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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Nuclear Empire of Apocalypse: LP
Death/black metal from Italy, this record is a tight piece of petrol. Thankfully, they saved the ambient interlude tracks for the sons of Odin and focused on keeping the pummel coming. The blasts are time-perfect, the recording is roomy and dank, and the title of the album couldn’t be cooler. No regrets here. –Andrew Flanagan  –Guest Contributor (Nuclear War Now!, www.nwnprod.com)

Exposed/Time to Die: 7" EP
My first impression was that there was a lot of Midwestern hardcore influence here. After repeated listens, though, I’m leaning a bit more towards a mid-’80s Southern California foundation with a bit of that Midwestern brute force brought in through the windows. Gruff vocals, gallop tempos, muscley delivery, this’ll definitely rattle your cage –jimmy (Dry Heave, dryheaverecords.limitedrun.com)

self-titled: CD-EP
Blasting Agents are an ugly, mean, and nasty group of midwestern auditory terrorists who are as frenetically out-of-control as a blinding apocalyptic windstorm. Their menacing musical misbehavior is a barroom-brawlin’, 18-wheelin’ cacophony of balls-out rock’n’roll brazenness that’s equal parts punk, metal, and rockabilly. It’s trashy, twisted, and turbulent; the manly, swaggering sound of hard-drinking working-class pugnaciousness; the 21st Century’s robust and brash answer to the Minutemen. Hell yeh, this lively lil’ platter of unadulterated aural attitude packs all of the relentless stinging power of a swift uppercut to the jaw; so put up your dukes, kiddies, and prepare to get hit hard! –Roger Moser Jr. (Blasting Agents)

Theme for a Dying World: CD
Blastmat attempts an early ‘80s hardcore sound. Think: The Adolescents and Minor Threat. Not bad, and pretty catchy at times. But I was disappointed because when I glanced at the song titles, I saw “Taliban Fight Song,” which had incredible potential. Sadly, the song was not the hilarious joke I expected it to be, but was just a funny title. Oh well. There’s a mediocre AC/DC cover (“Dog Eat Dog”) on this as well. If this were a cereal, it’d be a slightly stale box of Kix. Kix = early ‘80s hardcore, stale because Blastmat’s nowhere near as good as, say, the Dils or the Germs. But then again, what is? –Maddy (Blastmat)

A punk band striving for that 1984 feel. Trouble is, the metal touch to the guitars makes it feel more like 1986 than ‘84. Liked the live tracks better than the studio tracks. –jimmy (www.blasmat.freeservers.com)

Broke Life, Working Class: CD
I was an immediate fan of Blastmat’s music. Featuring members of Forced Reality, their songs included plenty of aggressive but catchy riffs, with plenty of parts to make you want to bedroom mosh or circle pit around your living room couch. Some sweet guitar leads and a solid rhythm section completed the musical package. Blastmat have a strong NYHC vibe that I was very into. (Their singer even sounds a tad like Sick Of It All’s Lou Koller at times.) With the album title I thought I had a good idea what Blastmat’s lyrics were going to be about before I even listened to them. While working class pride and the struggle to survive are themes I can easily get down with, I found the nationalist tones of some of Blastmat’s lyrics a bit problematic. I’m no Berkman or Bakunin, but calling out that, “I’m an American, born and raised,” in the track “Yup,” and saying “America gives too much charity, it’s time to take it back,” at the end of the track “Uprising” to make your point, doesn’t reflect working class solidarity as I understand it. I hope that Blastmat will develop a more pluralist understanding of working class pride (might I suggest reading What Is Anarchism? by Alexander Berkman, or Anarcho-Syndicalismby Rudolf Rocker), but, overall, I ended up with some mixed feelings about this.  –Paul J. Comeau (United Riot, reitano@sbcglobal.net, unitedriotrecords.com)

666-Pack: CD
This one got buried in my review pile for a little bit. This is pretty straightforward poppy punk with a touch of rock and rollishness that breezes by pretty quick, as only two of the ten songs surpass two minutes. It’s a pretty good release, actually, and sounds like it could have probably been a lost Epitaph or Fat Wreck album from fifteen years ago. The singer guy has one of those very limited range everyman shouts, like Paddy from Dillinger 4 or the guy from Pegboy, which he manages to make work for him. Plus one of the songs is a Marty Robbins cover that isn’t “El Paso” or “Devil Woman.” Not too shabby at all. –Adrian (The Blastoffs)

