Thursday, September 30, 2010

Preparing for the Crusades

One last post for September. Damn, I haven't had over 10 posts in a month since last year at this time. The end of Summer must signal a record shopping spree, as my natural instincts kick in and I start building up new stacks of vinyl to get ready for the coming winter.

This time around we have the first 7 inch from Thought Crusade, Common Man. This weekend is the Triple B Showcase in Haverhill, Massachusetts, and Thought Crusade are on the bill. I loved their Our War 7 inch that Triple B put out last year, and I'm pretty excited to see them live. I had never heard the band's first record that Organized Crime Records put out in 2008, so to prepare for the show, I started scouring the internet to try and find a place to download it. Surprisingly, I came up empty. I would have bought a copy at the show, but I wanted those songs on my ipod NOW. Since I couldn't find a download, I had to place an order with REVHQ to get my hands on a copy (which thankfully came with a free download). This record isn't as tight as Our War, but it is still a good dose of hardcore with some hints of times it reminds me of Worn Thin, who at times remind me of Dag Nasty. Man, the crowd better be packed up front for this band on Saturday, because when their set starts I plan on kicking things off with a stagedive.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Long Live Ronnie James Dio

There have been a few musicians that have died in my time...Cliff Burton, Paul Baloff, Ozzy's career...but none of them have touched me the way I felt on May 16th, 2010 when Ronnie James Dio passed. As far as I was concerned, everything that Dio touched turned to gold. To lose him while he was still so active in the Metal know that Magica II will never be is a sad thing indeed.

Whether it is the memories of playing basketball as a kid in my driveway with Sabbath's Live Evil playing from the stereo speakers, hearing We Rock for the first time when a friend's older brother gave us a ride to school in 1984, seeing him on the Sacred Heart tour as my third concert ever, or being amazed at how great he looked on stage in his 60's for the 2007 tour as Heaven and is a loss that I will feel whenever I put on one of his many amazing albums.

Back On Black recently started an offshoot of their re-issue label called Rock Classics which will focus more on the older 70's Metal/Rock albums. Looks like they will be doing the early Whitesnake albums, Thin Lizzy, some Deep Purple, and of course the Rainbow catalogue. Each one is limited to 1,000 on colored vinyl, and when they were first available I immediately ordered a copy of Rising. I was so desperate to get a copy that I ordered it from overseas and paid the shipping costs. For Long Live Rock 'n' Roll, I used a little more patience and was able to pick it up from a US seller on ebay.

From the colored vinyl, to the amazing b-side labels, the packaging on these records is amazing. It is just a matter of time until I pick up other two Dio-era Rainbow albums.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

No Control

There was a period of a few years where I stopped buying Crucial Response records. I was loyal to the label from around 1991, when I picked up the first Manliftingbanner 7 inch, through the late 90's. I still liked what the label was doing with bands like Eyeball and Mainstrike, but my musical direction was starting to lean in the direction of bands with a more punk influence, like Good Riddance or Propagandhi. Soon, I stopped paying any attention to what the label was doing and I skipped the era of Sportswear, Damage Control, and Insurance Risk.
While organizing music files on my computer, because everything has a place with my music collection, I realized that while I had never bought the first Damage Control 7 inch from 2001, I had also never even heard it. I enjoy the all the other DC recordings, so this was an immediate hole that needed to be filled. I quickly found and downloaded the mp3's online, and then hit eBay to find a copy on vinyl. Found one copy with a Buy It Now option for $5.00.

Since I couldn't just buy only one record from the eBay store, I checked into what else they had for sale. Good Riddance released their last studio album, My Republic, back in 2006, and while I have loved everything the band has released, I've never bought this album. In fact, I actually found myself in the exact opposite position from when I let the Damage Control 7 inch pass me by 10 years ago. For the past few years, I've been more interested in straight ahead, youth crew hardcore, and I've ignored new albums from Anti-Flag, Good Riddance and Propagandhi. For $10, I took the opportunity to rectify that, because there is no such thing as a bad Good Riddance album.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Razzle Dazzle

I'm not a fan of picture discs, but when you pull it off with the packaging like this RZL DZL album, it is simply amazing. With the record cover designed like a pizza box, and the record itself looking like a pizza, they pull off the packaging flawlessly. There is some serious partying going on within the grooves of this record, and while that generally isn't my style, this comes off as a good time.

