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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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self-titled: CD
Nominally punky headbanger drug dealer rock that should appeal to those who always felt the Candy Snatchers were cheating because they did have the one good song, and i’d feel a lot worse about raining on the whole parade of ENERGY and VOLUME if the last noise this disc emitted was something other than the heavy metal kissin’ cousin of the “Hotel California” lead that it is. Would be an all right purchase value if it came with a free pizza and a blowjob, but this does not appear the case (at least with my review copy). BEST SONG: “Flyin’ High” WORST SONG TITLE: 13-way tie between “Ready to Bleed” “Bad Motherfucker” “Now Could Be Never” “8 Ball” “Roadwarrior” “Fury” “Flyin’ High” “Blackout” “Just That Easy” “Blood, Coke & Sodomy” “Don’t Leave Anything” “Full Time Loser” and “Dead of Night.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The Rock and Roll Over album flat depicted on the cover behind the girl with the big boobs and plentiful tattoos is hung in such a fashion that Peter Criss’ head is at the top. I’m not sure what that means. Possibly “Paul Is Dead.” –Rev. Norb (Nerve)

Self-titled: CD

These guys can’t seem to decide whether they wanna be a generic modern punk rock band or the Mentors. They suck at both, so I guess the point is moot, but, lord, do they try.

–Jimmy Alvarado (www.vmsrecords.com)

…You Saw Me Laugh, You Saw Me Cry…: CD
It took me forever to dig up anything about the band due to the lack of any info with the CD besides a Japanese mailing address, but after some searching I found out that they were a German pop punk band in the early to mid ‘90s. This release is more or less their discography. These guys are somewhere between Millencollin and Face To Face. There are lots of harmonies, fast punk that dips into the slower, epic emo end of the pool quite often, and accents galore. Some of the lyrics do get a little embarrassingly direct, like the song “That Girl,” whose chorus is “there is a girl and I love her.” But, for the most part, this is pretty good stuff. The best, no doubt, is the lead-off track “Windmill.” This sounds like the best song that never made it onto Face To Face’s Big Choice, or one of the good Unwritten Law albums. Freaking great gem of a song. –Adrian (SP)

Medicated Empty: CD
Faceless, radio-friendly pilf that hits all the key “modern rock” demographics but is wholly devoid of any risk, edge, or anything else that would make ’em remotely interesting. More succinctly, this challenges the status quo about as much as the Mary Poppins soundtrack. –Jimmy Alvarado (myspace.com/sprocket)

Game On!: 10”
Wow. Do you hate fun? ‘Cause, apparently, Too Many Daves has recorded a Mean Jeans tribute 10”! If you can put your beer down long enough and you’re not too drunk to use a computer, you should probably order this right now. Spruce wrote a song about “B.U.D.L.I.G.H.T. Lime” for cripes sake! (Warning: the grainy photo covers are the only poor piece of this release. Don’t you guys know any cartoonists/artists?) Seriously though…brilliant name, brilliant record. Unless you hate fun.  –Matt Seward (Do What?, therealsprucebringsteen.bandcamp.com)

Self-titled: CDEP
Ska in the vein of Less than Jake or Reel Big Fish. The saving grace of this three-song EP for me was the Bob Marley cover of “No Woman No Cry.” Love them covers! –Donofthedead (Jump Up!)

Self-titled: CDEP
Ska in the vein of Less than Jake or Reel Big Fish. The saving grace of this three-song EP for me was the Bob Marley cover of “No Woman No Cry.” Love them covers!
–Donofthedead (Jump Up!)

Yellow Fever Blues: CD
I’m glad I gave this one a second chance. When a first listen didn’t blow my mind as thoroughly as the press release promised it would (coupled with a feeling of “Look, I’m not going to wet myself just ‘cuz this band is 2/3s Japanese”), I was ready to write it off completely. I don’t know, maybe I was just feeling extra crabby and judgmental that day, but subsequent listens reveal good, solid punk-paced rock’n’roll that fits them perfectly in with the Gearhead Records stable of bands. It’s no surprise that The Spunks consider Gito Gito Hustler to be their sister band. And would it be far too Captain Obvious to mention that Guitar Wolf is immediately brought to mind? Perhaps so, but I did anyway. –Susan Chung (Gearhead)

Miniaturized: LP
Middling garage punk with a flat singer. –Jimmy Alvarado (Minute Rock)

Self-titled: CD
The band’s name is in this prickly font, as if when you simply think the name it’s like having a sea urchin inside your head. The songs are the same—one wouldn’t think that a tune titled “United We Slouch” would put such a sneer on one’s pate, but oh my does it ever. On the whole, Squalora remind me lots and lots and lots of Nausea or Milwaukee crust punk bands from the early ‘90s. This is a good thing; my understanding is that sea urchins can be pretty tasty when you crack them open. So is this record. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Repetitively Futile)

