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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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“I’m Punk” b/w “Puke Pudding”: 7” EP
I couldn’t tell whether “I’m Punk” is facetious mimicry or a degenerate declaration, but then I realized that I’m totally over thinking this. I mean, these dudes put their first record out on Bubbledumb, which actually kinda nicely sums up the sounds contained herein. Snotty, lo-fi Ramones worship for all the glue sniffers. Once I decided to stop thinking and just listen, the track slayed. The backside is even less together than the front, like it was demo fuckery, yet it still sounds like it coulda been on Recess’s Hot Curly Weenie 2, which is bar-none my favorite sampler comp ever. Fun times. The dude from Nobunny constitutes half this here group, should things like that be of concern to you.  –Vincent Battilana (Almost Ready, almostreadyrecords.com)

I’m Going to Kill Myself: LP

Power chords rarely sound this powerful. The opening track will induce a full-body implosion that melts your brain into your lungs. You’ll find yourself coughing viscously while tapping your toes and nodding your empty head. Aurally, it’s at once derivative of grunge and garage, but simultaneously exciting and well-executed. Somehow, Sneeze is able to retread and deviate in equal measures. The lyrics are undeniably bleak (no surprise given the title), but it’s all so damn catchy that you’ll find yourself singing, “I head straight for the liquor cabinet so don’t blink. I’m not afraid to shoot.” Definitely the soundtrack to a bad day. Sure, it won’t cheer you up, but it’ll be comforting to know that some people are worse off—and, hell, you won’t have much a brain left to care with anyway.

–Sean Arenas (Close To Home, closetohome@live.co.uk, closetohomerecords.com / Midnight Werewolf, midnightwerewolfrecords@gmail.com, midnightwerewolf.wordpress.com)

Self-titled: 7”
Right off the bat, I want to listen to this band because I have no idea what in the hell to expect from a band called Sneeze Attack. Side A is a slower song that runs along the same bass line. It works, though. While the basic core of the song doesn’t change at all, it stays interesting: the bass chunks along and the guitars have some slow melodies over top of it. I’m a sucker for anything bass-driven. The flip side is a lot faster and a lot more traditional pop punk like super early Ramones. I feel like these guys could play a show with The Sonics and fit right in. The recording is raw and really gives the whole record a throwback feeling because of the simple melodies and grainy recording. Everyone seems to be a little off time with each other, but it sounds all right and definitely gives it a sort of character that just makes it fun. I really enjoyed this 45. It’s good to hear people just playing some fucking punk and having fun.  –James Meier (Pleasant Screams, pleasantscreams.com)

Self-titled: CD
When I was in high school, there was a point when all the band kids got into Primus. Bass strings started getting slapped every which way in the creation of quirk-filled songs fueled by awkward adolescent angst. One of those bands has apparently found a time machine and shipped itself straight to 2014, and of course the reliably what-the-fuck 1332 has put out a five-song EP featuring such brilliant tunes as “Shotgun,” in which the narrator is upset because he called shotgun and apparently didn’t get shotgun. Appropriately, it all ends in a rant about the TV show Who’s the Boss?  –MP Johnson (1332)

In the Meantime and in Between Time: CD
I was worried a little when I heard about a new SNFU record coming out. How could I possibly avoid being biased? I mean, this band was pretty much responsible for my punk rock existence. How would I take it if this didn’t live up to their near flawless back catalog? I can handle a lot of other bands losing their luster, but the mighty SNFU? I was nervous. To put it bluntly, this record kicked me square in the ass! I was not expecting to be blown away but I sure was. I can honestly say that this new record captures everything that an SNFU should be. Tight rhythms? Check. Soaring guitars? Check. Mr. Chi Pig? That’s a big CHECK! No one can write like he writes. It’s like when an abstract painting suddenly makes sense. No matter if he’s writing about his own issues, or about those around him, you know that it’s going to be clever and biting. Musically, the band has really come together. The new rhythm section fits in perfectly. The songs somehow maintain the SNFU feel while managing to sound fresh. There are many bands from the “glory days” of hardcore that continue to play today. The numbers are thinner when you count the ones that are still viable. I am happy to report that SNFU, aka “The Most Important Band in the History of the World According to Ty” are more than viable. They’re still the best! –Ty Stranglehold (www.snfu.com)

A Bad Time: Cassette
This is a high quality, five-song catchy demo from D.C. The Spits probably were the main influence on The Sniffs, or at least the main recent influence. That’s not a bad thing at all. I like the vocalist’s snotty tone and the lyrics are great, especially on the song “Prosecutor,” which is an indictment of those who indict. I’ll be sniffing out future releases from The Sniffs for sure.  –Art Ettinger (Self-released, thesniffs.bandcamp.com)

