Friday, June 22, 2018

Double Down

It was slim pickings while flipping through the vinyl stacks at the store that I'd stumbled upon in Hanover, New Hampshire. I did alright with the Whitesnake album I'd grabbed, but this place was obviously not catering to the Metal crowd.

While I looking through the records, the copy of Van Halen's Diver Down caught my eye. I mean, I already had a vinyl copy in my collection, but I remembered it as being kind of beat up. With this copy still in the original shrinkwrap, and the promo sticker for (Oh) Pretty Woman, I figured that it was time for an upgrade.

It isn't too exciting, but now I've got two copies of the worst Van Halen record...since obviously only the original David Lee Roth line up matters.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Ready An' Willing

To give you an idea of how far behind I am with the blog, when I picked up this record, there was snow on the ground. Okay, that might not be saying much, since we had a longer than normal winter here in New England, but with this record sitting in the "to be blogged" pile since April, it shows how much trouble I've been having in keeping this thing current.

Back in April, my wife and I took a weekend vacation on the New Hampshire/Vermont border. It was a great trip, and the unexpected ice and snow storm certainly made it memorable. While we were walking through the college town of Hanover, I spied a some hole in the wall store with a sign advertising "used vinyl". I made puppy dog eyes and my wife, and asked if we could duck in there and look around for a little bit. I wasn't expecting very much, but I still managed to add some classics to the collection.

Over the last few years, I've done a fair job of making the point of how much I hated Whitesnake when I was a teen in the 80's. These are definitely different times, and I've been slowly building that Whitesnake collection.

When I first started to sink into a 70's rock obsession, and finally understood the attraction to that sound, I took my first tentative steps towards Whitesnake by downloading their 1980 album, Ready An' Willing. I mean, I was already a huge fan of Deep Purple's Burn album by this time, and with half of the roster for Ready An' Willing having spent time in Purple...well, it just seemed like the safest place to start. I obviously took right to it, and it remains one of my favorite Whitesnake albums (although Lovehunter gives it a run for it's money).

I've entertained the thought of chasing a UK pressing for this one, but holding this US pressing in my hands, with a reasonable price tag, and I took the more convenient option.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Dirty Rotten LP

I've recently been on a bit of a kick, buying different pressings of Hardcore records...something that I haven't been interested in for years now. After going on a bit of a shopping spree, and picking up a bunch of cheap 7 inches, I had the urge to chase something a bit more substantial, and I wanted to cross a heavy hitter off my list.

After spinning the songs from D.R.I.'s first record, I knew that I had a target in my sights.

Originally, the Dirty Rotten record was released as a 7 inch EP in 1983, but when I was tracking down a copy, I was more interested in the 12 inch LP reissue from later that same year. I suppose that I could have tried to track down a legit, non-bootleg copy of the 7 inch, but reading Doug's experience hurt my head, and I figured that I didn't want to get caught up in that mess, and stuck with the LP instead.

What really surprised me was how easy this was to pick up. $20 off Discogs, and the job was done. I expected a higher price tag for this classic.

This album is a straight up ripper. I remember when I first heard this around 1988, and my brain struggled to keep up with the speed of some of these songs. To this day, I basically just mumble my way through, trying to keep up while singing along.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Wake Up!

I've been having a blast lately, throwing money at some cheap Hardcore records from the early 00's. It is funny how easy it is to forget about some great bands from a certain period, especially when your attention is continually pulled in other directions. Going back and revisiting some of these records has been a great reminder and has rekindled a desire to chase multiple pressings from a time when I was only buying CDs.

Wake Up Call were a local band from Maine, and as this state doesn't really have a strong history of Hardcore bands, Wake Up Call were definitely a diamond in the rough. The band didn't get the attention they deserved, but their One Eye Open 7 inch from 2006 can go toe to toe with some of the other heavy hitters from that year.

When I was picking up a couple of One Up 7 inches from a Discogs seller, I noticed that they had a copy of the Wake Up Call demo 7 inch, and I scooped it up. The preorder version comes with a special cover, and is limited to 30...and for $5, this was deal too good to pass up.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Rally The Troops

As I mentioned in my Count Me Out post last week, the 2000's had some great bands that I've been overlooking in recent years. I'm not sure why, but for the longest time, I've kind of written off those years, and have forgotten that there was some great stuff being released. One of the bands that I've been obsessing over lately has been One Up.

