Wednesday, May 30, 2012

American Wonderland

Around 1990, I was starting to get into Hardcore and I bought a 'zine called No Answers...issue number nine with the Judge interview. This 'zine was basically my introduction to Hardcore, and I ate up everything that Kent McClard wrote. I read and re-read each interview and record review over and over again. I was introduced to so many bands, and soon I was placing monthly record orders with Kent's distro. The doors had been opened, and I realized that there was more to Hardcore outside of Slapshot and Sick Of It All, and I devoured everything I could. In issue number 8 of No Answers, the American Standard album, Wonderland, received a positive review, and because of that, I needed to get my hands on a copy. I can't remember where I got it, but soon after seeing that review, I bought the CD.

While I loved the Wonderland LP, with all the new music that I had collected over the years, it kind of got buried and forgotten. Thanks to the Bad Trip 7 inch that I acquired recently, I was going through the 1989 playlist on my ipod to see what other great records were released that year...records that didn't necessarily fit the Hardcore mold...and I stumbled upon the album from American Standard. I fell in love with it again, and after giving it repeat listens, I decided to try and find a vinyl copy. A quick search of ebay revealed a copy with zero bids, and since I was the only one interested in it, I scored it for cheap.

Released on Power House Records, the label only had one other release...the Blood Days LP from Unity. It's a small, but pretty solid roster for a label.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Original Police & Thieves

Piece by piece, my Police & Thieves collection is slowly growing.

Three years ago, I picked up my first copy of the Police & Thieves debut 7 inch through a Youngblood package deal. There were a couple of different pressings, and the one included in the Youngblood package was with People's Soldier cover. Six years after it's initial release, I'm finally adding the original cover to my collection.

Strangely enough, the yellow vinyl is the most common pressing. 800 on yellow, and 200 on black. The quest continues...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Orchid Of Doom

In the early 2000's there was a screamo band out of Massachusetts called Orchid. They sucked. Man, I hate that style. Ten years later, San Francisco give us a Doom Metal band with the same name. Hell yeah, now that's more like it! Orchid released my favorite Metal record last year with Capricorn.

Originally, Capricorn was only released on CD. I felt like the only way to own this, the only way to do it justice, would be to wait for the vinyl pressing. Through Facebook, the band kept promising that the vinyl was coming. I just needed some patience. I waited it out, and as soon as the preorders went up at Nuclear Blast, I quickly ordered my copy. It was an overseas order, so I paid through the roof, but as far as I was concerned, the band was worth it. A couple weeks later, it was announced that the colored vinyl pressing was available through the record label, The Church Within. Goddamn it, I wasn't expecting a colored vinyl pressing and pulled the trigger too early. While I was tempted to order the colored vinyl as well, dropping another $80 for two records from overseas was not going to happen.

To say that Orchid were heavily influence by early Black Sabbath would be an understatement. Some of these riffs seem like they were lifted straight from those classic Sabbath 70's albums. Does it bother me? No. This album crushes.

The gatefold packaging is very well done. The whole thing looks amazing.

The status updates from the band on Facebook would occasionally mention a painting that someone in the band was doing for the vinyl release. It ended up making it into the Capricorn release as a poster. Pretty bad ass.

In addition to the vinyl release of Capricorn, The Church Within also pressed Orchid's 2009 EP on vinyl for the first time. Through The Devil's Doorway is another slice of pure 70's Doom. Fucking impressive.

Yeah, the packaging is cool as shit for this 12 inch EP as well. No paintings of boobs, but it still rules.

Ozzy reunion with Black Sabbath in 2012...who cares. Orchid will demolish anything that Sabbath will hope to produce this year.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Still A Champion

I'd heard rumors a while ago that Bridge Nine was going to press Champion's Promises Kept LP on vinyl again. While I already had 11 copies of this album on vinyl, I was pretty excited at the prospect of another pressing. Promises Kept was my starting point for collecting vinyl. Not just buying it, but COLLECTING it. It had been quite a few years since I'd really bought any vinyl, but I happened to pick up a copy of the LP at one of Champion's east coast was the clear blue pressing that the band was selling on tour. I remember looking at the vinyl after the show, and having that feeling I was holding something truly special. That moment breathed new life into my love of Hardcore, and at that moment I knew that I needed to become a record collector.