Even a Butchered Carcass Can Shine: CD
Angry, angular metal with lots of speed, precision and complicated time changes. The first couple songs remind me of Poland’s Antigama, brutal, fast, and thrashing about. Things slow down a bit for “Mom and Me at the Zoo,” but it’s no less punishing than the faster numbers. Sounds like Helmet and Satan might be influences. I’m only halfway through the disc and already I’m exhausted. Aspiring serial killers, you’ve found your soundtrack. –Josh Benke (Empty)

Automatic Stomp: CD
Punky bar rock stuff here. While the restrained quality of the recording makes the resulting CD not exactly a stunner, the songs are strong enough and the performances spirited enough that I’m willing to bet this is one of those bands that can handily rip shit up live and would likely turn in a corker of a release with a producer who knows what he’s doin’. –Jimmy Alvarado (Night Fighter)

Steroids: 7” EP
High-octane garage punk. The production is remarkably clean compared to, say, the Mummies or even Teengenerate, which adds a bit more intensity and a sense of tightness to their delivery. Not bad at all. –Jimmy Alvarado (Bedo, bedorecords.bigcartel.com)

Bankrupt: CD
A competent, but mostly unmemorable, punk rock band that deserves a rousing "hell yeah!" for the diatribe on the illegality of American currency that comprises the center of the CD's booklet. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.thesnotrockets.com)

Bankrupt: CD
A competent, but mostly unmemorable, punk rock band that deserves a rousing “hell yeah!” for the diatribe on the illegality of American currency that comprises the center of the CD’s booklet.  –Jimmy Alvarado (www.thesnotrockets.com)

Deep Cuts, Fast Remedies: CD
Yo! Punk rock MTV style. –Donofthedead (Victory)

Self-titled: CD
Snowbyrd, not to be confused with the Byrds, likes to misspell things (I guess). Either that, or they like the association (the branding) that comes with linking their band’s name to that of one of rock‘n’roll’s greatest—the Byrds (Gene Clark [dead], Michael Clarke [dead], Chris Hillman [alive], Roger McGuinn [alive], David Crosby [fat as fuck]). That’s really awesome and a good concept. Snowbyrd’s filled with other brilliant ideas, like tacking on a press release to their CD detailing the following “Marketing Highlights”: “Print ads in No Depression, Big Takeover, and more”; “Radio Focus: AAA/ College broadcast, satellite, and internet…” All bullshit aside, here’s a quote from Jean Cocteau (dead) I like a whole lot: “I am altogether opposed to popular entertainment because I consider that all good entertainment is popular.” What Cocteau was getting at is that marketing strategies (hype) might last for an ephemeral moment, but works of great artistry win out. And that’s true. Take Larry Hardy from In the Red Records. That motherfucker keeps putting out brilliant records, and slowly but surely his label has risen. It’s like the Velvets or something—people will catch up; the Velvets are popular now, unlike Captain and Tennille. People will gravitate towards good art (if it’s available). (I think Hardy’s marketing budget is about the size of my old weekly unemployment checks, and he’s getting by all right). Anyway, my point is Snowbyrd’s album is at odds with itself—employing a Rolling Stone magazine-like press release to an album a thirteen-year-old reader of (insert fanzine’s name here) would like (a child of thirteen would probably like this record; it’s developmentally suitable to a teenager—just like the Spin Doctors were to me at that age). Snowbyrd’s debut is a collage of vastly different genres that don’t jibe together—a lot like that horrible band the Transplants, but not as bad. NOTE TO KIDS: If you don’t have them, go out and buy the Reigning Sound’s Too Much Guitar and the Starvations’ Get Well Soon. ADDITIONALLY: If you can’t write a song, play bass or keyboards or something. Hate your parents if they hate you. Love cinema and books. Hate rock critics. –Ryan Leach (Saustex Media)

Diosdado: CD
Casserole-like layers of all manner of percussion, guitars, piano, pedal steel, horns (and more) swirl like the Milky Way centripetally fixed to the sun. Even in the loss of their drummer Manny Diosdado Castillo, Snowbyrd pulls out a heady, positive mix of psychedelic story rock that may make listeners prone to such things ingest psilocybin, just to separate the layers and isolate each auditory complexity that when combined, is a bit of Santana, Phish, Animals, and even Stone Roses. –Jessica Thiringer (Saustex, saustexmedia.com)

Fuck Your Emotional Bullshit: 7"
Fast, jangling guitars. Hoarse, off-key wailing. Happy-go-lucky spazzing. Silkscreened cover sticking to the plastic sleeve. Think emo back when the first touches of indie rock were getting thrown in. Cap’n Jazz. Braid. Nuzzle. If you told me this was from 1994, I’d believe you. No, they haven’t done anything to improve on the formula, but they keep it catchy and fun and stop just shy of cutesy. –CT Terry (Square Of Opposition)

