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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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GRASS WIDOW:
Milo Minute: 7”
Grass Widow released Milo Minute on their own label, HLR, last year, and when I got it, I didn’t listen to it right away. Something about their Past Time LP left me worn out, although I’ve since come to my senses. Past Time is excellent; an album of effortless, slightly mathematical hooks. It’s tempting to just emphasize the radical girl-ness of them, to place them on a riot grrrl continuum (they’re all-female, they have a record on Kill Rock Stars, they’ve played with the reunited Raincoats), but there’s more. The video for “11 of Diamonds” almost feels Maya Deren-ish, like avant-garde beach noir from the earliest days of counter culture America. On the flip side of Milo Minute, they cover Neo Boys and Wire, and they’ve cited ‘60s Brits the Move as an influence. And while their strength is often in their restraint (no wild distortion, no super fast parts or freak-outs), they have something of the pop rush and bounce of the Buzzcocks, and they hint at the briskness and poetics, the guitar jangle and bass rumble and adventurousness, of the Minutemen, but take it in another direction. They’re a model female punk trio, no question, but you can go deeper and wider with them. “Milo Minute”, the song, feels like their attempt at a jaunty two-minute pop burst—plenty of craft, without a ton of overthinking. In the video for “Milo Minute,” they go to Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo and play music for gorillas, and it’s here, with the band on one side of the plexiglass and a gorilla habitat on the other, that the song seems to grow. The band is so charming, they seem like they were going to the zoo to play anyway, and then said “Oh! You should bring your camera, we need to make a video!” I did have some questions, mainly about whether or not it was good for gorillas to hear amplified instruments and drums, and then also what their hearing frequency was like. Is it like a dog’s? Dogs don’t seem to notice bands. The gorillas seem fine with it, especially by the end. Grass Widow have a way of making the complicated very uncomplicated and natural. They make it look not only easy, but desirable. –Matt Werts (HLR, no address listed)


GRAVE BABIES:
Self-titled: 7”
Dark, slow, atmospheric industrial that one might call goth, with lyrics about killing yourself for the sake of the earth and other murky, cryptic matters. People who like 4AD Records, the Swans, and being spanked will probably like this a lot. I’m not saying it sounds like the Swans and it certainly sounds nothing like being spanked, I’m just saying that it’s a safe bet that it would attract the same crowd. It’s a unique, quality record regardless, and hopefully they’ll get someone more mature to review their next record. Hee hee... spanked... Ooooh, please stop. I just haaaate it. –Craven (myspace.com/gravebabies)


GRAVE BLANKETS:
Your Injured Ways b/w You’ll Know Everything, Something You Say: 7"
Grave Blankets are a slow to mid-tempo garage horror punk band with dual male/female vocals from Columbus. Their influences range from Gun Club to The Mummies. What helps this single not fall flat is the terrific lo-fi recording that isn’t riddled with the intentionally distorted, overly produced fuzz added to so many similar releases in recent years. I’m not crazy about any of the three songs included here, but this record shows enough potential to pique my interest in checking out future releases from the band. Art Ettinger –Guest Contributor (self-released, graveblanketsmusic@gmail.com)


GRAVE DANGER:
Self-titled: CD
A limp combination of tame, Cramps-styled rockabilly and surf music. The group is more than proficient, but there’s neither a sense of immediacy nor psychosis to the music to make it particularly interesting. –Jimmy Alvarado (Rustic, PO Box 15225, Phoenix, AZ 85060)


GRAVE MAKER:
Bury Me at Sea: CD
Well-executed modern hardcore that adds some straight-ahead rock influences. They definitely don’t break the mold here. But what they do, they do well. “Cast Away” and “It’s Raining Again,” in my opinion, are the strongest of the album.  –Matt Average (Think Fast!)


