Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bringin' It Down With Outlast

I've kind of gotten away from it lately, but I've made a commitment to add to my Have Heart collection for 2013. I thought that the year was going to get off to a great start when Jeff from Bottled Up posted a ton of vinyl on ebay. There were tons of vinyl from his pressing of the Have Heart demo, plus lots of other Bottled Up rarities. In the past, I've seen those ridiculously limited transition pressings go for a reasonable amount of money (between $30 to $40), but just because I had my eye on them this time, the price quickly rose, and I got the fuck out. I just didn't have the cash to get into a bidding war, so instead, I concentrated more on the Outlast records that Jeff had available.

Outlast are one of today's best Edge bands, so I couldn't have been more happy to add a couple more records to the collection. First up is the special release they had made for the Edge Day show in Philly last year. Honestly, this has to be one of the best rip off covers that I've ever seen. Bringin' It Down!

Everything about this Edge Day release is perfect. The photoshopped cover...the use of color for the back panel...even the selection of using green vinyl. Excellent job. Limited to 100.

I'm not usually too bothered with transition pressings, but Bottled Up likes to do individual special covers for each different transition, so of course I'm sucked in to wanting them.

Green and white transition press out of 9.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Angel Witch 'As Above, So Below'

I was pretty skeptical when I first heard that Rise Above was going to be releasing a brand new Angel Witch album last year. While the debut Angel Witch album is pure NWOBHM brilliance, and an absolute classic, I had doubts that the lone original member would be able to capture that same magic 30 years later. My expectations were set pretty low, but with Rise Above mentioning the new LP, As Above, So Below, contained some unreleased songs from the bands early days, I figured that it might be worth checking out.

Because I was skeptical, I made sure that I downloaded the album before I ordered a copy from Rise Above. Like many of the new Metal releases that I listened to at the beginning of 2012, I really wasn't feeling it. The songs stuck around on my ipod, but rarely got any playing time as I would listen to the album about once a month. I may have even come close to just deleting it a few times, but I just couldn't give up on it that easily.

By the time December came around, and I was listening to all the new music I'd picked up over the past year in preparation of my annual recap, it suddenly clicked with me. Hey, this is actually a pretty solid Metal album. No, this doesn't exactly make you feel like it is 1980 again, but man, some of those riffs are sure to get you thinking about dusting off your denim jacket and banging your head. As Above, So Below is welcome return for Angel Witch.

1,000 pressed on red vinyl.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Stone Axe II

Nothing gets my attention faster than the threat of a record selling out and going out of print. Such was the case with the Stone Axe II album.

Stone Axe play a great style of 70's Hard Rock...at times reminding me of Thin Lizzy, and other times sounding like a long lost AC/DC song from the Bon Scott era. 70's rock gold.

I had been watching a copy of the Stone Axe II album on ebay for a while, but I'd been holding off on pulling the trigger. On a whim, I decided to look around and see if I could possibly find one at a lower price. Much to my surprise I found a clear vinyl pressing that not only came with a bonus 7 inch, but it was also limited to 100 copy. Okay, I'm interested. The site listed that they only had three left in stock. Okay, now I'm VERY interested. I'm still trying to curb my spending a little bit, but a week later when I saw the the number dropped to only two in stock. I couldn't resist the temptation any longer. It's better to regret something that you did do, than regret something you didn't do...and I did not want to be sitting here, months down the road, kicking myself for letting this slip away.

I really like the personal touch that All That Is Heavy took with my order. Seriously, the hand written note pretty much guaranteed that I'll be returning as a customer.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

More Fear, More Beer

One of the reasons that I am hesitant to sell or trade any of my music is because of Fear's More Beer album. You see, when I was 20 or so, I was an angry and uptight PC Straight Edge kid. The line in the sand had been drawn, and there was only black and white. When I was looking to clean out my CD collection in the early 90's, one of the first to go was the More Beer CD. I'd never really spent any time with it, and since I couldn't play it alongside my Chorus of Disapproval disc, I felt like I could let it go. Over 20 years later, after downloading it on a whim at the start of 2012, I fell in love with it and couldn't listen to it enough. I obviously needed another copy, so I figured that I'd go for the original vinyl pressing this time around.

For the next couple of weeks, I was all over ebay and popsike checking prices and activity. Finding a near mint copy, with the shrinkwrap, for $25 seemed like a no brainer to me, and I clicked the Buy It Now button. Mine. Damn, for a copy that is over 25 years old, this thing looks amazing.

Make no mistakes, this shit has it's sights set on offending everyone. The Mouth Don't Stop (The Trouble With Women Is), Strangulation, Bomb The Russians...ha ha ha...no surprise that my Ebullition obsessed self wasn't digging this back in the early 90's. While I still don't agree with the lyrical content, I'm not going to take this too seriously, because man, this album rages.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Losin' It In 2013

I loved the Danger Zone 7 inch that Losin' It released last year. Man, that record was a blast, and I listened to it a ton. Therefore, even though money was a bit tight at the end of 2012, I still couldn't resist jumping on the pre-order package deal from Life To Live.

