Saturday, December 29, 2007

Music, Sweet Music

This Christmas holiday came and went, I pulled in a pretty good amount of gift cards for Newbury Comics. I lose all track of time when I go into this store, browsing through all the CD's, agonizing over which ones I will buy. I'm not sure if it is a case of Newbury's not carrying a lot of hardcore and punk CD's that I'm interested in, or maybe it is just that I have been interested more and more in metal, and I've really been looking to replace those old burned CD's with the real deal. Either way, when I walk through the doors, I head straight to the Metal section.
The first thing that I knew I wanted was a Witchfinder General double live album. It was a bit expensive for $27, but the packaging on this was worth it....nice thick packaging including a big book that covers the history of the band and has some nice big photos of their early days. The band was around when the New Wave of British Heavy Metal started to take off at the start of the 80's, and really captured a great Black Sabbath sound. Sure the band is a little immature lyrically, and don't forget those album covers that showcased plenty of bare chested women. But you know what, that is all just a part of their charm.
For the next half hour, I wandered the store...pulling out CD's and then putting them back...trying to make decision on what two CD's I was going to buy. I had the new Soul Control in my hands, but ended up putting that back since I already have it on vinyl (maybe I'll pick it up some time when I see them live), and debated in my head over about 5 other CD's and ended up buying new CD's from Evile and Fueled by Fire...both newer thrash bands that really draw their influence from the mid-80's thrash sound. Cool stuff and now I can toss out those CDR's that I had for each of them.
Still have one more gift card, that I'm already planning on spending on Monday. So much music, so little money.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Possessed and Bonded By Metal

I was really surprised when Reflections Records started an offshoot of their hardcore record label to release some metal vinyl. I wasn't interested in their first record, but I was excited for releases two and three. Back in June, they sent out a newsletter saying that they were re-releasing two classic thrash albums with Bonded By Blood from Exodus and Seven Churches from Possessed, each one limited to 500 each. It took the label forever to finally get this vinyl out. By August, I was getting so impatient that I emailed them, and got a note back saying that they were hoping to have the pre-orders up in October, and then they still didn't get them up until the end of November. Wow, the wait was worth it for both of these classics. Nice thick vinyl, and awesome looking gatefold packaging. Exodus were the real of the original leaders of the Bay Area thrash movement...unfortunately they never really pulled it all together and were left in the dust as Metallica and Slayer moved on to conquer the world. But, man, that first album still overflows with such thrash intensity, and raw power, it is easily recognized as a classic. This was a movement set out to push Metal music to extreme limits for extreme speed and shocking lyrical content, with Exodus covering all the bases with songs like A Lesson in Violence, Bonded By Blood, and Strike of the Beast, with original singer Paul Baloff snarls and spits out such vocals as "If you got something to say, then come my way, I'm guarded by Satan.". Totally over the top for the 1984 release date. Possessed push the envelope even further come 1985 with their first release, as they portray a more Satanic image. Definitely not for the faint of heart with their extreme sound of thrashing guitars and growling vocals. Larry Lalonde plays guitar on this record, well before moving on to the more quirky stylings of Primus.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Purple and the Puke

I got some more records in the mail today, so I figured that I had better get these four albums cleaned off my desk...especially since bought them about 4 months ago. I either have no time, or I'm a huge procrastinator.

Municipal Waste released their new album, The Art of Partying, on 10 different colors of vinyl...a collectors wet dream. I really like the band, but spending over $100 to get the entire collection was a bit much for me at the time, and while I really like the band, I'm not really out to collect everything they release. Since Earache sucked ass, and wasn't carrying the colored vinyl for the new Municipal Waste and SSS records, I found that Very Distro had them for sale. Very had a few colors up for sale, and I decided to go with the purple one. Like I said, Very had the new SSS vinyl available as well, and I was really impressed with their throwback style of thrash, so I grabbed one of those as well.
The new Down to Nothing is incredible, and will top my list of the best for 2007. Along for the Ride is a classic hardcore song, as well as most of the songs on this album. I already had this album on CD and blue vinyl, but Revelation released a second pressing on purple, and for me, the band is collectible. Allegiance is a band, like Go It Alone, that takes a while to warm up to. They aren't instant gratification bands, they are bands that take repeated listens to fully appreciate. I didn't jump to buy the new Allegiance album, as money was a big factor, so I didn't rush to get the limited pressing. Instead, I got the one that Rivalry Records calls "metallic gold", but it really looks like some disgusting color of puke or diarrhea.
I didn't notice when I had placed the order, but when I received the records I realized that three of them were the same color (even though they don't look it in the pictures, they are purple). Funny little coincidence.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Jeff's Bargain Basement

A while back, Jeff and I spent another afternoon in his basement, flipping through old records and just generally kicking back, listening and talking nothing but music. It was really the first time that I had gone through his Heavy Metal section, and numerous times I needed to wipe the drool from my chin. So many amazing records. Raven, Savatage, early Megadeth and Manowar, Demon, Witchfinder General....damn, I could go on and on. I was literally jealous of his collection. Jeff is a few years older than me, so he grew up buying vinyl in the early 80's, totally catching Metal as it started to take off. I was a few years late to the scene. Plus, when I started buying music, CD's were starting to take off so there was a very small period where I was buying music on vinyl. I look back now, and remember seeing all those great Metal records in the stores, but instead of vinyl, I bought it on cassette or CD. If I had a time machine...

Jeff sold me some of the records that he no longer wanted, or they were ones that he had originally bought, but never got into them. He still owed me some money for the Black Sabbath tickets from the concert back in the Spring, so we made a trade to pay off that debt.

  • Virus : Force Recon - I'm pretty sure that Paul owned this on cassette when we were younger. I couldn't remember what it sounded like, so I put it on Jeff's turntable. Pretty decent mid-80's thrash, so I grabbed it. Still trying to find the mp3's on Soulseek so that I can burn it to CD.
  • Vicious Rumors : Soldiers of the Night - I had never heard of this 80's Metal band, but I had read a lot of reviews in The Collectors Guide to Heavy Metal - Volume 2, and recognized the record label, Shrapnel, that this album was on. I put this one on the turntable as well. Pretty standard Metal fare, but I did want it simply because of the historical significance of the record label.
  • Overkill : Taking Over - Now this is what I had come for. I remember Jeff talking about owning this record from a past conversation, and I knew that he had no interest in it, so I was hoping to walk away with it. This album is pure Thrash classic. One of my favorite records from this genre.
  • Helloween : Judas - Just an E.P. from Helloween, but it was from their early days...around the same time as the Walls of Jericho album, which was another one that Paul owned. This was back when the band was doing a good job of ripping off the Judas Priest sound. Good stuff.
  • Fates Warning : The Spectre Within - Funny, I never owned anything by this band, but again, Paul had an album by them. I didn't remember much about the band except that I thought that the album that Paul owned was pretty dull, progressive Metal in the same vein as Queensryche (although not nearly as good). The Spectre Within was an early album and it rocks a little harder, plus it was an early release on Metal Blade Records, so again, I took it for historical significance.

