Monday, April 29, 2013

Single Purson

Another 7 inch single from Rise Above...this time for the band Purson.

I remember Sandwell writing about this band a year ago, but I'd never heard of them at the time. Much to my surprise, their first 7 inch, Rocking Horse, sold out incredibly quick, and with Sandwell making comparisons to Blood Ceremony, I was disappointed to have missed out. To this day, I've still haven't heard this record. Thankfully, Rise Above pressed plenty of copies for Purson's new 7 inch single, Leaning On A Bear, so I'm not left having to pay out the ass on eBay for this one.

If this 7 inch is any indication, Purson's new LP, Circle and the Blue Door, is going to be amazing. A few years ago, I wouldn't have expected to like this brand of female-fronted occult rock...and I can see the style getting played out pretty quickly...but right now, I'm eating this shit up.

Sure the band look like total douchebags, but damn, their singer certainly has my attention.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Uncle Acid Rotten To The Core

Uncle Acid has a new album coming out soon, and in order to get everyone primed and ready, Rise Above released a 7 inch single for the song Poison Apple. We are seeing more and more of these singles, with the exclusive b-side track. While I like the thrill of the new stuff, I can't help but feel like I'm being taken advantage of when labels release these things. Oh well, I'm sure there are bigger wastes of money out there.

It's funny. When I first checked out Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats last year, I couldn't stand the name. Maybe it was the uptight Straight Edge side of me, but I hated that I liked this band so much. Now with this new single, the name on the cover has dropped The Deadbeats, and I find that it really takes a bit away from the whole dirty, fucked up and strange, drughead trip. And you know what? I miss it.

I don't know if it is the influence of the green apple on the cover, but man, the vocals on this thing have a serious John Lennon influence. Great stuff. Can't wait for the next bit of Mind Control.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Record Store Day 2013 - Part 2: The Used Shit

The very first Record Store Day, back in 2008, was held with very little fanfare. There were no RSD exclusive pressings. It was basically just a day to recognize those record stores that had made it through the tough digital download times, and were still standing. That first year, Jeff and I made a stop at Enterprise Records in downtown Portland. Enterprise specializes in used records and makes no fuss over Record Store Day. Tired of all the hype, it seemed fitting that for the 5th anniversary of Record Store Day, Jeff and I make the trip into Portland to visit Enterprise and dig through the dustbins for lost treasures. With the two of us the only customers in the store, and Seger's great Back In '72 album playing on the store's stereo, we rolled up our sleeves and starting flipping through the stacks of used vinyl.

I picked up some Judas Priest vinyl at Enterprise 5 years ago, so it seemed fitting that I fill some holes in my Priest record collection this Record Store Day. While the songs were writen at the same time as Turbo, Ram It Down showed the heavier, faster side of Priest. The band put away the hairspray and synths, and with Halford's opening scream, Ram It Down exlaims that Priest were back. Finding this album still sealed made it one of my favorite finds of the day.

While I was initially disappointed when Priest released Turbo, I still enjoy it. This album is full of memories from my 16 year old self...hanging out with friends and cruising out to the beach with this tape in the deck and turned up full blast. Perfect, cheesy Heavy Metal songs for the summer.

Here we, Stained Class is true Priest classic. This album must have melted faces all over the place when it dropped in '78. Seriously...good luck finding anything heavier than this from that time.

I was a casual Loudness fan back in the 80's. I do remember going to see them live during the summer of 1987. I don't really remember much about seeing their set, instead I held on to memories of my friend throwing ice cubes at the guitarist of TNT and hitting him in the face, and the group of us chanting "Slayer" during Stryper's set.

Thunder In The East is when Loudness finally made their mark in the U.S., and got me to pay attention. I've always intended on holding out and buying a Japanese pressing of this album, as it felt like something cool to do...but seeing this US pressing for $4 in the used bin while holding an armful of 80's Metal records...well, it was too much to resist.

