Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Last Living Dinosaur

I was hesitant to get excited for the new Kadavar record this year. While I loved both their first self titled record, and the follow up, Abra Kadavar, I kind of expected a let down with their third album, Berlin. The band has gotten more exposure over the years, and I was worried they my try and force things to the "next level", and fuck up their heavy 70's Rock sound by injecting their sound with a bit of pop and too much polish.

I was wrong, and thankfully, Kadavar keep that heavy Zeppelin sound alive with this album.

When it came time for me to chase down a copy of this new record, it was released by Nuclear Blast, so of course there were eight different colored vinyl pressings to choose from. Of course I wasn't happy with any of the vinyl options from the Nuclear Blast store in The States. No, I really wanted the red and white split vinyl, since I thought it looked amazing next to the album cover...and this vinyl option was only available from Nuclear Blast's webstore out of Germany. Damn it. That vinyl looked so good, I couldn't pass it up, and I ordered a copy.

Very cool packaging with the sunglasses lens cut out cover, and a couple of different inserts to slide in behind them. Very well done.

500 pressed on red and white split vinyl.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Nineties Nevertheless

The Seven Inch September game over on Instagram this month brought back some interest in bands that I hadn't given a lot of thought to over the past few years, and I found myself chasing after a couple of surprises that I didn't know existed prior. After obsessing over $100 Metal records for most of the year, it was a breath of fresh air to find vinyl for $2 again.

For the Seven Inch September deal, I assigned a letter to each day, and for the letter N, I pulled out my Nevertheless 7 inch. Nevertheless were an underrated Hardcore band from the Boston area in the early 90's. They were influenced by the Ebullition/Downcast sound, and prior to playing in Ten Yard Fight, Chris Patterson played guitar for them. I'm convinced that no one remembers that this band ever existed, so I used my Instagram platform as a reminder how great this band was.

In the process of posting their 7 inch to Instagram, I ended up over at their discogs page, checking for any info on the band. While I was there, I noticed that there was a compilation listed in their discography. I wasn't aware that they had made it on any comps, so I clicked the link to check it out, and was surprised to find that they were included on the Emergency Broadcast System Vol. 4 comp...and it was a song that I'd never heard before. Bonus! Excited to find this hidden treasure, I didn't hesitate to grab a copy of this record. I'm not at all familiar with the other three bands on this comp, and they are pretty standard mid-90's fare, but really this comp is all about Nevertheless for me.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Gun In Mouth Blues

Earlier this month I mentioned in a post that I'd been getting caught up in the Seven Inch September game over on Instagram. I was having a lot of fun with it, but got burned out around Day 19, and jumped ship. While I was doing it though, I was getting a charge out of posting a bunch of old early 90's hardcore records...just a bunch of shit that I figure that most people have either forgotten about or never cared about in the first place.

One of the records that I posted was the Junction 'Mouth As A Gun' 7 inch, that I had on black vinyl.

When I was buying records in the early 90's, I was not what you would consider a "collector". I bought records to own them, and I didn't know anything about colored vinyl or limited pressings. I bought all my stuff through distros like Ebullition, Very, and Lumberjack, and this most likely insured that I ended up with regular black vinyl pressings. Such was the case with this Junction 7 inch record.

When Geoff commented on my Junction post on Instagram, asking if there was a red vinyl version, I honestly had no idea. In photographing my black vinyl press, I noticed that it was that really cheap know the is black vinyl, but when you hold it up to the light, it has a transparent quality. I assumed that people had probably mistaken this cheap black vinyl for a "red" pressing, and that a true red vinyl was the stuff of legends. Leave it up to Marcus to step in and set me straight. Red vinyl did exist, and even though I had no desire to collect different pressings for Junction, for some strange reason I was suddenly drawn to purchasing this record. What the fuck is wrong with me? I was quite content not knowing that this existed, and now I was suddenly desperate to own a copy. Finding one for cheap on eBay did not help the situation, and soon after, I was paying for a second copy of a record that I had no intention of collecting. Dipshit.