In cleaning out the duplicates in his collection, Jeff handed me a few records from The Doors for free. No need to go into each one, but I believe that Strange Days is the only vinyl from the band that I don't own. As a collector I also have the box set from them, where each CD is packaged in a replica sleeve to look like the original vinyl release, complete with gatefold sleeves and inserts.
And then there was the stack of duplicates and various 12 inch singles that he bundled together and sold to me for $10.

  • The Who : Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy - A compilation of hits, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this album. Seriously, I never thought that I could listen to Pinball Wizard one more time, yet here on the album, I found myself singing right along.
  • The Who : Live at Leeds - When Jeff played this for me the last time I was over, I was floored at how heavy the guitars sounded on this live album. The guitar sound for Young Man Blues is just killer. I had tried to get into this band previously and they did nothing for me. This album though, this one kept my attention.
  • Black Sabbath : Never Say Die - Certainly not their best, but that title track still kicks ass. The only pressing that I had of this, other than the CD copies from the box set and the Castle remaster that I have, was the Earmark Re-issue out of Italy. This one is the original U.S. pressing. Nice addition to my slow growing Sabbath collection.
  • Elf : Trying to Burn the Sun - Before Ronnie James Dio became a Heavy Metal icon though bands like Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio, he fronted Elf, which was more of a bluesy/roots rock band from the early 70's. Not nearly as good as the bands he would sing for down the road, but it is still cool to hear his voice from those early days.
  • Vile : Solution - I still haven't listened to this entire record yet. I was surprised to find it in Jeff's collection, as it is straight up raw punk. Loud, fast and dangerous, with a strong "I don't give a fuck" attitude. Jeff said that he doesn't think that he had ever listened to the entire thing. He bought it during a time in his musical life where he was searching for something new and interesting when Heavy Metal started to bore him.
  • Nuclear Assault : Good Times Bad Times - Yes, they covered the Led Zeppelin song, and there was a time where I actually thought this was much better than the original. The b-side is a song that never made it to one of their albums, so I grabbed this 12 inch single.
  • Thin Lizzy : Cold Sweat - Holy shit, this song is so good. Great heavy guitar, and a hook that won't quit. This 12 inch single is from the end of the bands career...good rockin' stuff.
  • Hear n Aid : Stars - Yeah, the project pulled together by Vivian Campbell and Jimmy Bain from the original Dio band, as a Heavy Metal kind of We Are The World song to raise money for the hungry. Metal singers came from all over to participate in this worthwhile cause, and the song just kicks ass.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Bridge Nine Let Down

A year ago I was all over anything that Bridge Nine Records released. Nowadays, not so much. I was keeping a list of all the different pressings that B9 had put out, and was on a mission to collect them all. In 2006 they put out amazing new records by Have Heart, Triple Threat, and Outbreak, they were the home of Champion, Mental, and the first Betrayed 7 inch...and then I just stopped caring. The messageboard turned into the biggest waste of internet space, full of retarded posts about "how often do you masturbate", and tough guy posing on anyone that dared step out of line...a place where the bigger dick you were to people, the cooler you were. The label released Palehorse and Death Before Dishonor, and pushed a tough-guy "hardcore" sound that I really wasn't that into. The honeymoon was over, and I no longer felt the need to buy every pressing of every release.
On a whim, I picked up the new Ruiner and Ceremony vinyl. I wasn't excited about it, but I guess a small part of me still felt like I needed to buy it because it was on Bridge Nine. Besides the fact that the Ruiner album has some of the sickest cover art I've seen in a long time, the music is actually pretty good as well. Very dark and angry, while still coming across as very real. The vocals are killer and every time I spin this album, I wonder why I don't listen to it more often. Even though I waited a while before placing my order, I still managed to get the red and orange split colored to 300.
The Ceremony 7 inch is good too. It took me a while to get into this band. I had their first 7 inch for a while, but never really listened to it, and really caught on to them when I bought their album Violence Violence. The new record rips the same kind of fast and angry hardcore sound, maybe slowing things down a little on this release. They do a cover of Negative FX's Feel Like A Man which is very impressive...worth it for that song alone. The black vinyl was limited to 400 pressed.
So yeah, maybe Bridge Nine actually is releasing some good stuff these days. At some point I may even check out the new Crime in Stereo and Ambitions. Yeah, someday.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Out of Control

My computer area is getting out of control, with stacks of vinyl building up all around me. The past few months have lent very little free time for me to just sit and enjoy new records. It has gotten to the point where my desk is cluttered with piles of records that need to be added to the database I use that catalogs all of my records and CD's. I'm going to have to get this stuff added to my blog so that I get get his mess cleaned up. So much music, so little time.

Man, Rivalry Records puts out some of the sweetest looking vinyl, and the new Soul Control and Red Handed records are no exception. Soul Control's album, Involution, was pressed on red (limited to 600) and red/yellow swirl (limited to 200). They also had limited pressings on orange/yellow swirl, plus the black vinyl record release pressing. I saw that the band had a few of those left over from their tour and were selling them through their myspace page, but I was too broke to spend more money on additional pressings. About half of the tracks on this album are from the 7 inch and the split with I Rise, but damn, this is a fine record...full of hardcore groove in the vein of Burn. Great stuff.

The new Red Handed record, Wounds Remain, was also pressed on some pretty tasty looking vinyl. The purple and yellow swirl was limited to 800, and looks good enough to eat. The pre-order color was limited to 200 and the color was called "Grape Citrus Explosion". Very creative. Much like the Soul Control album, Wounds Remain is about half full of previously released songs from their 7 inch. It took a little while for these songs to really grab me, but after a few listens I was suddenly hooked on their snotty, hardcore punk style. Love it.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

New Pressings

Bottled Up Records released a new pressing of the Have Heart 2003 Demo, so of course I had to have them. New covers this time around, and I got both the blue and grey colored vinyl. Since Bottled Up doesn't seem to have pressing info posted anywhere online, I have no idea how many of each were pressed. The front cover photo was taken at the posi-numbers show that Rob and I had gone to...however Have Heart played on the last day, and by that time we were already on the road back home.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Edge Day With Overkill

A month or so ago, Rob and I decided to go and see Overkill in New Hampshire. A few days after we made plans I found out that there was going to be an Edge Day show on the very same day. I was torn. I had really been looking forward to seeing Overkill with Rob, but come on, EDGE could I miss that show?!?! The problem was that I had no idea who the bands were for the Edge Day line up. Remembering the disappointment of the last show I went to, and all the bad bands that I sat through, I decided to stick with our original plan and go see Overkill. Well shortly after Rob buys us tickets, I find out the Edge Day line up consists of Have Heart, Verse, The First Step, but most importantly, a kind of Ten Yard Fight reunion. Holy shit, I couldn't believe it...Wrench and Clevo were going to play Ten Yard Fight songs with a couple of other guys. I saw this band from their beginnings, straight through to their last show. I couldn't believe that I was going to have to miss seeing them. Big disappointment. Rob was awesome about it and offered to skip Overkill, so I could make the Edge Day show. No, I had committed to Overkill, and I couldn't back out of that just because something better came along. Well, after checking the map and show times, Rob figured that we could catch the beginning of Edge Day, skip out and then take the half hour drive over to Overkill. Yes, we were going to pull off a double header and go to both shows.

