Monday, March 30, 2009

This Goes Out To Everybody...Ready...12XU

So I finally read American Hardcore by Steven Blush. I've avoided this book for a while now. I've heard reviews where the author makes the claim that hardcore died around 1985, and since I've never really understood this thought process, I've kept my distance from this book. I finally picked it up, and to my surprise, it was a great read. Sure the author voices his opinion on when hardcore died, and peppers the book with a few lame stories, but overall, the history contained in this book is well documented. The chapters on Black Flag, Misfits, the early Dischord years, and the Boston Crew, were outstanding. While reading this book, I found myself with an insatiable appetite for all those early 80's hardcore bands. Bands that I hadn't listened to in years were suddenly finding their way into my daily playlist...repeatedly. Cro-Mags. Bad Brains. Articles of Faith. DYS. SSD. Negative Approach. I was obsessed with hardcore again, finding little to no time to listen to any Metal or Rock. The book also introduced me to some bands that I had never heard before, like Kraut, Die Kreuzen, and The Effigies.
While reading this book, I realized that I had never heard the Dischord compilation, Flex Your Head from 1982. I know, it is another one of those "I can't believe that I waited this long to hear this record" moments. Side one contains songs from bands that were the core of those early Dischord years, Teen Idles, S.O.A., Minor Threat, Government Issue, and Youth Brigade. Classic stuff. Side two has a bunch of bands that I've never heard before. I was introduced to Red C through Ceremony's cover of Pressure's On, and Red Handed did a cover of Void's My Rules. Both bands do some pretty good songs on this comp. I really like the Artificial Peace songs on here as well...I'll need to search Soulseek for more of their stuff. I'm glad to finally have this classic in my collection.

Friday, March 27, 2009

You Tell Me You Want To Be Different

Man, I love album cover variations for different pressings. I'm not sure what it is, but slight differences, whether it be the change from red to blue with Nothing Done's name on the second pressing, or the change from a blue cover to a red cover for the euro pressing of Planet Mental. Yeah, I geek out about that stuff.
Because a serious Minor Threat collection is way past my means, I never really considered it. However, when Dischord recently remastered and repressed the 12 inch collection of Minor Threat's first two 7 inches, I was struck with the urge to own a couple of copies. It wasn't enough that the new pressing was with a new yellow cover, but throw in the fact that one of the local record stores here still had the older pressing with the green cover in am I supposed to not buy them both in one shot? What self respecting collector would walk away from that? This album could very well be the best piece of hardcore wax ever pressed, and I'm happy to finally own it on vinyl. But, hey, that just how I see my what the fuck have you done?

Not only was there a difference in pressings with the album cover color, but the inserts were slightly different as well. The yellow cover insert is smaller, with some other slight differences in the layout.

And then there is the differences in the vinyl. I bought the green cover first and found that it came with a nice matching mint green colored vinyl. I expected the yellow cover to also have the corresponding colored vinyl, but instead found it was pressed on black.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Nailed to the Golden X

The thing that I love about, other than the fact that it tracks my listening habits, is the awesome people that I've met through the site. Last year, Rob was going to an SSS show in Europe, so I asked him to pick me up a copy of their ultra limited edition CD that they were selling on their tour, and he was kind enough to get it and send it to me. Then last month Onno sent me a message asking if I wanted the Golden X 7 inch that someone had given him. Since he is not a "vinyl freak", he offered to send it my way if I wanted it. I didn't know anything about the band, so I checked out their myspace page. Other than the really bad doesn't get any cheesier than a name like Golden X...the cover for the 7 inch made me kind of nervous. With the picture of a fist knocking Satan in the mouth, I was really afraid that this was going to be some lame Christian core Straight Edge band. Man, there is nothing I hate more in my music than God. Something about just rubs me the wrong way, and I'll immediately shit on it. Same thing was true when Krishna invaded hardcore. I wanted nothing to do with it. Sure the first Shelter album was pretty good, but by the time they started in with their "defense of reality", I found it to be more of joke. In the end, I couldn't find any overtly Christian messages on this Golden X record. It's just 3 Austrian dudes, pumping out some generic Straight Edge hardcore. I can get down with that. This was released on Positive and Focused Records, and was limited to 250 for the black vinyl pressing, and only 180 of those did not come with a CD. This copy has no CD.
When Onno sent the 7 inch, he also included a CD of his old band Inrage. This some pretty good hardcore out of the Netherlands and probably would have fit in nicely with the youth crew sound that Crucial Response Records was putting out around that time. I just consider myself lucky to have made these connections, and it just goes to show how powerful a tool music can be. Thanks friends.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Haunting The Colored Vinyl

I have been on a huge Hardcore kick lately. All things Metal and Rock have been pushed aside as I find myself interested in only listening to the Core. However, even with this latest listening obsession, I had to make a trip to Bull Moose Music to pick up the third piece in the four part Slayer vinyl re-issues from Metal Blade Records...Live Undead is the only one that I'm missing. Thankfully, Haunting the Chapel is on a nice looking "blood splatter" clear vinyl, as opposed to the shitty looking picture disks (like Hell Awaits). Man, I love this EP...four songs of pure thrashing brilliance.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Getting Down With Swiz

