Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Justice For All

This post is pretty much centered around Justice. Ever since I picked up the bands Escapades LP from Youngblood back in 2007, I've had a difficult time getting into this band. The album started to grow on me, but after a few listens I kind of shelved it. Live and Learn was released last year, but I never had any interest in checking it out. After really getting into the band Loud and Clear, I decided to revisit the earlier Justice stuff. The only thing I had from them was the Elephant Skin LP that I picked up at the Planet Mental record release show, so I checked the band's myspace page to try and find some of their older songs. This was where I stumbled upon A Quiet Pain from the Live and Learn 12 inch. Wow...I was really impressed with this song. So impressed that I had to revisit Escapades, and to my surprise, I couldn't stop listening to it. That was the push I needed. I had to get the band's last 12 inch. I found that Six Feet Under Records had the gold vinyl pressing (limited to 300) in their webstore, and didn't hesitate to order it. It took a while, but I've finally become a fan of this band.

After Justice broke up, the band members stuck together, got a new singer, and created Rhythm to the Madness. The band has a sound similar to Best Wishes era Cro-Mags, as opposed to the Supertouch direction that Justice went to. I was first drawn to their Weltchmerz LP because of the great looking cover art. I checked out one of their songs...liked it, so I grabbed that from Six Feet Under as well.

The last Justice connection for this post is the Loud and Clear LP. Six Feet Under only had a few left of the black vinyl pressing in the webstore, so I grabbed this one before it was gone. 383 pressed.

I also ordered the True Colors CD, Focus on the Light. Six Feet Under sent me the black vinyl pressing instead. Not sure what happened, but I needed this pressing for the collection anyway, so I kept it. 355 pressed.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Learn To Take Care Of Your Records

This is the third part in my Rhode Island series of posts, with Verbal Assault beating Neutral Nation, 2 - 1. As I mentioned in my first Verbal Assault post, I've been itching to get some of their stuff on vinyl. Tiny Giants on colored vinyl was a good start, but I was very happy to pick up a copy of the Learn LP. I have no idea on how much this typically goes for, but $15 seems like a steal to me. Once again, I was surprised by how little value place in taking care of their records. The album cover is in great shape, but the vinyl itself was covered in greasy fingerprints. Jesus Christ, did you let your 5 year old kid play with this thing? Fingers should only touch the center label or the outer edge...it's common sense. In addition to the large amounts of DNA left on the vinyl, this arrived with no dust sleeve. What the hell are people thinking? How does one lose a dust sleeve? You take the album out, play it, and then put it back in the sleeve. Come on people, I know that it is a big responsibility but you've got to take care of this shit! Thankfully I had some record cleaner, and after a wash, the vinyl was looking nice and minty. Now I just need to place an order with bagsunlimited for some more dust sleeves. Don't worry, your Verbal Assault records will be safe in my hands.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Neutral Feedback

I generally don't buy anything nowadays, unless I've at least listened to a few songs from the record. I've been burned too many times, and I've got more than a few mid-90's emo/hardcore records that I took a chance on and they ended up being total shit. No more! With today's access to free "illegal" downloads via soulseek, or bands loading new songs up to their myspace page, I typically avoid all the risk in buying new music. About a month ago I was listening to the excellent Neutral Nation 7 inch from 1992, I Need You On The Job, and it dawned on me that I had never checked out any of the band's other records. Soulseek turned up nothing, and I got the same thing when I did an internet search to see if someone had uploaded something to a music sharing blog. Out of curiosity, I did a search on eBay and found that someone had the 1987 It's A Bash album up with a Best Offer option, so I took a chance and I grabbed it. Man, I loved the 1992 record, but this one really falls flat for me. I don't know, at times it reminds me of The Adicts, other times I hear a Stiff Little Fingers influence, but for some reason this record really doesn't move me. There are some good songs, but for the most part this one is disappointing. That will teach me for taking a chance on a new record without hearing it first.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Verbal Giants

