Sunday, December 09, 2018

None More Orange

I loved Kid Dynamite in the late 90's, and when the singer started a new band, and None More Black released their first album, File Under Black, in 2003, I quickly grabbed the CD. I enjoyed it at the time, and gave it the occasional spin, but when I dusted it off earlier this year to revisit it, that's when it really hooked me.

I hadn't thought about this album for years, but suddenly, I could not stop listening to it. This album was so damn infectious, I needed to add this to the record collection...and since I was loving it so much, I wanted the limited color vinyl pressing. The problem is that this was released on Fat Wreck, and trying to collect colored vinyl from that label is a serious challenge. My first stop at Discogs showed that not a single copy was available, so I put in on my Want List, and waited for someone to post one for sale. Thankfully, my patience paid off, and eventually a seller listed one...and at a great price...so I quickly bought it.

218 pressed on orange vinyl.

Friday, December 07, 2018

Strike One And Two Of The Beast

Trevor William Church has been a man on a mission. In addition to the two records that he released this year with his band Haunt, the man cranked out 32 songs, spread over eight EPs for his band, Beastmaker.

Originally released only on Bandcamp over the summer this year, with each EP being priced at a dollar, it was too much Beastmaker for me to take in all at once. While I did download all eight EPs, I only loaded half of them to iTunes. I mean I like Beastmaker, but come on, 32 songs at once was going to be overkill.

The songs themselves are cool little slices of doom. Nothing mind blowing, or drawing me back for repeat listens, but they are still pretty cool.

The best part about these EPs is the artwork. Those covers look amazing, and I'd probably buy them for that alone. So when Trevor took it upon himself to press the first two EPs, and combine them on a 12 inch record, I jumped in to grab one.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Raise Hell

These days, I do not expect to get very excited over buying live albums, and most of the time they are easy to just ignore. When I heard that there was a new live Anthrax album up for preorder over at No Remorse Records out of Greece, you would have thought that I would have just shrugged my shoulders in indifference and walked away...yet, I was curious to see which tour this Chile On Hell live album was from, so I thought that I'd give it a little look.

I wasn't aware, but apparently Chile On Hell was originally released on Bluray and DVD back in 2014, capturing the band during their Worship Music/Anthems tour. I had been underwhelmed with the Worship Music album, and never cared about the Anthems cover album, but I was kind of interested to hear the "new" songs live...and once I saw that Night Of The Vinyl Dead was releasing this for the first time on vinyl, I immediately placed my order with little thought paid to the $60 price tag it was going to cost for the album and overseas shipping.

I'm a huge fan of the Night Of The Vinyl Dead label, and they never fail to impress me with the quality of packaging for the records they press. The NOTVD releases are usually unique and limited, and in most cases, you better move quick if you want one...or risk paying top dollar off Discogs or eBay down the road. The two Dio albums that NOTVD did carry ridiculous price tags these days, and it is going to cost me stupid money for the Magica record when I finally make a move for one.

So even though I knew the price paid now was going to be a bit high, I didn't want to risk trying to grab it later, and as soon as it arrived, I knew that I'd made the right choice.

With a nice gatefold sleeve, packaged in a die-cut slipcase cover, this thing looks gorgeous...even the colored vinyl looks great. You can tell that this label puts a lot of care into what they do. Impressive.

Hand numbered out of 700.

The album itself is pretty cool, with a number of Anthrax classics...although there is absolutely zero reason for the band to play I'm The Man live ever again...it was funny back in 1987, but seriously, let it go...and while we are at it, can we talk about dropping Antisocial from the set as well. Still, these two songs aside, this is a solid live album, and it is cool to hear some of the newer songs along side older classics that I was excited to see listed here, like In My World and Medusa. Solid.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Dark Days Ahead

Iron Reagan have released two EPs this year...at this point, I'm not feeling confident that I'll be able to pick up their split with Gatecreeper before the end of the year, but at least I was able to grab the Dark Days Ahead one sided 12 inch.

Iron Reagan records are always a good time, and this quick blast of five songs in eight minutes is no exception. The band still lets it rip with that Crossover sound. I was surprised to see this record released on the Pop Wig label, which is home to bands like Angel Du$t and Turnstile...and while Iron Reagan is from that same area, it still seemed like an odd fit...but then again, the label seems to have an odd roster.

