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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Split: 7”
I’m really digging All In Vinyl’s series of U.K./American splits. They’re totally carrying on the Snuffy Smiles tradition (you know, just with a different country involved). The Amistad: Shit yeah. Catchy-as-hell punk rock from the U.K. Definitely in the same league as their fellow countrymen like Dauntless Elite and Bangers. A couple side notes: 1.) the guitar tone on these recordings is perfect and 2.) “If you find some answers, you’ve got 140 characters” - totally made me look up how many characters you get in a tweet, and lo and behold the answer is 140. New Bruises: One of my major complaints with a lot of “gruff” punk is that a lot of bands, try as they might, aren’t nearly catchy or interesting enough that I find myself humming their songs when alone. New Bruises is one of the bands that I’ve never really had that problem with. Solid stuff! Good split. –Chris Mason (All In Vinyl, allinvinyl.com)

Unity and Rebellion: CD
Here’s something that I wasn’t expecting to be writing. Ammunition is a band that is doing something new in the oi genre. Really. From the looks of the disc, it is pretty much the usual fare. Old English-style fonts, a group of skinheads, a skull, and a mean-looking dog. It was only after I played it that I realized that this was something special. Right off the bat, you notice that it’s really quiet. It wasn’t the mix, but the actual music. Low key, mid-tempo rock with the bass up front. Then the lyrics kicked in. The guy singing has a low, raspy voice and is almost whispering in his delivery. This in itself may not seem at extraordinary, but the lyrics themselves are what you would usually find on this kind of record, so it winds up being pretty amazing to hear someone so relaxed singing about storming the streets, standing and fighting, and hating the cops. It took me a couple of songs to wrap my head around it, but once I did, I really got into it. Cheers to you, Ammunition. You’ve managed to be original in a very static genre. –Ty Stranglehold (Class War)

Bad Fuggum from the Mysterium: CD
One or two of the Electric Eels run through some of their old songs as well as a few Pagans covers and a version of “7 and 7 Is.” Not a bad listen overall, although the Eels intensity is muted somewhat and the performances drag on occasion. The Pagans covers are particularly good. Biggest gripe: No “Cyclotron”? –Jimmy Alvarado (Smog Veil)

...Let the Infection Set In: CD
If anybody lost a whole bunch of delay, I think I found most of it. And while it’s the least bluntly brutal thing I’ve heard from C.N.P., it’s still plenty fucked up, what with the rampant and aforementioned echo, dissonant guitar and off-kilter timings, woozy synth swells and so forth. Too bad these guys weren’t around when I lived in Richmond; you couldn’t dance to the noise rock we had then. –Cuss Baxter (C.N.P.)

Self-titled: 12”EP
One of the supreme difficulties of being a record reviewer is having seen these waves roll in before in sets. It’s far from the first time you’ve surveyed these waves, seen the gales, know how it’ll break, where the kooks’ll cluster. You’re not as in a hurry to suit up and run into the ocean when the yellow flag with the black dot in the middle is flappin’. So, in attempts to not become Ye Olde Jaded Fucke, I took my New Beach Alliance time with Amoebas. I took my paperback out, sat on the sand, took naps, got an unexpected sunburn with crisp lines as the Amoebas played over the public announcement speaker. All this metaphor is to say that there’s a definite line in the sand between bands worth listening to and bands that are just, “Blah, whatever.” The Amoebas are a Michigan band that enjoys the Stitches and the Carbonas in equal measure. It took a few spins to figure, “Yep. They know how to structure a song and how to ride a wave, instead of sneer and expect people to clap at their limited abilities and obscure vinyl collection.” Good stuff. –Todd Taylor (Modern Action / Gimme)

Self-titled: 12”EP
Who are the current kings of releasing the snottiest, ripping punk rock around? Why, Modern Action of course! Another winner in the form of Amoebas. I could list a bunch of bands to put you in the right neighborhood comparatively, but it’s not really worth it. Just know that this record is mind-numbingly good and you should get it now if you don’t already. –Ty Stranglehold (Modern Action)

Self-titled: CD
Modern Action continues to lay claim to the modern take on the early thud-punk sounds of California, and this release only digs ‘em in deeper. Spot-on, these kids are, with a sound that recalls the best of those long-gone days, especially the Skulls, but delivered with none of the cobwebs and dust that usually coats those moldy memories. Great stuff, and worthy of more than a few listens. –Jimmy Alvarado (Modern Action)