I listened to Verbal Assault's Volume One CD the other day, and noticed that the only piece of vinyl I had for them in my collection was a black vinyl pressing of the Tiny Giants 7 inch. Feeling a little inadequate, I hit eBay to add to my pathetic Verbal Assault record collection. I found a red vinyl pressing of Tiny Giants and was the only bidder, winning it for $5.00. When I received it in the mail, I noticed that this one was pressed on the Giant Records label. I always thought that my original copy on black vinyl was a little odd, as I had never heard of the Konkurrel label, but it seems that it might have just been used for an overseas pressing and distro.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Said and Gone

I was looking to check out some new music when I saw Dead and Gone Records put up pre-orders for their latest record, Ironclad's 7 inch. I checked out an mp3, and liked what I heard. Nice, no frills hardcore. To sweeten the deal, Dead and Gone were offering a free CD with any order, so I grabbed the Ironclad record and a free copy of the Break It Up disc. The Ironclad 7 inch is on blue vinyl and limited to 500.

When I was placing my order, I saw that Dead and Gone also had the Said and Done 7 inch in their online store. I received an email from Pim when this was released last year, to let me know that Shield had them up for pre-order if I was interested. Well I was, but at the time I was feeling really broke and passed on placing the order. Seeing it in the Dead and Gone store, I figured that it was about time that finally picked up a copy.

I really wish that I had ordered this when it was first available, and received the special pre-order cover, because this 7 inch is amazing. I really liked the LP from a couple of years ago, and this probably tops that effort. Great unconventional hardcore. I don't know, kind of comparable to Cro-Mags mixed with Underdog...maybe reminiscent of the older Justice records with some sick grooves. You really need to check this record out if you haven't already. I seem to have the best luck with this band. When I ordered the Everyday LP from Shield, I was surprised that they included a bonus test press. Then when I receive my order from Dead and Gone, they sent me the pressing with the record release cover. There are 525 on grey vinyl, but only 50 of those came with record release cover.
*Update* After writing this post, I emailed Pim from Said and Done, and he let me know that he was the one that designed the cover for the Ironclad 7 inch...too funny that I included them both in this post. He said that the band wanted a kind of KRS One rip-off for the cover, and now that he mentioned it, I can see the similarity with the Ironclad cover and KRS One's Return of the Boom Bap album. Very cool.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dead Wait

I have an unwritten rule for my blog posts...I must listen to the vinyl before I write about it. Because of this rule, it has taken me a little longer than I would like to get these posts written. I have a huge pile of new records sitting beside me at the computer, but I haven't had time to listen to any of them. Packages keep arriving in the mail, and the pile of vinyl keeps growing higher and higher...it's a tough problem to have, I know. Now that the kids have started track practice a couple of nights a week, I don't know when I'm going to get the time to listen to all of it.
Tonight, with Julia not feeling well, and Sam wrapped up in an episode of Spongbob, I was able to drop the needle on the newest pressing of Slayer's Live Undead. This one was part of Metal Blade Records vinyl re-release for Slayer in 2008, and it was the final record I needed to complete my collection of them. I delayed buying this one, because I knew is was one of the ugly picture discs like Hell Awaits. Still, Metal Blade did a decent job at reissuing these with some nice packaging, and being the completist, I had to finish what I started.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