GRAVEHILL:
Practitioners of Fell Sorcery: LP
Boy, them Gehenna kids are mighty prolific these days. By my reckoning, this is the third or fourth release I’ve come across that features a member or two of that band. This time they delve into the black/death/trash metal realm with six songs that recall the best of the Teutonic speed metal bands like Kreator, Destruction, and especially Sodom. This style seems to be making a bit of a comeback in recent years, and this should rightfully rank as one of the better—and faithful—of the modern installments, right down to lyrics like, “Archaic pages shall tell/In the black book of the earth/Demonic harbingers of the end/Necrosummoner—bring forth hordes of the dead…” –Jimmy Alvarado (A389)


GRAVEHOUSE:
Untitled: CDEP
This EP is a soundtrack for the descent to Hell. Equal parts drone, doom, and minimalistic, this is pretty kewl instrumental stuff taking cues from Japan’s Boris and Sunn O))). Three tracks clocking in at just over twenty-one minutes, the first song, “Untitled + Hollow Mind,” starts off with feedback whine and merges into an almost romantic guitar melody. “Of Feather” kicks off with heavy, sluggish riffs layered on top of a slow, methodical, meat-pounding beat. If you dig creepy, atmospheric tones or really like the soundtrack to Rosemary’s Baby, this is for you. Recommended. –Kristen K (Television)


GRAVELTRAP:
Concrete + Udder Chaos: CD
A band that reminds me a lot of the band Turtlehead. Not as strong as the latter band but melodic in the same way. –Donofthedead (Moon Ska Europe)


GRAVELTRAP:
Concrete + Udder Chaos: CD
A band that reminds me a lot of the band Turtlehead. Not as strong as the latter band but melodic in the same way. –Donofthedead (Moon Ska Europe)


GRAVES AT SEA/ASUNDER:
Split: CD
If you have any depressive mood or suicidal feelings on the horizon, and this should be passed. Graves At Sea take a super bongload and recreate the Sabbath lick with sheer despair. Heavy riffs that sludge along but bite hard attack your aural senses, like smoking too much pot and over-focusing on every aspect of a song. If I was stoned, this would creep me out with the witchcraft screeching vocals mixed with the growl of doom. They unleash two songs that clock over twenty minutes. Asunder is another story. I saw them last summer, and that was an out of body experience. They played in the dark by candlelight and played barely four songs in less than an hour. The room was maybe 20’x20’ and, due to the season and no air conditioning, it was blistering hot and humid. Their brand of super slow, sludgecore, or whatever you call this type of music, was a strange episode. With the environment and their music, they made me feel like I was hallucinating and experiencing something unique that I have not felt before. I was exhausted and dehydrated after their set and I was completely sober and drinking water the whole time. Strange. Here, they expose to the world an eighteen-minute-plus montage of pure, thick molasses. The sounds that come out of the speakers coat the room with charred smoke and make it almost inhabitable. If this sounds appealing, these are two bands that can take the happiness out of any room. –Donofthedead (Life is Abuse)


GRAVES AT SEA/ASUNDER:
Split: CD
If you have any depressive mood or suicidal feelings on the horizon, and this should be passed. Graves At Sea take a super bongload and recreate the Sabbath lick with sheer despair. Heavy riffs that sludge along but bite hard attack your aural senses, like smoking too much pot and over-focusing on every aspect of a song. If I was stoned, this would creep me out with the witchcraft screeching vocals mixed with the growl of doom. They unleash two songs that clock over twenty minutes. Asunder is another story. I saw them last summer, and that was an out of body experience. They played in the dark by candlelight and played barely four songs in less than an hour. The room was maybe 20’x20’ and, due to the season and no air conditioning, it was blistering hot and humid. Their brand of super slow, sludgecore, or whatever you call this type of music, was a strange episode. With the environment and their music, they made me feel like I was hallucinating and experiencing something unique that I have not felt before. I was exhausted and dehydrated after their set and I was completely sober and drinking water the whole time. Strange. Here, they expose to the world an eighteen-minute-plus montage of pure, thick molasses. The sounds that come out of the speakers coat the room with charred smoke and make it almost inhabitable. If this sounds appealing, these are two bands that can take the happiness out of any room. –Donofthedead (Life is Abuse)


GRAVES BROTHERS DELUXE, THE:
Light: CD
A cornucopia of sounds emanating from this—Waits-inspired weirdness, a little punk, some (in the words of a Mr. Retodd) “squeaky balloon” free jazz noodling. Interesting listen. –Jimmy Alvarado (Good Forks)


