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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Self-titled: 7” EP
Being the total ninny I am, I listened to the first side of this on 33 1/3 instead of 45 and thought, “Man, these guys are pretty plodding for a hardcore band.” Now that I’ve got it on the right speed, what I’m hearing is no frills hardcore from an all-female band that sounds angry enough, but never quite manages to push things close enough to the edge to kick in a “wow” response. –Jimmy Alvarado (Big Brown Shark)

Self-titled: 7”
This mind-numbingly good debut from the all-female streetpunk band Crap Corps hails from Kansas City. The vocals are furious and memorable and the seven songs included are full of neat rhythmic changes not often heard from bands that play such stripped-down tunes. I’m an easy target for records like this since I’m a sucker for well-done simple streetpunk, but this record definitely stands out on all fronts with its tight songwriting and perfect vocals. –Art Ettinger (Big Brown Shark)

My Ass: 7"
Twelve-year-old dudes with acne who lock themselves in their bedroom while playing video games online might think Crappy Dracula are wicked funny. Me, not so much. How many songs about a fat guy rolling down a hill does a dude have to hear in his lifetime before he doesn’t find it hilarious anymore? The answer is one. One time. If I wanna laugh at something stupid, I’ll put on Weekend at Bernies. –Dave Disorder (Crappy Dracula)

Almost: LP
This band has been, to me at least, the band with the funny ad in Razorcake. Dave Disorder wrote a less than flattering review of one of their 7”s, and the band blacked out a lot of it to make it look like Mr. Disorder was praising them in a very odd way (see p.85 of #48). So I knew that this band didn’t take itself too seriously, but I didn’t really know what to expect—especially with the coked-out art school dropout cover art. What you should expect, if you get this, is noisy and ever-so-slightly abrasive post punk that seems to have a healthy admiration for Mission Of Burma, and a seeming nod to Dead Kennedys (or at least Jello) here and there. The lyrics range from things like hating architects to feeling like a pubescent again. Pretty okay stuff. Things to note: 1) The people on the cover aren’t in the band; 2) it took ten goddamn labels to put this thing out, but not one of them put any sort of contact info on this. –Vincent Battilana (Stunt Academy, Eeefin, Activities, Art Of The Underground, New Departure, Dennison, Feral Kid, Wrong Foot, Waffle Haus, K-Tell)

Fantastic Dracula: LP
Stikky + The Dead Milkmen + the movie UHF = Crappy Dracula. Fantastic Dracula is chock full of great social/political commentary and is presented to the listener in uniquely unpretentious fashion. This is what I imagine the Dead Kennedys would have been like if they had an actual sense of humor. Plastic Surgery Disasters in some big, floppy clown shoes. I’m pretty sure there’s a concept going on here (the dangers and flaws of a digital media society) and if I’m right: fucking finally, a concept album that I actually get! – –Juan Espinosa (Eeefin / Wrong Foot, crappydracula.com)

Concerns of the Modern Womb Wiggler: 7”
Crappy Dracula is Gerard Butler, who played Dracula in Dracula 2000. Some may argue that Frank Langella was a crappier Dracula, but they are incorrect. On this record, Gerard Butler Dracula plays exsanguinated and dizzy jazz squawks about the horrors of Bill Cosby and weightlifting. Regardless of how weird you may feel after listening to this record, you are safe. Crappy Dracula cannot hurt you. Only a noncrappy Dracula can hurt you. –MP Johnson (Eeefin)

Tooo Muuuch: LP
As you know, Crappy Dracula is a three hundred-year-old vampire. He spends a lot of time in the dark and has gone kind of batty. I don’t think he’s using any of these instruments right and I swear I saw him try to suck some old lady’s blood using his earlobes. He keeps threatening that the ghost from Three Men and a Baby is coming to get me. I’m not scared, not with all his jangling and rattling. –MP Johnson (Eeefin)

Split: 7" EP
Both bands here sound like their tracks were taken from some long-lost ‘80s cassette compilation of obscure bands that never really did much more past contributing tunes to cassette compilations. Neither band is bad, per se, so much as not really managing to put across something with much lasting impact outside of, in the case of Sonorous Gale’s contribution, a vaguely Hole-like feel. Could totally be the recording quality, but this just ain’t workin’ for me. –Jimmy Alvarado (Crappy Dracula World Headquarters)

