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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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DON GARNELLI :
The Amazing End of Everything: Cassette
I like this. Totally not what I was expecting. The spine on the cover reads “Grindcore death,” so, of course, I was expecting to hear harsh guitars, fucked up vocals, and minced drumming. Instead, this is something from out of left field. It’s ambient noise with grindcore outbursts here and there. When they’re in grind mode, it’s cool. Sort of like Unholy Grave, with the short bursts of sound, then on to the next. But the strength of this tape—and the reason I keep going back to it—is the ambient sounds they’re generating. There are cold squelches of sound, like a wind tunnel taped then ran slow on the playback, or the blips and clicks that float in and out of the speakers. This is kind of like what Gasp were attempting, but Don Garnelli are more successful and interesting. It doesn’t sound forced at all. The soundscapes have a darkness about them, but it’s not one of impending doom. It’s as though you’re spending a late night at an industrial plant and hearing all the sounds that go on as you walk around. –Matt Average (To Live A Lie, tolivealie.com)


DON GARNELLI:
Grindcore/Death: 8” lathe cut
A bit different than their tape I have from a year or so ago. This one is more along the lines of short blasts of traditional grind noise. Somewhere between 7 Minutes Of Nausea and NOYFB. While I do prefer their more expansive stuff, where they go off into the noise experimentation, I also like this side of Don Garnelli. It’s nice to hear bands, or projects, that don’t keep doing the same thing over and over. This record is a lathe cut on plexiglass, so it sounds a bit different than the normal records you’re used to hearing. Only twenty-five were cut, so start trolling the ‘net for one of these. –Matt Average (No label listed)


DON KINGS, THE:
Surfin’ Sickles: 7” EP
Auckland, New Zealand’s The Don Kings play lo-fi surf rock. Fans of The Mummies and The Trashwomen will want this EP. Surfin’ Sickles was recorded live in The Don Kings’ rehearsal room and it sounds like hell; and I mean that in a good way. These guys know what’s up—on bass The Kings have Andrew Tolley (head of Kato and Perpetrator Records) who’s been putting down some mean NZ garage rock for about fifteen years now, seemingly in a vacuum. Added bonus: a nice cover of “Parchman Farm.” Well worth the investment! –Ryan Leach (Kato, myspace.com/katorecords)


DONALD THOMPSON:
Pomp! Pomp!: 7” EP
Ragin’ two-guitar rocky punk that sounds like a youthful, non-Angelino version of those cocaine & whiskey ne’er-do-wells of the ‘90s like the Humpers and, uh, those guys that kind of all sounded like the Humpers but weren’t the Humpers. Except for the feedback and the vocals, which just sound like some highly motivated Italian kid trying to get stinkier. I don’t really hear any massive hits here, but i’m a sucker for that one-note rapid-fire BINKBINKBINKBINKBINK piano like they have in “Bite My Ass” so i bang my veiny pink gavel and find in their favor. BEST SONG: “Bite My Ass” BEST SONG TITLE: “Chalk Outline,” because “Bite My Ass” isn’t nearly as good as it could be if it were “Bite My Shiny Metal Ass” instead. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Donald Thompson was a former Oklahoma district judge who got four years in jail for masturbating with a penis pump under his judge’s robes while presiding over murder trials.And they say America’s a free country! –Rev. Norb (Tornado Ride/Surfin’Ki)


DONALD THOMPSON:
Screamin’ Feedback: 7” EP
Additional penis-pumping punk from an Italian squad more notable to me for their always-fine cover art and namesake ((an Oklahoma judge convicted of using a penis pump whilst hearing cases)) than for their material being any manner of sonic manna for my soul. Loud, well-played, and well-produced punk with hard rock leanings not unlike some of the less-interesting ((but not entirely horrible)) West Coast bands of about fifteen years ago ((I’m trying to remember the name of that band who didn’t have the bass player and did a Rose Tattoo cover but so far it’s eluding me)). Lyrically, one song rails about “pussies on MTV,” whilst another bemoans today’s generation always being “on TV or Playstation®. One half expects them to start ragging on disco, Pac-Man and CHiPs next. I think the Luv Bulb needs a few more squeezes. BEST SONG: “No Way.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Screamin’ Feedback.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: A download code is hand-taped to each lyric sheet. Hey, i don’t know where that hand’s been! –Rev. Norb (Surfin’ Ki, surfinkirecords@hotmail.it)