I've already hit Discogs a couple times this year for One Up records, and with that fire still burning, I headed back to the well once again. This time I was looking to cross off a couple copies of their demo from the list.

There was a seller that had a copy listed for the clear vinyl pressing...but instead of being numbered out of 100 on the inside cover, this one just has the word "swirl". Bottled Up is known for some crazy transition pressings...especially with the Have Heart records...so I'm assuming that this is a similar deal. "Hey, there are a couple of faint black streaks, lets set this aside, and list it as a transition".

The Discogs seller also had a white vinyl pressing available, so I grabbed that as well.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Hypocrite!

2018 has delivered when it comes to new Hardcore bands, and I've had a solid string of EPs and demos building up in my playlist for the year. While I was riding the high of some newer shit, I figured that I'd take a chance on another up and coming band I'd never heard of before with Hypocrite.

The band is out of Copenhagen and features some dudes that used to be in bands like Stop And Think, Coke Bust, and Government Warning. That is a pretty solid resume, but still, when I first heard about the band, I kind of shrugged and moved on. I don't know why...I'm just stubborn like that sometimes.

When Never Back Down Records announced that they only had a few copies left of the preorder version, that was when I figured that I'd better move on it.

I'm glad that I jumped on this when I did, because this demo 7 inch fits right in with the great new Hardcore bands that I've been spinning lately. These songs are raw and recorded rough, and goddamn, they rip!

30 of these come with the preorder stamp on the dust sleeve.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Second Chances

I love Count Me Out, but they are one of those bands that I seem to always forget about. The early 00's was a weird time for me for Hardcore, and I don't spend a lot of time revisiting bands from that time period. No doubt, there were some great records released, but sometimes I forget about them when I start looking at the wave of bands at that time that just don't do much for me.

Count Me Out have always been one of the better bands for me from that era, but strangely, I've never bothered to chase and collect their vinyl. When I saw a flurry of activity on Instagram recently, of people posting some Count Me Out record cover that I'd never seen before, I sat up and started to pay attention.

Apparently, Count Me Out were playing a reunion show at the United Blood fest this year, and as a special release for the show, Indecision Records pressed up a few demo songs from their 110 album sessions.

I tracked one down on Discogs, and quickly grabbed it.

The packaging is pretty minimal, but that tri-fold cover is pretty bad ass. 250 pressed for this one-sided 7 inch.

It might be time to look into starting that Count Me Out collection.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Temperance Act Of 1995

When I was picking up the new By The Grace Of God record over at REVHQ, I noticed that they also had a listing for the Searching For Silence album from Temperance. Since the BTGOG record had put me into a mid-90's kind of mood, and this was the first time this Temperance album was pressed to vinyl, I didn't hesitate to add it to my cart as well.

Originally released only on CD back in 1995, I was surprised to see that people cared enough about this forgotten Rhode Island Hardcore band to finally give this a vinyl pressing. I mean, I saw Temperance quite a bit back in the day, and in the Boston area, the band seemed like a pretty big deal...kind of following in Kingpin's shoes and going from a straight forward Hardcore band, and then adding in a more melodic flavor. I even tried to book both Temperance and Dive for a show in Portland back in '93, although both of them bailed a couple of weeks prior, and I had to scramble to fill their spots with much smaller bands to keep from completely cancelling...but still, I spent a fair amount of money on long distance calls with the bass player, Adam, talking about setting up the show and just talking about shit in general. I'm not sure how much interest this record will generate over 20 years later, but I'm pretty stoked to finally have this on vinyl.

Only 300 pressed, and only on black vinyl.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

By The Grace Of 2018

It has been almost 20 years since the last record from By The Grace Of God, so it was quite the surprise to see their Above Fear record listed in the Upcoming section at REVHQ. As a fan of 90's Hardcore, and since I've been hot for new Hardcore records, I was eagerly looking forward to hearing this. The video for (Drowning In) White Tides sealed the deal, and I quickly preordered a copy.

This one sided EP hits the spot. Six songs in 14 minutes. The perfect length to get in, rip it up, and leave 'em wanting more.

