Friday, September 30, 2011

Kissing Time

I stopped by my friend Jeff's house the other day, and he had a couple extra pieces of vinyl that he offered me. The covers were a little beat up, but the vinyl was mint, so I took advantage of a couple of free records. 70's rock. I love it.

I worshipped Kiss as a kid. Well, maybe that isn't quite right. I was probably around 7 or 8 years old, and I was really only familiar with the song Beth. I held "Kiss parties" in my room (complete with constuction paper chains for decoration), and I remember being facinated with Kiss on TV shows and in the movies and comics. I guess I didn't worship Kiss, so much as I was in awe of the Kiss image. By the time I started to seriously get into music, Kiss had dabbled in disco, and I no longer had interest in checking out anything they had done. I was more interested in AC/DC and Judas Priest, and Kiss was no where close to my musical radar with the Lick It Up album.

Fast forward 20 years or so, and on Jeff's recommendation I finally open my mind and check out the first three Kiss albums. I don't know what I was expecting, but there was no Beth, no disco, and no weak 80's rock. This was just straight forward 70's Hard Rock. Hell yeah.

For the next few years, I didn't dare break out of my Kiss comfort zone, and I just stuck with those first three studio albums. Somewhere along the line, my Mom's boyfriend gave me his vinyl copy of Destroyer, and I found myself forced to check it out. It started out promising enough with Detroit Rock City, but the song Great Expectations irritated me so much, it took me another year to bother with the album again and begin to appreciate it. I've slowly branched out with Love Gun, and now, thanks to Jeff, I've got a copy of Rock and Roll Over as well. I can now appreciate and enjoy those first six studio albums for the guitar driven 70's Hard Rock that it is.

The other album that Jeff sent my way was UFO's 1974 album, Phenomenon. While not the band's first album, it is there first with guitarist Michael Schenker, and is my starting point for the band's discography.

When Jeff was giving me these albums, he slid each one out of the record sleeve, checked the label on the vinyl, and mentioned that they were first pressings. It got me interested in the different designs that record companies would use for the labels on vinyl. I geeked out and took a couple pictures to see different labels that both Casablanca and Chrysalis had used.

I'm not going to go over the top, and collect the different labels for this stuff, but I do find this stuff cool.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Two More Fire & Ice

Another day, another step closer to completing my Fire & Ice collection. 14 pieces of vinyl down, and only 2 more to go. This time around, I picked up two more copies of the band's first 7 inch, Gods & Devils, courtesy of eBay.

Fire & Ice hit the road at the end of 2009, and designed a Winter themed cover for their tour. Let it snow.

This one is limited to 100.

The second copy of Gods & Devils that I picked up was one of their United Blood covers from 2010...that's right, they had two different ones.

This one pales in comparison to the Agnostic Front rip off they also did, but hey, it's a limited special cover, so it's still cool as far as I'm concerned.

This one was limited to 100 as well.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The First Step Demo Blues

I'm a huge fan of The First Step. The band was amazing, and I wouldn't hesitate to include their What We Know LP as one of my favorite Straight Edge albums of all times. That said, I've really dropped the ball on collecting any of the 7 inches prior to their LP. This is my first step.

Back when Livewire was a fully funtioning label, they pressed the 2001 Demo from The First Step to vinyl. Man, this demo really captures the youthful energy and passion of the band. Sure, it doesn't stack up next to What We Know or Connection, but the intensity and fire was certainly there from the start.

The Livewire discography page doesn't seem to have any information on the second pressing of this record. Thankfully, it was all captured on the back sleeve, because I'm a geek for this kind of info.

Hand numbered and limited to 100, yet I was still able to pick this up for under $10. Yeah, I was stoked.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Street Prowl

I managed to catch Rotting Out's set at the Triple B Showcase last year, and they impressed the Hell out of me. They played an amazing set with lots of energy and a really cool early Suicidal Tendencies/LA vibe. After the show, I was hot to get my hands on some vinyl from them and I picked up their second 7 inch. Unfortunately, the vinyl didn't capture the feeling of their live show.

This year, the band follows up their impressive song on the America's Hardcore comp from Triple B, with a brand new full length, Street Prowl. The singer from those first two 7 inches has been replaced, and the band now seems to capture a bit of that live energy on the new record. Definitely a step up.

I was planning on ordering this album from REVHQ, but when I noticed that they didn't stock the colored vinyl for Street Prowl, I headed over to Hellfish instead. 300 pressed on red vinyl.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Gates To The Ceremony

I was recently on a stoner/doom metal kick. The Sword, Pentagram, Danzig, Trouble, High On Fire, plus a bunch of Rise Above bands were getting high doses of exposure in my daily playlists. When Rise Above posted the new Gates Of Slumber and a re-issue of the first Blood Ceremony album in their webstore, I didn't think twice about the shipping charges, and just placed my order.

The last Gates of Slumber album, Hymns of Blood and Thunder, really grew on me, so when I heard that the band had a new album due this year, I was looking forward it's release. While Hymns had some straight up traditional Metal, The Wretch is just soaked in Doom. While I didn't initially like The Wretch as much as their last album, this one is really growing on me.

I almost ordered the Die Hard edition for this LP, but the clear vinyl was more limited, so I went with that instead. Limited to 100 on clear vinyl.

I had passed by the first Blood Ceremony album when it was initially released in 2008. A female fronted, Metal band with a flute? No thanks. Not my thing. Pass. While I might have been a little closed minded back then, I took a chance with the new Blood Ceremony, Living With The Ancients, this year and it really opened my eyes. Thank you Rise Above, for capitalizing on the bands new release and repressing the first album on vinyl for those of us that missed out the first time around.