DONITA SPARKS and THE STELLAR MOMENTS:
Transmiticate: CD
It seems that L-7’s Donita Sparks has mellowed with time, but she can still get real heavy, fuzzy, and buzzy. Both the first and last tracks on this CD—“Fly Feather Fly” and “Into the HI FI” are the most rockingest, L–7ish tunes of the bunch with that familiar, dirty, wicked buzz, but it’s not punk rock…its punk-influenced rock that continues to grow on the listener with each successive listen. At first, it all sounds kind of the same, but turn it up and listen deeper. Donita is doing a lot within the slower rhythms with a lot of echo, vibrato, and multiple fluid-layers of sonic depth. Her vocals are still husky-sweet, and a distinctive sense of fun and humor floats up from the pleasantly vibrating resonance. Where L-7 was overtly angry and abrasive, this disc is definitely more laid-back, frequently introspective, with mid-tempo, head-noddingly catchy tunes that are rather trance inducing. At first, I thought “Dare Dare” was going to be an ELO cover, but it turned out to be a solid original performed with traditional ‘70s rock arrangement and a distinctly humorous edge. “He’s got the Honey” is the fuzziest of all and sounds like it could be the theme song for a punk rock kids show…tough punk kids. Yes, Ms. Sparks has evolved and grown over time and this is what it sounds like. She practically did this whole thing by herself and the others got to follow along. –Marcus Solomon (Sparks Fly)


DONNAS, THE:
Turn 21: CD
Yes, they still sound like the Runaways with the Pandoras’ sexual appetites. Thank god for consistency, ’cause this rocks pretty fucking hard. –Jimmy Alvarado (Lookout)


DONNER PASS:
Demo '08: CD-R
Postpunk five-songer with a heavy nod to Wire’s instrumental interplay and jagged edges, except for what is apparently their party track, which is the same as their band name and sounds like a raved-up “Louie Louie” with Matt Freeman singing. There’s something to be said for a band that sings, “Once again I see three severed heads” and makes it sound like a pretty good time. Given a brighter recording and a bit more of an aesthetic appeal—I know it’s just a demo but there’s just about no info here whatsoever besides the song titles and a really pixilated cover—I could find myself coming back to these songs more than a few times. 
–Keith Rosson (Donner Pass)


DONOTS, THE:
The Long Way Home: CD
The Donots play polished and accomplished muscle pop, and through most of the record that works really well for me, but sometimes the sound borders on mall punk, but not quite. I like this record, even though a few tunes become kinda vanilla thanks to slick production. Lyrical content seems to center on the pros and cons of isolation (more pro than con) and the ridiculousness of living with regret; not bad as far as that goes, but the lyrics are a bit clichéd at times. All in all, I liked this record quite a bit, but it sometimes sounds like a mish-mash of stuff I have on a bunch of other records, and there really wasn’t much that struck me as truly distinctive. –The Lord Kveldulfr (OK Good / Solitary Man)


DONOVAN:
Tiny Crustacean Light Show: CD
This is trippy, spacey, and effervescently eclectic acid-drenched audial dementia at its most tantalizing, titillating, and orgasmically intoxicating... it's a mind-altering, intricately swirlin' wahwah-laden melange of sparkle-shine psychedelia ala Hawkwind, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Bubble Puppy, a bit of 13th Floor Elevators, Electric Prunes, "Are You Experienced?"/"Axis: Bold As Love"-era Jimi Hendrix, and early Syd Barrett-fronted Pink Floyd. After numerous awe-inspiring hours of aurally ingesting the floating, fluttering, fucked-up musical magic on this here pulsatin' platter of celestial sonic atmospherics, I dreamily feel as if I've been serendipitously dipped into a multi-colored sugar-swirl vat of tropical-tangy rainbow-dyed kool-aid... and now I just wanna get buck-ass naked and freely frolic in an overflowing field of brightly glowing flowers... wheeeee, and far-fuckin'-out, man! Even though Donovan's Brain inspired me to kick off my Converse, slip into a comfy pair of beaded moccasins, light the ol' lava lamp, and fire-up a floral array of incense sticks, I assuredly ain't no hash-smokin' tofu-munchin' longhaired hippie freak... it's just that the majestic musical ornateness contained herein is so damn inspirationally divine, I momentarily lost myself in a thick billowy haze of childlike fruity-pebble nostalgia. Nothin' wrong with that, is there?! –Guest Contributor (Get Hip)


