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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Split: 7”
Reviews like this are sometimes the hardest to write. This split just isn’t terribly arresting, but at no point did I feel the urge to throw my record player out the window. It’s just one of those cases where there are some punk songs on a little piece of vinyl that spins around when you put the needle on it. Uliczny Opryszek is a Polish band that sings songs in their native tongue (with English translations) about religion being dumb and staying punk forever, complete with namedrops of the Exploited and Conflict. Angry 4 Life’s from San Jose and are generous enough to include the chord progressions to one of their songs. It’s recorded well (always good to see Bart Thurber and House of Faith are still around) and both bands seem to be shooting for that anthemic, songalong kind of streetpunk thing, but again, there’s just nothing to really grab onto and lurch around with while the record spins. Sorry, guys. –Keith Rosson (Cat Food Money)

Slut Bomb: CD
I remember seeing this band up in Santa Barbara a few years back, and damn if this CD doesn’t remind me of how cool of a live band these Angry Amputees are (speaking of Satan Barbara, aren’t the fifteen minutes up for that band, The Ataris? Who’s in charge of watching the clock and keeping time? Their fifteen minutes are over, for fuck’s sake. They need to go away. Now. How dare that band desecrate the happy memories of early ‘80s home videogaming, especially mine in grade school. FUCK!). Ahem… anyways, this is a band you should be checking out. It’s chock fulla chunked-up rock punk that I found myself playing more and more this past week, kind of like the catchy commercial on the television you catch yourself humming along to word-for-word unexpectedly. Not to compare the Amputees to a TV commercial, ‘cause that wouldn’t be fair – commercials usually get the finger from yours truly, but the Angry Amputees get both my thumbs up. Enough hooks and different song tempos to keep your fat head occupied for awhile, not just the same old thrash and bash with monkey beats in the background. Choice butcher block cuts here include “Vanity Fair Blackout,” “She’s Got It All,” and the wonderfully done, early Muffs-sounding rocker, “Put Me to Bed.” Not a bad release, not bad at all. –Designated Dale (Dead Teenager)

Self-titled: 7”
Alix from The Lids and Jay Reatard. What else do you need to know? Doesn’t retread their other bands but just as great and highly recommended. Tight, bed-jumping rock. Has the expected Urinals cover and a Phil Spector-ish song that you will hum everywhere you go… just don’t sing the words in public. –Speedway Randy (Shattered)

Apparent-Transparent: 7”
Oh man this band keeps delivering. Jay Reatard and Alix from The Lids, if you haven’t heard. Redefining new wave in good form: sometimes moody, sometimes fast sounds without pretentious goth or keyboards. They are all business without an inch of waste, from the poppy title track to the haunting “You Fell in” and a killer, cover of “The 15th” by Wire. All of their singles come highly recommended. –Speedway Randy (Plastic Idol)

Apparent Transparent: 7”
I think Mario at Plastic Idol and I are on a very similar page when it comes to music. I have yet to hear any of his releases and not be taken with them. Angry Angles are no exception. My only mistake was not ordering it soon enough, and the first pressing sold out in two days. Luckily for me, Mario reissued it (this time on yellow vinyl and with different colors on the cover). For some reason, I always remember this having keyboards (which it doesn’t). Two originals and a Wire cover on the b-side. –Megan Pants (Plastic Idol)

Sharks and Roaches: CD
If this spew of mediocre pop punk (think about early Bad Religion or early Screeching Weasel, only less musically competent and interesting), generic lyrics about individuality and, like, resistance and shit, bro, had come out twenty-five years ago, someone might have cared then. As it is, I don’t because this says nothing to me about my life or what I face. Hell, I doubt it says anything meaningful to someone in high school who really thinks that Yellowcard’s lyrics are profound. –Puckett (Vinehell)

Split: 7"
Oh no, I don’t need 1996 all over again. I have had enough ska punk and melodic hardcore to last me a lifetime. This has been proven by listening to this single. Angry For Life sound like one of many bands on Fearless or Lethal Records in that era. Dun Bin Had mix their melodicore with some ska for extra ’96-ness. If you miss Falling Sickness or Dynamite Boy you could do worse than this single, I suppose. –Mike Frame (Vinehell)

“Greyed Delay” b/w “The Swell”: 7”
Holy shit, these guys are gnarly. If I had to describe this record in one word it would be “heavy.” The cover is a photograph of a desolate Midwest-looking winter while the back looks to be the same spot during spring. If I had to guess, I would say that these guys recorded this record during the cover photograph and released it when the back happened. These two songs both seem to be about the weather—dark, grey, cold weather. I hate any weather below seventy degrees; if I had to live in the snow, I’m sure I would make music this pissed off too. Check this record out if Folgers isn’t working for you.  –Ryan Nichols (Nervous Habit, nervoushabitrecords@gmail.com, nervoushabitrecords.storeenvy.com)

