Thursday, April 28, 2011

Raise The Dead

Is it really live? Are the crowd noises faked? I don't care. Live Undead is a Hell of a recording from Tom Araya gives us some classic intros to Die By The Sword and Captor Of Sin. "They say the pen is mightier than the sword, but I say fuck the pen, you can die by the sword".

Another Back On Black reissue, this time on clear vinyl with the Haunting The Chapel EP as a bonus.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Gettin' Down

You ever have one of those records that you are just lukewarm to upon your first couple of listens, but as time goes on and you listen to it a few more times, it grows and grows on you? Before you know it, you can't get enough of it. The Age Of Ignorance 7 inch from Downpresser is a perfect example of that record.

At the end of 2010, I ordered the AHC comp from Triple B, and threw in the Downpresser 7 inch as an afterthought. Hey, it was the limited Sound and Fury pressing, so I figured I might as well pick one up. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't really a style of Hardcore that I generally listen to that much. I casually threw the songs on to my ipod, and a few months later I found myself checking my biceps in the mirror and wanting to do some crazy karate spin kicks in the mosh pit. You don't fuck with this record. Great stuff.

Green vinyl. 300 pressed.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dio Live At Donington

There is no such thing as too much Dio, and the vinyl for his bands just keeps coming in.

The latest is the double live album of Dio At Donington. Holy shit, look at the size of the crowd in that front cover shot. Mind blowing.

While I generally don't have much interest in live albums, one of the things that intrigues me about them is that it provides a snapshot of what the band was preforming at that time. For someone with a rich history like Ronnie James Dio, I'm excited to hear what songs he was including in his live set for each tour. I'd love for them to release a live album from the Angry Machines or Strange Highway tours.

The first album is from Dio's first appearance at Donington in 1983, touring for his first solo album, Holy Diver. A great selection of Rainbow, Sabbath, and Dio songs.

The second album is Dio's stop at Donington on the Dream Evil tour in 1987. I saw Dio on this tour, and it was the last time that I would catch him live until he got back together with the Black Sabbath guys and toured as Heaven & Hell in 2007.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Record Store Day 2011

Each year I eagerly await the holiest of all holidays, Record Store Day. A day dedicated to recognizing and supporting your local record store. Once again, Jeff and I started the day at Bull Moose in Scarborough. This year we were surprised to find a line of nerds waiting outside the store before it opened and ended up about 30th in line. It was chaos as the doors opened and people rushed inside to make sure they didn't miss out on the more limited pressings of the day. Not only was I on a mission for myself, but I was connected to Marcus and Doug via Facebook on my Blackberry, and was on the hunt for them as well. I had no problem getting what I was looking for, and since Bull Moose has a strict "one per customer" policy, I had to hand off some duplicates to Jeff, so that he could buy them for me.

The first mission on Record Store Day was to pick up the three 7 inches that Revelation Records was repressing. Last year, Bull Moose had a handful of the Sick Of It All records, so I was hopeful that they would carry the newest REV repressings as well.

Word soon got out that there was some color variations with each pressing, and the geek level quickly went through the roof. The Quicksand 7 inch was repressed on blue vinyl, and all three that I picked were very similar in color.

The copy that I decided to keep for myself had some pretty significant black streaks.

The Youth of Today 7 inch was repressed on red vinyl. Again, my three copies were pretty similar in color. One had some slight black streaking, and another had some slight white streaking, but the differences weren't that substantial, so I sold off my extra copies to Doug and Wade.

I kept the copy with the slight streaks of black.

The Burn 7 inch was repressed on yellow vinyl.

Of the three copies that I bought, two of them were dark yellow, while one of them was significantly lighter. Because the color variation was so drastic, I decided to keep two copies of this one. However, having two yellow copies of the Burn 7 inch, makes me feel like a tool for not owning the original pressing on pink vinyl. I'll have to move that to the top of my want list.

Bull Moose didn't sell out of many records that I wanted, but after grabbing myself two copies of the Bad Brains Pay To Cum repress, they were sold out.Later that day, I heard that there was also a copy on gold vinyl that was only available through mailorder. So much for celebrating "Record Store" Day. Mine isn't an original pressing, and it isn't on gold colored vinyl...oh well, I'm still glad that I've got a copy.

The other record that I was interested in, and that sold out pretty quick at Bull Moose, was the live OFF! 7 inch. Grabbed one for me and one for Doug, and then they were gone.

Promoting the Live at River Plate DVD that was filmed from their recent Black Ice tour, AC/DC released a live 7 inch just for Record Store Day.

Everything thus far, has felt like a legitimate release, but the Ozzy 7 inch repress for Flying High Again seems like a cash grab. I don't know why. Maybe it is my disdain for everything he has done since the No Rest For The Wicked LP back in 1988. I just don't really see the point in this re-releasing this 7 inch. I struggled over whether or not I really needed to pick this up, and in the end the only reason why I did so was because of the "Record Store Day" logo on the label stuck to the plastic bag the 7 inch was packaged in. I'm retarded.

