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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Vs.: Split CD
Those who know me can attest to my love of bands from both my native Canada and also Germany. Just can’t get enough of the punk rock from both countries. That said, this split puts me in an odd position. Who will win? The Crackdown are from Winnipeg and they play that earnest, working man’s punk. They do it well. Great recording here as well. I’m thinking Beltones which works well for me. Toe tapping and singing along at work. We have a contender. In the other corner we have Hiroshima Mon Amour hailing from Bochum Germany. They came out of the corner firmly rocking the whole Turbonegro thing. Doing it well, but it’s a style that’s been done to death as of late. Wait a minute. That’s all falling to the wayside, and what we’re left with is some tight, snotty and rocking punk that is fully kicking my ass. Lyrics in both English and German. That gets me every time! Who wins this one you ask? I DO! –Ty Stranglehold (Longshot)

Greenland: CD
I was surprised to get this to review. My first reaction was that Todd is fucking with me. Maybe its cause these guys are from Georgia and so am I. This is the same “Cracker” that put out “being with you is like being stoned” where Sandra Bernhardt punches some guy in the video. Their new CD is mellower than that, kind of with a country roadhouse vibe that would make adult contemporary listeners cream their britches, but not me. Sorry Todd, but I’m selling this one to the pawnshop. –Guest Contributor (Cooking Vinyl)

Drunk with Power: 7" EP
I liked this for fifteen seconds. It starts off very Chicago meat and potatoes punk until the singer mopes in front and center and asses the place up with some terribly cliché lyrics that, by the sounds of it, rips off Timbuk 3. Not a good choice. Pink slip the singer and writer, and give it another go. –Todd Taylor (Dylaramma)

Giants from the Stereo: CD
A four-piece dare I say nü-metal band from Detroit that is clearly making an attempt to grasp the brass ring. Videos on MTV2 and hoodies at Hot Topic soon to follow I’m sure. Maybe even a Warped Tour date. –greg (I Scream)

Stab: Cassette
Seriously, if it weren’t for the modern references to SUVs ’n’ such, I’d swear this was the work of some long lost ‘80s Midwestern hardcore band. Eight tracks in all that cover the bases, from Bush’s stupid war to suburban boredom. The recording is a bit dicey in some spots, but never so bad you can’t tell what’s going on. –Jimmy Alvarado (Phillip Knowles)

Dirty Floor: 7" EP
Five more helpings of sloppy, straight-ahead hardcore. It rarely gets above mid-tempo in velocity, and the singer sounds a bit more Doc Dart-ish than on their cassette of a few years ago, but they get the job done. –Jimmy Alvarado (myspace.com/cracksstab)

Sandpaper: CD-R
Hey, hey, hey! This is pretty hardcore out of the Midwest that sounds influenced by early ‘80s Boston hardcore like Negative FX: mid-tempo stuff with a churning feel in the guitars and gritty, strangled vocals. There’s a looseness in the music that keeps it from being po’ faced or overbearing. “Live the Lie” is a damning indictment of the mainstream way of life—wife, career, family, and losing oneself in the process. It’s a little humorous (maybe unintended?), but the point is clear. There’s some pretty good stuff on here, like “Negation,” “Hungover,” the title track, and “Bearer of Bad Nudes.” But then there’s a clunker like “Someone Else to Screw,” that should have died in the practice room. Other than that, Cracks is pretty damn good. –Matt Average (Slipping Grip Productions, pizzachew@hotmail.com)

Stick To Your Guns: CD
Twelve songs on this debut CD from this five-piece band from Germany play some cool oi mixed with some speedy hardcore. These guys have been around for a long time in other bands like Maskapone and I Defy, took their past experiences, and brought them to this band. They combine all their older bands and other influences and have created a pretty damn good release with lots of power and passion. This is a great CD to sing along to and hit the repeat button on your CD player. –Guest Contributor (Aggrobeat, aggrobeat.com)

Void: CD
I like metal. It’s one of my favorite genres. When I first started listening to non-mainstream music in middle school, it was the first style I tapped into. I like thrash, grind, speed—just about every subgenre there is. But through it all, there has been one type I have not been able to get into and that is the type that Craft plays: black metal. I’ve tried listening to Burzum, Mayhem, and Gorgoroth, but have never been able to identify. I often find their music isn’t fast or extreme enough—there is a lack of brutality—and the vocals all seem to sound alike from band to band. And don’t get me started on the lyrics. Anti-Christian verses and satanic imagery is interesting when done well, but much of the genre can become a parody of itself. That being said, Craft follows many of these same parameters: Cookie Monster vocals that try and sound evil, in addition to poor lyrics (“My mind screams to me like a black metal record in dissonant accord”). However, one place where Craft seems to best some of their comrades is in regards to musicianship and the songs created on Void. While the mix seems to lack consistency, what is played is powerful and has some edge in its delivery. Too often, black metal comes across as one of the weakest subgenres within metal, but Craft seem capable of throwing in some hard riffs and the accompanying guitar solos fit appropriately. Obviously, Void isn’t my thing but if you want to check out something different in black metal, perhaps this might be up your alley? –Adrian Salas (Southern Lord)

