Monday, January 31, 2011

Addiction 2010

Back in July, The Essence posted on the REACT! messageboard that they had found some extra copies of the 12 inch Euro pressing of Betrayed's Addiction EP. They had packaged up 35 of these with a limited cover for the final Dirty Money/Dead & Gone showcase, and they were selling what was leftover in their webstore. I quickly grabbed one.

The record is packaged in a black 12 inch cardboard jacket with a cropped version of the lyric sheet insert.

The sticker that was slapped onto the black sleeve was designed by Geert from Control Records. I really like how this came together...solid looking limited cover and a nice addition to my Betrayed collection.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mindset Liveset

It's hard to believe that the live Mindset album went up for pre-order back in May last year. As I mentioned in my last post, there were all kinds of delays with this record. Colby from Upside Down Records would be out of touch while on tour with bands, and deadlines were promised but not followed through on. At this point, I still don't think that everyone has received their order. What a mess.

110 on gold. 220 on white. 220 on black.

Recorded live at the A Time We'll Remember fest back in 2009, this album really captures the intensity and sincerity of Mindset. I'm generally not a big fan of live albums. They have to really give me something special to stand out, and this album does just that. I'm glad this is more than just a collection of live songs...if you've seen Mindset live, you know that Ev likes to talk between songs, and that is all captured here. Bloodstains is an amazing song, and Mindset sure do it justice here.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Das Boots

I really didn't expect to ever receive these records. Shortly after I won them, I realized that the seller was Colby Malone. You see, Colby runs Upside Down Records and recently threw his reputation off a bridge when he hit delay after delay in sending out the new Mindset Live LP. There were excuses and promises on dates when they would be sent, but there were still numerous hardcore kids waiting for their records.

I won all four of these Iron Boots records from Colby. Of course I wasn't going to pay the $16 shipping charge from winning four records with $4.00 shipping fees for each. So I sent a request for an invoice, with the expectation that we could combine the shipping fees. A day or so later, I haven't received a response, so I send another request for an invoice. Again, no response. So I send another...and another...and another. Finally, after I had given up on the eBay win, and after about two weeks had passed, I finally received the requested invoice.

The combined shipping for the four records was $10.00, the actual postage was for almost $4.00. I guess the extra $6.00 was for the paper envelope that he used for packaging...or maybe I'll look on the positive side and think of the extra $6.00 as an investment in finally getting those Mindset LP's shipped.

I did receive a small bit of good news about the LP's after all.

I think that I got a great deal on all these Iron Boots records. This copy on gold colored vinyl only cost me about $8.00, and was the most expensive of the bunch.

This copy was pressed on Brain Grenade Records, and I've lost track of all the other copies of this Demo 7 inch that I've added to the collection. Between Brain Grenade, Damaged, and Grave Mistake Records pressings, I've lost track of which ones that I have and which ones I still need.

This was the first time I purchased the Easy Green EP, and I picked up all the different pressings in one shot.

Black vinyl with the silk screened cover. Grey insert. 200 pressed.

Green colored vinyl. Light green insert. 450 pressed.

Black vinyl from the first press with the regular cover. Dark green insert. 500 pressed.

The first pressing was the only one that ended up getting numbered. I'm happy to have a nice low number.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cut The Sh!t

How do you search eBay for a band like Cut The Shit? Do people list them with the full band name, or do they try to get around eBay censors and list it as Cut The Sh!t? I've seen it listen a variety of ways, which makes a thorough search a pain in the ass. On the positive side, when you do find a piece of vinyl listed, you hope that you are the only one watching it. Such was the case when I picked up this white vinyl copy of the Harmed and Dangerous LP for $8.50.

