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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Self-titled: 7”
Catchy retro-new wave is the order of the day here, dripping with pop hooks and slight ‘50s undertones. Perfect for your next KROQ Flashback Weekend get-together. –Jimmy Alvarado –Jimmy Alvarado (Tic Tac Totally, tictactotally.com)

Self-titled: CD
Musically, it’s sorta reminiscent of Underground Railroad To Candyland: bounce-happy songs, with fun time keys and percussion, while, at the same time, the guitar sounds kinda sad, adding some emotional depth. Vocals are more on the gruff, blown-out side, however, making the songs a bit more urgent than URTC’s with Todd C’s slackadaisical singing style, though sometimes the vocals sound a little too much like Tom Gabel for me. Otherwise, this is a fine release. –Jeff Proctor (AMCR)

The Mt. Holly Sessions: CD
This guy is like a punk rock Tom Waits, but with more folk and less blues. Raucous and stripped-down acoustic folk-punk with a sense of humor and some demons in the closet. Sarah Shay –Guest Contributor (Afterbirth Casserole, no address)

Split: 7"
Andy The Doorbum: The first song’s a pretty decent little folk punk (acoustic guitar with a beard—what else can you call it?) indie rockin’ ditty about taking too much medication. I kinda dug it and thought to myself, “Hey, maybe this won’t suck.” The second song sorta sucks. Can’t win ‘em all, Andy. Yardwork: (Or is it Yard Work, two words? I have no clue.) Eh...it’s okay. Sorta indie-ish in that lazy Pavement way. (Y’know, good at their instruments with decent melodies but too cool to really make it hang together right or play tight.) I’m sure there’s a better comparison to make here in 2011 but I’m probably the wrong guy to make it. The more I listen, the more I can enjoy the tunes but I wouldn’t see myself going back to this once I’m done reviewing it. It’s just not my thing. –Ryan Horky (Self Aware, selfawarerecords.com)

Dying to Live: 12” EP
Powerful and heavy hardcore that sounds like a mix of Deadguy and Gordon Solie Motherfuckers. Aneurysm Rats features members from Paint It Black, None More Black, and others. They expand on their musical past with more potency and darkness. The songs are a mix of speed and mid tempos that somehow create a chaotic din when they throw it into fourth gear. The vocalist sounds a bit like Tony Erba as well. I like how they sequenced the songs on this album to run into one another, which allows them to create a mood throughout: one of disenchantment, confusion, and other feelings of abnormality in a fucked-up and diseased world. –Matt Average (Assassinated, assassinatedrecords.com)

David James and Port Wine Authority: CD
At first, I sort of dug this in that whole "this has nothing to do with Razorcake's normal music it reviews, but what the heck?" way, but when it got to the sixth track and it started to sound like Dave Matthews Band, I knew it was time to pull the plug. -Kurt Morris –Guest Contributor (Sling Slang, www.slingslang.com)

Deadrose Junction: CD
Being on Sailor’s Grave and having the Wild West tattoo flash style graphics abound, I was sure that this was either going to be some kind of rockabilly or greaser rock or something… Let’s just say I wasn’t expecting what I got. No, I wasn’t prepared for the second coming of cock rock, and I’m not too sure that anyone should have to. Seriously, Angel City Outcasts sound like some ridiculous combination of Poison, Great White, and the rest of their ilk with the only distinction being that they may have slightly better production. I managed to listen to the first four songs in their entirety while walking to work. After that, I had to start skipping them after the first verse, and by the time I got to the shop I was hearing the melancholy strumming in the intro to what I can only guess was the token power ballad. My gag reflex forced me to turn it off. I hate the smell of denim and spandex in the morning… It smells of weakness.   –Ty Stranglehold (Sailor’s Grave)

