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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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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)

Somos Extremos: CD
I like the melodic sensibilities these guys put into the poppy punk songs they showcase and the fact that they aren’t afraid to let the two guitars deviate from whatever chord progression the bass guitar is playing. The songs are smart, “modern punk”-sounding without being awash in corporate punk suckdom, and the lyrics sound above the average pack of punters with guitars. Can’t say I dig the gruff, blown-out vocals in this context all that much, and that more or less boils down to personal preference, but on the whole they ain’t all that bad. –Jimmy Alvarado (No address listed)

Evil Bitterness: CD
Sludgy trash punk, not in the ‘60s sense, but rather like the noisier tracks on the Cramps’ "Psychedelic Jungle." I also want to say that there’s a hint of the Gun Club in there as well, but I can’t quite commit myself to it. Either way, the whole disc is the soundtrack to a hypnotic, E-ticket voodoo trip through some seriously twisted psyches fueled by bad booze, bad drugs and bad dispositions. The songs are simply structured and really long (the title track alone lasts 13 minutes), yet they rarely get boring and the energy is kept up throughout. Recommended. –Jimmy Alvarado (Cack-O-Phone, PO Box 5997, Cleveland, OH 44101)

Adult Brigade: 7” EP
Another time warp band whose sound takes you back to the wild, sloppy days of the early ‘80s, and I don’t mean that as an insult. They occasionally bring to mind bands like Bad Posture. Not bad. –Jimmy Alvarado (dhrrecords@gmail.com)

Robot: Cassette
Leave it to a pretentious Memphis garage rock band to put out a sloppy cassette single recorded on a 4-track in 2007. It’s comforting to find a band this intentionally un-tight allowing others to hear their home recordings. Lower than lo-fi, this tape has a retro appeal factor due to the old school demo format. This cassette is limited to just one hundred copies and the label’s other two releases are already long gone. Garage collectors will surely want to subject themselves to these shenanigans. –Art Ettinger (Don’t Hit Record!, http://www.myspace.com/dhrrecords)

No Ledge EP: 7”
At a glance, their drippy black metal-esque logo gave me the impression of a much harder sounding band, especially with a name like Stab Me Kill Me. I was pleasantly wrong. This is aggressive power pop with raucous melodies, muddy, jangled bass lines, and sugary hooks. Mixed in with snotty vocals, this Seattle band brings you four songs that get stuck in your head as quickly as they’re played. Available on red transparent vinyl with rad artwork from Tom Lowell, this EP is a surefire soundtrack to any shitty day.  –Kayla Greet (Double Dos)

A Portrait of Noise: CDEP
This is four tracks of fast, melodic, and pissed-off hardcore of the non-metal variety that has more in common with 7 Seconds, Kill Your Idols, and Paint It Black then Metallica or Megadeth. I like this, but I can’t get over the fact that these guys sound exactly like New Mexican Disaster Squad. This is really ironic because Stabbed In Back are actually from Albuquerque New Mexico (Home state pride! WHOOT WHOOT!!!), while New Mexican Disaster Squad are from Orlando, Florida. Maybe a name swap could be arranged at some point? According to the press sheet, one of the members (I think the drummer) was in the Lillingtons, but this sounds about as much like the Lillingtons as Born Against sounded like Screeching Weasel. Oh, and the fade out to “When Laughter Turns to Screams” is anthemic enough to make even AFI proud. I definitely want to check out any other stuff these guys put out. –Adrian (Basement)

Split: 7”
Well looky here; a surprisingly potent split from New Mexico’s Stabbed In Back and SoCal’s Payoff. The SIB cuts feel a little more raucous and aggressive (sounds like this James Hall guy would fit right in at Razorcake HQ) than Payoff’s, but that isn’t meant to take anything away from them. In fact, the Payoff cuts probably demonstrate a little more range than SIB’s, largely due to the dual girl/guy vocals. Payoff features some ex-members of The Bombpops and their overall sound doesn’t stray too far from that now-defunct outfit. Honestly, this hasn’t left my turntable in days. Maybe that means something?  –Garrett Barnwell (Rad Girlfriend, radgirlfriendrecords.com)

Fornication Against Thee: CD
Can’t say I was impressed past the “interesting” point with their punky minimalist tunes, but I did find “The Final Lash” particularly noteworthy in a “Russell Mael meets early Saccharine Trust” kind of way. On the whole, though, it wasn’t bad, just not too memorable. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.sycophanticide.com)

The Fall b/w No Passion: 7”

405.0pt" class="NoSpacing">Two tracks of Christian Death-inspired goth rock that weren’t at all the “outsider black metal” I was preparing myself for. Don’t let the word “goth” turn you off. No, seriously. This is good stuff. There is definitely an organ involved, but it doesn’t drown out the rest of the instrumentation or the great, agonized vocals on here. The minimalist packaging and hand stamped center labels add that DIY charm that is seldom associated with a genre of music that often relies heavily on stage theatrics and shock value for substance. Clearly, the music is the substance here.