150 pressed with the pink silk screened b-side.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Time Is Havok

When I first started getting into Hardcore, around 1990, I pretty much stepped away from anything that had to do with Metal. Hardcore was new to me, and it consumed my attention...I had no interest in anything else for a solid ten year stretch. I started to get back into Metal around 2000, when I dusted off some of my old Metal CDs, and I was surprise with how much I enjoyed listening to those old albums. Soon after that, I started checking out newer Metal bands, and was downloading albums from Slipknot, Mudvayne, and System Of A Down. That stuff was okay, I guess, but it didn't really stick with me. Soon I had stacks of burned CDs from newer Metal bands that I'd downloaded through Napster and WinMX, and while I liked the aggression, I found that there wasn't much that was memorable and I was bored after a few songs. Then along comes the Thrash revival.

Older Thrash bands, like Death Angel, Kreator, and Exodus, are making some noise with great new albums, and soon there is a wave of newer bands adding some fire to the scene as well. This was the shit that I was waiting for. I tossed most of those newer Metal bands into the trash, and was loving what bands like Bonded By Blood, Evile, and Gama Ray were bringing to the table. Thrash hard!

There were a number of new bands from the Thrash revival that I really enjoyed, but the Time Is Up album from Havok always stood out as one of my favorites. That album was full of 80's Thrash mayhem, and did not let up.

When Havok released their new album last year, I was checking the vinyl pressing info for their other albums on discogs. I noticed an entry for a hand numbered pressing of Time Is Up on purple vinyl was listed, but with none available for sale, I added it to my Want List.

A year goes by without any hits on it, and then surprisingly one shows up in my discogs daily notification. With a $12 price tag, I didn't think twice about scooping it up.

Got to love a low number! Number 3 out of 500 pressed on

Friday, May 25, 2018

Forever A Universal Tribe

A couple months ago, Turnstile played their record release show for their new album Time & Space. I was locked away in my house, avoiding people, listening to records and reading a book. Another wild night. I always keep the ringer turned off on my phone, because well, no one should ever need to get in touch with me that urgently...I'll get your message on my terms, goddamnit. Well, when I happened to check my phone that night, I had a message from a friend asking if I wanted a record release pressing. Holy fuck, yes!

Dude has hooked me up with a record release pressing for Angel Du$t and the last Turnstile 7 inch, so I was excited to add another to the collection.

I love the packaging on this. Nice looking insert for the record release, which has all the info from when and where the show was...it's numbered, and slides nicely into the slipcase for the album.

It looks like 700 were pressed on red vinyl for the Turnstile tour, but 200 of them were numbered with the special insert for the record release show.

I'm extremely thankful that this record was offered to me. I probably wouldn't have ever picked up a copy otherwise.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Bad To My World

With each Backtrack album, I've been resistant to checking it out...I'll dig my heels in, and make assumptions that I'm not going to like it...and each time I end up surprised at how much I end up enjoying the album. With Bad To My World, from last year, I stayed predictable, and I ignored the record because I was spending my time listening to other stuff, and couldn't be bothered with a third Backtrack record. I mean, I'm sure that this time they would be played out, right? Wrong again.

I feel like it has been years since I've been excited over newer Hardcore releases, but lately, that shit has been moving me. Maybe it has been my mood and mindset...or maybe bands have been delivering what I'm looking for...or maybe it is both...but damn, it feels good to be excited about some newer Hardcore records recently. While, I've been in that Hardcore headspace and was recently jamming through my 2014 playlist, I came across Backtrack's Lost In Life album. I'd forgotten how good that shit was, and I found myself spinning it every few days...then I remembered they released a new album last year that I'd let pass me by. Shortly after grabbing a download off of soulseek, I knew I needed to grab the vinyl too.

When I started looking at vinyl options, Bridge Nine had options of a shitty looking splatter or a boring gray version. Neither one of these were going to cut it for me, so I coughed up a bit more cash to get the superior looking tri-colored pressing from a discogs seller.

300 pressed.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

RSD 2018 - Part 4: World Up My Ass [RSD Release]

Okay...one last Record Store Day post.

Prior to Record Store Day, I glanced at the list of special RSD releases to see if anything caught my eye. There used to be a time when I could easy drop a couple hundred dollars on RSD records, but things have been getting a bit thin the last couple of years. For this year, there wasn't a single thing that interested me, and skipped the participating stores completely, and just stuck to the smaller used record stores.