The back of the record cover lists the song titles as ingredients, and the b-side of the album looks like the underside of the pizza. Nice job.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hardcore For Hardcore

"Here's where we separate the men from the boys". The new 7 inch from The Rival Mob absolutely destroys. Hardcore for hardcore indeed. This band just gets better and better. Can't wait to see them again at the Triple B Showcase next month. 150 were pressed on what was supposed to be black with clear green splatter. Too much black was used in the mix, and therefore you can't really see the clear green unless you hold it up to the light...and even then, you can only see a few spots. 350 on yellow and 900 pressed on purple vinyl.

When I pre-ordered the new Rival Mob record, Six Feet Under also had the second pressing of the Hang Your Head 7 inch from Foundation. 500 were pressed on orange/blue/white mix vinyl.

The coolest part of this pressing are the labels showing a kid ripping down a sign outside of a club that states No Hardcore Shows... a great rip off of the Judge 7 inch from Revelation Records.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Golden Mindset

Last month Mindset played in Massachusetts with ON, Get The Most and Hands Tied. The most perfect line up for a hardcore show in 2010. I ended up having plans that I couldn't break with the family, and could not make it. I was depressed, so I went to eBay and bought the Mindset record release pressing for Time & Pressure instead.

100 on yellow with MINDSET stamp on the dust sleeve.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

What Was Said

I didn't think that it would ever arrive, but my copy of the new Said And Done 7 inch, Weight of the World, finally showed up in the mail. As soon as pre-orders went up at the beginning of March, I jumped on placing my order. There were a few delays, and months went by before I even gave it a second thought. I sent a note to the singer, Pim, at the end of June, asking if these had been shipped yet. Apparently they had all gone out a while back, and he was surprised to hear that I hadn't received mine. To make a long story short, it turns out that when I placed my order, Paypal had changed my address from the States to The Netherlands. No surprise that my package never arrived. I reached out to the guys at Carry The Weight Records and they confirmed that my package was returned as undeliverable. Like overseas shipping prices don't suck enough, I had to pay the shipping fees again for them to send the record out. Six months from the original pre-order date, my record finally arrives.

Originally this record was going to just have 200 pressed on red and black splatter, and then 300 pressed on black vinyl. Because of the various delays that the label had in getting these records out, they decided to do a limited cover just for the pre-orders. Special limited covers rule.

The whole package is really well done, and once again Said And Done put out a solid hardcore release. Thanks Pim for the offer to send me a copy of the record, free of charge, when mine was seeing delays in getting shipped. More people should check out their Cro-Mags/Leeway/Underdog influenced brand of hardcore. Quality.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Give Me Pink

Seems like everyone it loving the band Give right now. I saw them live in Massachusetts about a year and a half ago with Mindset and Alert. They were just starting to make a little noise at that time, so I was excited to check them out. The first song they played sounded amazing with a strong Swiz influence...unfortunately they didn't hold my attention for very long and soon I was taking a seat and waiting for them to finish up so that I could see The Effort and Mindset play.

Fast forward to today and the band have released a well received 12 inch record, and are set to have a new 7 inch released on REACT! any day now. I've got my pre-order in for the 7 inch, but a month ago the band posted on the REACT! messageboard that they had a few copies of the new record left over from the Sound and Fury fest. It was limited to 125 on pink vinyl, came with a special cover since the regular covers weren't ready on time, and was available only from the band. In order to keep my REACT! collection up to date, I jumped on it and headed to the band's webstore to pick it up.

