Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pusmort Paranoia

A couple weeks ago, I posted the results of my downtown shopping spree at Electric Buddahs. While I was in there I noticed that the store had a small New Wave/Punk section. For the most part, this section was heavy on the New Wave, and not stuff that I was interested in. However, this Attitude Adjustment record was hidden in there, and caught my eye. At the time, I was short on time and money, so I figured that I was safe leaving the record until my next visit...I mean what were the chances that someone else in Portland, Maine was going to stumble upon and be interested in this gem?

I'd been itching to get back to the stores, so after a week or so had passed, I'd convinced my friend Jeff to join me on another record shopping spree. First stop was to grab that Attitude Adjustment LP. There it was, right where I'd left it.

This is my first Pusmort Records purchase, and while I'd grown up with Pushead designed Metallica shirts and singles, it is pretty cool to see that lettering on the back of the album cover. Damn, these songs are so good. I'd never heard this album back in the day, and never really checked them out until a couple years ago, but this shit is reminiscent of stuff like Cryptic Slaughter, or early D.R.I.. Had I heard this back in '86/'87, there is no doubt that I would have eaten this shit up.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Beginners Guide To Suicide

Orange Goblin have a new album due out next week, so to prepare for it I figured that I'd post up this recent repress I received of Healing Through Fire.

Healing Through Fire was my introduction to Orange Goblin. Back in 2007/2008 I'd heard the band's name thrown around a bit, and since I was starting to get interested in checking out newer Metal bands, I gave them a shot with this album. Even after downloading it, I still managed to sleep on it for a couple more years. While I liked it at the time, I was more into the Thrash revival, and I didn't fully appreciate the more straight forward Heavy Metal/Doom style that Orange Goblin was doing at the time. By the time I finally got off my ass, and got around to buying a copy of the album, I took the cheap and convenient route, and went with the CD as it came with a bonus DVD containing a live show from London in 2006. I don't regret the purchase, but this 2014 reissue from Back On Black was a good reminder that I still needed to add the vinyl to my collection.

Such a great album, but then again, you really can't go wrong with any of the Orange Goblin stuff.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Conjuring The Black Code

When placed my first order from All That Is Heavy, at the beginning of 2013, I was put on their mailing list, and would receive occasional email with updates to their webstore. I would scour this list, looking for new Doom bands to check out. It seemed that with each email I received, I kept seeing this band named Wo Fat listed. I ignored them for months, but all the hype I had read was too much, and one hot and humid August day last summer, I finally caved in and grabbed a download to check them out.

I'd been consumed with my discovery of Fu Manchu all summer, and Wo Fat were like a darker, more doomy version of them. While Fu Manchu has a California sun and surf vibe going on, Wo Fat instead choose to lurk in the dark swamps of the south, and flirt with more sinister sounds. With that fuzzed out guitar tone and riffs, I was sold immediately.

When I finally started looking around for a copy of The Black Code this year, I found that it was a bit difficult to find a copy. As soon as All That Is Heavy came back from their long hiatus, I saw that they still had a few copies left in stock, so I quickly grabbed one.

Limited to 250 on gold vinyl.

After my trouble tracking down a copy of The Black Code, I didn't want to end up in the same position with their new album, The Conjuring, and I ordered a copy as soon as I saw that Small Stone was taking pre-orders. After waiting a month or so, I checked in with the label, and it seems as though the pressing plant broke the b-side stamper, and then when they went to make a new one, they ended up welding the plates together...therefore they had to completely re-cut the plates. If that wasn't bad enough, a month later, the Small Stone offices were flooded. With this streak of bad luck, it was no surprise that things were delayed...and when the record landed in my mailbox this month, I let out a sigh of relief.

The art for this may possibly be the best looking album cover released this year. Damn, this shit is so good, and with the song Dreamwalker clocking in over 17 minutes, complete with a stoner jam, I'm pretty sure that I walked away from this record with a contact high after my first listen. This doesn't count as an edge break, does it?

250 on transparent red vinyl.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Four years ago, Accept was revived from the dead with a brand new singer. I would have thought that Udo was irreplaceable, but goddamn, when Blood Of The Nations was released in 2010, it shocked the hell out of me, and made it near the top of my Best Of list for the year. Same thing with the Stalingrad album two years later. Man, Accept were on fire!

For the the two new reunion albums, I opted for the cheap and convenient format and bought the CD. With the new release of Blind Rage on the way, I wasn't going to make the same mistake again. This time it had to be vinyl.