The Edge Day show was at Welfare Records in Haverhill, Mass. Before the show we checked out the store, and I could have very easily dropped $100 on vinyl. They had a huge Punk section, and a nice looking Metal section as well. I resisted the urge to spend money so I could see what the Edge Day merch tables had to offer first. We head down to show and find out that a National Geographic film crew is at the show shooting for some Inside Straight Edge show they are doing. Apparently they are there in connection with Ross Haenfler, the author of Straight Edge: Clean-Living Youth, Hardcore Punk, And Social Change. Rob and I joked that the film crew was wishing they were back in Africa running from lions instead of following around 16 year old kids, taping their conversations. We get inside and bump into Aram, he recognizes me right off and says that he knew that I would be at this show. We talk about how I'm going to have to leave early and miss The First Step, but he understands and says "You can see The First Step anytime, when will you get another chance to see Overkill.". He also mentions that he will be releasing the Get The Most demo on vinyl in a few weeks and he will make sure that I get a copy. Great to see him again, and I am immediately happy that we stopped in at the show. Get The Most play first and since this is probably the only band I will see for the day that I am familiar with, I head right down front. The band opened with Flame Still Burns by Youth of Today and I immediately take off across the stage for a nice dive. Their set was so much fun, ending with a cover of Chain of Strength's Never Understand and then Clock Me Out from their Common Goals E.P.. After their set, I headed up to pick up their new 7 inch, which they had on black and the limited yellow vinyl. Next up were Maintain and then Outrage. Both of which failed to impress me...wasn't feeling it at all. I was worried that we would only see crap bands until we left but thankfully Let Down and Foundation were both solid bands that I enjoyed checking out. Minutes before The Effort took the stage I bumped into Sweet Pete, and he was telling me that the band wanted him to sing an In My Eyes song with them. I wasn't sure if it was going to happen or not, but I made sure I was down front when the band started. I had seen The Effort at the last show I was at. At that time they had said that they were celebrating their six month anniversary and had record release pressings of their new 7 inch for sale. I was so put off that they had only been around for six months and already were releasing a record, that I didn't buy it out of principle. Well they surprised me this time around as their set was full of energy and did not disappoint. Half way through their set, they asked for a moment of silence for Ten Yard Fight and In My Eyes. After a few seconds of complete silence, Pete steps on the stage and they rip into Take The Risk. I push my way to the front of the stage, so overcome with adrenaline that when someone dives and lands on my neck, dropping me to my knees, I do not hesitate and I'm back up, scrambling onto the stage screaming along to the song. In My Eyes were one of my favorite bands, and I fucking lost it during this song, screaming my throat raw. Amazing. After The Effort finish their set, I head up to their table and pick up their 7 inch, which has a special Summer tour cover. The cover was a page ripped out of a bible, and hand written for their Summer tour...mine was numbered 20 and had a nice upside down cross on it. The record itself is really good, with Sean from Verse and Pat from Have Heart each doing guest vocals on a couple of songs.

It's time for Rob and I to hit the road for the half hour drive to Overkill. Turns out we got there way too early and had to sit through too many bad metal bands. The only one that was semi-interesting was Candy Stripper Death Orgy. The funny thing was that Paul and had seen that band 15 years ago in Boston. I guess they are still going at it. The good thing about the show was that they had TV's playing the baseball game, and Rob and I watched the Sox take another step closer to the World Series, beating the Indians. Overkill finally went on around 11:00, and played an impressive set. They didn't play as many of the classics as I would have hoped, but it was still a good time. The show got out around 1:00 and I didn't make it to bed until 3:30 in the morning. One of the best days out at a show that I've had in a long time, even though I missed out on seeing my favorite bands. Good times.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Jack White Meets Steve Hoffman

I am in love with the new White Stripes album, Icky Thump. The title track had it's hooks in me from the first time that I heard it, and after a few spins I appreciated the entire album more and more. The vinyl pressing of the album has the legendary Steve Hoffman doing the mastering. As opposed to most remastered CD that are released nowadays, where the engineer has a mindset of "louder is better", Hoffman seeks to breath new life into the music and give it the best possible sound. The remastered CD's that he did for Metallica's Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets can go for over $100 on ebay. The only other piece of work of Hoffman's that I own is a remastered CD of Deep Purple's Who Do We Think We Are. But back to The White Stripes...I was eager to hear the new album with Hoffman's touch (he did not master the CD version of the album). I was planning a trip to Jeff's house one weekend, and decided that listening to the vinyl on his system would be the best case scenario, so I picked it up before heading over. This thing sounds so crisp...when Meg clicks her drums sticks together in one of the songs, it sounds like she is right in the room. Great sound. A cool thing about the vinyl is that there are different recordings of some of the songs, most notably Rag and Bone, which is completely missing Meg's vocal part. A great album, pressed on some nice thick vinyl with heavy gatefold packaging. A vinyl collector's wet dream.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I Rise

This has been the most anticipated record of 2007 for me so far. I loved the I Rise songs on the split 7 inch with Soul Control, and was really looking forward hearing more from this band. This 7 inch does not disappoint. Full of intense and driving hardcore, comparisons have been made to Burn, but I am really hearing an influence of Strife on some of these songs, especially Rebellion. I'm pretty sure that I ordered this record as soon as the pre-order info was posted on 1917 Records website, but somehow I didn't end up with the more limited pressing. Strange because I saw kids posting pictures of this record months ago on the Bridge Nine messageboard, and yet I just got mine. Either the people that do the 1917 mailorder are complete fuck-ups, or maybe they really did sell out of the burgundy (limited to 100) vinyl before I placed my order. I'll never know. The yellow vinyl was limited to 200, and the red/grey vinyl is limited to 715. I also ordered the Snake Eyes demo CD and the first Guns Up! CD as well. Both of them are really good.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

