Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hey Kool Aid!

The real tragedy is that I didn't pick up the Shepherd to Lost Sheep 7 inch from Cheap Tragedies when Livewire released it about a year ago. I seriously slept on this one. I'm sure that when Livewire originally released it, I was feeling the purse strings tightening, and so I passed on ordering it. Since the band features the singer from Face Value and the guitarist from Right Idea/Committed, waiting on this one probably wasn't a wise move. The two pressings eventually sold out through Livewire, but recently they uncovered a few extra copies of the purple vinyl (limited to 200 pressed). This time I didn't wait and placed my order through Livewire's distro, Merchnow. Very cool record with great cover art of Kool Aid wreaking havoc at the Jonestown party.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Time To Start Trying

I've always loved Fastbreak. I remember ordering their Youth Pride demo tape when it was first released back in 1994. Containing ex-members of Cornerstone, I had high hopes for this new straight edge hardcore band of the time. They did not disappoint. It's a shame that their demo never made it to a vinyl pressing. The kept going strong with the Don't Stop Trying 7 inch. By the time they did their split with Ten Yard Fight, I was starting to hear from some people that the band was starting to head in a less hardcore direction, and the band was refusing to do their Youth Pride anthem live. I got the split and the follow up Fast Cars, but as far as I was concerned, the band was still full-on hardcore. By the time Whenever You're Ready was released you could really hear the more melodic influences in their music, but it didn't matter to me, everything Fastbreak released was perfection. Man, they were a great band. I'm not sure why I haven't made a conscious effort to start collecting their records, but it's something that's been on my mind for a while now. When I won a copy of Don't Stop Trying with the green cover on eBay for $0.99, I figured that it might be a good time to get things moving.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Time To Boil Over

I love finding new music. Some people are content to listen to the same stuff over and over, but I'm always looking to check out the next up and coming hardcore or thrash band. There is so much cool shit coming out these days, and I love getting surprised by a band that I've never heard of before. So drawing from influences such as DYS and Negative FX, Boiling Over comes crashing out of the gates. Excellent, raging hardcore on Lifeline Records. I loved it so much that I jumped on ordering both colors...150 pressed on red and 350 pressed on clear vinyl. Lifeline also included a digital download coupon with the release, and somehow I ended up with an extra one. Sweet, now I can download this three times....ummmm, not sure why they didn't just give me one...oh well.

While ordering from Lifeline, I noticed that they also had the Time To Escape EP available. I want to say that I wanted to order this from Grave Mistake when it was released, but it was already sold out when I tried to place my order. So I took the opportunity to grab it from Lifeline and was surprised that it was the first press, and that mine was number 12 of 500.

While I'm talking about new music, it makes me think about the Album of the Month Club on The group was created to share and discuss hardcore and punk music for users. When we started the group, each month someone would offer up an album of their choice for members to listen to and discuss. We have since moved to a bi-weekly format to cut down on the dead time, and spark more conversations. Some of the suggested albums have fallen pretty flat with me, but occasionally someone will suggest an album that really surprises me. So if you use to track what you are listening to, feel free to stop by and join our group.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Dio You Know

Call it Black Sabbath or call it Heaven & Hell, but by either name, this is a great record. The Dio-era Sabbath line-up have been back together for a couple of years now First, they released The Dio Years compilation under the Sabbath name, with three new songs. Then to support the release they decided to hit the road and tour under the name Heaven & Hell. The tour went so well, the guys kept things rolling and released a full album of new material this year. Goddamn, Ronnie James Dio turned 67 years old this month, and Tony Iommi is 61, yet here they are still recording one of my favorite Metal albums of the year with The Devil You Know. I was a little disappointed with my first listen, as I thought it was to monotonous and slow, but after a couple of spins it really grabbed me. Seriously, Bible Black kicks so much ass that it could have been on Sabbath's Mob Rules album.

The packaging on this album is fantastic. It is a double LP with a gatefold sleeve, and to top it off, the album cover is an absolute killer. Some people think that it is too "cartoony" for Sabbath...umm, excuse me, Heaven & Hell...but I love the whole Guillermo del Toro feel. The fourth album side has an etching of the bands logo of the winged devil which also looks amazing.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Getting Everything On eBay

Wow, I've had this one for a while now. I love Undertow, but the real push to pick this one up was an attempt to keep up with Marcus. I knew that Indecision Records was pressing the Everything discography to vinyl, and I figured that I'd pick one up at some point. It was after reading the blog post from Marcus back in May, that I had that uncontrollable urge to buy it....immediately. I took a trip over to the Indecision website, but there was no info on the vinyl there, so I did a search on eBay. Found only one copy for sale, and it had a Buy It Now option for $20. I didn't hesitate to grab it. I later found out that I could have saved a few bucks if I had thought of checking the RevHQ webstore. That's okay, I think that $20 was a pretty reasonable price for this double LP. The packaging is fantastic, with it's gatefold sleeve and combination of colored and black vinyl. This one sits nicely next to the blue vinyl pressing of the At Both Ends LP, that I picked up guessed it, Marcus.

Monday, July 13, 2009

True Blue

The pricing was insanely high to ship overseas to the States, but when pre-orders went up for the new True Colors LP, Rush Of Hope, there was no way that I was going to pass it up. My first order directly from Powered and I was not disappointed. Man, the packaging on this LP is top notch. Everything from the album cover with the beautiful gatefold sleeve, to the printed dust sleeve with the pre-order stamp...even the special issue of the Powered Records fanzine...this thing looks fantastic. But how does it sound?

