Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Golden Vision

I'm definitely out of touch with what is cool in the Hardcore world. When I started seeing pictures of some record from a band called True Vision on Instagram and record nerd blogs, I was clueless. Who was this new band out of the UK? Didn't know...didn't care...until I saw Marcus and Chris start to blog about their new 7 inch, Against The Grain, from Quality Control HQ. Okay...if those two are excited over it, maybe I should check it out.

Looking to avoid overseas shipping from Quality Control, I hit up Painkiller for the US pressing. I'm not sure when this record was first available to order, but Chris included a link to the Painkiller store in his blog post. I was surprised to see the gold vinyl pressing was still available, so I jumped on it.

110 pressed on gold.

Apparently True Vision has ties to Violent Reaction, and it shows in the songs they deliver, 'cause this thing rips.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Brotherhood On Pink

Back in August of 2016, Marcus and I came to an agreement on a trade. He was looking for a copy of the new Descendents album on white vinyl that was only available in US independent record stores...and I was happy to hook him up. Instead of paying me straight up for the record, he offered a trade. After toying with my emotions, and proposing a trade for some Bad Religion vinyl, he pulled the rug out from underneath me, and said he was just joking. Feeling broken and betrayed, I was in a fragile state of mind, and blindly accepted when he asked if I wanted a copy of the Brotherhood album from Crucial Response on pink.

Initially, I wasn't too stoked on the trade...I mean, it was certainly a hell of deal for me...Brotherhood on pink, compared to a new release from Descendents...I was obviously coming out on top here. I just wasn't going to find much excitement in a record that I already had three other copies of...especially when I'm trying to avoid the multiple pressing game. Still, my white vinyl copy of the Brotherhood album came from Marcus, so it seemed appropriate that he was sending the pink as well.

My opinion completely changed once the vinyl arrived. I mean, damn, this colored vinyl looks amazing. It is probably one of the nicest looking record in my collection. That pink color, with the small smudge of black in there, just looks so damn good. Great trade...even if it took about six months to complete. Thanks Marcus! Let me know when you have an extra copy of this record on green vinyl, and I'm sure we can work something out.

Second pressing...375 on pink.

Friday, February 24, 2017

House Of Toxic Shock

Picking up that Jesus Chrysler album last month, got me thinking about other Toxic Shock bands that I never took a chance on as a kid.

I was recently checking out Toxic Shock releases on eBay, when I came across a cheap copy of the first House Of Large Sizes album. I guess that "cheap" is a relative term, since it looks like the record isn't pulling in a big price tag, and averaging under $7 through discogs. For $5, and the only person to bid, I decided to take a chance on this record.

Over the years, I've been floored with some surprises...records that I was a bit tentative on, but took a chance and then became completely consumed by it...listening to it over and over and over. Gypsy's Giants Despair was one of those records, and Seaweed's Four was the other. Both bands played a style that I wouldn't have expected to hit me as hard as they did, but man, there was something special that really grabbed me and wouldn't let go.

Now we can add House Of Large Sizes to that short list of great surprises.

H.O.L.S. are right in that same vein as Gypsy and Seaweed...maybe not as good as those two, but I still find them infectious as Hell. Like Giants Despair and Four, my first spin of One Big Cake had me thinking, "Hey, that's not too bad"...but after a few listens, it had taken root in my head, and I couldn't shake it. The more I listened to it, the more I liked it, and soon it was getting a couple of spins a day. Another great find from Toxic Shock.

Now, one of the real reasons that I took the gamble on the House Of Large Sizes album was that it came with a Toxic Shock catalog from '89. I've been nostalgic for those late 80's years, when my brother and I were discovering Hardcore and Punk, and the Toxic Shock catalogs played a big part in those formative years. I made the mistake of throwing out those old catalogs years ago, and I've been itching to find some of them again.

It has been a blast flipping through the newsprint pages of this old catalog, and checking out the records and t-shirts that were available to me at the time.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Absolution are a classic example of late 80's Hardcore. Come out hot, throw a hell of a punch, and then vanish. No need to overstay your welcome. One 7 inch, a couple of comp tracks...and then leave 'em wanting more.

Seems as though no band can stay away forever.

