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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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OOZZIES, THE:
Nation Out of Hand: CD
Pretty ho-hum punk rock. Produced by East Bay Ray. Must’ve been really cool having a real live Dead Kennedy produce your album. Yippee. Next. –Jimmy Alvarado (Industrial Strength, 2824 Regatta Boulevard, Richmond, CA 94804)


OPEN CASKET / SCRABBLE ROBOT:
Split: 7"
The “Vs.” between the bands’ names on the cover positions this split not as a collaboration, but as a competition. Open Casket’s first song features the sort of casually angry vocals that I find endearing. It’s sort of an armchair angry, a “Damn it I wish I had more root beer!” angry, rather than an “I’m gonna gut you and eat your intestines” angry. It’s the kind of angry you can get behind pretty easily when you’re sitting around listening to records. OC’s second song is sung by a different band member. It’s about falling out with a former bandmate and offers these fantastic lyrics: “Spent the money from the last show. I know that was wrong. I bought a bong.” Scrabble Robot’s songs on the flip are perfectly acceptable, but about halfway through the first one I found myself really anxious to go back and listen to the Open Casket side again. So I guess I’ve picked a winner. It should be noted that this is a beautiful package, with an amazing full-color cover, green vinyl, and a comic strip insert which, by the way, also depicts Open Casket as the winner of the competition. –MP Johnson (Mortville)


OPEN SEX, THEE:
Self-titled: LP
The little one shit sheet that accompanied this record made a lot of lofty comparisons that are not true. Allusions to Rocket From The Tombs, Can, John Lydon, etc. They’re all bands and people I can get behind. They tend to have me putting the record on immediately. However, the reality is Thee Open Sex are just another boring indie rock band with a sound that’s accessible and non-challenging. You’ve heard this shit a million times before, and will hear it for time eternal. Doesn’t mean it’s a good thing, or something that needs to continue. Blehhhh... –Matt Average (Magnetic South, magneticsouthrecordings.org)


OPEN SEX, THEE:
Self-titled: Cassette
Meandering between psychedelic and shoegaze, this five piece out of Indiana makes me want to crack open a beer or smoke some weed. These are sweaty, sunshiny summertime tunes with Miss Mess on vocals, sounding like Grace Slick meets Kathleen Hanna circa Le Tigre. Her nasal cry floats from orgasmic to indifferent, while prog rock chords ebb, crest, and crash. “Gimme Away” veers into garage with a ‘60s Chuck Berry pogo structure while “Light of Love” and “Live Dead” show off their musical chops. The latter is an epic, six-and-a-half minutes of scat singing, rife with “oohs and ah ahs” that gently escalates to what I can only imagine must resemble a religious rapture if seen live. Not your typical debut, this is well crafted rock’n’roll at a comfortable 25 mph, much like The Velvet Underground. Recommended. –Kristen K (Let’s Pretend)


OPENIGHTMARE:
The Harder We Come: CD
How many records get bad reviews just because they got sent to the wrong reviewer? I apologize, OpeNightmare, but the style of music you play sounds terrible to my ears. I hear influences of Rancid, H20, and a vast array of other skate punk bands that plagued the scene in the ‘90s. I hear your songs and they have all the elements to be good to someone who listens to this genre, but not to me. So it goes. –Bryan Static (Vegas)


OPERATION CLIFF CLAVIN:
Freedom of Choice: CD
O.C.C. spastically play hard-edged bursts of pop-punk liveliness that's fiery, volatile, fierce, and highly flammable. While intently listenin' to this heavy-hittin' gut-puncher of a disc, I just couldn't sit still, and my toes were frantically a-tappin' one million beats per minute, I shit you not! The snotty taunting schoolyard-bully vocals, furiously roarin' napalm-laden squadron of fighter-jet guitars, diabolical bone-rattlin' bass boomings, and frenzied pneumatic-drill jackhammer drumming mayhemically mesh together in an ear-pleasing blend of social-loathing sonic slashings that have me urgently pleadin' for more! Yep, I'm whorishly hooked on O.C.C., and I ain't gonna be a good boy no more, Ma... –Roger Moser Jr. (Plan-It-X, 5810 W. Willis Rd., Georgetown, IN 47122-9117; http://go.to/planitx)


