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· 1:Off With Their Heads Top Shelf Interview Podcast
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· 3:Trials and Tribulations of a Misguided Adult
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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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MOTORAMA:
Dirt Track Specialist: CD
Okay, so, yes. With a name like Motorama and a title such as this, it’s not that hard to figure out how the innards shall reflect the outer package. Okay, so, yes. Gearhead punk. Very much like early Zeke, but not as fast and frenetic. Okay, so, yes. This was exactly what I expected, but I wasn’t disappointed at all. This is a solid record to be sure, but not overtly groundbreaking, and I feel like I’m reaching a level of saturation with this vein of rock’n’roll, so it’s hard for me to get completely gooey about this one. Dirt Track Specialist would be a good record to pick up if you’re at the store with extra cash and an exhausted shopping list. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Last Chance)


MONTE CRISTO BLONDES:
Demo: CD-R
U.K. indie rock that reminds me of a mix of Squeeze meets the Beatles. Cheerful and happy music that makes me imagine a band with skinny ties and mop top haircuts. –Donofthedead (Indie North)


MIRACLE, THE:
Not Just Words: CD
Full length from this straight edge band from Milan, Italy. Bruising, abrasive, and unrelenting. Other than a brief reprise on “The Silver Note,” this one burns at both ends. Too bad it looks like they may have called it quits, based on their myspace page. These guys coulda been contenders. –Sean Koepenick (Still Life)


MENEGUAR:
Strangers in Our House: CD
I used to get Meneguar and Japanther confused, but having finally heard Meneguar, I will definitely remember them now. This second full-length from the New York band is a fun mix of indie rock and power pop. All the music has a real upbeat tone to it; there’s nothing to bring you down or make you feel depressed. Like a solid pop punk album, there’s a good amount of hooks and catchiness, but without a wanky sound (both production-wise and with more backbone to the music) attributed to much of that genre. And if you’re familiar with the kind of material Troubleman has released before, it is a good fit with the rest of the catalog. It’s a serious work, though, and is a solid release. It’s not going to change the face of music, but it’s definitely worth a listen and probably a spot in your collection. –Kurt Morris (Troubleman Unlimited)


MCRAD / FRONTSIDE FIVE:
50x50 Split: Split CD
The Church of Motörhead is not a bad place to worship. Just make sure the service requires no kneeling, because we all know that, given enough drugs and drink, Lemmy’s communion chalice tips both ways. I hope the Frontside Five heeds this warning. They’ve got a serious Motörhead infection going on, and the only cure may be a dose of ol’ Lemster’s man serum, “injected” rectally for maximum potency. Repent thy sins, Frontside Five, not for coveting the Motörhead sound, but for copying those cringe-inducing shout-along parts found on Pennywise albums. The rest of the FF half of the album is paint-by-numbers skate punk. McRad’s portion of the CD is a tale of two styles—early ‘80s hardcore (good!) and reggae (“’gae!”). The good-to-gae ratio is lamentably stacked for the ‘gae side, 1:5. Listening to this particular brand of reggae is about as exciting as watching sap drip down the side of a tree, which is a shame, since the hardcore comes on like 7 Seconds in their glory days. –Josh Benke (Fivecore)


MASS SHIVERS:
Ecstatic Eyes Glow Glossy: CD
Mass Shivers is a child of Chicago. And I’ve spent a fair amount of time in that metropolis throughout my youth, so once I sat and actually paid some attention to this CD, it was so obvious that its quirkiness and rhythm is totally WindyCity material. Think Shellac, Traluma, U.S. Maple, and a lot of bands that didn’t live in Chicago but pretty much did: Don Caballero, Paul Newman, etc. The angular schlock is there as are the kick ass drums that simultaneously drive the rhythm (which is a huge part of this album) and shoot you in the face. All three members of the band sing and when they do it together it’s kind of quirky and almost reminiscent of some Motown group. Along the way they also use a saxophone, an organ, and some extra percussion to get the job done. The problem is that at twenty-eight minutes and with some of the tracks basically being throwaways, there’s not a huge amount of substance from which to judge things. This could have easily just been an EP and come off much stronger. I guess, in the end, my endearing feelings for Chicago made me to decide that it wasn’t that bad. –Kurt Morris (Sickroom)


MARTIANS SEE RED:
When All Seems Lost…: CDEP
Within the first five seconds of the start of this album, I literally hung my head and cradled it in my hands. This is horribly bland rock music that seems to have tricked alternative music to join up with it. That being said, I wish there was a way we could just come up with a category at Razorcake that when the people read that an album was in that category they would know it was just really, really horrible. The problem is that some things I like Donofthedead may hate and Ben Snakepit may only halfway enjoy. So it’s all still too subjective. However, I think it’s safe to say that everyone on the staff would hate this. The opening line in their bio states, “‘Rock music that you want to hear. That is how the band Martians See Red describes itself and that is really all that needs to be said.” Press companies, for the love of Father Christmas, look at your client and then look at the type of music that’s covered in the zine you’re sending the album to. Save yourself some fucking money. –Kurt Morris (Self-released, www.myspace.com/martiansseered)