A few weeks ago, I start seeing photos pop up on social media of some Absolution record cover that I've never seen before. I wasn't sure what it was, but it certainly had me interested. I did a little research and discovered that apparently the band had recorded a few songs back in 2011, and they were finally being pressed to wax now. The question was, could the band still deliver?

I always approach these things with a heavy dose of skepticism, but damn, I enjoy being proven wrong. These four songs are great. It is being billed as "three new tracks, and one re-recorded classic", but I believe that two of those songs were on the band's '87 demo...so while I wouldn't necessarily call them "new", it is still great to have them recorded with some better production, because this whole thing sounds great.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Thanx For Nothin'

I was a huge fan of Overkill through my teen years. From '85 to '89 they had an amazing four album run that I lost my metalhead mind over. By the time their fifth album, Horrorscope, was released in 1991, Metal was a thing of my past, and I wasn't spending much time looking back. Hardcore was where it was at, and news of a new Overkill album did nothing to capture my attention.

In my defense, as we moved into the 90's, some Metal albums were starting to feel a little flat. A string of tried an true bands were just starting to not measure up anymore, and with guitarist Gustafson recently leaving Overkill, I played it safe, and just ignored their latest offering. It took me probably over 10 years to finally bother checking out Horrorscope, but when I finally did, it knocked me on my ass. While the album might not meet the high quality put forth by the first four albums, Horrorscope comes damn close.

When it was originally released in 1991, mainstream vinyl was dead in the US, and the only pressings were available from Europe.

2017 finally sees a US vinyl pressing of this great album. As I stood there in the record store, holding this album, I was torn... a part of me wanted to not rush into this reissue, and cooler heads were telling me to wait and chase down the original Euro press. That would have been the smart move, but sometimes I'm stupid and impatient. Instant gratification ruled the day, and I bought the reissue. Breaking the seal, and opening the vinyl when I got home, put me into buyers regret. Looks like the reissue went cheap and didn't include any kind of insert or lyric sheet like the original pressing. Fuck record stores. I should just stick to buying whatever I want through the internet.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Smallpox Champion

Someone recently posted a picture of In On The Kill Taker to Instagram recently. Now, I love those first three Fugazi records, but it's been a long time since I'd paid any attention to their stuff post-Repeater.

In checking my listening stats over at last.fm, I was kind of surprised to see that over the past 10 years, I'd listened to In On The Kill Taker only once. I clearly don't pay much attention to those later albums.

While out at the record store, I saw a recent reissue of the album. Since it had been on my mind lately, and I didn't have a copy on vinyl, it seemed as though the time was right to finally add a copy to my record collection. Good album, and it was fun to finally revisit it.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Approved By The Cosmic Code Authority

A little over five years ago, there was an explosion of great Rock bands coming out of Europe. They looked like they had stepped straight out of the 70's, and they had the power chords to match. Some of those bands had a pretty good run, and in terms of today's standards, they were pretty successful. One of those bands that seemed to fly under the radar was Horisont. Even releasing three albums on Rise Above didn't seem to get them much love.

I've been a fan of the band since I first heard their debut, and I've loved their straight forward Rock approach. It blows my mind to think that they have been around for around seven to eight years. It seems like just a few years ago that I was discovering them. How has so much time passed?

Horisont are no longer with Rise Above, but with About Time, they keep doing what they do best.

While it took a while for their last album, Odyssey, to grow on me, About Time hits me right from the start. Great album.

For the evening of the Super Bowl, I had the option to stay home and watch the Patriots play, or head out with a friend to go record shopping. Pfffft....records win that fight every time. We jumped in the car, and headed to Bull Moose with my sights set on the new Horisont album.

300 pressed on yellow vinyl, exclusive to US indie record stores.

With About Time, Horisont release their fifth full length album. I was kind of dumbfounded by that fact when I realized it. Five albums. I don't think that there are many bands these days that record that many albums. Seems like a long lost art to have bands stick around and evolve, and release a new album every other year. I was so amazed by their longevity and production that I had to pull out their full vinyl catalog for a photo.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Made To Order Targets

Last year I was introduced to Moving Targets. They were from the Boston area, and released a few albums with TAANG! in the late 80's/early 90's...yet somehow I'd never heard them. On a whim I checked out their Burning In Water album from '86, and then proceeded to play the ever-living shit out of that record. It was, by far, the most played album for me last year. I could not get enough of it.