John Bush had a couple of good albums with Anthrax, but Armored Saint is where he really shined. March Of The Saint was the band's full length debut, and one of my favorites.

On the more Punk side, I picked up the DMZ LP. Late 70's Punk with some raw surf guitar influence...this shit is unexpectedly good and hyper.

Throw in a book signing from John Densmore of The Doors, a few CDs, and the new Circle Jerks DVD, and I'd say I pulled in a pretty good haul for the day!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Record Store Day 2013 - Part 1: The New Shit

I know that everyone likes to take a piss all over Record Store Day. I can understand the hate. With record stores slowly vanishing from existence, the day was created to celebrate those that were still around, as well as increasing the visibility of vinyl as a valid format as more kids were going digital. Like all things that start off with the purest intention, there will always be someone out there looking to exploit it and make some money. Over the past five years, we've seen more and more usless Record Store Day exclusive re-issues (do we really need another Jimi Hendrix 7 inch?) and some of the prices are retarded ($14 for a 7 inch?)...and do I need to mention the douchebag flippers that only want the most rare releases so they can cash in on eBay? Still, I'm not going to let these things get me down. I still look forward to this day, even if it is an excuse to head out for a day of record shopping.

This year, my shopping list of RSD releases was pretty small. There were only a few that I cared about, and of those, I wouldn't have been too upset if I didn't get my hands on one. Still, Jeff and I were standing in line at 8:45 in the morning, waiting for the doors to open.

The first piece of vinyl that I grabbed was the picture disc for Dio. People seem to love the Magica album, and claim it as their favorite from Dio's later years. While I do like it, I always prefer Killing The Dragon or Master Of The Moon over this one.

I generally don't care about picture discs, but I still have a love affair with all things Dio, so I quickly grabbed the only copy in the store. In years past, these Dio/Rainbow picture discs sell for around $26, so I was surprised to see this one only at $17.

Another picture disc that I was hoping to find was the Testament 7 inch.

Nothing new and exciting here. Just covers of Iron Maiden and Scorpions that were included on thier Dark Roots Of Earth album from last year. Still it is a nice collectable.

Next up is the recent batch of repressings from Revelation Records. This year's list was kind of a let down, but I do love The Nerve Agents, so at least there was one to look forward to.

I wasn't really interested in the other two REV releases, the first Sense Field LP and the Slipknot 7 inch. I'd never really bothered with either one of these, and chose to continue to ignore the Sense Field LP. Slipknot on the other hand, I figured that I'd give them a shot.

I remember reading some comparisons to early Corrosion Of Conformity, and this Slipknot EP definitely has some of that Animosity sound to it. I'm glad to finally have given this one a chance.

Victory has also gotten into the Record Store Day game, and unlike REV, Victory is sticking to those classics that will sell. No Baby Gopal or Hi-Fi and the Roadburners shit...nope, we get the classic Snapcase EP, Steps. I do love some early Snapcase.

One of Victory's biggest bands has to be Earth Crisis. I can only hang with the band though the Destroy The Machines album, so I'm glad the label chose to stick with the early years and repress the Firestorm EP.

Once I had all my RSD purchases, I headed over to the regular vinyl section. I'd downloaded the new Saint Vitus album last year, but it really didn't do much for me. I'd given it a few spins, and as much as I wanted to like it, it just wasn't happening. A month or so ago, I was out for a 10 mile run, and one of the new songs popped up in my running mix. I couldn't tell who it was, but I was loving the heavy doom sound, and singers voice pushed to song to another level. When I got home, I scanned back over the songs that had played and was surprised to find that it was Saint Vitus. It finally clicked, and I was glad to find a copy on Record Store Day.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Action Is Boston

Back in January, Doug and I were exchanging emails on how we classify and define Metal genres like Doom and Stoner. During the email conversation, Doug mentioned the band Fu Manchu, and I said that I'd never heard them before. Honestly, I had no desire to check them out, and I was hoping that Doug would just drop it, but he wouldn't shut up about how great they were, and even sent me a youtube link for the song Hell On Wheels. It would have been rude to ignore, so I halfheartedly clicked the link. I planned on just humoring him by watching a minute of the video, and just replying that it wasn't my thing. Well, I was wrong. I watched the whole video, then watched it again...and even though she couldn't have cared less, I then played it for my wife. Yeah, I was impressed. Soon after, I had a heads up that Fu Manchu was going to be playing Boston, and they were going to be doing the entire The Action Is Go album, start to finish. I downloaded the album and set to work, hoping to convince Rob to join me for the trip to go see them live.