No matter how many times Bridge Nine presses this record, I'll be first in line to order a copy. When preorders went up, I quickly added the two copies that the label had available for the fourth gold and one clear colored vinyl. Yeah, there was also a "package deal" available that included both the Promises Kept and Time Slips Away LPs, and a poster. I could give a fuck about posters, so I passed it by. It wasn't until I saw Doug's post, that I realized that the package deal included a piece of vinyl that you couldn't order individually. It seems that Bridge Nine made this more difficult than it had to be, and now I'll have to make a special effort to pick up the last piece of the puzzle.

The gatefold packaging looks great. Bridge Nine lists that the jacket was printed with "metallic ink"...I'm not too sure what that means, but it does look pretty sweet.

In addition to the Promises Kept vinyl, Bridge Nine also made the Time Slips Away compilation available for the first time on vinyl. Sure I have multiple copies of Champion's first two 7 inches, I've got CD copies of each EP, plus the Time Slips Away CD and it's loaded to my ipod...still it feels good to have these songs combined and available as one vinyl LP. Of course I'm never happy, and I wish that they had fully completed the compilation of material and included the three songs from the split with Betrayed, and even thrown on the SSD cover of Glue.

I'm really impressed with how great this looks. From the album cover, to the colors chosen for the vinyl...Bridge Nine did an amazing job.

As typical with Bridge Nine, they haven't posted any pressing information for these records, so as of right now, the numbers for each is a mystery.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Waste In Space

Somehow I missed out on the colored vinyl for the last Municipal Waste LP, Massive Aggressive. I wasn't going to let that happen this year, and as soon as I saw that preorders were up for the new album, I was placing my order.

First off, the album cover for The Fatal Feast rules, okay? I love it. It's totally Metal and it's much better than the cover of their last album. The songs themselves are pretty times I hear some serious Nuclear Assault influence in the vocals...oh hey, look at that, John Connelly does guest vocals on the title track which you can check out here. The album is pretty solid...not as good as their previous stuff, but it's still some good Thrash.

The radioactive yellow vinyl just seems like a perfect fit for Municipal Waste. Lookin' good.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Truth Inside

A few months back, I wrote about a 7 inch compilation from Camp Records. At the time, I was a bit underwhelmed, but hopeful that the bands on the comp keep at it. One of those bands were Truth Inside, and they truly impressed me with their 7 inch on Bottled Up Records this year.

They recently posted the record release version of their 7 inch in their webstore. They had a few left over from the show, so they made them available to those that weren't able to attend. I love it when bands do this, and I jumped at the chance to grab one for Truth Inside.

The record release pressing is limited to 30.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bridge Nine Mystery Box 2012

The Bridge Nine Mystery Box. The possibility of getting a rare piece of vinyl, or getting a box full of shit that you could care less about. Each year Bridge Nine has upped the ante, and this year they had the hype machine running at full power. The label was posting pictures on Facebook of all the cool t-shirts, rare vinyl, and test pressings that were going to be included in some lucky Mystery was enough to make some kids order multiple boxes.

My box came up short on any rare items, but still, for $15 I'm not complaining. I'll wear the Soul Control shirt, and sell the CDs that I have no use for to my local record store.

Bridge Nine offers up three choices for the Mystery Box, and the only one that had any interest for me was the one for Cruel Hand. Three songs from last years Sound & Fury set, pressed to a 7 inch. Limited to 500.

The note included with the record mentions a new Cruel Hand LP later this year. Looking forward to it.

The only other thing of any interest from my Mystery Box was the second Bridge Nine pressing of the Antidote 7 inch.

1,000 pressed on clear vinyl.

Friday, May 18, 2012

It Goes On And On And On...

This week marks the two year anniversary for the passing of Ronnie James Dio. I never thought that I'd feel such loss over some musician that I've never even spoken to. Yet, as May 16th rolls around, I find myself paying tribute to the man by spending most of my day listening to the bands that he took center stage daily playlist becomes a celebration of Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio, and Heaven & Hell. Two years after his death, it still saddens me to think that we will never see another studio album from one of the all-time Heavy Metal greats.

Through his final band, Heaven & Hell (A.K.A. Black Sabbath), we do get one last live album...their set from Wacken in July of 2009. A few months later it was announced that Ronnie was battling stomach cancer. Even though reports of his condition were positive, with continued talk of more live shows and a new Dio album continuing the story of his Magica LP, the Wacken show would prove to be his last recorded performance.

