Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Familiar, Not Forgotten

I've been entertaining the thought of picking up the Walleye LP for years. It has been a cycle of getting stuck in some mid-90's nostalgia, and listening to that stuff on an endless loop for weeks, with my thoughts inevitably turning to Walleye.

Adding the Walleye album to the collection is no major feat...and you can pick it up for super cheap whenever you want. Because of this fact, there has never been any great pressure to buy it. It makes it too easy to procrastinate, and I kept pushing it out, saying that I'd get it next month...and then months turned to years.

Last month, I found myself in that familiar place of 90's obsession, and when Walleye popped up on my iPod playlist, I figured that it was finally time to get the job done. I hit up discogs, and five dollars later, I was finally crossing this off my Want List.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Maybe Tomorrow

There is still no greater thrill than the feeling of finally crossing off old records, that you grew up with, from your want list. It doesn't matter if it is a $150 rarity, or a $15 pick up...adding those albums, that helped shape who I am today, to the collection, still provides me with a charge that tempts me to sell my kids on the black market, and buy more records with the $50 that I'd get for them.

Insted were a huge part of my transition from Metal into Hardcore around 1990 or so. I wasn't tough or hard like the Slapshot or Cro-Mags guys, and when I saw the pictures of Insted, and read their interviews...they seemed like a band that I could relate to. Insted were MY band, and really helped shape my mindset. I hung on their every word, and their songs Feel Their Pain and Maybe Tomorrow were the major catalyst that pushed me to go vegetarian. I even, in a moment of embarrassing fan boy mania, tracked down Kevinsted's phone number, and called him repeatedly, leaving messages on his answering machine, until he changed his message to something along the lines of, "If this is Mike from Maine, give me a call this Sunday at 7:00. I'll be home, and can talk then.". Hey, I'd heard rumors they had just broken up, and I was determined to find out if it was true, and take the chance to speak to one of my Hardcore heroes. Man, I was a nerd.

So yeah...Insted and their What We Believe album was huge for me as a kid, so it feels especially good to finally add the vinyl to my collection.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Hole In The Sky

In my entire record collecting career, one of the highlights has to be completing the Vertigo Four for Black Sabbath. Buying those first four Sabbath albums, all as complete UK Vertigo swirl label first pressings, was a huge accomplishment that pushed my spending limits and had me stressing overtime until they arrived safely on my doorstep in excellent condition. It took me about three years to get them all, but in reality, my Sabbath mission was far from complete. I still had more original UK pressings for the band in my sights.

Even though I own the majority of the Ozzy and Dio-era Sabbath albums on vinyl, there was one record that has always eluded me...Sabotage. Having owned it on CD for years, I knew Sabotage well enough, and there have been times where I would call it my favorite Sabbath album...but still, it was embarrassing to admit that this piece of vinyl was still a hole in my collection.

Having left Vertigo behind after Vol. 4, and then making a brief stop on the WWA label for Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, the band found themselves on NEMS for the first UK pressing of Sabotage. Following in the footsteps that Doug laid down with his blog post back in 2013, I knew that this was the pressing that I had to chase. Thankfully, prices drop considerably after the Vertigo Four, so it didn't put a strain on the savings account when I finally grabbed one. I don't know if it is due to the textured cover, or what, but this sleeve is in amazing condition considering that it is over 40 years old.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Free At Last

Triple B has been dominating my playlist for current Hardcore bands. I'm not getting sucked in to buying every release by the label, but damn, there are a handful of records that have been my favorites over the past year or so...and the latest Free 7 inch is no exception.

Free is basically a Have Heart reunion under a different name. The only problem that I have with the whole thing is that now I have two bands named Free in my collection...and I hate it when that happens. Outside of that petty pet peeve, this record is everything that you would expect from Pat Flynn and company.

Somehow I missed the announcement that preorders were available, and by the time I got into the store, the limited clear vinyl had already sold out. 500 on grey and 800 pressed on black vinyl.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

When Then Becomes Now

While I've recently been rolling with a bunch of newer Hardcore bands, Triple B releases picks the perfect time to drop a new 7 inch from Abuse Of Power in my lap. I couldn't get enough of their demo from last year, and I jumped at the chance to hear more from this band.