Cut The Shit rules, and I've been wanting to add some CTS vinyl to my collection for a while. This Boston band was so good...seriously...they would have to be included in my list for the Top 10 Bands from the past 10 years. Everything they released just rages. I was fortunate enough to catch them live one time...their last show in some sketchy part of Boston. While most bands that night played the stage, Cut The Shit and Sirens (another Boston band playing their last show) decided to set up right on the floor. The show was small enough that they could get away with it, and it just made for a much more intimate setting. Great show, singing along and thrashing! Cut the shit and start the pit.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Xmas Haul Part 3: The New Shit

The last part of my Christmas Haul trilogy. This post is for the newer releases.

It took me some time to warm up to Iron Maiden's new album, The Final Frontier. Face it, Maiden are never going to give us another Piece of Mind or Powerslave, instead they choose to write the long epic songs...hell, 7 of the 10 songs on this album are over the 6 minute mark. Nope, no more facemelters like 2 Minutes To Midnight or Run To The Hills. Iron Maiden aren't going to give you what you want, they are going to write an album the way they want to do it. No compromise on their part. Once you accept this fact, and stop comparing them to what they used to be, you may see that they can still write good Metal songs.

The Final Frontier may be the best album that Maiden have released since reuniting with Bruce Dickinson back in 2000. Seriously, the first three songs on this album are just so good. The intro of Satellite 15 is so really took me by surprise, because it doesn't sound like anything the band has done before. I just wish that they would stop releasing their vinyl on picture discs.

While not technically a "new release", this was the first time that I've really listened to Propagandhi's 2009 album, Supporting Caste. At one point, I loved this band, but I started to cool off on them shortly after they released Today's Empires back in 2000, and was never interested enough in checking out their last couple of albums. My brother was always a big Propagandhi fan as well, and when I was wondering what to buy him last Christmas, I decided to get him the CD for Supporting Caste. When I was purchasing it for him, the clerk at the record store told me that the album was really good and the band had a bit more "radio friendly" sound. I immediately regretted buying it, and before I gave it to my brother, I checked out a couple of the newer Propagandhi songs on their myspace page. Phew, nothing "radio friendly", about this. This is a solid punk rock album, with no compromise, and I was happy to receive it for Christmas this year.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Xmas Haul Part 2: Back On Black

Part two of my Christmas vinyl haul. This post is dedicated to all the stuff from Back On Black Records that I got.

Earlier this year, I picked up the used CD of Mercyful Fate's 9 album. Really though, the amazing cover art for this album belongs on the larger LP format. Classic band...even their later day stuff is a fun listen. 9, released in 1999, was Mercyful Fate's last studio album that the band released...even though they never officially "broke up".

Nice looking red vinyl, with the standard gatefold sleeve. I love that Back On Black has taken to incorporating the album cover into the labels.

King Diamond: Satanist and cat person.

When I first started getting interested in Back On Black pressings, around 2008, they had recently released a few Exodus albums. I picked up Shovel Headed Kill Machine, and loved what the label was doing. Two and a half years later, and Tempo Of The Damned finds it's way into my local record store and onto my Christmas list.

Tempo Of The Damned marked the return of Exodus singer Zetro. No holding back on this album. I could not get over how fast and heavy this was when I first heard it. Unfortunately, good things never last, and Zetro was replaced by Rob Dukes the following year. I think that all the early Back On Black releases were pressed on splatter colored vinyl.

The first and the best...Bonded By Blood! An absolute classic, and the only one that the band recorded with legendary frontman Paul Baloff.

Funny enough, while I own two different pressings of this album, I don't own an original on Combat/Torrid. I've got this pressing on blue vinyl, and the 2007 pressing from Monumentum Records (which was an offshoot of Reflections Records).

Another first, and another classic...Megadeth's Killing Is My Business. This album, plus Peace Sells, are the pinnacle of the Megadeth catalog. Nothing else even comes close. It sucks that the band was not able to re-release this album with their cover of These Boots. I feel like I need to track down an original pressing to have the complete record.

