When I checked out the latest America's Hardcore comp a few months ago, Profile wasn't the only band that I was inspired to check out. The was a band called Memory Screen that caught my attention as well.
I'd never heard of Memory Screen before, but finding them squeezed between Dead Heat and Rule Them All in the tracklist for the AHC Vol 5 comp, I couldn't help but pay attention to the band...and man, they certainly held their own against the bigger bands that I was familiar with. I don't know anything about this band, and I'm not sure how to really describe them, but I really dig their melodic hardcore style. When I discovered that they released a 7 inch, To Nowhere, at the end of 2020 I quickly grabbed a copy.
When I placed my order with Tiger Records for this Memory Screen 7 inch, the black splatter vinyl was sold out and unavailable, so I went with the regular clear vinyl option. Looks like they managed to locate one more splatter pressing and send it to me. Not a fan of splatter, but I guess this one works for those Tiger Records labels. 100 pressed.
Iron Maiden were dropping hints that we would soon be seeing a new album from them back when I caught them live on the Legacy Of The Beast tour back in 2019. Coronavirus threw a wrench into the works for a lot of bands as we rolled into 2020, and I'm pretty sure that Maiden put the brakes on thier plans to release that new album, and waited a year or so until things had calmed down a bit. Over this past summer, Iron Maiden started dropping hints around this thing called Belshazzar's Feast which lead to the announcment of the new album, Senjutsu, and the lead off single, The Writing On The Wall. I got sucked into the hype machine that Maiden were fueling big time, and could not wait for the album to drop.
It had been six long years since Iron Maiden had released their last album, Book Of Souls. Well, I make it sound like a long time, but 5 or 6 years is a pretty standard release schedule for this band. Either way, I was so hyped up that by the time the vinyl for Senjutsu arrived, I should have taken the day off from work because all I wanted to do was sit and immerse myself into this record.
Iron Maiden must be one of the more frustrating bands out there. I mean, you know that they aren't going to give us another Piece Of Mind, or even another Seventh Son, but you still hope for a couple of tracks that harken back to those glory days, but that isn't who Maiden are anymore. While, I still absolutely love all the post-2000 reunion albums I still keep hoping to hear the band with a bit of fire. So with my first listen of Senjutsu I was pretty disappointed...and while Bruce's vocals sound better than they did on Book Of Souls, my overall initial impression was that the entire one hour and twenty two minutes of this new record was stuck at the same slower to mid-pace throughout and I was tired of it by the end. I think that part of my initial exhaustion was due to the three ten minute Steve Harris epics that end this record. Repeat listens definitely had me appreciating Senjutsu more and after a few more spins I was really liking the first half of the record.
I'm starting to warm up to this record with more and more listens. I don't think this one is going to ever rank very high in their discography for me, but I still enjoy it...and it's Maiden so it will still get plenty of spins.
It has been ten years since Turnstile surprised me with that first 7 inch. The band seem to do their own thing, and over the years they have grown to experiment with their sound more and more, so with each album I've expected the band to disappoint me. I just keep expecting them to finally "outgrow" hardcore and push those boundaries too far where I just walk away.
When Turnstile released the first song off their new album, Glow On, I figured that this was when I was going to lose interest in the band. The song, Mystery, starts off with this weird electronic sound and my first thought was that I was too old for this shit. Next came Holiday which showed some promise, but the next song we got to preview was No Surprise and I was again left scratching my head. I was so conflicted about this new album. The jaded old dude in me wanted to hate it so much, but the hardcore kid in me was telling me to just give it a try...so I preordered the album and hoped for the best.
Like most Turnstile records, Glow On took a few spins to sink its hooks into me, but man, once it grabbed ahold of me I was in deep. This record is so much fucking fun and I can't listen to it without bouncing around like a fool. The flow throughout thie entire album is flawless as each songs blends into the next so smoothly that the 35 minutes flies by without any effort...and I immediately want to take it for another spin.
If I remember correctly, a lot of the more limited vinyl pressings were sold out by the time someone tipped me off that preorders were up. I think I only had the option of brown or pink vinyl. Ummmm...yeah, pink vinyl is the way to go here. There was a really nice looking colored vinyl option that was named "cloud" that would have been nice to have, especially since Discogs dipshits are dropping $600 for it. For a record released two months ago, people are dumb... even if it is a strong contender for my record of the year.
