Sunday, October 31, 2010

Slayer's Vinyl Conflict

My final Metal post for the Halloween season, and I've been saving the best for last...Slayer's box set, The Vinyl Conflict.

It must have been over a year ago when I first heard that Slayer were going to be doing a vinyl box set, and since I had very few pieces of Slayer vinyl, I could not wait for this to be released. Like Iron Maiden vinyl, most of the Slayer catalog has not been re-pressed on vinyl since it's original release, and to pick it up on eBay is going to cost you anywhere between $25 to $50 each. While picking up this box set was the most that I have spent on one item, I consider it money well spent.

The box itself is solid and well put together. I do wish that they had included a special booklet with the box...something that was limited to the box set that included photos and writings about each album. Instead, all we get is the back panel on the box that just shows the albums and songs included in the box set.

This thing is so thick and heavy!

10 albums, 11 pieces of vinyl. Comparing Slayer's newest album, World Painted Blood, the LP sleeve used for the box set is much thicker and sturdier than the one used for the regular release. The whole box set is just really well done, and does not feel thrown together.

Box sets are proudly displayed in my Music Room, and since this one is so big, it gets it's own section.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Exodus Attack

I love Paul Zetro...and yes, I love the Dukes stuff as well. The band has been around in one form or another for over 25 years, and they can still thrash with the best of them. They released their second album with Dukes in 2007, and when they played the Wacken fest in 2008 they decided to capture the moment on DVD. It was finally released this year, and a few months after the DVD package dropped, we finally get a vinyl release. This is really a great record and really showcases Dukes a brutal metal frontman. I love the selection of songs. Exodus is not one to rely only on past material of Thrash Metal's 80's heyday, and the set list is full of newer material, with some classics sprinkled into the set. There is nothing from Pleasures of the Flesh or Fabulous Disaster though, which is too bad because some of those songs are so fucking good.

The inside of the gatefold sleeve is a mess. There is way too much going on, and it just looks cluttered and sloppy.

I'm a sucker for numbered, limited edition colored vinyl, and it was a big part of why I rushed to pick this up at my local record store when I saw that they had it in stock. It's pretty stupid on my part to fall for the marketing scam, because when you are pressing around 1,000 pieces of vinyl, who really gives a shit what number you get. Number 692 doesn't mean much to me.

The official title for this record is a mouthful. Shovel Headed Tour Machine Live At Wacken And Other Assorted Atrocities. Now I understand that title for the three disc DVD get the live DVD, a regular CD of the show, plus a bonus documentary DVD. But where are the "Other Assorted Atrocities" on the vinyl? There are none. Stupid. They should have shortened the name instead of just copying the original DVD packaging.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

From The Mouth Of Hell

Since Halloween is just around the corner I figured that I'd throw up the devil horns, and pull some stuff out of my newest acquisitions know, to try make my last posts of the month be a little more "evil".
I recently picked up the Hellmouth LP, Destroy Everything, Worship Nothing. Livewire Records released it about a year ago, and after checking out a couple of songs, it did not grab me so I decided to pass on it. Fast forward to a couple months ago and the song Pawnshop St. Christopher pops up in my itunes damn, it was better than I remember, and I start trying to hunt down a copy on colored vinyl.

Listening to the album the whole way through was a little tougher than I thought it was going to be. Sometimes, Hellmouth's mix of hardcore and metal works for me, and other times I cringe a little bit. Outside of the late 80's Crossover sound, I have a difficult time getting into bands that try to blend hardcore and metal. To my ears, the two styles just don't belong together. I like my hardcore and metal in their purest forms, but every once in a while a band will successfully pull it off. Cruel Hand and Iron Age do a great job of this, and while Hellmouth doesn't really hang with either of those bands, they still do a decent job of it.

Man, the back cover shot with the skulls is fuckin' bad ass! 666 were pressed on vinyl for this release, but only 166 of them were on red colored vinyl. I got number 165. Cool.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Revelation of a Strife

I'm either a trusting individual, or I'm desperate for limited colored vinyl. Even though it took New Age Records about 4 months to ship the new pressing for the Survival 7 inch from Outspoken, when news went out that new pressings for the Light in the Dark LP, I couldn't resist and I placed another order. As soon as I fired off another $50 paypal payment to New Age I saw that there was also a couple of new pressings of Strife's first 7 inch, My Fire Burns On. I immediately sent an email to Mike Hartsfield, asking if he could add the Strife records to my order...weeks went by with no response. Shit. Not a good sign. While cruisin' around the REVHQ webstore, I notice that they have the Strife record for sale. I sent them an email and got an email the next day, saying that they had both colors of the record in stock. Order placed and received before I heard from Hartsfield that my New Age order was shipping. 175 on pink/red marble and 350 on grey/yellow marble.