Self-titled: CD
Nothing chaps my hide more than the thought of folks being oppressed, and the best punk rock has always managed to highlight the plight of those living under the boot heel of some asshole exploiter. This album is a heartfelt primal scream from one of the most brutally overworked, yet criminally overlooked class of worker. I’m talking, of course, about Santa’s elf helpers. Three hundred and sixty five days a year (sixty six on leap year, thanks to Pope Gregory) these folks are worked in conditions Dickens would’ve found revolting to sate the greed of a planet and the obsessions of an overweight sadist with a thing for red pajamas. The Snowmans repurpose twenty of punk rock’s finest songs from the likes of the Misfits, Adolescents, D.I., (Canada’s) Subhumans, Minor Threat, Youth Brigade, Dead Kennedys, and, yes, the Angry Samoans to call attention to the deplorable conditions the “Elves of the North Pole” have endured for millennia, with titles like “Ebeneezer Über Alles,” “Richard Hung His Sock,” “Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Halls Decked in Tonight,” and “Slave to Saint Nick.” These socially aware recreations of punk classics are executed so damn well makes this a must for your favorite anarchist rally. Fucking Santa Claus. I’d shoot the fucker out of the sky next Christmas, but it’d only render the poor little fellas unemployed. –Jimmy Alvarado (myspace.com/angrysnowmans)

Self-titled: CD
It’s weird getting a Christmas CD in June and even more odd is me listening to one. A fun collective from Victoria, BC who have taken the model that Manic Hispanic have made popular and bring you elf-core. They take many OC and punk classics and put on the X-mas and elf flavor on top. Taking the Misfits “Last Caress” and making it into “Last Christmas” or converting the Adolescents classics “Kids of the Black Hole” and “Amoeba” into “Elves of the North Pole” and “Hannukah.” Definitely a keeper and that one record you go to when making X-mas mix tapes for you friends as gifts. I wonder if they only play the last three months of the year? –Donofthedead (Angry Snowmans, myspace.com/angrysnowmans.com)

Self-titled: CD
Classic punk tunes from the likes of Adolescents, Angry Samoans, Ramones, Misfits, etc. are done up by some of Santa’s most disgruntled elves, protesting the horrid working conditions on the North Pole as a result of the jolly old slave driver’s increasingly demanding schedule as the heavily commercialized take on Christmas becomes a year-round endeavor. These elves just wanna cut loose and drink some ‘nog, but Santa’s always harshing their mellow. What a dick. There is something, however, that you can do, dear reader. And that is pick this up and listen and merry make so that you can help the elves restore some of their lost Yuletide cheer. –Jeff Proctor (myspace.com/angrysnowmans)

What We Do Is Festive: LP
I’m not really nuts about Christmas music in general, and I’m REALLY not nuts about Christmassed-up punk, or any Christmas-based rock ‘n’ roll for that matter. You can’t really punk out Christmas, and you can’t really Christmas-out punk—they just don’t go particularly well together ((although getting punk records for Christmas is certainly all reet)), and don’t really need to BE together, if’n you ask me. I’d just as soon listen to those songs from the Rankin-Bass Christmas specials of my youth than listen to punk songs re-done in an X-mas motif, really—but, that said, a lot of these songs really are pretty clever ((Black Flag’s “Jealous Again” as “Joyeux Again,” “Operation” by the Circle Jerks as “Decoration,” and “Wasted Life” by Stiff Little Fingers as the inarguably epic “Wasted Elf”)), so if you’re into this sort of thing, you can buy with confidence and not bother fucking with a gift receipt. First Toymaker to the King represent! BEST SONG: “Wasted Elf,” maybe “Decoration.” BEST SONG TITLE: “What We Do Is Festive” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Although the front cover is a Yuletide take-off on the Germs album cover, the insert provides a similarly brilliant spoof of “Back From Samoa.” –Rev. Norb (Stiff Hombre)

What We Do Is Festive: LP
This is a difficult gig: a punk rock Christmas / comedy album. For example: I already hated the much-compromised modern Vandals, so when they released Oi! to the World, I actively started hating their fans. It is against these overwhelming odds that the Angry Snowmans’ What We Do Is Festive melts my black coal of a heart and replaces it with a blinking red Rudolf nose. They invert both punk’s cynicism and Christmas’s consumerism. Punk joy? Wide-eyed, child-like wonderment of a fun time of year? That’s what this record is. Instead of crooning Bing Crosby and Burl Ives, it’s belligerent Bing and sauced-up Burl ripping the wrapping off the Germs, Fear, Black Flag, Zero Boys, X, Misfits, Fear, (“(I Love) Christmas in the City”), and many more. It’s done in a lovingly manner, extremely punk-knowledgeably, often hysterically. Overthrowing the oppressive North Pole regime never sounded so good. Play it from the day after Thanksgiving until January 1, and we’ve got no beef. Outside of that, the reindeer gets punched. Awesome –Todd Taylor (Stiff Hombre)