OPERATION CLIFF CLAVIN:
Out of Control (A Discography of the ‘90s): CD
I just can’t believe how often the Operation Cliff Clavin CDs go out of print and then warrant a repress. Now that’s a cult following! This time around, there are even MORE songs than before and a nifty li’l live DVD. I’m glad to have gotten this though, otherwise I never would have heard the anti-Star Wars song, called “C3PO Can Suck My Ass,” and the two amazing covers: one of the Misfits song “Astrozombies” and the other of the oldies hit “Blue Moon.” –Mr. Z (Plan-it-X)


OPERATION CLIFF CLAVIN:
Freedom of Choice: CD
O.C.C. spastically play hard-edged bursts of pop-punk liveliness that's fiery, volatile, fierce, and highly flammable. While intently listenin' to this heavy-hittin' gut-puncher of a disc, I just couldn't sit still, and my toes were frantically a-tappin' one million beats per minute, I shit you not! The snotty taunting schoolyard-bully vocals, furiously roarin' napalm-laden squadron of fighter-jet guitars, diabolical bone-rattlin' bass boomings, and frenzied pneumatic-drill jackhammer drumming mayhemically mesh together in an ear-pleasing blend of social-loathing sonic slashings that have me urgently pleadin' for more! Yep, I'm whorishly hooked on O.C.C., and I ain't gonna be a good boy no more, Ma... –Guest Contributor (Plan-It-X)


OPERATION LATTE THUNDER / ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS:
The Kitchen Split: 7"
Operation Latte Thunder: A funny song title, “Point Your Compass in the Direction of Fun,” whip-smart lyrics about being in a band; “sardined in a van,” and “you can’t be homesick when the cure’s right beside you,” while referencing Lifetime all add up to a good listen. I’ve been hearing the word “screamo” a lot lately, and I’m not sure what it’s supposed to mean. If it’s a couple of dudes yelling really well, over instruments you can see chip their paint when the vinyl spins, sign me up. OLT mix shades of Guyana Punch Line, where everything’s going off, but in the same direction so it doesn’t sound like mud, along with good, old fashioned audio destruction by guys I suspect have a lot of marbles rolling around in their noggins. Are You Fucking Serious: Have the best song title this rotation: “Cows Go: Moo, Pig Go: You’re Under Arrest.” They’re blunt (SUVs, malls, cops = bad / ripping it up = good), owe a lot to GBH and a poor man’s Iron Maiden (think crusty not-metal-afraid, speedy punk), and have a good song about washing dishes, but lack the extra ooom pa pa that Operation Latte Thunder packs. –Todd Taylor (Mis En Place)


OPERATION MAKEOUT:
Hang Loose: CD
Fun time punk from the Great White North – a three piece, featuring two lovely ladies and one fine gentleman – singing fun, enjoyable, borderline pop punk songs. They remind me a bit of Sleater-Kinney, musically, if Sleater-Kinney would have stuck with the more fast paced punk rock of their first album. Operation Makeout has lots of breakdowns that remind me of Wire. Vocalists Jesse (bass) and Katie (guitar) have such different voices that they work so well together. Scratchy-voiced Jesse, couples with smooth sounding Katie, and it’s really nice how they switch lead from song to song. We even get vocals thrown in by the fine drummer, Anna. The album, overall, is terribly enjoyable and fun, with lyrics that are poetic and even arty, yet touchable (as in I can relate man.. I can!). The most standout tracks are “Current Events,” “Lost, Unwanted… But Still Nice,” and the oh, so cute “Contents.” There is also a sweet hidden track remix of “You and Me Geometry,” by schizo-samplehungry-electro-noise monger Secret Mommy (aka Andy from the Red Light Sting). Operation Makeout give me high hopes for the future of punk rock. Thank you very much, Canada. –Sarah Shay (Mint)


OPERATION S:
Self-titled: CD
French new wave, sung in French, featuring the Cecilia, the vocalist of the nicely trashy No Talents. Operation S remind me of early Siouxsie and the Banshees with a keyboard that wiggles and slinks with darkness instead of being a type of bright and bopping razor wire as wielded by the current crop of Northwest new wave/punk rippers. Operation S's songs are something I imagine playing in a bar of the future, like in Bladerunner. Androids. Droning. Cold. Mixed drinks that are more costly than 12ers of cheap beer. People with clothes more expensive than my car. A party I'm not really invited to. Many of the songs are super repetitive, too. Overall, it's okay. I thought I'd like it more. –Todd Taylor (Broken)


