Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Doomed To Lose

The final piece to my Fired Up vinyl collection. Youngblood pressed 100 copies of the new 7 inch, Doomed To Repeat, on gold colored vinyl for the Youngblood Showcase back in October of 2009. I didn't go to the show (but how great would it have been to see Rancor?), but I was hopeful that, if there were some leftovers from the Showcase, Sean at Youngblood would put up a few copies in the webstore. I waited...I waited...and then I waited some more, and after 6 months, there was no sign of them being made available. I gave up and hit eBay. Finally won a copy for $20.00 on May 16th. On May 17th, Youngblood posts a package deal in their webstore which includes the Showcase pressing of Doomed To Repeat. Fuck.

Number 29 of 100.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cruel Is King

Last night, I hit up the local Cruel Hand show with Rob and Paul. The last time that I had seen them was at the final Have Heart show, and the band really impressed me live. This show was about 20 minutes from my house, so I figured that I'd go check it out. I had never heard of any of the other bands on the bill, and walked into the Deering Grange Hall with pretty low expectations. Sure enough those expectations were met. Bad set of bands, and it was accompanied by some of the worst moshing that I have ever seen, as the pit was full of windmill spins and donkey kicks. The band on stage would be playing some slow doom riff, and yet kids were still thrashing around full tilt, like Exodus was launching into The Toxic Waltz. Total retardation. Of all the opening bands, the only one I held the slightest interest in was War Animal. The singer looked like a Lemmy clone, and wore a bullet belt. As they set up, I turned to Rob and said, "Well, this looks promising". Too bad that the sound system turned their sound into a blur and other than the occasional cool riff, I couldn't hear much of their sound. Cruel Hand played a good set, with a few songs off their album Lock & Key, that will be out next month. Seemed like their set was short, but the band sounded tight. Man, they must have one of the best drummers in hardcore...that guy just kills it every time I see them.
On the way to the show, I joked with Rob and Paul about Cruel Hand having a special "Grange Hall" press. Turns out they did have a record release pressing for their new 7 inch single on Bridge Nine. This release comes with a special sleeve, with Maine's favorite author Stephen King rockin' the mic and sporting a Cruel Hand trucker cap.

When Rob was buying his copy of the record, the guy at the merch table dug into the box and handed him number 12. Numbers 4 and 5 were on display at the merch table, and I wanted number 4. I don't know why it matters, but I'm a geek and I like low numbers. I picked up number 4 and told him that I'd take one 7 inch...still he dipped into the box and pulled out a record for me to take...number 11. Damn it. I handed him my 10 dollar bill. He said that he needed to go get change, and as he stepped away, I set my number 11 on the table and took the number 4 that I wanted. Why did it matter? I have no idea.

I checked my number 4 copy on the way to the car, and found that there was an additional, crinkled and mangled cover included with the record. So I ended up with two release covers for this one...4 and 16.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A New Age, Same Shitty Mailorder

Back in the early 90's, I didn't take any shit from bad mailorder service. I wrote letters to Revelation, and I would use directory assistance to track down Dirk Hemsath at Doghouse, and Mike Hartsfield at New Age and call them at home. I think that at one time I may have ended up with Hartsfield's mom on the phone, and she hooked me up with her son's phone number so that I could check on an order that I had placed months ago and had not received.

Here we are 20 years later, and while Revelation now runs like a well oiled mailorder machine, New Age is still hobbling along like some three legged dog. Back in the early 90's, New Age was the one of the hottest labels, putting out records from Mouthpiece, Ressurrection, Unbroken, and Turning Point. These days, I don't know anyone that gives a shit about the bands on their roster. It is nothing the really interests me. When they put up a limited pressing of Outspoken's first 7 inch, Survival, I figured that I'd pick up a few items from their webstore. This was at the beginning of February. Months and months passed. Judging from the messageboards, I was not the only one that was waiting. When we got near the three month mark, I figured that it was time to drop an email to New Age to try and find out what was up.
I finally received a reply from Mike Hartsfield three weeks later, and he said that he was sending my order the following Tuesday, June 1st. Cool. Finally a response! I took a chance and replied back to say that I noticed that the webstore now had a burnt orange vinyl pressing of Survival, and if there was any way to add that to my order. To my surprise he replied minutes later and said to just Paypal him the extra $4.50 and he would add it to my order going out on Tuesday. I took the gamble and sent him the money. Time must move slower in California, as the post mark on the envelope shows that he sent it three weeks later than he said he would.

When all was said and done, it took nearly 5 months to receive my order. Crazy. Still, I was pretty excited to finally receive this package in the mail.