Split: Cassette
Animal Eye play some art punk that has some hyper near-thrash elements, with a synth to put a coldness in the room. The singer sounds detached and like he’s singing from across the street. Green Screen Door have a similar sound to Animal Eye, only with more urgency. Which is what’s needed. If it’s punk, it has to have urgency. They lose steam at the end with “Reckless Recluse.” –Matt Average (Midas, midasrecordings.wordpress.com)

Auz Poj/Image Is Nothing: Cassette
This is a cool psychedelic/droney jammer that brings to mind many different bands (that I could list), but at the same time sounds like none of them (so I won’t). It’s heavy at times with (for the lack of a better term) “pretty”-sounding guitar leads interwoven over an unmodulated backbone. I just wish there was more here, as it’s a quick listen. Good stuff.  –Mark Twistworthy (Bummer Tapes, bummertapes.bandcamp.com)

Unfinished Business: LP
Pretty solid gruff hardcore from this band from Switzerland. Sounds like a cross between Warzone and more recent European stuff like Dead Stop. There are gang chorus vocals for days and the tempo is pretty quick. There is a Killing Time cover on here, leading me to believe the NYHC influence is not accidental. –Mike Frame (Take It Back)

Self-titled: 7"
Noise rock from a band that knows how to lock into a groove and milk from it every ounce of chaos possible. While they don’t let up on the volume for one second, they do know how to manipulate the throttle to keep things interesting. –Jimmy Alvarado (Bumpkin Pie)

Run Amuck: CD
One thing is for sure. The Animalistics really, really like Dayglo Abortions. To the point that you might even be able to play this disc for a seasoned Dayglo fan (or a band member, perhaps?) and convince them that it is a lost recording from 1982 or so. In sound and content, these guys got it nailed. The good thing about it is that they emulate the band from the early days before the cheesy metal guitars and Dungeons & Dragons lyrics. The bad part is that it gets old a bit fast. I’d still go out of my way to see them play if they came to town, though. –Ty Stranglehold (theanimalistics@hotmail.com)

2000: The Year of the Future: CD
They sound like a weak Vapors cover band on a Devo kick. –Jimmy Alvarado (Morphius, PO Box 13474, Baltimore, MD 21203)

Self-titled: CDEP
College rock that kind of reminded me of Bob Mould or his band Sugar. –Donofthedead (www.anitamusic.com)

Three Chord Revolution: CD
Man, my wife is going to love this! One Man Army meets the Plimsouls. I need to give this to her now before she tells me that I never turn her on to new music again. –Donofthedead (Union)

The Other Side of the Coin: CD
After To All Our Fallen Heroes and New Union, Old Glory, I need another Ann Beretta record like I need a box set collecting the complete oeuvre of Jimmy Buffett with outtakes, especially when it’s acoustic versions of songs from the first record. I’ve had it. If we’re going to be honest, we need to acknowledge that Ann Beretta had one good album in them but kept tilling and seeding the same creative soil, never letting it lie fallow. And what it all boils down to is this – Bitter Tongues is a damn fine record. It is also the only Ann Beretta album you need. –Puckett (Thrown Brick)

New Union…Old Glory: CD
This doesn’t suck, but their attempts at sounding inspirational fall miserably flat. I found myself skipping from one song to the next after the third track. Jeez, if I’d wanted to listen to Rancid, I woulda put on a Clash record. –Jimmy Alvarado (Lookout)

Live at the Pickle Barrel: LP
Anna Banana From Indiana! is a lady who plays an acoustic guitar and sings. Her lyrics range from Burger King to crack to being depressed and self-medicating. As the title suggests, this is a live recording. Not bad, but I have a feeling that I would be trying to have a conversation while she played had I been in the audience—you know, if I didn’t just leave. –Vincent Battilana (Tame That Poodle)

This is an Exercise: CD
I’ve seen Anna Oxygen play live. And I liked her. Even though I usually actively dislike music that uses computers instead of instruments. The thing about Anna Oxygen is that she has an incredible singing voice. It supercedes the electronic music that she surrounds it with. That said, I find this album very hard to get into. The title track is fairly catchy and aptly named since it makes me feel like I should be in an aerobics class, but the hooks and melodies of most of the songs are obscured by all the electronic affects that Ms. Oxygen has decided to play with. And holy crap, there is one track called “Mechanical Fish” which scares the shit out of me every time it comes on. An unexpected man-voice pouring out of my speakers? Yikes. I think I will take this album down the street and give it to my neighbor, Jessica, who likes to jog and work out and dance in bars full of cute girls. If you like to do those things too, then perhaps this is the perfect album for you. –Jennifer Whiteford (Kill Rock Stars)

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