Monday, April 30, 2012

The Blackest Breath

I had never heard of Black Breath back when their first LP, Heavy Breathing, was released back in 2010. By the time I figured out how great they were, I had missed the boat on the colored vinyl. I was not going to miss out this time around, and when I heard from Sandwell that a new album was available for pre-order through Southern Lord, I jumped on it.

Sentenced To Life isn't much of a deviation from Heavy Breathing, and that's okay with me. Black Breath keep raging with a full on Metal assault. Feast of the Damned, Forced Into Possession, Home of the Grave, Endless Metal are those song titles??!?!

The whole thing is topped off with an amazing looking album cover that has the look and feel of the mid-80's scene. I don't just really reminds me of the early Exciter records, and that's pretty cool in my book.

Red with black splatter vinyl for mailorder.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I've Got No Values

No Values are from Richmond VA, and have a couple members from Fire & Ice. Don't expect them to sound anything like FNI though, as No Values rip with a more early-80's L.A. punk rock style. In fact, they reinforce that vibe with the cover for their record. Everything about this record just seems to set them apart from the standard Reaper Records roster, and had me interested to check them out from the first time I saw their record.

Reaper Records was sold out of the red vinyl, and only had the second pressing on black in stock. I noticed that REVHQ had a colored vinyl pressing of the No Values 7 inch listed, so I ordered my copy through them.

496 on red for the first press.

While ordering the No Values record, I also decided to pick up another Black Flag 7 inch on colored vinyl. I had picked up TV Party a couple months ago on colored vinyl, and was looking to add to that collection. Fuck. Even though REV had it listed as colored vinyl, the copy they sent me was on black.

Oh well, still cool to finally have a copy in the collection.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Taking Offense

My Top 10 list from 2011 was pretty solid, but looking back at it now, I think that I'd have to find a way to include the Tables Will Turn LP from Take Offense.

I decided to check out Take Offense prior to going to see them play with Backtrack and Trapped Under Ice last November. I downloaded the album and was immediately impressed. The band has a strong influence from Join The Army-era Suicidal Tendencies mixed with a healthy dose of New York Hardcore. Damn, this record is so good.

700 were pressed on what Reaper calls purple and black marbled vinyl. I love those redish/purple streaks in there.

Earlier this year, Reaper Records put up pre-orders for the new Take Offense EP, Under The Same Shadow, and I didn't hesitate to order a copy. The EP picks up right where the LP left off, and the band keeps thrashin' that same Suicidal style. If you don't dig this then you must be trippin'...trip at the brain, you know what I'm sayin'.

The one-sided 12 inch format is still very strange to me. If the recording is too long for a 7 inch, why not use both sides of the 12 inch? Odd.

Surprisingly the most limited pressing of this EP was on black vinyl. 400 pressed. I feel like I'm going to have to pick those colored vinyl pressings soon.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I Have Faith

This one has been in my blog backlog for a few months. Honestly, I've been procrastinating on making this post, as I just don't really have anything exciting to say about it.

Faith are one of those classic DC Hardcore bands. For some reason I never really took the time to check out most of those early Dischord bands until the last few years. In fact the first time I really heard Faith was through a couple cover songs...M.O.D. doing Confusion/You're X'd back in '87, and then In My Eyes doing What's Wrong With Me. After hearing In My Eyes cover the band, I figured that maybe it was time to finally check them out.

This LP is another one of the Dischord re-issues, as they package the Subject To Change EP along with the band's '81 demo.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Record Store Day 2012

After getting home at 1:00 in the morning from the Ceremony show on Saturday, I was up early on Saturday for Record Store Day. While I was looking forward to the day, I really hadn't put in a whole lot of research into what was being released. I knew Revelation and Victory were releasing some stuff for RSD, but for the most part, I just planned on getting to the store and seeing what was available.

By the end of the day, I managed to pull in a pretty good haul, and got my hands on everything I wanted.

Let's kick things off with the vinyl that was at the top of my Record Store Day want list...the "Big Four" from REV. Since I didn't have any of these releases on colored vinyl, I was excited for the choices REV made this year.

When Farside's second LP, Rigged was released back in 1994, I was still occasionally buying vinyl, so I do have the original pressing on black vinyl. I was not a collector, however, and I wasn't even aware of the concept of limited colored vinyl. It was foreign to me. I had my copy that I picked up at Newbury Comics, and that was good enough for me. How times have changed. I was pretty happy to finally pick up a copy on colored vinyl.

Also released in 1994, we have Sense Field's Killed For Less LP. This album has a lot of sentimental value for me, as I clearly remember listening to this CD in my car as my wife and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary along the coast of Maine. Lyrics like "in a town by the ocean, shall we pass another year", they bring me back to that time and those memories from almost 18 years ago.

