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· 3:#341 with Daryl Gussin
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· 5:#342 with Todd Taylor

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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Sweet Heartache and the Satisfaction: CD
It seems as though Angus Young has joined a punk rock and roll band, up in Oregon, USA. This has an obvious AC/DC influence, as well as the Dead Boys, of course. The heavy, riff-crazy guitar sets them apart from the sea of rock and roll bands out there, but it’s still lacking those catchy choruses a band like this needs. The name “the Stivs” stupefied me. I mean come on, you don’t advertise the singer from the band you’re trying to emulate. It’s like calling your Clash wannabe band “the Strummers.” And you set yourself up for a mighty tough comparison. If you like heavy, wanking rock punk, you’ll like this. If you’re looking for catchy Dead Boys songs, stick to Young, Loud, and Snotty. –KO! (Boot to Head)

Self-titled: CD
As cryptic and as uninformative as this CD is: no clear track listing, hard to read liner notes, etc, I will spare you these extreme injustices. I will pull a George Costanza and do the opposite of this CD. I will be absolutely 100% direct. No need to buy this CD, there’s nothing here that would interest even a deranged monkey. That’s my lesson from the “How To Be Clear” handbook. Class dismissed. –Sean Koepenick (Modern Radio)

Dignified Sissy: CD
With hints of the Minutemen, this noisy art band doesn’t attract my attention with its take on the overdriven noise rock thing. –Donofthedead (Modern Radio)

Self-titled: CD
An EP’s worth of some nicely meandering instrumental indie rock. Reminds me somewhat of a less frantic Fourth Rotor—a slow, simmering buildup to some kind of crescendo, scattered through with braces and squalls of feedback. Not sure how much of an appeal it’ll hold for Razorcake readers, but they seem fairly adept at what they’re doing. I can visualize lots of people drunkenly swaying to this stuff in a bar somewhere. –Keith Rosson (Stock Options)

Catastrophe: CD
This is in the take it or leave it pile. Very Rancid-like in their sound. Street punk mixed with some ska overtones. They play well and their songs are catchy. But nothing exactly won me over. –Donofthedead (Bankshot)

The Special Relationship E.P.: Split 7”
The press release for this claims it’s all “no bullshit DIY punk rock.” No argument there. This is good, good stuff. The Stockyard Stoics are certainly more street punk oriented, but it’s not the hyper-aggressive, meathead type stuff; their offerings are earnest yet thoughtful and, musically, the band is muscular and powerful but still catchy. The Filaments have more of a classic hardcore sound to them, but there are moments at which the ska monster tastefully rears its fun-loving head. They remind me a lot of Snuff. The songs are fast, tight, and anthemic. All in all, this is a great little package: six tunes that got me reinvigorated and sent me bouncing down the street. It comes with a sticker and a mini-zine, too. Recommended.  –The Lord Kveldulfr (Fistolo)

Sunshine Smiley Face: 7"
Classic “your fave local band” shit right here. From Dekalb wherever the fuck that is? Midwest? Whatevs… scrappy mid-‘80s-sounding punk rock. No frills, messed up drum rolls, in-jokes… you know the drill. It’s like a waaaay shitty Dayglo Abortions or any number of mediocre one dollar bin bands. Bet they are super fun live though. –Tim Brooks (no label listed)

Self-titled: LP
This album features eight tracks of raw hardcore which has its roots firmly in the 1980s from a band seemingly intent on trampling all in its path with fists and boots flailing wildly. On the whole, it’s quite a rudimentary affair but is highly effective in its execution, as guitars and drums rage away with some nasty—and occasionally whacked out—sounding vocals up front and center. For all the fury dished out in a shade over nine minutes, I actually find this album quite catchy. It’s clearly not for the timid. –Rich Cocksedge (Video Disease, videodisease77@gmail.com, videodiseaserecords.com / Katorga Works, katorgaworks@gmail.com, katorgaworks.com)

The Experiment Has Been a Complete and Utter Failure: CD
Thanks for summing up my entire review in the album title. –Jimmy Alvarado (Rookie, no address)