Another early Back On Black release on splatter colored vinyl.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Xmas Haul Part 1: 3 Hits From Hell

My family is good to me. They know that I obsess about music and my record collection, and when I fill my Christmas wish list only with albums that I want, they are happy to oblige and hit the local record stores for me.

Since the thought of trying to cram all the vinyl that I got for Christmas into one post is overwhelming, I'm going to break it out into three parts. First up is the trio of Misfits vinyl. I love The Misfits, but I'm not going to spend a load of money on them, so I'm content to just pick up the common pressings that you can find in any record store.

Now I typically have very little interest in live albums, but damn, the Evilive EP blows me away. I feel like it really captures the intensity and raw energy of the Misfits live set from 1982. It really has the spark that a lot of live albums are missing. Man, I just love how Glenn counts down practically every song with a "1, 2, 3, 4!", and when they say they have to tune up because they "pound their guitars like fuckin' jackhammers", you know they mean it.

Most bands tend to soften with age. The Misfits are the exception and their first recordings, which became the Static Age album, have a more punky vibe. I've owned Legacy Of Brutality, which basically contains the Static Age songs with the bass and guitar rerecorded, with since I was a teenager, but this is the first time that I've heard these versions of the songs.

Pick a favorite Misfits album. I'm not sure if I would go with Earth A.D. or Walk Among's like trying to pick between Break Down The Walls or We're Not In This Alone from Youth of Today. Damn near impossible.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Give and Betrayed

Wow, it feels like I've been waiting for these records for a long time. Pre-orders for the new Betrayed and Give records went up in June...I received the record release pressings of these records in July and took until December for the pre-order package to finally hit my doorstep.

The main reason for the delay was around numerous problems that REACT! ran into with the Give 7 inch. A special insert was included to explain what took so long for this to see the light of day.

This is a good 2 song 7 inch. It doesn't blow me away, but Give pulls off a pretty good D.C./Swiz sound. On the songs where they come at you with some intensity, I'm sucked right in...but sometimes the songs are too laid back, and I lose interest.

200 on yellow. 300 on blue. 500 on black. What is it with the big hole for 7 inch records? Why would a label decide to use that as opposed to the small hole? I don't get it.

I was pretty excited when I heard that Betrayed were releasing a new 7 inch. I knew that they were playing the occasional show, but I had no idea that they were a functional band again. Well, they haven't missed a beat with this new record. It took a little while for the title track, Suffering, to settle in with me, but this whole record is a great addition to a flawless discography.

200 on blue. 400 on white. 900 on black.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Black Friday Metal

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I grew up with 80's Metal. I love the stuff. When the Big Four of Thrash got together to play in Europe, my initial thought was, "Fucking Europe, they get all the cool Metal festivals". How cool would it be to see Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax all at one show? Amazing.

Recently, there has been talk about the Big Four doing some shows in the States. While I'd like to go, the reality is that the chances are pretty slim that I would bother going. Giant sized stadium shows can't really compare to the experience of seeing a band up close and personal, and for the most part they don't interest me.

When Metallica was scheduled to play the Bonnaroo Music Festival back in 2008, they decided to do a warm up gig the night before at Grimey's Record Store in Nashville. Now this is the way I would prefer to see Metallica a nice intimate setting.

As a special release on Black Friday in 2010, Metallica gave us that live set from Grimey's on two 10 inch pieces of vinyl. Upon first listen, I wasn't too impressed....just more live versions of songs that we've heard a thousand times. Sure there were a few surprises, like No Remorse and Motorbreath, but come on, isn't this band sick of playing Fuel and Seek and Destroy? When I put the vinyl on the turntable a second time, and paid closer attention, I found that I really enjoyed this record. The banter between the band and crowd, and the crowd's interaction (even the annoying guy that screams the lyrics to For Whom The Bell Tolls in between songs) really captures how amazing it must have been to be at Grimey's for this set.