While I was comparing the two copies that I owned, I figured that I'd take a photo of the two of them with some backlight. Damn cheap ass black vinyl.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Super Deluxe Graffiti

I've been doing a good job on keeping up with the Led Zeppelin reissues. They are pretty expensive, so I can't buy each one as they are released, but I've been keeping on task, and picking them off one at at time. With the final three of the set (Presence, In Through The Out Door, and Coda) released in July, I knew I had to get off my ass and pick up Physical Graffiti that was released back in February...and with a little extra cash in my pocket from my birthday last month, the time was right to pull the trigger.

Of all the Zeppelin reissues, the one that I was looking forward to the most was Physical Graffiti...not because it is my favorite album from them, but because it was their only record that I didn't own on vinyl. It is funny...the reason why I hesitated to buy Physical Graffiti when I first started getting into Zeppelin was because it was a double LP, and well, double albums cost more, and I didn't want to commit to spending a few extra dollars to the vinyl. Now that I've gone down the slippery slope of Super Deluxe Box Sets, all bets are off and I'm throwing money out the window like it is going out of style. Here Led Zeppelin, take my money.

Each time I pick up one of these box sets, I sit down with the album, and end up walking away thinking "Damn, I've got a new favorite Led Zeppelin song". Physical Graffiti is no exception. In My Time Of Dying...holy shit what an absolute beast of an epic song! I've heard people mention about John Bonham hitting the drums hard, but I've never really paid much attention to it, but damn, he is absolutely thunderous on this song.

Again, the packaging on these records is top quality, with the sleeve a great replica of the original, complete with cutout windows. Man, bands and labels were creative in the 70's.

Obligatory bonus LP with outtakes and negative print album cover.

I love flipping through the hardcover book that is included in the box sets. The photos are amazing...showcasing how passionate Zeppelin was about their music.

Cool looking layout of the different single sleeves for Trampled Under Foot. Hell yes...what an awesome name. When I start my Metal band, I'm naming it Trampled Under Foot. "Dig that heavy metal underneath your hood..."

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

X Iron Maiden X

Iron Maiden released a new album recently, but before we get to that, I'm going to take a trip back to 1995, for their first album without Bruce Dickinson...X Factor.

When this album was originally released, I was so entrenched in Hardcore that I don't think that Iron Maiden was anywhere close to being on my radar. I can't even remember if I was aware that Dickinson had been replaced with Blaze at the time. It probably took me around 15 years after the release of X Factor before I even bothered to check it out, and as someone that grew up on Iron Maiden through the 80's, my first impression was not that favorable. This is a much darker period for Maiden...hell, most Metal bands were trying to figure out how to survive in a Grunge/Nu Metal world at the time, and Maiden were no exception. Over last couple of years however, I've really grown to appreciate Blaze-era Maiden...much more than I ever expected.

I remember when I first started to get into record collecting, and was chasing Maiden vinyl back in 2005/2006, I figured that Blaze-era vinyl would be a relatively cheap score...I mean no one liked those two albums, so how expensive could they be? Apparently the answer was "holy shitballs" expensive. I quickly backed off, and resigned myself to never owning a copy on vinyl, and at the time I was okay with that since I didn't have a whole lot of love for those two albums anyway.

Well, as I mentioned, I've really come to appreciate X Factor and Virtual XI over the past couple of years, and the itch to own one of these became unbearable, and I added it to my 2015 Top 10 Want List. Once Doug picked up a copy, all bets were fucking off. I couldn't let him show me up, and I was on a mission to grab one too. I bellied up to the discogs marketplace bar, and laid my money down. Hell yeah. There is something oddly satisfying in buying a piece of vinyl that you know the majority of people don't give a shit about.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Calling All Creeps

I've obviously backed off on buying every Hardcore record that is released this year. Spending most of my time listening to shit from the 80's, made it impossible to keep up with what is going on today, and frankly, I have too many second rate Hardcore records that I don't have time to listen to now, so what is the point of adding 50 more. That's is not to say that I don't still love the core...just saying that I don't have the time or money to stay on top of each and every band anymore.

Still, every once in while, I'll see a preorder go up, and I'll fell the impulse to try something new...I'll roll the dice and pick up a new Hardcore band. Such was the case with Head Creeps.

