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· 1:An Interview with Soul Side’s Bobby Sullivan
· 2:Webcomic Wednesdays #146
· 3:We Came! We Saw! We Fested! - Fest 2015
· 4:#380 with Juan Espinosa
· 5:Webcomic Wednesdays #148

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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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self-titled: 7"
Two short blasts, of lean, mean punk rock, the first being an original clocking in at 1:12 and the second a cover of Slaughter and the Dogs’ “The Bitch” that ain’t much longer. Good stuff. –Jimmy Alvarado (Rapid Pulse)

Self-titled: Cassingle
Well, to this untrained ear, these dudes are doing a damn nice and authentic-sounding surf/psych thing. I mean, if you told me, dunce that I am, that this was from 1964 or something, I’d be like, “Huh. Cool.” So there’s that. And yet! My hypocrisy is boundless! For some reason, 7” vinyl is fine, full-length tapes are fine, but I hate cassingles. (And at four quick songs, that’s essentially what we’re looking at here.) Still, these guys are really good at what they’re doing, and this cassette’s limited to seventy-five copies, so if this is your thing, ya better jump on it.  –Keith Rosson (Shake)

Lower Broadway Lo-Fi: CD
We can talk about punk rock: dissect it, categorize and compartmentalize it. But the fact remains, for this reviewer, a lot of times what draws me to a band is something that’s absolutely unclassifiable: the energy involved: that intangible but immediately apparent thing that, frankly, you either got as a band or you don’t. That said, Th’ Shack Shakers aren’t punk in a sonic sense—this is country music, straight up. But goddamn, energy? Are you kidding me, here? Energy, they’ve got buckets of. Recording’s live and raw—busted speakers, tiny amps, and fuzzed-out as all hell—and all the better for it. LBLF is apparently the only existing recording of this band (culled from the one cassette copy they gave out) and it’s a story like that, that sense of bucking the odds, that can’t help but endear me to the music. It was recorded live but as a session, not in a show environment—but Jesus Christ, it sounds like a live show, like a crazed and chaotic stomp of a live show, full of frenetic bluegrass and the kind of translated energy that you so rarely get outside of the punk scene. Fans of everyone from rockabilly to country would dig this—if your record collection holds anything by The Pine Hill Haints to Reverend Horton Heat, you’ll be all over this. There’s something to be said for an album that could’ve come out last week or in 1955 and still makes you grin with the uncontained and relentless fury and joy of it. I rarely even listen to bands of this genre, but the sheer guts and sweat is so audible here that I’ve found myself putting it on long after I could’ve written a review and been done with it. –Keith Rosson (Arkam)

Self-titled: 7"
I like the name of this band (It’s cute! Even though I imagine shackles aren’t really very cute at all!), and I really like the paper the record comes in, thick and textured with a gorgeous pink color. Unfortunately, the singing is a little watery for my tastes. The songs overall didn’t do much for me or stick with me after the first listen, but I did like the sound of the keyboards in the second one. The guitar is kind of garage-y, but for me it just doesn’t rock. I am missing the rock spirit! It’s sweet, it’s nice, but it’s a bit mild, even when the last song picked up at the end. –Jennifer Federico (Sweet Rot)

Split: CD
Don’t know if it’s always the best choice to put two bands who sound very similar to one another on a split. There really isn’t too much difference between either band. Shades Of Grey drink deep from the well of From Ashes Rise. Even their style of lyrics sticks close to the F.A.R. style. Shades of Grey are definitely adept musicians. The songs are solid and sonic, but they need to inject a bit more individuality into their sound if they want to stand out. Otherwise they will sink in the mess of a zillion bands who have the Tragedy / F.A.R. sound. Massmord have a bit more going for them. The songs are more dynamic and explosive. They mix From Ashes Rise with some Tragedy. Not much difference, really. But it’s there if you listen closely. If they, too, were to inject more of their own personality into their sound, Massmord could be a force to reckon with. Until then... –Matt Average (Profane Existence)