The album captures the greatness of Dio, as well as the rest of the Black Sabbath guys. New songs like Bible Black and Fear, flow seamlessly with classics like Children of the Sea and Die Young. At 67, Ronnie James Dio still had the voice and the energy to give the fans what they came for...and the man sounds absolutely possessed as he growls "I say fuck off, I'm going to burn in Hell with you". 67 years old. Damn. The man still had so much more to give.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Children Of The Grave

Back when I was listening to a lot of Doom Metal and 70's Hard Rock like Blue Oyster Cult, I was hearing a bunch of hype for a band called Graveyard. I downloaded their two albums, but they didn't really jump out and grab me so I didn't really stick with them. Six months went by and I found myself down in Boston for the Ghost/Blood Ceremony show...I figured that I'll give Graveyard's Hisingen Blues album one last chance, so I queue it up in my ipod. Some albums you just need to be in the mood for, and that night I was blown away listening to it. I finally understood the hype, and I promised myself that the next day I'd track down the colored vinyl for this LP. The problem was, I was too late. Everywhere that I had seen the colored vinyl six months ago, were now all sold out.

Graveyard's self titled first album isn't as strong as Hisingen Blues, but it is still pretty solid. Since I couldn't find the album that I was looking for, I settle for the band's first one. I had to pick it up before that one sells out as well.

300 were pressed on orange vinyl by Nuclear Blast for the second pressing.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Buyer Beware

I've been having no luck with Back To Back Records. I missed the limited preorder vinyl for both Not Afraid and United Youth. They did a second pressing of the first Stick Together 7 inch, which sold out before I even realized that it existed. Then, most recently, I missed the colored vinyl for the new Beware record. The label is putting out records from today's best Straight Edge bands, but it is still a surprise at how fast this shit is selling out.

Beware released their demo last year on cassette. Because I can't be bothered with the cassette format, I only downloaded it. I listened to it a few times, but didn't really spend much time with it. That was obviously a big mistake, because their new 7 inch is good enough to possibly make my Top 5 list for the year. I'm getting some serious In My Eyes vibes from this record. If you haven't heard it, do yourself a favor and grab the download here.

300 pressed on black vinyl. How sweet is that Billingsgate long sleeve in the live picture?

While my luck with Back To Back has been pretty poor, I've fared much better with Control Records. This is another label that can't seem to do any wrong. Killer bands and quality records. The extra stickers from Control are a nice touch.

Control handled the Euro pressing of the Beware 7 inch, with red vinyl limited to 100.

300 pressed on black vinyl.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Devil Worship

Remember a few posts back, when I was talking about having no time to spend on Metal? Well, sometimes I have to make a move, or risk missing out as the limited colored vinyl sells out. It has happened a few times recently...I'd put off buying a Metal album, assuming that it would just be around for me to pick up when I was ready, and then I would see it start to show up as Out Of Stock in all the webstores and the price would jump on ebay.

So while I'm not listening to a ton of Metal right now, I still couldn't resist picking up Time To Repent from one of the new Doom revival bands, Devil. They play Doom Metal just as I like it...meaning that they keep things moving in the vein of Sabbath or Witchfinder General, but don't get bogged down in the sludge like Electric Wizard.

Nice gatefold packaging, with yellow vinyl for the second pressing.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Agnostic Front + Insted = The Alligators

Anything after One Voice starts to get into some sketchy territory for Agnostic Front. Sure I can hang with some of the punkier albums like Dead Yuppies, but that stuff rarely gets dusted off for a spin. When I heard that Roger was doing a band with three of the Insted guys, I was hopeful but still proceeded with a bit of caution.

I guess that Indecision released a couple 7 inches from The Alligators a few years ago, but I never bothered to check it out until Bridge Nine recently repressed them as an LP. Honestly, this is pretty good. Not as good as AF's 80's Hardcore output, but better than the late 90's punk stuff. Straight forward, quick songs that get to the point and then get out.

300 pressed on red and black splatter vinyl.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Some Bridge Nine Aggression

From 2005 to 2008, Rivalry Records was one of the top labels in hardcore. It was the home of some of the biggest bands of that time...Verse, The First Step, Go It Alone, and Betrayed all released albums through Rivalry. In 2008, after the release of the last Verse LP, Aggression, the label quietly faded away. With Verse back together and recording a new album, Bridge Nine took the opportunity to make Aggression available again on vinyl.