It took me about 2 weeks to finally drop the needle into the grooves on this one. The delay was mostly due to lack of time, because when I first hear an album, I want to really absorb myself into it. I really prefer to either lock myself away in my Music Room, or give it a first listen in the car, on the way to work. The other reason for the delay was out of fear. Sometimes when I get a new record from a band that I love, I'm really hesitant to give it that first listen. I get worried that somehow it will leave me disappointed. Well, no worries here. This album is amazing from start to finish as True Colors continue to rise to the top of the current Straight Edge Hardcore scene.

While placing my pre-order, I noticed that Powered also had a "special version" of the Rhythm Of Madness LP. I'm not sure why they made this special version, but it was limited to 50, so I decided to pick one up.

Pretty cool alternate sleeve. Mine is number 8 of 50.

I also picked up a copy of the Common Cause LP on clear vinyl (limited to 220). Another amazing, straight forward hardcore band on Powered. Man, I love this album.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Lost In A Crowd

Al Barkley posted on the Livewire messageboard that he was looking to sell a few records at set prices. Seems as though he got himself in pretty deep with credit card debt, and was looking to get out of that situation. Al ran Contrast Records, and in addition to the first Verse record, he re-released the Alone In A Crowd 7 inch a few years back. I only had the AIAC songs on a split CD with New York's Inside Out that was released on the sketchy Lost & Found label. I figured that this was a good a time as any to finally pick this up on vinyl. Man, it doesn't get much better than the one two punch of Is Anybody There and Commitment. Classic.

The original reason for me buying records from Al, was to pick up a copy of Said & Done's 7 inch released on Suburban Voice back in 1991. Said & Done, not to be confused with Said and Done from The Netherlands, were a great hardcore band out of Boston, and I saw them play a few times with other early 90's BHC greats like Eye For An Eye, Kingpin, and Third Degree. Anyway, I thought that I had this record on black vinyl, so I bought the purple vinyl pressing from Al. Turns out that I already had this on purple vinyl, so now I've got two.

After buying these records, I found that Al has a great website at, which has some great pressing info on some classic records. Check it out.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

We Will Destroy

The 90's pretty much sucked when it came to Metal music. Early on, it's spirit got crushed by the likes of Nirvana and Pearl Jam, and then Nu-Metal put another nail in the coffin. Hey, who am I to talk? Through the 90's I had lost all interest in Metal, and was only listening to hardcore and punk, I discovered Straight Edge and by the end of 1991 I was X'ing up and looking forward to the next show for stagedives and singalongs. This was as "real" as music got, and as far as I was concerned, Metal was dead. Sometime around 2004, my mind opened back up to this genre of music and it was a lot of fun "rediscovering" all those old Metal records from my youth. In addition to the nostalgia trip of revisiting all those early 80's Metal records, my eyes were opened up to a lot of really cool bands that are putting out some truly ripping Metal in the present day. Dekapitator released one of my favorite thrash albums of 2007, and I was floored to find that they also released another album back in 1999. I had never heard their first album, but I found it on eBay for $17.00, and decided to take a chance and pick it up. We Will Destroy...You Will Obey is amazing, and I can't believe that such a great album was released during one of Metal's darkest times. The album was released on some independent record label that I've never heard of before, Records, and was limited to 1,000 pressed on vinyl, so I consider myself lucky to have picked up this gem.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Questionable Idea

I got my Right Idea pre-order a week or so ago, and the first thing that I thought was "Wow, Bottled Up have completely lost it, because these look like shit.". The cover for the record looks like some cheap photocopy job of the original React layout. The lyric sheet looks like some old school cut and paste job, where pieces of the lyrics were slapped on to a piece of paper and then photocopied. Plus the record labels themselves appeared to be the original labels from the React pressing, replacing the React logo with the one from Bottled Up, and X'ing out all other references to the React name. I was thoroughly confused and dismayed.
Figuring that there must be some explanation for such a shoddy layout, I immediately sent an email off to Jeff at Bottled Up to see what had happened. He explained that the look was intentional and was meant to have the look of a bootleg of the original React Records press.

Once I found out that the look was intentional, I was relieved and thought that it was a pretty clever idea. The more I sit on it, the more I wonder if maybe the bootleg layout should have just been used for the pre-order pressing on black vinyl, and the rest of the pressing would have been better suited to a cleaner layout because, really, this looks like shit.

Also with my Right Idea order, I picked up the white vinyl pressing of The First Step's What We Know Sessions 7 inch. I only ordered 2 copies of the record when it was released, but being the total geek that I am, I needed the white vinyl as to 250 pressed.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Won't Turn My Back

Back in May, after I watched a couple of records that I wanted sell for over $300, I was feeling a little dismayed at the thought of never being able to add them to my collection. I was told that those prices were higher than normal, and that I shouldn't give up hope. Here we are a couple months later, and while this Brotherhood 7 inch is a different pressing than the one I had originally been watching, I was still very excited to pick up this classic Hardcore record...and at what I would consider to be a reasonable price. After asking around, it looks as though my copy is missing the insert/lyric sheet, which was a major disappointment. So if anyone has the lyric sheet that they can scan and send to me, I'd really appreciate it.