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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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ISTUKAS OVER DISNEYLAND, THE:
O Guinu: CD
Mid tempo to sometimes fast garagey pop punk from the Philippines. Mostly sung in English, but there are a few numbers that I believe are sung in Tagalog: the title track being one of them. That track stood right out with a smoother flow of vocal delivery while they blazed through a faster punk number. The English tracks tend to sound slow to compensate for the uncomfortableness of the language. The Tagalog tracks are the memorable tracks which showcases their energy. The other tracks just come off unpolished and awkward. –Donofthedead (Cat Food Money)


IRA:
The Body and the Soil: CD
Debut from this German five piece. I like a band that has the nerve to put a fifty-seven second song on the same record with a fifteen minute plus piece. Large, volcanic, sheets of sound protrude from this record like a broken bone. Hard to describe them with some precision. Sonic Youth meets Pelican? Hum meets Dillinger 4? You’ll have to be the judge but this does have so many ups and downs you’ll probably get carsick. Intriguing. –Sean Koepenick (Go-Kart Europe)


INVADE:
Self-titled: CDEP
Some serious thought seems to have been put into the lyrics, but the music is pretty much nondescript metal posing as “hardcore.” Pity. –Jimmy Alvarado (invadehc@gmail.com)


INFECTED:
Tales of the Tortured Mind: CD
I am all for posthumous discographies, especially for bands that’ve long since disbanded and never really played that much outside their hometowns. In the case of Infected, that’s not entirely the case, as they apparently toured quite a few times, the first of which was a two-month stint of the States with Raw Power, which would lead me to believe that more people would’ve heard of them before. Anyway, these dudes were working within the framework of a pretty standard punk template, but that doesn’t mean that Tales… is bad, or even that generic, just that you know what you’re coming into here. While the liner notes are almost apologetic about how rough some of this sounds, I think it adds rather than detracts to the whole thing. As a whole, Infected sounds like a more venomous, pissed-off Crimpshrine without the hippie undertones. Only complaint is that the CD starts to drag a bit by the end, but that’s just because it’s a near-complete discography (the last four songs are from their never-released LP); I’d start to get burnt by a lot of bands after twenty-one songs. As a whole, this one’s pretty decent. –Keith Rosson (Eugene)


ICONS:
Eye-cons b/w Fade: 7”
Good, but if it was half as long, it’d be twice as gooder. As it stands, it seems like both offerings are half-songs, stretched to double their effective length. The effect of all that stretching? Bloating and the songs sound a little tired. The snappy punk crunch and poppy ouch of, say, “(Looking Through) Gary Gilmore’s Eyes” by the Adverts or “Silver Bullet” by the Briefs, is hidden in snatches, but these songs’ treads are thin and the sidewalls are cracking from all the shuffling and weight. With more pounce, stick-it-in-the-eye, and less repetition, the Icons have the potential to be really good. –Todd Taylor (Daggerman, www.myspace.com/daggermanrecords)


I WILL KILL YOU FUCKER!!:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Nifty arty “someone took an origami class” cover, exceedingly diverse in sound and plenty weird. Outside of that, I dunno what to say about this. –Jimmy Alvarado (Tankcrimes)


HOODS UP 495:
Shoot Nazis, Not Dope: CDEP
The cover describes them as “Circle Pit Hip Hop Straight Outta Moscow.” I think that pretty much covers the bases. I really appreciate that they’re apparently politically aware, but musically this didn’t even make for interesting background music. –Jimmy Alvarado (Daddydamage@gmail.com)


HEIMATLOS:
La Seconde Nécessaire 1982-1988: CD
A “complete recordings” collection courtesy of a band purported to be France’s first true “hardcore” band. Compiled here are ninety tracks from assorted releases, demos, live cuts, and even a version of one of their songs performed by another band. Musically, much of this pretty smokin’, with a nice BGK burn to much of the proceedings, and maybe a dash of Dead Kennedys, Mob 47 and others thrown in for color here and there. The lyrics are sung in French, German, Spanish, Finnish, Swedish and English, which has to be some kind of record. Having heard nary a note from them prior, I’m must say I’m mightily impressed. –Jimmy Alvarado (Ratbone)


HEARTATTACKS, THE:
Your Lies: 7” EP
The World At Large refers to this band as the “Swedish Teengenerate.” The label claims that they are actually the Swedish Registrators. I refute both parties, and declare them to be the Swedish Phantom Rats. WE CAN NEVER BE FRIENDS! NONE OF US! MORTAL ENEMIES FOR LIFE! I will form a discussion group where we can settle these issues before our differences tear us apart. BEST SONG: “Floozie of the Neighbourhood” BEST SONG TITLE: Same, i guess FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I don’t know the name of that Goner Records font. –Rev. Norb (Plastic Idol)


