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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Bleed for Me: 7” single
Apparently, this was pressed up for their recent European tour. I was hoping for some new material from these guys. Instead, we’re given a couple Dead Kennedys covers. They chose doing these to illustrate how relevant the lyrics are some thirty years later, and while I tend to agree, I think it would have been better to write a song or two of their own that would inspire today’s generation to think and question, much in the same way the DKs did for some of us thirty years ago. Performance-wise, Poison Planet does a decent job. It’s strange hearing these songs a bit heavier, faster, and thrashier. I’d say this is for completists, really. Limited to 250 copies (and on green vinyl). –Matt Average (Third Party, thirdxparty.blogspot)

Boycott Everything: LP
This previously came out on 7” in Europe, and the domestic version was cut onto a one-sided LP. From a sonic standpoint, this band almost seems to have skipped the last twenty-five years of hardcore. The band’s sound is culled from the whole gamut of ‘80s hardcore. The guitar frills on “Liquor Flesh Trade” are from Dead Kennedys, and the breakdown on “Tidal Leveling” is from Black Flag; but a ton of other influences come up, from Project X to Articles Of Faith. This is music by hardcore nerds, for hardcore nerds. The politics are the driving force behind the band, and the expanded format works better aesthetically for the visual aspect of the release. The cover art does look better on a larger format, and the reading materials are handy in the 12” spread. –Ian Wise (Not Normal, notnormaltapes.blogspot.com)

Government Poison: 7"
I have never heard of Government Flu, and that is a problem. This band completely shreds Agnostic Front-style hardcore with that mid-2000s chug vibe but they fucking kill it in a way I haven’t heard in a long time. Fans of the now-defunct Malfunction Records catalog (early Ceremony, Allegiance, Internal Affairs) should go nuts over this. Their side of the record is excellent and the vocals and lyrics are fantastic (especially considering this band is Polish and I believe English is their second language). The Poison Planet side was recorded, I guess, right around their breakup and really show a band pulling something off with a total sense of urgency. Right from the Black Flag rip-off intro the band feels rushed and chaotic, like they only had half an idea of what they were really doing. That being said, I will say one hundred percent without a doubt that this is the best thing Poison Planet has ever released. The lineup on the release (members of Raw Nerve and RazorXFade) probably had more influence than they thought; because the raw sensibilities of those bands translate in a way that Poison Planet didn’t before. –Ian Wise (Refuse, refuserecords.prv.pl)

Sometimes Things Just Disappear: CD
This record has a different kind of icing for everyone, but I can’t help feeling like they forgot the cake.Sometimes Things Just Disappear is gruff, yet brooding, atmospheric, yet aggressive, lyrically pointed, yet blurry, and that’s gonna work for some people. To me, it just feels safe. Drenched in the early twenties spirit of wanting the post and the punk, I don’t think they’ve mastered either. In the end, I’m really left wondering where the hooks are. Maybe they come out more with repeated listens, but it’s not gonna get that far. –Nick Toerner  –Guest Contributor (Red Leader)

Floral Phantasms: CD
I know that often when people don’t like the sound of something they liken that something to the torturing of a cat. But literally, literally people, the first track on this CD seems to be a recording of a cat being tortured. Or at least a cat being annoyed really, really badly. I may be, you know, unhip, but I don’t know why anyone would want to start their CD off that way. Is it like those college courses where the professor is a gigantic asshole for the first month of the course so that all of the weaker students drop out and let the proverbial cream rise to the top? Because it totally alienated me right from the start. The rest of the CD contains seven tracks of uninspired instrumental music. Kind of like the soundtrack to a movie that a pretentious ex-boyfriend of mine would have dragged me to. Yuck. –Jennifer Whiteford (Up)

Self-titled: CD
Some of that ol’ Confederacy of Scum-style Southern punk on a label outta Wyoming. Features ex-members of Hellstomper and the tunes are in the same vein. Cover art looks a whole lot like some of those Mans Ruin releases the COS bands had, particularly the Antiseen reissue. At this point, you know if this is your cuppa or whether you are walking on by. –Mike Frame (zodiackillerrecords.com)

As Above, So Below: CD EP
Boring, modern rock that didn’t even interest me enough to make want to listen to the whole thing twice. –Donofthedead (Doubleplusgood)