The Value of Mistrust: CD
Tim Yohannon forgive me, for I am about to sin. This is a CD of grimy, stripped-down, heavy rock with a punkish sneer, ala Blitzspear—but it is laden with cock-rocky guitar wankery and, in spots, even reminds me a little bit—just a little bit, mind you—of (gasp!) Skid Row. And I like it. There, I said it. But this thing actually rocks out pretty impressively. Self-righteous punk rockers with extra starch in their rectitude might want to avoid this one, but me, I like it damn good. Simply put: when this band rips it up, they fucking rip. I just hope they don’t go off on some woozy Monster Magnet-type rock star trip down the road. That would leave me with some egg on my face. But for now, though I think there’s some self-indulgent fat that could be trimmed, Crash and Burn tear it up pretty good and you’d be a sectarian idiot to not acknowledge that. –aphid (Thorp)

Sick Again: CD
I wanted to like this. I thought it would be easy – so many people I know love them. I just can’t get into it. It’s that ‘70s influenced rock with a bit more power, but it just comes off as frat bar rock to me. People keep saying they hear Black Flag. I hear Bon Jovi, sorry. –Megan Pants (Crash and Burn)

Self-titled: 7”EP
Addiction’s a bitch. Getting old sucks. Alcohol and Adderall is a combo that’ll get you into some fuzzy situations, naked, on your back, staring at the sun next to someone you don’t recognize. It’s both sad and beautiful. Hey, at least you’re not a robot. This 7” is a rally against the numbing effect of physical labor jobs, the limitations of weekends and binging to make up for lost time. Tall boys—life plan? Redemption and maintenance? Or just unromantic liver damage? Check back in another decade. Sing this plaintively, through burlap, with electric snake guitars and creaking floor boards. Think DIY Tampa—Tim Version, Watson, Dukes, Vag. Jr. Sort of like the dark side of the moon to Too Many Daves, if that makes any sort of sense. Existential dude crisis. –Todd Taylor (ADD, addrecs.com)

Trash Heap (2009 – 2013): Cassette
Couple of porknobs whose recording equipment is as key to them jerking off as the internet is to the rest of us. –Craven (Self-released)

Finger Shower: 10”
Eight songs of Parisian garage art. The sheer amount of treble is hypnotic, the shards of guitar bring Big Black to mind, the sullen, drawled vocals owe a thing or two to Mark E. Smith of The Fall, and it sounds like there’s a drum machine ticking away under all of the tinfoil-chewing white noise. I picture this band living in a warehouse, and if I went over there and said, “Hey guys, it’s a nice afternoon. Let’s go outside!” they’d all light smokes at the same time and go, “No. We’re nihilists,” then go back to throwing cinderblocks and skronking the day away. –CT Terry (Rijapov, myspace.com/rijapovrecords)

Unrealistic Tracks: EP
I wish I had seen these guys when they blew through town a while back. Seriously, one of the best bands going these days. At least that’s my opinion. Their songs are massive in sound, they lurch, shake, crunch—not to mention they’re noisy as hell—all delivered with unbelievable fuzzed-out style. A mix of garage, punk, blues, and whatever else they can fold into the din. Can’t get enough of this stuff! If Crash Normal were a drug, I’d be fucked. –Matt Average (Compost Modern Art, myspace.com/compostmodernart)

Self-titled: 7"
I’ve only heard the Intelligence a few times. What I remember is a surf rock influence that isn’t all that apparent on this split 7”. “Parades” sounds more like Throbbing Gristle than Dick Dale—with a modified Bo Diddley beat accompanied by an ominous guitar riff; both pounded relentlessly for a sublime minimalist result. Crash Normal: sing-speak vocals over swampy instrumentation. It’s the Intelligence side that has my interest. Good stuff, indeed. –Ryan Leach (Compost Modern Art Recordings, myspace.com/compostmodernart)

Self-titled: CD-R
Self indulgent, mind blowing-ly boring “punk-metal” on this CD-R which should more appropriately be used as a beer coaster. There’s so many fucking contacts listed all over this disc, not to mention a business card. Crashdollz, you obviously don’t read this fanzine so let me clue you in: we’re not an agency here so do us both a favor and stick with the one, sole, best way to get in touch with your band should anyone feel the need to. Me, I’m not going to hold my breath for that miracle. –Juan Espinosa (Self-released, crashdollz.com)

Pearls Before Swine: CD
Slightly above average modern oi fodder, not too terrible, not quite faboo. I often found the explanations for each song more interesting than the lyrics themselves, especially "Murder on Sunset Strip." Having spent my entire life living in Los Angeles, I can totally picture the scenario going down as described in that song, which is disturbing 'cause it made me realize just how desensitized I am to crazy shit like that happening. –Jimmy Alvarado (Captain Oi)