I remember downloading the Head Creeps demo at some point last year, and while I couldn't really name any of the songs from it, I recalled that I did like what I'd heard. So, back in May, when Life To Live put up preorders for the bands new 7 inch, I threw caution to the wind, and dropped the $6 for it.

Outside of the Sweet Jesus preorders, the Head Creeps took the longest time to arrive. I'm not sure what the delay was, but I was happen to see the record arrive three months later.

The Head Creeps are really good...basically a Hardcore band out looking to have a ton of fun, and their songs reflect that. Another solid release from Life to Live.

100 pressed.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Nuclear Pounder

I caught Nuclear Assault live, earlier this year, on their final tour. Outside of John Connelly keeping his eyes glued to his notebook for the lyrics, the band was on fire, ripping through their set full of Thrash classics. It was a great reminder of just how great this band could be.

Along with their final tour, the band was going to get together and record one more new EP. After seeing that they still could still deliver live, I was excited to pick up the new record as soon as it was available. When preorders went up over at Dry Heave Records, I jumped on it. The label was doing a limited pressing that was only available from them, and their description of the nuclear pattern colored vinyl sounded cool as hell, so I didn't think twice about the overseas shipping.

There was delay after delay in getting the record pressed, and about four months after the preorder, the record finally shipped. I didn't mind the wait, but man, what a let down that special pressing of colored vinyl turned out to be. Worst. Nuclear Pattern. Ever.

100 pressed.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Charged G.B.H. Live

Earlier this year, and over the summer, I was on a huge G.B.H. kick. I was chasing after the early Clay Records singles (I still need that elusive Give Me Fire/Mantrap 7 inch), and I was listening to the band daily. As I was recently picking up the Done Dying LP over at REVHQ, I noticed that they had this live G.B.H. album from '83 in stock. Sometimes when I'm on these kinds of obsessions, I make questionable choices, and I quickly added the live LP to the cart.

I'm not sure what I was expecting for this record. I mean, we are talking about a scrappy punk band that was probably playing a shitty club in England in the early 80's. It's not like it was going to sound phenomenal, right? The sound quality on this is pretty raw, as it sounds like a decent bootleg...hell, a couple songs sound like they just drop off as if the original tape was cut.

Overall, it is okay for what it is. I doubt I'll listen to it very often, but like those live bootlegs that I do own, it will be fun to dust it off every five or ten years, and hear that raw live energy.

Friday, September 11, 2015

We Buy Or We Die

Earlier this year, I picked up the test press for the new Done Dying album, We Dream Or We Die...therefore, it was a foregone conclusion that I'd be picking up any and all available pressings when the album was actually released.

While I can't say that I enjoy the design of the cover at all...I don't know, it seems to have a modern metal feel to it that just doesn't sit right with me...the songs on the album, on the other hand, are great. Just straight ahead, no frills hardcore...and how cool is it to see the Workshed logo on the back of a record again?

250 pressed on grey, and 250 on blue vinyl.

Seems like a good time to get a "family photo" of the Done Dying collection. Only missing the test press of the Reaper Records release.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Taste Of The Vinyl Dead

Back in 2008, I became obsessed with Night Of The Vinyl Dead Records. The label specialized in vinyl pressings for records that had never been released on wax, and within five months, I scratched five of them from my Want List. I was rollin', but since they are pressed in very limited numbers, and I had to order them all with high shipping prices from overseas, I quickly became burned out on spending the money needed to try and chase these. I bailed on the game, and instead I focused on things that I thought was more important at the wasting my money on more Have Heart 7 inches.

After picking up the first Laaz Rockit LP at the end of 2014, I suddenly couldn't get enough of the band, and soon after found myself downloading their second LP, No Stranger To Danger. Those two records quickly dominated my playlists over the summer, and it got me thinking more and more about checking out some of their other stuff that I'd never heard before. While I grew up with Know Your Enemy and Annihilation Principle, I never bothered with anything that came out after '89. Feeling adventurous for some new Laaz Rockit, I dove headfirst into their live LP from 1992, Taste Of Rebellion - Live In Citta. I figured that if a live album full of latter day Laaz Rockit couldn't sell me on these songs that I'd never heard, nothing could.

Wow. This is some great shit. Live metal in '92...I had no idea that this style was still going this strong. Nirvana might have been blowing up at the time, but no one told Laaz Rockit as they were still bringing some great, straight forward Heavy Metal.