Hell Is Other People: CD
Crusty metal-punk stuff, a little Discharge here and a lotta Amebix there. A bit paint-by-numbers, but I found myself really diggin’ things more they dug their feet into the more epic, blustery bits that reminded a bit of Killing Joke on an apocalyptic bender. –Jimmy Alvarado (Minor Bird)

Hell Is Other People: LP
I can see why this band is big in Portland—they make the whole crusty, epic hardcore-apocalypse thing seem pretty effortless. Still, there’s something that just doesn’t quite take me all the way there. Maybe it’s the fact that eight songs on an LP means they’re pretty long ones. Or that the guitar lead often follows along with the lyrics, or that there’s just the one dude belting out the vocals, or that the LP’s momentum gets really thrown off by the way too long instrumental intro in “Of This Earth.” It’s good stuff, but not great. Still, I’d personally be hard pressed to come up with something one tenth as good, and it does contain the only song I have ever heard in my life about being eaten alive by dolphins. –Keith Rosson (Minor Bird)

Self-titled: 7"
If there's one thing that the Japanese know, it's how to make a good hardcore record. Square the Circle are from Tokyo and they play really tight thrash a la Tear It Up or What Happens Next. I hesitate to compare them to Japanese contemporaries like Total Fury, ‘cause they kinda rock harder than that. Think Nothing to Nothing by Tear it Up but gnarlier and dirtier. Oh, and the lyrics are fucking hilarious: "Wanna be a queen? The pose of hick when a happy in the day." Maybe it's wrong of me to make fun of their English since I can't speak Japanese, but, then again, I'm not trying to write songs in Japanese and put them out on a record, either. Regardless, this record is great! –ben (Kangaroo)

I’m Not Listening: CD
I’m somewhat of a nerd when it comes to video games—I’ll admit it, I’m okay with it. So while there’s already a number of bands that exclusively cover video game music, this seems to be a record of electronic music (which I admittedly don’t know much about) that’s created from samples and loops from old video games, particularly from the original Game Boy (yeah, that’s right). The whole thing was a little too long for me to listen to in one sitting more than once, but it’s still cool to check out if you’re way into video games. –Joe Evans III (Go Midnight)

Going All the Way with The Squires: LP
Being inclined to like anything like this sometimes causes me to feel like I’ve run out of things to say about the endless parade of reissue albums that receive a blast of praise and then fade away. Not that I’m complaining. I could listen to ‘60s reissues for a living, like some sort of headphoned Jabba the Hutt absorbing twelve-string guitar licks and turning them into energy. That aside, this one is rock solid. There are extensive liner notes that I’m too stoned to read and regurgitate and pretend I knew that. They likely say something like: this band got big locally and faded because everyone can’t be The Rolling Stones. This is the album someone will snobbily inform you is better than The Rolling Fucking Stones. If you buy one album like this a year, this is a good candidate for 2015, especially if you liked the Chants R&B record, the one that’s better than The Rolling Fucking Stones –Billups Allen (Crypt)

Fade to Bright: CD
It really did nothing for me. No hair standing, no goose bumps and no chills down the spine. My excitement level is comparable to tofu. –Donofthedead (Honest Don’s)

Broadcast 02.09.08: CD
Wow. They must know this isn’t great, because they’ve included the most ridiculous album cover sticker I’ve ever seen. It’s so lame, I just need to quote the whole thing: “Produced by Mass Giorgini (Alkaline Trio, Anti-Flag, Rise Against) With liner notes by Luis Alberto Urrea, Pulitzer Prize Finalist and author of The Hummingbird’s Daughter. Squirtgun includes former members of Screeching Weasel and Common Rider.” Jesus Christ! I mean, they are really hitting all possible target audiences! (Plus, on a side note, if he’s going to be this lame, why doesn’t Mr. Giorgini highlight his production for the Queers, Groovie Ghoulies, et. al, instead?) And the Pulitzer Prize finalist’s liner notes? Six sentences, dear readers. Six sentences. This is so lame. A few halfway decent pop punk songs, but also a horrible Common Rider cover (“Classics of Love”). If this were a cereal, it’d be the now-defunct Fruit & Bran. This is dumb. –Maddy (Kid Tested)

Self-titled: 7” EP
Took me a few minutes of genius-me going, “Sweet minty Jesus, HoZac’s really pulling out all the weirdness stops with this one” before I realized I had it at the wrong speed. What I thought was a bit of drony minimalist art-punk brilliance turned out to be sloppy minimalist punk brilliance. It’s good, but you’ll have to excuse me while I slow it down to a crawl again…. –Jimmy Alvarado (HoZac, hozacrecords.com)

