Thursday, July 22, 2021

Merciless Death

A couple months back I watched a video over on the Chromium Dioxide youtube channel. He had a couple of guests on, and they were going through their list of 5 Thrash Albums You'd Bring With You To Hell. The episode was a lot of fun and since some of their selections were a bit questionable, it got me thinking about making my own list.
I've been listening to the Darkness Descends album from Dark Angel a lot this year, so I had to include it in my list. This record is so dark and raw...just unrelenting speed that pummels you from start to finish. I mean if I'm taking a record with me for an eternity in hell, I don't want to pick something for wimps.
The price on this record was no joke, but for the incredible condition this thing is in, I'll gladly pay it. This thing looks flawless, and while I'm tempted to remove the plastic wrap, I also kind of want to leave it for the original Record Exchange pricetag on the front...$8 in cash...I wish.
Got to love it when the record comes with the mailorder and Combat Army inserts.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Stand Up Split

Stand Up were a melodic hardcore band out of Pennsylvania in the early 90's. I don't think that they got much attention but they definitely fit in with what other bands like Billingsgate and Up Front were doing at that time. The majority of their records were released on the singers label, CI Records, but I wonder if they would have made more of an impact if they'd ended up on New Age or the early Victory years. Tragically, Stand Up came to an early end when their two guitar players were killed in a car accident on Thanksgiving morning in '93. I hadn't really thought of the band too much over the past 20 years or so, but when I was picking up a Sinking Ships record on Discogs, I noticed that the seller also had a split 7 inch that Stand Up did with some band named On Life. I didn't know this record existed and so I didn't hesitate to add it to my cart.
The Stand Up songs are pretty good, although Prepare To Die ended up also being recorded for their album Words In Motion, and I was already familiar with Come Alive from their live 7 inch. I'm just happy to be reminded of this band again. I've been listening to a lot of early 90's hardcore lately, and this band fits in perfectly. The cover design on this record, however, is pretty bad even for early 90's DIY hardcore standards.
The On Life songs aren't really that good. The singer, Joe Onlife, apparently co-founded Youngblood Records, so I had higher hopes for these three songs, but they are a bit awkward and fall kind of flat. Meh, I'll probably still spin the On Life side of this record from time, but it isn't too exciting.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Blue Meridian

Earlier this year, I was spending a bit of time with hardcore bands from the 2000's. A lot of this stuff had fallen off my radar for a while and it was fun to go back and revisit this era. One of the bands that I never paid much attention to in those days was Sinking Ships. It seemed like they were a big deal at the time, but for one reason or another they never made much of an impression on me. When I picked up a copy of the REV comp Generations a few months ago, I found myself really enjoying the Sinking Ships song on there, and I thought that maybe I should revisit the band.
The Sinking Ships 7 inch for Meridian was released the same year as the Generations comp, so I figured that would be a good place for me to dive back into the band. Those songs hit me immediately with thier youthful hardcore energy played with passion. Happy to finally "discover" this band 15 years later.
Given their popularity in the past, I was kind of surprised to pick up this first press on blue for only $7. 200 pressed.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Metallica Vinyl Club #3

The third 7 inch from Metallica'a vinyl club saw more delays. What started out as a year long subscription has seen this thing stretch out to a two year process as they struggle with issues for each record that is released. At this point, I'll consider it a win if we receive the forth and final record in the series before the end of 2021.
Record number three is an interesting one for sure. Records one and two were for some live recordings, but with this latest one Metallica deliver an unreleased studio track. I Disappear was originally released for the Mission Impossible 2 soundtrack which was released in 2000, and was during the time that I didn't give a fuck about what Metallica was doing. I actually didn't even know this song existed until I received this 7 inch. It was recorded a few years after Reload, but it still has that Load/Reload vibe. In the right mood, I enjoy those albums, so it is kind of cool to find this song 20 years after it was released.
I Disappear is probably best known for two things...first, it was the last Metallica song that Jason Newsted appeared on, and second, it was the song that triggered the downfall of Napster when Lars Ulrich discovered that a demo version of I Disappear was being shared and he called in his lawyers. A different version of the song ended up being released for the soundtrack, so it is cool to have them release the version that caused so much controversy here.
Metallica make the most of the packaging for this 7 inch and include a cool booklet showing the storyboard art for the video that was shot for this song.
Once again, Metallica release something special for the fans that have subscribed for this vinyl club. Worth the money spent.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Still Burning