LONG AND SHORT OF IT:
Vs. Mothra: CD
San Diego band that brings to mind mid ‘80s Bad Brains. I kept thinking of Quickness and I Against I while listening to this. I guess you can decide for yourself if that might appeal to you. Features members of Corrugated, Tourettes Lautrec, and the Owsla. –Mike Frame (Salad, longandshortofit@hotmail.com)


LET’S GROW:
Disease of Modern Times: CD
Thrashy hardcore with a hint of lemon. Let’s Grow hail from Yugoslavia and serve as a reminder as to how forgettable a lot of hardcore bands are, but if you like thrashy hardcore with slightly creepy artwork, then this might be for you. –Bryan Static (Refuse/HA-KO Bastards, www.hakobastards.com/Brand New Place)


LEBANON:
Planet Rubble: CD
All-instrumental albums rarely light my fuse and this record is no exception. Boring, aimless prog rock that will lull you to sleep. If you really need music without vocals for your next BBQ, I suggest Pelican. Otherwise, someone needs to point a SCUD missile at this train wreck. –Sean Koepenick (Australian Cattle God)


LE LOUP:
The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations’ Millennium General Assembly: CD
I know you’re probably tired of people telling you this, but all I’m hearing is Sufjan Stevens with some more electronics and experimentation. And, I’m gonna say it, but it’s the banjo. I like hearing banjos sometimes, but get rid of it. You’re never going to shake that Sufjan Stevens comparison until you drop the fucking banjo. –Kurt Morris (Hardly Art)


LAMA:
Tavastia: CD
A live album here from one of the most memorable of the old Finnish bands. I dunno much about when it was recorded or anything, or even if the band is out and kicking around again, but the sound is board quality and the performance is great. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.combatrockindustry.net)


KRYLLS:
Self-titled: CDEP
This five-song EP didn’t look like much, but upon slapping it in the player, I was taken back to a time in North American underground music when the lines of what was “punk” or “hardcore” weren’t so black and white. Bands could sound like pretty much anything, and it was cool as long as it was well outside what was considered “normal”. Krylls would have fit in nicely. Musically, I could have sworn that this was some lost EP by Psychic… Powerless… Another Man’s Sac-era Butthole Surfers with better recording. There is some serious art damage going on here and I love it! Music to drool and dilate to. Fans of Buttholes, Scratch Acid, and Jesus Lizard take note. –Ty Stranglehold (www.krylls.com)


KOROVA:
If There Is a Future: 7” EP
Medium-fi hardcore stuff (some of it sounds like it was recorded during practice) that is solid nonetheless and manages to make some very pointed, very valid observations about the state of segments of the punk/hardcore scene. Decent stuff in all, with lots more going on than simplistic thrash-thrash-thrash. –Jimmy Alvarado (Victimized)


HIGH ON FIRE:
Death Is This Communion: CD
I really wanted to dig this demon seed, the band’s reputation precedes them. However, their dopey record company sent me a promo CD that cuts an eleven track CD up into eighty-eight pieces, apparently to prevent me from burning copies for all my friends. It’s hard to get into the flow of the record when it pauses every thirty to forty-five seconds. Totally fuckin’ lame. Relapse Records: 0. –Sean Koepenick (Relapse)


HEARTFELT BASTARD:
EP’d My Pants: 7” EP
Decent enough poppy punk stuff here from these Colorado kids. My preference is for the more uptempo stuff, but there’s enough humor infused in the proceedings to keep one from losing interest. –Jimmy Alvarado (Heartfelt Bastard)


GUSTO, THE:
Culture and Shit: CD EP
As advertised, this sounds like a cross between Face To Face and NOFX, but with randomly on/off key vocals—that is to say, like something i was sick of at least ten years ago. However, things being what they are in this day and age, i’m not sure if this means that i’m like, really really sick of it, or if i’m glad to see it making a comeback. One thing that i do know for sure is that “Auburn, AL” continues the not-great Wisconsin quasi-pop punk tradition of “completely obscure love songs named after geographic locales that mean absolutely nothing to anyone who was not a principal participant in the relationship” that was started with Alligator Gun’s “Delaware.” Boy, next thing you’ll tell me that kids want XXL t-shirts instead of mediums again. BEST SONG: “Carry On” BEST SONG TITLE: I’ll get back to you on this, but, God help me, i think it’s “Skate” FANASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: When i put this CD in my computer, iTunes® performed a Gracenote CDDB® database search on it, and turned up two matches: “Culture and Shit” by The Gusto, and “Ska Boodaliedoo” by The Chasers. I could not replicate this error from other machines. Also, the band’s name is misspelled “The Gutso” on their press sheet, which is, when all’s said and done, a much better name. –Rev. Norb (Crustacean)


