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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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ANCHOR, THE:
Self-titled: CD
It took me a couple of spins, but this is pretty alright. This album is straightforward, gruffy, pop punk of the melodic variety. One guy sounds like Jason Shevchuk and the other sounds like… well, a dude with a beard and possibly camo shorts. Listening to this makes me regret not going to see them when they swung through a few weeks ago, due to it being a work night (ahh, for the days of not worrying about getting less than eight hours of sleep). Is it groundbreaking? No, I wouldn’t say that, but the songs feel comfortable. I mean that in a good way. This would be a good soundtrack to go out for a walk when it’s warm out to decompress. Summer day punk rock… is that a genre yet? I was gonna try to avoid doing name drops this time, but I can’t avoid it. This sounds like the missing link between None More Black’s Loud About Loathing, Banner Pilot’s Pass the Poison, and a dash of Lawrence Arms, which is pretty good company in my book. –Adrian (ADD, Hot Dogs & Records)


ANCHOR, THE:
Party!: 7”
The Anchor is another one of those bands that I have to thank Razorcake for turning me on to. Great poppy-yet-gravely punk that takes me waaaay back to my late twenties. Party! is the name of the record and that is exactly what I want to do when I hear it. I said it before, and I’ll say it again. Beer, pizza, and The Anchor… a perfect fit. –ty (La Escalera)


ANCHOR/ BREAKDANCE VIETNAM:
Split: CD
Anchor: A lot of guitar wanking in a Helmet-meets-death metal sort of way. The band sounds like it’s just going through the motions. Emotionless metal hardcore. Also a really bad hair metal cover of Skid Row’s "Youth Gone Wild." Breakdance Vietnam: Man, this CD went from bad to worse. Average, generic, mid-tempo melodicore. I need to find something to entertain me. I guess I will go pop that zit on my chin. –don (Triple Crown)


ANCHORMEN, THE:
Nation of Interns:: CD
They rhyme woozy with Vespucci. That’s seriously the highlight of the album. –megan (Unstoppable )


ANCHORS:
Lost at the Bottom of the World: CD
The evolution of metal-core is a mystery I don’t think I’ll ever solve. It went from Cro-Mags breakdowns, basketball jerseys, and windbreaker pants to crew cuts, skinny jeans, and melodies galore. One thing I know I’ll never be able to figure out is where the element of danger went. I don’t need to know much about this band to know that they more than likely are from the suburbs, have money (studio time ain’t cheap!), and that they openly embrace iphones (fair use: it’s in their thanks list). All that comfort and privilege equates to nothing more than safety and is anything but threatening. The roots of hardcore have always been punk—whether anyone involved wants to admit it or not—and, quite frankly, there’s nothing punk about any of those qualities. It’s a shame to think that maybe, just maybe, I could be into this because when the bright spots really shine, this sounds like a very potent blend of Sick Of It All, Good Riddance, and All (Chad Price era). When the haze settles, however, all I see is forty five dollar hoodies, bouncers at the door/stage, and kids texting before, during, and after the show as they drive home in their parent’s Audi. –Juan Espinosa (Creator Destructor, creator-destructor.com)


ANCHORSET:
Self-titled: CD
This gives me the perfect opportunity to talk about something that’s been getting to me with a lot of albums lately – and it’s not exactly a negative review. You take a band that sounds pretty ripping and put them in a studio. Maybe they’re blown away at how good they sound once the levels are tweaked a bit. Maybe they think the producer/mixer/master guy knows more about what they’re doing. When it makes its way to me, I end up hearing something with promise at best, at worst jut some generic shit that I won’t give more than a quick listen. Anchorset falls into the first group for me. I can tell that there’s something there. I’m pretty sure they’d have me floored if I saw them live, but in the recording there’s something missing, or maybe added. It just seems a bit too glossy. I’ve listened to it a bunch of times now and I like it. I like it a lot. I’m not saying that everything needs to be gritty and raw, or that the only way to record a band is live. Some studios just know how to capture that energy better than others. I just get bummed when I hear something that I could really like sounding more like the Offspring. The album is definitely growing quickly on me. And if they can hold the stage with the Marvels (one of Boston’s best, if not fattest bands) they’re more than okay by me. If you’re in the Boston area, I highly suggest checking these guys out.
–megan (Nice Guy)


ANCIENT FILTH:
Self-titled: EP
‘The Fuck? Void meets Flag? My prayers have been answered! No half-assed, cookie cutter, yawn-inducing tunes on this record at all: this is commandeering hardcore punk with a conscience and an air of mysticism. Fantastic artwork. Hateful lyrics. 45RPM. You can’t go wrong! –Juan Espinosa (Shock To The System)