When Doug posted a picture on Instagram of his Record Store Day pickups, I was surprised to see an RSD release for the live Circle Jerks album, Gig. Whoa. I didn't know this was coming. The next day I was tracking down a copy for myself, and thankfully, Bull Moose still had a couple copies available.

Over the past couple of years, I'd thought about grabbing the 2014 German vinyl pressing of this album, but this US pressing does the job.

I'm not that big on live records, but this one is a good time. The energy really carries this record, and the setlist is top notch. Totally worth adding to the Circle Jerks collection.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

RSD 2018 - Part 3: Missing Link [The 90's]

The final piece of vinyl from my Record Store Day shopping spree. I certainly didn't expect to find some Fu Manchu vinyl in the used record bins, but as soon as I saw it, I grabbed it without even bothering to check the price tag. It was going to be mine.

[1996] I first heard Fu Manchu about five years ago on Doug's recommendation. I loved what I heard and went on a frenzy, downloading around six of their albums. It was a bit too much, too fast, and I really only stuck with their amazing run of three albums, The Action Is Go, King Of The Road, and California Crossing...everything else was background noise. Seeing In Search Of... in the used bins made me think that it was time to really dig into this one. It was released just before The Action Is Go, so I figured that there had to be some solid stoner grooves hidden in here, and I grabbed the vinyl.

Oh hell yes. This record is full of those fuzzed out riffs! In Search Of... easily stands side by side with what I consider to be Fu Manchu's big three. Awesome album.

I love the iron-on transfer that came with this UK pressing. You don't know how badly I want to use this on a t-shirt...but I can't do it...it came with the record, so it stays with the record.

When I cashed out at the counter, I was a bit stung when I saw the $30 price tag on this record. I checked discogs when I got home, and see that it usually goes for around $70, so I'll count it as a win.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

RSD 2018 - Part 2: In My Dreams [The 80's]

The week before Record Store Day, an old friend reached out to me, pointing me in the direction of a live bootleg video on youtube of Dokken's set during the Monsters Of Rock tour in 1988. The video was from their set at Oxford Plains Speedway, which was the show that we were at shortly after we had graduated from High School. I hadn't really given Dokken much thought, outside of the occasional spin of Tooth And Nail, but watching this video brought back memories from that day. The show was about a one hour drive, but I hadn't traveled much at that point, and at that age it seemed like such an adventure to journey so far from home. We stood in line in the immense heat for hours just to get in through the gates, and after getting tossed around and being afraid for my life during Metallica's set, the rain came down and drenched us for the rest of the day as we braved lightning storms through sets from Dokken and Scorpions. By the time Van Halen took the stage with Sammy Hagar, I was chilled to the bone, our group of friends had splintered, and a few of us headed to the cars to get dry and warm. We spent the night sleeping in our cars, since all the campgrounds were full, and it was pretty much the defining moment of our Summer. Fuck, I miss those times.

With this nostalgia kicking into high gear, I was listening to lots of Dokken, Ratt, Twisted Sister and Quiet Riot...and pretty much had a Record Store Day mission to pick up a bunch of mid-80's Metal albums from those teen years as I could.

[1985] One of the first records that I found on Record Store Day was Dokken's Under Lock And Key...still fucking sealed. Goddamn, it was going to be a good day. Well this didn't stay sealed for much longer, and soon I was dropping the needle to the vinyl. It's funny, I don't even remember if I ever owned this album as a kid...when I think back to other albums I picked up in '85, I don't have any strong memories of Under Lock And Key...I mean I know the hits from this record, but none of the other songs are all that familiar. Either way, I'm loving it in 2018.

[1985] I know that I loved Ratt's Out Of The Cellar when I bought the cassette in '84, but a year later, after moving on to stuff like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Dio...that stuff seemed more heavy and intense, and some of those bands that first introduced me to Metal were starting to feel a little weak and limp. Ratt was one of those bands, and by the time Invasion Of Your Privacy was released, I wanted nothing to do with it. It's funny how much difference a year can make when you are fourteen years old...and even funnier how much I'm digging this album today. There is some great heavy stuff on this album, but I was too busy trying to be hard and edgy at the time to appreciate how good this album is.