200 pressed on yellow vinyl, with an etched b-side that is impossible to photograph.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Breakin' The Chains

Looking back at when I first started to get into music, I'm amazed at how quickly things progressed. Dokken's Tooth And Nail was one of my favorite albums when I started to discover Heavy Metal in 1984, and yet when I finally went back and picked up the Breaking The Chains cassette, it barely saw any playing time, and by the time Under Lock And Key was released in 1985, I had pretty much left the band in my rearview mirror.

I've been obsessed with records from this time period lately, and it made me go out and grab a download for Dokken's first album to see if it was the clunker that I remembered it as.

After ignoring it for the past 30 plus years, I suddenly found myself obsessed with this album. I couldn't get enough, and had these songs on repeat. I couldn't understand why I struggled with it as a kid, because some of these songs straight up rip...and while I could possibly end up on an FBI watch list for singing songs like Young Girls and Felony, I'm going to have to take that chance because I'm having a blast with this record.

The more I started checking into the history of the record, the more I wanted a copy...and suddenly, an original pressing of this thing was at the top of my immediate want list.

Initially it was released only in Europe back in 1981 as Breakin' The Chains under the name "Don Dokken", before finally seeing a more widespread release for the US in 1983. The '83 release gets a slight change to the record title and cover, features a different mix, with some songs being partially re-recorded, and a different track sequence...so of course, I needed to own them both.

The US pressing was considerably easier to pick up, and at a fraction of the price the original German pressing goes for.

I haven't done a close side by side test on the audio, but I'm leaning toward the more raw sound of the original pressing. Still, I'm extremely happy to have both in my collection.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Witch's Game

Band reunions aren't a surprise anymore. Seems like all the old school bands are getting together to either play at some big festival or to try and ignite the spark again with some new songs. Sometimes it works out, and other times it falls flat.

Cirith Ungol were a metal band out of California in the 80's, and they had their own distinct kind of sound that people seem to either love or hate. I wasn't too familiar with them back in the day, but over the past couple of years, I've really come to appreciate them. So when I heard that the band was back after a 27 year absence, and planning to release a one song 12 inch this year, I was definitely in to check it out.

As soon as I checked out the band's new song, Witch's Game, I was immediately hooked. Holy shit. I honestly have no idea where the band is going with this. I don't know if this is a prelude of what is to come, or if it was a burst of brilliance and they were done. Whatever the case may be, this song absolutely rules. If this was a full album, and it captured this level of doom perfection for the entire thing, this would be near my top records for 2018.

100 pressed on this nice looking clear dark brown marbled vinyl, and only available from the band.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Atomic Kingpin

One of the greatest crimes of the early 90's hardcore era was seeing the second Kingpin record fail to be released. At the time, there was talk that Redemption Records was going to release it, and after a strong string of records from Encounter, Ressurection and Four Walls Falling, I thought that this label would give Kingpin exposure to a wider audience outside of Boston. Then Redemption Records disappeared, and along with it, Kingpin's second record.

The songs from the recording session of their unreleased record had been shared through the internet for years, but it was great news to hear that Atomic Action was finally making them available with an official record release in 2018.

I was at the final Kingpin show back in '93, which I assume is where the photos on this record are from, so I as disappointed to not find my face in the crowd...although, earlier that night, during one of the other band's sets, I got kicked in the face from a stagediver, knocking me out for a second, giving me a black eye and chipping my front tooth...so even though I was up front for most of Kingpin's set, I was a bit gun shy, and was probably covering my head and protecting my face when the crowd started to get wild.

300 pressed on both white and red vinyl.

Atomic Action is one of the few labels that will make copies of the test pressings available to buy direct from them. I grabbed their reissue of the Verbal Assault album earlier this year, and did not hesitate to pick up a copy of the Kingpin test as soon as it was available. A steal at $15, and I can't believe that months later, they still have some available in their webstore.

Nice test press cover. Well done and hand numbered.

Atomic Action likes for you know which number you have, and they let you know on the back cover, the label, and the dust sleeve...although, the back cover says it it limited to 25, while the dust sleeve and label stickers show it is numbered out of 20.