You Drink, You Suck

There is something about Reveal that makes me consider them a kind of cult classic. They were a New Jersey band that put out their one 7 inch on the PMA label out of Belgium. Featuring the Jordan brothers from Encounter, and some kid named Troll on vocals, the band blew in and out of the hardcore scene in about 6 months. In 1991/1992 there were not a lot of really vocal Straight Edge bands, and with their motto of "You Drink, You Suck", Reveal really captured my attention. The band first showed up along side other up and coming Straight Edge bands like Mouthpiece, Strife, and Unbroken, on the It's For Life comp. Shortly after that, PMA released their Descent 7 inch. Then, in the pre-internet days of hardcore, the band vanished. Apparently the band set a World Record for the the fastest edge break in scene history, and those slogans of "the higher you go, the further you fall", rang pretty hollow.
But regardless of that, the band always has a special place in my heart. I bought the record when it was first released (through Ebullition's distro?) and received a copy on white vinyl. When I was at Posi Numbers in 2005, Brian Murphy was selling some records with a couple of friends, and as I was flipping through what they had, I came across the Reveal 7 inch with the limited cover. I'm not sure if it was a record release cover, or what, but it was hand numbered, limited to 100, it was pressed on black vinyl with the big hole, and I had no idea that it existed. I didn't hesitate to pick it up. I was surprised again, a few weeks ago, when I saw that Dobek had a green vinyl pressing listed up on eBay. It was listed with a Buy It Now price of $16.00, or the option for a Best Offer. Because I'm an idiot, I would have seriously paid $50 for this treasure....instead I sent him my Best Offer price, which was accepted. So here I sit with three pieces of vinyl for this record, and it is one that I personally would consider a classic...but you probably had to be there at that time to fully appreciate it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Me...You...Youth Crew

The first round of Youth Crew peaked in 1988 with bands like Youth of Today, Judge, Side by Side, and Chain of Strength. 10 years later we got our first revival with more classic bands like In My Eyes, Floorpunch, Ten Yard Fight and Fastbreak. So here we are in 2009, and what better time for another wave of Youth Crew bands. Sure we had Champion, Betrayed and The First Step a few years ago, but these days it's Youth Crew Gone Wild, with bands popping up all over the place. Upside Down Records tries to capture some of that excitement with their Youth Crew 2009 7 inch comp. Featuring some of today's newest up and comers, like Right Idea, True Colors, Mindset, and Fired Up, plus some newer bands that I've never heard before, like Go For Broke and One Voice. All in, this is a very solid comp...it is no The Way It Is or Growing Stronger, but it's a great representation of today's Youth Crew hardcore. I ordered my copy a little late and therefore missed the limited pressing on orange vinyl. Black vinyl was limited to 300.
When my record arrived, Upside Down also threw in a copy of their first release, the split 7 inch between Lighten Up and Big Ups. I really wasn't expecting anything from this...terrible band names, and even worse cover art for the record...but this was surprisingly good. I'm not sure why, but this reminds me of something that Lockin Out would have released back in 2003. Cool stuff. On blue vinyl, but I don't know the pressing info for this.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Man Overboard

One of the coolest things about this Record Collector Blogger Network is when I'm introduced to a band that I may not have otherwise checked out. After reading about Walk the Plank on blogs by both Marcus and Lins, I figured that I'd check them out. The band features Ian Leck from Voorhees, plus a couple of guys from SSS, and man, these guys play some intense hardcore. Awesome stuff.

In the comments section from the post on Lins' blog, Ian Leck left a message that he had a couple extra copies of the record release pressing of their LP, Dead Weight in Hostile Waters. Known as the Blackspot pressing, this this is packaged beautifully, and limited to 100. The record is black vinyl with plain black labels, and comes with a nice glossy copy of the show flier, and a very cool piece of parchment paper with the details of the record release.

I really did not want to break the wax seal on the parchment, but I really wanted to find out what number I had. Thankfully, I was able pull out the corner of the paper and find out that mine was number 95. The cool thing is that the copy that Lins has is number 94.

In addition to the Blackspot pressing, I also bought a copy of the LP on blue with white splatter from Ian. This one was limited to 350 copies from Dead & Gone Records. You know, I would have never expected a band with a pirate/nautical theme to be able to pull it off, but Walk the Plank manage to do it flawlessly.

I had sent the money to Ian at the beginning of October 2008. After numerous emails, checking in and asking where my records were, the man finally pulled through and I received them 8 months later. As compensation for making me wait so long, Ian threw in a copy of Voorhees final LP, 13. He went online, and took a look at my collection to see that while I had this on CD, I did not have a vinyl copy. This album is pretty good, but not nearly as great as their first LP, Spilling Blood Without Reason. Still, it is a nice addition to the collection.