Demo 2010: Cassette
Tech-y, at times noise-y, chaotic math-core. Like the basement-shackled son of early Dillinger Escape Plan and Orchid. It sounds a bit dated for today’s tastes, though, since most people who were into that kind of stuff moved on to either indie rock or big budget prog metal. –Juan Espinosa (Self-released, no address)

Self-titled: CD
Surfy, circusy goth rock with a (man) singer who’s a cross between Wendy O. Williams and the lady from Christian Death. –Cuss Baxter (www.shadowreichenstein.com)

Self-titled: CD
Surfy, circusy goth rock with a (man) singer who’s a cross between Wendy O. Williams and the lady from Christian Death. –Cuss Baxter (www.shadowreichenstein.com)

A Big Pot of Hot: CD
Raucous rock music with a punk afterburn. Heard better, heard worse. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.tnsrecords.co.uk)

Hand in Hand: LP
Shadowhouse describe themselves as “post-punk/goth” from Portland, Oregon. I don’t get around to those genres too often but, for the most part, appreciate what is going on here. Reverby guitar riffs, big drum sounds, synthesizers, and a deep, booming voice. Every piece sounds like it was recorded in a different section of a spooky cave on the Oregon coast. If you’re tired of your favorite ‘80s singers acting like assholes or paying two hundred dollars to see some cover act at an embarrassing convention, try this LP out. It’ll get the job done.  –John Mule (Mass Media, massmediarecords.com)

Unforgiveable Things: CD
This Louisville musician plays country-influenced songs of self-deprecation, loss, and hardship (which I guess is to be expected on an album called Unforgiveable Things) in a style akin to Ryan Adams or any of his various projects. There seems to have been a lot of sorrow in Shadrack’s life, but he does an effective job of sharing it in a means that doesn’t seem too tiresome. I like the addition of harmonica, violin, and electric guitar to the songs, which give them a fullness and strength. Wilde is a decent songwriter, too, although his focus on the morose could stand to be tempered to a degree. I wouldn’t mind hearing the next album, though. –Kurt Morris (myspace.com/shadwickwilde)

Sunnydays EP: CD-R
Kind of cutesy garage/droney indie rock. Not bad. I’d probably be into it a little more if I was in the mood for cutesy/wish I wasn’t in the mood for droney. –Joe Evans III (kylemccormick12@gmail.comR)

Sunnydays EP: CD-R
Somewhere between the lines of Thee Oh Sees and Best Coast, this band is definitely outside my jurisdiction of my credibility. Here’s what I can tell you though: I really hope the fuzz is intentional. I don’t know if this is a demo or what, but I see promise. There’s a lot of alternative rock influence, but I couldn’t but my finger on what exactly I was hearing. The first track is easily the best. –Bryan Static (kylemccormick12@gmail.com)

A Comprehensive Retrospective or: How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Release Ba: CD

Two awful singers, mediocre riffs, and four songs at the end of the guitarist’s practice tapes? Complete tommyrot. This is sixty-five minutes of my life that I will never, ever get back. I would rather watch golf all afternoon than listen to this CD again. To add insult to injury, Revelation Records neglected to include a jewel case so I can’t even use it as a coaster for my vodka tonic. Bastards.

–Sean Koepenick (Revelation)

A Comprehensive Retrospective: CD
Demo, live, and warehouse recordings of a band who has become one of the biggest names in hardcore. Compiled by original member Matt Fox, this is one more to add to your collection if you’re a fan of this stuff. Otherwise, it’s a complete waste of time. –Mr. Z (Revelation)

Or It Will Take Everything: CD
My general disdain for one-man bands notwithstanding, this, um, group is steeped with a nice, slow-burning Delta blues influence, which makes for a not too painful listen. –Jimmy Alvarado (no address)

Self-Titled: CD
Take a little Hives, thrown in some Northwestern nouveau-punk and add an Endino production and you get this. –Jimmy Alvarado (Morphius)

Move!: CD

Dude, they’re trying really hard to make me move, but their attempts at trash rock just ain’t cuttin’ it. So, this is what impotence feels like….

