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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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STALAG 13:
In Control: CD
Let me start by saying that most of the stuff I review for this magazine is sent to me by Sean and Todd. Every now and then I get something in my own mail from some press agent or someone who got my address from the magazine, and that is usually accompanied by an 8x10 glossy of some boring people trying to look cool, press clippings, and some over the top copywriting like about how well the band went over at Warped Tour and their potential and all that. Generally, the more of this stuff there is, the more the band sucks, and sometimes the more promo stuff I get means the less I ever hear about the band again. Then I will get a really good CD with one Xeroxed sheet explaining why I got it in the mail and it blows me away. (The one that trumped that had a post-it saying, “please review.”) My other comment is that if you send me a CD to review, send me the CD to review – the whole thing. Send me the CD, the artwork, the liner notes, and something that they all go in so I can keep them together. If you want me to endorse your product, let me know what the whole product is. This CD came to me with liner notes in a nice plastic thing that was more easily mailed than a jewel case. There was one sheet explaining that this is a re-released CD of a reformed band. The booklet had fliers that were not self-indulgent but framed the where and when of Stalag 13. The CD has really good music on it. Imagine, if you will, Minor Threat, Circle Jerks and MDC all forming a super group and having a really good producer oversee the album (though there are live tracks). Fuck yeah. –rich (Doctor Strange)


STALAG 13:
In Control: CD
Bill from Dr. Strange comes through again and brings back another classic from the dead. Originally released on Upstart Records (Jorge Newberry, where are you?) in 1984 and bootlegged numerous amounts of times by Lost and Found out of Germany, this Nardcore classic is available to the masses again. This record was on regular rotation on so many punks’ stereos back then that I barely ever played my own copy. I actually burned out hearing them and never played my record ever again. I bought the three limited edition copies of this on vinyl recently and never played them. What a collector nerd I am sometimes! While at Razorcake HQ, I saw that this was in my box. I slap the disc into the CD player and see if I will like it after all these years. Like the hypocrite that I am, I fuckin’ love this! The songs are familiar as ever but welcomed. Hearing the song “No Excuse” again was a reenactment of getting a boot to the head. The booklet has pictures of the band at the long-defunct Cathey de Grande here in Los Angeles which brought back good memories of seeing them there on a regular basis. There are also pictures of flyers that are still on the bedroom wall at my mother’s house that I haven’t taken down even though I haven’t lived there in over fifteen years. Hearing the four bonus tracks was a welcome surprise. Three songs were recorded in the studio and the track “Selfish” was on the We Got Power comp. The last track, “Make a Change,” is recorded live. I had put them below Nardcore greats like Dr. Know, Agression, RKL, Ill Repute, and False Confessions, but I do step up on the dummy box to admit that I was wrong. I sometimes wonder why I think the way I do. They were equals in a scene that created many great bands. –Donofthedead (Dr. Strange)


STALAG 13:
In Control: CD
Let me start by saying that most of the stuff I review for this magazine is sent to me by Sean and Todd. Every now and then I get something in my own mail from some press agent or someone who got my address from the magazine, and that is usually accompanied by an 8x10 glossy of some boring people trying to look cool, press clippings, and some over the top copywriting like about how well the band went over at Warped Tour and their potential and all that. Generally, the more of this stuff there is, the more the band sucks, and sometimes the more promo stuff I get means the less I ever hear about the band again. Then I will get a really good CD with one Xeroxed sheet explaining why I got it in the mail and it blows me away. (The one that trumped that had a post-it saying, “please review.”) My other comment is that if you send me a CD to review, send me the CD to review – the whole thing. Send me the CD, the artwork, the liner notes, and something that they all go in so I can keep them together. If you want me to endorse your product, let me know what the whole product is. This CD came to me with liner notes in a nice plastic thing that was more easily mailed than a jewel case. There was one sheet explaining that this is a re-released CD of a reformed band. The booklet had fliers that were not self-indulgent but framed the where and when of Stalag 13. The CD has really good music on it. Imagine, if you will, Minor Threat, Circle Jerks and MDC all forming a super group and having a really good producer oversee the album (though there are live tracks). Fuck yeah. –rich (Doctor Strange)


