Friday, August 17, 2018

This Is Boston, Not UK

The Born Again album was a large hole in my Black Sabbath collection. When I saw Doug post about the record four years ago, it became obvious which pressing I was going to need...the UK Vertigo pressing with those custom labels.

I had actually bought a copy though Discogs a couple years ago, but even though it was listed as a UK pressing, it turned out to be a Dutch pressing with the Vertigo UFO labels. Nope. That was not going to cut it. It was pretty cheap, so I didn't make a fuss, and I just gave it to a friend that wasn't concerned with the pressing info...but it still left me without a copy in my collection.

The album is easy enough to track down, but I kept dragging my feet on actually grabbing one. I got tired of the procrastination and added the record to my Top Wants of 2018 list, hoping it would finally push me to make a move and buy one. No matter how great I think Born Again is, or how many moves I made to keep this on my radar, seven months into 2018, it was still sitting there on my Want List. I'd picked up the mission again, and started looking around for a copy recently...and then Marcus unexpectedly came to the rescue, and delivered one right into my hands.

Marcus was overcoming a serious fear of flying, and was making a trip from the UK to spend a couple weeks visiting the US. His first stop was Boston, and I was looking forward to finally meeting him in person. We've had this online/blog relationship for probably over eight years now, so it was great to finally connect face to face, meet his girlfriend, and spend some time hanging out and doing some records shopping.

We arranged to meet in Boston Common, and I had his copy of the new Battle Ruins LP that I'd picked up for him, and he surprised me with a small gift...the UK Vertigo pressing of Born Again. So happy to be able to finally cross this off the list, and to have it hand delivered from a friend in the UK made it even better.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Gruesome Prayers

Gruesome are a straight up tribute to Chuck Schuldiner and his band Death. They aren't trying to break new ground...they are just creating music that fits into the footprint left behind by Death...and they nail it. I loved the first three Death albums back in the late 80's, so what Gruesome offer here is just what I look for in a Death Metal band. I'm not sure how much longer the band can keep up with this routine, but I'm on board for another record.

That Repka art work looks amazing, and with the green camo labels that are an obvious nod to Combat Records, I had to go with the black vinyl pressing. Colored vinyl with those old school camo labels just didn't make sense in my head.

Twisted Prayers is another ripper that recalls those best early Death albums.

When I was ordering Twisted Prayers, I had the urge to pick up a Gruesome t-shirt as well...because you know, I can't have too many metal shirts that will make my wife cringe when I wear them in public.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Graveyard Peace

Graveyard had a solid run of albums with their self titled debut (2007), Hisingen Blues (2011), and Lights Out (2012), but I could never fully get on board with Innocence & Decadence (2015). The album wasn't terrible, but there were a couple of songs that just had too much R&B influence for my tastes, and it kind of ruined the album for me. When the band announced in 2016 that they were splitting up, I was glad. If Innocence & Decadence was the new direction, I'd rather they just split.

The band managed to stay broken up for almost a full three months before they announced their reunion. Shit. Now I was going to have to pay attention to them again...most likely getting my hopes up with a new album, only to deal with the disappointment of the new music not coming close to their classic albums.

Fast forward about six months, and Graveyard posted a video for their new single, Please Don't, and I was suddenly very interested in the new album. I don't know what it was, but I had a very good feeling about what they would deliver. All that hesitation and low expectations were washed away with that one song, and Peace was suddenly one of my most anticipated albums for the year.

I fucking love this record. It is pretty rare for me to listen to the same record more than once in a day, but with Peace, I can't help but queue it up for repeat spins.

I am loving that splatter vinyl look for this pressing. Limited to 350 for the US pressing.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Line Of Sight

When I first heard the Line Of Sight demo back in 2015, it didn't really hold my attention, and I was quickly moving on to other things. Give me a break, man. Iron Maiden and Slayer had just released new albums, so I already had my plate full.

When Youngblood announced earlier this year that they were releasing a new Line Of Sight 7 inch, I figured that maybe I'd give the band another try. I mean, that demo from a couple years ago had a lot of hype, so maybe I just needed to revisit it with a fresh frame of mind.