Monday, April 15th, a bomb went off at the Boston Marathon. A horrific event, and as the week went on, the bomber was still on the loose. When Thursday rolled around for the show, my wife was a bit nervous that I'd be headed into the city. "Calm down", I told her, "It's not like the city is under siege". I assured her that Rob and I would be fine, and we hit the road.

We got to Boston, grabbed some dinner, and headed to the club. I was looking forward to the Fu Manchu set, but I was not prepared for how great it was going to be. Some bands improve your view of them after you see them live, they are able to convey a level of intensity that you just can't get from listening to an album. While I was really digging what Fu Manchu had to offer on the albums that I'd heard, seeing them live put them on a whole other level.

The show was over about 11:45 that night, and I was home by 2:30 in the morning. Only four hours until it was time to get up for work. As I was heading to bed, I checked Facebook on my phone and discovered that there had been a shoot out between the police and the two suspects from the Boston Marathon bombing. It had started a couple of miles from where we had been, and the city was shutting down all transportation as the manhunt progressed. We'd gotten out of there just in time, and the next morning, I was greeted by my wife with "I told you so". That's okay. It was worth the trip.

The sixth and final pressing of The Action Is Go. Limited to 400 on a very nice looking splatter vinyl.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Step 2 Turnstile

As a testament to how I'm trying to cut back on some of my record spending, I delayed picking up the new Turnstile 7 inch. I wanted to pull the trigger as soon as pre-orders went up, but I forced myself to hold off a litle while. No surprise that I missed out on the more limited pressing on black vinyl.

First off let me say, holy fucking can one of the hottest bands in Hardcore right now, release a record with one of the worst covers that I've seen for a long time. Add in my my utter contempt for the use of numbers in place of words, and its a wonder that I even bothered with Step 2 Rhythm at all. Stupid record name and font, unimaginative cover...and don't get me started on the character dude on the back cover that looks like he has a vagina with a nice bush...Jesus Christ, if it wasn't for the strength of Pressure To Succeed, I wouldn't have given this record a second look.

But it is the music that matters, right? So if we look past the packaging, does this 7 inch stand up? At first I was a little skeptical. There are a few "singing" parts on this record that didn't sit very well at first...they didn't seem like they fit, and just felt awkward. But I found that this record settles into a groove after a few listens, and with each spin, I'm liking it more and more. Yeah, this is a worthy follow up to Turnstile's strong debut. Solid.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Atari 5.0

Back when I was looking for that "big purchase" last month, I stumbled upon an eBay lot of five Atari 7 inches. Since I only had one piece of Atari vinyl, and it wasn't listed in this lot, I figured that I'd make a run at it and try to score it for cheap. Yeah, $10 was too good a deal to walk away from.

The We'll Be Fighting record from Atari is pure mid to late 90's Youth Crew revival perfection. Such a great record. I'm glad to finally have a copy with the videogame cover. Man, how many hours did I burn with Pitfall on my Atari 2600? 500 pressed on black vinyl.

Included in this lot was a second We'll Be Fighting record. Another cover that I didn't have.

200 pressed on green vinyl with the green cover.

Included on the split with Carpenter Ant is the first song that Atari wrote, Joystick Fury. Meh, it's okay...and the Carpenter Ant side isn't going to see many spins either.

Atari's second 7 inch, Too Tired To Drive Home, isn't nearly as strong as their first. It is still pretty good, but doesn't have the same memorable hooks that grabbed with their first one. I'm glad to finally have a copy of this on vinyl.