Self-titled: 7"
When I saw the beautiful layout and white vinyl of this 7”, I was pleading for it to be great; hoping I’d lucked into a great-looking and great-sounding record. Sadly, Snowstorm couldn’t be less up my alley. This record is an infinite number of city blocks away from my alley, in fact. It’s just blown out, grinding drums over fuzzed-out, buried bass riffs. Guaranteed, there are some noise and/or grindcore fans who’d be all over this, but as a fan of songs, songs as complete representations of a thought or a feeling, songs as an expression of passion or emotion, this is entirely unappealing and unsatisfying. Blah. –Dave Williams (Malleable)

Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other: 2 x CD
I was first introduced to Snuff via the Abbey Raid 1: Fuck EMI comp LP that came out, I believe, in the late ‘80s. On what label? I don’t know and I’m looking at the record right now. They play the Tommy James and the Shondells song “I Think We’re Alone Now.” I thought it was brilliant. Most of the stuff that was coming out of the UK that I was listening to was more crossover metal or thrash. To hear a band play with so much melody, but still had the rawness of punk fascinated me. When I saw a copy of their first 7" Not Listening, I bought it without thinking twice. I’m not good at being a completist when it comes to record collecting, but I have about fifteen different Snuff releases, including some of the offshoots like Guns and Wankers and a Dogpiss CD. They are on my all-time favorite list of bands. They are outside of the cookie cutter of bands and are a band that stands the test of time. You can listen to one of their early releases and listen to a current one and they both are incredibly enjoyable. So disc one is a good sampling for a greatest hits. Enjoyable from start to finish. Not a stinker in the bunch. Disc two is a real treat. It has so many tracks that I have not heard before: B-sides of singles I don’t own, unreleased tracks and bonus tracks from records that I never knew existed. But to make things go full circle, the first track is “I Think We’re Alone Now.” Even though it is referenced that it was on the Lie to Me comp, I know this has been on a number of comps through the years. But hearing a cover of Macy Gray’s “I Try” made me grin like a monkey with a banana. I’m not real big on greatest hits packages, but this one was done right and is quite enjoyable. Now if they would only come back to the states again to tour. –Donofthedead (Fat)

Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other: 2 x CD
Where do I start with Snuff? Well, I was led to them in ’94 when told that they shared members with Leatherface. That was enough for me so I went out and got Demmamussabebonk… And then all the other records as fast as I could. Yep, Snuff is one of those bands that can wrench just about any emotion out of me but in the end leave me wanting more and more. Disc one covers the “hits” quite well. Well-rounded and a good listen. Disc two is the gravy for fans. It’s got all that Snuff craziness that we know and love (live antics, wacky covers and just plain good songs) and more. Highly recommended. The whole package is a great way for someone to get into the band, but I would really suggest getting all of the records NOW! –Ty Stranglehold (Fat)

Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other 1986-2002: 2 X CD
For some reason, and I’m not quite sure, but I often forget how great Snuff can be. They’re cheeky Brits with a weird sense of humor (just look at the fuckin’ names of their albums: Demmamussabebonk? Flibbiddydibiddydob?), a longtime love of Vespas and Lambrettas, and the uncanny knack to be utterly silly yet still pull out some seriously great punk rock at the same time. It’s sometimes hard to get the pulse if they’re just that cursory and talented (let’s fuck around and play ping pong for days in the studio and cut six tracks without overdubs at the last minute, or so the story goes), or if there’s a pattern to their functional dysfunction. Snuff comes from the hairy, incestuous school of British punk that commingled and merged with Leatherface (powerful, soulful, gritty) and Wat Tyler (who have songs about Smurf sex). Well, I know this for sure, if you’ve ever liked Snuff or if you’d like an intro to a prolific band, this collection’s like a deep-sea dragnet. Washing machines get pulled up with the fish. You get many gems, some dogs; tastes will vary. The first CD is all previously released stuff that’s reasonably easy to get, but spread out over sixteen years and numerous albums. The second CD’s all more obscure: b-sides, comp tracks, tour-only releases, unreleased tracks, and ends with a trippy dub track that underscores the fact that Duncan (drummer, lead singer: same setup as The Carpenters) smokes a lot of weed. When all’s said and done, Snuff is melodic punk done right. My favorite stuff’s still the songs with the horns and organs from Potatoes and Melons at Wholesale Prices Straight from the Lockup. –Todd Taylor (Fat)

