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Razorcake #84
Tim Version, Ordinary Life LP + bonus 7"
Radon, 28 LP
Zisk #25
Razorcake #83

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No Idea Records


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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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Self-titled: 7
Synthetic ID sound like Greg Sage, D. Boone, and Colin Newman fabricating the house band for the International Space Station. Or better yet, spending three days in close quarters on an uncharted trek to the Sea of Tranquility. Anxious paranoia dripping from the walls. Its jerky, derailed, and draws heavily from early post-punk, but chugs along at a classic punk tempo, blasting out totally agitated lyrics the whole time. Space madness? Or just a need to escape the surface of this planet, even if it just be through the act of playing two minute punk jams? Either way, its exciting and different. –Daryl Gussin (Satellite Visions, crucialvibez@gmail.com / Cut the Cord That, ctct-records.tumblr.com)

Split: 6 EP
I have a few odd size records, like the 5, or the 10 and 8, and most of them are pretty disposablemore about the novelty of size than the actual music. Not the case here! This six incher is a crusher! Protestant dont disappoint and just get better and better with each new release. Their two songs here are definitely some of their best material. They open up, go for it, and cause a lot of damage in the short amount of time allowed for the format. Heavy and fast, with a good dose of low end, the sinister atmosphere doesnt bog down the delivery. These two songs have a way of working themselves into your memory with only a couple listens. I just know Im going to be mentally referencing No Peace sometime in the next week, Dig deep! Dig deep! Suffering Mind are more on the grind side, with the pummeling percussion and abrasive dual attack of guitars and vocals (one high, the other throaty and gurgly). Ive set my standards for grind incredibly high in recent years due to the sheer amount of shit bands playing this style. Suffering Mind definitely stands out above the pack and should appeal to anyone who likes music that is a bit heavy and, well, brutal. Their two tracks go by in a blur, but its a damn nice blur. –Matt Average (Halo Of Flies, halooffliesrecords.com, To Live A Lie, tolivealie.com)

Haunted EP: 7
DCs Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb have awesome dual male/female vocals and are an ideal example of a mainline, straightforward formula working incredibly well. A lot of male/female vocal bands suffer from one singer outshining the other, but both voices here are similarly snotty, complementing one another nicely. Maybe Im a softie, but its records like this one that make me want to go out and shake negative scenesters who think that there isnt amazing music being created today. Even the most jaded listener would have to concede how darn energetic and magical this 7 is. Were talking pure punk perfection here. –Art Ettinger (Big Neck, bigneckrecords.com)

Erste Deutche Original Aufnahme!: 12
The Spits are one of those bands that never do what you expect (unless you expect them to self title each new LP, I suppose). Weird costumes. Weird show antics. A goddamn childrens book and record set! Well, in honor of their current European tour, theyve done it again. Four classic Spits songs sung in German by none other than King Kahn. Lets just say that the music of The Spits lends itself very well to being sung in German. Perfectly, in fact. You might ask yourself ,That sounds like a great seven inch, but youd be wrong because its a twelve incha beautiful red and black splatter slab housed in an amazing gatefold sleeve. Overkill you say? Thats The Spits alright. –Ty Stranglehold (Red Lounge)

Cum in My Kitchen: 7 single
Definitely influenced by 70s proto punk, and while thats a much used and abused genre, Sorceress do a pretty damn good job of making it sound fresh and alive. They throw in some glam rock influences for that extra zing. Doing so raises the songs head and shoulders above the groping bands who think theyre the next Heartbreakers. The title track is fuggin great. I think its the straightforward drumming that makes it work. Could be the riff? Maybe a combo of both. But gawddamn, this song is a cooker. The structure is simple and they repeat the lyrics over and over, working up the frenzy with each pass. So damn good. I felt a little lost when it was over. Like, Hey, come back. Were just getting started here! The flipside, Young, Doomed & Fine shifts down in mood to something like a Sunday morning hangover balm. The sort of music you put on to slowly ease yourself into the day. The delivery is all swagger and bluesy. I hear a bit of T-Rex just underneath the surface. I like the changeup at the end, as it picks up the pace and gives the songs a bit more life. You would be very wise to grab this record from the bins the next time youre at your local record peddler. –Matt Average (Puta!, putarecords@gmail.com, putarecords.com)