With the release of the first single, Stampede, I was psyched. The song is full on attack mode...fast, furious and heavy...and I eagerly awaited the release of the album. Unfortunately, compared to Blood Of The Nations and Stalingrad...as well as the Stampede single...the album falls a bit short for me. It is still good, but there are a string of slower songs that kind of bring the whole thing down a bit. Not bad by any means, but not as good as I'd hoped.

Limited to 300 on yellow vinyl for the US pressing.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I've Got No Social Skills

A few years ago...actually, make that six (what?!!?)...I stumbled upon the Never Ending Game blog that Lins was doing at the time. As soon as I'd discovered it, I sat there an read through ever single post that he'd done. A couple of his posts covered Never Ending Game, and since I'd never heard of them, I figured that I'd give them a shot. Given the track record of what Lins was posting, it was no surprise that I found Citizen Patrol to be pretty fucking good. Raw and raging early 80's inspired Hardcore.

At some point, a couple of years ago, I discovered that the band had recently released an album. I'd been meaning to pick it up at some point, but time and time again, I kept putting it off...instead choosing to chase a more immediate obsession. When I was killing time on eBay recently, I found a copy of the album listed with a Buy It Now option for under $5.00. Are you kidding me? What is this...Ebullition mailorder in 1993? You can't say no to a $5.00 album...I'm pretty sure that it is a rule.

Citizens Patrol do not mix things up with this newest (2011!) release, and keep that thrashing hardcore vibe going. Damn, I love this style.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Overkill Armory

I'm a huge fan of Overkill. I've loved them since 1987, when I first heard Taking Over...plus their last three albums, Immortalis, Ironbound, and The Electric Age, have all been solid gold. Once pre-orders were announced over at Nuclear Blast for the band's newest album, White Devil Armory, I jumped in and placed my order.

Some time later, when release day rolled around, I was still sitting here waiting for my vinyl to arrive. Weeks pass without my record arriving in the mail, but I figure that it was just your typical delay with vinyl pressing plants. I'm patient, so I don't mind waiting. A few more weeks pass, and now I'm starting to get a little anxious. I know that this shit happens all the time with smaller Hardcore labels, but I wouldn't expect this from a big time label like Nuclear Blast. Out of curiosity, I start scanning through my paypal emails, looking to see when I might have placed the order. I'm stumped. I can't find my email receipt anywhere.

Turns out, I apparently hadn't ordered it as I'd thought. I clearly remember looking at it in the Nuclear Blast store, but I must not have pulled the trigger at that time. Damn. Am I buying that many records, that I can't keep straight what I've ordered and what I haven't? Hashtag record collector problems.

Heading back to the store, the original press on clear vinyl with green splatter had sold out, leaving me with only a black vinyl option. I suppose that I could have hunted down more limited color vinyl options by buying overseas, but, black vinyl works just fine.

The album itself is good. It sounds like an Overkill record, but the first couple of listens left me a little underwhelmed, and didn't seem as strong as the previous albums. I've listened to it a few times since I've received it, and it has grown on me, and I'm enjoying it more and more, as I become more familiar with the songs. Incredible to think that it has been 31 years since Overkill's first demo tape, and with 17 studio albums under their belts, they still keep thrashing out strong material.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Absolutes | A New England Hardcore Comp

Another 7 inch compilation. You know I'm not a fan of these things, right? In this internet day and age, do we still need 7 inch comps to introduce us to new bands? I don't really think so, but still, this New England hardcore comp opened my eyes to a couple of bands...and I live in New England, so I guess it did it's job.

The biggest selling point for me on this comp was Sweet Jesus. They are one of Pat Flynn's many bands...the guitarist also plays in Dropdead, which makes for an interesting combination. Sweet Jesus, however, play in a style that in a similar vein as Swiz, so yeah, it is pretty fucking cool.

Death Injection deliver again with some angry Straight Edge Hardcore, but Straight Razor brought a nice surprise. They are another Brendan Radigan (Rival Mob/Magic Circle/Stone Dagger/Battle Ruins) band, and they deliver some solid Hardcore. While I'm not a big fan of Test Of Time, the song here isn't too bad...on the other hand, I have no issue skipping the Holy Hands track every time through.

There were 100 pressed on white vinyl, but according to the note from the label, they came out as pink instead. That's cool. I'll take pink over white vinyl any day.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

70's Rock & Roll Machines

Part three in my record shopping spending spree while killing time downtown in between work meetings. The lesson here is that I'm dangerous with a combination of free time and record stores.

