Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Book, The Record

Early in 2009, Refuse Records posted that their project for The Past The Present was available for order. The package, which included the new Birds Of A Feather LP plus a book on 25 years of history on the European Straight Edge, certainly caught my attention. Shortly after I got into hardcore around 1990, I started ordering all kinds of records from Ebullition mailorder and reading reviews in Kent McClard's No Answers zine. This was my introduction to Straight Edge bands from Europe and soon I was buying records from Seein' Red, Manliftingbanner, Betray, Blindfold and Nations On Fire. A book documenting this time period, sounded like a great read for me.

Of course, ordering the package for The Past The Present was pretty expensive, due to the overseas shipping. I was pretty disappointed, and had to let it pass me by and not order. Soon after they were available, I had an email from my friend Onno in The Netherlands. Apparently he had bought a copy, but since he doesn't collect vinyl, he offered to send it along to me when he was done reading the book. Quite a few months passed, before I received another message from Onno, letting me know that he was sending it my way.
I'm not a real big fan of Mainstrike. I like them well enough, but other than that first 7 inch, I never really lost my shit over them. Still, I was excited to check out Bigma's new band, Birds Of A Feather. I've got to say, BOAF are so much better than Mainstrike. I picked up their Chapter 5 EP a few months ago, and along with The Past The Present, I'm really impressed. The LP comes on some funky brown colored vinyl with hand stamped labels. Mine is number 41 out of 100.

The book for The Past The Present, while a nice attempt, was pretty disappointing.

I don't know, it seems like the book was lacking in a lot of details that I was hoping for. Sure their was a lot of history on 'Larm and Seein' Red, which appeared to be well documented, but some other big bands, like Nations On Fire and Blindfold, hardly saw their name in print. In the end, it seemed like the book was purely based on the authors perspective and experiences, with very little research into those bands that fell to the outside of their travels. To call the book A History of 25 Years of European Straight Edge seems a bit of a stretch. Overall, I just wasn't feeling it. If you were there, however, the book might have meant more to you.

My other major complain on the book was the format. It is nearly as big as a 12 inch record, and fucks up my bookshelf because it sticks out so far.

The other album that Onno sent me was for a band called Oil. He has been pushing for me to listen to them for years now. Sending me their Definition Delta album, paints me into a corner and forces me to finally check them out. I had seen their name dropped a few times in The Past The Present book, and apparently they played a lot with bands like Deadstoolpigeon and Seein' Red. Still, other than Onno's recommendation, I had never even heard this bands name before. After finally giving this a spin, I've got to say, this is actually quite good. I can't really place my finger on who they remind me of...maybe a big of latter-day Refused, or a bit of Movielife...or possibly a heavier rocking Lifetime. The band just does a great job with the Punk Rock sound...just enough rock, without overshadowing the punk. Cool stuff, even though this album cover is a bit hard on the eyes.

Thanks Onno!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Police And Thieves On Blue Times Two

I rarely stay focused on building my record collection for one specific band. I'm continually sidetracked and distracted by other vinyl. I've tried to stay focused for both Fastbreak and Rain on the Parade, but ended my active pursuit after one record. Hell, I can't even seem to focus on getting my Have Heart collection finished. Because of this lack of focus, I'm surprised that I stuck with my plan to add some more Police and Thieves vinyl to the collection. After receiving the record release pressing from Marcus back in November, I made a half hearted promise to work on this collection. It didn't take me long to fulfill that promise with this recent eBay win. Hell, for $6.00, how could I resist?

This one is the blue vinyl press with the Youngblood Showcase stamp on the dust sleeve. Number 121 out of 150. Now I just need to get my hands on the green vinyl.

The funny thing is that after I won this off eBay, I ordered some records from Sean Youngblood. When he was shipping them out, he asked me if I wanted a free Police and Thieves record on colored vinyl. Not sure what he was sending, I told him that I would gladly take a copy. A few days later, the Showcase pressing that I had won on eBay arrives in my mailbox, followed shortly after with the same pressing from Sean. Ha! Now I've got two copies.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Extra Effort

I love cover variations. Usually bands just limit this to record release and tour pressings, or maybe even just for pre-orders, but The Effort went all out with their From Our Mistakes 7 inch and made a different cover for each color of vinyl. The latest one that I picked up on eBay was the green vinyl/tree cover, limited to 175. This one is the more limited pressings, and was sold out when I picked up the cloud and fire variants last year.

