Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Stuck in '96: Part 3 - By The Grace Of God

While my 1996 spree has turned up a couple of treasures, I also wanted to make some moves on the vinyl that I never picked up the first time around...you know because I was too focused on buying CDs back at that time.

Admittedly, Hardcore got a bit weird and emotional back in the 90's, so it was kind of surprising to see a couple of guys from Endpoint (who had gotten a bit emo in their own right) come back in '96 with By The Grace Of God, and play some straight forward Hardcore. I don't really remember listening to these songs very much back in '96/'97...I did play the shit out of their LP though...but while I've been stuck in a '96 playlist recently, this record is getting daily spins.

Quite possibly one of the worst band names, with one of the crappiest looking 7 inch covers. Terrible ideas all around...even though the band delivers some quality Hardcore.

1,000 pressed on green vinyl.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Stuck in '96: Part 2 - Miltown

While talking about Cast Iron Hike with Marcus, he asked if I was familiar with a band called Miltown. At first I was confused, and I was mixing them up with some pop punk band called Midtown. I lost a little respect for the man for a second, but once we got the Mil's and the Mid's straightened out, we could get on track with a serious conversation.

Given my confusion over the two band names, and the fact that I've never cared very much for Hydra Head Records releases, it is no wonder Miltown never crossed my radar. With a '96 mindset, and a youtube link for the band's song No Matter handed to me, I decided to give them a shot.

From that first song, I was hooked. When I visit 1996 in my playlist, this is the exactly what I want to hear. I didn't know anything about Miltown, so I started digging around and taking it every piece of info that could find on the internet. I was reading interviews and watching live youtube videos. I couldn't get enough...and you mean to tell me that the band only released one 7 inch and a split with Cast Iron Hike? Damn. I want more.

It's funny. Here is a band that was playing in the Massachusetts scene, that I was a part of, and yet somehow I don't hear about them until 20 years later, from a dude in the UK.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Stuck in '96: Part 1 - Cast Iron Hike

This past month has found me firmly entrenched in 1996. I stopped by to revisit an album or two, but soon found so many great records that I hadn't listened to for years. Suddenly 1996 was the theme of my daily playlists, and I was full on celebrating the 20th anniversary of those releases.

As I'll sometimes do when I get fixated on an older band, I'll do a search over at The Endless Quest blog, and see if Marcus has ever posted about them, and check out what he has had to say. This time, my obsession brought me to his blog to search for Cast Iron Hike. I found that, six years ago, he had a great post about a test pressing for the Boxed 7 inch. After reading it, along with all the comments, I sent him a quick message and we got to talking. I'd never heard this 7 inch, but after talking with Marcus, and checking out the link he sent me...minutes later, I'd bought a copy from the Discogs Marketplace. Since it was never released on colored vinyl, it made it a cheap and easy buy.

The general consensus seems to be that this 7 inch is the best Cast Iron Hike record. I'm not sure if it is really better than the LP, but The Most Beautiful Woman In Town may be one of the best songs the band recorded.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Doom Thy Lover

Even though I'm a big fan of Doom, I've somehow managed to avoid Candlemass all these years. They are Doom legends, and both their Epicus Doomicus Metallicus and Nightfall albums are considered classics, and yet, as we rolled into 2016, I'd never really paid them any attention.

Earlier this year, I finally got off my ass and downloaded a couple albums from the Rob Lowe era, and while I don't know if they are considered to be classics, I did know that I loved them. So when I saw that Candlemass were releasing a new EP this year, I knew that I was going to have to check it out and not be left behind once again.

With Death Thy Lover, the band brings in another singer (their sixth?), but they keep the Sabbath doom riffs coming. Not bad for a band in their 30th year.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

From The Ashes Of Burn

Of course I love the first Burn 7 inch...and I can even hang with the Cleanse record. Yet, for some reason, when it was announced that they were releasing a new 7 inch in 2016, I found it as appealing as a poop flavored lollipop. Still there was some hype around it from a few friends, and I got sucked into buying a copy. Plus it was going to be pressed on pink vinyl, and goddamnit, if I don't own the first one on pink, I figured that I'd at least own the new one on that color.

Preorders went up at Bridge Nine back in April. At the time, I was heavily into late 70's and early 80's style Punk. I wasn't in the musical headspace to appreciate what was going on, and as soon as I placed the order, I regretted it, and wrote it off as a waste of money. Another old hardcore band that was bound to disappoint by trying to relive those glory days...and this would just be another record taking up space in my collection.

Bridge Nine saw numerous delays with pressing this record, so in July they made it available for download for those that had ordered the vinyl. I grabbed it, and really wasn't expecting much. Still, the cover art intrigued me, and I loved the inclusion of those old masks from the first record. Aesthetically, it gave off a great vibe, and surprisingly, I was finding myself more and more interested to check out what Burn had to deliver. Much to my surprise, I found myself really liking this record...much more than I expected to. Suddenly, I was very thankful that I'd bought this when preorders went up.

Once B9 got the vinyl in, they realized that the pressing plant had messed up the color...so we got baby blue instead of pink. To make up for the delay and the color mix up, they whipped up some preorder covers for the record. Hand numbered out of 210. Job well done all around.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Three Minutes To Midnight

I picked up the last two Wo Fat albums based on their amazing artwork alone. Man, those album covers are amazing pieces of art...great examples of record covers done right.

When Wo Fat released their new album, Midnight Cometh, earlier this year, I was a bit underwhelmed by the cover art...and subsequently ignored it. What can I say? I was in more of a punk rock mood, and couldn't be bothered with new releases from some Stoner/Doom band.

As summer was starting to fade, and the upcoming Saint Vitus/The Skull show was on the horizon, Doom started to creep into my playlists, and I decided to finally get off my ass and download that new Wo Fat album to see if it moved me. Well, holy shit. Surprisingly it knocked me on my ass. Quite possibly my favorite record from the band.

I was tempted to chase a piece of the sold out colored vinyl, but when I found the black vinyl at my local store, I took the easy way out and grabbed it. The only disappointing thing about this record is that the vinyl leaves off my favorite song, Riffborn. Big mistake leaving this killer track off the vinyl. Only five songs in 45 minutes. They should have stretched this out to a double LP just to include it.

I actually really dig the back cover art, and kind of wish that they used this on the front.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Troubled Mind Condition

Since buying my tickets to see The Skull and Saint Vitus next month, I've gone on a bit of a Doom bender...consuming heavy doses of the heavy. Given the connection with The Skull, it is no surprise that Trouble wormed it's way into my daily Doom playlist.

Trouble is one of those bands that I've grown to appreciate more and more over the years. It is funny how my position on them has changed as time has gone on. Initially, I was all about the first two albums...then when I heard Run To The Light, I decided that this album was "the best Trouble album". My mind changed again when I finally heard the Def American self titled album a couple years ago...oh hell yeah, this one is the best. Then earlier this year, I finally downloaded a copy of the band's final studio album with Eric Wagner, Simple Mind Condition. Fuck. Is this one my favorite now? Apparently they can do no wrong.

The album originally didn't see a vinyl pressing when it was released in 2007. However, it did finally see wax with a 2009 US pressing, and then again from High Roller out of Germany in 2010. Since the High Roller pressing looked more cool with the front cover art and gatefold sleeve, that's the one that I tracked down.

300 pressed on black vinyl.