In Toytown: 2 x CD
Even on a label that released disparate oddities by the likes of Annie Anxiety, Captain Sensible, and Rudimentary Peni, Cravats were an anomaly. Equal parts Crass, Captain Beefheart, and what occasionally sounds like some coked-out funk band on a Black Randy bender, they delivered abrasive, dissonant, and oddly groovy tunes with humor, tautness, and a level of musical sophistication that stood well outside the comfort zones of the average punker. Here their four singles on the Small Wonder label are collected with the titular album on one disc, which itself is paired with a new remix of the entire album by none other than Penny Rimbaud, who produced some of those early releases. Crucial stuff here for those who like their punk a bit more esoteric and challenging than the requisite polka beats. –Jimmy Alvarado (Overground)

Good Cast Is Worth Repeating: CD
They sound like they’re trying really hard to tap into the groovier aspects of the AmRep noise rock pigeonhole, and they come pretty danged close on occasion. They ultimately fall just short, though, with the results sounding like slightly quirky rock stuff. My suggestion is to get ‘em cranked up on a potent cocktail of peyote, meth, coke, and Red Bull to bring them just shy of their hearts exploding, tell them their significant others were involved in a bizarre orgy tape involving porpoises dressed in Santa Claus suits, hand ‘em their instruments, crank all the console knobs to “vaporize,” and let ‘em record their next record. –Jimmy Alvarado (f-spin.de)

A Life Exceptional: CD
If you listen to bands like Creed, Three Doors Down, and Good Charlotte then this record of sonic wankery may be right up your alley. This was a true endurance test that I may never fully recover from in my lifetime. I craved the minute I hit “stop” on the player.  –Sean Koepenick (Horian, no address listed)

Figure 24I.—Single Abdominal Wound: CD-R
Musically, they fit firmly amongst the thrashy hardcore horde, with little in the way of metal influence in evidence. Lyrically, they lean towards the misanthropic/misogynistic side of things, with happy tunes about the human race being a disease, HPV, and fisting a girl after strangling her. –Jimmy Alvarado (Live Fast Die Drunk, no address)

All My Punk Rock Children E.P.: 7”
Adequate fast and funny punk rock from a band I’ve never heard of, but really feel like I should have. Songs written in simplistic couplets makin’ fun of losers, from punk rock posturers (“Used to Be”) and trendies (“Waste of Talent”) to cokehead eBay junkies (“Kicked Off eBay”); I think one of the songs might be a love song (“Promise Me”), but The Crawlers never go soft for a second, not even here. –Susan Chung (Blind Spot)

Self-titled: 12” EP
Straight-forward, amped-up hardcore punk—in the vein of Bad Reaction or Hollywood Hate—that comes across as earnest, yet is mostly predictable in sound, tempo, and how they approach topics (religion bad, scene has problems, politics are fucked). Check, check, and check. The two brightest spots are the last songs on each side. It’s always a little problematic that my favorite song on a new record is a cover (The Cure’s “Fire in Cairo”). Yet, “Village of the Damned” dilates the band’s scope up a little bit, gives the song varied tempo, some time to breathe, and develop its own voice. And that gives me hope that The Crawlers will expand a bit in the future because they feel like a tight dot right now; easy to overlook. –Todd Taylor (Blind Spot)

I Hate Michael Vick: 7"
Ah, fuck yea! The hidden gem of my bimonthly Razorcake package. This Portland, OR punk rock band serves up three fast songs that are clearly influenced by ‘80s hardcore, but rise above the gazillion bands aping Black Flag these days. To compare them to a band that‘s currently got a bit of a buzz around them, I’d say that The Crawlers have a Cloak/Dagger sound to them, a sound that’s rooted in classic hardcore but brings in elements of stuff like Toys That Kill. Ignore all of my name dropping nonsense if you want, but the point is that this is fast and catchy as shit. I’ll be picking up their full length ASAP.  –Dave Dillon (Blind Spot)

Level the Forest: LP
The Crawlers play old school-flavored hardcore punk infused with pop tinge and lyrics that are—or at least should be—tongue in cheek (see the album title). It’s pretty solid stuff. However, it seems as though they have, as what I will call, “opening band sound.” Opening band sound is not necessarily a bad thing, and not just opening bands fall under this categorization of sound. In fact, it can be rather cool under the right circumstances. Anyhow, opening band sound is a solid sound that can definitely keep you in the bar/basement/club if you are in the mood for a live band. The opening band sound is not a bad sound, but it isn’t what you came to see. It is what you have heard before by someone—someone that you probably can’t remember—but you don’t mind hearing again. The problem with opening band sound is that—though it is solid and reliable—after you hear the band that you came to see, nothing sticks out to you about the band. Though you might not remember anything extraordinary about the band, you’ll still be down to check them out again. –Vincent Battilana (Blind Spot)

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