Still Cruising: LP
Must confess, I have purposely avoided listening to this band for the past few years due to all the hype. All too often, the hyped bands Ive heard in recent times have been pretty underwhelming. While Im definitely not a frothing-at-the-mouth convert, this album is pretty good. Somewhere between hardcore punk and noisy rock (Am Rep and late 80s Touch & Go). Instead of allowing themselves to stand in one place as the world keeps moving forward, I hear a band that is decidedly taking some chances and messing with a tried and true formula. The results arent always good, but when they hit they hit. When they fall short, theyre still better off than playing it safe. I like the juxtaposition of Human Resources and Why Do You Make Yourself So Sad, from noisy and disjointed music to something slightly more straightforward (there is that break in the middle that gets slightly abrasive, then comes the tweaked guitar solo). Chaos reigns supreme here and it sounds like every song is on the verge of coming apart in one avalanche of sound. I find myself preferring their more stretched-out songs like Horserace over the short and brutal blasts that are placed here and there. Classtime is a total rager with near rapid fire delivery. My only real complaint here is the pacing is sometimes off, like with the aforementioned Classtime followed by All My Life. Theyre both good songs, but you go from one rager that is not too short, then into something a bit more down and slower. So the mood is manic. Had Classtime followed something like Hurt on the Job then was followed by Mustard, then closing out with All My Life, it might have more flow, and I wouldnt have written this ridiculous sentence. Other than that, get this. –Matt Average (Iron Lung, lifeironlungdeath.blogspot.com)

Wrench: Cassette
Loud-as-fuck, thrashing-mad powerviolence recorded in what sounds like a bathroom stall or storage shed. Seriously, the recording is raw as all hell but it works out quite well when the audio damage is done. Crossed Out/No Comment-style insanity captured on a cassette that has the same amount of space on it as a cassingle. Would have worked better as a one-sided 7, but I suppose tapes are much cheaper to manufacture these days. –Juan Espinosa (To Live A Lie, myspace.com/sidetrackedhc)

Awkward Breeds: CD
Oh shit, have The Sidekicks gone alternative? Fuck yeah. I mean, its still very much The Sidekicks, who used to be just slightly folky rock-playing kids. I mean, its not its drastically different, but theres a slow evolution to it compared to some of their earlier stuff. For example, the whole thing starts with a mess of feedback and the singer is kind of starting to sing like hes in Weezer (who Im normally not into, but it doesnt bother me here). Im into it. –Joe Evans III (Red Scare, redscare.net)

Self-titled: LP
You want to know how I can tell a record is good? When I shake my head in disbelief and look towards my turntable from where Im sitting, as if to say, Fuck you for being so good! This sort of feeling I was not expecting. Id only heard of Sickoids in passing and decided Id ignore the band with the goofy name. Big mistake: from this Philly three-piece, this is seriously some of the best hardcore I have heard in quite some time. The first song violently grabs you by the collar and continues to pummel you for a full lengths worth of untouchable manic hardcore flawlessly executed in the great tradition of modern Midwest and East Coast heroes such as Manipulation and Double Negative. Cant say enough good things about this record: go find, now! –Juan Espinosa (Residue)

Gates of Home: LP
What if The Cure were from Baltimore? What if Robert Smith sang almost-short-story songs about isolation, the ethereality of cultural status? What if songs were jotted with a marker, waiting for a bus instead of melancholic bubbles of smoke? Not to overstate the origami, but the folds in the paper are this: take punk and figure out how to age gracefully, how to not sound like a joke, a disaster, or shame. Make it a cool design. It may not change the world, but it takes ordinary materials, crafts them carefully, and aesthetically reshapes how we regard them. Gates of Home is a more complex response than a total divorce from the previous music made by Mike Hall (The Thumbs) or complete suburban/I have a kid amnesia when the real world gives punks their mid-life crises. The respect-worthy answer is Gates of Home. Its a revisitation to melodies with serrated edges. Its not glued-up-mohawk circle-pit punk. Its not sweater-pill fluff indie. Its, thankfully, in-between the two and simultaneously far from both. My only complaint? Some of the songs sound too similar to one another. I think a little more adventure would pay big dividends. –Todd Taylor (Toxic Pop)

To Volstead: CD/LP
The nod that Shores gives to bands such as (early) Pedro The Lion, Codeine, and Bedhead is unmistakable. The ten songs coming in at forty-one minutes are tried and true slowcore and while that may be unusual for an album on No Idea, the sound does not stray far from the path that the genre has set out to define. A lot of this type of music had its run through the 90s and early 00s, so its interesting to hear a band taking up the sound as we make our way into the second decade of this century. While Shores plays competently, one thing I always enjoyed about slowcore was that some of the bands seemed capable of the occasional explosion and breakout with their sound. Im not hearing much (if any) of that on To Volstead. Instead, this is an album of music played competently, but without anything to cause it to stand out from the crowd of other slowcore bands that have predated it in decades past. –Kurt Morris (No Idea, noidearecords.com)

