once in a while and go to their shows and be like, “How do they do it? They’re so perfect. Ugh,” probably.  –Matt Werts (stuporhero.com)


SUPER FAMICOM:
Purpose Defeated: Cassette
This cassette arrived a jumble of signifiers: before I popped it into Rhonda the Honda’s tape deck, I had no idea whether to expect black metal (based on the baroque, heavy-looking spine lettering) or some Gravity-inspired screamo (stark contrast screen print ahoy!). The answer, of course, was neither. Super Famicom is one guy playing everything on this, his twenty-sixth release (!). There’s a smattering of styles here, from effects-drenched Sebadoh-y balladry to the metal chug and dueling Maiden guitars of “Thanks A Lot” to straight-up pop, as in “I Used to Be Thin” and “Aurora Blue.” The pop stuff must have cost a zillion dollars, because to employ a team of scientists to exactly replicate Greg Norton’s Zen Arcade bass tone has gotta cost some ducats, dig? The title track here mixes tempos well, playing to the rec’s pop strength rather than the pining/moping of some of the slower numbers, which become a bit of a slog to listen to. In all, ambitious and singular.  –Michael T. Fournier (PJ)


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