Abuse Of Power still maintain that early 90's, Outspoken and Mouthpiece feel, and still sound like they would have fit right in alongside those bands on the Words To Live By comp. That time period was when I was really starting to immerse myself into Hardcore, so listening to Abuse Of Power has the nostalgia kicking in full time. I love this stuff.

I only ordered the limited black vinyl pressing from Triple B, but I'm feeling a strong pull to go back and order the colored vinyl as well.

100 pressed on black.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Can't Kill The Tribe Dream

I wasn't too familiar with Our Side, but when I saw they were playing at the Violence To Fade record release show, I figured that I better dust off their 7 inch that I'd picked up a few years ago. According to my blog post at the time, I had really enjoyed it...I just hadn't listened to it since then, and I'd forgotten all about it. Digging it out, and giving it a spin again, reminded me of how great this record was, and I was really looking forward to checking them out live.

As I walked into the show, I noticed that there was a merch table set up, and someone was selling the Our Side 7 inch with a special sleeve that was made just for this show. Damn right...I was buying one.

Labelled as the Show Of The Century Edition, with a special lyric sheet that was thrown together for this release, and hand numbered out of 50.

When Our Side kicked off their set with the intro to Detroit Rock City, I couldn't have had a bigger smile on my face. They played a fun set, and had I been more familiar with their songs, I would have been right in the mix, singing along and getting pushed around.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

The Mighty Violence To Fade

It has been a long time since I've gone out to a Hardcore show. Holy shit. I can't even remember when it was? We have got to be talking years. Yup...I'm that old guy now that doesn't want to leave his house, and would rather go to bed early with a good book than deal with Boston parking and see Judge play a reunion show. I hate myself.

Some newer Hardcore bands have been kicking my ass this year, and they managed to shake me from this slumber that I've been trapped in for the past few years. When Keith from Violence To Fade announced that his band was having a record release show for their new album, I committed myself to shaking off the cobwebs, and getting out to a Hardcore show.

I love a good record release cover, and the one that Violence To Fade put together does not disappoint. Keith is a huge superhero and anime fan, so to see this comic book cover for the Unstoppable Force record release version...it is a perfect fit.

There were a few bands on the bill that I was interested in checking out. Glory was the one that I was most excited to see, but Violence To Fade, Our Side, and Vantage Point were great to see as well...and Red Sun is definitely a band to keep an eye for in the future. Too bad the sound was so terrible in VFW hall that the vocals were buried in the wall of sound. Hey, I guess that I've been spoiled over the past few years with Metal bands and a decent PA.

Number 8 out of only 25 made for the show. Worth making the two and a half hour drive for this alone!

Before the record release show, my preorder for Unstoppable Force arrived from Triple B. Such a solid influence of that classic New York Hardcore sound. Another great release from Triple B.

100 pressed on blue.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Black Vinyl Sux

I'm not the biggest Descendents fan in the world. They can be really good, and a load of fun to listen to, but I don't really consider them terribly collectible for myself. Still, when I was thinking about finally buying a copy of Everything Sucks on vinyl, I had some colored vinyl copies in my Want List on Discogs.

All that changed when I noticed that my local record store had the new 20th anniversary pressing in stock. Lured in by the embossed cover and bonus 7 inch, I didn't stand a chance to resist the temptation of instant gratification.

In my haste, I failed to do any research, and later discovered that this was pressed on a couple different colors as well. Great. Not the original pressing. Not colored vinyl. Just your common black vinyl pressing. Fuck me.

Since I'd never heard the two songs on the bonus 7 inch, that was the bait that hooked me. Two cool Descendents songs that were a nice addition to this album.

Despite my disappointment in not waiting to chase the limited colored vinyl, and since I only need one copy in my collection, I'll look on the bright side, and just be happy to finally own a copy of this on vinyl.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Doubled Horse

Troubled Horse caught my attention back in 2013 with the release of their first album, Step Inside. Rise Above Records was on fire with a streak of amazing albums, and with the word that Troubled Horse had some ex-members of Witchcraft, I downloaded the songs to check them out. The band met all my expectations, but for one reason or another I never got around to picking up the vinyl.

While Troubled Horse walked a similar path as Witchcraft, the band never seemed to come close to that level of popularity. It's a shame, because Step Inside is an awesome ride.

You can tell how underrated Troubled Horse is, because five years after its release, Rise Above still has Die Hard pressings available in their webstore. It was tempting to pick one up while I was placing an order recently, but cooler heads prevailed, and I decided to save a few bucks and went with the red vinyl option. 300 pressed.