Self-titled: LP
And the hits just keep on a-comin from Modern Action. Theres maybe a wee bit darker tone to the overall sound than on previous Sharp Object releases, but these cats are still dishing out some tasty and insanely catchy tunes that recall the best of Californias thud punk glory days while not sounding a bit like some mothball-laden rehash bullshit. Plop this puppy on and dont be surprised if you find youve already pretty much trashed your immediate area by the middle of the first tune. Fuck yeah, this is recommended. –Jimmy Alvarado (Modern Action)

Self-titled: 7 EP
Gruff, sinewy hardcore very much in the Negative Approach/Out Cold end of the pool. Tunes are tight, topical, and packin all the requisite thud. –Jimmy Alvarado (Grave Mistake)

Making Light of a Shitty Situation: LP

Im not sure why, but listening to this makes me think of the 90s and early 2000s. Poppy punk with a hint of melodic hardcore from Calgary, I think its the raw Kid Dynamite-esque vocals and the hint of hardcore rage mixed in with the pop hooks in the riffs that made me dig this. If you like your punk melodic but with screamy vocals, this is definitely something youll dig.

–Paul J. Comeau (Sabertooth, sabertoothpunk@gmail.com)

The Joester Sessions 08-11: LP
Three previous vinylsDirty Water,Life Moves, and Derailerare corralled onto a long player, with the addition of a new song, Elizabethan Collar. I like to think of 7s like kittens. Theyre fun to play with, but theyre a lot of work. LPs are cats. You can let them be for a bit, have them go on adventures without constant attention. Gives you time to reflect on both the songs and whats going on in your own life. Time to stew. RVIVRs powerful. Theres no denying theyre passionate, seething, opinionated, and savagely determined. Theyre melodic. Their delivery is nice and raw; blood-filled. Its great to hear people believing so hard in what they do and be able to translate that into meaningful songs. When this record spun, I sat down with the lyrics again. This isnt wide-eyed idealism. Its deep scars. Lost friends. The worlds far too often flawed and broken, nasty and shallow. And those are all reasons to be more resilient bastards. Otherwise, the banks, cops, organized religion, community planners and all the nasty isms win. Lifelong DIY punk is a faith-based enterprise that we all pay using a currency more precious than money. RVIVR is one of its most compelling working examples of what good can come of all this; that flowers can grow in the cracks of concrete. Im on board. They still give me occasional chills. –Todd Taylor (Rumbletowne, rumbletowne.com, rvivr@rumbletowne.com)

Regi Mentle Rides Again: 7 EP
Regi Mentle was/is an old L.A. punk in tight with the Germs and their Circle One of close pals/fans. Hes been on a very long federally-mandated vacation stay for the past thirty years, and during that time has continued to compose art, poetry, and prose. Chris from The Rogue Nations apparently struck up a friendship with Regi, who provided Chris and his fellow Rogue Nations some lyrical fodder with which to work. Through Chriss voicebox, Regi addressesvia the resulting six songs herea wide spread of subjects: self-loathing, the frustration of incarceration, winos on wheels, even being fucked by Dracula. Its set to the tunesmithing of a band that succeeds in keeping the feel, and, on occasion, the twisted humor, of early L.A. punk intact. This may not be, according to the lyric sheet, Rogue Nations regular sound, but its one they do well here, which, coming from an old L.A. punk, is no faint praise. –Jimmy Alvarado (Rogue Nations, myspace.com/theroguenations)

Giving Up Never Felt So Good: LP
The third full length from Sacramentos cock rock darlings is crammed with thick, meaty, fuzzed-out chords. After more than six years since their latest release and the addition of a new band member, RTLs sound has matured. Flavors of KISS and Zeppelin shine through with a range pulling heavily from 70s and early 80s-era stadium rock as heard in Ishtar, to a smoothed-out, languid ballad with Mouth in Hand. Meant to be played loud, this is just in time for summer. Points also for becoming my favorite album cover this year: some dude sitting in a hotel room wearing a quasi-Star Wars Storm Trooper outfit gotta love it. Recommended. –Kristen K (Sacramento, sacramaniacs.com)

ROACH MOTEL: Its Lonely at the Top:
Its Lonely at the Top: LP
Roach Motel is the best known of the punk/hardcore bands to hail from Florida, a band whose guitarist George Tabb would go on to make a few waves via his column in Maximum Rocknroll, and purveyors of some of the finest, funniest thrash around circa 1982-84. The tracks from both their classic EPs and the We Cant Help It If Were from Florida compilation can be found here, along with some live tracks and recordings for a full length that apparently never saw the light of day, plus liner notes and pics for those who like a little readin material whilst noise mongering. With songs addressing such heady subjects as politically astute canine pals, assorted alcoholic beverages, drug-ingesting parents, and calling for the annihilation of certain prominent pop culture icons, you know the twenty-one tracks here are stuff for the ages. –Jimmy Alvarado (Floridas Dying)