The new pressing of Survival is on "bubble gum red" colored vinyl, with the labels from the first New Age release, the Walk Proud 7 inch. No insert. New photocopied cover. It all seems thrown together, but for some reason it works for me, and it makes for a nice limited pressing of 77.

I've always been a big fan of Outspoken, but I never did get to see them live. The band is back together and playing some shows...and even though they are without their original singer, John Coyle, I'd still be down to check them out live. They are playing the A Time We'll Remember fest this November in DC with Hands Tied, One Up, and Mindset. I can't tell you how much I want to go to this show. Anyone up for a roadtrip?

The other copy of Survival that I picked up was limited to 207 on burnt orange. This seems more like a legitimate pressing. I still love the cover of this record. Outspoken's Survival and Insted's Feel Their Pain were the two biggest reasons that I got into vegetarianism.

It may seem like a strange pick, but I also picked up a vinyl copy of the Red Tape LP, High Revoltage. This may have been the last good band that New Age released, and that was 10 years ago, back in 2000. I love this record. Great hardcore with plenty of punk rock attitude.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

If It Keeps On Raining, The Levee's Gonna Break

The parade continues. Usually when I get set on collecting vinyl for a band, it typically lasts for one or two records and then I get distracted and move on to something else. With Rain On The Parade, Marcus has kept me on task, and recently let me know about this clear vinyl pressing of the Body Bag EP. Once again, I found myself in a position where I'd spent too much money on vinyl recently, but I figured that if I could pick up this record for a steal, I'd grab it. Unbelievably, the bidding topped out at $10. Nice. I'll take it.
The pressing on clear vinyl comes with a different cover than the regular press, although I'm not sure what the occasion was. Was it a record release cover? Was it a pre-order cover? I don't know. Either way, I may like it more than the regular cover.

Number 41 out of 100.

My copy came with a note to the kid that bought it from Matt Smith of Contention Records(?). Apparently, Robert was upset about losing some money, and Matt felt the need to apologize. I don't know why, but I'll end up keeping this.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


It is a shame to see great bands call it quits, but I'd rather see them go out on top, instead of hanging around for too long. True Colors went out on top. Three 7 inches, and two LP's is a solid output for any hardcore band, but True Colors sounded fresh and vital on every release...never getting stale.
Just like the Floorpunch discography, Six Feet Under did a great job on the packaging for the final True Colors record. Nice looking layout, and this may be the first time that I've seen a gatefold sleeve for a 7 inch record. Unlike the Floorpunch discography, Six Feet Under didn't give us shitty looking vinyl for the True Colors record. Nice and basic solid colors that go well with the record cover. 1,019 pressed on white vinyl.
Inside the gatefold sleeve is a nice shot of various True Colors record sleeves, fliers and t-shirts. Cruel reminder of just how many special pressings I'm missing of their records. 608 pressed on black vinyl.

The record comes with a nice, big foldout insert with lyrics on one side and a nice live shot on the other. 300 pressed on clear vinyl.

Of course the best looking vinyl is the olive green pressing that goes nice with the green on the record cover. This was the most limited color with only 104 pressed. Plus it came with a bonus 7 inch which collects the band's compilation tracks and a few other rarities.

The bonus 7 inch was only available in the Consider It Done pre-order package. 200 were pressed of the bonus 7 inch, but only 100 were included with the Consider It Done package.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dedication Is What You Lack

I received a big box of records from Six Feet Under a couple of weeks ago. It is too overwhelming to post them all at once, so I'll break it out into two separate posts.

Floorpunch. I can not express how important this band was, and how much hardcore needed them at that time. The early to mid-90's sucked for hardcore. Sure I bought into the whole ultra-PC scene, and I spent more money on bad screamo style records than I care to think about. When bands like Ten Yard Fight and Fastbreak came around, it was like a second awakening of what I really liked about hardcore. When I first heard the Floorpunch demo, it was like a reincarnation of the first Judge 7 inch...holy shit, the bar could not be set higher, and I played it for anyone that would listen. When I first saw them live in Boston I was still in a transition...I saw Floorpunch play with Rancor, Fastbreak and Ten Yard Fight, and then a few weeks later I was flying out to California for the Ebullition fest where bands played on the floor, no one moshed or did stagedives, and between bands people would get on stage and talk about their experience with sexual violence. It was cool for what it was, I guess, but in the end, it was really time for me to get out of that scene. I must have stood out like a sore thumb with my brand new Ten Yard Fight and Floorpunch shirts. 15 years later, I haven't given up on this style of hardcore.

Six Feet Under have done a great job on the Floorpunch double LP discography. Slick looking gatefold sleeve with a tri-fold insert. My favorite piece of vinyl from this pressing is the clear vinyl. 1,009 pressed.