After falling in love with this live LP, I remembered that Night Of The Vinyl Dead did a pressing of it, and suddenly I was back on the NOTVD hunt. Of course I had to buy it from overseas, which meant that the shipping cost almost as much as the record itself, but I didn't care...I needed this. Another quality vinyl release from NOTVD...hand numbered and limited to, since the album was recorded in Japan, the album cover comes wrapped in a cool looking OBI strip. Well done.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Complete 411

Over on Instagram, some of us are playing a little game called Seven Inch September, with the obvious goal of posting a seven inch a day for the entire month. I thought it would be kind of fun, and a great opportunity to dig through my boxes of records, so I decided to play along. Since I've basically reverted to spending the past couple of years as an eighteen year old metalhead, it has been surprising just how much I've enjoyed dusting off those early to mid-90's hardcore records.

Since I've been diving back into some long lost 90's hardcore records, it seems like the perfect time to post the 411 discography that I recently picked up.

The high point on this discography is that I finally have a few of the comp songs that I didn't have in my collection. I'm not interested in buying the Discharge covers comp, but it is nice to have 411's version of State Violence, State Control.

I missed out on the first press for this LP, so when I saw that REV had the second pressing available in the store, I grabbed a copy. 400 pressed on white vinyl.

Friday, September 04, 2015


I've never been a huge Into Another fan. I've dug them off and on over the years, with the high point hitting when I saw them at the REV25 show in New York City. They were such a powerful force live, and it made me appreciate them more. So with a new record on the horizon for 2015, I was more intrigued than I normally would have been, and I was looking forward to seeing what Into Another could deliver.

I was surprised by how excited I was when REV made the new record available for pre-order. I had a good feeling about the record, and I was not disappointed once it finally arrived. Damn, Richie and the band haven't released any new Into Another songs in 20 years, but Omens is so powerful and infectious, it feels like they've never stopped.

Once the record started to ship, kids everywhere were posting them on Instagram, and jumping in on the game to collect various different shades of the purple vinyl. Fuck that. I've got my one copy, and I'm good.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Summertime Records

While Summer isn't officially over, it is September 1st, the kids are back to school, and for my 5:00 run this morning, the sun didn't so much as peak over the horizon. Summer is winding down, and we will be seeing the leaves change color before we know it. Reflecting on these past few months, I can safely say that my playlists saw plenty of Y&T...damn, next to Van Halen, they are just one of those perfect Summertime bands.

While record shopping downtown recently, I found the Open Fire live LP from Y&T in the bin. Since I'd been jamming them for weeks on end, it only made sense to pick up this piece of vinyl.

I'd drawn a line in the sand with Y&T and wasn't going to bother with anything released after Mean Streak. The band's reputation gets a little sketchy after this '83 release, so I was just going to ignore anything after that. The thing is though, Open Fire was released in '85...well past my Y&T expiration date. Still, this live album was packed with classic Y&T songs from the band's first five albums. Hey, the sun was out and the weather was great while walking around the city...I had a moment of weakness, and rolled the dice. I'm so glad that I did, because this live album is awesome, and the live version of Open Fire melts my face off.

The only odd ball in this live album is a studio version of Summertime Girls. This was a low point for Y&T as far I'm concerned, and was the turning point when the band really took a shot at commercial MTV success, trying to imitate Van Halen's Jump. While the song was their biggest hit, it also seemed to alienate their diehard fans, and Y&T fell in to obscurity.

I love the order form for the VHS of their live show in San Francisco. Man, I remember watching this on MTV in '85, recording the audio with my cassette deck, and playing the shit out of that over the summer. Thirty years on, Y&T are my Summertime band once again.

Okay...since the Open Fire live album turned out to be a nice surprise, it made me curious about the Y&T album from '84, In Rock We Trust. For one reason or another, I'd rolled this album up into the Summertime Girls shit pile. After a quick download, I discovered how wrong I was...this album is mid-fucking-80's gold!

After picking up that Open Fire live album, I was on a Y&T high, and needed more vinyl from the band. Finding In Rock We Trust for $4 was a find too good to walk away from.