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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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BLOWBACK:
Lies: CD
Political punk/hardcore that seems to have its heart in the right place, even if the music ain’t all that interesting. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.blowback.org)


BLOWBACK:
Living Vibration: CD
Fifth installment from this Burning Spirits-style band. Sonic as hell. They attack full force in a near blinding fury. Tracks like “Left Hand,” “Color Water,” and “Crash” break up the wild pace without losing any momentum; shifting to mid tempo—in comparison to most of the songs—letting the rhythm come to the fore, and burning into your memory. Eleven tracks of all killer songs. Not one drop wasted. Essential, really. –Matt Average ()


BLOWBACK:
Drug War: 7”
Surprising stuff here. Competent and detailed hardcore with a great recording and the strange ability—almost entirely due to the vocalist—to sound like entirely different bands on each of the four songs here. I’m hearing Agnostic Front, Dead Kennedys (mostly due to the heavy sarcasm and mocking Southern accents in the song “Bible Belt”), Pennywise and, finally, Voodoo Glowskulls, again mostly because of the ragged and repetitive Spanish being belted out ala Eddie whatever-his-name-is from that band. Vocals are also fairly high up in the mix, which, at times, lends this thing a slightly cartoony quality that I could’ve done without, but as a whole, there’s some definite power here, and the sonic similarities to the aforementioned bands are definitely better off for being built off a hardcore template like the kind that Blowback’s laying down. Decent record. –Keith Rosson (String Break)


BLOWBACK:
Greed Runs the Clock: 7” EP
Remember hearing a prior release and not thinkin’ much either way about it. This, however, is an entirely different matter. Four tracks here of well-executed punk/hardcore that bounces from one tempo to the next and to the next in complex shifts while a singer makes astute observations about the state of American culture. At different times throughout, I’m hearin’ bits of Really Red, Articles Of Faith, and a few others buried in here and there. Kudos and backslaps all ‘round; good, good stuff. –Jimmy Alvarado (String Break, stringbreak.com)


BLOWBACK:
Greed Runs the Clock: 7" EP
Any band that can get a couple of Dons (Zientara and Fury) involved in the recording of its music should be on to a winner. Not only that, but when the band has a significant amount of chops of its own to add into the mix, the results should be more than above average, at least. Coming out with guitars and drums blazing in an oddly Big Black style, this soon moves into a more standard angry punk / hardcore sound with a clear enemy to focus that fury towards. There is a bit of early Circle Jerks to be heard here, certainly on “Rats in the Middle,” where the vocals are reminiscent of Keith Morris. Musically, this manages to be varied enough over four tracks to sound fresh throughout, with quite a scratchy guitar sound that provides edginess to the proceedings. “Cassandra’s Lament” is the standout track with spoken word elements that are like a less manic Jello Biafra, leading into a catchy yelled refrain of, “The smoke stacks reaching in to the sky.” Blowback manages to cram an awful lot into under three minutes on this one track. The final track, “Smoke Break,” has a surprisingly comic feel to it, showing that punks can display a sense of humor even when remaining mad at the world. Certainly, this is one worth checking out. –Rich Cocksedge –Guest Contributor (String Break, stringbreak.com)


BLOWCHUNKS:
Self-titled: 7"
Two raw, straightforward rock/punk jams from Germany that just as easily could've come from Scandinavia, if you catch my drift. "Baby's Got a Dick" is my pick as the better of the two tunes because it's faster. –Jimmy Alvarado (High School)


BLOWCHUNKS:
Self-titled: 7"
Two raw, straightforward rock/punk jams from Germany that just as easily could’ve come from Scandinavia, if you catch my drift. “Baby’s Got a Dick” is my pick as the better of the two tunes because it’s faster. –Jimmy Alvarado (High School)


BLOWFLY:
Fahrenheit 69: CD
Blowfly, a contemporary of ‘70s X-rated comedians like Rudy Ray “Dolemite” Moore, dishes up a bevy of rap and soul flavored tracks addressing booger-picking, sex, gay Black Republicans, ugly people, and “The Great Debate” (which is better: older or younger pussy?), with the word “cunt” sprinkled liberally throughout and vignettes explaining what he will do to improve the state of the country when elected president. The results are a bit of a mixed bag. When it works, like on “I Believe My Dick Can Fly,” the results are pretty funny, but when it doesn’t, it sounds like he was just trying to come up with enough material to reach the half-hour mark. –Jimmy Alvarado (Alternative Tentacles)


BLOWFLY:
Butt Pirate Luv: 7”
“Butt Pirate Luv” is a dirty take on the Heartbreakers “Pirate Love.” Playing is really good, the lyrics are good for one laugh and that’s about it. The flip song “F U in the A” is self explanatory. A real ass fest going on here, not that you would expect anything less from Blowfly. Novelty song fans will love it. –Mike Frame (Steel Cage)