Monday, October 25, 2010

You Had Your Chance

Tre from Deathwish Inc has been putting up a few records on eBay each week. I don't think there is one Deathwish release that I enjoy, but regardless of this, the man has been selling some great hardcore records to thin out his collection. He's been listing things alphabetically, and I've picked up a few things from him over the past couple of months. Lets start with the record that I won from the A's back at the beginning of September.

My first win from Tre was a test pressing of the You Had Your Chance 7 inch from The Answer. I don't own many test pressings, but when I get the chance to pick one up for cheap, I'm grateful. Considering that this was being sold from a well known name in the hardcore scene, and the 7 inch was released on Aram's pre-REACT! record label, Anchor, I expected the price for this test press to fall a little out of my price range. Seriously, $16 for a test press is more than a reasonable price for me.

I don't know much about the history of Anchor Records...why it faded away, or why Aram decided to start up REACT! instead of reviving Anchor years later...I really have no idea. I also don't know why this particular record was rejected as the test press. Judging from the matrix, it looks like there may have been an issue with the b side of the record, but when I play this rejected press next to the one that got released, I don't really notice any difference. I've never really had a good ear for this kind of thing, so maybe it was a different mix or something. Cool win, and I've got a couple other records from Tre that I'll be putting up in the coming weeks.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wake Up To the Real Deal

I don't know if I'd call myself an expert on hardcore, but I'd consider myself pretty well versed on the subject. Sometimes though, I find myself feeling like a newbie when I find myself getting into an early 80's hardcore band for the first time and wondering what the hell took me so long to finally check them out. Sure, I've heard the name Antidote thrown around in topics of New York Hardcore, and the record cover for their 7 inch is pretty well known, and although I downloaded the songs off this record years ago, I never really listened to it. As a side note, I'm note sure why I download stuff, and not get around to really listening to it for years...too much music, too little time?
I suppose the my excuse for not hearing Antidote back in the 80's and early 90's was that back then I didn't have the availability to download anything and everything with a simple Google search. The record was out of print and collectible by the time I got into hardcore, and since I didn't really have any serious connections or friends in the hardcore scene, there was never an opportunity for the songs to make there way into my collection. Now, with Bridge Nine repressing the record, I figured it was time to finally get into it.

When it comes to re-issues, Bridge Nine has made some excellent choices, and released some amazing hardcore classics on vinyl. Project X, Agnostic Front, Underdog, and now Antidote. Bridge Nine apparently loves New York Hardcore. I missed the green colored vinyl pressing for this (limited to 300), but I did pick up the white (700) and red (1,000) pressings.
Packaging for B9 re-issues is always top notch, and tries to match the original layout and inserts. Can not wait to see what the label may re-issue next.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nothing But The Edge

I remember the first time I caught Down To Nothing live. It was a July 4th and they were playing a small town in Maine with Have Heart. It was before before The Most was released and I didn't know much about the band. I had no idea that they were a Straight Edge band until I saw them that day with X'd up hands. Even still, to this day, often times I forget that Down To Nothing is a Straight Edge band. With X'd up hands and varsity jackets on the cover of their new 7 inch, All My Sons, there should be no mistaking where the band stands when it comes to the Edge.
I missed the pre-orders for this from Reaper Records. I had no idea that the band was releasing a new record and by the time I had found out about it, I was too late. Months went by before I finally got around to picking up this 7 inch through Revelation. Damn, I wish that I didn't wait so long, because this record picks up where their LP, The Most, left off.

I completely missed out on the first pressing of this. Second press is limited to 300 and comes with stamped b-side labels.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Police Story

I've always regretted not picking up the Not Sorry package deal from Salad Days when they went up. At the time I was trying to watch my spending a little, and I chose not to take the leap. Ever since then, I've wished that I'd just bitten the bullet and bought it. When Salad Days announced that they were doing a Euro press for Police & Thieves, I knew that I was not going to make the same mistake.
Youngblood Records originally released the Amor Y Guerra as a 7 inch EP back in 2008. Like the CD that Youngblood also released, the Salad Days pressing includes both the Amor Y Guerra plus their first 7 inch on a full length LP.
Salad Days went with new artwork for the LP, incorporating what the band used for the Amor Y Guerra 7 inch record release cover. I don't know if I would have picked pink as the color for an album cover, but for this, it really works. The layout for this whole thing is well done. 100 on clear with pink splatter. I'm usually not a fan of splatter pattern colored vinyl, but the pink and clear looks amazing and coordinates with the cover art nicely.
150 were pressed on clear vinyl.