Finally, we have Atari's Skate Tuff demo 7 inch. Amazing that they could have such a strong showing with We'll Be Fighting, and yet nothing else really grabs me...including their demo. It is all okay, but man, that first 7 inch was great. 702 pressed on black Vinyl

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Violent Reaction

It has taken a while for me to catch on to the hype around Violent Reaction. I vaguely remember Sandwell posting about them last year, but I didn't pay too close attention. I downloaded the band's demo, and maybe listened to it once or twice before moving on. It wasn't until Marcus posted about the band's 7 inch that I finally sat up and took notice.

I downloaded the songs from the new 7 inch, and this time there was no hesitation...the comparisons to Boston Strangler and that X-Claim style were spot on, and I was hooked.

While picking up the Think Twice test pressing, I noticed that Anger Battery had the Violent Reaction record in stock. It would be foolish of me to just order the one record from overseas, so I added the Violent Reaction 7 inch to the cart as well.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Let There Be Exodus

I've got no problem with Dukes-era Exodus. Hell, I love the band's last few albums. Now, don't get stupid on me...of course they aren't as good as the classics, and nothing is going to touch Baloff at the mic for Bonded By Blood. With that said, was there really a need to re-record the classic first album with Dukes on vocals? The obvious answer is "no". The band didn't need release Let There Be Blood, but they wanted to have some fun and do it anyway. It isn't going to replace Bonded By Blood, so who cares. Gary Holt is still playing some great Thrash, so if the man wants to revisit this classic, respect the man, and chill the fuck out.

Let There Be Blood was released in 2009, and it took me until 2013 to finally listen to it, so I obviously wasn't too interested in it. However, finding the vinyl on eBay for $10 was good enough for me. It is only going get a few listens, but for that price, it is more than welcome in my collection.

The best piece of this album is the Hell's Breath bonus track. Apparently this song was from the original 1983 rehearsals, and never properly recorded until now. Fuck, what a beast of a song! Love it.

Hand numbered and "limited" to 2,500.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Think Twice Test

Sometimes I'm easily influenced. On February 12th, I saw that Anger Battery put some test pressings up in their store. The label was looking for some extra cash to help fund future projects, and while I wanted to help out, I convinced myself to save my money and walk away.

On the 24th, Marcus posted about the two tests that he had bought.

By the 27th, I had placed my order for the one remaining test press that Anger Battery had available.

Yes, just seeing that Marcus picked up a couple of tests, was enough to break my will. Actually, I was pretty surprised that the label still had any of the test pressings available. I grabbed a couple copies of the Think Twice 7 inch last year...great I was happy to get the test pressing for this one as well. Thanks for the push, Marcus.

Number 3 of 13.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Rebirth Of Strife

Back in the 90's, I loved Strife. As the decade went on, they moved in a more Metal direction but still held on to that Hardcore foundation. From those first two 7 inches to Truth Through Defiance...I loved it. As we moved into the 2000's, members of the band broke edge and released a turd of an album with Anger Means. Over time, I cared less and less for this band. Occassionally, I'd spin the early stuff, but for the most part, the more metallic stuff was ignored and forgotten.

When I heard that Strife was releasing a new album last year, I really didn't give a shit. There was a ton of hype, and it seemed like kids everywhere were losing thier minds over this new record, but I still had zero interest in checking it out. What changed my mind was a review over at SWNK.

"The tuning is all wrong, it sounds like the fucking First Step or something."

"It sounds too much like a straight up hardcore band."

"I’m sure someone out there will try and quote the first xStrifex record flame still burns about now, but we all know it sucked."

Okay...fuck him. My knee jerk reaction was a sudden interest to check out this record.

The album itself is better than I expected, but in the end it is just okay. It does tend to lean more towards One Truth than In This Defiance, but no one is really going to confuse this with the greatness that was The First Step. It isn't terrible, but it also isn't something that I'm going to be reaching for very often. Oh, and the guest vocals from Biohazard, Ill Nino, and Terror is a big bucket of "who gives a fuck".

