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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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New World: CD
Marshall-saturated, grungy rock stuff from (according to the Day-Glo green sticker affixed to the front) members of Coffin Break, RC5, and Jet City Fix. More succinctly: think Soundgarden with huevos. Take that as you will. –jimmy (Flotation, no address)

Self-titled: Cassette
I cannot begin to imagine trying to be goth in a high desert town like Reno: makeup melting under a hot sun and black leather sweltering even under the best of circumstances in the summer. You’ve gotta choose your flags wisely under such a hot sun: lapel pins, the odd black T-shirt. Perhaps it’s exposure to a harsh environment that makes PlasticCaves so effective and ultimately awesome: there are certainly post-punk/goth tropes throughout their eponymous debut, but they’re making intelligent choices about their presentation rather than blindly going whole hog. The stylistic overtures which the band choose—familiar guitar tones, urgency driven by an insistent rhythm section—further the songs, never thrown in for their own sake. Of particular note are the vocals, which are neither heavily affected or overemoted. So often bands showing promise in the early ‘80s post-punk department boast singers who showboat and ultimately pilot the SS Spooky into an iceberg of overindulgence—not here. The focus is on the group as an organism which delivers music (and well), rather than some theater wannabe with a cape trying to be sinister and/or spooky. Faith-era Cure and Bauhaus are good starting points in a discussion which quickly branches into unblazed territory. Recommended.  –Michael T. Fournier (D6)

Dispossessed | Suicide Floor: 7”s
From what I’m able to glean, this is a band hailing from Reno. The Dispossessed single appears to be their first vinyl release with a limited pressing of three hundred copies. The title track is a nice bit of aggressive, new wavy post-punk, and the flip, “Cold Remains,” takes a slower, drone-based approach. Solid single all the way ‘round. Suicide Floor is single-sided with only one track and is limited to 116 copies. Tune’s a bit more brooding than the two on the other single, but still some choice work. Definitely some good things going on here. Hope they’re working on a full-length.  –jimmy (D6)

Mazatlan: CD
I realize that dissing this band is the equivalent, to some, of pissing napalm on one of Minnesota’s sacred indie cows, but this form of angular indie rock isn’t the one that does anything for me. The musical parts seem to change every half-second or so and there’s too much pointless noodling here (and frankly, the chops aren’t that technical); it’s basically the post-punk equivalent of prog rock. When combined with the vocals—which sometimes verge on rap and otherwise take their cues from all of post-core—there just isn’t much here for me to like. For fans of whatever post-core indie darling happens to be the rage right now. –scott (2024 Records)

Shockwave Rider: 7"
I had some good expectations, since this outfit is fronted by the editor of Galactic Zoo Dossier. Unfortunately, this whole single is forgettable: noisy modern-day psychedelia with the vocals buried in the din. No hooks and absolutely nothing that stands out. –Matt Average (HoZac, hozacrecords.com)

Grayscale Rainbows: LP
Huh. One half of The Measure (SA) and a few other guys trying their hands at hardcore punk. If you can get past the album artwork, there’s some pretty good material here. (Craig Fu Yong, you are a pretty good vocalist and your lyrics aren’t half bad either—they’re actually really good—but this cover and such? Eeeek.) A little burly, a little frantic, a lot of songs—and a lot of thinking around corners and dodging the obvious. The dichotomy here: Grayscale Rainbows is full of traditional hardcore, but with an aversion to traditional verse-verse-chorus solutions; it’s hardcore full of little flourishes, little blips and bleeps that add depth and strength. Eighteen songs. I’m not much of a fan of hardcore these days, but Plastic Cross more than held my interest. Quality. –keith (Don Giovanni)

Self-titled: CD
Sounds like about eighty percent Nine Inch Nails and twenty percent Wall of Voodoo. Those are amazing figures. Actually, i just made them up. BEST SONG: "God Damn Radio." BEST SONG TITLE: Either "God Damn Radio" or "Sorry I Killed You" FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Mastered by John Golden! Oh my God! Oh my God! –norb (DNA Productions)

Singles, Demos and Live: CD
The chorus of “I.U.D.,” the lead-off track on this retrospective of one of Houston’s more notable punk bands, has haunted my for years since the supremely cool Scott Pellet (head honcho over at the Big Boys’ tribute site www.soundonsound.org) put it on a comp cassette of old Texas punk rock he’d made. The problem is I know it’s lifted from another song, one that has been on the tip of my tongue for years but just refuses to make itself known. No matter, I guess. What’s important here is that this is chock full of some very nice, very quirky (and let’s be honest, it would really be quirky if it weren’t quirky, considering where these kids were from) Texas punk. Songs about the aforementioned contraceptive device, the advantages of being uncircumcised, Siamese love, and yellow stains are the order of the day, and the music is a nice example of that sweet spot in punk’s history where attitude was more important than adhering to some rigid template. Nice history lesson here, one definitely worthy of attention. –jimmy (hotboxreview@hotmail.com)