STALAG 13:
In Control: CD
In a weird way, on a very small scale, Nardcore is coming back. A couple of weeks ago, I went to see the old Nardcore greats Ill Repute haul their old bones out to rip through one of the best live sets I’ve seen in a while. It was way more than I expected. They tore through a bunch of songs from their What Happens Next EP and basically made me feel like 1984 wasn’t such a bad year. And now, on top of that, Dr. Strange has re-released Ill Repute’s Nardcore counterparts, Stalag 13’s 1984 album In Control. They’ve even included four bonus tracks on it. To be honest, I never heard much about Stalag 13 or In Control, but coming across this re-release, I’ve found a lost gem from a time period and style of music that I love. Musically, Stalag 13 fit nicely in between Ill Repute, Agression, Youth Brigade, and, well, most of the bands on that Somebody Got Their Head Kicked In comp. It’s not totally original now, mostly because so many bands have been influenced by this sound since it first came out almost twenty years ago. Still, I can crank this sucker up and feel like I’m being transported back to a time before a bunch of these bands went metal and before Reagan’s second term fucked everything up. –Sean Carswell (Dr. Strange)


STALAG 13:
In Control: LP
Smart idea to remaster this album. I must confess I didn’t care much for this album when it first came out for the very reason that it sounded dull and flat. I figured this was one of those bands you had to see live to appreciate. Living in the middle of the country during the ‘80s, where a good hardcore show was twenty-five people in the audience, I was never going to see these guys in their prime. Hearing this version, my opinion has changed drastically. The songs now have more spark and there’s that needed punch here that’s necessary to make a hardcore record and band good. The songs are straight forward, as are the lyrics of teen angst. It’s aged a bit by today’s standards, but the most important aspect remains, and that is the raw energy that Stalag 13 and most of the early hardcore bands possessed. I’ll gladly take that approach any day over musicianship, wall of sound, and opaque lyrics. There are four extra tracks on this edition—three recorded in 1983 with a different line-up, and a live song that’s pretty unnecessary. I’d recommend this pressing over the Upstart version. –Matt Average (Dr. Strange, drstrange.com)


STALE PHISH:
Rock N Roll Revert: LP
This is what it’s all about: skateboarding and punk rock. The two go hand in hand. Stale Phish only write skate punk songs, with song titles like, “Shred Sled,” “Gators Song,” and “While You Skated Street (I Skated Pool with Your Mom).” All the songs are really tight and have an old school punk rock feel. If you like bands like the Faction, Agression, or the old BYO comps, do yourself a favor and check these fellas out. Rip it!  –Ryan Nichols (Not Like You, notlikeyouzine@gmail.com)


STALINS OF SOUND :
Self-titled: 7”
Originally a one-man band featuring Hadi Ziade, former bass player for the Dissimilars, singing and playing guitar backed by a drum machine, Hadi was then joined by bass player Dave Masur, and later synthesizer from former Dissimilars and SlabCity frontman Jimmy the Worm. Employing the drum machine in place of a live drummer makes for a unique twist on the current wave of synth punk bands. While the Spits have perfected the unfrozen-cavemen-discover-synthesizer sound, eagerly and earnestly delighting crowds for fifteen years and still managing to come across as idiot savants, there is something more deviant and sinister with Stalins Of Sound, like world-weary misfits expertly aware of the doom and gloom electronic instruments can bring. Stalins fall in line more with the darker, troubled sounds of Destruction Unit or Digital Leather, however still maintaining a bit of the tongue-in-cheek irreverence of the Spits (songs like “Baton of Discipline” aren’t completely serious). If any of the aforementioned are up your alley, then Stalins Of Sound comes with the highest recommendation. –Jeff Proctor (volarrecords.blogspot.com)