After picking up a couple records at Bull Moose, I figured that I'd head up to Strange Maine to check their used record bins. Every once in a while, you can find some hidden gems in this store, but this trip was a bust, and I walked out of there empty handed. Oh well, no big deal, it was getting late, and it was time for me to head back to meet my clients, as we were going to be hopping onto a ferry and taking a trip over to one of the islands for dinner. I started walking back to the ferry terminal when I noticed a sign on the sidewalk, advertising used vinyl. It was a tiny hole in the wall place called Electric Buddahs, and I wasn't expecting much, and figured that I had 5 minutes to spare, so what harm was there in stopping? To my surprise they had a small, but great selection of old Rock records, and with little time to spare, I grabbed a handful of 70's classic rock, and quickly ran for the boat.

Before releasing some classic early 80's Metal under the shortened name of Y&T, the band released two albums in the late 70's as Yesterday & Today. I'd never really paid the band much attention as a kid. Sure I had a cassette copy of their 1985 live show in San Francisco that I recorded with my tape deck from MTV, and I played that thing to death...but outside of that live recording, I never bothered buying any of their albums. Those early teen years saw my musical tastes grow and change at a rapid pace, and while I'd spent the summer of '85 with that live cassette, soon after I was moving on to bands that were heavier and faster. Y&T were soon forgotten. Thanks to the power of the internet and stolen downloads, I've rediscovered the band. I loved the band's second album, Struck Down, when I heard it four or five years ago, and when I found a copy at Electric Buddahs, I was very happy to finally buy a copy.

Like most bands that started in the 70's, I've spent most of my life generally ignoring or downright despising them based on their 80's output. Triumph were one of those bands. I knew the name, but growing up, they weren't nearly heavy enough for my tastes, so they were ignored. After reading Martin Popoff's Ye Olde Metal: 1977 book, and the chapter on Triumph's Rock & Roll Machine, I figured that I'd give the album a shot. Since I'm writing about the album here, it is obvious that I loved it. Unfortunately, Triumph liked to make things confusing, and they released two albums with the name Rock & Roll Machine...the original 1977 album, and then a compilation released in 1980 that contained songs from their first two records (not to mention a later pressing of the comp with a different album cover). In my confusion, I bought the comp. Oh well, the songs are still great, and the record cover is full of late 70's awesomeness.

Gold promo stamp on the back.

Again Martin Popoff is to blame for my introduction to Bad Company. I'd never paid them any attention, but in reading the Ye Olde Metal: 1979 book, with an interview that referred to them as just a simple blues based rock band...that was all I needed to hear, and I was off downloading their Desolation Angels album from that year. Like Triumph, I was surprised by how much I liked it...hell, even their Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy song was sounding great. Maybe it is a nostalgia kick, as these songs were all over the radio as I was a kid, but I'm loving this 70's shit right now. Buying this vinyl was a no brainer to me when I saw it.

While I was holding the copy of Desolation Angels, I noticed that there were a few other Bad Company records available as well. I remembered a conversation that I'd had with my friend Jeff, a few months earlier, about Bad Company, where he told me that if I liked Desolation Angels, I really needed to check out Bad Company's second album, Straight Shooter. I hadn't heard the album yet, but figured that I'd take the chance. More solid rock from the 70's. Right on.

Okay...I didn't pick up this Blackfoot album during this 70's shopping spree at Electric Buddahs, but it fits the theme for the post so here it is. Jeff ended up giving me this copy of Marauder as he had an extra copy. While it was actually released in 1981, this album screams 70's rock. Very much in the southern rock vein, with a healthy dose of Ted Nugent thrown in, this band is pretty solid. I wasn't thrilled with the promo saw cut, or the price sticker on the front of the album, but hey, it was free, so I'll rock it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

White People and the Damage Done

Another vinyl purchase from when I was out, killing time between work obligations. After flipping through the Metal section at Bull Moose Music, I figured that I'd check the clearance bin before I was done. I was surprised to see last year's release from Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, White People and the Damage Done, with a 25% Off sticker on it.

While I liked the first album Jello and the GSOM did back in 2009, the reality was that I haven't listened to it more than 10 times since I bought it. Did I really need another album from them? Maybe not, but for $10, I was willing to take the chance.

I'm a huge Dead Kennedys fan, and I am under no illusion that what Jello is involved in today is going to rival that DK stuff. Still, this album seems to have caught me in the right mood, because I'm really enjoying this...maybe comparable to his collaboration with Nomeansno.

Of course it wouldn't be a Jello record if it didn't include a giant poster with off the wall and ridiculous headlines and photos.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Ascending To Saturn

Rise Above has such a great track record. When they sign a new band, I immediately sit up and take notice. I'd never heard of Saturn before, but with Rise Above putting them on my radar, I knew I had to check them out.