These things are just so slick. Nice screened covers that fold out to a big poster.

These are some of the best designed covers that I have ever seen. Just amazing and truly reflect a band that is passionate about what they do and say.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Preparing For The Kill

With Overkill's 15th studio album, Ironbound, set to be released in a couple of weeks, and with the band celebrating the 25th anniversary of their first LP, Feel The Fire, I figured that it was time to finally pick up the reissue on colored vinyl from last year.

This has to be my favorite Overkill record...pure thrash brilliance. Man, this album is a killer. This one, along with their next three albums, should have secured their place in Big Four of thrash. I'm looking forward to seeing them play in Massachusetts this April with Evile and Warbringer for Killfest 2010.

Reissued on red and orange colored vinyl. Limited and hand numbered, 424 of 500 pressed.

While I'm glad that Megaforce and the band decided to reissue Feel The Fire on vinyl, I've got some problems with some of the packaging. I've got the original pressing, on the right above, and I'm not sure why they felt the need to mess with the original cover design. The new cover photo is just less crisp and clear.

I can live with changes on the front cover, but the back cover is a mess. Instead of the individual photos of the band members, they decided to just put a live shot on the back. This wouldn't be too bad, except that while Feel The Fire was originally released in 1985, the live photo was from their 1987 EP, Fuck You. Continuity issues bug me.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hell Is Ruined

I'm always at a loss for words when trying to describe Ruiner's sound. I really can't compare them to anyone. I guess that the only way to describe them is that they are raw and real. Seriously, this is just dark and passionate stuff that still finds a way to be accessible. After a couple of EPs and a full length, Ruiner still manage to keep things fresh with the release of their second album, Hell Is Empty. I continue to be impressed.

The lyric sheet for this record is fucking huge!
Cool looking gatefold sleeve, with that slick Spot UV coating for the "eye in the sky" design. 1,000 pressed on blue/pink colored vinyl.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Losing Power

In addition to the REACT! and Reaper Records pressings, Powered Records did the Euro pressing of the Double Vision album from ON. I love how Powered uses a different color on the album cover to really differentiate between the Euro and US pressings. They have done this in the past when working with Six Feet Under Records on the True Colors stuff, and it adds a nice touch with the Double Vision LP as well.

Powered pressed 200 pieces of red vinyl. 150 of them were used for the pre-order, which were stamped and numbered on the lyric sheet/dust sleeve. Number 78 of 150.

Pre-orders for all three record labels went up in June. I think there were some delays in getting these out, but even while Powered posted that the records were going to start shipping at the end of October, I didn't get mine until the end of December. 6 months is a long wait for a pre-order. It seems like this release really took it's toll on the Powered guys, as they included a note apologizing for the delay and stating they will be taking a little break from putting out records.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


A few weeks back, when Sweet Pete and I were hanging out after the Rival Mob/Police and Thieves show, we were talking about music. We were both in agreement, that while we love Hardcore, and we love Metal, neither one of us likes it when the two genres try and mix. He mentioned that when he wants to hear Metal, he'll pull out Bonded By Blood from Exodus, and when he wants to hear hardcore, he wants to hear the classic straight edge youth crew style. I'm in total agreement, and for the straight edge youth crew style, Outlast from New Jersey have nailed it with their 2009 demo. Now pressed on vinyl through Life To Live Records, these songs make me want to stagedive, grab the mic and sing along. Blue and clear vinyl. 125 each. New split 7 inch with Reveal the Truth coming soon.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

No Passing Phase

My only rule on this blog is that I've got to listen to the vinyl before I post about it. It doesn't matter if I've already got six has to hit the turn table for a spin before it goes up here. Sometimes, shit gets crazy and records get buried in the pile of new stuff coming in. That is the case for the Passing Phase LP from Dead Nation. I ordered this album from Six Feet Under Records back in JUNE, yet I haven't had a chance to listen to it until this week...a sure sign that I was receiving a little too much vinyl over the past few months. While this band isn't new to me, I've never heard the songs on this LP, so I grabbed one of the last copies that Six Feet Under had in stock. This album is a compilation of the band's two 7 inches, and it rages just as hard as their Dead End LP. If you've never heard of Dead Nation, a couple of the guys went on to form Tear It Up, and if you have never heard of them, you are really missing out. Both bands will kick your ass.