I'm not familiar with the Boss Tunage label, but as soon as I heard they were looking to do a special pressing of early unreleased demo recordings and radio sessions from Moving Targets, I was sold. The concept for the release is cool as hell. It is a part of their Made To Order series, and it works just as it sounds. The label takes pre-orders for the record, and then they only press enough vinyl to cover that order. No other pressings will exist. It isn't available in stores or distros...the vinyl is made to order for this pre-order only. If the label can't generate at least 30 orders, the whole thing is scraped. I'm not sure how many were actually pressed, but I was pretty siked when it showed up on my doorstep.

This is a cool piece of history to own for the band, and there are a few songs that don't appear anywhere else. Pretty goddamn sweet.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Electric Flower Cult

I kind of lost interest with Give after the release of their first full length, Electric Flower Circus. I loved each of their early 7 inches, but across a full album, it couldn't hold my attention. At the time of it's release, I kind of chalked it up to the fact that all I was really in the mood for was Metal. Anything outside of that had to knock my fucking socks off to get me to pay attention. Give didn't even ripple the water at the time, and I promptly ignored them.

Hey, that album was release back in 2014, and seems like it was light years ago. After a steady diet of mid 90's Hardcore for the past six months, when Give recently posted a new video for their song Beyond The Gun, I figured it was a good time to see what the band was up to.

Turns out that the band hasn't been up to anything new, as the five songs on this new Electric Flower Cult EP are from the same session that gave us the Electric Flower Circus album and Sonic Bloom EP. I guess that while the band didn't feel they were good enough to make the cut of either of those releases, they still deserved to be pressed on wax.

Even though these songs aren't knocking me on my ass, for some reason I'm enjoying this Cult record more than the Circus one. I think I just handle Give better in smaller doses, and 5 songs is easier for me to digest than 13.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Worship At The Crossover Ministry

For a band that initially seemed like a side project for a couple of the Municipal Waste guys, I'm pleasantly surprised to see Iron Reagan still out there thrashing hard with the best of them. Five years in with three albums, a few EPs, and a total of 87 songs...I guess it is safe to say that Iron Reagan are more serious than a side project.

Iron Reagan keep doing what they do best with Crossover Ministry. Great crossover thrash, and videos like Fuck The Neighbors are fun to watch.

Relapse Records goes bold with their colored vinyl options. Bright yellow with hot pink, orange and blue splatter. Damn. That is a gross looking combo...but you know, for me, it works here. Completely over the top, just like Iron Reagan.

When ordering the record, Relapse had a "prayer candle" preorder package available. Of course I had to have it. Light it up and say a prayer for this old man, I'm hitting the mosh pit.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

I've Got Mine

I've always found it incredibly difficult to part with any records that I've added to my collection. It doesn't matter if that record has sat on my shelf for 10 years, gathering dust because I really don't care for it...I've lived under the shadow of fear that years later I'll regret letting it go. So I've been a hoarder. At this point in the game though, I'm running dangerously close to running out of shelf space. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and I've started selling off records that reflect some of my poor decision making of years past...stuff like needless reissues and multiple copies of records that I generally don't care that much for.

While the process was a bit painful to start, it was amazing how easy things got once some money started showing up in my paypal account from sales. With $100 in my pocket from selling a couple of Ghost records, I decided that I want to take down a heavy hitter from my want list.

I'm a huge fan of Articles Of Faith, but outside of the Bitzcore compilation from '91, I don't own a single piece of vinyl from them. With the new Dead Ending 7 inch getting daily spins, it seemed like the perfect time to look into some AOF vinyl.

I always assume that Articles Of Faith is underrated in Hardcore circles, but the going price of their early records tells me otherwise. When one popped up on discogs a few weeks ago, I knew that I had to go for it.

For a record over 30 years old, this is in great condition, and the music is still as vital today as it was when it was released in 1983.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Left Hand Pathos

Last summer I spent a lot of time immersed in 1996. I listened to those records a lot, and it would occasionally inspire me to reach out and spend some time in the neighboring years. Man, the 90's had a definite sound, and while I'd avoided revisiting that decade for a long time, it was nice to be back inside it. My record collection is pretty thin around this time, and it was exciting to go back and buy a bunch of vinyl from those years. After discovering and picking up the Man Will Surrender 12 inch, it got me thinking about other Equal Vision bands from that period, and I added some stuff to my Discogs Wantlist.