My pre-order copy came with this weird "guy on a tricycle" insert...numbered 2 out of 5. I'm not sure what the purpose of this insert is. Strange.

The album itself is great, and is a nice extension of their first 7 inch, and still maintains that fun Lockin' Out/Mental vibe.

100 on pink/purple swirl. 50 of them numbered for pre-orders.

175 on pink.

As much as I like this record, I've got to say that the packaging on this sucks. The layout and design are cool, but a bi-fold cardstock cover is a cheap way of packaging an LP. If you are going to release a full length album, you've really got to use an LP jacket. This bi-fold sleeve really distracts from how good this is.

225 on blue.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Graveyard Bi-Colored Blues

I'm incredibly slow when it comes to Graveyard. With each album, I initially meet it with a lukewarm reception, and find that months later I can't get enough of it. When I posted about Graveyard's new album, Lights Out, last month, I was finally starting to appreciate it...and now, I feel as though it should have easily been in my Top 10 list for the year.

I struggled to get into Graveyard's sophomore album, Hisingen Blues. In fact, there were probably times when I was close to just deleting the album from my ipod. However, last January I decided to give the album one last chance while on my drive to Boston to see Ghost and Blood Ceremony. Suddenly, it all came together, and I was blown away how great this album was. I got home and the next day started checking around for a vinyl copy to buy...but the album seemed to be sold out everywhere I looked. At some point over the year, the album was repressed on vinyl...but I was confident that it would be available whenever I wanted it, so I put off buying it. When I finally settled on picking up a copy, once again, I found that the normal distributors I used were sold out. Desperate, I committed to buying the next copy that I found, and when it was repressed again, I no longer hesitated.

I'm glad to finally have a copy.

500 pressed on bi-colored vinyl.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Rollins Demo Days

Last year I listened to a lot of Black Flag and early 90's Hardcore. It was only a matter of time before Rollins Band was going to get some playing time. Honestly, it had been ages since I'd given the Life Time and Hard Volume albums a spin. I had pretty much written off any post-Flag Rollins stuff over the past 15+ years, but hearing these albums again...I was surprised at how much I was digging them.

One of the albums that I never really spent any time with was Rollins' 1992 release The End of Silence. I had a copy of this on cassette when it was released, which I received as a free giveaway from a local college radio station...but I never really spent much time with it. Listening to it these days, I love it, and think that it fits in perfect with Life Time and Hard Volume.

In December, I saw that Rollins was releasing the demos from the End of Silence recording sessions on vinyl. I managed to hold off for about a week, before I couldn't resist the temptation and placed my order. Shipping was ridiculous from his 2.13.61 store, but I was riding such a Rollins rush, I threw caution to the wind and ordered it anyway.

Limited to 450 pressed on colored vinyl.

Henry does appreciate vinyl, and comments as such on the liner notes for the 2012 release.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Fired Up And In The Red

The last few months of 2012 were eye opening in regards to how much money I'd spent on records. When I saw the impact of my spending sprees, I quickly hit the brakes. Still...I figured that I could spring for one more Rain On The Parade record to close out the year.

2012 was a strong year for my ROTP collection, and I was able to pick up a few heavy hitters. While not on the same scale as some of those purchases, I was still pretty happy to find a copy of the Fired Up 7 inch on colored vinyl.

320 pressed on red vinyl.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Better Times, Better Format

I won't buy tapes. Nope, I just won't do it. As much as I liked the Better Times 2011 demo, I wasn't going to buy the cassette release. If that was how they wanted to release it, I was satisfied with just the mp3s.

Thankfully, Press Gang eventually came through with a vinyl pressing.

The preorder version for this 7 inch comes wrapped with a nice looking rip off of SSD's The Kids Will Have Their Say. The Better Times demo has a song called The Kids Still Have Their Say, so the SSD album cover is a nice touch. Looking good.

Gold vinyl was limited to 75, with only 50 of them getting the preorder SSD rip off cover.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The One Thing That Still Holds...Rochambeau

In 2012, I bought 29 records that Revelation had released. Not one of them was a new recording. Wow. That label sure stays busy doing nothing. Here are the final two represses from last year.

Dude, it is Chain of Strength, and I will buy Chain represses all year long. I'll admit though, I need to focus on some original Chain vinyl. Hope to turn that around in 2013.

4th pressing on clear vinyl.

I was happy to see that REV was repressing Farside's first album, Rochambeau, on colored vinyl. I've never really given much thought to collecting Farside vinyl, but these represses may be the push that I need.