BLOWN CASKET:
Self-Titled: CDEP
It’s not always easy for rockabilly bands to make a name for themselves, especially if they’re prone to aping the tried-and-true formula of the zillion other similar bands that went before them. So here’s a word of advice—when in doubt, keep all your songs brief, preferably under two minutes. Lyrically, there’s not a whole lot that distinguishes Blown Casket from other quasi-roots rockers. Their eight-minute debut treads the usual ground (Mama-tried-but-I’m-a-hellbound-rebel-whose-cheatin’-girlfriend-is-gonna-pay-as-soon-as-I-finish-this-drag-race) but their self-imposed brevity keeps things moving along at a good pace. It’s a damn nice piece of work that bodes well as long as they don’t stretch things out too much. Did I mention this was burned on someone’s computer? It makes for a pretty ugly addition to your CD collection. –eric (Self-released)


BLOWN TO BITS:
Fuck American Xenophobia: 7"
Speedy, tight political hardcore that’s thankfully spare on the metal influence. This bad boy’s a keeper.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Blown to Bits)


BLOWN TO BITS:
Ruling Class: 7"
This is what I know. I've been reading a lot of these guys in Bay area zines as of late. A lot of hype is out there. A friend told me their crowds are very loyal but violent. I’ve known the singer Jim for a very long time, probably coming on fifteen to twenty years. He’s one of the long-standing punk friends I have, a tried and true crust punk for life. The only thing that surprises me is that it took him so long to get a band together. We spent many a night drinking as he yelled along to Chaos UK, UK Subs, Disorder, Exploited, Discharge or many bands of the day from the UK. Since I have fallen out of touch with Jim, him living in the bay area and I in LA, I felt compelled to sample his new band and first release with excitement. Pet peeve time here. I hate when bands don’t include an insert. I can’t always tell where a band comes from without some additional information. If the label can afford to print the cover, why not xerox some lyric sheets or include an insert? Starting with the cover art, it is very Crass influenced. That is very Jim, in my opinion. Easily recognizable as a punk release. Musically, they come off as more of a Swedish D-beat thing that is metallic in a crust kind of way. The east coast straight edge metal parts did surprise me. The vocals are so guttural, they seem to burn the inner lining of the throat. Background vocals are screamed to accentuate the point. Drums and bass follow along in the mayhem that they create. Still wish I had a lyric sheet though. Can’t tell if the lyrics are intelligent or cutter –Donofthedead (Disintegration)


BLOWTOPS:
Mad Monk Medication: 7”
Two wild, fuzzed-the-fugg-out ravers that preen and pirouette on the fine line between noise, punk, and balls-out rock’n’roll. The tune on the flip is a slow, twisted slab o’ psycho pop that decides every so often to whop you upside the head with a noisy interlude. I’m impressed. –Jimmy Alvarado (Big Neck)


BLOWTOPS:
Brainshaker: 7”
Mysterious, gloomy punk rock with keyboards and a deep sound; the garage noise that a decade of horror films, drawn curtains, and depression would make in a basement in Buffalo. “Brainshaker” is more punk rock electric shock, whispering lines like “Shake you outta your skin.” While “Crime & Remorse” is a slowly burning fuse. –Speedway Randy (FDH)


BLOWTOPS:
64 Teeth: 7"
Imagine a schizophrenic, organ-infused musical jaunt that wails and wallows in nonsensical lyrical tantrums and you’d have what this two song 7” sounds like. It’s actually refreshing to step outside the power pop/ pop punk side of things where my ears spend most of their time. “64 Teeth” and “Megalomonkey” both have that post, post punk mad scientist weirdness vibe to them. If you’re into Erase Errata or perhaps BlackBlackOcean, then this 7” is definitely worth a spin. –N.L. Dewart (Certified PR, certifiedprrecords.com) Certified PR, certifiedprrecords.com) Certified PR, certifiedprrecords.com)


BLOWTOPS, THE:
Surgeon's Hands & Deep Six b/w New Orleans Death March: 7"
I thought "Surgeon's Hands" sounded like a bargain-basement Jesus Lizard fronted by the singer for Speedball Baby, that the Big Black cover sounded like a cross between the first Naked Raygun EP and "Metal Machine Music," and that "New Orleans Death March" sounded like the non-metal parts of "Iceman" by the Descendents. If there is a market for such a thing i am unaware of it. BEST SONG: "Surgeon's Hands" BEST SONG TITLE: "Surgeon's Hands" FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: This band hails from Buffalo, and the all-time best record ever released by a Buffalo-based band remains, to this day, the Goo Goo Dolls' Jed album. –Rev. Norb (Reptilian)


BLOWTOPS, THE:
P.S. This Is a Zombie: CD
Drudgy, sludgy, thick rock that lies between garage punk and the lawn mower in the yard—heavier and not quite as fuzzy horror as their other albums. Recorded for their Euro tour, but sort of lost until pulled up by Big Neck. I feel like it’s too different than their previous albums, more crossover here, where I thought they existed in a nice, fucked-up kids horror punk world. They still will be liked there, but the kid may make some friends now. –Speedway Randy (Big Neck)