2,000 Pints and Going Strong!: CDEP
Like with all catchy oi, you’ve gotta check the lyrics, lest you realize halfway through singing along that you’re singing “God bless America the Great! Boot to the black man’s face!” So I went on their website, and I discovered the lyrics to a song called “Popeye in Afghanistan.” This song isn’t on the CDEP, but the lyrics give you a good reason why you’d probably not like this band. The song is about a US soldier in the Middle East. Here we go. “Then he came upon a caravan/Trying to get across to Pakistan/When the evil one had showed his face/Our hero put him in his place/Let that be a lesson now/To all our enemies on the prowl/When you mess with the best the great US/You’ll end up in a world of stress.” First of all, that last rhyme has to be one of the lamest I’ve read in a long time. (A “world of stress”? Come on!) And second…well, do I even need to say it? If this were a cereal, it’d be United We Stand-Ohs. –Maddy (Self-released)

Something to Do with Death: CD
Weird one, this is. I guess it would be considered “screamo,” but to me it approximates what the Cocteau Twins would sound like if they were into Marshall stacks and had Dan from Die Kreuzen shredding his vocal chords for ‘em. Can’t say I dig ‘em, but they get points for making me invoke the names of two of the most disparate bands imaginable in the same sentence. –Jimmy Alvarado (Underground Communiqué)

And for a Roof a Sky Full of Stars: CDEP
Dense, brooding, scary music from this Chicago band. There are only two songs, but they total twenty-seven minutes. Dark, moody, and, overall, pretty cool. The band’s website is vanfuckingcleef.com. I guess they are way more into Ennio Morricone than I am! Warning: don’t put this on late at night if you are home alone. You could get scared. –Sean Koepenick (Underground Communique)

Split: 7” EP
Six String Jets: Loud, overdriven, and full of swagger. Angel Sluts: Their side isn’t as sonically overbearing as the Jets, but the tunes are filled with just as much attitude. Good stuff. –Jimmy Alvarado (Wrecked ‘Em)

Hot Teen Action: 7"
I got to admit, the concept of bands with dopey names like “The Angel Sluts” and dopier record titles like Hot Teen Action and even-dopier-than-that record covers depicting (presumably) their (female) fishnet-clad background-vocalist-slash-tambourine-players from the waist down is not what i would consider to be a fresh one. But, that said, the record itself is pretty cool, and, ultimately, that’s what matters, so, like, who gives a fuck if the bass player’s name is “Tommy Torture” and the inner sleeve portrays a fat dude from the neck down with “THE ANGEL SLUTS” written across his gut which isn’t all that impressive when you remember that there was that Poison Idea record cover where the fat dude pictured from the neck down had actually carved the phrase “KINGS OF PUNK” into his gut with a fuckin’ RAZORBLADE??? This doesn’t sound like the Reatards outright, but it sounds enough like the Reatards (dirty guitars, trashy sound, Radio Shack™ microphone vocals) that anyone who picks up records from Memphis bands in the hopes that they sound like the Reatards won’t be disappointed, i’m guessing. Actually, it sort of sounds like a cross between the Reatards and all those guitar bands that defined the Sympathy for the Record Industry sound about fifteen years ago. Oh, what the hell, we all love the first Saints album here, let’s drink. BEST SONG: “5 and Dime” BEST SONG TITLE: I’ll say “5 and Dime” again, because new Razorcake regulations indicate that i am required to spell that phrase “FIVE and Dime” and i like to stick it to The Man. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Record contains an insert depicting a silhouetted pole dancer coupled with the phrase “I SUPPORT SINGLE MOMS,” which, as someone that deals with strippers/ escorts/you-name-its on a daily basis at work, amuses me to no end—so i’m taping it to the top of my computer monitor until my boss tells me i have to take it down. –Rev. Norb (Wrecked ‘Em)

Designer Heat: CD
Amped-up, dirty, blazing garage punk is what this band plays. This is a band that would have been very much at home on Junk Records a decade ago and on stage opening for the Candy Snatchers or the Hookers. Fans of everything from Electric Frankenstein to Stiletto Boys to the Bodies and Stitches will find a whole lot to like on this disc. –Mike Frame (Wrecked ‘Em)