DONOVAN'S BRAIN:
Tiny Crustacean Light Show: CD
This is trippy, spacey, and effervescently eclectic acid-drenched audial dementia at its most tantalizing, titillating, and orgasmically intoxicating... it's a mind-altering, intricately swirlin' wahwah-laden melange of sparkle-shine psychedelia ala Hawkwind, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Bubble Puppy, a bit of 13th Floor Elevators, Electric Prunes, "Are You Experienced?"/"Axis: Bold As Love"-era Jimi Hendrix, and early Syd Barrett-fronted Pink Floyd. After numerous awe-inspiring hours of aurally ingesting the floating, fluttering, fucked-up musical magic on this here pulsatin' platter of celestial sonic atmospherics, I dreamily feel as if I've been serendipitously dipped into a multi-colored sugar-swirl vat of tropical-tangy rainbow-dyed kool-aid... and now I just wanna get buck-ass naked and freely frolic in an overflowing field of brightly glowing flowers... wheeeee, and far-fuckin'-out, man! Even though Donovan's Brain inspired me to kick off my Converse, slip into a comfy pair of beaded moccasins, light the ol' lava lamp, and fire-up a floral array of incense sticks, I assuredly ain't no hash-smokin' tofu-munchin' longhaired hippie freak... it's just that the majestic musical ornateness contained herein is so damn inspirationally divine, I momentarily lost myself in a thick billowy haze of childlike fruity-pebble nostalgia. Nothin' wrong with that, is there?! –Roger Moser Jr. (Get Hip Recordings, PO Box 666, Canonsburg, PA 15317; http://www.gethip.com)


DON’T:
Away Away: CD
The first thing that crossed my mind is that this band must have named themselves after the fake trailer from Death Proof. Seems like the press kit would write itself…” If you—are thinking—of ignoring—this—band—DON’T!” Anyway, this is ten songs of moody post punky stuff from Portland, featuring ex-members of The Wipers and NapalmBeach. There is no way to get around it. The band sounds a lot like Sleater Kinney, which is just fine by me. Pretty good stuff overall that also veers into kind of Signal Lost territory from time to time –Mike Frame (Red Eyed Rabbit)


DON’T:
“89” b/w “Dead End Drive”: 7”
Portland four-piece made up of three old dudes and a lady who provides whiny, Bif Naked-esque vocals. Trashy rock’n’roll, but not in an intentional or campy way. Their cover of “Ghost on the Highway” sounds just as shitty as the songs they wrote themselves.  –Alanna Why (Dead Broke, deadbrokerec@gmail.com, deadbrokerekords.com)


DON’T LOOK DOWN:
Five: CDEP
If someone tells me that they want to hear The Doughboys, I’m gonna slap on some Big Drill Car, fuck you very much. Same goes for this band if someone has a request with their name on it. –Designated Dale (Nitro)


DON’T LOOK DOWN:
Five: CDEP
They tricked me for the first twenty seconds. A rock’n’roll intro of the Runaways kind. Ahhh, but then they turn into the latest Sum 182 rip-off. –Megan Pants (Nitro)


DON’T LOOK DOWN:
Five: CD single
This is not my thing, but if it is yours, you should buy it. It’s well-done melodic, emotional pop punk. These guys are good musicians and their songs are well done. I could very well see these guys being on the Warped tour. They would fit in perfect. –Mike Beer –Guest Contributor (Nitro)


DON’T LOOK DOWN / THE DESTRUCTORS:
Je Suis Radio (split): CD
The Destructors are one of those ‘70s bands that simply will not stop playing and putting out releases ranging from decent to classic. Their four songs included here are a healthy mix of their initial ‘77 sound with a pinch of hardcore thrown in. Don’t Look Down is another high quality British band, although one of their contributions to this split almost kills the whole project. They decided to record a semi-cover, semi-tribute to the classically shitty 1980s radio hit “People Are People,” which manages to be even shittier than the already atrocious Depeche Mode song. I suppose out-shitting notoriously bad Euro-pop is some sort of a cultural achievement in its own right. –Art Ettinger (Rowdy Farrago, destructors666.com)


DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS:
Los Dias de Junio: CD
The press one-sheet describes this as “a carefully constructed album with equal parts of minimalist swell and swirling tension of sound, providing each instrument in the texture plenty of space.” It goes on to say the band is “determined to make you calm and disturbed at the same time.” Well, I’ve got to say their determination has won out, ’cause I’m calmly certain that I am no fan of the emo-drenched art-rock crap they’re peddlin’ and I’m disturbed that it may somehow taint my CD player in such a way that my Adolescents CDs will sound like Piebald from this point forward or something. Wait.... Nope, Tony and the boys still sound as glorious as ever. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.moonleerecords.com)


