Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Cause For Celebration

It hasn't happened on this blog since July 2006, but I've hit double digits for the number of posts in a month. That is a good thing, as it means that I've got plenty of new vinyl landing in my mailbox. Right now, I've got enough records sitting beside me for an additional 4 posts, yet I'm starting to feel the addiction kick up a notch, and the need to go out an buy more. April saw a few expensive records come into my possession, so I've got to show a little self restraint right now. However, Dead & Gone did just put up pre-orders for the new Ironclad 7 maybe I'll order just one more record....

Speaking of Euro hardcore bands and labels, this entry is for the first EP from Common Cause, Statement of Purpose. It was released on Powered Records, and I have really come to love and respect this label, as they have dropped some amazing records the past couple of years, with releases from True Colors and Loud & Clear. After releasing a 7 inch and an LP, Common Cause can easily hang with both of those bands. Great straight edge hardcore. I picked up the 7 inch on eBay for $10. Limited to 300 pressed on blue vinyl.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Getting An Answer

I don't really know too much about The Answer, other than the fact that Aram released their first 7 inch on his old label, Anchor Records. I was cruisin' around on eBay a few weeks back, and stumbled upon their second 7 inch, Getting Even, that was released on Endwell Records. It was the Summer Tour 2005 pressing, hand numbered 38 of 200. I threw a low bid on it, and was happy to pick it up for only $2.00. Good deal...good record.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Record Store Day Massacre, 2009

Record Store Day was a complete success this year. I picked up Jeff at 8:30 in the morning and we took off, so that we would be there when the doors opened at 9:00. There were a few limited edition releases, and I wanted to make sure that I didn't miss out on them. We got to Bull Moose Music a few minutes after the store had opened, and there were already between 10 and 15 people standing around as the employees unpacked the new records and CD's.

One of the first new releases that I grabbed was the Slayer single for Psychopathy Red. They are recording a new album right now, set to be released in July. If this single is any indication, the album should be killer. The flipside of the record is jumbled mess of nothing. Cool packaging and nice red to 5,000.

The next 7 inch that was released on Record Store Day, that I picked up, was the new single from Heaven and Hell. The band is basically Dio-era Black Sabbath, back together and recording under the new name. I liked the three new songs that the band did for the Sabbath release of The Dio Years, but this new song, Bible Black, blows those away. I'm eagerly awaiting the new album that will be released at the end of this month.

After picking up the new releases, I headed over the vinyl section and proceeded to pick up a few items that I had been meaning to pick up for months. First up was the newest Ruiner LP on Bridge Nine Records. Nothing really new here, as all the songs have been previously released on past EP's. The packaging on this is a huge disappointment. Man, I loved the cover of the bands last album, Prepare To Be Let Down, but this new one, I Heard These Dudes Were Assholes, is pretty weak. This is one of those bands that whenever I listen to them, I think to myself, "Why don't I listen to these guys more often?". Great stuff.

I also grabbed the second pressing of Have Heart's Songs to Scream at the Sun. While I still stand by my original opinion that this is one of the worst album covers, I still didn't hesitate to add the green vinyl, limited to 1,000, to the collection. This one has grown on me a bit over time, and while I still think that it falls short of the masterpiece they released with The Things We Carry, there are still some really amazing songs on this album.

I've always loved the artwork on the Misfits records, so I've decided that while I have the majority of their songs on the two Collection CD's, I need to own a vinyl copy of their records as well. The newest addition is Die Die My Darling. Only three songs on this 12 inch, but definitely worth the purchase.

I was surprised to find that Rhino had released the Dio-era Sabbath albums on vinyl. Since I don't believe that the 1992 album Dehumanizer ever was originally released on vinyl in North America, I quickly added this to my list of purchases for the day. I was so far removed from Metal at the time that this album was originally released, I didn't even know that it existed until around 5 years ago.

The final vinyl purchase I made for the day was 1970's Paranoid from Black Sabbath. Like Dehumanizer, this one was also re-released on Rhino Vinyl. The only vinyl pressing that I have of this classic album was on the Italian label, Earmark. While the Earmark packaging is really nice, their pressings are known for sounding like shit. Jeff told me that this newest Rhino pressing sounds fantastic, so I added it to the Sabbath vinyl collection.

In addition to all the records that I bought that day, I also grabbed a bunch of CD's, the American Hardcore DVD, plus a few other freebies. Newbury Comics was having a 20% off sale on all their used CD's, and I ended up picking up quite a few to replace the burned CD's that I have in my collection. After a morning of shopping and lunch, Jeff and I headed back to his place, put in a live DVD of a Judas Priest show from 1983, and went through everything that we had bought. What a great day.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Over And Out