Sometimes I'll just head over to the Hells Headbangers distro and do a random search for bootlegs. Often times I'll come up empty, but occasionally I strike gold. Now, I wasn't really interested in collecting Motorhead live boots... hell, I can't even be bothered to buy some of thier official live records... but I remembered that when I'd picked up an Ozzy bootleg record that there were a number of inserts in there promoting a bunch of other records that the label had released. That Ozzy bootleg was a lot of fun, so I figured that I'd search Hells Headbangers to see if they had any of the other Rock Brigade boots. I came up empty on that front, but I did get a hit on something from Motorhead, and when I saw the Bare Breast Boogie album title, I decided to take a chance on it.
I didn't have high hopes on the quality of this recording. I'd checked a couple Youtube videos that had audio for this show and they were muddy as fuck, but I still ordered it just to have a record titled Bare Breast Boogie in my collection. Like I said, I'm not too excited over live Motorhead records, but surprisingly this thing is a blast. The sound is actually quite good for a bootleg, and Lemmy is a fiesty motherfucker throughout this show. Lem asks for the girls to show their tits before the band tear into the song Jailbait, and he calls the people in the mosh pit a bunch of assholes for not paying attention to the music as they dive into No Class. It was still nine months or so before the release of Orgasmatron, but Motorhead still included three songs from that record in this set which must have been a real treat for the kids at the show. This whole set is just a lot of fun and I'm glad that I grabbed this record.
I'm not really sure what is going on here on the back cover, but it is a nice reminder to wear your mask to help prevent the spread the of COVID-19 and it's variants.
I picked up the new Seized Up 7 inch a few months ago, and found myself really enjoying it. It's only 6 minutes long, and since I've been in the mood for newer hardcore I found that I kept returning to it. As I was digging in online to find more info about the band, I found a piece on the Hard Times site from last year. The article was talking about the absolute shit show that the country was in at the time with Trump as president, and the singer was talking about their new album and was was quoted as saying "It’s hard to look at the world and not be pissed off." Fuckin' right. A year later and I still struggle with my anger over right-wing bullshit. So when Clifford was talking about the album and not holding back when "taking a volitile stance based on our surroundings", I was like "sign me the fuck up for that". Fuel my anger.
I don't think that Brace Yourself comes out direct and swinging like I expected it to, but this is still a great record. I mean Clifford sang for Bl'ast and that band was a bit unconventional in it's delivery, and lyrically Seized Up come at you more from the side instead of beating you over the head with a message. Not was I was expecting, but I still appreciate and enjoy the end result.
When given the option of a first press on splatter vinyl or a second pressing on this yellow and black swirl, I went with the better looking option.
This colored vinyl looks great when you hold it up to the light. 500 pressed.
A couple of months back I found myself on an R.E.M. kick. It was hitting me pretty hard and I spent a few days repeatedly listening to some of their albums. It was a quick obsession, but it was enough to remind me that I'd seen something earlier in the year that the band was going to be reissuing their first 7 inch. I checked it out and found the local Bull Moose store had one available, so I took a quick drive over to pick it up.
Originally released in 1981, and limited to 1,000, the single contained early recordings of Radio Free Europe and Sitting Still. I'd never paid close enough attention to the R.E.M. disography to realize they released an early single so I was kind of interested to hear it. Seeing that the original can go for around $300 on Discogs, I figured that the $10 reissue was good enough for me. Considering that a couple years ago I didn't think that I'd ever need to listen to this band again, I'm not making any big dollar commitments to collecting for them. I like R.E.M., but let's not lose our minds, okay?
Although these two songs ended up on the Murmur LP, they sound a bit looser and have more bounce to them on this 7 inch. Cool to pick up for cheap.
Earlier this year, Marcus tipped me off to a bunch of recent New Age Records bands that I'd missed out on. I'd lost touch with what the label had been doing lately, and thankfully Marcus was there to get me back on track. My intention was to buy a ton of records direct from New Age's online store but the shipping prices were so ridiculous that it was easier for me to just pick the stuff up from different Discogs sellers. One of the bands that I wasn't able to get during my first Discogs sweep a few months ago was Drug Control, so when I was grabbing some records from a seller recently and saw they had the Clear Sight records as well, I didn't hesitate to add it to the cart.
Clear Sight, released back in 2018, was the third 7 inch from Drug Control. Apparently I downloaded their Stabbed EP back in 2017, but it didn't make much of an impression on me as iTunes shows that I only listened to it twice. I'm going to have to revisit it because Clear Sight is fucking impressive. I love the energy and rage here, and any record that has a song that rhymes the words "booze" and "lose" is automatically going to be a favorite of mine.
I suppose that I could have chased after a more limited pressing, but goddamn, I just love the look of that red vinyl. Who knows, I like this record enough that I might pick up another colored vinyl pressing at some point.
Music is my passion. I need it at all times. The influence it has had on me is undeniable. My record collection is much more than wax and cardboard. It is who I am. This documentation captures new additions to my collection. This is my addiction.