BLOWTOPS, THE:
64 Teeth: 7”
It took a few listens, but the Blowtops’ experimental keyboard weirdness and mentally ill sounding vocals grew on me in much the same way Lili Z’s last LP did. “64 Teeth” is a warped stream of consciousness rant that falls completely apart about half way through, the drums galloping into a mess of percussive confusion only to be brought back into some sort of song structure by an eerily held keyboard note. The flip side is more precise musically, but doesn’t shake off one bit of the lunatic vibe from side one. –Josh Benke (Certified PR, myspace.com/certifiedpr)


BLUDWULF:
Cryptic Revelations: CD
These guys and girl are a different bunch. They tend to play a lot of DIY punk shows. But their look is more glam with some punk elements mixed in. The music sounds like 80s metal with a feel of the Japanese band GISM. I saw this band on tour with Toxic Holocaust last year. If you know anything about TH, it is just one person on record. But when he plays out, he recruits a band to learn his songs and back him. So Bludwulf were the backing and opening band for the tour. Live, Bludwulf were pretty fun to watch even though they didn’t have their guitarist with them. He had gotten himself arrested the night before. So Mr. Toxic Holocaust had to back them on guitar. So I ended up watching one band with a singer and the same band with the guitarist singing a different set. On this recording, the energy of their live show is not captured. To me, sounds like a metal record I would have pulled out of the used bin back in the ‘80s from some obscure band from maybe the Midwest. I would have pulled it out, listened to it, and then put it back in the bins. –Donofthedead (Charged)


BLUE BALLS:
Stretch Marks: 7" EP
Raw, primal punk rock stomping that brings to mind fantasies of what the Fuck Ups would sound like if they threw their two cents into the punk’n’roll arena. "(Let’s Do) the Ball Gag," an S & M fantasy of sorts, is destined to piss off quite a few people, I’ll warrant. This is destined to be a classic, and seeing as there’s only 500 of ’em, you collector whores better act quick. –Jimmy Alvarado (Destroy All Music, 3818 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026)


BLUE BALLS, THE:
Stretch Marks: turquoise-blue vinyl 7”
The Blue Balls belligerently bust my balls, boy! They rock and roar with raw primitive blastings of raging bowerypunk fury and a concussive dose of "old school" attitude on this here trio of tit-twistin' tunes, I shit you not! It's sonically sick audial dementia at its ballbustin' best, and I'm thunderously thrilled that my ears have made the aggravated (as in assault!) acquaintance of these unruly rockers who aggressively give Electric Frankenstein a rambunctious run for the money. Nastier, scarier, and more unholy than anything I've ever heard! –Guest Contributor (Destroy All Records)


BLUE BIRD:
Falling Back to Earth: CDEP
Wow. Five songs of sludgy, bluesy, grungy, classic rock-inflected wankery. For people who wear denim jackets and think that Jet is the shit as opposed to people who simply think Jet is shit. –Puckett (Dim Mak)


BLUE CHEER:
What Doesn’t Kill You…: CD
Forty years since the bone-shattering debut of Vincebus Eruptum? Hard to believe, but these guys are back with a new release. It rocks from start to finish. Heavy grooves, great guitars, and pounding drums. “Rollin’ Dem Bones” and “Young Lions in Paradise” are my current faves. There’s even a killer Albert King cover on here, too. Blue Cheer—they still play hard enough to “make cottage cheese out of the air.” Gut, where are you?  –Sean Koepenick (Rainman)


BLUE COLLAR REVENGE THEORY:
self-titled: CD
Picked this out of the pile ‘cause I thought it was gonna be some good hardcore. I put it on... and after the third lame emocore song, I tossed it into the trashcan. Oops forgot to mention it was a benefit CD. Yeah, I bet they’re REAL appreciative. –Jimmy Alvarado (thrownbrick@disinfo.net)


BLUE COLLAR SPECIAL:
self-titled: CD
When you pull out a pile of CDs to review and you find yourself hitting repeat and it’s not until the fourth play that you realize you should move on, well, that’s a good sign. These guys remind me of Circle Jerks (esp. “Wonderful”), D4, All, NoFX’s best stuff and not so much the Freeze but later bands that were inspired by the Freeze. A few bits make me think these guys also listen to Tool and country. I like NoFX’s Heavy Petting Zoo a lot and would imagine that if that album were harder, rougher around the edges, and made with less goofiness and more sense of purpose, this would be the album. (Which is to say, if you like NoFX you should like them, but if you don’t, you probably will, too.) The final track’s reggae influence seems more from the Choking Victim school than straight reggae. Various songwriting credits explain how one band can have such a range while maintaining a “sound” that works consistently. My one complaint with this album is that it should be much longer. –rich (Destroy All)


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