Sin to Win: CD
Stripped down, no-frills punk’n’roll with a crushing low end that makes me want to break shit. At times it becomes a bit dull and formulaic, but not that often, and some of these tunes knock me over like a swift kick in the nutsack, but in a good way. –Guest Contributor (The Blastoffs)

Boy in the Mirror: CD
Ack! I’m two seconds in and already the lame distorted vocals start! This is as bad as the band name would suggest! Boring rock! Argh! Fie! Feck! Fiddlesticks! And they cover “Don’t You (Forget about Me).” If this were a cereal, it’d be Berry Berry Kix. Barf! –Maddy (Independent Artists Alliance)

Cheaper than the Beer: 7”
Imagine if the Crass song “Reject of Society” was a band and recorded an EP in Berkeley, California circa 1991. Well it pretty much happened and this is it. Powerful, off-kilter songs that are just so pissed, almost tuneless, and really fucking good. While prolific bands like this are lousy with context, it’s nice to separate these songs from everything else and enjoy them for how strangely beautifully ugly they really are. –Daryl Gussin (Silver Sprocket)

The Shit Split: CD
Wow! Reviewing this in 2009 is a little strange, but it’s been re-released on Alternative Tentacles, leading to the only logical conclusion: Blatz and Filth desperately wanted me to review this and this was the only possible way! Thank you Anna Joy, Jesse, and the rest of the gang! First, the Filth side. Let’s be honest. I can’t get into Filth. I mean it would be strange if I liked Filth, but that’s okay because a lot of people do, so there’s no reason for Filth to sit around in a squat and cry. Blatz, on the other hand, well, there’s not much to say except that: I love, love, love this band! A good portion of my high school years were spent singing along to “Cockroach Café” while contemplating how much I hated ninety-eight percent of the people I knew! Screamy yet poppy! Screamy in the most amazing way! Punk rock! If the Blatz side were a split, it’d be Frosted Mini-Wheats, rough around the edges, but with sugar on top! Filth would be regular Mini-Wheats, of course! If you don’t own this, you know what you need to do. –Maddy (Alternative Tentacles)

For No Apparent Reason: LP
Lo-fi supergroup featuring Lamont Thomas of Obnox and two OBN IIIs. It sounds like a plane taking off over an MC5 concert. The songs run long, but some hooks shine through, and the result is surprisingly cathartic, considering the record is more static than song.  –Chris Terry (12XU)

Mas Chingon: CD
Don’t worry, although Blazing Haley loosely fit into the psychobilly/rockabilly mold, they don’t play like they’re recording and episode for the Halloween episode of Happy Days or making songs that could be used to sell Cheez Whiz to folks with pompadours,nor do they sound like they spend too much time deliberating on the height of their jeans’ cuffs. Balls, bite, and drive overcome all that. They’re my reigning favorite if I want a change of pace from straight-ahead punk, to something infused with more country. They come across more authentic and stylistically together than Tiger Army, and have more diverse tempos and are less schlocky than The Slanderin’. Go right to the top. They remind me of prime Reverend Horton Heat –bluegrass stains on their knees, there’s amazing dexterity in their fingers without becoming flashy, and they’re able to pull off slower songs that come out of the stereo like smoke rising off a single cigarette in a still room. When they pick up, lead singer Matt Armor picks up a classic Greg Graffin of Bad Religion tone to his voice that somehow fits right in with Dave Kruger’s frantic standup bass. Okay, I’ll say it. If you wish X had written a good song in the last fifteen years and Exene was muted, you’d be listening to Blazing Haley whenever you slick you hair back. Cool stuff. –todd (Rode to Ruin)

Mas Chingon: CD
After waiting months for this full length to be finalized and pressed, I finally got what I was waiting for all along – the thunder that defines Blazing Haley: seminal rock and roll guitar that's not afraid to get loud; galloping standup bass that's so wonderfully thick live, you could cut it with a straight razor; manic, all-over-the-place drumming, making you wonder if Gene Krupa hit the crack pipe years back; and a singer who can wail it out with the best of 'em, still making it hard for me to believe that he's only been belting it out for only five years. Talent here, and lots fucking of it. Ten songs that call to mind '50s teenage lust, like "Trailer Park Annie," "Date with Ivy," and the party-rocking "They Get Bad Fast." They even recorded their version of Black Sabbath's "Black Sabbath" as a bonus track, and I'd like to add that they've been playing it long before the instant adoration of Ozzy/Ozfest/The Osbournes became so recently fashionable. It's unfortunate that Blazing Haley sometimes gets lumped into the "rockabilly" category, aka The Fonzie Dung Heap, because BH have got one hell of an outfit happening amongst their peers, usually leaving them buried in the dust after just one of their tried and true live gigs. It's also really unfortunate that no record labels have taken the opportunity to get up off their assses and done something with Blazing Haley. I mean, fuck, at least talk with this band, fer chrissakes! What more do you need? A fucking engraved invitation? This disc kills the competition of what's considered "hot" for Top 40 standards. But, then again, fuck Top 40. This is rock and roll. This is Blazing Haley. (david@blazinghaley.com">david@blazinghaley.com) –dale (Rode To Ruin)