“FUI” b/w “Kelly”: 7”
Miami garage five-piece Plastic Pinks play delightfully dirty pop rock’n’roll. The sunny melodies and summery sensibility of side A’s “FUI” clash against the track’s slightly fuzzy production and messy gang vocals like a Hypercolor shirt paired with an acid wash denim fanny pack—they shouldn’t work together, but they totally do. The slightly longer B side, “Kelly,” is heavier, slower, and adds a little psych to Plastic Pinks’ surf aesthetic, but the song stays on message with an extended breakdown that is somehow both chuggy and reminiscent of Dick Dale. The powder blue single’s artwork—courtesy of “party animal” and frequent collaborator Mimi Starr—looks like Fear and Loathing had a fever dream acid baby with Spring Breakers. All that’s missing is Spuds MacKenzie on a Sea-Doo…  –Kelley O’Death (Die Slaughterhaus, dieslaughterhaus@yahoo.com, dieslaughterhausrecords.com)

Sheena Gets Around b/w Shut Up: 7"
In case you’re wondering whether the concept of bands with names like Plastic/Neon/Napalm Hearts/Stars/Moons/Clovers doing songs with titles like “Sheena Gets Around” has any legs, i will duly report that the answer is still apparently “yes.” Sounds kinda like 20/20, but with punkish energy and impatience, and borrowing Helen Love’s keyboard (likely due to the punkish impatience). “Sheena Gets Around” seemed like it was over by the time i had gotten back comfy on the couch, but there were boobs on the innersleeve so perhaps i wasn’t paying proper attention. BEST SONG: “Sheena Gets Around” BEST SONG TITLE: “Sheena Gets Around” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Run-off groove numbers seem to indicate that this record was manufactured at United Record Pressing, but when i hold it up to the light, it isn’t all brown and see-thru. What gives? –norb (No Front Teeth)

The Brunch of the Living Dead: CD
I liked the two fast songs here, “Boss of Me” and “D-R-U-N-K,” but the rest came off as not-particularly-exciting mid-tempo rock/punk. –jimmy (Plate-O-Shrimp)

Split: 7”
Plate-o-Shrimp: Their website describes them as “high-energy punk-style/power-pop rock,” and I guess that’s accurate, based on what’s here. The one original and cover of DOA’s “Fuck You” here ain’t bad, but not quite memorable, either. The Unstuck: Punk rock, poppy in an un-bad way, catchy in a head-bobbing way. The Unstuck win this round. –jimmy (www.plate-o-shrimp.com)

Do It for You: 7”
Unabashed Velvets worship abounds throughout this. Not a bad thing, if done well, and while their lyrics don’t appear at first blush to have the same focus on the seedier side of life, they do make good use of repetitive riffs and stomping rhythms that are more “Waiting for the Man” than “Venus in Furs.” Is it genre defining? Probably not, but I’ll take a couple of these over one more NOFX clone any goddamned time. –jimmy (HoZac)

Wasting Time: 10”EP
Let me just state first how glorious the pastel splatter starburst pattern on this vinyl 10” is. Its front cover plays this up front and center with a cutout design and the contrast of some dark, strange yeti type creature. I suppose it adds some intrigue. Plateaus have an unseasoned vernal sound—a fresh mix of pop with the stoner glaze of, say, White Fang, but much more clean and polished. Both “Wasting Time,” and the faster “Look Out,” have melodic guitar that arches over the underlying flat vocals, leaving wisps of echoes, laden with fuzzed-out bass, and some pretty sweet riffs. “Air Head” is a bit more ‘60s garage pop, with a solid bass line, warped surf guitar, and weird, nasally vocals. It’s a damn good song that gets the hips moving.  –Camylle Reynolds (Mt. St. Mtn.)

The Garth Butcher: 7” EP
Plates, by way of Buffalo, NY provide us with three songs on this here 7” titled The Garth Butcher EP (in an earlier incarnation, the band apparently went by the moniker Garth Butcher, named after a retired professional hockey player), released on Feral Kid Records. Side one’s track, “Sentimental Jenny Jones Fodder Has Been Around for Fucking Ever,” has a taut, tense feel to it, observing the quiet/loud sensibilities of big fuzz forebears Dinosaur Jr and Sonic Youth, though here like a heavier bit of shoegaze, not quite as heavy as say, Tad or the Melvins but fuzzy, heavy shoegaze nonetheless. Second side takes a dip, in my opinion. “Pop Country Blowjobs” with its hollow drumming and “It’s all Billy Joel to me, motherfucker” chorus could have probably been left off of the record and no one would have missed it. Things pick up a little with the next song, “Romanian Rich,” which, despite its bleating vocals, brings to mind Poison Idea, ‘80s hardcore where the rock and roll is still evident. I’d like to hear more “Sentimental Jenny Jones…” and less punk-by-numbers, and I think Plates has it in them to do it. –Jeff (Feral Kid)

Taking Pictures of Poor People: 7” EP
A-Side: L7-style hypnotic sludge riffin’ with a dude who sounds like he listened to a lot of Second Wind. B-side has two more tracks that are nary a whit faster, but definitely heavier. –jimmy (Feral Kid)