Self-titled: CD
Fans of The Stitches or The Briefs will sauce their shorts over this one. All eight of the songs included are incredible blasts of high energy, ‘77-infused, accessible punk of the best kind. The Amoebas debut full length is a true instant classic and easily one of the best albums of the decade so far. As if the music itself wasn’t enough, Modern Action again takes the cake for beautiful packaging, with four editions available (two LP versions and two CD versions). There’s an admittedly fine line between labor of love presentation and the deliberate creation of collector asshole-ism, but it’s all in good fun. The LP is already sold out as of this writing, but I’m sure it’ll be repressed. Sleazy, magical, and just plain rocking, this is a rare heavy hype record that lives up to the hype. And then some. –Art Ettinger (Modern Action, modernactionrecords.com)

Demo: CD
For the most part, I think a lot of what’s considered the “new metal” these days is a truckload of hand-selected shit. You’ve got bands like Korn (yikes), LinkinPark (yow), the ever-annoying Limp Bizkit (will Durst ever shut the fuck up? He and Lars Ulrich need to put their heads together and make an ass outta themselves), and Rage Against The Machine (How’s that shiny, black BMW driving these days, Zack? I bet they have a lot of those on the reservations, huh?). I mean, how many times can these bands take what was created and deemed sacred from bands like Black Sabbath and piss all over it? Search me, but it obviously sells. I gotta give some credit to Amongst the Shadows, though, due to the fact that they ain’t afraid to rock the way they seem fit. I hear glints and glimmers of Maiden in a lot of this demo and I gotta say, for a five-piece outfit whose age range is eighteen to twenty-one, not to mention only being together for a little over six months, ATS can be a band that will be turning a lot of heads if they keep it up. My only piece of advice to these guys would be to kick out some more straight-ahead cuts for us older fucks, like their “Under The Gun” track, ‘cause that song’s happening in my opinion. And Mitch – drop a suggestion to the rest of your bandmates to cover Pantera’s “Fucking Hostile.” I know damn well your band could do a fine version, complete with your vocalist doing Mr. Phillip Anselmo proud. –Designated Dale (band contact: (562) 587-2389)

AMP 176:
Repo'd: CD
Mid-tempo college rock/punk with an almost emo undercurrent that only served to get on my nerves. I heard that at least one of the people involved was in Dillinger Four at one time or another. You'd figure it would have more balls with that name in the band's pedigree. Oh well. –Jimmy Alvarado (Modern Radio, PO Box 8886 Minneapolis, MN 55402)

AMP 176:
Repo: CD
Mid‑tempo college rock/punk with an almost emo undercurrent that only served to get on my nerves. I heard that at least one of the people involved was in Dillinger Four at one time or another. You'd figure it would have more balls with that name in the band's pedigree. Oh well. –Jimmy Alvarado (Modern Radio)

Like Shadows: CD
It’s taking every ounce of nerve I have to not listen to the little David Spade inside my head going, “Yeah I like Ampere. But I liked them better when they were called Orchid.” I do admit, however, that Ampere are a bit more structured and deliver more of the kind of hailstorm-of-bricks heaviness that is crucial when playing such emotive and chaotic hardcore. It’s over before you know it and most songs don’t last any longer than a minute. It’s good, it really is. Maybe in time I’ll come around and listen to more Ampere. –Juan Espinosa (No Idea)

Like Shadows: CD/LP
I used to listen to screamo a lot back in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s and loved it, but thought that stuff akin to Hot Cross and pg. 99 had seen its day. Little did I know that Will, the guitarist from Orchid, has been blazing away since 2002 with Ampere. Where have I been? Then again, it’s taken Ampere nine years to come out with their first full length of fifteen songs, clocking in at thirteen minutes. I understand the interest in brevity, but I usually prefer my screamy hardcore a bit lengthier. That being said, I think that if my life was going to end in some glorious, severe manner, I’d like this to be the soundtrack. This is the sound of the world collapsing, caving in on itself; this is the sound of everything you love going to shit; this is the sound of desperation, of intense hemorrhaging, of nervous breakdowns. Imagine an English-speaking version of Japan’s Envy with much shorter songs and only their full-on blasts of intensity. Former screamo fans—come out of the woodwork and get this! –Kurt Morris (No Idea)

In for Sin: CD
I wanna lump them in with the trash rock crowd, but the Texas blues swagger that literally drips off this band keeps me from doing so. Think of your favorite bar rock heroes getting Lemmy to contribute some vocals to their Lightnin’ Hopkins tribute and you wouldn’t be too far off the mark. Not bad at all. –Jimmy Alvarado (Arclight)

You Will Be Buried Here: CD
College friendly alt-rock. –Jimmy Alvarado (Phratry)

The Oak in the Ashes: CD
A mix of mellow college rock, bop, poetry and maybe a dash of country. There’s some amazing guitar work in the form of two traditional Scottish songs and I really like the eclecticism in that it’s very obvious they’re trying to do something different. I can really get behind that. My only gripe is that I wish there was just a little more bite to their sound or that they’d lower the sonic BOOM now and then, ‘cause that woulda really woke me up after one of the more mellow tracks. Either way, this was pretty good for what it is and if you’d like something a little off the beaten path, you could do far worse than this. –Jimmy Alvarado (Shrimper)