OPERATION S:
Self-titled: CD
French new wave, sung in French, featuring the Cecilia, the vocalist of the nicely trashy No Talents. Operation S remind me of early Siouxsie and the Banshees with a keyboard that wiggles and slinks with darkness instead of being a type of bright and bopping razor wire as wielded by the current crop of Northwest new wave/punk rippers. Operation S’s songs are something I imagine playing in a bar of the future, like in Bladerunner. Androids. Droning. Cold. Mixed drinks that are more costly than 12ers of cheap beer. People with clothes more expensive than my car. A party I’m not really invited to. Many of the songs are super repetitive, too. Overall, it’s okay. I thought I’d like it more. –Todd Taylor (Broken)


OPERATORS 780, THE:
Power Version: CD
Yet another ska/rocksteady record to wholly ignore for the derivative umpteenth-generation, played-out pilf it is. Can’t wait ‘til punta-core is the next big thing, ‘cause, much as I love the original stuff, this focus on only one Caribbean rhythmic style is beyond ridiculous. Fuck, even the Skatalites branched out now and then. –Jimmy Alvarado (Power Version)


OPPOSABLE THUMBS:
Self-titled: 7”
Can all three hundred of these records be so elaborately packaged?! The cover is two seven inch cuts of cracked and scratched glass taped together with blue duct tape with a couple photos taped to each piece of glass. Pretty cool, but pretty dangerous... sharp edges and all. And the music contained inside is excellent. The first thing that comes to mind is Monsula and late ‘80s/early ‘90s Dischord stuff. I really wish I knew more about this band, but no info was included. –Chris Mason (no info)


OPPOSITION RISING:
Aftermathematics: CD
An odd amalgam of tough guy hardcore and intelligent, political punk, Opposition Rising is an up and coming Boston band to watch for. In an era when musicians justifiably complain about music piracy, Opposition Rising takes the opposite approach, giving copies of this CD away for free. The entire album is likewise available online for downloading, with a link to by the LP, for those reeled in by the free version. The tough guy bits are interspersed with odd ska breakdowns that are only odd in that they somehow don’t seem at all out of place. The frontman’s vocals are way above average, too. No opposition here. –Art Ettinger (Opposition, oppositionrising.com)


OPPOSITION RISING:
Get off Your Ass, Get off Your Knees: 10”EP
Hailing from Boston, Opposition Rising is a mash-up of a wide variety of genres of hardcore. Usually an attempt at this is the sonic representation of a train wreck but that’s not the case here. The first side is three songs of fast-paced, anthemic hardcore—anthemic without being too singsong and keeping all of its bite. Music to dog pile for the mic to. The second side takes a turn for a different anthem and throws in a lot of ska punk, but, again, not totally shitting all over it. They execute it flawlessly by throwing in lyrics relating to working class issues. I have listened to this record a lot in the last few weeks and will continue to do so.  –Adam Mullett (Riot Ska,chris@riotskarecords.com/ Pirates Press)


OPPOSITION RISING:
Aftermathematics LP + Get off Your Ass Get off Your Knees EP: CD
A CD reissue of their Get off Your Ass Get off Your Knees EP and Aftermathematics LP, released 2013 and 2011, respectively. Truth be told, “angry political punk” is as dicey these days as most of the other cubbyholes that fall under the “punk” banner, so, naturally, I was a bit skeptical when approaching this. True to form, a lot of the expected subject matter—class war, religion, war, and other examples of how fucked up society is in the twenty-first century and calls to revolt against it all—is in evidence, but instead of ladling out more of the insipid, watered-down U.S. variant of “street punk” that seems all the rage among the perfectly coiffed and Manic Panic-colored parrot punk contingent, they back up specific gripes with some tasty (mostly) mid-tempo punk/hardcore delivered with enough verve that those of us who find ourselves a bit more cynical might be swayed to believe they actually mean what they’re saying. I know that might come off as a backhanded compliment, but believe me it’s not. Too often anymore “fuck the system” is more a punk conceit than conviction, and while I can’t profess to know these cats or where their heads are at, the tunes here are put across in such a way as to come off more the latter, which makes all the difference, even when they divert off in an occasional reggae direction.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Profane Existence / Opposition)


OPPOSITION RISING:
Aftermathematics LP + Get off Your Ass Get off Your Knees EP: CD
You can call this a mini-comp or sorts with this latest release on Profane Existence and Opposition Records. Opposition Rising’sAftermathematics LP and Get off Your Ass Get off Your Knees EP are on this CD. It’s a punishing mix of hardcore, crust punk, street, and even a bit of ska crust. Their message is intelligent, angry-as-fuck, and laser-focused. Those familiar with Boston hardcore bands Mouth Sewn Shut and Toxic Narcotic, which they share members with, will find this crucial. –Camylle Reynolds (Profane Existence / Opposition)