The reason that Troubled Horse were back on my radar was because they had a new album on the way. I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that Rise Above was releasing the band's sophomore record, Revolution On Repeat. I had no idea that this was in the works, and after checking out their new video for the song Hurricane, I was there in the store to order a copy as soon as they were available.

I am loving this record right now. I don't think it is a strong as the first one, but over time, it may get there.

For Revolution On Repeat, the Die Hard pressing came with a bonus 7 inch, so that was obviously the way to go. 100 pressed on black vinyl.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Saturn Spectra

A few years ago, Rise Above released the debut Saturn record, Ascending. The album came as a surprise, but they had a strong late 70's Heavy Metal sound that I was really digging, and it really grew on me.

When Rise Above listed the new Saturn album, Beyond Spectra, in their webstore, I didn't hesitate to grab my self a copy. The album cover looks so cheesy, that I instantly fell in love with it...the songs on the inside on the other hand, are a bit more difficult to get into. Some of the songs are a blast...Still Young is a total ripper of a good time...while other songs just seem to miss the mark. Shame, because the guitar sound on this album is excellent.

Only 100 pressed on black vinyl.

Monday, May 29, 2017

I Spy

I dig chasing new music, and while the level of my interest ebbs and flows, I generally enjoy keeping up on new bands. That said, the excitement of adding new releases to the collection, pales in comparison to crossing off a classic from the Want List. I get such a charge out of buying these old records, that at times it makes me wonder why I bother buying so many new releases.

When I first heard the No For An Answer album, it was when I bought it on cassette back in '90 or '91. I haven't listened to cassettes for over 20 years, and I've never owned A Thought Crusade on CD, so it blows my mind that it has taken me this long to finally own the album.

In this age of vinyl reissues, it is surprising that your only option for A Thought Crusade is to dig for an original Hawker pressing. Black vinyl only. I'm sure it is only a matter of time until this changes, and someone presses this on a few different colors for the nerds.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Welcome To The Night

A couple years back, Night Demon released their killer debut, Curse Of The Damned. That album was great, and the only reason that it didn't crack my Top 10 for the year was because it was such a strong year for Metal...something had to get cut from the list, and unfortunately Night Demon had to step aside and make room for other records that I was obsessing over.

It might to early to call it right now, but with Night Demon's new album, Darkness Remains, they should be making my list easily this year. This album is a blast...such a great Iron Maiden/early 80's Metal influence. In fact, the band pay homage to Maiden with their song Maiden Hell, with lyrics full of Maiden song titles from the band's debut, all the way up to and including their latest, Book Of Souls. Some might find the song a bit cheesy, but I'm loving it.

500 pressed on metallic silver vinyl.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Conformicide

Alongside Warbringer, another one of those Thrash revival bands from around 2010 that was at the top of my list at the time was Havok. Their Time Is Up album from 2011 was one of my favorite Thrash albums from that time. The fact that I did't own a single piece of Havok vinyl is kind of embarrassing.

When Century Media posted pre-orders for Conformicide, I thought that maybe it was time to finally pick up my first piece of Havok vinyl. Their last album was a bit dull, so I was a little hesitant, but as soon as I tuned in to their video for Hang 'Em High I was sold. Lyrics with a political slant about rebellion and corruption...reminds me of those old Sacred Reich albums. Fucking old school Thrash!

400 pressed on yellow vinyl for the U.S. pressing...with a D-side etching that is difficult to see (as they usually are).

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Rejected Battery

Greatest hits records for Hardcore bands are weird, and for those us that are diehards, they are absolutely pointless. When it was announced that REV was releasing this compilation of Battery songs, I was prepared to pass it by, and leave it for the completists.

When Chris over at Unwavering Spirit offered to grab a copy for me at Battery's reunion at the Damage City Fest, I figured that adding a limited REV pressing to my collection couldn't hurt, so I took him up on it. Honestly, if this was anything but a special pressing that was basically being laid at my feet, I wouldn't have bothered, but this opportunity was too good to pass up. Too bad this record didn't include the new Battery song, My Last Breath, that the band recorded as they prepare for the reunion show. It would have been a nice addition on this record.

Number 157 out of 200.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Calling The Coroner

When it comes to Metal records, there have been a few labels that I've entertained the idea of chasing...silver label Megaforce and green label Combat top that list. Now we can add the Noise Record label as well.