Disposable Income: CD
Oh boy! Pure pop bliss! This is the follow-up to the Blue Gravy: Phase 9 CDEP that was, in my opinion, above average. They come back with a bang and show their superiority to the world. The songs are as infectious as ever and continue to put my face into contortions, forcing a happy face. The production has been the key for many years. The guitars are thick and add little shards of metal chugging while not being too aggressive. A band with a Hammond organ is all right with me, too! Duncan is still behind the kit, banging away like a spastic monkey while keeping it together to sing the vocals. I like the fact they do experiment and try to add new elements to the music to keep things fresh. They brought in more players this time around to fill the sound to new expanses. It might be blasphemous to say, but I think they are the Beatles of punk rock – music that immediately takes you to another world without leaving the outside area of your speakers with melodies that I would die for to write. If you haven’t taken the giant step and sampled these musical masters, what are you waiting for? While you’re at it, you need to check out Guns n’ Wankers and Dogpiss, which are side projects of Snuff from the past. Why did they leave Fat? –Donofthedead (Union)

Blue Gravy: CD
Could not wait to toss this baby in my CD player to get to their undeniable brand of pop secretions. I popped out the CD magazine out of the back of my truck and pulled out that shitty CD that I got for review and threw it aside. I think that shitty CD is still floating around underneath a seat. I slipped that baby into the magazine and jumped into the truck to hear the new Snuff! Bam, like a boot to the head, the first track starts playing. My enthusiasm drops to an all-time low. I had the same look when the Jehovah's Witness showed up at my door when I was expecting a friend I hadn't seen in awhile. What the fuck is this? The opening track, "Slipt," is so flat that it barely reaches any level of excitement. It felt forced and the band sounded like they didn't even enjoy recording it. I can't believe this is the opening track! You have to go in with force on the opening track. Now, track 1 is the throwaway that I have been skipping over. Things go back to normal on track 2 - 7 where you get four new songs and two new versions of previously released songs. At the end you get, as filler, two live tracks. I like the studio versions, personally. Live stuff usually doesn't have the presence and the sonic energy that the studio can create. Overall, not their best but enough to tide me over until their next full length. They are still one of the best. No one as of yet has captured their style and magic. –Donofthedead (Fat)

5-4-3-2-1 Perhaps?: LP
You probably already know Snuff, so we’ll skip the intros. This is first new record from them since 2005’s greatest hits/rarities thing Six of One, Half Dozen of Another. I wasn’t expecting this to ever happen, but I’m rejoicing! Snuff is back! Scream it from the rooftops! The formula is the same as it has been since the mid ‘90s: melodic, fun punk with keyboards and horns and riffs as catchy as a super flu. As always, there are some hardcore thrash outs, some pub-style sluralongs and everything you would ever come to love and expect from Duncan Redmonds and company. Now if only they would tour in this direction… In the meantime, you should have this in your collection. –Ty Stranglehold (Fat, mailbag@fatwreck.com, fatwreck.com)

Zero Real Hearts: LP
I picked this one up knowing that I liked everything that I had heard from ‘em (their Tag… 7” and the Bent Outta Shape split). When I first put it on, I thought it was pretty good. Then I listened to it more, and then some more. And then I came to realize what a gem I had in my possession. Snuggle is undeniably pop punk, but it ain’t humdrum like a lot of the genre has become again. This LP is unwashed, intense, and uninhibited. They sound like their heads are barely above water and it is categorically imperative that hear what they have to say, even if that means that they sink while they’re trying to tell you what’s up. It sounds like four dudes converging with a common need, not one guy using the rest of the band as mere means for advancing his own private agenda. The drums, bass, and guitars are all over the place, going in their directions yet moving perfectly together (often quicker than a mile per minute). The vocals, like the strings and skins, are raw and urgent—they refrain from coming even close to any type of commonplace pop punk vocals. The lyrics are almost only coincidentally sung. It’s like the dude yells in such a way that it just fits because of the exigency in what he’s trying to convey. The whole thing has a very full and emotion-laden sound that has a pureness that seems to come from letting go, playing loud, playing fast, and playing what you need to play. Get it. –Vincent Battilana (1-2-3-4 Go!)

Self-titled: LP
The music from this band is swell, but I feel like I’m not alone when I say their songs are not memorable. The tunes are fun to rock to when they are playing, but when you walk away, can you repeat anything you just heard? There is a lack of “hook,” which is fine, but makes describing them difficult. I still give this LP a thumbs up and will continue to say I like the band. Tunes don’t have to stick like barnacles to be genial, and that’s the truth. –Corinne (1234GO)

Split: 7”
Snuggle: like their regional brethren—Drunken Boat—they take the California pop punk sounds and warp them into a cloudy, rainy, flash flood of epic depression, resentment, and piss-in-your-lemonade punk. Two salvaged tracks from a doomed recording session a couple years back. “Sometimes things don’t work out so good.” I guess not. NH52BS: sure, plenty of people rip Tiltwheel off. Plenty. Of. People. But NH52BS do it with style. Incorporating heavier guitar parts that sludge through the groves, more in common with fellow Denvernians Git Some, than Burritofornia. Spot on stuff. I declare this to be the moodiest pop punk split 7” of the year. –Daryl Gussin (1-2-3-4 Go!)

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