OPPRESSED LOGIC:
Ones That Control: CD
Reminds me of Mystic Records bands like R.K.L., Don’t know, and Scared Straight minus the double bass drums. On first listen, it didn’t really move me. Something in it took me back to the mid-’80s and the local LA scene. Bands like these were a dime a dozen back in the day but they’re probably considered old school today. If this band was local and I had seen them many times live, I would probably have a different perspective. But as a newcomer, I was not blown away. The almost out of tune sound of the guitars mixed with the double bass drumming on this rubbed me wrong. –Donofthedead (Blazing Guns)


OPPRESSED, THE:
Won’t Say Sorry: 2 x CD
Long-running skinhead band that has been a favorite, compile some covers that run the gamut on this release. They pay homage to Jamaican legends Simaryp, the 4 Skins, the Clash, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Sham 69, Cockney Rejects, Slade, and others who came before them. I can’t believe how may covers this band has recorded. Makes me want to break out the hair clippers and shave the head, followed by cleaning things up with a razor and dusting off the fourteen-hole Doc Martins, grabbing a wife beater out of the dresser, pulling out the suspenders out of the box of clothes I haven’t worn in a couple of decades, and trying to squeeze into a tight pair of pegged jeans. There are so many classics covered with competency. Worthy of the price of purchase are the two versions of the oi classic, “Skinhead Girl. –Donofthedead (Insurgence)


OPPRESSED, THE:
Oi! Singles & Rarities: CD
"Oi! Singles and Rarities" opens up with the song "White Flag" and finishes up some twenty-eight songs later with "Living with Unemployment." In between is pretty much everything the band ever released on Eps and splits. Though most of my favorite Oppressed stuff came off of "OI! OI! Music," their ten or so EP's are a great way to chart the band's political views as well their growth. From the played-to-death pub cover songs to one of my personal favorites "Do Anything You Wanna Do," this comp has got it all from one of the greatest oi bands around. –Keith Rosson (Captain Oi)


OPTIMUS PRIME:
Self-titled: CD
Emo/metal stuff from Russia. Yup, you read that correctly. –Jimmy Alvarado (OSK)


OPTIONAL BODY:
Surviving Avalanches: 7” single
Ex-members of bands like Dead And Gone, the VSS, Year Future, and others that escape my foggy memory make up Optional Body. The style is on the post-punk side, a bit like where Cat Party is at these days. What really hooks me with the group is Rocky Crane’s guitar playing. I was always a fan of the stuff he was doing in Dead And Gone, and wanted to hear more, especially when he would add a little extra between songs in a live setting. The sound is simultaneously sprawling, cold, and dark. The A side is the best of the two. The tempo is moderately quick and has a bit of urgency without going the too easy spastic route. Percussion keeps time, and sometimes bashes around, but is still in control. The guitar brings the darkness. “Inelastic,” which is on the flip, is good, but it contrasts too much with the mood set from “Surviving Avalanches.” It’s a bit more ratcheted up. The vocal delivery is more forceful and the bass and drums are snaking in and out of one another. It’s like if Scratch Acid went more goth and less punk. Still, a good song, but I’d like maybe one more in between for a smoother transition. –Matt Average (25 Diamonds, 25diamonds.com)


OPTIONALS, THE:
Dead to Realise: CD
If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if Dave Grohl teamed up with Leatherface to provide interpretations of Bill Stevenson compositions that were weeded out from the Descendents/All’s set list for being way too goddamned dense and busy even for them—but are so catchy that someone oughta be taking a stab at playing them—here you go. Though the pop hooks are a plenty, you’ll be hard pressed to find extended pieces here to whistle while you work. Some mighty fine work on all fronts—from writing to proficiency to performance—has been put in here and, though the tunes may feel a bit cerebral at times, these Aussie kids pack one mean wallop. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.myspace.com/theoptionals)


ORANGE:
Welcome to the World of...: CD
It just feels wrong. Icky, really. Sure, the songs are as catchy as SARS and the production is top notch but none of that can hide the feeling of trying too hard. Sure, it has all the “plaid and zips” you could ever want on a record but it really lacks any kind of heart. You’d be much better off listening to the Briefs again. In fact, I’ll go do that. –Ty Stranglehold (Hellcat)


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