Friday, February 27, 2015

REACT! Week - Part 4: Straight Razor Test

While we might have come to the end of React! Week here on the blog, I'm sure that the celebrations for this label will continue throughout the year. Obviously one of my all time favorite labels...

So of course we have to end the week on a high note, and I can't think of a better way than doing so with a test pressing of a record that isn't even available yet for preorder.

"Christ, what an arrogant, attention seeking prick...someone queue up a certain song from Alone In A Crowd for this loser.".

Okay, now that we've gotten that out of our system, lets get to how great this Straight Razor 7 inch is. Remember when Rival Mob topped everyone's list a couple of years ago? Well Radigan is fronting this know, when he isn't busy with Stone Dagger, Magic Circle, Battle Ruins or Rival you better believe the hype here. I expect to see this go down as one of my Hardcore favorites of 2015.

Number 17 of 24 tests pressed.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

REACT! Week - Part 3 : Keep It Clear Test

Last year, React! released the Keep It Clear discography. While I really liked the band when I heard their 7 inch back in 2009, I'd kind of forgotten how good they were. This discography was a great reminder.

Ev from React! dropped me a line a few weeks back, asking if I was interested in any of the rarities that he had available. React! has a lot of great records on deck for 2015, and if I could help fund that by buying a couple of test pressings...count me in for doing my part.

I had a few options to choose from, and narrowing it down to just a couple that I could afford was no easy task. After sweating it for a day or so, I made a decision and got back to Ev on what I of them being the test pressing of the Keep It Clear LP.

12/24. Xmas Eve.

Nice simple design...similar to the original front cover for the LP. Heavy duty black dust cover, spraypainted KIC across the front with stamped, hand numbered labels. Solid.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

REACT! Week - Part 2: Suspect

Yeah, yeah...I was happy to receive the True Love pre-orders, but for me, this package was all about Suspect.

I'm not sure exactly why I was so hot on this release...perhaps it had something to with with the fact Suspect had ties to Deep Sleep, and I fucking loved that band.

The band have a harder edge than Deep Sleep, and that is cool with me. Fast and frantic harcore...this is the good shit.

The Suspect record was the cause of the delays with the pre-order package deal from React!, but in the end, all is forgiven because this record is a blast. I love the way this thing looks...from the design, to that sweet looking orange vinyl. In fact, the whole thing seems kind of fresh for the label, and looking ahead at what they have coming down the pike...I couldn't be more excited.

150 on orange colored vinyl, 350 on clear, and 500 on black vinyl.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

REACT! Week - Part 1: True Love

After getting a big box of records from REACT! Records recently, I knew it was time to celebrate at the blog with another round of REACT! Week posts. Break out the party hats, throw your TV out the window, and lets get loose.

It seemed like most kids were rocking their True Love vinyl late last year...but since I ordered the big package deal, I figured that there were pieces that the label was waiting on. Ev and crew were probably dealing with pressing plant errors and delays, and I didn't want to add to that stress, so I just sat back with confidence that they were doing the best they could. Why get uptight waiting for your order to arrive? I just grabbed a download to tide me over until the vinyl arrived.

This record looks so good, it was worth the wait. Great layout, and a cool color combo with the vinyl.

Similar to the A Floral Note EP, True Love continue with their sound that would fit in nicely with the Hardcore scene around 2000, and draws comparisons to American Nightmare. While I'm not typically big on this style, this 12 inch is full of emotion and just rips. Great stuff.

150 pressed on mint colored vinyl, 350 on pink, and 500 on black.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Wolf's Repress

Back in December, Rise Above announced that they had repressed the first four Grand Magus albums, and they were available in the label's webstore. I was in a tight spot with money at the time, and since there weren't any cool extras with the more limited pressing, I decided to pass on them at the time.

Limited Rise Above releases tend to sell out quickly, so when I found myself in the store picking up the new Lucifer 7 inch, I was surprised to find that the Grand Magus clear vinyl pressings were still available. Since I was already buying something, it would be foolish to not add one more record to the order.

While I'm a big fan of Grand Magus, somehow I'd not heard their Wolf's Return album, so I figured that this was a good opportunity to remedy that situation.

While I initially wasn't too keen on shelling out the extra money to buy from Rise Above and secure the limited clear vinyl, now that I have one album, I suddenly have a burning desire to own the rest of them. Hopefully I can make it back to the Rise Above store before it is too late.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Oath Of Lucifer

I've been trying to avoid the additional costs of buying stuff direct from Rise Above. My mantra has been "Buy the US pressing. Save money. You don't need the most limited pressing.". I figured that if I repeated it often enough, then I might actually start to believe it is true. Yet, here I am again, unable to resist the devil's call.

Last year, The Oath blew in from out of nowhere, raced up the hype charts, quickly imploded and were gone. The band was over almost before they began. Singer, Johanna, is apparently not one to sit around, and she quickly assembled a new band under the name of Lucifer...and given the success of The Oath, Rise Above was quick to strike while the iron was hot, and released this two song debut. Solid.