As Above, So Below: CDEP
Boring, modern rock that didn’t even interest me enough to make want to listen to the whole thing twice. –Donofthedead (Doubleplusgood)

Amor y Guerra: CD
Some D.C. residents vibe heavy on their Revolution Summer predecessors, right down to the Ian-esque vocals. Though not as sonically diverse as some of those mid-‘80s bands could be, the results here could easily be put in that space between, say, Second Wind and Embrace and no one would cry foul. –Jimmy Alvarado (Youngblood)

Attrition: Split: LP
Both bands are on the political thrash/crust tip, with lyrics about genetic engineering, religion, etc. War//Plague is the more metal influenced of the two, with chugga-chugga riffage, grandiose arrangements, and an apocalyptic bent to the whole proceedings, while Police Bastard are more straightforward, and even offer up Rudimentary Peni and Mob covers. –Jimmy Alvarado (Profane Existence)

Awesomer than the Devil: LP
One of the most interesting things about a piece of vinyl is how it forces you to consider the cover. A picture of a bobble Jesus, next to a bobble luchador, shot with the color palette of a Small Brown Bike record. It definitely gave me an impression right from the start (i.e.: this band is going to have some Fugazi influence). Though it turns out I was correct, these guys deliver more than enough interesting riffs to show that they can stand on their own two feet. While the songs can get a bit long at times (forgive me, I have a short attention span), this disc is pretty solid. B+. –Bryan Static (Latest Flame)

Under Custody: 7”
Police Truck play mid-tempo punk meets surf rock. While the shtick of the band members all being cops is silly, the music is quite good. What sells them for me is the sheer amount of guitar wankery in each song. The basic riffs are only mildly interesting, but the lead guitar parts are truly excellent. If you’re a fan of surf rock-fused punk, this just might be your new favorite thing. –Paul J. Comeau (Chubby Brats Eat Pizza)

Salt Lake City: CD
The lyrics convey their point quite nicely, but the music is kinda faceless metal-tinged hardcore and the vocals are completely unintelligible. –Jimmy Alvarado (Wounded Paw)

No Peace? No Chance: CD
The problem I’ve always had with the crusty, political punk bands is that although I like the lyrics and the idea of what they’re doing, it often comes across as screechy and squelchy. Polidicks manage to avoid that trap for the most part. Hard, fast and loud is the order for the day and they serve it up in a palatable fashion. Add in the clever samples and movie clips and we’ve got us a winner. Wait, is does slide into that screech from time to time, but not enough to ruin the record. Good stuff. –Ty Stranglehold (Wounded Paw)

Self-titled: CD
Apparently named after a villain in a second-rate Bruce Willis movie, Pittsburg, PA’s Polish Hill Strangler specialize in meat and potatoes hardcore with enough vitriol to keep the most ardent admirer of the musical form happy. While nothing on the disc particularly sticks out, it’s a solid release. If I were about twenty years younger, you can bet you would find this in regular rotation in the boombox on the neighborhood skate ramp. Subject matter isn’t too heavy, which I dig. Worthy of mention is “No Wonder You’re a Cripple”—a track that would undoubtedly make the Meatmen proud. –Garrett Barnwell (Polish Hill Strangler, myspace.com/lifeandtimesof)

Someday: CD
Rerelease of this Scottish band’s 1987 mini-LP, adding a live set from the same year. Their music is really busy, mixing prog and pop punk with political lyrics. They look like Rush, sound like Cruz Records, and live in squats. Spiritual kin to New Model Army, but far poppier. Once I got over my initial “What the fuck?” reaction to the simultaneous bass noodling, guitar shredding, and Scottish accent singing, I was riveted—fascinated to hear what came next. –CT Terry (bosstuneage.com)