For as much money I spent on this day, I really tried to be conscious of some of my purchases. Like the Flying High 7 inch, I debated internally if I really needed to pick up the vinyl repressings of Blizzard of Oz and Diary of a Madman. In the end, I only grabbed Diary, since I didn't own the original pressing on vinyl already.

Then there was the Dio picture disc for Killing the Dragon. Fuck. I love this album, but I hate picture discs, and ones that are only packaged in a plastic sleeve, suck even more. I hated to buy this one, but in memory of Ronnie, I picked one up as a tribute to his greatness.

Limited to 2,500 and numbered. Yipee.

Before we left Bull Moose, I headed over to regular vinyl and flip through the Metal section. As a side note, stores that have separate Metal and Punk sections rule, okay? When I saw the Back On Black vinyl pressing of Nuclear Assault's classic Game Over album, and since I only own this on cassette, I didn't hesitate to pick it up.

Double LP on nuclear yellow colored vinyl and includes The Plague EP as a bonus.

By the time Jeff and I left Bull Moose it was past 10:00, and we had spent over an hour picking out records and agonizing over which ones we wanted and which ones we could live without. By now, the store was just about deserted, as the original mob that had ransacked the place had moved on. Now it was time for us to hit the road bound for Boston to take advantage of the 20% off sale for vinyl at Newbury Comics.

It is hard to believe, but the original Articles of Faith line up from the early 80's got back together and recorded a new 5 song EP. Wow, Vic Bondi's voice sounds the same as it ever did...gruff and caustic...damn, a couple songs reminded me of the stuff released by Cheap Tragedies a couple years back. Good stuff that does not taint the AOF legacy.

Other than the Legless Bull EP, I've never really heard much from Government Issue. When I saw Dischord's 2010 release of Boycott Stabb Complete Sessions, I figured that it was time to remedy this oversight.

Speaking of Discord reissues...I already own the recent repressing of the Flex Your Head comp, which has the blurry photo cover, but when I saw the XXX cover at Newbury's, I couldn't resist buying another copy. Red cover, red vinyl.

Sodom released their new album, In War and Pieces, at the end of last year. Part of Germany's Big Three with Kreator and Destruction, Sodom still release some brutal Thrash. Like Accept's album last year, I was starting to think about just picking it up on CD, because sometimes I have no patience for mailorder. I was glad to find a vinyl copy at Newbury's.

Man, I bought Volume 1 of Motorhead's BBC Live & In-Session back on the Toronto roadtrip in 2009. Record Store Day 2011 I finally get the chance to pick up Volume 2.

Clear colored vinyl and capturing Motorhead live on the BBC in '81 and '86.

Finally, I ended the day with a couple of cheap sale prices items, that I may not have normally given much thought to. The first is a picture disc for Hirax's 2009 album, El Rostro De La Muerte. For $5.00, I picked up the picture disc, along with a bonus 7 inch on blue vinyl.

Then, for the sale price of $1.50, I picked up the Malestrom LP. Man, I saw these guys so many times back in the early 90's opening for Slapshot. They were pretty good for that time period, until they wanted to try and be like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and started including songs from Seseme Street into their live set. Seriously.

I wouldn't have normally given this album a second thought, but hey, if these dudes can rock these haircuts, I can drop some spare change for them. Who is more embarassed, me or them?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Seven and Seger

Everyone is probably expecting a Record Store Day posting from me. I've got a lot of pictures to take, and I'll have some time off from work later this week. Be patient, kids, I'll get there.

As if it wasn't confusing enough delaying the Record Store Day post, I'll fuck everyone up, and post the newest Bob Seger record that I received.

I've posted about Seger here before, and no one was more surprised than I was to find that I enjoyed his early records. Nothing beats his Seger System records, but the rest of his early 70's albums are pretty good too. I can't explain why I like them...there is just something raw about his voice that I can't deny. Also check that 'stache on the back cover. Bad ass.

Seger's album from 1974, Seven, is pretty solid rock. I think that Jeff found that he had an extra copy of this is his favorite one by Seger, so he gave this copy to me to introduce me to this album. Can you dig it, man?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ghost Splatter

It took me a few months to finally get my hands on a copy of the new Ghost LP. My first attempt was to place a special order with my local record store. That didn't pan out, and I got tired of waiting, so I finally got a copy directly from Rise Above Records. A couple weeks after my $40 piece of vinyl arrived from the UK, I'm flipping through the records at the record store, and what do I come across....Ghost, Opus Eponymous. Goddamn it...sometimes it feels like I have the worst luck. Not only did the record store not save the record for my original special order, but then I find them selling it for half of what I paid to Rise Above. I don't typically buy multiple copies of Metal albums, but fuck it, I love this album, and for $20, I couldn't resist it.

I contemplated flipping it to eBay to try and make some money back on my original purchase from Rise Above. That thought lasted for about 2 minutes. Deep inside, I knew that I'd be keeping it, as long as it was anything other than the clear vinyl that I already owned.

Clear vinyl with blue splatter. Limited to 500.