ANCIENT FILTH:
The Illusion of Freedom Is Control: Cassette
Boston maniacs Ancient Filth get back into it full force with their second release of the year after an astonishingly impressive debut 7”. The formula is essentially the same as the last recording: fast hardcore, with raging vocals and lyrics calling out for a higher consciousness of the human race’s doomed existence without wagging a judgmental finger or soapbox preaching. Each song is one ripper after another worthy of any sweaty basement show mosh fest and climaxes with the Crass-gone-hardcore anthem “Fight Fear.” Program repeats on both sides, making this perfect for repeated listens. That is exactly what this cassette deserves. Absolutely mandatory. –Juan Espinosa (Self-released, FNL9000@gmail.com)


ANCIENT FILTH:
You’re Nothing You’re Everything: 7” EP
Massachusetts punks Ancient Filth are back with their second 7” of raging hardcore. As with past releases, the music is one brutal assault after another in the honorable tradition of past MA bands such as Out Cold and Cut The Shit. Lyrically, however, they have much more to scream about than the typical fare of “stabbed in the back” betrayal stories or suburban lethargy and disillusionment. Ancient Filth encourage us all to give a fuck, if not for the sake of others then for the sake of ourselves: to agree to disagree, to call out bullshit (organized religion, capitalist oppression) when necessary, and to question not only our country but our world: “believe nothing, examine everything.” All this without pretense or a high-and-mighty stance on the issues they feel strongest about. The artwork and packaging is, once again, stellar: a booklet sleeve with the lyrics printed on a separate inner booklet stapled in the center and a huge fold-out poster, to boot. Can’t possibly say enough good things about this band. Get this or die posing.  –Juan Espinosa (Ancient Filth self-released, ancientfilth.com)


ANCIENT GREEKS:
The Song Is You: CD
Some people might call this plaintive. I call it sniveling. Other people might refer to these melodies as lilting. I call them wanky. If you believe that using more than three chords is getting into jazz territory, then this is what our world would sound like if Kenny G had founded Stereolab – bland, mindless, inoffensive, innocuous, and so utterly indistinguishable from beige wallpaper that I can’t even call it background music. This is the eighth straight album (out of eight so far) I’ve reviewed for this issue that I hated. I’m beginning to wonder if Todd is punishing me for something… My only hope is that I can sell this shit for enough money to buy a pint of cheap whiskey to annihilate the memory of the indignities which I am currently suffering. –scott (Flameshovel)


ANCIENT SHORES:
Self-titled: 7”
I really liked this 7” quite a lot. It’s pretty intensely heavy hardcore. Sounds a lot like Trap Them, or Hope Conspiracy’s Death Knows Your Name in its ability to smother you with layers instead of chasing you down with speed. A very brutal approach. The vocals are gravelly and the music is surgically precise while letting the guitars hang out for a split second to create a little ambience. Good stuff, very neatly packaged, from a killer label. –Rene Navarro (A389)


ANCIENT SHORES:
CYNARAE: LP
Sweet baby boy. Alright, I’ll start by saying that AncientShores are super cool. Great, heavy hardcore reminiscent of Cursed (Colohan even does vox on a track here) that I’m sure gets the room moving for both young kids and old heshers alike. Great stuff that’s a huge step up from their earlier work. Now, onto Cynarae. Fuuuck me. This band completely destroys me. Their self-titled 12” was one of my favorites of last year, and somehow this is even better. Expanding on the Bremen worship of the 12” and thus defining a more uniquely Cynarae sound, these songs are heavy and melodic, chaotic and calculated, and absolutely furious. It’s nothing new that A389’s got the best stable of heavy bands around, and Cynarae might be right at the top of that heap. Good grief. –Dave Williams (A389)


ANCIENT SLANG:
Fake Future: 7”
Raw, yet well recorded, no wave-style punk. Straight forward and catchy, though. I’m not talking shoegaze or heavy psych here. Close to what some of those really great, fast Viva L’American Deathray Music gems sound like. I’ll be looking forward to hearing more from Ancient Slang. Another winner for Glory Hole Records.  –Steve Adamyk (Glory Hole, gloryholerecords.com)


AND THEN THERE WAS YOU:
What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Stronger: CD

The title of this CD could describe the listening experience. Holy shit, this is the worst thing I’ve ever had to review. A play by play would go something like this: first five seconds: “This might be alright.” Entire rest of the album (which I indeed listened to): “Dear lord, this is ass-ery.” Basically, this is the most painfully earnest-sounding singer in the world playing over that type emo that has aspirations of being youth crew style hardcore, but fails and fails hard. I always faulted Set Your Goals for playing this type of music, but, after hearing this I have a new-found respect for that band. They at least have a semblance of balls to their sound. On the other hand, you seriously want to reach into the music and give the singer for ATTWY a wedgie; maybe leave a bag of poop in his doorway. –Adrian (Indianola)