Self-titled: CD
Skronky, technically proficient noise-punk/metal courtesy of three Japanese women who know how to raise a racket with the best of ’em. My interest level piqued somewhere around the middle of the second song and dropped off rapidly thereafter, but there’s no denying they are definitely good at what they do. –jimmy (Australian Cattle God)

Puke Wave: 7” EP
Judging from the looks and sound of these guys, plus the location of the label, I think it’s a safe bet this ain’t the U.K. Bleach Boys, whose 1978 single “Chloroform” was such a swell bit of limey indie-punk. You get four tracks of punk-fueled surf instrumentals, including the obligatory cover of “Pipeline.” Outside of leaving one to wonder why no one covers the Lively Ones’ “Goofy Foot” just to change things up a bit, this wasn’t bad at all. –jimmy (Rabid Dog)

The Head That Controls Both Right and Left Sides Eats Meats and Slobbers Even To: CD
This CD does the band no justice. I saw this band live a few years ago. We saw three Japanese women set up and just wrote them off as another pop punk band. Right from the first note, they wailed through song after song of pure mayhem. Picture a mix of Melt Banana meets Primus who give birth a bastard threesome. This release has a more progressive and mature sound to it with more control in the songs. I don’t feel the same constant, manic energy from when I saw the band live. But the track “Torch” is an interesting song. The song, though sung in Japanese, has a very sing-a-long feel to it even when the music has more of punk meets a rock metal hybrid. It personally stands out for me as the highlight track. The track “Not Peter” is the track that most identifies, for me, the sound of the band: fast punk with screaming vocals. One thing’s for sure: the band is a tough one to pigeon hole on this release. It can be pretty one second to ugly and noisy in the next and then flop into some funk/jazz groove. A little more challenging to listen to, but if you put in the effort, it will be satisfying in the end. –don (High Wave)

Million Miles Away: CD
It’s a well-known fact, folks: I utterly fuckin’-A cannot stand the vast majority of metal-tinged musical mediocrity with all of its vile guitar-wank wizardry out there in limp-rockin’ HeadBangers Hell; and I especially loathe the sweaty nutsack grindmetal bullshit and watered-down meat-head rapmetal moronity that vomituously saturates the airwaves, video screens, and smoke-enshrouded nightclub stages all across this complacently incognizant land of ours. As for my particular metal tastes, I have no use whatsoever for bland corporate cocksuckers like Limp Dick Biscuit, Linkin TurdLog Park, Rage Against The Masses, PantyTerror, Shitknot, KornHole, Godcrack, Mama Roach, and other such knuckle-headed aural uselessness. Yep, if it’s not Black Sabbath, Motorhead, AC/DC, or Venom, I ain’t interested, and that’s all there is to it! With the obvious so belligerently stated, I must now confess that this disc is a bit of a sonic surprise to my jaded old punkrock ears. Even though Bleed nostalgically crank-out a mullet-curlin’ array of ‘80s-inspired glamour-puss hairspray-metal, it’s strangely appealing nonetheless. There’s a slight Southern-rock edge slithering throughout the songs and grungey distortion-heavy overtones that ornately embellish the true underlying textures within. Yeh, it’s ultimately MTV-friendly metal posturing ala somethin’ perfectly replicated from the colorful leather-clad backpages of the poofy-hair era (I’m hearin’ over-amped traces of Dokken, Tesla, The Scorpions, Guns’n’Roses, Motley Crue, and even a slight smidgen of Alice In Chains); but, damn, it takes me back in time to the pubescent stoned-immaculate days of my youth in high school right before I discovered the outrageous wonders of punk. A fuzzy-eyed period of time when I had shaggy, shoulder-length hair that vaguely concealed my long, dangly cross-shaped earrings; when I proudly wore Van Halen, Judas Priest, and Ozzy Osborne concert tees; when I feverishly smoked huge overflowing Tupperware bowls full of dark, sweet, Mexican-grown weed that’d do Jeff Spicolli of Fast Times At Ridgemont High proud. Wooooo-weee, dude, Bleed’s got me rockin’ like a hurricane with both hands vigorously thrustin’ the “devil sign” high in the air. Paaaaarrrtttyyy! –Roger Moser Jr. (no contact address)