–Juan Espinosa (Sycophanticide, stabbings.net)

Self-titled: CDEP
These two new tracks from Seattle’s goth/grindcore trio offer up more hellfire for the damned. First up, “Kill Me,” is angst-encrusted and guitar-driven. The drums are protracted, while the vocals have a screechy quality not unlike Andy Sex Gang. “It Would Not Be Enough” takes it back to early L.A. goth circa 1984 combined with an organ and fuzzy guitars. If you think buckle boots are hot and have a monochromatic wardrobe, this might be for you. –Kristen K (Hipster Death, hipsterdeath.com)

Attitudes: 7”
Stable Boys feature members of some well-known bands from the Philadelphia area, notably Algernon Cadwallader and Glocca Morra. The music is a bit more straight forward and stripped down. I can’t help but make a Pteredon comparison—music that has a ton of emotion in it without coming across as forced and fake. This has lots of dudes screaming at the same time but it’s still harmonious with out being chaotic. The sleeve and insert are pretty awesome. I’m guessing the paper came from a print shop reject or something because it’s on the back side of a Meet Joe Young DVD sleeve. The insert has all the clarity and readability of an Indian Summer insert. Unintelligible words and photos, mostly torn up newsprint. This is a quality record and worth listening to again. –Adam Mullett (Evil Weevil)

Squadroom: Cassette

Stabler’s ten-track Squadroom is an eight minute, ten second pal. To me, Stabler’s Squadroom recalls Black Flag’s loose rush of power, akin to Damaged, minus Greg Ginn’s jazzpunk solos but very much with the rush and crash of a band that only pauses for the bass to dig out a jagged groove or to allow silence until the next track. To compare with something more recent? Maybe Chicago’s Weekend Nachos. Stabler songs like “Torture” and “Self-Disgust” offer uplifting lyrics, encouraging the listener to challenge mediocre shit—to be humbled, to be aware, and to take responsibility for life choices. So the content is there for lyric lovers like me. Sonically, the rapid swipe and chug of these tracks is ideal for smashing chairs to, or for powering through rough spots that Minor Threat tracks like “Seeing Red” and “Filler” just can’t clean. You can grab Squadroom off of Stabler’s Bandcamp (check out the vaguely titled “…preview…” song there, too) or procure a cassette from their label, Reality Is A Cult.

–Jim Joyce (Reality Is A Cult, realityisacult.blogspot.com / stabler.bandcamp.com)

Songs for Cadets: LP
This wasn’t what I was expecting from the heavy metal font. It’s a one-woman electro project. Cold, cold synth and drum machine with the occasional tweaked and subdued female vocal coming forth in the mix, echoed and chilling. Devoid of human emotion, it really comes off as eerie. It would work well as the soundtrack to an eighties b-movie, a horror film, or one of those sci-fi flicks with poorly-reproduced punks in them to symbolize a dystopian world of technology and squalor. And people being hunted by androids. Synth-pop this is not. It’s an alluring, yet uncomfortable, listen that I’m repeatedly drawn back to. –Craven (Moniker)

Konkret Lichtgesschwindigkeit!: CD
Dry your eyes my good friends. Stack are not broken up, like those dirty little rumors that were floating around said. Well, they were split for a while, but saw the error of their ways and are back full force. Perhaps even better than before. Essentially the same as when they first gelled, but sounding tighter and angrier. This disc is sort of a discography to catch you up from past to present. The first 18 songs are from the latest release, the title of the disc (Konkret Lichtgesschwindigkeit!), while the remaining 26 are from various splits, comps, and EPs. All quality nonetheless. I remember being totally floored the first time I heard them years ago, and they still pack that devastating punch. This stuff is so good it’s unreal. Pulverizing hardcore that owes no allegiance to the past or present. They exist in their own realm of sound really. The attack is full-on, over the top, and in your face. As it should be. Recommended? This collection is necessary! –Matt Average (Six Weeks)

I’ll Live My Life!: CD
Run-of-the-mill skinhead music from Germany. Although they seem to have their hearts in the right place, ain’t big whoop to be found here. –Jimmy Alvarado (Mad Butcher)

1993 - 2001: CD
This is abrasively strong anti-fascist skinhead oi and gruff’n’surly European streetpunk insurrection at its fiercest, liveliest, and most musically cohesive. The sound is full and furious, relentlessly possessing all of the necessary riot-inciting auditory ingredients needed to make this CD a constant companion for the ears of any self-respecting Doc Marten-attired non-racist skinhead out there. It’s a rotund and rousing barrel full of manly lager-scoured vocals (frequently complemented by spirited Cockney female rants), frenetic high-powered guitar strafings, rip-roarin’ ground-shakin’ bass thumpings, a constant unwavering bombardment of shrapnel-tossing drumbeats, and sporadic X-Ray Spex-style saxophone sputterings. Hell yes, a grandly spectacular display of unabashedly upbeat insurgent sounds. This is undeniably the ultimate in foot-stompin’ good fun! –Roger Moser Jr. (Mad Butcher and Insurgence and KOB)

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