...Again It All Comes Down To Money

Verse has a song on From Anger and Rage called Consume, and when I was thinking about this post, the song kind of jumped out at me. The song is actually about mass media and consumerism...about how money rules and somehow it manages to define success in this society. Okay, that's not really the point of my post, but it does tie in with money because I really don't have much of it at the moment. Things have come to a head with the project to build the garage and addition on the house. Michelle is a nervous wreck over the finances as our savings keeps disappearing to pay the latest expenses, namely the garage door, propane stove, and sheetrock. Just before we got to the point of worry, I dropped a good chunk of change on these two pressings of the latest Verse album. First was the Sound and Fury fest pressing. This one is limited to 110, with the spray painted cover, and mine is stamped with number 2. Pretty cool to get such a low number. The other one is the "mint chip" friends press. Limited to 110 of this one as well, but this one was only given out to friends of the band. Sure it was bad timing on my part, but damn, I think I got a good price on each of them.
The second thing that I'd like to bring up is the double standard I feel about buying these records. See, I can't stand it when opportunistic kids buy records to turn around and sell them on eBay. Hardcore is not a business...hell, music in general should not be used to make a quick buck for those on the sidelines. I'm not saying that people shouldn't be allowed to sell those rare items that are no longer important to them, but buying a rare record for the purpose of selling it is despicable. If you aren't interested in owning the record, leave it, so that a real fan has the chance to buy it. So my double standard is that while I hate that someone bought the Sound and Fury pressing, only to sell it for a profit, I'm also grateful, since I couldn't be there to buy it myself. So yeah, to quote Verse, "Again it all comes down to money...fuck the business man".

Friday, September 21, 2007

New York Crew

The fourth annual Guys Roadtrip. The first year the three of us made the trip to Pennsylvania for the Knife or Death fest with the Youth of Today and Mouthpiece reunions. Next year, Paul had just had a baby and couldn't take the trip, but Rob and I made it back to Pennsylvania for the last Posi-Numbers fest. Third year was our trip to Toronto for the Red Sox/Blue Jays game. This year it was decided that we would spend the weekend in New York City and catch a Mets game. I don't really care about baseball, but a weekend spent hanging out with Rob and Paul is always a good time. For our trip, I was really looking forward to hitting some record stores. Our first stop was Generation Records. Holy shit, I could have blown so much money in this place. They had a huge room that was strictly dedicated to vinyl. The place was amazing. The only way for me to get the most out of it was to start at A and work my way through the entire rack, thumbing through them one at a time. It took a lot of restraint, but I controlled my spending and only got 3 albums (and got 3 that Paul bought me for Christmas).
  • Regulations : Regulations - I am really liking this band. Great early 80's style punk in the vein of the Circle Jerk's Group Sex EP. Great snotty attitude. I have their second album, Electric Guitar, and since the vinyl version of their first album seemed to be sold out at the online distributors that I use, I was glad to find this record.
  • No Turning Back : Holding On - I was really reluctant to listen to these guys when I first heard of them. I was expecting some tough-guy hardcore similar to Death Before Dishonor, or maybe Hatebreed and Madball...I don't know why, it was just the image that I had of them. Tyler GetBroken liked this album, so I decided to try it, and figured at the least it might be good music to listen to at the gym. I was surprised at how much I liked this...good solid hardcore with a tough edge to a guest appearance on Alive or Dead by Aram is a definite bonus.
  • Hellanbach : Now Hear This - This one was recorded in 1982, and was one of the earlier albums released by Neat Records, who I specifically remember as a kid for releasing those Venom albums. Well this one sounds nothing like Venom, but more of an English version of Van Halen. Pretty good rockin' stuff.

After Generations and a bite of pizza, where I managed to drop a good sized drop of tomato sauce onto the crotch of my tan shorts, we made our way to the infamous Bleecker Bob's. I had heard such stories about the cranky owner that I was a little nervous to enter the store. Sadly, I didn't really find much that interested me...and what did interest me was grossly overpriced. An original Overkill Fuck You EP for $35, and an autographed Kind Diamond The Portrait for $100 were a bit pricey for me.

  • Various Artists : All Systems Go! - I had downloaded most of the songs on this album, but I figured that $7.00 was a good price for an album of cover songs. Great versions of Ten Yard Fight covering Youth of Today, Bane doing Chain of Strength, Ensign doing an Underdog song, and Reach the Sky doing Rites of Spring, plus many others. Cool shit.

On Saturday we caught a Mets game at Shea Stadium. Having only experienced Fenway Park, I would have to say that Shea Stadium was awesome. I can't understand why they are building a new stadium to replace this one. We had great seats...field level but in the back row, so we could stand and come and go as we pleased without disturbing the entire row. The game was fun, and it was Bucket Hat Day, so we all got our free hats. After the game, we went back into the city and had dinner at Serendipity III, which was a very cool restaurant that Paul wanted to go to. I think the only vegetarian thing on the menu for me was the ravioli, but damn, it was so good. We also had the house specialty of a Frozen Hot Chocolate, which was definitely a treat.

The weekend was so much fun, from hanging out in the city, avoiding the puke on the subway, and the conversation of drunk girls on the same train ride, to goofing off in the hotel room and jumping from bed to bed trying to get pictures of each other airborne (most people don't seem to understand just how funny this was). We walked for miles and miles through the city, with Paul getting the attention of homeless people and starving Hip Hop artists looking to sell their CD's. We laughed the entire three days. Good times.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Worth The Wait

I've been waiting to post on this one. The day that I received the new Champion live LP, Different Directions from Bridge Nine Records, I got an email from Aram saying that he had a copy of the album on gold vinyl that he was going to set aside for me. I had not heard about a gold pressing, so I was extremely excited to find out from him that it was special "friends press", limited to 100! He went on to thank me for the support that I had given to Champion and Betrayed and said that I deserved one. Holy shit...I don't hero worship, but you have no idea how fucking excited I was. This was at the end of April. Fast forward four months of waiting, and a few email exchanges, and the record finally arrived today. Easily in the top 5 pieces of vinyl that I own...well worth the wait.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

eBay Killed The Record Convention

There was a time when there were two local record conventions around here each year. One in the Spring and one in the Fall. For each one, I would tap into the savings account and load up on vinyl, bootleg cassette and video tapes, and CD's. Man, how I loved those record shows. I think the last one I went to was around 1991, and I remember picking up the Judge album on vinyl. Soon after that, I stopped buying vinyl, preferring to buy CD's, and stopped paying attention to when the record convention was rolling through town. Needless to say, I've been interested in going to one of those record shows again. For the past couple of years I've been trying to track down one of those local shows, but to no avail. It seems as though they are no longer setting up shop in Westbrook, Maine. After doing a couple of online searches, I found one in Massachusetts. I talked to Jeff about it, and we both thought that it would be a great time, so we headed down. We had a blast on the trip down, talking about music from our teenage years, and about how much of an impact it had on us. Great company...great conversations.