Motor Psycho: CD
Prime-grade raunchy rock‘n’roll from a band that really knows when to hit you with a good ballad (“Love Me”) and when to turn up the attitude to 10 and rip shit up (“Lusty Lady”). I’m surprised Crypt isn’t crawling all over these guys. –jimmy (MuSick)

Split: LP
Thetan bears a very close resemblance to San Diego’s Jenny Piccolo: a band lost in the shuffle during the mid-to-late ‘90s powerviolence/hardcore scene due to the Locust’s overshadowing popularity. Down-tuned and manic hardcore with some dirgey moments to allow you to catch your breath—yeah it’s been done to death, but not always as well as this. Bleed The Pigs’ side of the split jams digital shards of glass into your ear holes with some circuit-bending harsh noise before walloping you with a steady stream of powerviolence savagery. Save for the brief moshcore breakdowns, Bleed The Pigs’ songs had me checking the turntable to make sure I wasn’t playing an Endless Blockade record. Great stuff.  –Juan Espinosa (Dead Tank, deadtankrecords.com / Anti Corp, anticorporatemusic.com / IFB, ifbrecords.com)

The Systematic Subversion of Fear and Insecurity: CD
A glammy version of Nine Inch Nails meets LinkinPark playing the cosmetics isle of Rite Aid. –don (www.thebleederproject.com)

Lovers & Haters, Unite!: CD
Angled, jangly, very-little-distortion-in-the-high-end spazz-punk. In the accompanying one-sheet that came with this, they say that people have compared them to everything from Blondie to Television, but I think that's kind of a crock, because what I'm hearing is a not-quite-as-frantic Tyrades kind of thing, like if the Tyrades decided they really needed to focus on being more decipherable and calm. The bummer being that that band's seeming inability to be decipherable or calm is what makes them so goddamned charming and rad. So what we wind up with is if the Tyrades all had really debilitating headcolds, drank a bunch of Nyquil to feel better, recorded a 12" 45 and then you bought it and wound up playing it at 33 1/3. I mean, it's not literally that slow, but it's missing that certain "Whaa! YEWEEEEEEEEROW! YeoWwowrar, rawrghyeah! Yeh, BLUGHYEAH!" to really kick it over the top. Know what I mean? –keith (Jilted)

Self-titled: 7”
Is a music critic’s objectivity contaminated once he allows his gonads to throw in their two cents? I suppose so. Well, fuck objectivity. Objectivity is for fictional dorks like John Galt and Howard Roarke and frigid old Russian wheeze-hags like Ayn Rand. I can’t help it—unless a female vocalist has a Mack truck voice like Andrea Dworkin, I tend to develop a crush on them (Wendy O. Williams being the lone exception to that rule.) I especially fall for female vocals if they’re coming out of the pipes of some edgy/smart-ass punk rock girls. The Bleeding Hickeys are fun and catchy and edgy and smartass and full of garage-rocky goodness—plus they have female vocals to boot, so me and my gonads like them just fine. –aphid (Jilted)

Veins of Oil: CD

This is a solo project from the former singer of Raw Nerves and guitarist/singer of Squalora and is kind of acoustic, kind of ambient, and mostly not my thing at all. The lyrics are great on “Veins of Oil.” They’re very political and topical about how oil is the reason for so many of our troubles and wars. Regretfully, the vocals are buried in the mix and have effects loaded on top of them. I can barely make them out. Thanks for the printed lyrics in the CD cover. This is the kind of pretentious claptrap—like experimental noise and ideas that sound great in the studio, but fail to work well outside of your group of friends—that people seem to put out and fans of the artist love, but outsiders seem to miss the point of. You get four songs, but two of them are the songs played backwards—like the album is being played backwards to hear if there are subliminal messages mixed in. Sadly, subliminal messages might have helped… no thanks.

–Rick Ecker (Poisoned Candy, poisonedcandy.weebly.com)

In Day As Dark: CD
A husband and wife duo that seems to have a love for Nick Cave. –don (suzablei@msn.com)

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