STALINS OF SOUND:
Pool of Piranha: 7”
Another fine effort from San Diego’s extraordinary synth punk trio, and again released on Craig Oliver’s (of Christmas Island) very fine Volar Records. First side includes two fast and heavy tunes, loaded with crunchy, smartly played guitar and moody synths. Second track is a gem of a cover, “Panik” by French paleo-punk outfit Métal Urbain with a shredding solo and ray gun synth blasts. The B-side track, “Rapture in Blood,” features a much more subdued slice of doom and gloom, droning vocals and instrumentation, and dense and layered keyboard sounds that sounds like it could be a missing track from Digital Leather’s Warm Brother.Excellent stuff.  –Jeff Proctor (Volar)


STALINS OF SOUND:
Tank Tracks: CD
The best synth punk band in San Diego. These guys have been playing for a while now and it’s about time they put out a full length. Stalins will get you hyped even before you put their music on. For one, you’ll look cool with their record in your hand but also when you flip it over to look at song titles like, “El Cajon Beatdown” or “Rules for Your Mouth,” you’ll know it’s good. Check these guys out.  –Ryan Nichols (Slovenly)


STALINS WAR:
Rebirth from Flames: CD
I had a feeling that this was going to be an emo release. Something about the way the cover looked. But my intuition was wrong on this one. I know this is not an inventive description, but they sound like Kittie meets Shadows Fall and Good Riddance. It’s metallic hardcore that is piercing with precision and powerful in delivery. The vocalist, Moana Strom, has a deceivingly beautiful voice that is almost romantic in its beauty, but can turn on you with her shrieking vocals bursts. The production on this recording is top notch. The only thing missing is the double bass drumming. (Not to say that the drumming is mediocre. It’s not.) By addition, it would further enforce the music they are producing. –Donofthedead (Un–Fun)


STALKERS:
Yesterday is No Tomorrow: CD
The Stalkers have managed to pack their debut full length with well-crafted punk tunes with pop sensibilities that put them somewhere between the Misfits and Dictators on the Great Rock’N’Roll Sonic Spectrum. In fact, the opening song/title track of this CD sounds like Glen Danzig fronting a sped up Suspicions with a Scott “Top Ten” Kempner solo thrown in to keep things interesting. The album is top heavy, with the first five songs grabbing the listener by the ears and shaking them with killer hooks and pop swagger. The second half of the album lags slightly, but overall this is a great listen if you’re a fan of the Black Halos, Boys and Kidnappers. –Josh Benke (Dollar Record, www.dollarrecord.com)


STALKERS:
Sun’s Coming Up b/w I Couldn’t Wait to Get Home: 7"
This band and record appear to bear at least superficial resemblance to the Crowd’s A World Apart album, but, in the cold hard reality of my piercing critical gaze, i have decided that they’re more like ultra-early Misfits (just after “Cough/Cool”) playing Sweet Baby songs. Both tunes are fairly strong, and, at my advanced age, that’s what i like to see in a new band. I hereby declare myself in wait for the band’s next record, before i throw the raw meat to the masses. We have all been warned. BEST SONG: “Sun’s Coming Up” BEST SONG TITLE: “I Couldn’t Wait to Get Home” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: That lead singer dude sure looks a fucking scary lot like my buddy’s ex-girlfriend. GO HOME. TANIA, YOU’RE DRUNK. –Rev. Norb (Dollar Record)