–Jimmy Alvarado (www.vmsrecords.com)

The Rise and Fall of Modern Living: CD
I loved The Shakes last release, with its lighthearted, bouncy pop delivered with sincerity to rival Jonathan Richman. And, in general, I hate when a band goes from themes like changing the world with songs about girls to more “serious” topics. And I almost always hate concept albums. But guess what? Peter Gilabert is such a good songwriter, and the band does such a brilliant job of melding the more intellectual side of The Kinks with the more innocent side of The Modern Lovers, that you can’t help but love every moment of The Rise and Fall of Modern Living. One of my favorite bands right now. –brian (Teenacide)

Full House: 7”
Kinda goofy, kinda rocking garage punk with elements of soul and doo wop in the backing vocals. Fans of Burger Records or Shannon And The Clams would probably find a whole lot to like from this Philadelphia band. –Mike Frame (Self -released, facebook.com/theshakesrule)

Self-titled: LP
When I hear some jackass saying, “There’s no political punk anymore,” I just wanna punch the douche. Granted, there are less shrill, blunt political songs asking Phyllis Schaffley to “ram it up her cunt” (The Dead Kennedys said it; I’m just quoting.) nowadays, but I think this is a good thing. Why? Because I find no shortage of smart folks taking stock of their lives and looking at pictures much bigger than they are—from the neighborhoods they live in, to the national political scene, to the glaciers melting (all which The Shaking Hands deal with), but it’s all wrapped together into a seamless burrito of life. It’s one big log. Feeling like absolute shit is directly tied in with a dickhead running the country with regressive policies. And this makes the songs more timeless than being so literal and making a song called, say, “Sarah Palin Would Look Great with a Moose Cock Moustache,” that has its place fixed in such a short period of relevant time. (Quick, who was Phyllis Schaffley?) So, I put the Shaking Hands in the same gruff-voiced, anthemic vein of No Truth Lies and Watson, with some distant echoes of the Beltones in the background. Powerful, motivating songs that sing about a life looked at fully, and, often, achingly, in a subtle way that doesn’t need to separate daily life from political statements.  –Todd Taylor (ADD / Kiss Of Death)

Self-titled: CD
If there’s a CD that I wanted to like this month it’s this one. Decent, passionate, social, political, and personal lyrics and they’re obviously into it. It’s that melodic sort of hardcore. But it’s a bit too clean and accessible for my tastes. My roommate said it sounded like H2O and that’s probably fair. –Craven (A.D.D)

Self-title: CD
The lyrics here are substantive and well thought out, and the music is new millennium anthemic punk, kinda reminiscent of bands like Anti-Flag. The fact they don’t sound like some cheap Blink-182 or Rancid knockoff is a definite plus, but they ultimately just ain’t my thang. –Jimmy Alvarado (Kiss Of Death)

Self-titled: CD
Two of the dudes from The Young Livers put together The Shaking Hands, a melodic streetpunk band that’s more hit than miss. At their best, The Shaking Hands strike a chord in the vein of Reducers SF, but some of the songs are awfully bland. Overall, I’m falling for it and am considering picking up the vinyl version. This simplistic, 1990s street sound is in jeopardy, after snoots turned their backs on it. Yet most people would need to be strapped to a chair to not want to get up and hop around while The Shaking Hands play. Count me in with the unashamed. I’d shake their fucking hands any day. –Art Ettinger (ADD/Kiss Of Death)

Split: 7”
Shakin’ Nasties: They’ve got a nice balance between the modern beach punk sound (a la Hostage Records), mixing snideness with sharpness, and splint it with the best trappings of new wave: tight transitions, great interludes, and spot-on songwriting. They made me think of a stylish suicide. Everything’s well ordered, but feels fatalistic. Hatepinks: French version of the Briefs, which isn’t bad at all. They’ve got the snot, sarcasm, and the bounce in spades, and with catchy song titles like “Kissing Cops with My Ass,” they’re fun to hum to when you’re getting groceries. Not essential, but fun nonetheless. The packaging is great. Clear insert over a full-color cover gives it a ton of dimension, and it’s on thick vaseline-clear vinyl. –Todd Taylor (Relax-O-Matic Vibrator)

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