After watching the preview video for the song So, You Have Chosen Death, I was hooked. Classic traditional Metal. I managed to find a download for the album, but unfortunately, my initial reaction was that the rest of the songs failed to meet the expectations that were set. Since the Diehard pressing from Rise Above was only offering a bonus patch and poster, I decided that this time around I'd pass on the more limited pressing. I figured that I'd try and save some money, with hopes of picking it up locally, instead of placing an overseas order.

Sometimes, when I want to try and break in an album, I'll throw it onto my iPod playlist I use when I go running, and take it one song at a time as they pop up in my shuffle mix. This was my thought process when I added Saturn to the playlist. Right now, my running playlist is full of current day Metal and Rock stuff...Stone Axe, Mos Generator, plus Rise Above stuff like Age of Taurus, Witchcraft, and Blood Ceremony...and I also have a bunch of 70's stuff like Uriah Heep, Zeppelin, and Budgie. One night I was out putting on some miles, and a song came on...I had no idea what it was, or even which band was playing it. I didn't know what it was, but I was convinced that it had to be some obscure 70's band that I'd thrown into the mix. I got home and checked the playlist and was blown away to discover that it was Saturn. Goddamn! Suddenly it clicked, and I was loving it. I was digging what I'd heard, and played that album daily for the next week.

Last month, I had some clients in town for work, and in between meetings and activities, I found myself downtown with a couple of hours to kill. Time to hit some record stores, with my first stop being Bull Moose Music in Portland. As soon as I saw the vinyl for Saturn's Ascending LP, with the $16 price tag, I grabbed it. Figure that I probably saved $35 by waiting, and not buying from Rise Above overseas.

US pressing on purple vinyl is limited to 500.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Winds Of Friends Press

About a month ago, I got a note on Instagram from Marko (@MKJNS69). I don't know Marko, but he'd posted a picture of the blue obi strip pressing of the REACT! comp, Winds Of Change, and I commented that I needed one. Weeks had passed, and I was surprised to hear from him, giving me a heads up that one was available on discogs. Record collector brotherhood.

I jumped over to discogs to check it out, expecting that it would be listed with ridiculous price tag. Much to my surprise it was available for only $5.99. Even with my obsession in collecting Metal records, the price was too good to pass up, and I was glad to grab this copy.

The blue obi pressing was only made available to the bands, and was limited to 100. I'm not sure what the distribution was for these...did each band get 15, and REACT! got the remainder? I don't know. What I do know is that the different colored strip was a cool touch. So cool in fact, that this is the only comp in Hardcore history that I've bothered to collect all the different pressings of. REACT! Records for the win.

Since this blue obi pressing completes the set, it was obviously time to get a picture of them all.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Woman Crush Wednesday

Since signing up with an instagram account, I've noticed that occasionally people would post pictures tagged as #wcw. Because I'm old, I had to do a google search to find out what it meant. Well, with this new found knowledge, I figured that I'd post up my own Woman Crush Wednesday here on the blog.

While I've always preferred my musical tastes to be aggressive and filled with testosterone, I seem to have mellowed with age. Blood Ceremony, The Oath, and Purson have all found steady rotation in my playlist, and I'll even throw in the occasional spin of The Devil's Blood. While I really dig all of those bands, when I first heard of Blues Pills, I kind of rolled my eyes and blew them off. Really...I'm not interested in another female fronted rock band.

Since 2012, Blues Pills have released a 7 inch, and three 10 inch records...the last one being live. I'd ignored all of these, until the band was due to release their first full length LP this year. I was feeling in a generous mood one day, and figured that I'd check out some of their stuff on youtube to get a preview of what the band deliver. I started off with a live version of one of their earlier songs, Black Smoke. As soon as the guitarist starts the song off I was immediately hooked by those solid riffs and guitar tone...but once the singer, Elin, took the mic and started singing, I was smitten as a kitten.

I'm a sucker for a pretty girl, and with a strong and confident presence at the microphone, I'll be crushin' quickly. Blood Ceremony and Purson are perfect cases in point...and let's not leave out the blondes of The Oath...still, Elin has them all beat. Her eyes, her smile, the way she moved, how her voice would crack a little bit on some of those notes...sigh. I couldn't take my eyes off her while watching that one video. I was so entranced, that I replayed that entire song a few times in a row...and while I don't spend a lot of time on youtube watching live sets, I also ended up watching the entire live set from Blues Pills at the 2014 Rock Hard fest. It certainly helped that band played some great late 60's/early 70's influenced Rock, but I couldn't stop watching Elin.