Feed the Wolf: LP
If Ive learned one thing from the Riverboat Gamblers over the years, its that they are a constantly evolving band. No two records sound exactly alike. When I reviewed their previous LP Underneath the Owl in these pages, I was put out a bit by the departure from To the Confusion of Our Enemies. As time passed, I came to love that record as much as I do the rest. This time I was ready for change, and some change there is. Feed the Wolf seems to bridge the gap well between Owl and their last release, the Smash/Grab EP. Incredibly catchy and beautiful all the while swinging some seriously rocking guitar. The lyrics, as always, are quick-witted and somewhat sad, yet I always find myself singing along with a smile on my face. This record is another jewel in a crown that the Gamblers have built from kicking ass and working hard. It will be playing loud around here for a long time! G.F.F.G. –Ty Stranglehold (Volcom)

Into Your Ears: CD
Itd be easy to just write these kids off for wearing their influences on their sleevesthings start off on a sixties fuzz vibe, then stretch out to include some unabashed Love worship, appropriated snatches of Abba choruses and whispers of Undertones anthems, bits of Beatles n Monkees, power pop, Creedence riffing and spaghetti-western tinged indie rock mix-n-matched in gleeful abandonbut the resulting tunes somehow work so well on their own terms that they manage to make all the wanton plundering irrelevant. The vibe is fairly laid back throughout. They sound like they buy wholly into what theyre doing, and they do it all quite well. –Jimmy Alvarado (Get Hip)

I Wont Be Home for New Years: 7
Rad Company: Rad Company plays that style of Screeching Weasel pop punk that everyone loves. Gritty, quick, but with those pop sensibilities that drive the kids wild. Hot off the heels of their split LP with Ex-Boyfriends, Rad Company are still churning out a consistent repertoire of dirty punk anthems. Discretions: Running the gambit from dirty pop punk to powerviolence to skate rock, Discretions are a bit less produced than their splitmates. Their songs can shift tempos at a drop of hat, resulting in songs that have qualities not unlike an opera. Unpredictable in a good way. –Bryan Static (Rad Girlfriend)

Split: 7
Prevenge: Gruff, D4-ish punk from Canada. Buried Alive is the jam on this side. Ultimately, theres nothing to really set these dudes apart from the legion of folks rockin this style but theyre totally solid in what they do. Dig It Up: Kinda more hardcorish, with guitar solos and pretty rad hollerin vocals. Bet theyd be fun live. My only complaint with them is the songs seem to drag on a little long. The cover art for this 7 looks great and the booklet is really well done, too. Apparently, theres a limited amount on white vinyl, but folksve probably already snatched those bad boys up. –Ryan Horky (Pavones, pavonesrecords.bandcamp.com)

Nightmare Soda: CD
Sloppy, plodding garage rock with a bit of indie-tinge to make it a wee bit more annoying than the rest of the pack. –Jimmy Alvarado (Get Hip)

Artifacts: 7 EP
Contrary to what is apparently popular belief, and all too often seems common practice in the modern era, punks in the earliest periods didnt limit their exposure and efforts to these preconceived, rigid pigeonholesand those who did usually moved on in short order to whatever next bullshit trend was just up the road. Doesnt take much searchin to find flyers or adverts with what would today be inconceivable gig lineups: a Black Flag, Social Distortion, and Top Jimmy & The Rhythm Pigs bill was just as prone to occur as the bassist for ber-thrashers Wasted Youth moonlighting with tribal desert-tinged artpunk merchants SavageRepublic. Those with any sense knew, and know, to expand their tastes, not be afraid to step outside of their comfort zones and strive to find new ways to raise a ruckus. What you have here is some Chicago hardcore cats doin just that, in this case tradin in 1-2-1-2 hyper-speed drum beats for loping bass lines and more atmospheric climes. Their influences are right up frontpost-punk, early U.S. death rock, U.K. goth, Sisters of Mercy, Joy Divisionbut they deliver three solid tunes that stand on their own merits, retaining some punk edge amidst slower, dance-friendly beats that dont rely on barre chord barrages. This is a great opening salvo as far as debut releases go, and heres hoping a full-length isnt too far off in the distance. –Jimmy Alvarado (BLVD)

1+1=2 b/w Poolside Fun at Michaels: 7
One of my professors had a story he quoted a few times about a friend who told him only trust rocknroll from Scandinavia. I have no idea why this statement is so accurate, but it holds true under a variety of testing. Swedens Poppets hold up the tradition pretty well, I say. Within this debut single, we have poppy garage punk somewhere between the likes of King Tuff and Japanther. The same pop sensibilities that showed themselves in the solo Jay Reatard albums are also front and center, although their mechanical steadiness is made by an actual machine. A drum machine! How novel! For a debut single, this is incredibly promising. I have high hopes. –Bryan Static (Windian)

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