Another record that was released on Black Friday was the World Painted Blood 7 inch single from Slayer. The highlight of this record was the unreleased b-side song Atrocity Vendor. The song starts with a riff that does not sound like Slayer at all, but soon into the song, the guitars kick in, and there is no mistaking the band's trademark sound. Great song. Released on red vinyl and limited to 2,500.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Have Heart 7.29.07

At the end of September, Bridge Nine announced pre-orders for their new Mystery Box. I wasn't too excited with what I received in last years Mystery Box, and was thinking about passing on this one. But the added incentive of a special 7 inch, limited to 500, was all that I needed to hear, and I bought one.

Bridge Nine had three options for the Mystery Box this year, and I went for the one that was listed "for fans of Have Heart, Champion and Foundation". The special 7 inch was kept a secret until the packages were shipped and people started receiving them. Turns out that the 7 inch for the Have Heart Mystery Box option was a four song 7 inch taken from the band's live set at Sound and Fury back in 2007. I'm not that big of a fan of live recordings, but this makes a nice addition to my Have Heart the cover of Burning Fight is pretty cool as well.

As for the rest of my Mystery Box, it wasn't anything too I expected. I got a copy of the new Strike Anywhere CD, which forced me to finally check it out. I didn't particularly care for their last record, and wasn't too interested in checking out their new one on Bridge Nine. To my surprise this is actually a really good album. Thank you B9 for sending this. Oh yeah, I also got a CD of Have Heart's Songs to Scream at the Sun...already had it, so I gave it to Rob.

The other piece of vinyl that I got in the Mystery Box was the live Death Threat 7 inch. I don't listen to the one I got a few years ago, and I wasn't thrilled to get a second copy. The funny thing is that the Mystery Box that Rob ordered also included this Death Threat record. Ahhhh...the B9 Mystery Box, a chance for the label to clear their shelves of crap that no one wanted the first time around. Oh well, at least I should be thankful that the label didn't send me something from Death Before Dishonor again. Still, the whole thing was kind of fun, and I'd probably order again if they do it next year.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Lists and Stats From 2010

I love lists and stats on music, and I look forward to doing my year end recap. Crunching numbers, and ranking the best releases from the past year. In years past, I've just posted about how much I've bought over the last 12 months, but this year I took a tip from Marcus and plugged the numbers into a spreadsheet for a much better presentation.

It wasn't any surprise that I bought a lot of music this year. What I was surprised to see was how many CDs I bought last year. With the purchase of my first ipod this August, I expected to see the number of CDs drop. Granted my CD purchases were down from 145 last year, but still...100 CDs?!?!

Here is the monthly data presented in a graph. You can see my attempt to catalog and file the backlog of records that had built up by December. My resolution for 2011 is to not fall that far behind. At one point, I was about 20 posts behind on the blog. My goal is to keep things more up to date. Other months that stand out were April, when Jeff and I went on a big shopping spree in Boston for Record Store Day, and then August, when I got a few records and CDs for my birthday.

Here is a graph to show how 2010 compared to the last few years. Wow, my purchases have really picked up over the past couple of years.

I knew that 2010 was a good year for new Hardcore releases, but I didn't know just how strong it was until I started putting together my Top 10 lists. There were so many records that could have taken the number ten spot...Said and Done, Hands Tied, and the new Outlast all were contenders, but in the end I gave it to Fire & Ice. After picking up both Gods & Devils and Grim this past month, I can't stop listening to this band.

I still have a few 2010 Metal releases that I need to pick up on vinyl. Both the Ghost and Accept albums were nothing short of amazing, and a complete surprise for how much I enjoyed them. The year ended too quickly, and I was unable to pick up the vinyl for these incredible releases.

To wrap things up, I've managed to pull my Last 12 Months listening charts from to see what I spent most of my time listening to. It will be fun to look back at the end of 2011 and see how they compare.

Thanks to all of you who have followed along with my obsession and have left comments along the way. Let's see what 2011 has in store for my record collection.