GRAVES BROTHERS DELUXE, THE:
Light: CD
For some weird reason this reminds me of listening to Screamin’ Jay Hawkins if he played in a rock project. But sometimes it gets weirder maybe due to a member participating in the Residents. A little too weird for my weird meter. –Donofthedead (Good Forks)


GRAVES BROTHERS, THE:
San Malo: CD
I gave this several runs through because I respect that they’re taking chances and don’t want to give it an unfair review. But the thing is, it doesn’t sound like it’s taking chances. It’s experimental alternative/post-punk that reminds me of bands like Camper Van Beethoven, Primus, Meat Puppets, and The Jesus Lizard. It’s jazzy, weird, and pretty creative but at the same time I can’t help but associate it with a time when there was new ground to break in the post-punk sound and this just sounds dated, like it came out of a time capsule. As much as they seem to be trying to make interesting and innovative music, it just sounds stuck in the late-eighties/early nineties to me. –Craven (no address)


GRAVESIDE ROCKERS, THE:
Hymns of Iniquity: CD
Psychobilly bands are filtering out of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties like the Lost Boys, usually hitting the mark, and the Graveside Rockers are no exception. But the tight musicianship and dark camaraderie are undermined by fictional lycan and fallen angels roaming the night, blood-stained ground, and a singer who unwittingly sounds a little like Biafra. –Jessica Thiringer (Self-released)


GRAVEYARD FIVE, THE:
“The Graveyard Theme” b/w “The Marble Orchard”: 7”
This is a double threat to me ‘cause these two songs are grave-stone cold and I love to pull records for the imaginary Halloween party that never seems to happen. You don’t have to be in an October state of mind to appreciate these late-night howls. “The Graveyard Theme” is a standard four/four instrumental, but the tinny, reverb-laden guitars and sliding bass line create a din that will keep you up with the bats. “The Marble Orchard” is about hangin’ in the graveyard. It’s a groover more than a mover, but if that’s your thing, it’s a must have. –Billups Allen (Lysergic Sound)


GRAVITAR:
Freedom’s Just Another Word for Never Getting Paid: CD
Imagine Flipper as a jam band. Wasn’t a pretty picture, was it? Neither was listening to this. –Jimmy Alvarado (Enterruption)


GRAVY TRAIN:
Hello Doctor: CD
Cool minimalist synth-rap-new-wave thingamabob, reminiscent of a less intense, female-driven Le Shok. Too bad the lyrics are so fucking pathetic. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.rapbitches.com)


GRAVY TRAIN!!!!:
Are You Wigglin’?: CD
Oakland’s raunch and roll here-ho’s, Gravy Train!!!!, lay down another disc of nasty and naughty party tunes with their second full-length release, Are You Wigglin’? Previous efforts gave us pop/rap sing-alongs about bouncing titties, turning people gay and hamburgers that fuck (don’t ask). More of the same with Are You Wigglin’?, but this half-boy/half-girl foursome toned it down just enough to make this release more fun/less shock. But not so much that you won’t be smirking when you’re shaking your ass to the sweet sounds of “Pussy Sauce.” Providing that you still weren’t sold, all this goodness is smothered in bitchin’ organs and totally catchy guitar riffs. –Kat Jetson (Kill Rock Stars)