Only 250 were pressed on black so each one is a pretty limited run. Get yours while you can.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thrash Authenticity

Thrash and Speed Metal ruled from around 1985 to about 1990. For Metal, nothing can touch the bands that released the classic albums during that period. Sure everyone remembers Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, and Megadeth, but I also cherish Forbidden, Rigor Mortis, Exciter, and Tankard. Something about thrash from that time period was just a big middle finger to all of society's was loud, proud and didn't give a fuck. Thrash was a statement of my separated me from most of my peers, and was the one part of my teenage years where I didn't feel like an outsider...or more likely, it made me feel comfortable being an outsider.
Some things never change. I still don't understand what most people are chasing in this life. The only difference between then and now is that I no longer feel the need to try and keep up with everyone else. I do my own thing and it makes me happy. Of course music is a big part of what makes me happy, and I love the fact that there are new bands around today that are still blasting out Thrash Metal like it's 1986. One of my favorites from the recent Thrash revival is Gama Bomb. The band isn't going to threaten the Big Four of Thrash, but they can certainly keep up the pace with the second tier Metal bands from the Golden Age of Thrash. Their first album, Survival of the Fastest, was recently released on vinyl and since I only had a downloaded copy, I was happy to finally grab a copy for the record collection.

The coolest piece of the packaging for this record is the Certificate of Authenticity. Nice thick paper that lists the release date, the total number that were pressed on vinyl, and how many were pressed of the specific color. 105 were pressed on clear vinyl, with mine numbered as 197 for the total 525 that were pressed. It is because of this Certificate that I want to pick up a few more colors of this LP.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Tied To The Wreckage

It seems as though I am destined to never see Hands Tied live. I travelled to Boston around 1997 or so, because if memory serves me correctly, Hands Tied was playing at The Rat with Ten Yard Fight and Shift...only to find out at the door that Hands Tied had cancelled. The band was pretty short lived, and soon broke up. Apparently they are back together, and have a new two song 7 inch to their name on Livewire Records. The band is back on the road, playing a few shows. They were part of an amazing line up in Massachusetts back in August with ON, Get The Most and Mindset...I had family commitments and was forced to miss that show. I then hung my hopes on the A Time We'll Remember fest coming up in November. Again, those plans were crushed as my annual roadtrip with Rob and Paul couldn't happen that weekend due to more scheduling conflicts. Damn it.

Even though 13 years have passed since the Hands Tied debut, this new 7 inch fits right in with the rest of their material. Great straight forward hardcore that is dedicated to the Straight Edge.

Only 500 were pressed of this record. 200 on yellow vinyl, and 300 on red.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Triple B Weekend: Part 2 - Welfare Records

The Triple B Showcase was held at Anchors Up, in Haverhill, Massachusetts. It is a great place for shows, and as an added bonus, Welfare Records is upstairs. Concentrating on used vinyl, the store has plenty of hardcore, punk, and metal vinyl. I've browsed the store before, when I've come down for other shows, but I've never bought anything prior to this weekend. After seeing the lack of vinyl at the Triple B Showcase, I knew that I'd be dropping some cash in the record store.
I've been meaning to pick up a copy of Ozzy's first solo album, Blizzard of Ozz, for years. A while back, he re-issues this classic album and had the bass and drum track re-recorded so that he wouldn't have to pay royalties to those that helped bring him back from the brink of destruction. One dick move in a long line of fucking people over. Still, this album is amazing, and grouped with his second solo album, Diary of a Madman, it makes a hell of a comeback for a man that holed himself up in a dark hotel room and nearly drank himself to death. Too bad that hotel room wasn't available to stop him from releasing so much crap after The Ultimate Sin LP and turning into a pathetic cartoon character.
Yeah, I'm a huge metalhead from the 80's, and I love adding early Metal Blade releases to my record collection. I just took a look at the Metal Blade discography and realized that I still haven't heard some of their early releases. I'm a poser. I've always loved Lizzy Borden, and didn't hesitate to pick up the still sealed copy of Give 'Em The Axe for $8.00. Classic.