100 pressed on clear vinyl.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Fuck War

While I was over at the REVHQ store, picking up the new Give EP, I was on the look out for something else to add to the cart. I saw the Longest War 7 inch, and seemed to remember a few people talking about how great it was, so I took the chance and added it to my cart.

Longest War is fronted by the dude from Chokehold, and backed by a couple guys from is like a 90's hardcore wet dream. Man, these guys haven't missed a beat...the guitars still crunch and the vocals are absolutely vicious. It is pretty awesome that people still get this angry over these issues. "Pay for the oceans you kill, pay for the death you spill". I'm just sitting here hoping for a hardcore band to come along and scream about how much of a pain in the ass it can be to raise teenagers, as that is the extent of my rage these days.

Oh sure, I could have picked up a more limited copy of this record over at Press Gang, but in the end, I guess I just didn't care enough, and the black vinyl press from REV was good enough for me.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Give Until It Hurts

Back in 2010 and 2011, Give released a series of two song 7 inches. Each one was perfect and left me wanting more. Fast forward to 2014 and 2015, and the band gives us a full length LP, and then this 12 inch EP from Revelation...and I'm finding it is all too much.

Are these songs not as strong, or do I just need time to warm up to them? I don't know. Give is still good, and they still bring it live, but I just can't get myself excited for these last two releases.

No doubt about it though, Give gets bonus points for style. The band puts in the extra effort with the design of their record covers, and Sonic Bloom looks simply amazing. Worth it for the artwork alone.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Goblins In The Abyss

Finally. This one was a long time coming.

I ordered the new Orange Goblin LP from back in August. It was one of my more anticipated releases for the year, so you can imagine my disappointment when I received an email in December from doooomed, stating that their entire shipment arrived on their doorstep damaged beyond repair. The distro was going to have to wait until another shipment arrived, and that wasn't going to happen for another couple of months. I'd already grabbed a sneaky download to listen to the album, but without the actual vinyl, it meant that I wasn't going to be able to include it in with my Best Metal of 2014 photo...and with my OCD in high gear, I was feeling incomplete.

Six months after placing my order, it felt good to finally have the album in my hands.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ghetto Justice

Add another name to the list of those that can suck it.

Back in 2013, Back To Back released the Blind Justice 7 inch. Apparently, the label fucked up when they had the record pressed, and they ended up submitting the unmastered recordings to the pressing plant. I guess I never noticed at the time, but that's what you get when you spend most of your time listening to the download on your iPod.

I pulled out the original Back To Back pressing to compare today, and sure enough, it's a mess. This new pressing from Ghetto Josh is the one you need...too bad the packaging is kind of weak. It has been a while since I've listened to these songs, and I'm still impressed with how good this is. What a great Hardcore record.

Hand numbered and limited to 200

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Psych Splits

I listened to a lot of Mos Generator last year, and their Electric Mountain Majesty album ended up as one of my favorites of 2014. When singer/guitarist, Tony Reed, posted on Facebook that he had a few copies available of a new split that his band did with Isaak, I jumped at the chance to buy a copy from him. Since it was released overseas, on some Italian label, I figured I'd take advantage of the opportunity, and save myself the hassle of trying to track one there is something more cool about buying your records direct from a guy in the band.

Mos Generator typically takes a straight forward, hard rockin' approach, but these songs take things in a more atmospheric and darker direction. I love reading Tony's stories on how these songs took shape, and the influences behind them. He mentions a Voivod influence with Time & Other Thieves, and there is no denying, this thing sounds like it could have come off Nothingface. Very cool. I struggled a bit with these songs when I first heard them, but the more I listen to them, the more I like them.

I'd never heard Isaak prior to this song that they recorded for the split, but this epic 14 minute trip captures my interest. At some point, I'll have to check out their LP from a couple years back.

I really like Stone, I mean that I fucking LOVE Stone Axe. I listened to the shit out of their two albums last year, and I've been looking forward to the opportunity to grab this split they did with Wight. With Tony and Heavy Head selling a limited amount of the Mos Generator/Isaak split, I decided that while I was in the webstore, I'd grab a copy of the Stone Axe split as well. These songs aren't as strong as some of their other stuff, and are a bit more laid back, but it is still Stone Axe, so it is still cool.

The Wight side of this split features two laid-back trippy stoner jams. At first these songs didn't really excite me, but the more I listened to them, I realize that they aren't supposed to...this is more like something you listen to when you need to just tune out and chill, and I can dig that.

100 pressed on white with pink splatter vinyl.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Electric Flower Circus

After a 12 inch EP and a string of 7 inch records that, Give seemed like they could do no wrong. They played with honesty and integrity, had a sound that felt like they could have been on Dischord records back in the late 80's alongside Gray Matter and Soulside, and yet they still remained unique and had their own identity. In the current scene, there is no one like Give.

With their first full length album, and a release on Revelation Records on the horison, I eagerly awaited what the band had to offer.

Now as much as I love Give, I've always been a bit slow to warm up to their stuff. Sure, I like the Electric Flower Circus LP, and as much as I want to lose my mind over this record, it ain't happening. I love the aesthetic...I love the sound...but as a whole the album feel like it comes up a little short for me. See me in 6 months, and my opinion might be different.

I do love the personal touch with the note from the band.