We got to the record convention, and were surprised at how small the thing was! The conventions from when I used to go were huge. Giant conference rooms, packed wall to wall with records and CD's...and the, people would be 5 deep waiting to thumb through stacks of vinyl. This one was less than half the size, and no lines! Kind of sad, really, but when you have eBay at your fingertips, I guess a lot of people prefer to just go online and get that immediate satisfaction, rather than browse and shop. Even with the scaled down version of the record convention, I walked away with a healthy stack of vinyl.
The first table that we stopped at had a section of records on sale for $4.00 each. I immediately found something that I wanted.
  • Van Halen : Women and Children First - Van Halen were another band that I hated though my teenage years, and have just recently begun to appreciate. This is a cool record.
  • The Doors : Absolutely Live - Never liked The Doors, until Rob played me the first song on this record, Who Do You Love. As soon as I heard it, it was like a light was turned on and I finally understood why people lose it over this band. Jim Morrison's voice is so amazing, when he screams it can send chills down your spine, it is so powerful. When the guitar kicks in during Who Do You Love, I knew that I'd found a "new" band.
  • UFO : Force It - This album contains one of my favorite songs from this band, Mother Mary. Another cool Rock record.

Coming to this record show I was really hoping to find some classic thrash records from the '80's and at the next table I visited, I found some of what I was looking for.

  • Metallica : Weed Killer and Sugar - An obvious bootleg. This is a recording taken from a couple of shows back in '84 and '85. The sound quality isn't that good, but I love that James' voice is high and screechy. This band was amazing for their first three albums, and this is a cool record that captures how great they used to be. Doing a search online, I've found that this is the first pressing of this bootleg, and I've seen some people selling them for $70. My copy has the corners of the sleeve pretty well bent, but it was only $15.
  • Dio : We Rock - This is a cool 12 inch single, with the b-side being a couple of live songs from the Donington Festival back in '83. I've been on a bit of a Dio kick, and for $5, I wasn't going to pass this one up. Excellent condition.
  • Exodus : Fabulous Disaster - One of the best Exodus albums. It opens with The Last Act of Defiance and just shreds all the way through. Funny thing about this band...apparently I saw them live with Suicidal Tendencies back in 1990, but I have no recollection of seeing them! I was probably too preoccupied with not getting punched by security or FSU. They are coming to New Hampshire in February, and since I am loving their last two albums, I may try and catch them again.
  • Queensryche : The Warning - I had forgotten how great this record is. Either Paul or I bought this on cassette tape when it was released in 1984, and I was excited to add it to my vinyl collection. This copy has the gold promo stamp, which I always find extra cool.
  • Led Zeppelin : IV - I may have said it before, but I'll say it again...I grew up hating Led Zeppelin. Like The Doors, one day it just clicked and I finally recognized how great the band was. I even find myself getting into Stairway to Heaven when I listen to this album!

The last table that I stopped at was hit or miss. When I'm buying used vinyl, I need it to be in great shape, or I'm not interested. This table had a bunch of albums that were in rough shape, so there were one's, like Metallica's Master of Puppets, that I just could not buy. Still, I was able to find a couple of records to pick up and end my day.

  • Metal Church : The Dark - I love this record. I remember getting the cassette for Christmas back in '85, and sitting with my Walkman cassette player at my Grandparents house, headphones pressed tight on my ears, just taking in how fast and intense this album was. This album still had the plastic shrink wrap on it, so I knew that the album cover was in good shape, but I didn't realize that the first song has a small skip on it. Plus I found out this past weekend that Jeff's copy has a lyric sheet and mine doesn't. Damn it, I want another copy...a complete copy.
  • Kiss : Hotter Than Hell - Holy shit, another band that I used to hate. I grew up with the Kiss that was a hair band, turn out crappy songs like Lick It Up. Again, Jeff got me to look past that era and dig into the early years of the band, and I'll be damned, I've come to really like the first three or four Kiss albums.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

My Love Can Be Bought

I love Shield Recordings! A while back, Rold had posted on his blog about Shield putting up a pre-order for the new Said and Done LP. Pre-order copies of the record were to come with a special sleeve, pressed on red and black "flamed" vinyl, and were limited to 50! I checked out a couple mp3's of the band, and liked what I heard so I emailed the guys at Shield to get a price for shipping to the States. I figured that while I was ordering overseas, I'll pick up a few other things at the same time and ordered the new High Treason 7 inch and the Heartfelt CD that I was missing from my collection. Gert-Jan from the label emailed me back with the pricing, apologizing for the $16 shipping charge. I was so charged up about getting the album, did I mention that it was limited to 50, that I wasn't concerned about the high price for shipping. When I got the package in the mail, I nearly wet my pants with excitement when I saw that Shield had included a test press of the Said and Done album along with the pre-order pressing. I was so excited that I even ran to show it to my wife...and since she has little to no interest in what records I'm getting, that should tell you how happy I was. The test press has a cool Motorhead rip-off sleeve, and is limited to 10...and mine was number 10. Much love and respect to Shield Recordings for adding this record to my colleciton. Also to note, the High Treason 7 inch came on white vinyl and was limited to 525 copies, and the Heartfelt CD....well, no one really keeps track of how many CD's were pressed, so Shield needs to get the Heartfelt stuff pressed on vinyl.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Wasting My Time

I picked up a couple of new 7 inches from Grave Mistake Records. Both Government Warning and Wasted Time had something new to give. The Government Warning record starts off with the title track, Arrested, and the lyrics "God bless the USA, and only the USA." scream off the vinyl with a classic Born Against style. Wasted Time was new to me, but I decided to take a chance on them. Wow, this is easily going to be one of my favorite 7 inches of 2007. They take their name from a Negative FX song and they play an intense style of hardcore not unlike that band, or Last Rights, or early Slapshot (basically any early 80's hardcore band that Choke was involved with). I had placed my order with Grave Mistake with hopes of possibly picking up one of the few copies of colored vinyl left in stock for Government Warning, but they sold out so quickly that I only got the black vinyl for both records.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

Today is my birthday. I am now 37 years old. Fuck, that sounds old, but you know what, I don't feel old, and sometimes I wonder if I have anything in common with other people that are my age. I enjoy what I do for my job, but I could give a shit about my "career". I'd rather chill with family, spend hours going through my record collection, or hang out with friends playing video games, than waste my time and mind at happy hour with drones who's sole existence seems to revolve around when they can drink. I love my life, and live it the way that makes sense to me. I remember when I was around 17 years old and was really getting into Thrash Metal...listening to a lot of Metallica, Slayer, Testament, and Overkill. A co-worker of mine at McDonalds told me that soon I would grow out of that style of I was going to enter adulthood and toss out my Heavy Metal tapes and tune into some radio station playing "the hits of yesterday and today". I don't know if that is how it works for some people, but it sure as Hell wasn't how it was going to work for me. Music makes up a large part of who I am. As an awkward teenager with zero self-confidence, it was a safe haven. It was where I could go and not concern myself with how I measured up against others.
So here I am 20 years later, 37 years old and finding myself getting a charge out of buying the newest Slayer release on vinyl. This is a re-issue of their Christ Illusion album, which was released on my birthday last year. Apparently they had another song, Final Six, that didn't get finished during the recording session because Tom Araya got sick and couldn't finish the vocals on time. After the album was released, they finished up the song and re-released it to include the extra song. In addition to the new song, there is an alternate version of the song Black Serenade, and a different album cover. Saw it on vinyl for $15, so I picked it up. The other Slayer item that I picked up this week was the Soundtrack to the Apocalypse box set. I got $60 in gift certificates for my birthday, and saw it as the perfect opportunity to pick this up as well. 4 CD's and a DVD, a really cool and detailed book about their existence, plus a couple of other trinkets (a banner and a laminated pass). Very cool, and since it is limited, I was happy to get a copy (unlike that Iron Maiden box set that I missed out on a few years ago). So, yeah, 37 years old and listening to Slayer...yeah, maybe I'll outgrow this music someday...right.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Got The Most