I don't usually expect Spotify to really hit the mark when it recommends music to me, but it certainly caught me off guard the other day and it surprised me. I was spending the morning listening to some newer hardcore bands (i.e. from that past 15 years) and I was absolutely loving it. Robot Whales, Foundation, Modern Life Is War...man, it had been a while since I'd given that stuff a spin and I was having a blast diving into those bands again. That was when Spotify threw me a curve ball when it tossed a song by Incendiary into the mix before I was able to queue up the next album I wanted to listen to.
I'd never heard of Incendiary before, but I think that when I saw the name I got them confused with Inclination and Judiciary...and Spotify had been pushing those two bands on me whenever they could, so I reached for my phone to skip the song. Before I could hit play on the next album I had queued up, the Incendiary song caught my attention. Wait. This wasn't what I was expecting. They reminded me of the recent wave of crossover bands like Mindforce and Dead Heat, and the vocals kind of had this Rage Against The Machine rhythm to them. I was shocked at how much I was digging the song, and I immediately dove in to check out the entire Thousand Mile Stare album. Fuck me. This shit was tight. I listened to that album three times that day, and knew that I was going to have to track down the vinyl.
I was surprised to discover that this album came out four years ago, and I'd somehow never even heard of it. Sometimes it pays to pull my head out of my ass and not be so quick to write newer bands off.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Australian Powerage

Last year I made some great progress with my AC/DC collection. The band released a new album at the end of the year, and I spent a lot of time leading up to it grabbing pieces of their back catalog. Things haven't been as productive on the AC/DC front this year, but I've actively been on the hunt for the Australian pressing for Powerage for a while so it feels good to finally cross this big boy off my list.
Powerage was AC/DC's fifth album released in Australia, and the first to not carry the kangaroo logo on the record label...plus it was the first time the cover art was the same as all other international releases. Because of these things I assumed that I wouldn't have to sink as much money into this record as I had the first four. I was wrong. I guess that any first press Aussie pressing for AC/DC is going to hit the savings account hard.
I'll often cite Powerage as my favorite AC/DC record, so I was very excited to finally add this one to the collection.
Apparently the European pressing has an earlier mix than all others and has a slight variation in the tracklisting by adding Cold Hearted Man and dumping Rock 'n' Roll Damnation, so I'm obviously going to have to chase that one down as well...and let's not forget about the red vinyl Canadian pressing or the New Zealand one with the different color text on the cover. I need them all.

Friday, July 09, 2021

Seized Up

I was listening to a lot of Good Riddance earlier this year, and when I saw an article over at No Echo for a new band that included one of their members, it had me curious.
With a roster that includes the vocalist from Bl'ast, the bass player from Good Riddance, and the drummer that used to play in The Nerve Agents, I was interested to see what Seized Up could deliver. Within 10 seconds of checking out their latest EP, I knew that I was going to be tracking down a copy of this 7 inch.
The three songs on this EP are great. At times I can hear the Bl'ast connection, but for the most part this record is just quick and catchy shots of hardcore. Apparently the band also released an album last year during the pandemic and didn't waste any time to follow it up with this 7 inch. I've been chasing down lots of newer hardcore bands this year, so I'm happy to add Seized Up to the list.
I ordered this record direct from Cursed Blessings and the number of stickers, patches and buttons they included in the package is impressive.
Cursed Blessings also wrote out the bandcamp link and download code on the invoice that was included. That must have been a pain in the ass if they had to do this for each order. Dedication to customer service!