Obviously I needed to order the new LP, and a quick visit to the Nuclear Blast US webstore solved that problem. Five of the songs have seen a release in one form or another, so really, only half of the album is new material. Still it is all good, as this is such a solid release. 300 pressed on orange colored vinyl.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Bad Omens

I received an email from Bad Omen Records a month or so ago, announcing a couple of their new releases. Bad Omen released the Asomvel LP at the end of 2013, and it ended up being one of my favorite new records that I've heard this year. Given that strong release, I figured that I'd see what else Bad Omen had to offer.

The first record that the label was promoting was a new 7 inch from a band called CC Company. Given the name of the band, I was tempted to just skip over them...but then I noticed that a couple of the dudes from Enforcer are in the band, and that changed my interest level damn quick. Enforcer were close to taking the top spot as my favorite Metal album last year, so CC Company held lots of promise. I checked out the preview song for World Domination, and was immediately hooked and quickly placed an order.

From the preview of the new Red Baron 7 inch, I liked what I'd heard so much, that I didn't hesitate to buy their first record as well. I was bummed that the colored vinyl was sold out for this one, and I had to settle for black.

While Enforcer goes for that mid-80's speed metal sound, CC Company draw their influence more from the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. Much like the Asomvel album from Bad Omen, I can not stop listening to these two CC Company 7 inches.

The second new 7 inch that Bad Omen was set to release was from Amulet. Oh hell, yes! Chalk up another win for the label! This four song 7 inch is a vinyl pressing of the band's demo, set to get the Metal crowd primed for their new album that should be released later this month. Man, this is classic Metal...shit that I grew up on 30 years ago, and shit that I can't get enough of these days.

I love the continuity with the A-side labels for Bad Omen records. It makes me kind of want to buy some of their other releases to help complete this picture.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Destroy! The Mos Generator

I first heard Mos Generator this year, but apparently they have been around for a while, releasing their first album back in 2001. I've had a bit of catching up to do.

I've been a big fan of All That Is Heavy distro, but due to a family matter, they have been shut down for the past 4 months or so. As soon as they were back up and running, I jumped into their webstore to show them how much I'd missed them. Since I've been riding the Mos Generator high, and All That Is Heavy only had a few copies left in stock of the Destroy double LP, I decided to grab a copy.

This Destroy! The Mos Generator double LP is a compilation containing various tracks from 2001 to 2008, covering stuff from their first three albums, plus some additional rarities and live stuff. While there are a couple of clunkers on here, for the most part Mos Generator continues to impress. My obsession with the band grows...

While not exactly essential, this double album does contain a few rare gems like their cover of Rush's Garden Road, and a live version of Sabbath's Wicked World.

500 pressed on red and gold colored vinyl.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

What The Feg?

I've been tuned into the Metal this year, and that includes the new shit as well. When people over on the Braveboard started giving high praise to the new Slough Feg album, my first though was, "What the hell is a Slough Feg"? What a weird fucking name. I would have never given this band a chance, except for a few Metal dudes talking about it as being an Album Of The Year contender.

When I first gave the Digital Resistance album a chance, I didn't know what to think. It had this weird Jethro Tull/Queen/Rush vibe...but with a harder Metal edge. What the fuck was this? It didn't fit into my mold of what Metal should sound like, and I wasn't sure that I really liked it...but it was intriguing enough to make me want to check it out again.

As it was slightly odd and different, it took me a while to get my head around the songs on this album. Now that I'm digging it, I'm really loving this. I can't think of another Metal band that has this sound. Refreshing.

Apparently the band have been around since the mid-90's, at times going under the name The Lord Weird Slough Feg, and Digital Resistance is their ninth studio album, but this is the only album of theirs that I'm familiar with. I can tell that I'm going to have to check out some of their earlier material soon.

Limited to 200 on purple with gray colored vinyl.

Monday, September 01, 2014

All For Megaforce

A couple months ago, the backlog on this blog was almost cleaned up. I probably had 3 or 4 records in the queue to blog about, and was feeling like I was on top of things. Then I got too comfortable. I slacked off on the number of posts I was putting up here, and before I knew it, my pile of incoming records grew. Sitting here today, the backlog is back to over 20 posts. Seems I can't take my foot off the gas for a second.

I was torn when it came to collecting Raven. On the one hand, I wanted to collect the original UK pressings on Neat, but since I've been working on my Megaforce silver label collection, I knew which one was going to win out for All For One. I suppose if I ever get to the point of building up a Neat collection, I guess I'll add an additional copy of this one.

While I enjoy most of Raven's stuff, this third album would be considered one of their last great classics. "Solid as a rock with swords in the air"!