Ian also sent me a Youth of Today bootleg 7 inch. This is a pretty cool live record from a couple of YOT shows in France and Liverpool, which include covers of Gorilla Biscuits and Sick Of It All. Nice. This was limited to 300 copies.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

We Might Be Retarded

Boston Straight Edge in the Motherfuckin' house, boyeeee! When Mental first got together, and released their debut 7 inch in 2002, I was kind of disconnected from the Hardcore scene. I wasn't buying vinyl anymore, and was pretty much only buying CDs from bands like Dillinger 4, Anti-Flag, and Good Riddance...political Fat Wreck kind of stuff. The few hardcore stuff that I knew of, like Champion's Count Our Numbers and Count Me Out's Permanent, again, I bought on CD. Bands like The Suicide File, Desperate Measures, and Mental were not even on my hardcore radar. Hell, I didn't even check out Mental until around 2004, when I went to see them play at one of the Insted reunion shows. So here we are, 7 years later, and I'm finally picking up my first vinyl copy of Mental's 7 inch, And You Know This. Awesome Boston Straight Edge band that definitely needs a space in my record collection. I have no idea what the pressing information is for this record, but I picked up this piece of blue vinyl for $5.00.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

We Don't Care What You Say...

I was cruising around eBay last week, and stumbled upon a re-release of a couple of classic Overkill albums. Apparently Megaforce Records is re-issuing Overkill's debut LP, Feel The Fire, and their legendary Fuck You And Then Some compilation. Some eBay sellers had the Fuck You vinyl listed around $50...I found one that had it up for sale at $30, so I jumped on it. Before I had ever heard of D.O.A., and their original version of this anthem, I had Overkill...and the band made this song their own. Man, I remember owning this on cassette when it was first released in '87 or '88. My Dad found the cassette case, complete with the middle finger, in my room and tried very hard not to lose his cool...threatening me that if he ever saw it lying around again, it would go right in the trash. Cassettes suck, so my copy is probably now buried in my basement, and I've been looking to pick up an original vinyl pressing for the past couple of years. This limited edition pressing will have to do for now.

The packaging on this is pretty weak. Double LPs that are not packaged in a gatefold sleeve are always a disappointment. Plus this comes with no lyric sheet! What the hell?!? The original CD had photos and some other info...this should have the same. What this lacks in packaging, it makes up for in vinyl. Nice looking colored vinyl, with the B side of the second record etched with the middle finger. Nice touch. Plus this thing is pretty limited with only 500 made, and each one is hand numbered.

After I received my copy, I was checking around online and found some info about this released posted on Overkill's myspace blog. They say that this two album set has one black vinyl, and one orange/black colored vinyl. The one that I have definitely has some clear green mixed in with the black record. Not sure if the Overkill blog has the wrong info, or if this green and black mixture is very rare...either way, I'm glad that I finally own this on vinyl.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Record Fair : The Way It Is

There was a Record Fair in Portland yesterday. I haven't been to one locally for probably over 15 years, so I was eager to check it out...and hopefully by showing my support, they will occur more frequently. The only problem was that I couldn't find anyone to go with me...Rob was headed out of town, and Jeff was working. It had been a busy last few days with the family, so I said screw it, and just went in town by myself for a little break.
When I found the place, I was surprised at how busy it was. It was a good sized room, and each table was lined up with people flipping through old vinyl. I found a section labeled Heavy Metal, and started my search. It was a little disappointing. There were plenty of cool records, but most of them were beat to shit. I've got no interest in large amounts of ring wear and busted seams, so I moved on. I found a table with a Punk section, and was surprised to find a copy of The Way It Is. The cover had a bent corner, but you hardly notice it....plus the vinyl and insert were in near mint condition. I've never actually owned this record...only had it taped from a friends copy...and I didn't hesitate to pick it up for the $6.00 price tag.

I also found a very nice copy of the Rites of Spring LP. I already owned this one from the End To End discography CD, but I figured that I'd add it to the vinyl collection since it was only $4.00.