HEADS, THE:
Under the Stress of a Headlong Drive: CD
Mudhoney eats the brown acid. –Jimmy Alvarado (Alternative Tentacles)


HARD-ONS:
Most People Are a Waste of Time: CD
Loud pop that falls somewhere between the Fastbacks and the Ramones, which unfortunately means it sounds like the Lemonheads or something. –Cuss Baxter (Bad Taste)


HAPPY HATE ME NOTS:
The Good That’s Been Done…An Anthology: 2 x CD
There’s that old saying: “Never judge a two-disc anthology of a now-defunct Australian band by its horrifically ugly cover.” I mean, seriously, the art on this thing is positively awful and totally misleading—I’m talking Dayglo porpoises frolicking amid Photoshopped “tripping acid” backgrounds. If I saw this in a record store, I’d be expecting either some sort of sick, dick-numbing Phish worship or a few hours of really bad house/trance music. Instead, shockingly, HHMN manage to dish out a potent and mostly consistent crossbreed of mid-period Stiff Little Fingers and straight ahead power pop that’s really, really catchy. Two discs of this stuff, and while there are certain drawbacks throughout (they have a tendency to slip in a light and strangling pop ballad here and there, like the lilting “Blue Afternoon,” that I could have really done without) it’s generally pretty steady in its kickassedness. On the punk spectrum, this one’s not kicking out much radiation, though I bet they came across as more jagged and mean live. Still, if authentic, mid-to-late ‘80s power pop blows your hair back, this one’ll do it for you; two discs, plenty of liner notes, featuring the majority of their released material, including b-sides and live radio stuff. –Keith Rosson (Feel Presents)


HAMMERLOCK:
True Grit: The First Five Years: CD
Oh, Hammerlock. I used to listen to a lot of this stuff in the late ‘90s and early into this decade. This band and songs seem to hold up a lot better than I might have expected and better than a lot of their contemporaries. This disc has my favorite tune ever by Hammerlock, “Cold Coors.” A great bar rocker with an awesome mid-tempo sound and a big catchy chorus. I wish they would write more like that. That is where they are at their best; mid tempo and rockin’. Pretty much dug all of these tunes though after not hearing them for a good five years or so. This is a collection of their out of print first two albums on Man’s Ruin so there is a total of 29 songs on here. A pretty good deal for your buck. Real cool Steve Earle and Merle Haggard covers to boot. –Mike Frame (Steel Cage)


GUNS ’N’ ROSA PARKS/IN DEFENCE:
Split Fucking: 7” EP
Okay, look kids, when you bite art from ‘80s records (in this case the cover of Black Flag’s My War album), you don’t earn any cool points. On the contrary, it makes you look like a bunch of uncreative, cheap dumbasses trying to glom onto a scene you haven’t a hope in hell of ever understanding. Now to the task at hand.... Guns ’n’ Rosa Parks: pretty by-the-numbers thrashfest. Tunes are in overdrive, screamer screams, and somehow it still doesn’t quite hit the spot. In Defence: sound like oodles of straight edge bands I saw in the ‘80s. On second thought, maybe their choice of cover art was achingly appropriate. –Jimmy Alvarado (Give Praise)


GUN CALLED TENSION, A / TRIUMPH OF LETHARGY:
Skinned Alive to Death: Split 7”
A split tribute by Leonard Cohen nerds for Leonard Cohen nerds, which isn’t something I would normally go apeshit over, superhero lineups or no. Triumph Of Lethargy (Spencer Moody, Corey Brewer and Dann Galluci) cover a venomous “Diamond in the Mine,” while AGCT’s (Dan Gallucci, Sean Reveron) “There Is a War” is re-realized as a dub jam. In the end, I got suckered into the nerd side of it. –bree (Go Midnight)


GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT:
Ronald McVomits 14 Song Happy Meal: 7”
Nothing gets me more excited than fourteen songs on a 7”. Especially when one of the songs is called “God Is an A-Hole!” Pretty cool. This is straight-forward, female-fronted punk with a humorous approach to political issues. With Sound Idea’s Bob Suren on bass how could it not rip? Also contains the sickest coloring book ever! –Daryl Gussin (Bacon Towne)


GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT:
Ronald McVomit’s 14 Song Happy Meal: 7” EP
No, it wasn’t the barely competent, female-fronted retro-thrash that comprises the music on this. It wasn’t the sarcasm dripping from the lyrics, either. What sold me on this was the four-page coloring book. Everyone loves to have a reason to bust out the crayons, especially when it involves coloring in pictures of Mickey Mouse being crucified and Ronald puking. –Jimmy Alvarado (Bacon Town)