GRAVY TRAIN!!!!:
Hello Doctor: CD
"You're missing out on hot-ass humps cuz I spread legs like anthrax, and Kenny G-type blowjobs cuz I play a mean skin sax." Now if this, dear reader, is your idea of a "hugetime," than Oakland, California's Gravy Train!!!! (with four exclamation points, please) is your ultimate raunch-attack party band. They are four ex-Catholics (ah!, that explains it) living out your nastiest sexual fantasies via a couple of thrift store Casio synths, a sixty dollar drum machine, and a whole lotta sing-along, naughty-words raps, that'll leave you hot, bothered and wet for more. There's a B-52's call and response element here, but Hunx (the dude) is far more flaming than Fred Schneider could ever hope to be, and the fly girls – Drunx, Funx and Chunx, well… they ain't no beehive-wearing, sweet-voiced betties. And that's fine by them. Gravy Train!!!! seem to revel in their perviness as witnessed by the two-minute blasts pumpin' and grindin' out your woofers and tweeters. "Don't blame me for being sick for dick, sometimes it's titties that I wanna lick," pouts Hunx on "Double Decker Supreme," a threesome song "'bout blowin' loads in a butt while loads are blown in mine." Mom must be proud. Without reprinting all of the lyrics here I doubt I could do their brilliance justice, so to achieve maximum listening pleasure, I suggest reading along while giving this a spin. And if you're tuning in for purely educational purposes, lift the tray card for a "How to Pussy Thrusts" lesson. (Complete with diagrams.) –Kat Jetson (Kill Rock Stars)


GRAYCEON:
Self-titled: CD
I’ll be up front about this. I don’t like twenty minute songs. I also don’t like twelve minute songs. And, come to think of it, I don’t generally appreciate eight minute songs, either. These ADD predilections cancel out three of the four tracks on this EP. I’m also not a big fan of the metal genre. My friend Lesley says that there are a lot of metal bands out there who have more in common with classical music that with what we’ve come to think of as metal. This is that sort of band. Adept players writing ambitious music but it is so not my kind of thing, I barely feel qualified to write this review. –Jennifer Whiteford (www.vendlus.com)


GRAZE, THE:
Iowa Anvil: CD
There are only so many indie rock songs featuring quavering, tremulous vocals that I can handle in rapid succession. As a rule of thumb, my limit is two. There are ten songs on this record. You do the math. –Puckett (J-Shirt)


GRAZE, THE:
Iowa Anvil: CD
There are only so many indie rock songs featuring quavering, tremulous vocals that I can handle in rapid succession. As a rule of thumb, my limit is two. There are ten songs on this record. You do the math. –Puckett (J-Shirt)


GREASE MONKEYS:
Grease Blast: CD
A decent mix of garage rock and punk'n'roll, but the vocals are so simultaneously dull and grating they fuck up the whole vibe and thus encouraging the listener to embed the disc into the nearest wall. If they're looking for a reaction, I would venture to say they got one, but I don't think it was quite what they were expecting. –Jimmy Alvarado (Bronx Cheer)


GREASY WHISTLES / LITTLE RICHARDS, THE:
Split: Cassette
All squares, make like a tree. This split shores up two psychedelic, garage outfits out of Massachusetts with five tracks a piece. First up, Greasy Whistles, comprised of past members of The Maine Coons and Closet Fairies, serve up lo-fi power punk. The recording quality could use an overhaul, leaving the vocals on the first three tracks sounding as if they were streaming through a soup can telephone. But don’t let that break you. “Incandescent Lights,” “ManCave,” and “Smudge Your Makeup” tool nasally choruses sang ad infinitum that ought to stoke the flames for a new generation of reefer madness. Once the recording gets upgraded, these cats should be sittin’ pretty. On the B Side, The Little Richards goose step it wild-eyed, taking the base elements of pop punk and running with it. Now I’m still mourning the loss of Tommy Ramone. I’m still getting used to the idea that the original Ramones lineup is dead and buried when all of The Rolling Stones (save for Brian Jones) are still shuffling their boney carcasses around the globe. Now I’m not going to say something as stupid or as trite as, “The Little Richards are the next Ramones” because there will never ever be another Ramones. But their energy is reminiscent of the moppy-haired boys who practically trademarked skinny jeans and leather jackets. Building on their demos of simple 1-2-3-4 power chords and rhyming lyrics fueled by LSD and girls, these new tracks experiment with different time signatures and rapid fire “m-m-m-my”s on “My Mouth,” instead of the dreamy “oh, oh, ohho”s of songs past. “Caffeine Fiend” is a teeth-grinding love letter to the most loveable legal substance, while “420 Girl” and “Reefer Sadness” show off the boys’ charming songwriting humor. Tight, fun, hilarious rock’n’roll. Recommended.  –Kristen K. (Dead Broke)


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