To be honest, Aggression wasn't even close to being my favorite Verse album...Rebuild and From Anger And Rage completely destroy this record...still, it isn't a bad album by any stretch. Bridge Nine reissued this record a few months back, but I've been hesitant to spend the money on an album I already me, I know how stupid that sounds coming from me. Hell, Aggression already had Rebuild beat 2 to 1 in my record collection, so I should have been investing the money elsewhere.

What sold me on it was the colored vinyl. Bridge Nine chose a unique pattern for the vinyl pressing, and I couldn't resist the temptation to own one. The orange and white, fried egg style, was the best of the three pressings, so I went with that one. Maybe someday I'll take the leap and pick up the white/black and white/grey pressings as well.

What provided the push to finally order that Verse record was that Bridge Nine was promising a "free Have Heart 7 inch" for anyone that placed an order over the weekend. They hyped it as one of the Mystery Box 7 inches that wasn't going to be ready in time, so they were offering it as a bonus. I figured that the time was right to order the Verse LP, so I jumped on it...excited to see what it could be. A few live recordings? Some studio cover songs? How cool would it be to get their covers of Reinforced and More Than Music finally on vinyl? Could not wait to discover what the surprise was.

Fuck me. Just before the package arrived, reports started to trickle in that the whole thing was a joke, and a cheap one at that. I felt like a fool, and a laugh was being had at my expense. Yes, I go retarded for Have Heart vinyl, but for someone to play off that to bump up their sales for the weekend felt wrong to me. What was supposed to be funny, felt like a school yard bully prank. "Ha ha ha...we sure fooled those Have Heart record collector nerds". Maybe Chris Wrenn will consider me to be one of those "wet blankets"...maybe I'm too serious to fully appreciate the joke, but in the end it felt like the B9 messageboard took over the record label for the day. The label that I used to love, and try to collect every vinyl pressing a few years ago, lost a bit of integrity.

In the end though, I'm not going to piss and moan too much. I'm not really out anything. I bought a record that I would have bought regardless, and I got a free Have Heart ruler. No real reason to get upset, right? So why do I still have a bit of a bad taste in my mouth over the whole thing?

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The Deal...Pay A Price

Every once in a while, Marcus will find himself stuck on the wrong side of the Atlantic with a U.S. seller that refuses to mail stuff overseas, or someone that insists on putting a high dollar amount on the customs form. That is where I step in and act as the middle man. The seller sends it to me, and then I pass it along to Marcus. Don't think that I do it out of the kindness of my heart. No, I expect that motherfucker to pay dearly.

This time around, he comes through nicely. You can't go wrong with Brotherhood.

320 on white vinyl for the third pressing. The funny thing is that this copy has a slight tint of blue to it...enough that Marcus almost kept this for himself as a variant to the white pressing that he has.

He even sent me a picture to show the difference between his copy and the one he got for me. Thanks for parting with it, dude. My Brotherhood collection is pretty lame, and needed a boost. Much appreciated.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

I Don't Care About You

Lately, I've had very little time for anything outside of Hardcore. More specifically, I haven't been able to get enough of those early 80's bands. I'm finding very little time for Metal and Hard Rock, which is now taking a backseat to bands like Black Flag, Circle Jerks, and Articles Of Faith. Since the early 80's are dominating my daily playlists, it only seemed fitting to hit up ebay for one of those classics that I've been missing from my collection.

Typically, I'm okay with second pressing or re-issues, and I could have easily gone to my local record store and picked up the 2007 re-issue of Fear's classic LP, The Record. That wasn't going to work for me this time around. For this record, I needed the original 1982 pressing on Slash Records. I checked the discogs page for Fear, found the info that I was looking for, and started my ebay search. $13 later, I had an original pressing coming my way.

Is this record offensive? My ultra-PC early 90's self would think so. Nowadays, I don't wind myself up so tight. The early 80's were a different time, and while it doesn't make homophobia okay, I can still recognize how great bands like Fear, The Meatmen, and Angry Samoans were. If you don't agree, you're probably from 'Frisco.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Give Me Boots Of Faith

I wasn't paying that close attention to Give when they released their second 7 inch, Boots of Faith, back in 2010. While I managed to correct this mistake for the three other 7 inches that were released over the next year or so, Boots of Faith was a hole that remained unfilled...until now.

600 were pressed on black vinyl for the first pressing, and 200 were pressed on black for the second pressing. I have no idea which pressing this is, or if there is any noticeable difference between the two.