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.