Window on the World and How the West Was Won: CD
Reissues of this band’s albums three and four (?) courtesy of Boss Tuneage. Not having heard the first two, and indeed having no experience with ‘em prior to this save as a band name I’ve come across on occasion, I’m in no position to map their progression from their earliest days. What I can say is that the stuff from 1990s Window on the World sounds at times like they were no strangers to the sophisto-punk of New Model Army, who in turn were no strangers to homegrown “folk” influences. By 1992’s How the West Was Won, the influence of Hüsker Dü came to the fore, both in the acoustic cover of “Don’t Want to Know If You Are Lonely” and in the noodly electric guitar work elsewhere. Throughout, however, the band incorporates their influences into what is clearly their own sound. Both releases are a great chance to revisit not only a band likely overlooked in favor of more popular fare, but one worth a second look. –Jimmy Alvarado (Boss Tuneage)

Nasty DNA: Tape
Pollution play blasted-speaker hardcore that will appeal to hoodie-clad dorm room moshers and crusties who name their dogs after brands of cheap beer. The songs maintain a nice tunefulness, even as the music grinds down to a headbanging crawl. At times, Pollution reminds me of faster Melvins material, or Born Against at their dirgiest. This is a full-length cassette and it’s totally kick ass. –CT Terry (C6)

Self-titled: 7” EP
So, I’m going to guess that these Michigan punksters are fairly new to the game? The songs are garage type punk rock with a lot of heart. In my opinion, they recorded too soon. The songs are definitely there to dig into but I think with a little more time to tighten things up, they would have ended up with a much better product to introduce themselves with.  –Brent Nimz (American Sedation)

Self-titled: 7”
These are simply recorded simple songs in the simplest of packaging. To put it simply: it works. It makes you wish more bands would just fucking make music and stop worrying about whatever else they spend their time doing as a collective unit. –John Mule (American Sedation)

Self-titled: CD-R
This very light, four-song pop demo EP doesn’t distinguish itself in any way. It’s mildly fun and fluffy, like a Lifetime TV movie about an abusive relationship. The vocals are held back and whisper-soft. I think they’re going for a dreamy quality, but I just fell asleep. Is this a nightmare? –Art Ettinger (Chronic Death, myspace.com/polygonzz)

Demo: CD-R EP
Before this disc was sent to me, I downloaded the tracks because it features three of the five guys who made up the now recently departed Sleepwall. Those three guys got another guy and formed this here band, Polygon. I didn’t expect Polygon to be Sleepwall, but Sleepwall does work as a decent and seemingly appropriate reference point for discussing Polygon. Polygon, not unlike Sleepwall, also likes their ‘90s. Polygon doesn’t have all the punk inclinations of Sleepwall, but does have the affinity for good indie/alternative stuff from decades past. This doesn’t hit as hard as Sleepwall did, and part of that is due to the vocals. That doesn’t mean that it’s not good. The music is something that Sleepwall could have progressed to, but the singing is uniquely Polygon. His vocals are younger sounding and softer, which give Polygon a more playful and light-hearted tone. Polygon’s definitely worth keeping an eye out for. –Vincent Battilana (myspace.com/polygonzz)

Neu: CD
The American release of Polysics’ second album, originally released three years ago and only now being domestically released thanks to the kindness and diligence of Asian Man, and oh what a record it is. The Devo influence is still firmly in place, but the tunes seem less melodic and infused with more intensity, making them just plain rock out harder than their previous long player, Hey Bob! My Friend. More succinctly, this is the equivalent of having Boojie Boy rape your eardrum with an old Casio keyboard. Hunt down either of album, play it loud and play it often, ‘cause Polysics rule. –Jimmy Alvarado (Asian Man)

Hey! Bob! My Friend!: CD
Close your eyes. Now picture Servotron as a three-piece Japanese group who develop this weird kink in their music after one too many Melt Banana listening sessions. Thank God that I didn't go with my initial gut instinct and pass this one up, 'cause this is gonna get a lot of airplay in my house, boyo. Frighteningly good. –Jimmy Alvarado (Asian Man)

The Long Goodbye: CD
I’m not sure if Erik Estrada is down with these dudes, but he sure as hell should be. Cool sci-fi cover and choice tunes inside. The band is from Italy and they really dig Star Wars! Do you need to know more? Well, they write snappy power punk tunes and deliver them with chops. They even cover a Canadian band’s chart topper. No—it is not Rush. But give these guys a shot, man, and maybe you can share a slice of pizza and a bottle of Yoo-hoo with them when they play your town. –Sean Koepenick (Monster Zero)

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