Nothing Has Changed: CDEP
This is poppy-sounding melodic hardcore punk. Nothing really sticks out about it, but it’s all right. Keith Rosson said that it sounded like the vocalist doubled all his vocal tracks (or something about the reverb being too high, which I don’t understand) in his review of the split these Italians did with New Bruises. Same thing here. That or another band member is also singing everything. –Vincent Battilana (Document, myspace.com/documentuk / Rolling Anarky, rollinganarkyrecords.it)

Can't Stop Thee: CD
I’ll admit that my sixty-five year-old dad has grown a soul patch to rival every one worn by the dudes in this band. My dad, however, has never had the desire to punish me with psychobilly minus the roots of rockabilly and the horror of the psycho part. Dear lord, this is worse than the velvet pea coat worn by the guy in the forefront of all the pictures. –Megan Pants (Ammonia / Nicotine, www.myspace.com/theestolencars)

Heart Collector: 7”
I am always excited to check out a new Douchemaster release! This is a label that always seems to pick the best stuff to release, particularly in the overdone and half-assed realm of power pop. This is one of my all time favorite styles of music, but I have been burnt out on it for several years, so it takes a lot to perk up my ears at this point. The Stolen Hearts are fantastic—great songs, great production, and excellent vocals. Focusing on songwriting rather than sounding “vintage” or wearing the right clothes is key, and this band comes through in spades. Reminds me a little of Manda & the Marbles, which is always a good thing. Order this immediately and be sure and pick up that killer Perfect Fits single from Douchemaster while you are at it. –Mike Frame (Douchemaster)

Our Heritage: 7” EP
A mix of post-punk and post-hardcore, I guess. Grinding guitars, tribal rhythms, some dude howling about possession and such, with a bleak, almost mechanical air permeating every note. Surprisingly, it works much better than one would expect.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Stolen Kidneys, stolenkidneysband@gmail.com)

High Kicks: CD
More than serviceable music from a band that takes their cues from early ‘80s punk rock and the later trash rock scene. Nothing really all that groundbreaking is being offered up here, but they deliver some catchy, minimalist tunes with much vim and vigor, making a little go a very long way.  –Jimmy Alvarado (www.thestolenminks.com)

Self-titled: 7”
Four songs on colored vinyl. This is straight-forward gruff pop punk that will probably appeal to many Razorcake readers. It’s well done and tuneful, but not necessarily all that memorable. They do a pretty solid cover of “Between Planets” by The Jesus And Mary Chain. Features members of Monikers, Latterman, Off With Their Heads, and Bridge And Tunnel, if that matters to you. –Ryan Horky (Kiss Of Death, kissofdeathrecords.com)

self-titled: 7”
Japanese HC + Pushead artwork + colored vinyl = collectible ebay bait. This band from Tokyo, Japan features commissioned Pushead artwork over red vinyl with blue and white splatters. Five tracks of intensely sweet Japcore. I see people sweating, salivating already. Many of you collector nerds out there might recognize this band. They were featured on Pushead’s Bacteria Sour comps series Volume 2 (both versions) and Volume 3. Those comps were so hard to get just because Pushead’s name was on it. I did manage to get the two versions of Volume 2 for myself at a reasonable price. They were also on the No Borders comp that Suburban Home put out awhile back. By chance you do come across a copy, pick it up quick! First track, titled “Jo Anny Ta,” blazes so fast you feel like a diesel truck almost ran you over. Lyrics are assumedly sung in English which is badly translated from Japanese. I always love that. Musically, they are heavy in every conceivable way. For those who love Japcore, you know what to expect. I need to get off the computer so I can scream into the speakers. –Donofthedead (Badman)

Split: 7”
I admit to having a little soft spot for Stomper 98. These German skins have been putting out records for a few years and are always solid stein-hoisting jams. Having Phil Templar on drums adds to their kudos for sure. They throw in a sax, which is usually audio suicide in my book, but they make it work. Top draw skin jams. Brassknuckle Boys have been pushing the American street rock for years now, alongside bands like the Hudson Falcons and GC5. I dig it good enough, but it’s a little flat next to Stomper 98. Decent disc for sure.  –Tim Brooks (Oi The Boat, oitheboat.com)