While I was buying the 7 inch, I figured that I'd give the 12 inch a chance. It was in it's second pressing and limited to 640 on pink vinyl. Damn, some of these songs sound so much like Swiz. Some of these songs grab me immediately, while others may take a little while to grow on me. Definitely worth checking out. The only downside is that it does not come with a download. Such a pain in the ass to have to rip my own mp3s from vinyl.

Okay, the back cover photo creeps me out. Gives me the heebie jeebies just looking at it.

It is always a nice touch when dudes from the band take the time to add a personal touch and include a little note with the record they are shipping out.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Fuck Your Old Time Rock and Roll

Okay, this may be the biggest surprise to regular readers of this blog. It was certainly a surprise to me. Seriously? Bob Seger? What the fuck is the matter with me? Old Time Rock and Roll makes me want to punch old people in the face. I hate that song and never need to hear it again, but my friend, and 70's rock connoisseur, Jeff mentioned that I may like the early Seger stuff...before he got the Silver Bullet Band, and was just a part of the System. I can't remember what finally pushed me to download and check it out, but I was sure surprised when I did. The debut album, Ramblin' Gamblin' Man, from 1969 is killer. If you dig early 70's rock, you need to check this out.

There isn't any polish on this album. The singing is a little off key during parts of Train Man, and the war protest song of 2+2=? is pretty raw. When I'm pulling old records off the shelf, this is the shit that I'll be reaching for. As a side note, Bob Seger has disowned these early recordings and therefore they will never be in print again. Bob Seger is obviously a douche.

I've wanted a copy of this album for a few months now, but I wasn't sure which pressing to get. I think that I had seen three different Capitol labels on eBay at one, yellow and green, and I had no idea which one was the first pressing. I'd seen some early pressings list for $100, and while I really liked this record, it wasn't a record from The First Step, so I wasn't really going to pay a lot for it. In the end, I just wanted a good, clean copy, and when I had the chance to pick up this pressing for $10, I took it. Once I received it, it was pretty obvious that the green labels were from the Capitol Re-issue. The barcode on the back tells me that this must have been from the early 80's.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Effort With A Purpose

This release was a bit of a surprise from REACT! Records. Powered Records released the 7 inch version of Statement Of Purpose from Common Cause back in 2007, so I didn't expect that it would be getting re-issued so soon. In typical REACT! fashion, they released a total quality product...outstanding packaging, and adding on the songs from the Common Cause demo to make this an LP. When I pre-ordered this record, I also took the opportunity to buy the newest issue of Effort Fanzine. I was so impressed with issue 2, that I didn't hesitate to pick up issue 3. Such a great zine.

200 pressed on red vinyl.

300 pressed on blue vinyl.

400 pressed on black vinyl.

The colored vinyl for this record looks amazing.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Dealt A Cruel Hand

I can count the number of cool bands to come from my home state of Maine on one (cruel?) hand. Outbreak, Wake Up Call, and Cruel Hand. Are there any others? Some of the dudes from American Nightmare were from Maine, but they were more of a Boston band. I remember catching Cruel Hand 5 years ago at the Have Heart record release show for the End Of Summer Jam. I didn't think too much of them at the time, but they have sure worked themselves into a powerful hardcore force. Bridge Nine recently put up pre-orders for the band's third release, Lock & Key. I had heard mixed reviews on the album, but I still went ahead and ordered the package deal simply because I love the cover art on this LP. It took a few listens for this to grow on me, and while I don't think it is as good as Prying Eyes, this is still a solid record. White vinyl was limited to the package deal.

In addition to a Cruel Hand t-shirt, the package deal came with a screened print of the album art. Definitely frame worthy for my music room.

I'm not sure how many were made, but mine was numbered 76.

While I was ordering the LP, I figured that I'd pick up a copy of the Cruel Hand single as well. I would have still picked up the record release pressing of this 7 inch, but at the time I had completely forgotten that I'd ordered this. Clear vinyl, but I'm not sure if there were 500 pressed of this, plus 500 on green, for a total of 1,000, or if there were 1,000 pressed of each. Cool record with a bonus track that isn't on the LP.