[1985] Another band from the mid-80's that I loved back in the day, but had not really paid much attention to over the years, was W.A.S.P. When I saw the Blind In Texas 12 inch single in the used bins, and that the b-side had an exclusive song that didn't make it on to The Last Command album, I quickly snatched it up...and in a case of record collector kismet, as I was holding it in my hands, I received a message from Doug, who had just picked up the shaped picture disc version of the same single.

[1986] I remember buying Queensryche's Rage For Order when it first came out back in '86, and it was a big departure from The Warning. I don't think that I would hang with a change in sound like this today, but back then, I stood by my bands no matter what. I was undying in my devotion, and even something like Gonna Get Close To You was not going to turn me off. Could it be that I was more open minded when I was sixteen?

[1986] I didn't care at all about Ratt when 1986 came around, and I paid no attention to Dancing Undercover. I vaguely remember the Dance video, but really, when I had Slayer's Reign in Blood cassette, Ratt was not going to cut it at the time. Still, this is a fun album to revisit, and remember those few friends that were really into it.

[1987] I was really happy to find Dokken's Back For The Attack on Record Store Day. While I might not have remembered much about Under Lock And Key, I do recall having the Back For The Attack CD, and being surprised with how heavy it sounded to my ears. While Tooth And Nail remains my favorite Dokken album, this one is only a notch below that. So good.

[1988] The final album from my 80's shopping spree, isn't really that impressive. I'm not that big a fan of Frehley's Comet, but there are some pretty good songs on this live EP, so I grabbed it. Listening to these live songs, I started to think that maybe I needed to revisit some of their albums, and then the one studio song comes on, and I'm like "Nope...I'm out". I'll just stick with live version of Rip It Out and Rocket Ride.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

RSD 2018 - Part 1: Rainbow Demon [The 70's]

I've been struggling to keep up with this blog lately. I'm so far behind on my posts and records are stacking up. In an attempt to try and appear current, I'm going to have to move my Record Store Day haul to the front of the line, and try and knock out a quick series of posts.

Record Store Day did not disappoint this year. I didn't give a shit about any of the RSD exclusives, so I avoided the bigger record stores and just hit the used bins around town. Every store that I walked into managed to find some older vinyl that I was excited to pick up. Let's break them down, in chronological order...starting in the 70's.

[1972] I've wanted some early Uriah Heep on vinyl for a while now. For some reason, a while back, I got it stuck in my head that I only wanted the UK Bronze pressing, and I'd been kind of hold out for that. I'm pretty sure that I've seen this US Mercury pressing of Demons And Wizards at the Moody Lords store for the past couple of years, and I kept passing it by. This year, when I saw it still in the racks, I just got tired of waiting for that "perfect copy", and bought it. Cool to finally have a copy on my shelf.

[1973] I already owned a copy of Alice Cooper's Billion Dollar Babies, but seeing this copy with the hype sticker on the cover at the first store that I stopped at, I decided on a whim to grab it. Had I seen it later in the day, after I'd spent a bunch of money, I might have passed it by, but here, early in shopping day, I said "fuck it" and added it to the other records I was picking up. Plus, it was only $7, so why not, right?

One of the main reasons why I bought this copy was because my original Warner Brothers pressing was missing the perforated photo cards of the band members from the inside sleeve of the gatefold. This German pressing had those, but was missing the dollar bill insert...so now I have two pressings that are incomplete.

[1977] I really enjoy the first few Angel records. Their second album, Helluva Band, is my favorite, but the third, On Earth As It Is In Heaven, is not slouch. Great 70's Hard Rock.

Seeing that this copy came with both the poster and the merchandise insert, made this one an easy purchase at $8.

Usually I prefer it when the merchandise insert is in mint condition, and I would typically turn down a copy that has writing on it, but for some reason, the answers on this Angel form made me laugh and want it even more.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Insist Demo

So, I'm sitting here thinking how nice it is to be tuned in to what is happening in the Hardcore scene...how I've picked up this great record from Insist, so I'm obviously not as out of touch with things or as jaded about newer Hardcore bands as it sometimes seems...then I notice that it was released back in 2014. Why does it feel like this was just released? Fuck. I'm helpless.

I loved the Here & Now 7 inch that React! released last year, and these demo songs hit with that same kind intensity and feel that The First Step was delivering over ten years ago.

200 pressed on a disgusting looking gold colored vinyl.