After what seemed like and eternity, Livewire finally put up the Over The Line 7 inch for pre-order. Only 300 pressed total, 200 on red and 100 on blue colored vinyl. Initially, Livewire only posted the pre-order as package deals with an Over The Line t-shirt. Using the "crate monster" from the 7 inch cover, I found the shirt design to be pretty stupid, so I wasn't going to drop an extra $10 on a package deal just to get the vinyl on this. After a couple of days, Livewire finally put up a pre-order option without the t-shirt, so I was on board. The packaging on this record is really nice...solid, thick record sleeve, and a nice fold out poster/lyric sheet. Excellent job. I've only listened to this record a couple of's pretty good...sometimes I'm reminded of Burn, and other times I hear Leeway.
While I was in the Livewire store, I also decided to pick up the last colored vinyl that I needed for the live Insted LP. I already had the blue and gold colored vinyl, so I picked up the clear vinyl to complete the collection. I'm not a huge fan of live albums, but this one brings back nice memories of seeing Insted on their reunion tour. I wasn't at the CBGB show, but Paul and I did take the drive to Providence to see them at The Living Room. We ended up getting their pretty early and we spent some time hanging out in the parking lot talking to Sweet Pete...Karl from Earth Crisis ended up hanging out with us for a while too. The show was a lot of fun with bands like The First Step and Mental opening for them. Insted played a great set, and while the crowd wasn't packed up front, I still lost it for every song they played. The last few songs they played were absolutely amazing, as the crowd finally got in to it for We'll Make The Difference and their cover of Young Till I Die...tons of stagedives and singing along.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The First Test

What could possibly entice me to spend more money this month...and only days after a huge win with the Champion Count Our Numbers record release. Exceeding the money that I spent on the Champion 7 inch, I managed to get my hands on a test pressing of The First Step's What We Know Sessions. To fund the releasing of this record, in addition to the upcoming re-release of the Right Idea EP, Bottled Up Records put up some vinyl on eBay...this test press was one of those items. I threw a bid on it at the last minute, but in the end I didn't win it. My bid was reasonable enough so I was hopeful that Bottled Up would look to unload more than just the one they had up for sale, and make me a Second Chance Offer...and the next day I got one. Damn, after the money that I had already spent on the Champion record, I had no business entertaining the idea of buying this record. However, if I didn't do it now, I may never get the chance again. Bottled Up test presses are limited to 13, so I bit the bullet and accepted the offer. Other than the Said and Done test press, that Shield Records gave to me, this was the first test press that I have purchased. I've never really been interested in collecting them, because the prices are typically ridiculous, but fuck it, it felt so good to buy this one. The cover that Bottled Up did for this release is pretty unique. It includes a clear plastic overlay with the image of Aaron Chrietzberg airborne with his guitar, which rests nicely over the paper cover photo of Stephen St. Germain. Very cool. Jeff, from Bottled Up, let me know that he finally just got the artwork for the regular press, and they should be ready to ship in about two weeks. I've got two copies of that one coming as well, which will be nice to add to the collection.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Is This My Vinyl?

Another record won from my recent eBay killing spree. I haven't been able to keep away from that site over the past month. My current obsession with older hardcore vinyl, strikes again as I threw a bid on an auction from Jerry's Kid's first album, Is This My World. Man, Boston Hardcore has just been killing it in my stereo lately, as I can't seem to get enough DYS, SSD, Negative FX, and Gang Green. This Jerry's Kids album was the re-issue on TAANG! Records, and not the original press on X-Claim, so I didn't have to pay too much for this copy. Although it was a painful reminder from when I thought that I had an original pressing of SSD's The Kids Will Have Their Say. I've been thinking that I had an original pressing for years, and a few months ago I read on the Livewire messageboard about someone recently realizing that they owned the bootleg pressing that Ray and Porcell (?) released years ago on the EX-Claim label. I checked mine, and sure enough, it was the bootleg pressing as well. No wonder I was able to pick it up 15 years ago for $25.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

We're Still Not In This Alone

I've been trying to acquire this record for a few years now. One of the few Champion records that I did not have in my collection...the Count Our Number record release pressing with the Youth of Today ripoff cover. Each time I would try for it on eBay in the past, and it doesn't show up often, the price was always too rich for my blood. Last week, everything fell in to place to make it possible for me to buy this rare record. First of all, I had some money sitting in my Paypal account after selling some records for coincidence some of them happened to be Champion records. Then I notice that Words of War Records has posted on a messageboard that they have put up some records for auction, including a bunch of Champion stuff. I check it out and find the Count Our Numbers record release is up for bid. With the extra cash in my account, I knew immediately that I would be winning this record. At the time, it ended up being the most money that I've ever spent on a single record, but then it would only take a couple of days for me to exceed that amount. More on that in a future post.

Hand numbered 55 of 116, on white vinyl. Champion were the band that got me interested in collecting records so I can't express how much it means to me to finally have this in my collection.