STALKERS:
“Lady Sonia” b/w “When We Get There”: 45
The sleeve art is a photorealistic pencil drawing of a nekkid girl ((well, i take that back – she’s actually wearing opera gloves, a studded leather belt and a matching collar)) bending over just enough that you think you might be able to see something cool, but with her arms positioned in such a way to block your view of her boobs—which is an odd thing, because right above her head, there’s also a close-up sketch of her boobs, submitted for your approval. There really is no other context for the imagery; it’s just doggy style asses and hands-on-boobs for the apparent sheer fun of seeing doggy style asses and hands-on-boobs. She isn’t whapping her butt with a drumstick, or drying herself off on a Voxx Teardrop bass, or, really, anything rock related. It’s just a nude chick. I don’t know exactly why i am so fascinated with this; it’s just that, when someone sticks a nude girl on their record cover, there’s usually some…point? Like, some, i dunno, attempt at a statement or something? It’s usually just not “OK, here is our cover, which is a naked girl, because we all like naked girls.” There’s usually at least something more to it, isn’t there? Well whatever. So, flip to the back cover, and it’s more pencil drawings, this time of guys with Small Faces haircuts and what-not. I am prepared to cast this record out the window, sight unheard, just for annoying me with its, i dunno, general rock-star-ish-ness, but, in the spirit of fair play ((possibly also in the spirit of further checking out the chick’s ass)), i put it on the turntable, and, amazingly, the a-side is actually really pretty good. It’s a fast, snappy, Powerpearls-style, ‘79/’80-ish skinny-tie-Beatles-on-speed ditty, with up-and-down-the-scale vocals and lyrics about a “self-declared masturbatrix” ((go figure)). I mean…i still kinda think that overall, these guys are probably dorks, but, shit, if somebody told you this was the Rousers or somebody, you’d be all over this shit, so call a spade a spade and admit it’s a good song! The b-side employs acoustic guitar and is pretty forgettable. In any event, there probably haven’t been many better reasons to think about installing a turntable in your bathroom, have there been? BEST SONG: “Lady Sonia” BEST SONG TITLE “Lady Sonia” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Artwork by Sophie Thunder! –Rev. Norb (Oops Baby)


STALWART SONS / SLATES:
Split: 7”
This sounds a bit like a punk rock version of the backwoodsman man coming into town for the weekend. I’ve rarely come across a record that is so obviously Canadian without becoming a parody of itself—songs about fishing, drinking, drinking water in the woods, etc., that seem to be under the poetic influence of Gary Snyder and Tennyson. Musically, both bands have a bit of the mid-’90s Kansas City sound to them, except for the quick, punky little ditty that Slates finish the record with. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Revolution Winter)


STAMFORD BRIDGE / BASTARDS CHOIR:
Split: 7"
I like me some of that “oi” type of punk rock, but I can get a little picky about it. As I dropped the needle on this record, I read the back and realized that StamfordBridge is essentially a one man band featuring Carl from The Templars (with Phil Templar on drums). I love The Templars, so I geared myself up for the unexpected. StamfordBridge is more of an oi-tinged pop group—and it’s really amazing! I am on the hunt for more from these guys now! I couldn’t imagine how Bastards Choir could hold their own after that, but I’ll be damned if they didn’t kick ass as well. Super catchy songs that have to do with roasting pork and such. A real Beltones flavor to the sound that I loved. What a great split record! –Ty Stranglehold (Oi! The Boat)


STAMPIN:
Carved from Empty Words: CD
Intelligent, thought-provoking lyrics. Too bad they waste them on jacked, sub-par Slayer riffs. –Jimmy Alvarado (Thorp)


STAN MCMAHON:
Self-titled: Cassette
Apparently, this guy is famous because of a sort of half association with Guided By Voices. Aside from being their roadie for a while, and appearing on one of their bootlegs, he is also the lead singer of the first Guided By Voices cover band. Of course, we’re all thinking, does the album sound anything like Guided by Voices? Well, kind of. If Guided By Voices used a lot more acoustic guitar and was sung by a guy who sounds like he’s the lead singer of a Guided By Voices cover band. I’m assuming if you use over a decade of your life to dedicate yourself to one band, it’s likely that their influence is going to sink in, no matter what kind of musical project you do. I guess what I’m trying to say is that in this guy’s head he has a set of tastes, or voices, by which he is clearly being guided. –Bryan Static (Burger, burgerrecords.webs.com)


STAND AGAINST:
Until the End: CD
Youth crew-sounding hardcore here, and it ain't bad for what it is, I guess, even if they do remind me of SOD in all the wrong ways. –Jimmy Alvarado (My Own Wallet)


STAND AGAINST:
Until the End: CD
Youth crew-sounding hardcore here, and it ain’t bad for what it is, I guess, even if they do remind me of SOD in all the wrong ways. –Jimmy Alvarado (My Own Wallet, no address)