–Adrian (Indianola)


ANDERS THODE:
Self-titled: 7"
Poppy punk stuff that sounds like it was recorded on a tape recorder wrapped in pillows. The songs are actually quite good, but the sound quality really doesn’t help the cause. –jimmy (Leather Bar)


ANDI SEX GANG:
Blind!: CD
Sex Gang Children is one of those proto-goth bands that is not probably unheard-of by only today’s most dedicated gloom’n’doomer. I’m figuring the biggest reason for this is because, like fellow Batcave denizens like Alien Sex Fiend, their chosen sound was far removed from what became the goth template set forth by bands like Bauhaus and, especially, Sisters Of Mercy. Rather than sing in dour, deep voices, Andi opted for a very nasal post-Rotten screech for the most part, while the rest of the band eschewed all the sludgy minor chord worship and instead mined some bizarre, over the top, dark cabaret/tribal punk hybrid that would’ve made Bertold Brecht giggle with glee. This, released as Andi’s first solo album due to some legal bullshit the band was going through over their name at the time of its 1984 release (and since reissued a few times under the band’s name), is a nice example of what the band does best and stands shoulder-to-shoulder with better known previous releases like Deiche and Sebastiane. If black is your favorite shirt color and you’re looking for something a little off the beaten vampire-inspired track, this’ll be a welcome surprise. –jimmy (www.cherryred.co.uk)


ANDRE WILLIAMS:
The Black Godfather: CD

Although dirty old man Andre's still growlin' and howlin' about the good things in life ‑ pussy, ass, dope and pussy ‑ his rug burn voice no longer resonates visions of orange‑juice soaked BBQ ribs and Bonneville joyrides. Distracted by far less than 36‑24‑38 these days, the gritty "Pass the biscuits, please" signature voice now inertly punctuates the fuzzed‑out guitars of the Countdowns, Blues Explosion, Cheater Slicks and Compulsive Gamblers ‑ Andre's never had so much competition from a bunch of white‑boys‑gone‑black. Ol' Andre, senior citizen, was done plucked plumb outta his weekly‑rate hotel room on Detroit's notorious Cass Corridor and re‑branded as the Pimp of all Pimps, injected with the trademark Jon Spencer sound. A good idea in theory, but much to my chagrin, "Shut the gate Sally, and don't let me in." –thiringer (In The Red, 2627 E. Strong Pl., Anaheim, CA 92706)


ANDRE WILLIAMS:
Aphrodisiac: CD
Pravda Records is still around??? I thought they went out of business like fifteen years ago! I wonder if they still have any copies of that Defoliants ep that Soul Asylum ripped the “Hang Time” cover idea off of. Well, anyway, let the record show that Andre Williams – surely the only human bean to have played both the Apollo Theatre and the Concert Café—has had a fifty year recording career; therefore, my opinion and/or potential endorsement does not and should not matter one pinch o’ poo in the grand scheme of things. That said, whilst i liked Mr. Williams output for Sympathy et al in the 90’s fair enough, 2006 finds me finding his voice wholly unremarkable at this late date in his larnyx’s history, and, worse yet, finds me finding him backed by some anemic white boy soul/r&b/funk outfit to whom WAR (ca. “Spill The Wine”) and Gladys Knight & The Pips appear to be some manner of holy grail. I didn’t much care for this type of music when it was on AM radio when i was a kid in the early ‘70s, and, to tell ya God’s honest truth, i still can’t stand the shit today. If this record still makes your white urbane ass feel like it’s been given an honorary Harlem knighthood, go nuts. Me, i’m still trying to figure out whether or not anyone in his backing band was ever in Too Nice For Nancy. Whoopee ding. BEST SONG: “Uptown Hustle” BEST SONG TITLE: “I Don’t Need Mary (Juana)” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: A few years ago, i played roulette at the same table as Andre Williams. He kept trying to take his chips with him, not realizing that roulette chips stay at the table under penalty of great censure. That’s actually not the fantastic amazing part, though: Later that weekend, i was riding in an elevator with Mr. Williams, and he took a fancy to my shirt. It was a standard Superman t-shirt, except that, instead of being royal blue, as these things tend to be, it was powder blue. Andre Williams kept telling me that my shirt was “the bomb!,” and attempted, several times, to literally purchase the shirt off my back. I wouldn’t sell, and, from that point forward, my powder blue Superman t-shirt was known to me as my “Andre Williams shirt.” Fast forward several years, and i am opening up this month’s package of reviewables from Razorcake, which included this CD. What shirt, might you guess, was i wearing as i opened it? Correct. My Andre Williams powder blue Superman shirt. Doo-DOO-doo-doo-Doo-DOO-doo-doo… –norb (Pravda)