Suesie Was a Nihilist: 7” EP
“This Is Violence” sounds like a cross between “New Rose” by the Damned and “Don’t Be Afraid to Pogo” by the Gears. “That’s What I Say” is a cool punk-Stax stomper, with real or simulated brass buried somewhere underneath all the punk. I thought “Social Breakdown” sounded like “She Loves Me Not” by the Dickies, but then they started playing guitar leads and i didn’t know what it sounded like. “Untitled” doesn’t sound like anything i can name, except for when they start playing the first little guitar lead, which makes me think of the Damned again, which many would consider a sign that the record should be played a second time, but the very last chord sounds like the last chord in “Submission” by the Sex Pistols, which kinds of puts an end to such musings. I do not disapprove of this record. BEST SONG: Either “Untitled” or “That’s What I Say.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Untitled.” Wait, they stole that from JFA! FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I received two 45s to review this issue, and both had drawings of scantily-clad girls on the covers. –Rev. Norb (Fat Sandwich)

Singles Staring at the Steady: CD
I like this band. They’re like the band that’s last on the bill of a night with a bunch of half-dull bands that you only came out to see because your friend was in one of them and you felt you had to show up out of obligation, and your feet are kind of tired and you kind of think it’d be nice to just go home and take your shoes off and watch Mission: Impossible and call it a night, but you figure you better stick around for the last band or you’ll look like a douche, and then they rock it and you get one more beer and you dance around like a dumbass and spill half your beer and go back and get two more, and, at the end, you realize that sticking around for that band just made your night. It also made you kind of smelly and gross, too, but, y’know, one takes what the market will bear. I realize that, over the years, i’ve compared this band to an insipid number of other bands, all told, but, following staunch perusal this singles/odds/ends compilation, i think i’m settling in on an overall Mullens comparison—straightahead, effective rockers, without time nor inclination to get overly cute nor clever about things. Uh, “Love” notwithstanding, of course. Keep it slutty, yo. BEST SONG: Well, of the songs I hadn’t heard previously, I’ll say “44.” Old faves like “5 And Dime” and “Untitled” are still swell, too. BEST SONG TITLE: “Untitled.” The Angel Sluts don’t have time for this jiggery-pokery! FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The CD cover is made to look like a flattened-out cassette J-card. This is either really clever or totally fucking stupid. Possibly both. –Rev. Norb (Fat Sandwich, fatsandwichrecords.com)

Sons of Spartacus: CD
Uhh…. no. As much as I may have liked this band in the past, this just doesn’t quite cut the mustard. While this is by no means an embarrassing record for these guys, as there are some songs here that are really quite good, there’s more than a little fat (about half the tracks) that could’ve been trimmed (starting with the ballads – they sound like Alarm outtakes, guys) and this would’ve been a mighty fine addition to their discography. Included is a song called “Anti-Nazi,” which I guess Mensi’s hopin’ will clear up any lingering misconceptions stemming from interviews he did more than two decades ago. –Jimmy Alvarado (Captain Oi)

Still from the Heart: CD
With album number five, the Upstarts took a stab at a more "commercial" sound and effectively zapped virtually of the all-important punk energy from their sound, ending up with an album that pretty much blows. Fortunately, Captain Oi has had the foresight to include a slew of demo versions of some of the album's songs, which are damn good and show how good an album this could've been had they just stuck to their guns. –Jimmy Alvarado (Captain Oi)

Punk Singles Collection: CD
The collected A-sides from this band’s assorted singles are compiled on one disc so’s you don’t hafta keep getting’ up every few minutes to change the record. All the hits are here, including “I’m An Upstart,” “Liddle Towers,” “Woman In Disguise,” etc., so if yer lookin’ for a decent overview of their career without the commitment of actually buying an album or two, this should do the trick. My only gripe is that it would’ve been nice to have a couple of the B-sides on disc as well, namely “Lust for Glory.” Ah, well, such is life, I guess. –Jimmy Alvarado (Captain Oi)