STAND OUT RIOT:
Carnival Militia: CD
Just when I let start to let my guard down, in sneaks some ska punk piffle and I’m right back to loathing Operation Ivy, a band I once liked twenty-odd years ago, for unleashing this scourge upon us. A POX ON YOU, LONG DEFUNCT BERKELEY PICK-IT-UPPERS! MAY YOU SPEND ETERNITY UNABLE TO HIDE FROM WAYNENEWTON COVERS OF YOUR SONGS! –Jimmy Alvarado (www.tnsrecords.co.uk)


STAND OUT RIOT:
The Gentleman Bandits: CD
Decent ska in the vein of Public Access and Arrogant Sons Of Bitches. Now, when I say decent, someone who has any taste buds for ska would probably like this substantially. Just tastes like onions to me, man. God, I hate onions. –Bryan Static (TNS)


STANDARD AND POOR:
Filthy Basement Secrets: CDEP
You got some street punk mixed with a pinch of rockabilly here. The first track, “Born Bad,” ditches the punches and goes straight for something sharper: “Born bad your gonna get my knife.” Standard And Poor takes well-traveled ground by writing tunes about liars (“Liar”) and broken hearts (“Heart Crusher Baby”) but put their spin on those topics and, let me tell you, there’s never a dull moment. I’ve already written about three of the six tracks on this EP. Needless to say, it’s going to be on repeat. Get your hands on these Filthy Basement Secrets! –N.L. Dewart (De Ville Basement Music, www.myspace.com/standardandpoor)


STANDARD AND POOR:
What’s in the Big Black Bag?: CD
Basic bowling night punk that holds out the promise of being more interesting than it actually is—not to mention more Crampsy than it actually is ((which is “not at all”))— on accounta it’s got a hot Bettie Page type chick on the cover. A few songs sound like Americanized versions of U.K. Riot City Records-type punk circa ‘82, a few others sound kinda like those Ramones songs where Dee Dee sang, and “Liar” sounds the most like the Sex Pistols, although it is, curiously, not the Pistols song of the same name. The record contains not one but THREE songs—”I Wanna Go Back,” “Middle Earth,” “Taken Too Young”—which are essentially big lists of bands and/or punks and/or records they used to like back in the day. I’m not necessarily opposed to a little nostalgia trippin’, but if there’s a way to achieve greatness by association via invoking the past, this ain’t it. The kick and snare drums sound triggered sometimes ((though not all the time)), which i hate, even if i’m just imagining it. Tony has a cool guitar strap. The girl looks nice. BEST SONG: “Sex Doll” BEST SONG TITLE: “What’s in the Big Black Bag?” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Don’t bother to sit thru the eight minutes of church bells at the end of “Religious Right.” There is nothing at the end but a fade out. –Rev. Norb (Unrepentant)


STANDARD AND POOR:
Let’s Take Care of Our Own: 7” EP
Leather-jackets-and-jeans-and-standing-against-a-brick-wall punk from Southern California, which puts them at a strategic disadvantage right off the bat since they don’t really have brick walls against which to stand in earthquake zones, or so i’ve been told. The A-side is a sort of pseudo-UK melodic street punk anthem type deal, with ringy guitars and various exhortations and laments upon the state of domestic and foreign policy and such ((“Let’s take care of our own / if they need our help, I’m sure they’ll phone”)). B-side starts with “Let’s Go”—a song that somehow manages to use the title of a Ramones song for a completely unrelated song about going to see the Ramones ((fellows, please note this ship has sailed)) —and ends with the best song of the bunch, “Love Knot,” which is about tying up girls in the basement. No wonder they don’t wanna go down there, daddy-o! I like this 45 better than that album with the pink cover they put out a while back; their star is definitely in the ascendant. All they need are some bricks and they’ll be on their way. BEST SONG: “Love Knot” BEST SONG TITLE: “Let’s Go” i suppose. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: It says “All songs written PREFORMED and produced by Standard and Poor” in two separate places on the record packaging. –Rev. Norb (D-Spite My Height)


STANDING 69'S, THE:
Short Dress: CD-R
This is well-recorded, mid-tempo garage rock that is actually pretty okay. It's nothing special or anything, but the lack of a discernable Motorhead influence puts this head and shoulders above most of the other "garage rock" that I reviewed this time around and I kind of enjoyed it. -Not Josh –Staff (The Standing 69's)


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