I got my order from Revelation Records the other day. I saw that the new Down To Nothing was up for pre-order at REVHQ, and even though money is a little tight, I needed to try and get this on one of the more limited vinyl pressings. The one that I got was blue with some green to 269. Finally, a record that knocks me over in 2007! I am really liking this new album. Great hardcore, but I do hear some metal riffs here and there...but it isn't overdone and doesn't take away that this is a tight hardcore band just ripping through a style that they have perfected.
While I was buying the new Down To Nothing, I also grabbed the new Only Crime and Outbreak split 7 inch. Only Crime is a sort of punk rock super group, consisting of the singer of Good Riddance, the guitar player from Bane, and the drummer of the Descendents. The comparisons to Good Riddance are obvious. I remember buying this bands first CD when I was in North Carolina on business. The rental car that I had came with a CD player and I didn't have any CD's to play. I stopped at the local Best Buy and bought the Only Crime CD as well as Green Day's American Idiot, which had just come out. Anyway, the songs from both of the bands are pretty good. The Outbreak songs don't grab me as much as the songs on their Failure album, but it's still good just the same.

Monday, July 16, 2007

End Of Summer Jam III

I took a trip down to Massachusetts for the End of Summer Jam III. Rob and Paul couldn't make it, so I took the trip alone. I was a little disappointed with the line up...there were a bunch of bands that I hadn't heard before, and a couple that I didn't care about. I still went because I really wanted to see Verse and Have Heart again, plus it would give me the opportunity to check out some newer bands, and I was hoping for some special EOSJ vinyl pressings. Once the doors to the place opened up, I headed straight to the merch tables. What a disappointment...not one EOSJ pressing to be seen. 108 had their record release vinyl with them, but I not too excited about that band. All that I picked up was a Japan tour shirt from Have Heart, the Rebuild CD from Verse, and the Soul Control / I Rise split 7 inch. I didn't spend nearly as much money as I thought that I would. The first band, The Effort, were pretty good. This show was their one year anniversary, and they weren't bad for a new band. They already had a 7 inch for sale and all I could think of was that too many bands release records before they should. Come on, if your band is only one year old, you probably aren't ready to have a record out. It still may be good, but I didn't pick it up on principle. Resist had a good set, and the new songs for the Indecision Records release sounded really good. Wake Up Call were amazing. They owned that stage and deserve to be huge. It was the first time that I had heard I Rise. They were really good, and it prompted me to buy their split 7 inch with Soul Control. I'm looking forward to their next release on 1917 Records. Verse were really good, and Soul Control played a couple of songs to begin the set. I did get to see Sweet Pete and talk with him about the Have Heart tour of Japan that he tagged along on. Those were the only highlights for me. As the night went on, and I sat through shitty band after shitty band, more and more I wished that I had stayed home with the kids who were upset that I was leaving for the day. By the time 11:30 rolled around and 108 was going on before Have Heart, I was so tired, hungry and sick of watching kids kick and punch there way to the edge of the crowd that I said 'fuck it' and went home. I really wanted to see Have Heart, but the thought of having to sit around for another hour before they went on, and not getting home until 3:30 in the morning did not sound good to me. I needed to be up early the next day to start wiring the new construction on my house, and did not want to be drop dead tired the next morning. The show went on too long with too many bad bands. Hopefully it will be better next year and I don't end the night as a cranky old man.

Monday, July 09, 2007

War With The Electric Guitar

I finally own a copy of Modern Life is War's first album, My Love My Way. I had downloaded it about a year and a half ago, but it wasn't until now that I finally purchased it. When Lifeline Records repressed it, I figured that it was a good time to order a copy and try and get some limited pressing. I got the white and yellow swirl vinyl, limited to 300 pressed. I've seen this band a couple of times, and both times I was blown away by how intense they are live. I don't think that same level of intensity carries over well to their recorded stuff. I think that I just haven't listened to them enough to really get to know the songs. I'm sure that over time, this band will start to sink in, and I'll appreciate them more.
While I was buying the Modern Life is War album, I saw that the Lifeline webstore also carried an album by the Regulations. I had wanted to buy this from the Youngblood store a while back but they had sold out of them. I was glad that I was able to order the vinyl from Lifeline, and took a chance on this Swedish band. They have a great early 80's punk rock sound...I can hear a definite early Circle Jerks / Adolescents influence. Very cool.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Allegiance to Rivalry

I got these two singles the other week. The second pressing of the Go It Alone single on green, limited to 210, plus the new Allegiance single. The new Allegiance looks really slick with the black and white vinyl, and was limited to 220. The new songs sound pretty good...along the same lines as the Overlooked LP. Money is starting to get tight so I only ordered one copy of the Allegiance record. They aren't a band that I'm really collecting vinyl for, so I was fine with just getting the one color. I'm not really collecting Go It Alone either, but for some reason I ended up with three colors for this single. I kind of got it into my head to collect all the pressings of everything that Rivalry was putting out, but now with money tight, it doesn't make much sense.
The new addition to the house is coming along slowly, but now we are at the point where we need to start shelling money out of pocket (as opposed to using money from the loan). This week I dropped a few hundred dollars so that I can start wiring the garage and new bedroom. I'm doing this project on my own, with help and guidance from a friend...and while I'm saving money by doing the wiring and finish work myself, I'm starting to see all of our money getting sucked away.
I've held back from a few pre-orders lately to try and save money. Still haven't ordered the new Allegiance record yet, and I finally just ordered the new Ruiner LP and Ceremony 7 inch on Bridge Nine. I'm okay with it right now because honestly, there aren't a lot of new releases that I'm really excited about. Last summer we had Have Heart, Betrayed, The First Step, Triple Threat, and Outbreak. Nothing has really met that level this summer. Some good stuff, but nothing that has really knocked me over.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Here's Your Warning

A few weeks ago, I saw that Tyler had a band called Government Warning on his weekly charts. I had never heard of the band before, but the kid typically had good taste so I checked them out. I found their myspace page and checked out a few songs. They had a great early 80's hardcore sound with some early D.R.I. thrown in for good measure. Every distro that I usually use was sold out of this album, and I was afraid that I had slept on it too long and that it was out of print. I finally found their No Moderation LP in the webstore on the No Way Records site. I had no idea how reliable this label was...for all I knew the label had already folded up and no one was minding the webstore, but I took a chance and sent over a paypal payment for $10.00. Less than a week later, I had my copy!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I've Made My Choice. Six.Six.Six.