Self-titled: LP
A band that’s not easy to pin down stylistically (which is a great thing). A lot of noise and weird sounds bubbling up in the songs, and despite all that, the songs are catchy. The riffs are solid and have this winding and meandering way at times; others that are a little more direct (“Sociology 101”).  Then sometimes they throw in some sounds from left field, putting a different feel in the music. Mix up garage rock, psych, hardcore punk, and you get something along the lines of Plates, though they’re not that narrowly defined. A song like “Arrows” hearken back to early to mid-‘80s hardcore, where the song goes back and forth between mid to fast pacing and builds and builds as the song winds on. “Local Legend” has a manic energy. It’s fast and speedy, then slow and lumbering with an almost “blehhh” vibe akin to a string of overcast days. Their cover of Gun Club’s “Sex Beat” is so-so, but the rest on here are worth your time and attention, especially the awesome “Day Planner,” which has a psych vibe crossed with a mid-tempo hardcore temp and execution. Hearing bands like this, where they’re taking a few genres and mashing them up into something new and different, make me wonder what sort of new sounds and styles await us on the other side. –Matt Average (Big Neck, bigneckrecords.com)

Future Hits: LP
Future Hitsopens up with a fiery little power pop number about smoking, drinking, cocaine, and cars and trucks. That is essentially the extent of Platinum Boys’ subject matter and interests, making for a rather redundant-sounding record. I do detect a Southern-fried influence in the guitar hooks and overall attitude (the words “punk sucks” printed on the album insert) which explains the disconnect I have with the record. I wish I could say that I relate to a rock’n’roll lifestyle of boozin’, cruisin’, and one night stands, but I have enough problems as it is. The truth is that while this brand of Southern-influenced power pop is lost on me, I do see these guys appealing to the Goner Fest type of crowd of handle bar mustachioed, tattooed, jean vest-wearing anti-punk rockers.  –Juan Espinosa (Dusty Medical)

Coextinction: CD
I think that when one picks up a CD by a group that calls themselves the Players Club, it’s perfectly valid to expect rap music and not post-Helmet/Unsane sludge metal. Shit, now I gotta put my Kangol and Adidas away, cuz these guys be bringin’ the wrong noise. –jimmy (Arclight)

Self-titled: 7”
Playoff Beard isn’t afraid to play pop punk despite the backlash mounted against pop punk since it gained commercial success in the 1990s. Comprised of members of legendary Pittsburgh-area bands including Tommy Gutless, Remainders, The Radio Beats, and The Shutouts, Playoff Beard borrows from other subgenres, including garage and streetpunk. They play earnest, heartfelt songs about growing up in subculture, doing the right thing, and finding balance in life. Decidedly non-trite, this isn’t “la la” pop punk, despite its catchiness. All five of the tracks on this fantastic 7” are instantly lovable and each deals with relatable themes. “First Day of Summer (Pt. 2),” for example, is about hanging out with friends and listening to Screeching Weasel. The vocals are expressive, with a slight, poignant gruffness, keeping the proceedings from becoming corny. The production perfectly captures how tremendous Playoff Beard sounds live, which isn’t an easy feat given how kick-ass their live shows are. A must-have 7” for anyone into melodic punk, Playoff Beard’s new release is easily one of 2015’s best records so far. Seek it out now!  –Art Ettinger (Between The Days)

Throw a Beat: CDEP
Arty skronk rock. Songs are short, vocals are screamed; you know the drill. –jimmy (Pluto)

Throw a Beat: CDEP
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I fucking get it already. You scream a lot, play angular guitar lines and throw in some choogling keyboard lines for good measure. Slow it down a little and it sounds like electro-clash to me—the Numbers, maybe? Erase Errata? I’m sure there must be some bastardized new wave of no-wave connection that I’m missing, but this just sounds like jumping on the bandwagon of a trend that’s already over and wasn’t hugely interesting to begin with. –scott (Pluto)

Here’s to the Life of the Party: CD
The singer of this band seems to have some sort of glandular dysfunction which causes his mouth to produce too much saliva, which in turn comes flying out of his mouth into the microphone as he screams his atonal lyrics. It’s kind of like that drunk guy you stood next to in that club the other day, who was trying to shout something in your ear, but all you got out of it was a wet ear. It’s too bad, ‘cause the rest of the band has got some really interesting stuff going on, including an occasional farfisa organ bleeding through the fuzzed-out guitars and the pounding drums and bass. I gotta think one of the other guys in this band could do the singing, they’d each get a larger cut, and they’d be a decent hardcore band. –brian (Pluto)

Self-titled: 12” EP
Pleasure Cross certainly appear to worship the early Earache catalog, as evidenced by a non-stop beat down of thrashing grindcore, demonic vocals, and some serious guitar tremolo bar bending. Imagine, if you will, Heresy’s Never Healed as interpreted by members of Napalm Death and Bolt Thrower. Seattle powerhouse Walls disbanded as a result of vocalist August Alston’s departure from the group to focus on Pleasure Cross. Shed a tear as you bang your head and pump your fist.  –Juan Espinosa (Iron Lung)

Alter: CD
If Tom Waits were thirty years younger and had a hard-on for college rock, I bet his band would sound just like this. –jimmy (Sub Pop)

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