: 7"
From the promo sheet touting these dudes as “streetrock” and the nice silk-screened cover showcasing a bunch of dudes with mohawks, I was really rooting for something that sounded like Bombshell Rocks or even Rancid. I mean, my secret’s out: I actually like Rancid quite a bit, in spite of their genre-hopping, their posturing, their blossoming thug/gang mentality. It’s embarrassing, but it’s there, you know? I was thinking, “Yeah, SS Kaliert—the thinking man’s Rancid! I can get behind this shit!” Then I actually put the record on and instead of the anthemic gravel-buried-in-the-melody stuff I was hoping for, these guys kick out four surprisingly dense, tough songs with hardly a hint of melody or “singalongness” to be found. I mean, the lyrics are all super-positive and they’re obviously totally fired up on punk, but that undercurrent of jump-in-the-air pogo that I was looking for was lacking, and was replaced with something a lot more simple and, like I said, tough. So if you want some sharp-as-nails street stuff that you’ll be hard pressed to sing along with, grab it up. It’s not bad, and it’s definitely heartfelt. Just a little too rough around the edges for me. –Keith Rosson (FNS)

Dsklation: CD
This band reminds me of a kid named Jason I went to grade school with. He was an in-the-flesh mohawk punk living in Canadian small town hell. Not only did he become legendary for getting beat up by a teacher for cheering when the space shuttle exploded, but he also introduced me to The Exploited. SS-Kaliert are a lot like a German counterpart for The Exploited (or The Casualties, according to a younger punk in the print shop). Mohawks and bullet belts are the order here. It’s not bad by any means, but just not that interesting… Scratch that, the German factor makes it a lot better than a lot of the other bands trying to do the same shit. I have to stand by my theory that punk rock sounds better in German. –Ty Stranglehold (Punkcore)

Split: 7”
A pretty great international split 7” here. SS20 from Germany kick it off with some bludgeoning hardcore. The music is fantastic, but the vocals get a bit too much of that guttural growl going for my liking. Not terrible by any means, but they do pale in comparison to Fàn Zuì Xiă Fă from Malaysia. These guys hit the ground running at breakneck speed and don’t stop ‘til the end of the record! Fast, spazzy hardcore punk. Just how I like it. It was also pretty great that all the lyrics were printed in German, English, and an Asian language (I’m sorry. I can’t tell exactly what it is). Great record! –Ty Stranglehold (WWL)

Kissss Thissss: LP
The first track sounded like something from Fifteen circa Swain and Choice, but everything after that had me thinking Scared Of Chaka-lite. While SOC-lite beats the hell out of a lot of stuff out there, it serves no purpose when Hutch Brown Sayngwich is within reach. –Vincent Battilana (Specialist Subject, specialistsubjectrecords.co.uk)

Split: 7”
Ssssnakes: First tune is a catchy bit of straightforward punkin’ out. Second one is based on the standard slow doo-wop/”Heart and Soul” template, with quiet/loud/quiet dynamics and audio clips from Wayne’s World and other flicks. The Slow Death: I really dug the demo they sent in a while back, and what’s here only reinforces my respect for ‘em. They continue to mine punk’s more anthemic wells with tons o’ heart packed into each song to offset the gruff vocals. I love when a band sounds like they’ve put a lot of good work into what they do, and the tunes here have all the earmarks of exactly that happening. –Jimmy Alvarado (Kiss Of Death)

Split: 7”
Ssssnakes: I have a cognitive dissonance with Ssssnakes. Visually, on flyers, on their interwebs, they drop that they have an affinity to both old school and skate punk. So when I go into this thinking JFA, Big Boys, Clay Wheels, Faction, it’s not that at all. It’s more Millencolin, MXPX-y. There’s other stuff in there, but big, clean production and snotty, rasp-huff vocals wasn’t what I was expecting at the tip of the spear. Miami Vice color scheme website. The Slow Death: Daryl and I work within ten feet of one another for about twenty-four hours a week. I fully admit I have a bad memory. He’ll say something about a record or a band, I’ll listen, then a couple days later, I’ll totally believe I had an original idea. “You know what? It takes more than a 7” for The Slow Death or Pretty Boy to really make a mark. Like, with a full-length, you can just stew in it. The power’s in the full lengths. Born Ugly Got Worse is great.” I’m all, “You’re right.” This time, Daryl gets the credit and no one on the record sounds like Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou of Wham! The weird thing is when their side of the 7” gets put into a collection, I’ll be all, “This is so rad.” Slow Death sounds different—and shines brighter—in the longer formats. –Todd Taylor (Kiss Of Death / SWFU / Not Shy Of The DIY)

Last Chance at Freedom: CD
Dunno a thing about the group, but they’re puttin’ down simple, straightforward punky rock tunes with the occasional country western twinge thrown in for seasoning. Singer is sometimes reminiscent of both Jimmy Dean and Freddie Blassie.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Sxratch Native, sxratchnative.com)

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