Splatter vinyl never looks good, and although this one doesn't look as bad as the Judge discography, it still doesn't do much for me. My copy has all kinds of vinyl dust and grit on it. When I pull it out of the sleeve, it feels like the vinyl is rubbing against sand paper. I'm going to have to get new dust covers and wash the vinyl for this one. 303 on tiger stripe/orange and black splatter vinyl.

I believe they are calling this one gold vinyl. I wish that it was clear gold like the 7 inch. 599 pressed.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Apologies and Regret

I knew it would happen. I knew that if I didn't pick up the Not Sorry five 7 inch package deal from Salad Days Records, then I would regret it. The label is out of Portugal, and in the end, I couldn't bring myself to lay down the money for the package deal plus overseas shipping. My loss, and now I wish that I had picked it up when I had the chance. When John from Not Sorry posted on the REACT! board that he had some black vinyl copies available, and one copy on yellow vinyl going to one person at random, I figured that I'd cough up some cash to get one of the Salad Days pressings. When Salad Days put up pre-orders for the Police & Thieves 12 inch in the next week or so, I will not hesitate to order.

Black vinyl with the Salad Days stamp on the dust sleeve. 300 pressed.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Sick As A Dog

Bridge Nine did an outstanding job with the reissue of Underdog's 7 inch, and their release of the discography, Matchless, is just as amazing. Double LP...gatefold a "visual outtakes" book that was only available for the pre-order press on red vinyl. The book is a pretty cool bonus, containing photos of the band and a few interviews from various zines over the years. I've got to say though, the interview that is included from Bullshit Monthly (1988) is really bad. A pointless interview that goes nowhere, and really, a fine example of why people would lose interest in reading zines. Still, the book is a cool addition, and I even made it into a couple of photos included from Underdog's set at Posi-Numbers in 2005.

As it seems to be my theme lately, I was pretty hard up for cash when Matchless went up for pre-order. Still I wasn't going to let it pass me by, so I only ordered one copy...for now.

While I was ordering the Underdog discography, I figured that I'd grab the new 7 inch single from Ceremony. At least Bridge Nine has started including an exclusive non-LP track on their singles now, so they don't seem to be a complete money grab. The two songs on this 7 inch are set to simply destroy. Brutal and vicious. 300 pressed on white vinyl.

I'm not sure what the intent is with the lyrics to Sick. Sick of Black Flag. Sick of Cro-Mags. Really? In any case, the song is a full blown anthem set to inspire complete chaos when the band performs the song live.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Record Store Day Rampage

To celebrate Record Store Day, Six Feet Under offered up a test pressing of the new Floorpunch discography and True Colors 7 inch. For a chance to win, all you had to do was purchase something from their webstore. It was an offer too good to pass up, and even though I didn't win with either test press, I still couldn't resist the temptation to pick up some new vinyl.
A while back, Six Feet Under released Three Successive Blasts from Dean Dirg. For the Euro pressing, they added another Blast and improved the format from a 10 inch to a 12 inch. This is a collection of 7 inch releases pressed on one convenient LP. I have not listened to this one yet, but I do love the spastic, energetic punk rock vibe of Dean Dirg's other records, so I'm sure this one will be a winner as well.

I don't know many record labels that really have their own sound, but the bands on Lockin' Out, seem to belong on Lockin' Out. I had never heard Rampage before, but when I put this album on the turntable, my first thought was "Yeah, this sounds like a Lockin' Out band". The main reason that I picked this up was because I was planning on seeing the band live for the first time along with Lion Of Judah and Step Forward. I didn't get the order from Six Feet Under until after the show happened, but that was okay because I flaked and skipped the show anyway.

I'm intrigued by the vinyl for this pressing. When I first took the record out of the sleeve, I thought that it was only a red and orange swirl pattern, but when I flipped the vinyl to the other side I can see a ring of blue. Would love to see other copies of this and see how they compare.

Another band that I've come to really like is Iron Boots. Three different record labels have pressed the band's 2004 demo over the years. This one is the second pressing on Grave Mistake, with orange labels and limited to 500.

Now for the free shit. I have an old CD from The Rites. It is okay, but not something that I ever listen to. Six Feet Under threw in a free copy of the 7 inch that they released for the band a while back. Cool concept. They released three different versions of the 7 inch, and each one has a different cover song on side two of the record.

The copy that I received has the cover song of Surprise by Thamesmen. 145 pressed and seems to be the only pressing of this 7 inch that is no longer in the Six Feet Under webstore.

The other free record that was thrown in the package was a 12 inch single from Reign Supreme. I'm pretty sure that I saw this band play a show with 108 a few years ago, and I remember hating them. I haven't listened to this record yet, but I'm not too excited about it.