I've long thought about collecting Slayer vinyl, but have never gotten around to adding much to my collection. All I had was Hell Awaits, which I bought back in High School (1985) when I was starting to get into Metal that was more extreme than the Iron Maiden and Judas Priest that I was listening to at the time, and South of Heaven, which I bought off of Jeff last month. The collection was not really getting anywhere because I was spending my money on other records and CD's on eBay. I was at Newbury Comics the other day, looking through their small assortment of vinyl and was surprised to see the newest record, Christ Illusion, in there. Here it was in my hands, and I didn't have to bid on it on ebay, and pay for shipping...damn...I didn't hesitate to drop the $16.00 for it. Warning : Nerd Alert! This record comes in a gatefold sleeve, and the packaging looked so sweet wrapped up in plastic. There was something about it that was just so perfect, so incredible, that it took me a full five days before I dared break the plastic seal to reveal the red colored vinyl. Sorry, you were warned, and I totally geeked out on this record. All hail the mighty Slayer.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Histories and Soul Control

I received the Go It Alone and Soul Control pre-orders a couple of weeks ago. Unlike some people that I know, I wasn't lucky enough to get the red pressing of the Go It Alone record. I got it on black, which is limited to 210, and on white, limited to 720. This band has really grown on me lately. I've bought all their records since the Vancouver Gold 7 inch, but nothing has really grabbed my attention, but a few months ago I really sat down with The Only Blood Between Us and I'm starting to appreciate this band more.

I don't know much about Soul Control other than they are from Rhode Island and someone from Verse is in the band. Their style is very similar to Lion of Judah, or for the old school reference, Burn. The first song really pulls you in with it's intensity and I can see kids going nuts, and singing along to this song live. This 7 inch is limited to 210 on green with yellow swirl and 720 on green.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Getting The Most

A while back, I saw a posting on the Livewire messageboard that Crucial Response Records was offering free shipping for a limited time. I had been wanting the green vinyl pressing of the Get The Most 7 inch, so I figured that it was a good time to place an order. I used to get all the Crucial Response releases, up until around they released the Rectify stuff. That was when I started to lose I stopped buying records through Ebullition Distro, so I didn't really have a means to readily buy their stuff. Anyway, I got the green vinyl of Get The Most, limited to 300, plus I picked up the One Track Mind compilation. The comp is full of cool European hardcore bands...a couple of them I knew, like Damage Control, Dead Stop, and Black Friday '29, some of them I was anxious to check out, like Know Your Enemy and No Denial, and a bunch of bands that I had never heard before. The whole thing is well done, with a great representation of Euro hardcore from 2003. I got the limited Raw Data cover...only 90 of them were made. The Raw Data series is an exclusive pressing that Crucial Response is doing, where the records come in a silkscreened sleeve. This series is only available through CRR mailorder. Very cool idea, and after getting the One Track Mind comp, I'm thinking of ordering more from the series.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

First Verse

I recently won the first Verse record, simply titled Four Songs, on eBay. It's the first pressing on black vinyl and limited to 500. I saw that it was up for auction with no bids and a starting price of $2.75. I figured that I might be able to pick it up for cheap, and won as the only bidder. I remember buying this on CD when it was first released in 2003. At the time I was listening to a lot of punk rock like Good Riddance, Dillinger 4 and Anti-Flag...still good stuff, but I had pretty much lost touch with what was going on in the underground hardcore scene. I remember stumbling across the How's Your Edge messageboard, and reconnecting with a friend from the old Boston scene. Anyway, a lot of people were talking about this band, What Feeds The Fire, that had recently broken up and a couple of members were in this new band called Verse. They were talking about bringing back the early 90's style of straight edge hardcore, and mentioned Outspoken as an influence. Being such a fan of Outspoken, I was excited to check out this new band and try to reclaim that excitement in hardcore. I bought the CD and while it was good, it didn't really grab me the way that I'd hoped. It wasn't until Verse released the Rebuild album and seeing them play with The First Step that I really started to fall in love with this band. So kind of like Champion, the first output from Verse seems kind of mediocre, but seeing where the band is, and how they have grown, and can appreciate this first seven inch for the raw, sincere hardcore that it is.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Stay Cruel

Another pre-order has arrived! Last week the mailman delivered Cruel Hand's new LP, Without A Pulse. The vinyl is on orange with blue splatter, and limited to 300. The singer of the band used to play guitar in Outbreak, and while the band plays some pretty thrashing hardcore, there isn't much similarities between the two bands, with Outbreak winning the contest hands down. First saw the band when Rob and I went to the End of Summer Jam last summer, and while I thought they were just okay at that show, I had some high hopes for the album. All in all, it is a pretty average outing.

Speaking of cruel Boston Celtics were dealt one last night with the NBA lottery. They had one of the better chances to draw a top two pick and they ended up getting the number five pick. The team had some serious issues last season, and when Paul Pierce went down with an injury, it was damn near impossible for them to pull out a win. I had high hopes for this lottery and when their name was pulled from the envelope at number five, my heart sank. I'm imagining that the team will look very different at the start of the season. Either the pick, and some young players (maybe Gerald Green) will be traded away to provide Paul Pierce some veteran help, or Pierce will be traded and the team will be starting from scratch and building around Big Al Jefferson. Either way, I'm nervous that next season will bring more of the same disappointing loses as last year.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Nothing Done and Knife Fight

As soon as I got the mailorder update from Revelation that listed the new Nothing Done album, Everybody Knows, I immediately placed an order. Their last album was so much fun, I did not want to miss the first pressing of the new record. It does not disappoint. Amazing thrashy hardcore. 10 songs in 13 minutes. Limited to 500 on baby blue vinyl.