The People at Large: CD
If Harry Smith’s “Anthology of American Folk Music” had consisted of Indian ragas and static-laden field recordings (instead of the hissing and crackling blues songs and child ballads that it is), it might well have sounded like this. Although I’ve heard some people criticize this album as little more than noise, it’s more immediately interesting than the Deerhoof album reviewed elsewhere in these pages precisely because it combines noise with more traditional elements of American music; it begins with a clear understanding of something which is both familiar and forgotten and proceeds to interpret and update those structures in intriguing ways, yielding an album which may prove to be the equivalent of an old Carter Family session in eighty years. Regardless of its future impact, it’s fucking awesome right now and I can’t think of anything better to listen to on this stormy Sunday as I wait for the tornado watches to expire. –Puckett (5 Rue Christine)

Self-titled: CD
Ornery, ass-kicking, snoose-spitting rock that falls somewhere between early Hookers and the Midnight Evils. This is scruffy facial-haired, beer bellied, slam-a-shot-of-Jack, pit-stained wifebeater rock that has a certain beehive-in-the-outhouse charm that I tend to cotton to. I like. Now just come up with a less lame band name and we can begin start discussing what sort of membership gifts I’ll receive for joining the band-formally-known-as Amps II Eleven’s official Fan Club. –aphid (Smog Veil)

Self-titled: CD

Let’s run down the checklist. Let’s see: cloying, sensitive lyrics, arty cover artwork, brooding indy/college nerd music and a band name that makes Jimmy Eat World seem cool. According to my calculations, that puts this cute little rump cupcake squarely in the middle of the musical cess pool popularly known as emo. Listening to this makes me want to pull my own legs off and beat myself into a quiet, blissful coma where bands like An Automotive don’t exist. This emo thing is getting out of hand. It might be time to reach for the Bat Phone and get someone in here to clean up this mess. Where’s Tesco Vee when we need him? –Aphid Peewit (Six Gun Lover)



–aphid (Six Gun Lover)

Discography: CD
Homemade recording from a teenage band out of Sarasota, FL. They’re gone now but they’ve put this out to document their time in the scene. The guitar has an early ‘80s hardcore influence, which is surprising considering the average age of the band members was seventeen back in 2003. “Glory Days” tells a funny story about a has-been musician. “Just The Lucky” is the best song on here. Some of the background vocals could have been a little bit more in key, but so what? Hope these guys last longer than Squirrel Bait and produce more punk rock. –Sean Koepenick (stnorth@mail.usf.edu)

My Czerny: CD-R
This thing had “Beware! Most likely contains ambient and indiscernible home recordings!” written all over it, mostly due to the ambiguousness of the packaging and the lack of much information besides song titles. Instead what we get are some “actually pretty pleasant and tuneful home recordings,” mostly of the, uh, squeezebox/accordion variety, I believe. About half of the handful of tunes here are single-instrument pieces, while the rest feature additional instruments and overall excellent vocal work. Got no idea what it is they’re actually singing about it, but they’ve convinced me, whatever it is. Most likely not gonna make any Razorcake reader’s top ten lists, but was an atmospheric enough run on a night when the rain’s coming down and the wind’s howling around the house. –Keith Rosson (An Historic)

Ephemeral Stampede: CD-R
There are two camps of European folk-inspired contemporary music. The first include the bands and musicians who thoroughly enjoy the music of their fatherlands and wish to modernize the culture to allow greater access to the general public. The second consists of kids who listen to Flogging Molly and Gogol Bordello thinking themselves clever for being a band that pretends to have a wide worldview. I honestly don’t know which section Adam Matlock of An Historic should be placed in. He certainly seems more sincere about this music than most of the specimens I’ve ever seen. His arrangements are clever in parts and lead me to think he’s just a boy from 1930s New York longing to go back to his village in some small country that will soon become assimilated by the looming threat of the communist regime. If this is what he was going for, amazing job. –Bryan Static (Self-released)

Seicremllams: Cassette
One-man band, consisting mostly of a dude singing over an accordion, with the occasional segues into a few wind instruments. This is actually pretty cool and well done, though it’s kinda doubtful that it’d sustain the interest of all that many Razorcake readers. –Keith Rosson (An Historic)

Self-titled: CDEP
Straight outta the 1950s with four songs of rudimentary three-chord trash rock. At least Careena Collins finally gets the musical recognition that she deserves. –Puckett (www.theanabolics.com, info@theanabolics.com)

Self-titled: CDEP
Straight outta the 1950s with four songs of rudimentary three-chord trash rock. At least Careena Collins finally gets the musical recognition that she deserves. –Puckett (No address listed)

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