Sometimes when I'm at work, listening to music, I'll do a search on eBay for whatever it is that I'm listening to at the moment. On this particular day it was the No Punches Pulled discography from Swiz. It was then that I stumbled upon their first 7 inch, Down, on green vinyl. I've always loved Swiz, but since I owned the discography CD, I've never been interested in seriously collecting their records. Something clicked when I saw this record up for auction...I needed it. To my surprise, I won the record for only $6.50...and after seeing their first and second LP sell for between $40 and $50, I think that I got a pretty good deal on this one. After winning this, I also found a gold colored vinyl pressing that someone was selling on eBay as well...but the $70 price tag seemed a little too steep for me.
The packaging on this record is well done. The colored vinyl is slick, and the little hand drawn bits on the lyric sheet are a nice touch. The record also comes with a cool Swiz comic book, that according to Jason Farrell in the Radio Silence book, "the gist was supposed to be a kid laying a rose on the grave of hardcore, thereby resurrecting its sleeping ghost, who then shoots him two tickets to a Swiz show where they rocked all...night...long.". Now I know that the singer, Shawn Brown, was the original singer for Dag Nasty, but I never really picked up on how much these two bands sound similar until I was listening to this record. These songs sound like they could have been lifted right off of Dag Nasty's Can I Say album. Great stuff.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Can't Kill What's Inside

Revelation has finally released the vinyl pressing of the Mouthpiece discography. Limited to 343 on "Chung King white" vinyl. With To The Side only available on the Anti-Matter comp, I rarely listened to this song, so it is nice to finally have all the Mouthpiece songs available in one place. While the packaging on this album is good, all I can think about is how it could have been so much better. The band released one album, two 7 inches, plus a couple of comp songs, so I'm not sure how they fit it all on to one slab of vinyl. I would have loved to see them spread things out, and make this a double album with a nice gatefold sleeve. Plus, I would have loved to see some writing from Tim about the band. He did a fantastic job on Double Cross, documenting the stories behind all of their record covers, and they really should have utilized some of Tim's writing for the packaging on this album. The CD version captures all the dates and locations of Mouthpiece's shows, which is nice to have, but it's not really substantial. Over all this is a crucial discography from one of the Straight Edge bands that have really held up over the test of fact I probably listen to Mouthpiece more now, than I did back in the 90's.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Thrash With A Small Moustache

As I had promised, here is another entry for more SSS vinyl. After I received the red vinyl copy that I had won on eBay, I sent him a message to thank the seller, and to let him know that the package arrived safely. Turned out that the seller was the singer for the band, and he mentioned that he had clear vinyl pressings for the Burton 7 inch, as well as the pre-Earache pressing of the LP on Dead & Gone Records. Man, I hate making an offer to people when buying vinyl. Fuck, I'm talking to the singer of the band, and I don't want to insult the man with a low offer, but I really have no idea how much these are worth. In the end, it worked out and he accepted my offer, and let me know what else he had available, so my SSS shopping spree is far from over. And since I seem to have been fucked over by Ian Leck on the Walk the Plank vinyl, I may end up just buying them from Foxy, since he at least seems to be dependable.
The LP is limited to 300, and the 7 inch only had 100 made on clear vinyl. The Burton 7 inch is beautifully packaged, with a nice sturdy cardboard cover, and lots of cool inserts including a comic strip of the band leveling a forest for a skate park. Rad.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Making An Effort

So the day after I received the Mindset records from React, I was headed to Haverhill, Massachusetts to see them play at Anchors Up. They were playing with The Effort and Alert, and I was looking forward to seeing them as well. I took off for the show immediately after Sam's basketball practice, skipping the ritual of shooting around until all the kids have cleared out. I thought that I was getting to the show a little late, but when I walked in the door, I think I was the first one there, and some bands were still bringing in their equipment. Since I didn't know anyone, I didn't want to hang around, so I went back to my car and read the book that I had brought along (total geek, I know). While I was waiting, there was a lady whose car wouldn't start, so I helped her out with jump starting her car. I finally got up to the show, and to my surprise No Shit was already playing. They sounded really good. After that I sat through a couple of bands that did not do much for me. The Effort went on early, and played a good set. The last time I saw them play was Edge Day '07, and there was a lot less people at the show this time around. Still the band played with passion and energy which was cool. I believe that after they played their set, some people took off which left the crowd size around 50 people. Alert were really cool. I like their demo, but like Mindset, I wasn't able to get too familiar with their songs before the show. Thankfully they did a Youth of Today and Judge cover, so I was able to get up front and sing along. I'm looking forward to the vinyl release of their demo. Mindset went on last, and regardless of how many people were there, they just went off and played with such energy. At one point the singer said, "This next one is dedicated to the Boston Crew.", and they then busted into Wolfpack by DYS. Holy shit, I fucking lost it...pushing my way through the handful of people to the front of the stage...screaming along at the top of my lungs. At one point I was moshing across the floor and found someone on the floor under my feet, which sent me sprawling backwards, landing flat on my ass. Shit was awesome, as they ended the tribute covering DYS's (The Girls Got) Limits. Cool show...I'm glad that I made the trip.
Mindset only had white and black vinyl, which I already had, but I did pick up the new 7 inch from The Effort. I got one on clear vinyl with the cloud variant silk screened cover (limited to 200), plus the red vinyl pressing with the fire variant silk screened cover (limited to 225). Wow, the packaging on these is amazing. Damn, I wish that I had pre-ordered this record when it was first released on Hellfish.

Sunday, March 01, 2009


I received my Mindset pre-order the day before I was supposed to go see them live in Massachusetts. Sure didn't give me much time to learn the songs before the show. Man, React! Records can not lose, as they release another quality record. This is a huge step up from the band's Anti-Wasteoids CD. Once again, React! does a great job with the packaging on this one. Limited to 200 on red, 300 on white, and 500 on black vinyl. Like the Right Idea LP, the records came packaged with a cool little piece of cardboard, this time screened with the Mindset logo. One of the first records this year that immediately jumps on to my Best of 2009 list.