Born to Howl: CD
Pleased to see the Stone Coyotes pop back up with a new one just in time for me to get this review in.  Basically the name of the game here is Songwriting with a capital S - okay, sure, sure they’ve got this “family” hook, seeing as the band’s comprised of wife/guitarist Barbara Keith, husband/drummer Doug Tibbles, and bassist/Doug’s son John Tibbles, which makes for some different media coverage and attracted novelist Elmore Leonard’s attention, but I don’t listen to records just because a family made them, y’know?  Maybe people who buy Danielson Family discs or Hanson do, I don’t know.  The Dylan-in-his-prime-quality lyrics Barbara writes kept me coming back to their last disc, “Situation Out of Control,” and after two or three listens to this one, I’m already grinning at lines like “Some of these new boys/They say they want to fight/But it takes them three days/To get the drum sound right.”  Ha HA!  Sound like anyone you know?  The music does the job of conveying the tunes properly - sure, Doug’s not going to be replacing John Bonham anytime soon, but he gets the job done and he’s certainly established a style, one that’s refreshing in its Ringoesque simplicity.  Hell, at this point I’m just glad to hear something this unique (without that desperate, tattooed-and-pierced-and-dyed bullshit look-at-me-I’m-oh-so-unique fakery every new rock band seems to ooze), listenable, well-crafted, and solid.  Who gives a shit if it doesn’t fit into any marketable categories?  Here’s to hoping someone like Joan Jett or Sheryl Crow or Chrissie Hynde picks up on “First Lady of Rock” (Mommy said to Daddy, “Did you hear what she said?  She said ‘I like Black Sabbath and Motorhead’”) and makes the Coyotes some hit royalty cash to finance more great Barb tunes.  –Guest Contributor (Red Cat Records)

Self-titled: CD
Visually, this is as cheesy as it gets, complete with logos of huge corporate online locales to “network” and “follow” this band. Sonically, somehow, this is an almost ridiculous approximation of ‘90s stoner rock. Imagine Kyuss with a really crappy singer and you have the Stone Kings. It would not have been bad at four tunes or so, but this thing is over an hour and really starts to grate. Honestly, this should probably be worse considering this band proclaims both Incubus and Nickelback as huge influences. Hell, even the putrid Queens Of The Stone Age will beat out that shit. –Mike Frame (Rebelseed, stonekings.co.uk/contact.html)

Suzie b/w Shoot My Mouth Off & The Bitter Thoughts of Little Jane: 7"
Nuggetsy garage punque from Down Under; “Suzie” is a compelling enough a-side – sounding not unlike a cross between what i just said it sounded like and something that might’ve been rendered by one of those second-tier Limey mod bands circa 79/80 (meaning the Purple Hearts or the Chords [the “first tier” consisting of primarily The Jam and not much else]) – that, the first time i heard it (on WUSB’s excellent “Tuesday Night Rock & Roll Dance Party” show), struck me as worthy enough that i found it necessary to jot down band name and song title and do a Google search in order to track it down. Like most of the records i own by Australian bands, the music sounds markedly more solid and together than one would expect it would be were it rendered by American counterparts of the same ilk; also, like most of the songs on the records i own by Australian bands, the song seems like it’s lacking like one crucial little Song Thingie – one errant additional scrap of modest genius – that, were it present, would likely put the tune over the top (i.e., have me hopping around like Kangaroo Jack™ or similar comedic marsupial local color). I mean, there is a long and storied history of bands from the Antipodes rocking at a High Rock Level, but there’s also an almost-as-long history of said bands very rarely contending for a World Heavyweight Title, simply because they lack a metaphorical bell here and a metaphorical whistle there – metaphorical bells and whistles that their Northern Hemispherical contemporaries would have implemented out of necessity merely to survive their inability to rock so staunchly as their Southern Hemispherical cousins. Or something. “Shoot My Mouth Off” is a 6/8 time neo-ballad that doesn’t fare quite as well; “The Bitter Thoughts Of Little Jane” is a cover one might recall as being on the Nuggets Vol. 2 box set and originally recorded by Timon (presumably right before his million-selling reunion concert in the park with Pumbaa). BEST SONG: “Suzie” BEST SONG TITLE: “The Bitter Thoughts of Little Jane” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The back cover song titles are in a font called “Gilligan’s Island,” for obvious reasons. –Rev. Norb (Butterfly)