GORT:
Plan of Attack: CDEP
Gort deals in some serious downer noise rock—think Unsane with 1/3 less the manpower but no less sonic bombast and caustic sludge-mongering in the offing. While it may, indeed, be the most “traditional” of the bands guitarist Frank (who has previously raised much ruckus with Spread-Ego, The Naggs and the mighty Cascius Clay) has been a member—the two-man set up may prevent him from veering off on some noisy approximation of a “solo” lest a given song to lose its structure—he more than makes up for structural limitations by slathering cohort Brad’s big-beat wallop with grime ’n’ virulence. Is it something you’d wanna play at yer sister’s quinceañera? Probably not. Unless, of course, you wanna see the grown ups head for the hills in terror. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.flotationrecords.com)


GORCH FOCK:
Thrilller: CD
First off, you’re going to think of Unsane due to the thuddy nature of things, and then presently you’ll think of the Cows because of the trombone, then later you’ll think about Scratch Acid since there’s a Scratch Acid song, then you’ll think about the Cows some more, and maybe Duh or Steel Pole Bath Tub, but in reality Gorch Fock is named after a boat and boy do they sound like it. –Cuss Baxter (Australian Cattle God)


GOONS, THE / LEGBONE:
Split: 7” EP
Goons: Speedy, loud ’n’ fast. Big guitars ’n’ recording, but they manage to avoid sounding sterile. Legbone: Pretty much on the same page as the Goons, with maybe a smidge more melody employed and metal in them geetars. –Jimmy Alvarado (Rat Town)


GONADS:
Old Boots, No Panties: CD
Bushell’s oi band serves up another helping of baldie-rock full of cockney cultcha and lowbrow humor. Although much of the reliance on “rock” guitars ’n’ such ain’t my cup o’ tea, songs like “Infected” were funny enough and the back cover piss-take of Ian Dury’s “New Boots and Panties” cover was good for a laugh. –Jimmy Alvarado (Captain Oi)


GOLDSTARS, THE:
Purple Girlfriend: CD
Neutered bar rock played by the numbers. Sounds like the bands that play on stages at the casinos downtown, rehashing ‘70s rock with crummy, extended guitar solos, dopey, cliched lyrics (“You got a fire, little baby, and I ain’t gonna put you out,” “I ain’t scared of a girl who knows how to rock’n’roll” and “I got a girl who’s always late”) and uncommitted jungle calls. Makes Steve Miller sound like the Milkshakes. –Josh Benke (Pravda)


GOLDBLADE:
Strictly Hardcore: CD
A lot of people I know think these guys are the bee’s knees, and I will freely admit they aren’t without their charms—“Living Outside the Capital” and “16 Tons,” to name a couple, ain’t too shabby—but like U.S. Bombs, I can’t really see what all the fuss is about. For the most part, they sound like a Sham knockoff, albeit a serviceable one, without the politics and righteous anger, and I’m still too fueled by that anger to be impressed by what feels like a watered-down re-creation, no matter how deep the roots of those responsible run. It could be I’m totally obtuse and just not seeing the obvious, but frankly I just don’t get it and can think of so many more bands worth the hoopla. –Jimmy Alvarado (Captain Oi)


GOLDBLADE:
Punk Rockers in the Dance Hall: CD
Compilation of some the choice cuts from their last three records. I hear The Clash, some RFTC, and even some Dammed bubbling underneath. It looks like this Manchester band takes no prisoners with their music. Their “AC/DC” is a nice tribute to Angus and the boys—but not quite as good as Down By Law’s ode to the band. “Uranus” and “Black Elvis” stood out for me on this one. I’d like to see these guys live someday—I bet they smoke it. –Sean Koepenick (SOS)


GILBERT SWITZER / THE HOLD:
State of Nature: Split 7”
It’s always refreshing—when during the tedious chore of laboring through shitty music to review—to be slapped upside the head unceremoniously and without notice. And that’s exactly what Nova Scotia’s Gilbert Switzer did. This band is a three-piece comprised of a singer, guitar player, and two-piece stand-up drummer who dishes out deranged and deconstructed punk rock. Think Flipper, early Butthole Surfers, the Birthday Party and Crime all tossed into a rocks glass and filled with absinthe. This is art punk of the highest degree, and I love it. The Hold didn’t—ahem—hold up as well having to follow Gilbert Switzer but nonetheless ran their crusty gutter punk like a Fiat Spider stuck in third gear. Nicely packaged to boot! –greg (Divorce)


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