Nazibilly Werwoelfen N'ont Pas De Bausparvertrag: CD
The Cramps may be in the running for being the most bootlegged band in punk rock history. There's over fifty full-length boots already. Undeniably, they're a great band, who were the first to fuse rockabilly, punk, voodoo, and psychosis, while delivering all the shock and thrills that '50s movie posters always promised. That said, this is a strange bootleg of a live 1979 performance from Palo Alto, California. It's recorded directly from vinyl to CD (you can hear the needle drop and a couple of pops. It first came out as a 10"). What's perplexing is how any of this adds up to the Nazi motif on the artwork and the re-titling of songs like "I Was a Teenage Werewolf" to "I Was a Nazi Werwolf" [sic]. I'm still not sure, but I'm sure that this is a solid Cramps set. If you're looking to bust your hymen on The Cramps and don't know what to shell out on, I'd suggest Songs the Lord Taught Us or Gravest Hits. –Todd Taylor (bootleg)

Fiends of Dope Island: CD
This is the first CD from the Vengeance Label, fronted by the only two people who should be in charge of The Cramps – Lux and Ivy. After disastrous stints with IRS and Epitaph and various other shady record companies that wouldn’t know what to do with good music even if they had it shoved up their assholes, The Cramps became the boss of The Cramps. This is good news for all you record collectors out there because this means you will be guaranteed better packaging, better attention to detail, and most importantly full creative control by the artist! Yes! Okay, enough of the celebrations. The Cramps forge on against Father Time’s vicious scythe with the greatest of ease and deliver one of the most entertaining new CDs to come blaring out like a drunken drag queen karaoke contest. It’s hard to imagine that The Cramps have been around over twenty years; giving a listen to this album would contest any naysayer, who obviously do not know the legend of this prolific band. The CD starts off with the commanding stomp of “Big Black Witchcraft Rock,” which hollers the intro by lead vocalist extraordinaire, Liberace reincarnate, Lux Interior, who growls a frightening sexy, “Satan baby, Satan!” This CD packs in more of the campy sinister B- Movie infused Cramps ideology, which confronts your little puny, pseudo-intellectual, Celine and Camus reading minds with such familiar Cramps themes like African witchcraft, and Satan. It’s all generously slathered with their invention, psychobilly, switchblade wit and tough girl and boy sashaying into their oblivion of fast cars, alcohol and cannibus smoking doom. Of course, you hear more Link Wray, Sun Records country, real black rhythm and blues, Elvis, exotica and all the cool influences that made The Cramps what they are today – pure fucking legends. So, you wanna know who the new bass player is? It’s Chopper Franklin, from local LA act Mr. Badwrench, who got the coveted position and supplying the big beats is Mr. Big Daddy NASCAR himself, Harry Drumdini. Miss Poison Ivy twangs like Duane Eddy’s demonic sister and makes black leather look even hotter than ever possible on a woman’s body! Whatcha waitin’ for? Go get this album and make out with a bunch of sluts. Okay, don’t get this album and go fuck yourself on a pinhole on the wall where your little dick will fit. –Namella J. Kim (No address supplied)

Self-titled: CD
Heavy as fuck, Nomeansno-meets-Fucked Up hardcore. The ingenuity of the songwriting mostly comes from the interplay of the vocals over the dense and stylistic guitar and bass work. The singer King of sounds like Lemmy, the bass kind of sounds like Big Black, and it makes me want to punch walls. Excellent. –Bryan Static (Self-released)

Self-titled: CD
Loud, angry Southern rock from North Carolina with a Nashville Pussy/ White Zombie feel. –Jessica Thiringer (myspace/facebook.com/crankcountydaredevils)

This Is a Weapon: CD
A successful return to old. It’s been a long, long time since I came across an overtly politi-punk band that I found satisfying, but Cranked Up! fit the bill. The lyrics revolve around different metaphors and means of resisting authority/the state/the reactionary, etc., but don’t really come off as clichéd—a real danger in such situations—and they’re put to some truly energetic and catchy punk; all in all, a good package. The liner notes do provide little blurbs about the songs, though, and that irks me ‘cause as I see it, if you need to explain your lyrics then your lyrics haven’t done the job in the first place. I’ll let that go, though, since the rest of the record merits my approval. –Guest Contributor (Creep)

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)

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