While I was shopping on REVHQ, I saw the new Knife Fight album, Crisis. I had never heard the band before, but from checking various messageboards, there was certainly a buzz about them, so I took a chance and ordered the album. The chance didn't really payoff. There is certainly some potential in the songs, they are ripping fast, and there are some catchy choruses, but a lot of it is lost is the muddy production...kind of disappointing.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Second Outbreak

I got the second pressing of the Outbreak album the other week. It's red vinyl with some slight yellow streaks in to 1,000. One of the surprises for 2006, this album is so much fun. The band is from my home state of Maine, so it is pretty sad that I have only seen the band live 3 or 4 times, but then again, I don't get out to shows very much anymore. Modern Life is War played down the road from my house last week, and it was too much trouble for me to get out and see them. Fuck, I'm getting old.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Fired Up and Getting Warmer

I got more records from Youngblood last week. I got the new Justice album, Escapades. The packaging of this record looks amazing. The white and blue vinyl, limited to 225 pressed, looks incredible. The album cover looks fantastic, and the photos on the inner sleeve really capture the the good times of a band on tour, and how great they can be live. Pictures of the band on stage, X'd up, with kids screaming along to their songs. I put the album on the turntable and the music on the record didn't really have that sound that was portrayed in those pictures. I listened to it once, and was really put off by the bands sound. I've never been a fan of Supertouch, and this had Supertouch stink all over it. The record ended and I was glad it was done. Later that afternoon, I decided to give it another chance. Yup, Supertouch...and every once in a while I can hear a little Underdog in there as well. I love Underdog, but this Justice record still blew. A few days later I've got the record cataloged in the database program I have on my computer, and I'm ready to file the vinyl away in my record collection, and I figure that I'll give it one more shot. I drop it on the turntable, and pull out the lyric sheet to fully immerse myself into the record. Hey wait a minute, this first song has a pretty good groove to it and the lyrics are pretty tight. Alright, this record is starting to grow on me, and I'll continue to give it a chance.
The other records I got were a few pressings of the Fired Up 7 inch. Youngblood had just pressed the second pressing on red (limited to 300) and on green for the labels 10 year anniversary (hand stamped and numbered 40 of 200). While I was at it, I figured that I would pick up the first pressing on black (limited to 400). As you can tell, I am loving this new record. I plug in my headphones at work a couple times a week and spin this CD. The opening riff to the title track, When The Lights Go Out, is so great. Straight forward, "generic" hardcore. Awesome.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Pre-Order Season Begins

I have spent a lot of money over the past couple of months on pre-orders. Must be that time of the year, because all of a sudden every one seems to be releasing records. One of the first to arrive was from Rivalry Records. The new Go It Alone 7 inch is the single for the upcoming new album (also up for pre-order at Rivalry). In the same vein as the last album, the single contains three songs of some pretty heavy hardcore. The purple vinyl is limited to 155, and 875 on black.
I had never heard of the band Red Handed before, but the mp3 that Rivalry had posted sounded pretty cool, so I figured I'd give them chance. The 7 inch has a pretty good sound to it, and I'm looking forward to checking it more. This one had 214 pressed on red, and 715 pressed on white.

Friday, April 20, 2007

One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Treasure

I got a message from Jeff the other week...he had decided to clean out his record collection, getting rid of doubles and stuff that he no longer wanted. He was planning on putting a large number of records up for sale on ebay, but he offered to give me first crack at them. I wasn't sure what I would find, but he gave me a $2.00 price tag on everything, so I was looking forward to a little shopping.

Jeff ended up having lots of Metal up for sale, and I found more records than I was expecting.

  • Anthrax : One of the first things I picked out of the pile were these three Anthrax albums...the Armed and Dangerous e.p., Spreading the Disease, and Among the Living. I was around 15 years old, and Spreading the Disease was one of the first albums that introduced me to thrash and speed metal. The following year, I specifically remember going to the Mall to buy Among the Living with my friend Bill...sitting outside studying the packaging of the cassette tape, looking at every detail, while we waited for his father to pick us up.
  • Black Sabbath - Heaven and Hell : I didn't have Heaven and Hell on vinyl for my Sabbath collection, so I picked it up. Sabbath is currently touring, with Ronnie James Dio back singing for them. Unfortunately the band is unable to use the Sabbath name without Ozzy, so they are using the name Heaven and Hell. Jeff and I are going to Massachusetts in May to catch them live.

Some stuff I picked up because it was in such mint condition, and some stuff I took a chance on.

  • Heathen - Breaking the Silence : I bought this on tape as a teenager. Cassette tapes are a complete waste of space, and this album was in such great condition that I bought it. Listening to this again, I was surprised at how good some of their songs were.
  • Flotsam & Jetsam - Doomsday for the Deceiver : The band that had Jason Newstead as the bassist before he went on to play in Metallica. This album is the bands best. An album that I hadn't really heard for a while, and hearing it again I was reminded just how much fun it is. Great speed metal.
  • Rage - Reign of Fear : I had never heard this album before, but it was one of the early releases on Noise records (which released records from bands like Celtic Frost, Grave Digger, Kreator, etc). The record is alright, at times reminding me of Metal Church...not great, but still entertaining.
  • E-X-E - Stricken by Might : I pulled this out of the pile because of the "Thrash With Class" sticker on the cover. Flipping the album cover over reveals photos of the band members, with the one of the bass player looking "evil" covered in blood...yeah, that must be the class they were advertising. I would have bought it for that alone. The music on the album is a direct attempt at the early Slayer sound. It works for me.

Then there were the records that I was especially thrilled to get. A steal at $2.00 a piece.

  • Danzig : The first and the best. Complete with mint condition gatefold album cover, and gold promo doesn't get any more collectible than that. I put the album on Jeff's turn table, and when the needle hit the first note of Twist of Cain, the power of those chords as they roared out of the speakers was so insanely heavy.
  • D.R.I. - Dealing With It : I first owned a copy of this on cassette tape. These days I despise this format, but as a teenager, before the introduction of CD's, I preferred cassettes because they were so convenient. Sure the artwork and liner notes were so small to non-existent, or that they were so fragile that few of my cassettes lasted through my teenage years. I kick myself for wasting my money on tapes, instead of buying vinyl. Anyway, first I owned this on tape, and then bought the I have the vinyl. Everyone should own at least one copy of this classic.
  • Slayer - South of Heaven : I had seen this Slayer album in Jeff's collection before. I was surprised, because this isn't typically his style of music. I was hoping it was going to be in the pile that he was selling, but it wasn't. I asked him about it and he didn't even know that he owned it. I found it in his collection and he just kind of shrugged his shoulders and sold it to me for $2.00. When this album first came out, I didn't like it too much since it was such a departure from Reign in Blood. Over time, I came to really appreciate this record, and now I would say this is one of my favorites from the band.

Other than the Slayer record, there was one other record that I was hoping Jeff would have up for sale.

  • The Metal Massacre Limited Edition Picture Disc Box Set : I don't expect anyone else to grasp how f'n cool this thing is. Hand stamped as number 90 out of 1000. This box set contains picture discs of the first five Metal Massacre complications on Metal Blade Records. The record label left me in awe as a kid, as I would drool over their ads in Metal magazines...hoping that the local record store would carry some of their stuff. From Metallica and Slayer to Armored Saint and Lizzy Borden to Voivod and Hallows Eve. One of the coolest Heavy Metal record labels from the 80's. This one was all mine for $15.

There were so many other records that Jeff was selling that I wanted, but at $37 for the lot, I had already spent more than I was planning on. He still had a section of Metal that he had yet to sort through, so I am looking forward to going back and taking more cool shit off his hands.