Teenage Warning: CD
Hear that? That’s me kicking a hole in my wall as I crank this bad boy full volume. This, a reissue of the band’s classic first album, still sounds as great as it did way back when. Primal punk ranting and raving, football terrace chant choruses and classics like “The Murder of Liddle Towers,” “I’m an Upstart,” and “Leave Me Alone” make this a must-have for any self-respecting punk fan. To sweeten the deal, Captain Oi has tacked on the single versions of “LiddleTowers” and “Police Oppression.” –Jimmy Alvarado (Captain Oi)

We Gotta Get Out of This Place: CD
A reissue of album number two, this one featuring punk/oi staples “Police Oppression,” “Never ’ad Nothin’,” and many others as well as a couple more single B-sides. Right up there in quality to their first album and featuring more of what made that album so great, although they probably could’ve skipped the cover of the title track, originally a hit in the ‘60s for the Animals. –Jimmy Alvarado (Captain Oi)

Sons of Spartacus: CD
Now I know these blokes have been around forever, carrying the proud street punk torch and squashing nazi skinheads beneath their jack boots whenever possible, but I don’t know if I’ve ever heard more than a couple of their songs. But I was elated to see their pictures on this disc: they’re unapologetically old, pudgy, ugly and all suffering from male pattern baldness. I was all ready to embrace my new musical heroes and then I hit the play button. Um, looking like the fat middle-aged guys in The Full Monty is one thing, but to look like that and sound fat and middle-aged is another thing entirely. It doesn’t start out too bad — mid-tempo-ish and a bit workman-like — but then the wheels break off and the whole thing slides off into the ditch when they pull out a sappy power ballad that could have been penned by (ugh!) Brett Michaels from Poison. I guess it’s kind of funny to hear some guys who look like this doing a hair metal style power ballad, but I’d like to hear their stuff from back when they had a little more hair and fewer chins. And zero power ballads. They probably tore it up back then. But as it is now, I’m sorry to report, these guys seem like they should share a crate of viagra with Bob Dole. –aphid (Insurgence)

We Are the Wolves: CD
What started off with an interesting, twangy country guitar bit quickly sank into bland, boring nouveau hardcore-land. –Jimmy Alvarado (Happy Couples Never Last)

Can’t Go Home: CDEP
Straight edge hardcore that plays like a soundtrack to a panic attack or going through the day with a high level of anxiety. Metallic riffing and the screamy vocals keep things aggressive. If you have little penis syndrome, like me, bands like this are a good remedy. Weird name for a label. Unique. –Donofthedead (Happy Couples Never Last)

State of NJ vs. Anger: CD
Some pretty strong, clean sounding hardcore with varying speeds that is sometimes a little reminiscent of the Fixtures. Some of the lyrics are a little questionable at best, especially "Bull Dyke," which should raise a few eyebrows over at the MRR compound. Musically, though, this is pretty solid. –Jimmy Alvarado (HOA, PO Box 442, Pompton Lakes, NJ 07442)

Loss: CD-R
Are you pining away for the Revolution Summer? Do you wish more bands were taking cues from mid-’80s Washington DC bands? Well, this might be for you. Anger House are a “classic era” Dischord Records-inspired band from Denton, TX who seem heavily inspired by one of my favorite periods of U.S. hardcore, sounding not unlike the bands Rites Of Spring, Rain, or One Last Wish. This is the sound that we once called “emo” before that term was co-opted by mid-’90s bands to mean something else entirely. Anger House seems to know exactly what they’re doing and what they want to sound like, wearing their hearts on their sleeves. –Mark Twistworthy (angerhouse.bandcamp.com)

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