I've been very happy with some of the new Hardcore records that have been released this year, so with that mindset, I found that the Line Of Sight demo fit right in with what I've been listening to lately. I loved it and quickly placed my order with Youngblood for the new 7 inch.

Oh hell yes. This record is great. Youngblood delivers again.

100 pressed on purple vinyl. 200 pressed on clear, and 250 on black vinyl.

When I was placing my order with Youngblood, the purple vinyl option was sold out. If I wanted it, I would need to spring for the pre-order package which included all three pressings, plus a t-shirt. All I really wanted was the two colored vinyl options, but instead I walked away with the full package...just so I could get the limited purple. What's an extra $24 just so that I could get what I wanted?

Refused Records out of Europe took the new Dissent EP, combined it with the demo songs, and released them together as a 12 inch. Line Of Sight received a number of copies, and in an effort to avoid overseas shipping costs, I ordered one direct from the band.

The sleeve on this is glossy as fuck, and really captures every one of my greasy fingerprints.

Cool just to have those demo songs on vinyl. 314 pressed on black vinyl.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Youngblood Final Pressing

The past couple of years have seen me cutting way back on buying multiple pressings for new Hardcore records. This year though...those old habits are sneaking back in every now and then. One of the labels that I'm still a sucker for is Youngblood, and when they posted some "final pressings" for a couple of their releases, I was adding them to my cart like an addict having a relapse.

The 7 inch that Youngblood released a few years ago from Disengage is great. The damn thing is only 5 minutes long, but it is still pure Hardcore fury. I had no problem adding another copy to the collection.

120 pressed on black vinyl with this special cover.

On paper, I absolutely love No Tolerance. They play fast and angry, and are unapologetically straight edge...everything that I look for in a Hardcore band as I celebrate my 48th birthday. Still, I find that I just never really reach for their records, and I'm not sure why that is. Someone needs to reach out to me weekly with a reminder that says "Listen To More No Tolerance".

150 pressed on clear vinyl with hand stamped labels.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Thoughts Are Things

I was slow to check out Discrepancy, and ended up missing out on the colored vinyl for their demo 7 inch. I was surprised with how good that record was, and was kicking myself for missing out on the more limited vinyl. I was not going to make the same mistake when Youngblood posted preorders for the band's newest release.

Discrepancy fly the flag of Orange County Hardcore, and man, they sound like they came from that scene circa 1988. These songs bring to mind the days of No For An Answer, Uniform Choice, and a few times I was thinking that a couple of these songs would fit on the Words To Live by comp from New Age. Great stuff.

100 pressed on red vinyl, and 200 pressed on clear.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Rebirth Of Slick

It is a pretty rare occasion for me to listen to hip hop these days. At one point, I enjoyed the style, but it all got old rather quick, and at the end of the day, I just prefer guitar riffs over sampled beats. However, it seems that once a year, when the weather is warming up, and we move from Spring to Summer, I'm hit with the urge to dust off some old hip hop CDs that I have on the shelf and chill.

Earlier this year, I was heading out for a 10 mile training run, and I wanted something fresh for my playlist...something to take my mind off the miles, and I could just lose myself in the music. It was going to be a great Spring morning, and I thought that hip hop would fit the mood and do the job. I added an album from Digable Planets and A Tribe Called Quest to my phone, popped in my earbuds, and started running.

Those albums, with their jazzy beats and old school flows were perfect for what I was looking for, and set the pace for a nice relaxing run. I loved it so much that I was soon checking what vinyl options were available.The original 1993 vinyl pressing for the Digable Planets album, Reachin' (A New Refutation Of Time And Space), was averaging in the $100 range, and I wasn't interested in going that deep, but I found that preorders were up for a reissue on colored vinyl, and I quickly placed my order.

I was riding a hip hop high when I placed the order, and had ideas that it was going to be my music of choice for my runs...but that only lasted a few days before I got bored, and I was back to a punk rock playlist. Still I'm glad to have this record in the collection, as it is probably in my top five favorite hip hop albums of all time.