This is on a cool looking blue vinyl, with a hand numbered dust sleeve. Number 51 of 93 pressed. There were another 5 from this blue pressing that got special test press covers.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

2009 In Review

Holy shit. I bought a lot of music in 2009. I knew that I'd bought a lot of records and CDs over the year, but I didn't know just how much until I started checking my numbers at the end of the year. My final total was 379, up a full 100 pieces from 2008. It was interesting to see the numbers support my attempts to stop downloading music, as the number of burned CDs added to my collection was only 19, down from 75 last year. To compensate for years of downloading and burning CDs, I spent a lot of money replacing those old CDRs with the real deal. Last year, I bought 145 CDs, practically doubling my CD purchases from 2008. For vinyl, I added 94 LPs to my collection, which was actually a little less than last year. The biggest jump was for the number of 7 inches that I picked up over the year...120, compared to 38 the previous year. I even tried to calculate my total music expenses over the year, but I stopped calculating before I got to a total. I'm probably better off not knowing certain numbers.
2009 was an amazing year for new Hardcore releases. A ton of new Straight Edge bands came out of the woodwork, and I spent a ton of money trying to snatch up every pre-order that I saw. So here is my Top 10 Hardcore records for 2009.
2009 was a great year for Metal as well. Some old school bands put out some quality music, proving to be still relevant while some newer bands provided some competition for top spots in my Top 10 list for Metal.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Fired Up For Youngblood

One final post before I start pulling things together for my recap of 2009 post. I needed to get this one out of the way first, because one of these records is making it into my Top 10 for last year.
Along with the Carry On LP from Youngblood Records, that I posted about last week, I also received a bunch of other stuff that I was expecting.

A few weeks ago I saw the tour pressing of the When The Lights Go Out EP from Fired Up on eBay. This was the final piece of the puzzle that I needed to complete my collection. I was feeling determined to win it, but the auction was set to end during the day when I didn't have access to a computer...therefore, I couldn't snipe it at the last minute. The record was limited to 150, so I put a reasonable maximum bid amount on the auction, and put my faith in the eBay gods. When I checked the auction results later that night, I was disappointed to find that I had been outbid by about $15.00. Wow. I didn't expect that this would sell as high as it did. A day or two later, I was surprised to receive a Second Chance Offer to pick up this record for my maximum bid amount. Happily, I took the seller up on this offer. The seller happened to be Sean Youngblood, and since my Youngblood pre-orders were set to ship around the same time, he mailed them together.

Clear vinyl. Hand numbered 96 out of 150.

Along with my Youngblood pre-orders, I finally ordered a copy of the Coptic Times 7 inch. This was released in 2008, along with the Police & Thieves 7 inch. At the time, I didn't have extra spending money, and I didn't order either record. I've already regretted not picking up the excellent Police & Thieves record. Now, after hearing the Coptic Times record, I regret not ordering this one when the pre-orders went up as well. Great fast and thrashy hardcore with a strong skate vibe in the vein of Black Flag or Bl'ast. Very cool.

Sean sent me the Youngblood Showcase pressing for this 7 inch. White vinyl with a hand stamped dust sleeve. Number 103 out of 215.

Finally, we get to the latest pre-orders. First up is the newest Lion Of Judah 7 inch, number-rology. This is a really cool record, and I'm liking these three songs more than their last album, which was still pretty good. The packaging on this is very original, with the lyric sheet on the backside of some kind of totem lion mask. Everything about this looks amazing, and the green vinyl coordinates very well with record cover. Pretty slick all around.

Next up, is the amazing new release from Fired Up. Damn, the Doomed To Repeat 7 inch is just killer. The songs seem more raw and faster. It's too bad that this will be the last release from the band, but they put out a hell of a swan song.

The Fired Up 7 inch was released on white and blue vinyl. Since Youngblood takes forever to update their store and their discography pages on the website, I'm not sure what the pressing numbers are, or if there was other vinyl that was pressed.

Now that I've completed the collection for When The Lights Go Out, I figured that I'd get a picture of my Fired Up records.