Words Of War Records shipped the vinyl in record time (no pun intended). I couldn't believe how fast it arrived. They also included a Built To Last 7 inch with the Champion one that I won. I had never heard this band, and would have probably never given them a chance had they not included this as a bonus. Apparently Built To Last have been around for a while and this is their first record in 7 years, but I've never heard them before. I've only listened to this a few times, but I'm really liking it. The vocals seem very familiar, but I can't place them right now...maybe they sound like The Nerve Agents, I'm not sure. Either way it was nice to get a bonus 7 inch that didn't turn out to be a waste of plastic. Limited to 269 on black vinyl.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Inbred and Under Appreciated

Do you have one of those bands that you just lose your mind over, but no one else seems to know them? A band that you think should have been huge, but for some reason history has swept them under the rug. A band that you think that everyone should be exposed to...and you know that if people just gave this band a chance, you know that they would love them as well. For me that band is Th' Inbred. I got turned on to this hardcore punk band around 1988 or so. I can't remember how this tape ended up in the hands of my brother. The cassette, Family Pack, held both of the band's albums and we both fell in love with the quirky hardcore punk style. There is a strong Dead Kennedy's influence here with the sarcastic styling of lyrics and the odd song structures. This small band out of West Virginia was so far ahead of their time in their critique of hardcore and scene politics...a lot of this stuff is still valid today. The lyrics really set a foundation for me, before I even fully understood the whole punk/hardcore mentality of thinking for yourself and not following the company line. With songs like Jesus Youth/Satan Youth that takes a stab at both Christian religion ("do another hit of this Jesus, man, and you'll never have worry about your free will again") and Satanism ("a black sheep by any other name is still a sheep"), Fool's Paradise ("I'm going to get so fucked up, I can't see how bad they're fuckin' me"), and The Positive Song which blasts the generic, blind positivity in hardcore ("if everyone skates a lot and goes to a lot of shows, everything's going to turn out alright, okay?"). Absolute punk genius.
I've had original copies of the bands two albums, A Family Affair (1986) and Kissin' Cousins (1988), for while now. I was surfin' around on eBay, checking out some Youth of Today records, when I stumbled across a seller that also had the 1989 re-issue of A Family Affair up for auction. I'm not too familiar with the pressing info for Th' Inbred, but I had no idea that this album was re-issued, and on orange colored vinyl no less! I knew immediately that I NEEDED this pressing for my collection, and I set a maximum bid to insure that I won it. Maybe not the smartest move since I saw another copy of the album sell for around $10 on eBay a week later, but hey, this was still worth every penny that I spent on it.
In the photo above, I included both the original pressing on black vinyl with the orange cover, next to the repressing on orange vinyl with the blue cover...because I think the album is that cool. Ha! Anyway, you need to hear this album, and since it isn't in press anymore, you can download it here. Maybe I've got too much nostalgia wrapped up in this, but I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Forgotten Formats

I had second thoughts about buying the latest release from React Records...the Gone But Not Forgotten Seattle Crew '08 demo. A cassette tape? Seriously? I have no interest in buying tapes again. The format sucks. Plain and simple. However, since it was released on React (limited to 300 and are now sold out), I wanted to show my support for the label and buy one. Gone But Not Forgotten play a straight ahead, Hardcore style that you would expect from React. They have a great sound that reminds me of Brotherhood. I love it when bands offer free downloads of their demo...what a great way to get the word out. So if you don't want to waste your time with cassette tapes, you can grab the mp3s here.
In addition to the GBNF demo, React is also helping Effort Fanzine with their distribution in North America. Fanzines are another long forgotten format...another casualty due to the internet. To be honest, I lost interest in fanzines years ago. This one seems different though...a step above anything else. This issue of Effort is THICK...bound like a book, instead of stapled together. Plus the interviews are long and very well done. Seriously, I'm impressed. Interviews with The First Step, Mindset, Anthony Pappalardo on the Radio Silence book, and Justice. I haven't been this interested in a fanzine in a long time. Nicely done.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Mailorder Euro Tour

I happened to be browsing the Six Feet Under webstore the other day, and to my surprise, I found myself on tour across Europe with some of today's best bands...all without leaving the safety of my office cubicle. Belgium's Loud and Clear took a few days to play in Denmark and Sweden, and they printed off these special tour covers for the occasion. I can't say enough good things about this band. When I was on a listening streak of early 80's hardcore, somehow Loud and Clear fit in with that playlist, and would often times follow up a round of SSD and DYS with this album. Band is so good it made me pull out the Elephant Skin album from Justice. I found that I loved that album as well, and need to find some more early Justice stuff.

Black vinyl from the U.S. pressing on Six Feet Under. I was surprised that they only made 36 of these covers, and then had some left over for the webstore. Why didn't this shit sell out on tour? Either way, I'm very happy to have one. Hand numbered, and I got 14.

Next up was Common Cause from Oslo, Norway...a great straight edge hardcore band featuring ex-members of Damage Control and Eyeball. They did a tour across Europe last year, and sold this pressing along the way. Black vinyl, with hand written labels, packaged in a "DJ sleeve" and limited to 250.

Have Heart also did a Euro tour, and Bottled Up Records pressed the demo on a special orange colored vinyl (limited to 250) for the band to take over the Atlantic with them. Yeah, the picture makes it look like it's red vinyl, but trust me, it is a nice dark orange.

As you can see, I have many different pressings of this record. This record has been pressed so many times, it is insane. I don't care though. In fact, I love it when a label will press an absurd amount of colors for one makes for a great picture. I think that I only need two more pressings of this to make it complete.

The last album that I bought from Six Feet Under was for a band called Dean Dirg. Don't let the odd name turn you away. This German punk band rips it up...just a lot of fun. 100 made on green and black vinyl.