ANDRE WILLIAMS :
The Black Godfather: CD
Although dirty old man Andre's still growlin' and howlin' about the good things in life ‑ pussy, ass, dope and pussy ‑ his rug burn voice no longer resonates visions of orange‑juice soaked BBQ ribs and Bonneville joyrides. Distracted by far less than 36‑24‑38 these days, the gritty "Pass the biscuits, please" signature voice now inertly punctuates the fuzzed‑out guitars of the Countdowns, Blues Explosion, Cheater Slicks and Compulsive Gamblers ‑ Andre's never had so much competition from a bunch of white‑boys‑gone‑black. Ol' Andre, senior citizen, was done plucked plumb outta his weekly‑rate hotel room on Detroit's notorious Cass Corridor and re‑branded as the Pimp of all Pimps, injected with the trademark Jon Spencer sound. A good idea in theory, but much to my chagrin, "Shut the gate Sally, and don't let me in." –Guest Contributor (In the Red)


ANDREA DORIA, THE:
Champagne Dreams on a Beer Budget: CD
This was a bit of a rollercoaster ride. It looks like a cheesy emo rock, and At The Drive-In kind of thing in both album cover and band name. Wait a minute... There are some downright hilarious song titles here... “No You Shut the Fuck Up, Dad”? “This Company Has a Very Strict Bro’s Before Ho’s Policy”?... Could I be wrong? I got my hopes up as I popped the disc in my computer. It looks like I was right the first time... I guess humor is an emotion too, but it sure didn’t come across in anything but the song titles. –ty (myspace.com/theandreadoriaband)


ANDREW BUSHARD:
and Unique Romantic Songs: CD
I can’t decide if this home-studio, one-man-bandish thing (Why, why is there so much of this shit these days?) is just that terrible, or if the artist (?) is trying to make something so terrible it’s “good.” For the record, I got sick of that kind of irony fifteen years ago, so if the latter is in fact the purpose, it’s still terrible, if not more so since the joke falls flat. Warbly, nasally, monotone vocals, often with a single note the Casio keyboard in time to the syllabics, with no real melody to speak of. Fifty minutes that I’ll never back. Sheesh. –The Lord Kveldulfr (No address listed)


ANDREW DOUGLAS ROTHBARD:
Abandoned Meander: CD-R
This guy used to play in The Slaves, then VSS, then Pleasure Forever. I saw The Slaves at a house party back in ‘99 in Tempe, AZ. I thought they ruled. They played spaced-out noise music that was almost danceable. I think they were even playing in the kitchen but my memory might be a little foggy. All that said, this is the noisy, space part of the band. The vocals and mix of acoustic guitar make it seem ‘60s-out. I’m sure this guy’s brain is partially composed of hash. I feel that he became inspired to write this record while studying the different Hindu gods and goddesses one night. This could be on the movie Felix the Cat, when he is getting totally baked in the bath tub and starts floating. –Buttertooth (Smooch, www.smoochrecords.com)


ANDREW JACKSON JIHAD:
Candy, Cigarettes, and Cap Guns: CD
Take the political, acoustic, folk punk of Defiance, Ohio and strip down the sound more, take out the female vocals, and really ratchet up the sarcasm. They also have a tendency in this release to sometimes make so-dumb-it-must-be-smart lyrical choices worthy of their folk punk predecessors in the Dead Milkmen. Also, they really hate the hipsters—as expressed in one of their untitled songs—a sentiment I can totally share after going to the Detour Fest in Downtown L.A. –Adrian (No address)


ANDREW JACKSON JIHAD:
Only God Can Judge Me: CD
If my CD player had a replay button, I would have pushed it. Instead I got off the couch on which I reside to press play over and over again. The album artwork is really great and features sketches of very cute little animals. It made me wish the cats with whom I share said couch were smart enough to appreciate that someone had written a song about them and their little mouse enemies. Maybe they would end the war, but then again we have Crass and look at us. Imagine early Against Me! (Crime-era) meeting Bright Eyes just to jam acoustic at the park over a couple of beers. The music is very sparse with usually just a stand-up bass and acoustic guitar, but this guy’s voice is so raw and real; it grips your attention and doesn’t let go. –Rene Navarro (Plan-It-X)


ANDREW JACKSON JIHAD:
Can’t Maintain: CD
This recording shows Andrew Jackson Jihad playing a bunch of songs you’ve already heard if you’re a fan, but with a bunch of backing musicians. If you already love this band, you’re sure to love this as well. If you’ve been passing on it due to their strictly acoustic sound, this might be the album that wins you over with everything from blazing guitar to trombone and theremin. –Rene Navarro (Asian Man)


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