Friday, April 05, 2013

Clear Chain

I've got a long list of records that each year I tell myself that I'd like to pick up, and each year I hardly make a dent in that list. Being one of the best Hardcore bands of all time, Chain Of Strength is on that list. I own a few Chain records, but I've always wanted to add to that collection since I started this game in 2005. Why have I made zero progress since then? Well, collecting Chain records is no joke. There will be no $10 wins with this band. If you want to throw your hat in the ring, you need to make a serious commitment. I vowed that in 2013 I would get serious with a number of items that have been on my want list year after year. First we knocked off original pressings from Fear, Black Flag and Circle Jerks, and then the Spirit LP from Up Front. I was happy with each of those purchases, but they all pale in comparison to this one.

Shit got crazy last year with the Chain reunion. Suddenly, everyone and their mother was selling Chain vinyl on eBay. I didn't want to get sucked into the hysteria, so I sat back and watched from afar. It was tough to not get caught up in the excitement. I saw the band play one of their reunion sets in NYC, and thinking back now to those opening notes of Impact, with the crowd screaming along, "I can't believe another year's gone by, and still nothing, as if we don't even try..."...all those voices rising above the volume of the band...passionate to be heard...fuck...I still get goosebumps thinking about it. Amazing.

Last month, I had some extra cash in my savings account and was looking to put it towards something big...something substantial. When I found a few Chain Of Strength records on eBay that Six Feet Under was selling for Matt Pike, I knew it was time to quit fucking around. I had a few options, but was happy to seal the deal on the clear vinyl pressing of the second Chain 7 inch. 500 pressed for the third pressing.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Another Answer

Back in 2010, Doug posted on his blog that he owned 22 copies of the three records from The Answer. As I mentioned in my Circle Jerks post, I love crazy over the top goals, so I knew that I had to make a run at this one.

I haven't been too focused or determined in building my collection for The's just one of those things that I slowly chip away at. Sure I regret some eBay losses because I didn't bid high enough, but I've resigned myself to the fact that this collection will be a marathon and not a sprint.

I've been trying to avoid eBay recently, and keep my record spending under control, but curiousity got the best of me when Six Feet Under recently put up a ton of records on eBay. SFU listed a bunch of records from Matt Pike of Some Kind Of Hate, and once I saw a few records from The Answer in there, I knew that I would be placing bids before the auctions ended.

The only one that I walk away with, however, was this copy of You Had Your Chance on grey vinyl. Limited to 1,000. Six down, sixteen more to go.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Venom Die Hard

I've always been a big fan of music, but things went to the next level when I first bought AC/DC's For Those About To Rock LP in 1981/1982. This was my turning point. I was no longer a casual listener, recording my favorite songs from Casey Kasum's Top 40 radio show on the weekends. Music suddenly became was mine. My peers blindly devoured the hits that were force fed to them, while I was discovering songs like C.O.D. and Evil Walks...shit that they had no clue about. That was the start of my real love affair with music...over 30 years ago. I've listened to a lot of music over those years, and I still love a vast majority of everything that I've purchased during that time. However, with that overwhelming amount of music, sometimes bands can get overlooked, and as time goes on I can forget about how great they were.

Such was the case with Venom. Now I've been a big Venom fan since 1985 or '86, but I've largely ignored them the past 5 or so years. I've been listening to a lot of Metal this year and while I was going through my 1982 playlist, Venom's Black Metal album started playing. Holy fuck. This shit rules. I immediately headed to eBay to find some vinyl to help quiet the demons in my head, chanting "more records...hail Satan...more records".

Thankfully, the Metal Vinyl Gods could be appeased with a nice, inexpensive 12 inch single. While this purchase temporarily calmed my lust, listening to these three songs this evening, I can feel the hunger once again beginning to grow. I'll need to feed again soon.