GORT:
Unravel: 7"
I’m surprised that there hasn’t been a grunge revival. It’s been about twenty years since the onset of the flannel nation and not all of those Soundgarden and Skin Yard discs have been dumped in landfills; they made an impression, but contemporary bands seem reluctant to nick ideas from their dusty Amphetamine Reptile and C/Z records. On a qualitative level, I get it, we burned out on those sounds long ago, no need to revisit them. But on a quantitative level, those bands were so popular that I’m surprised there aren’t hoards of up and comers who disagree with me. Gort are an exception, an unapologetic grunge band from their monosyllabic name to their material, songs that are heavy and slow, including a sludgy cover of Devo’s “Smart Patrol” and “Mr. DNA,” and begging for a Jack Endino production credit along with a couple of those streaky black and white Charles Peterson photos for the cover art. It’s well-rendered, but I’m not going booking this 7” for a return engagement on my turntable. –Mike Faloon (Flotation, Flotation, www.flotationrecords.com)


GRAMPALL JOOKABOX:
Scientific Cricket: CD
I can’t say if I like it or not. I find it interesting but it doesn’t fill my gut with warm fuzzy feelings or bile. I guess I’d call this quirky lo-fi folk rock, maybe in the vein of Sebadoh or Daniel Johnston. I’m not really a fan of this kind of stuff, but I can’t say this is totally bad either. –Jason Donnerparty (Joyful Noise)


GAY CITY ROLLERS:
Too Poor to Rock: CD-R
Energetic Ramones type upbeat rock from Italy. Then they had to stomp on my buzz with song number five. A Poison cover. UGH! No song titles or lyrics that I can enlighten you with. Okay, they redeem themselves by track seven by covering “Starry Eyes” by The Records. That still does not forgive the hair metal atrocity they hoisted upon me. –Sean Koepenick (Demo)


FRONTSIDE FIVE:
Fall Out of Line: CD
Well played, heavy punk rock with a dash of the metal edge. Try as I might, no songs really punched me in the face. That’s what we all hope for every day, right? –Sean Koepenick (Fivecore)


FREE DIAMONDS:
By the Sword: CD
This is what would happen if Danielson fronted the Blood Brothers and each mixed their musical ideas equally. It’s got the high-pitched vocals, acoustic guitar, keys, and backing female vocals (Danielson) but also has got kind of a spastic feel, with a quick pace and high-pitched vocals (Blood Brothers). There’s no song over three minutes, which means space for sixteen tracks. It’s a bit too much. Maybe I could’ve gotten into if I would’ve listened to it for days on end, but I don’t have the patience for it. –Kurt Morris (Deep Elm)


FLOBOTS:
Fight with Tools: CD
Flobots are one of those bands you really wanna get behind ’cause what they’re doin’ is a little off the beaten path, but you just can’t quite get yourself to commit to the decision. Their angle is to take two politically conscious rappers and pair them with a band heavy on the alt-rock vibe, yet stay clear of Rage Against the Machine-land. The results are mixed, mostly because while the rappers’ skills are fairly strong, they do occasionally come up with some quaint ideas, and their interaction with the band rarely gels enough that the whole thing sounds like a collaborative, cohesive thought. There’s definitely potential to be mined here, but thus far they’ve only managed to dust off the tops of the rocks. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.flobots.com)


FLYING OVER:
Self-titled: 7”EP
Hey, I think I found the French equivalent to The Stitches. It’s well-played, basic punk rock with sinus-infection snottiness and one monitor borrowed directly from the Sex Pistols. Not as spitfire jagged as The No Talents, nor as bouncy-catchy as The Hatepinks, but competent. –Todd Taylor (Adrenalin Fix)


FLEUR FATALE, LA:
Night Generation: CD
The second song sounds kinda like a more hypnotic Badfinger, and the fourth song sounds a little like something off the final Move album. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the first song sounds sorta like Emerson, Lake & Palmer, but with sitars instead of Moogs, and the third song sounds like Yes or something, which is a big NO in my book. After that, the songs seem to alternate in a Good Psych ((i.e., the Cynics on lots of ecstasy)) / Bad Psych ((i.e. some echoey dude singing over a bunch of acoustic guitars)) format. Overall, if you’ve ever been stuck at somebody else’s house with fairly different musical tastes than yours and needed to make do with their record collection, and you just sorta played stuff without really being judgmental about it ((not due to any lack of inherent judgmentality on your part, but more due to the fact that you had already judged their record collection just by reading the names on the spines)) because, what the hell, they aren’t your records, you aren’t stuck with ‘em if they suck, so what the heck do you care, you just want to hear some music—THAT is the feeling this record instills in me: The colossal indifference of experiencing some non-kindred soul’s record collection. Party on. BEST SONG: “Night Generation” BEST SONG TITLE: “I Wanna Be Adored” FANASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: This CD package folds out into a big cross shape, with one of the four band member’s mug shots on each of the folded-out panels. And they be oggly. ALTERNATE FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: La Fleur Fatale is managed by Supercock Management. –Rev. Norb (Killer Cobra)


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