DOOM BUGGY:
Versus the Beast: CD
I get the eerie chills of listening to the Suburban Lawns, X-Ray Spex and Lene Lovich, but all at the same time. When I’m ready to shoot something down, a band puts me in my place. –Donofthedead (Noise Maker)


DOOM GHOST / WAR PARTY:
: Split 7”
A new release from Turkey Baster Records, who I don’t remember seeing anything from for a while after their Texas punk output in the late ‘90s. Both bands play lo-fi garage stuff of the sort that Mortville Records used to release. –Mike Frame (Turkey Baster)


DOOM TOWN:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Straightforward, charging, mid-tempo punk with enough of a nod to the past to sound familiar but well footed in the here and now. Think Hex Dispensers in a sullen mood. –Jimmy Alvarado (no address)


DOOMBUGGY:
Blow Your Soul: CD
Doombuggy have flawlessly constructed the ultimate high-voltage power-rock release with the ear-crumplin’ audial wonder that is Blow Your Soul. It’s hard-rockin’ yet melodious, primal yet well-polished, aggressive and intimidating yet smooth, impeccable, and solidly structured. The boyish barroom-brawlin’ vocals, crunchy powerchord-driven guitar rhythms, solar flare eruptions of soaring skin-tinglin’ leads, monstrous spine-snappin’ bass rumblings, and thunder-hoofed herd of buckin’ bronco drum-bashin’ frenzy all add up to one helluva skull-crackin’ wallop of road-travellin’ rock’n’roll rowdiness. It’s as if The Who, MC5, Cheap Trick, D-Generation, and a meaner leaner Matthew Sweet were vigorously swallowed whole by Godzilla and then gruffly regurgitated in a fiery fit of full surround-sound fury. Man oh man, Doombuggy sure know how to plug it in, crank it up, and robustly blast the shingles off the roof! This is cacophonously beyond compare... –Roger Moser Jr. (P22/Atom Smash)


DOOMHAWK:
Self-titled: LP
On occasion, I’m fine with bands fucking with expectations, as long as it doesn’t feel like they’re laughing at, or behind the backs, of the listener. It also doesn’t hurt if the band doesn’t come across as masturbatatorial pretentious instead of involved in intrepid songwriting. Doomhawk play long-ass songs (four long ones, one short one on a 33 RPM 12” LP) that genre-skip from circus metal to electronica to disco to orchestral to spoken Speak-n-Spell to ska to industrial to gypsy to Hobbit vs. Orc to Middle Eastern whathaveyou. Granted, it’s not every day or every-type-of-situation music for me, but it’s got a nice heft and grit to it, even in the quieter parts. My depth of knowledge is shallow with this type of stuff, but I’d say fans of Praxis, Smegma, and the “getting right with the earth” magick set would like it instantly. –Todd Taylor (Rumbletowne)


DOOR-KEYS, THE:
Greenwood Park Mall: CD
Rhino recently reissued pretty much every album X ever recorded with bonus tracks at $11.99 list. That’s not to say that this record is bad, but you really should listen to Wild Gift or Under the Big Black Sun before picking this up so you know where it comes from. –Puckett (Plan-It-X)


DOPAMINES:
Vices: CD
Well, I guess it’s about time I have an opinion on this band one way or the other. I met the Dopamines once. They were playing the back patio of a bar in San Antonio and I told one of the Jons how my friend wanted to come down because he loved the line “drink a little sake and get a little cocky.” The Jon looked me at me, pondered seriously for a moment, and tried to remember if that was actually a lyric that they really sang at one point. This anecdote illustrates the ridiculous, but forgettable, quality about the early parts of their discography. The earlier records had moments that stand as great pop punk moments, where others stand in mediocrity. If I put money on it, I would probably say this is the best thing I’ve ever heard by them. As someone who’s been watching them since their debut years ago, this is the first records of theirs that I could see coming back to more than half a dozen times. For the longest time, it had to do with the fact that the Copyrights filled the same basic functions as the Dopamines, but I think this album marks the official point where I can really say that a band can sound like the Dopamines or The Copyrights, with clear distinguishing marks between the two. –Bryan Static (It’s Alive, itsaliverecords.com)


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