One of the records that I was looking to grab was the Pathos album from Shift. According to Discogs, the album was released on clear vinyl, but there weren't any listed for sale, and one had never been sold through the site. The last record of one selling was on eBay...and popsike showed that as the only one...ever...and that was back in 2015. They didn't seem to come around very often, but I threw it on my Wantlist, and hoped for the best.

When Discogs notified me that one was available for sale, I jumped at it, determined to get it before it disappeared.

Shift are quintessential 90's Hardcore. More Rock than Chugga Chugga, but definitely rooted in that time period. Classic.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

No Cure For Fools

I started adding my collection to the discogs database, and during the process, I decided to start selling some stuff through the marketplace. My shelves are quickly running out of space, so in an effort to delay having to come up with a solution for more storage, it seemed like a good time to finally thin the herd a little bit. So, here I am, cutting my losses and letting go of some those multiple pressings that I no longer care about, and yet, I couldn't resist the call to buy another copy of Foundation's When The Smoke Clears LP. One step forward, two steps back.

I don't know what it is, but I've been obsessing about Foundation lately. I think it started when I recently revisited their Turncoat record that I'd picked up last year. I was late to the party for this one, and ended up with only the black vinyl. I started looking at discogs, just to get an idea of all the colored vinyl that I'd missed out on. Things snowballed from there...soon I was researching what other pressings from their catalog I was missing, and was listening to them daily.

I had to feed the need, and a nice cheap score from eBay for the tri-colored vinyl did the job nicely. Grabbing a record a few years down the road for cheaper than the original sale price is always a good feeling.

Friday, February 03, 2017

High Hopes

A few weeks back, social media blew up with talk about some Conne Island pressing of the Gorilla Biscuits 7 inch. I didn't know what the hell was going on, but soon everyone was posting photos of a gold vinyl pressing of the GB record, and I was clueless as to where it came from. I slowly started to put the pieces together on this special press, which turned out to be a benefit for the Conne Island club over in Germany. I'd never heard of it, but apparently it is a pretty big deal. Very cool that clubs like this still exist.

As everyone was showing off that they were one of the lucky ones to have gotten their hands on such a prized possession, I resigned myself to wallowing in a sad and friendless existence. As I sunk into self pity, trying to convince myself that I was still special, and that I was going to get by in life a-okay without this record, REV offered a glimmer of hope.

As I was scanning through Facebook, and validating my feelings through political posts of how much things were going to suck under the Trump presidency, I spotted a notice from Revelation Records that they had some copies of the Conne Island pressing available in their webstore. I didn't fuck around, and I got in, added one to my cart, and checked out...then I allowed myself to take another breath.

The packaging for this record is top notch...a great collection of photos and writing about Gorilla Biscuits' visits to the club. Limited and hand numbered out of 350. Seeing as how REV sold out in about 16 minutes, I consider myself very lucky to have a copy.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Face The Slayer Bootleg

My buddy Sandwell is a terrible influence when it comes to live bootlegs. I don't own very many of them, but I do get a kick out of the few that I have. They feel special to me...and perhaps somewhat dirty, owning something that really wasn't meant for widespread public consumption. Seems as though Sandwell has been a on a bit of a kick lately, posting some really cool live bootlegs to his Instagram account, and...well...to put is simply, the motherfucker was making me jealous.

When faced with that feeling, I did what any other self-respecting record collector would do...I went shopping.

The webstore over at Hells Headbangers has supplied the fix to the bootleg itch in the past, and when I did a quick search recently, it came through for me once again.

This set was recorded live in San Antonio, Texas during Slayer's tour for Haunting The Chapel in 1984. This show was the only one that L.A. Slayer played with the other Slayer out of San Antonio (later renamed S.A. Slayer), and was dubbed a "Slayer vs. Slayer battle of the bands". I can only assume who came out on top in that match up.

This is a soundboard quality live bootleg, and it is cool as shit to hear early songs like Face The Slayer played live...plus we get Necrophiliac played pre-Hell Awaits. Great stuff.