While I've always enjoyed the bands on the Noise roster, for one reason or another, I've just never been enticed to collect them...until I started reading Damn The Machine, the story of Noise Records. Suddenly, I found myself dusting off those old Running Wild and Kreator CDs, obsessing over Celtic Frost, and downloading stuff that I'd never heard like Hellhammer and Warrant. I couldn't get enough of those Noise bands.

As I was spinning a Noise playlist, and hunting for vinyl on discogs, I came across the original German pressing of Coroner's Punishment For Decadence record. Instead of the cover image of a skeleton playing the violin that I was familiar with, instead we get this twisted mass of bodies that was a piece of The Gates Of Hell sculpture. Having never seen this original cover before, I had an immediate need to get my hands on a copy.

Punishment For Decadence is an underrated classic. I didn't fully appreciate it at the time, when it was originally released in '88, but this album as certainly held up over the years, as I've been listening to it day after day during this Noise obsession.

I love inserts that list the labels catalog to that point, and I can review and dream of which one I want to add to the collection next.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Growers Of Mushroom

Since sorting my record collection chronologically by release year, I tend to focus on those albums that are still missing from my shelves...especially when I get into a 70's frame of mind. I mean when my music playlist from 1971 only includes 19 albums, I get stuck focusing on those few that I still don't own the vinyl for. When I start obsessing over those years, I immediately hit up discogs, looking to fill those few remaining holes.

Leaf Hound are one of those buried treasures from the early 70's. I've loved their Growers Of Mushroom album since I first discovered it around 10 years ago, when I was heavily on the hunt for obscure 70's bands. With a strong early Zeppelin sound, the band became one of my favorite finds from that time period.

Last summer, I was scooping up a number of those early 70's records that I was still missing, and I came across the Leaf Hound album. I hit up discogs to see what it would take for me to grab an original pressing, and I was floored. Apparently a first press of Growers Of Mushroom is quite the collectors item, and the average going rate tops $3,000. Fuck that. Do I look high? That is some crazy cash. Looks like I'll be settling for the Repertoire reissue from a few years back.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Hunger Farm

Nemesis Records were a pretty big deal when I started buying Hardcore records back in 1990. No doubt about it, the label defined the Southern California Hardcore scene, and they released some of my favorite records from that time...they also released a lot of records that didn't even come close to being on my radar. It is amazing to look back and see just how many records that Nemesis put out that I've never heard of, or know very little about.

Case in point...Hunger Farm.

As I was reading through the recent Nemesis Records book, I came across the Hunger Farm entries. I'm sure that I must have heard this name at one point or another, but if I did, I promptly ignored them, and never bothered to check them out.

Reading the one-page write up for each record, Big Frank mentioned numerous times that he was certain that Hunger Farm was going to be a huge success. Out of all the bands on Nemesis, he thought that this band was really going places. With his high praise behind the band, I figured that the least I could do was check them out.

After getting burned on that Fishwife record a few years back, I wasn't taking any chances, and I hit up youtube to preview a couple of Hunger Farm songs before investing any money into this chase.

These two records are full of quirky and catchy punk songs, that really remind me of that early 90's time period. Not as tight as those first Green Day records, but definitely in that same fun pop punk vein. I don't really hear that next-big-thing potential that Big Frank was picking up on at the time, but I still really like these records.

No special colored vinyl pressings for these two 7 inches...black vinyl only...and given that these aren't the most popular Nemesis records, I was able to scoop them up through discogs for cheap. Over 25 years after their release, and I'm still able to pick them up for what it would have cost me to buy them through Ebullition's distro back in 1990. Good deal.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Reality Protester

There were a few years recently where all I cared about was Metal. New releases, or older shit...it didn't matter...Metal ruled my daily playlists. I just had no real burning interest in Hardcore...and if you were a newer Hardcore band, it was pretty tough to capture my attention for much more than a casual listen. During all that time though, Protester were one of the few new bands that were able to get me excited.

Earlier this year, I found myself in position I hadn't been in for a number of years. I was getting a charge out of checking out newer hardcore bands. I bought up a number of new records, and I was loving it. So it was perfect timing for Protester to come along and release a new album.

Protester keep up the same intensity with Hide From Reality. Another great new Hardcore record to add to the mix!

200 pressed on blue vinyl.