Into Another were a strange band, and one that I still struggle to fully appreciate. I remember when this was released...dudes from Underdog and Bold, the guitar player from Whiplash...fuck yeah! I dropped the arm of my turntable and as Underlord kicked in, I thought it sounded a lot like Ozzy. What the fuck?! I tried to get into the album, but after a while I just gave up and shelved it. 20 years later I find myself pretty excited to pick up a colored vinyl copy of this LP, because these days, I can truly appreciate how good this first album is.

The re-issue of Ignite's Call On My Brothers is an odd fit with the other three releases. A repress of Texas Is The Reason or even Shades Apart would seem to be a better fit, but this is my favorite Ignite release, so I'm not complaining. I still get chills listening to Ash Return.

I'm a huge fanboy for Ronnie James Dio, so of course I had the new picture disk release for Rainbow's Long Live Rock N Roll on my want list for the day. By far, this was the most expensive item that I purchased for Record Store Day. $30 for a picture disc seemed pretty steep. Since I already own the original vinyl release, and the Back On Black colored vinyl re-issue, I experienced some inner conflict as to why I needed to spend my money on this. Yeah, the fanboy won the argument, and I ended up with another copy for the collection. Don't ask me to justify it, because I can't.

Yeah, it is limited and shit.

Rhino repressed Walk Among Us by The Misfits...again. It has been a few years since their 180 gram vinyl pressing, so I guess it was time to cash in again...this time with four different pressings of colored vinyl. While I love the band, I don't really collect Misfits vinyl. Still I couldn't resist the urge, and I grabbed two copies.

I typically take the plastic wrap off the albums I purchase, but I kind of want to keep the silver Record Store Day stamp.

I had ended up with two blue copies, but my friend, Rob, was nice enough to trade his red copy for one of my blues.

Maybe it was an attempt to apologize for Lulu, but at the end of last year, Metallica released four songs that ended up on the cutting room floor from the Death Magnetic sessions. They were originally released as an exclusive download through itunes, but Record Store Day is a pretty good occassion to deliver a vinyl release. The songs themselves aren't as strong as anything off Death Magnetic, and I can see why they were originally cut. Still as some bonus Metallica material, it isn't terrible.

I think this was Victory's first year doing special releases for Record Store Day. I don't care for some of the stuff they released, but they did make a few great choices.

You couldn't be a part of the Hardcore scene in the mid-90's without liking Snapcase. Seriously, I think it was a rule. Snapcase set the foundation down with great releases like Lookinglasself and Steps, but they hit their peak with 1997's Progression Through Unlearning. Damn, that crazy guitar riff/into to Zombie Perscription encapsules everything that was great about this era of Hardcore.

One of the few records that I bought on Record Store Day that I'd never heard before was the 7 inch from Blood For Blood. I don't think it is as good as Outlaw Anthems or Living In Exile, but these three songs are solid and much better then I would have guessed them to be.

The RSD pressing of the Cause For Alarm 7 inch was the first time that I've bought this record. For some reason, I never even bothered to pick this up when Victory re-issued it back in 1994. Great record, and I'm glad that I finally have a copy in my collection.

Sure, I'm a big nerd, but I like the added touch of the Record Store Day stickers that Victory used on their releases.

Another record that I've never owned a copy of, until Record Store Day, was Poison Idea's Pick Your King. I've never really spent a lot of time with this band, but I am enjoying listening to this 7 inch. Thirteen songs in about twelve and half minutes. Ripping.

The cool touch about this re-issue was the additional note on the inside sleeve that announces that this was a RSD release.

A couple of my favorite things from The White Stripes...the non-album song Hand Springs, and Meg White's boobs. After this was sold out at the first store I went to, I was glad to find a copy at the next store I visited.

The one non-Record Store Day vinyl that I picked up was the Artifitial Peace LP from Dischord. Another classic from that early 80's DC scene.

That's it for my Record Store Day haul. Pretty good day overall, with some very solid re-issues. I'm broke and happy.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Ceremony Zoo

Each time Ceremony releases a new album, I always have the same reaction..."Yeah, it's okay, but not nearly as good as their last one". I'm always slow to warm up to their new stuff, but as the months progress, I enjoy them more and more until I'm claiming that the new record is my favorite Ceremony album.

Time will tell if that is the case with the newest Ceremony album, Zoo. Word on the street was that the band was moving away from their Hardcore roots completely, and going in a more early 80's punk direction. After hearing their 6 Cover Songs EP, I was really looking forward to what they would deliver with Zoo. After listening to Zoo for a few weeks, I find myself in the same place...thinking that the new album falls a little flat. Sure there are some really great songs on the new LP, but there are also a few that just drag the whole thing down. By the time the album has finished playing, I have no desire to immediately give it another spin.