I can remember how excited I was when I heard about the first Amendment 18 LP. Guys from Outspoken, Insted, and the singer for Chorus...holy shit, I could not wait to hear this album. I picked up the CD at Newbury Comics, while it didn't come close to the greatness of the member's previous bands, it was still a good album. I recently ordered the New Age re-issues of this album and when Paul pulled this original pressing from the rack at Welfare, I quickly snatched it from him. Red vinyl and limited to 500.

The last record that I found when I was getting ready to check out was Dead Stop's Done With You LP. Man, I have been trying to track down a vinyl copy of this for the longest time. I always come up empty with my eBay searches, and the one time that I found it online, through the Powered Records webstore, they ended up reimbursing me the cash because it ended up being sold out. I'm so happy to finally have a copy of this album.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Triple B Weekend : Part 1 - The Show

The original plan for our roadtrip this year was to head to the A Time We'll Remember fest in Washington D.C.. Unfortunately, Paul was unable to get that weekend off in November, so we had to improvise and decide to make our destination quite a bit closer with the Triple B Showcase in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Other than the show on Saturday and Sunday, Haverhill didn't offer a lot for us to do and see in the down time, but Rob, Paul and I made the most of it and had a blast. Saw a bunch of great bands, and met up with some cool people. I was disappointed with the lack of vinyl for sale at the show, as I was planning on picking up some records from the bands that I'd recently checked out...but to my surprise a lot of bands only had t-shirts for sale.
In addition to the Showcase, this weekend was the Record Release for the America's Hardcore compilation on Triple B Records.

The record looks awesome, and the bands selected are all pretty solid. I love the cover on this thing. I was surprised to find out that the pressing that Triple B was selling was the most common one. Nothing special for the Record Release show. Blue with white splatter. 700 pressed.

Free Spirit, Foundation, Rotting Out, Thought Crusade, The Rival Mob, and Cruel Hand. Fucking solid. While I do love how the packaging on this record looks, I do think that the Triple B logo on the back is a little overkill. Ha! How much real estate does a label need to take up for their logo? Damn.

The book that is used for the insert is amazing as well, with each band getting a full size page for lyrics, etc. Triple B spared no expense in making this record as special as possible. Nice job.

In my last post, I mentioned how much I was looking forward to catching out Thought Crusades' set. I love their two 7 inch records, and I promised that I would be launching from the stage when this band played...regardless of if anyone was going to be there to catch me or not. As soon as the guitar kicked in for Tightrope, I was off. Such an amazing song. I caught up with the singer, Ryan, after their set, and he handed me the demo tape for the band Noose. Said that REACT! was putting their demo out on vinyl and suggested that I check them out. Very cool gesture. Picked up the blue vinyl copy of Common to 100.

The line up on Saturday was amazing, and I had such a great time...Sunday on the other hand was pretty disappointing with lots of really "tough" bands and big guys throwing punches on the dance floor. Other than Bane and Cruel Hand, the only other band that really grabbed my attention was Rotting Out from Los Angeles. Incredible punk influenced hardcore...aggressive and catchy as fuck. I can't see why anyone would not like this style. 400 pressed on clear blue vinyl from 6131 Records.

I'll admit it...I got burned out on Bane. I saw them so many times in the late 90's, and as we worked our way into the mid-2000's, thier albums failed to grab me the way thier first 7 inches did. I caught them live a few times over the past year, and while I had a fun time at the those shows, I really wasn't interested in any new material. When Bane released their new 7 inch last year, I couldn't care less and I ignored it. Gearing up for the Triple B Showcase, I decided to finally download the "new" record and check it out. To my surprise, I really liked it...I mean, I REALLY liked what I heard. Therefore, I was planning on picking up the vinyl. The only pressing that they had for sale (amongst the 10 different shirt and sweatshirt designs) was the Los Angeles pressing from 6131 Records. Yellow vinyl and limited to 700 pressed. I'm not looking to collect the many different pressings, from the many different labels...for me, one will do.
*Update* So, 4 days later I was just putting the Los Angeles 7 inch into my record and CD database and noticed that the songs were different than the Boston 7 inch that I had downloaded a few weeks ago. I had no clue that there were different songs on these things. Looks like I will be buying more copies. Ha!

I'm hoping to put more miles on the roadtrip next year, but all in all, this weekend was a lot of fun.