Second pressing on clear green vinyl.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Enough Euro Tour

If you haven't heard Common Visions from Enough, you are missing out. They don't seem to be a big name that people tend to throw around. They aren't on a big time label like Triple B or Back To Back. But after releasing a demo, two 7 inches, and then dropping an LP last year...why are you still not paying attention to this band?

Enough released their album through Assault Records last year, and followed it up with a European tour...and with a tour, you know that you've got to have a special tour pressing.

Another solid rip off design! With their last 7 inch, Enough gave a nod to Crippled Youth with their pre-order cover, so it is only fitting that they take on Bold's Speak Out cover for the LP.

Numbered and limited to 75.

When I pulled out the vinyl, it looked like there were bits of paper stuck to the record. I tried to wipe it off, but to my surprise the paper wasn't on the record, but actually IN the vinyl. It doesn't affect the play of the record, but it looks as though some scrap pieces of paper fell into the wax when the pressing plant was in the process of making the records.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Pink Hearts

There are a few things in this world that I can not resist. Have Heart reissues would be one of them. We are now up to 51 pieces of HH vinyl, and 7 copies of Songs To Scream At The Sun. It may sound ridiculous, but as we head into 2013, I hope to put forth some effort in obtaining a few more pieces for this collection.

This is the 5th pressing for this album. 1,000 on pink vinyl.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Give Me Twelve Inches

After feeling lukewarm to Give when their first 12 inch dropped in 2009, I've latched on to the band in a big way over the past year. My current collection of 19 pieces of vinyl is proof of that. While I'm still missing many of the limited covers for the 7 inches, I'm not going to miss out on any pre-orders for the band. When Assault Records announced the Singles Going Confetti collection LP, I jumped on it.

The record itself is just a compilation of their 7 inch songs, plus one unreleased song. Still I didn't hesitate to order, and I got in soon enough to score a copy with the limited cover.

I'm pretty sure that this was just for pre-orders, and not available on their Euro tour...or maybe it was available for both.

Yellow and black swirl vinyl was used with the limited cover pressing.

Limited to 110.

Assault also pressed this on yellow vinyl, out of 160. Man, everything about that record cover looks great...the layout...the use of color...it's a great look.

Black vinyl was limited to 260.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

2012 Recap

Everybody does it, why shouldn't I? 'Cause it's sick! Time for yet another End Of Year post. Let's kick this one off with some numbers on how much music I bought over this past year.

428 new records and CDs for 2012.

Holy shit. I bought a lot of music this past year. It is no exaggeration to say that shit got out of control. I would see something that I wanted, and just buy it with very little regard to how much I was spending each week. I was fucking dangerous. By the time October rolled around, I was starting to see the affect I was having on the savings account, and I applied the brakes.

I'm not going to deny it...2012 was a fucking blast when it came to record collecting. I was cranking out an average of 16 blog posts a month, and I still couldn't catch up with my backlog. Unfortunately I can't keep up that pace in buying new records, and my resolution is to enter the new year with a more conservative mindset on record spending.

With that said, let's take a look at my top 5 record purchases for the year.

1. In My Eyes 'Demo' with Lil Wayne cover - I had no idea that this existed, and when I first saw it listed on eBay, I was determined to win it at any cost.

2. Fire & Ice 'Not Of This Earth' test pressing - It is FNI. It is a test press. It has one of the coolest covers ever.

3. Mindset 'Time And Pressure' Celebrated Summer cover - The best Record Store Day release ever.

4. Rain On The Parade 'Full Speed Ahead' DC cover - I bought a bunch of ROTP vinyl this year. This one rules them all.

5. Reveal - 'Descent' yellow cover - You drink, you suck. I'm probably the only person to ever collect this band, and I don't care. Straight Edge.

2012 was huge for Hardcore. So much great new music. I had a hard time trying to narrow down the 49 new releases to only a Top 10 list.

The top 5 were relatively easy, but it was no easy choice deciding to cut Clear, OFF!, Crusades, and Losin' It.

The year didn't start out very impressive for Metal. For a few months there, I was starting to wonder if I was losing interest in the genre...and then along comes old school bands like Overkill, Testament, and Accept to remind me that there is still plenty of great Metal being played. By the end of 2012, I'm thinking that it was a much stronger year than the one before.

To end this post, we'll take a look at what I spent the most time listening to. No real surprises (with the exception of that Ceremony LP, which grew on me like crazy). If you've followed along this year, you are aware that I was obsessed with Justice, Bad Trip, Black Flag and Circle Jerks. Mix that in with some strong 2012 releases and you round out the bands that I listened to the most.

Thanks again for following along for another year. We won't top it in 2013, but I'm sure that it will stay interesting...as record collecting hasn't come close to boring me yet.