I was originally under the impression that Matador Records had only pressed this on clear and black vinyl. Of course the clear vinyl sold out quickly, so I figured that I'd just pick up a copy surprise that I ended up with black vinyl. I've since learned that they also pressed Zoo on green as well as blue vinyl. Oh well, I don't feel the need to get multiple copies of this one, so black will have to do.

Now, I had never seen Ceremony live. Over the years, I've heard all kinds of hype around their live shows, so when I heard that Night Birds and Sweet Jesus were playing with Ceremony in Boston on 4/20, I figured that I'd check it out. Believe me when I say that Ceremony lived up to the hype. You know how some bands will play a song and kids will pile onto the stage and go nuts? Ceremony's set was like that from the opening of Hysteria, through the end of the show with Kersed. The singer stood directly in front of the drum kit, and he just got pummeled by kids all night. It was intense. I left that show with a deeper appreciation of the band, and I'm looking forward to giving Zoo another spin.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sticking Together

This will be one of the best records released this year. Fact.

Stick Together released one of my favorite records last year with No More Games, and they are back doing what they do best in 2012 with their follow up, Surviving The Times. Straight Edge Hardcore played with conviction and passion. Drugs Suck.

Control Records handled the Euro press for this record. Each Control release is extremely limited, and of the highest quality. Their pressing of Surviving The Times is no different. As a bonus, the Contol pressing arrived on my doorstep about three weeks before the US pressing that Triple B did. Control Records can not be beat!

100 pressed on colored vinyl for pre-orders.

300 pressed on black vinyl.

Lyrics and photos posted on the inside of the bi-fold cover.

I love all the differences between the US and Euro pressings. Triple B opted for a different photo on the cover, and went with red instead of blue lettering.

Somehow I missed the announcement that pre-orders were up at the Triple B store, and I ended up placing my order a week or two late. It was no surprise that I missed out on the limited red vinyl. Fuck. 406 pressed on clear vinyl with grey swirl. Man, this vinyl looks good.

Different font, a full color photo for the back, plus the B-side labels are different for the Triple B pressing. 924 pressed on black.

The final difference is that the Triple B pressing uses a tri-fold cover with, of course, a different layout. Control or Triple doesn't matter...they both look great.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


When I picked up one of those Bad Trip 7 inches that I wrote about a few posts back, I did a quick search of what else the seller had available. There was a copy of the CAMPAIgN 7 inch with a screen printed cover that caught my eye. I'd never seen one before, and for a little over $3.00 it was mine.

CAMPAIgN came together around 1992/ the height of the Ebullition style of Hardcore. While I kind of grew up in this era of Hardcore, these days, I tend to talk shit on the music from those days. It was frustrating trying to live up to a perfect standard of what some people felt Punk Rock should be. By 1995 everything was turning to shit...the music sucked, and everything was so serious all the time. I've got stacks of records from this period that I'll never listen to again. Then there are bands like CAMPAIgN...and while they certainly fit that ultra-serious vibe that was prevalent at the time, they also remind me that there were some amazing bands from those days.

This screened cover for the Numb 7 inch is for the second pressing.

Chris Jensen from Mountain Records includes a note, explaining why he did this pressing. The last sentence kills me.

"Anyone who would buy the second press just because it is slightly different than the first should consider donating to charity more often."

Jeez...always so serious about everything. Can't I just spend my money on something that I enjoy? Do I have to be uptight about the injustices and oppression of this world every second of every day? Can't I just relax? Damn.

For those of you that donate all your extra cash to charities, but want to see the two pressings side by side, here you go.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Remission Mission

I love Remission, but it took me a little while before I decided to try and collect all of their vinyl. Because I was a little slow out of the gate, I missed out on the white vinyl pressing of the Accept LP.

It's all good though, as I was able to grab a copy through eBay for roughly the same price that Amendment Records was selling them when the album was first released back in 2009.

210 pressed on white vinyl.

I do love pictures of collections of records. So with the addition of this white vinyl pressing, I decided to capture my Remission collection. Outside of a couple of test pressings (which I consider more of a bonus, rather than a requirement for full collections), I think I might have everything for this one.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Carry On With Red

No doubt about it, I was late to the record collecting game. Since starting this habit in 2005, it has been tough to maintain the balance between keeping up with new bands and trying to catch up with what I missed the first time around. A couple of things that have been on my virtual want list since the beginning have been Carry On and Youngblood vinyl.

Adding pieces has been slow going, but attempting to catch up for lost time is going to take some patience. Needless to say, I was pretty thrilled to pick up another piece of the puzzle recently.

Second pressing on red vinyl. Limited to 500.