Hear our Satan Prayer.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fire & Ice Collection

I don't know if I'd say that Fire & Ice are the best Hardcore band around...all I know is that I can't stop listening to them. Every few days, I find myself queuing them up in my ipod. Coming from someone that tends to not listen to the same thing more than once a week, that is saying something.

Triple B Records recently pressed all of the released Fire & Ice tracks onto one LP, appropriately titled Collections. This includes both the Gods & Devils and Grim 7 inches, plus the America's Hardcore track, and one unreleased song. Since I'm a sucker for buying records containing songs that I already have, I bought both available copies.

300 pressed on glow in the dark vinyl.

600 pressed on black.

Holy shit! The insert that comes with this LP is huge! However, it is pretty bulky when you fold it up and stuff it in the record cover.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Master Of The Metal

No doubt about it, I'm a huge fan of Ronnie James Dio. To my ears, the man hasn't released a bad Metal album. Elf was a little hit or miss, but Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Heaven & Hell, plus his work with the Dio band... from 1975 until his untimely death in 2010, the man was flawless.

I first heard Dio when a friend's older brother threw in a cassette of Last In Line when he drove us to school one morning back in 1984. While I had already been on a steady diet of Hard Rock from bands like AC/DC and Motley Crue, and was starting transition to more Metal like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, I couldn't help but be blown away by the intensity and power of the album's opening song We Rock. I was instantly hooked, and in the weeks that followed, I soon had a vinyl copy of Last In Line for myself. I rocked alongside Dio through Sacred Heart and Dream Evil, but by the time Lock Up The Wolves was released in 1990, I was starting to find a new love...Hardcore.

Hardcore quickly became an obsession with me. It consumed me, and soon it was the only kind of music that I would listen to. Anything I previously listened to paled in comparison. I held fast to this belief for the next 15 years, rarely giving any time to music styles outside of hardcore and punk.

Around 2004, I came up with this crazy idea to listen to my entire music chronological order by the year the album was released. It took me over two years to complete, but I had a blast listening to, and rediscovering, the music from my youth. Both Metal and Hardcore could live side by side in my world. I soon found myself searching Napster and then WinMX...filling in holes for the past 10 to 15 years of Metal that I had ignored. Dio was one of those bands. While it took me a little while to fully warm up to some of his later albums like Lock Up The Wolves and Angry Machines, I discovered that I would come to appreciate Dio's last couple of albums, Killing the Dragon and Master Of The Moon, almost as much as his classic 80's albums.

As part of my March Metal Madness, it should come as no surprise that Dio was a staple in my early 80's Metal playlist. I was cruisin' around on ebay, and found Master of the Moon on vinyl...US seller listed with a Buy It Now price...once again, I didn't hesitate and bought it. Back in 2004, major record labels were still pretty much considering vinyl a dead format. Yet, they would occasionally press small runs of vinyl, typically for overseas markets.

Master of the Moon was pressed on vinyl in Germany. I've read that only 500 were pressed on black vinyl, plus another 500 as a picture disc. The packaging is pretty slim for this lyric insert or anything, but it is still cool to own the vinyl for this because the album cover is pure metal awesomeness.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

I'd Rather Be Sleeping

At some point in history, I must have bought something from Grave Mistake Records. I can't remember what it was, but it got me on their mailing list. A month or so ago, I got an email from them notifying me of their newest releases. One of these releases was a new LP from the band Deep Sleep. I recognized the name, but I'd never heard them before. Hey, pre-orders were going up for their new album, so it seemed like a good time to check them out to see if I was interested.

I did a quick search and found the band's first three 7 inches available for download. I grabbed the files and loaded them on to my ipod. The following day, I had to drop my car off at the garage to get a new battery. After leaving my car, I queued up Deep Sleep and threw my headphones on for the 10 minute walk from the garage back to the office.

As soon as I got to work, I jumped online and ordered the Deep Sleep LP and all three 7 inches. I've read a few things that compare the band's sound to the Descendents, but I don't really hear it. Deep Sleep kick out the jams with much more attitude and energy than the Descendents...but I've only listened to the Descendents about 10 times, so what do I know.

Grave Mistake had a package deal to pick up the three 7 inches with new LP, but it listed the 7 inches all on black vinyl. I wanted color vinyl, so I paid a couple extra bucks and ordered each record separately. I still ended up with black vinyl for the Paranoid Futures record. They sent me the tour pressing, so I don't mind. 125 on black vinyl with tour sleeve.

Manic Euphoria was released in 2008.

300 on orange vinyl for the second press. I love how Grave Mistake coordinated the colors for the vinyl and the record sleeve.

You're Screwed was released back in 2006.

Again, Grave Mistake coordinates the color of the vinyl with the record cover. I assume this is the third press for this record, but I'm not sure how many were pressed on red vinyl. The only problem with this one is the lyric sheet. It is so small! Even with my glasses on, I had a hard time reading it.

Finally we have the reason why I checked out this band in the first place, the Turn Me Off LP. Everything Deep Sleep have released up to this point has been great, straight up punk rock with a melodic edge. This album is no exception. If you haven't checked out this band, get on it!

White vinyl is limited to 300.