Bacco: CD
On their Bandcamp page, Stonechat advertises that this CD comes with five mini-comics that illustrate the lyrical content of the album. That sounds rad, but I didn’t get a copy. I wish I had. –John Mule (Float Away, Dangling, floatawaydangling.bandcamp.com)

Party Tracks Vol. I: LP
One of the curious wrinkles of surrounding yourself with fellow music lovers—roommates, good buddies, significant others—is that when someone moves out or moves away, you come to realize that you don’t own some of your favorite music. And it happens with bands that you’re most familiar with, collectively. I was astonished at how few Big Boys, Bad Brains, and Bananas records I actually owned when I ended up living by myself. The bands seem so close. I listened to them so much. And there were gaping holes in my music library. And so it can go with local, great bands. “Oh, man, I’ll pick that up next time. I see you all the time.” It’s especially the case when so many of the members were and are in other bands like Toys That Kill, Can Of Beans, and Underground Railroad To Candyland. I’m totally guilty of this behavior. I don’t want to say that I take Stoned At Heart for granted, I don’t. But I really thought I’d actually reviewed this record and hadn’t. I first met Baby J., the lady voice in Stoned At Heart, as a sixteen-year-old-kid who was living in a shed behind a house in San Pedro. She’s been playing in bands ever since. Couple her voice to the sunny-on-top, questioning-in-the-middle, it goes-down-easy playing and singing of Todd Congelliere, Chachi, and Jimmy Trash, and you’ve got a record that’s super-duper familiar and comfortable, but traveling down another alley, off on a different errand. To those who don’t recognize a single person’s name in this review, think of indie rock made by punk rockers, so all the douchey, bourgeoisie preciousness is kicked to the curb, yet it’s pretty and mostly mellow, precisely played, emotionally convincing, and always moving forward. –Todd Taylor (Recess, recessrecords.com)

King Hokum: CD
As with most Voodoo Rhythm releases, I was thrown for a loop when I first popped C.W. Stoneking’s King Hokum into the CD player. I took a look at the cover art—a faded picture of a guy from a decade long past holding some sort of dobro resonator guitar—scratched my head and thought, “Huh.” The music brings to mind Robert Johnson and Louis Armstrong; old delta blues plucked languidly and sung in a rich but broken voice that would turn a lot of those old bluesmen green with envy. The album is set in a fictitious Southern town in the 1920s and uses the Dodo bird, bad luck, and bad lovin’ as its subject matter. “You Took My Thing and Put It in Your Place” is a hilarious, tongue-in-cheek duet with loads of sexual innuendo and enough innocent charm to keep you from focusing on the fact that it’s about erectile dysfunction. Once again, Voodoo Rhythm scores with an offbeat, unique release that will spend hours and hours in my CD player. –Josh Benke (Voodoo Rhythm)

The Weirdness: CD
First studio record from this reconstituted outfit, with Mike Watt anchoring the bass duties. Yes, there are a few songs where maybe Iggy should not have tried to reach for that high note. But, overall, the vocals are cool and the band really shreds it up. Producer Steve Albini wisely just lets the band play, without adding any slick reverb effects. I’m digging “My Idea of Fun,” “She Took My Money,” and “I’m Fried.” Seek out the vinyl version with four extra tracks. Add ‘em all to your MP3 doohickey and you got close to an hour of steamy Stoogy goodness! –Sean Koepenick (Virgin)

Have Some Fun: Live at Ungano’s: CD
New live record from the vaults that documents the band playing all of Funhouse to a perplexed NYC crowd. Elaborate packaging with a foldout poster and clip-out repo’s of the ad for the show and some snapshots of Iggy raging. This was a transitional period for the band. Roadie Bill Cheatham was on second guitar and Zeke Zettner had replaced Dave Alexander on bass. But the Asheton brothers keep things moving along with Steve Mackay on sax. Iggy is Iggy full-on. Not the greatest sound quality, but it’s above bearable. If you like The Stooges, you need this one without a doubt. –Sean Koepenick (Rhino)

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