I'm glad that I waited until this year to check out this band, because the first Blood Ceremony album pales in comparison to the new one. Sure the first one is decent, and you can hear the beginnings of greatness...but man, they really put things together for the new album. Still, as a big fan of Living With The Ancients, I'll give this first album regular spins as well.

The one thing that I enjoy more on the first album is the artwork. The new album doesn't really do anything for me visually, but that first album looks pretty cool.

Limited to 100 pressed on clear vinyl.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Here's Your Warning

If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know that I tend to be about 10 years behind the times when it comes to collecting Hardcore vinyl from the early 2000's. When Doug recently posted about the first No Warning 7 inch, I realized that I had another hole to fill in my collection. Not only had I failed to pick up the No Warning 7 inch when it was originally released, but I also somehow missed the boat on grabbing the CD when it was released by Bridge Nine...therefore, 10 years after it's release, I still had never heard this record. Sure I had the Ill Blood LP, but never hearing that 7 inch is an embarrassment that I needed to remedy as soon as possible. I began my ebay search, and bids were placed with my sights set on winning a copy of this record.

When all was said and done, I walked away with the 2001 Summer Tour pressing of this record. Like all good tour pressings, this one comes with a special, limited cover.

Man, this is the real deal. Hardcore. Sometimes I forget how great this time was in Hardcore's history. In 2001, Bridge Nine was on fire with bands like American Nightmare, Carry On, and Bane and Reach the Sky were huge. Listening to this No Warning record reminds me of all the good music that was around at this time, and it inspired me to revisit it through a 2001 playlist in my ipod.

Number 127 out of 400 pressed.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Toxic Shock

I've been looking to pick up the new Toxic Holocaust album. I found it at my local record store, but they only had it on black vinyl. Yawn. I placed it back on the shelf, and decided to try my luck online. Trust me, this was not an easy choice to make, as I tend to lean towards instant gratification.

To my surprise, when I was searching the internet back at the office, I found that REVHQ had some in stock on colored vinyl. I jumped on it. When the package arrived a week or so later, I opened the box and found this staring at me.

What the fuck? At first I was shocked...thinking that REV placed the LP in my package by mistake (kind of like the crap Starkweather colored vinyl I also received as a surprise with this order). Then I realized that they just used the album sleeve for protective packaging. Lemuria has to be the polar opposite of Toxic Holocaust. Indie-pop crap from Bridge Nine. Someone at REV must have a sense of humor.

Here we go. This is more like it. The new album from Toxic Holocaust. Joel Grind returns once again, giving us another dose of mid-80's inspired Metal. Take the greatness of early Venom, Slayer and Possessed, throw in some Crossover in the vein of Nuclear Assault, and you have a new Toxic Holocaust album. Thrash!

The artwork for Conjure and Command is amazing. While I love the Ed Repka artwork of the past, the doomy, black and white art for this album seems to push the band to the next level...dare I say, more serious? This album was definitely a surprise for me, and may work it's way into my Metal Top 5 this year.

200 pressed on green vinyl. It also comes with a download card. Of course I had found a download online for Conjure and Command a few weeks back, so I didn't really need the card. I do however really appreciate them when I need them, and it irritates me when labels don't include them with their vinyl.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Blood For Blood Red

This is dedicated to all the outcasts, white trash, and wasted youth. This one's for us. Our kind belongs nowhere. Welcome to exile. Welcome to nowhere. These are the outlaw anthems. So let's fuckin' go.

Blood For Blood are fuckin' hard. They ain't ever had nuthin'. They hang out at the local bar, asking the "gargoyle" waitress for a couple of drafts, and talk about about their jail time and hard luck. White trash from the streets...and proud of it.

Blood For Blood and I have pretty much zero in common. That said, I still love a good ol' "Fuck Society" anthem, and Blood For Blood have them in spades. So much hate for a system that keeps them down, and never cuts them a much hate for the "MTV babies" of their generation...hate for that bitch called hope. Yeah, they've got some kind of hate, and it is fuckin' real. That is something that I can appreciate. When I saw that REVHQ was selling the classic Outlaw Anthems album on colored vinyl, I couldn't wait to pick up a copy.

I love the fact that they lyric sheet has nothing but explanations for each of their songs. They boys aren't apologizing, just stating that their words are the result of real shit that they deal with every day. While I can't always relate, I can respect.

Limited to 200 on red vinyl.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Last Great Burn

I've got some holes in my record collection that are pretty embarrassing. 2002 was a strange time for me. I wasn't buying very much vinyl at the time, preferring to buy CDs, and strangely enough, I was listening to a lot of hip hop. Because of these two things, I completely missed the boat on Burn's Last Great Sea 7 inch. I don't know...I guess at the time, I kept expecting Revelation to package these three songs from this release with the first 7 inch, and release them all on CD. It never happened, and therefore it took me about 6 years to finally hear these songs. Complete shame really, because these songs were written and recorded in 1992, and totally capture that classic Burn sound.

Purchasing the Record Store Day pressing of Burn's first 7 inch really highlighted the Last Great Sea hole in my collection, and I knew that I had to remedy it soon. The eBay search began and it wasn't long before I had myself a copy. It wasn't the blue vinyl pressing that I was hoping for, but the black vinyl was pretty cheap, so I figured that I'd start there.

700 pressed on black vinyl.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Youngblood In The Water

A couple months ago, Lins sent me a message saying that he was selling some records. He sent a list and said to make offers if I was interested. As soon as I saw the Youngblood releases, I knew that I was interested. My YB collection is pretty weak, and I've been wanting to beef it up for a while now. This was a great opportunity for some cheap additions.

Rancor's Flip The Switch would be my favorite Youngblood release...with the Lights Out LP a close second. These dudes, don't mess around.

Second pressing with the green and black cover. 500 pressed.

Hey, speaking of Lights Out, I also grabbed my very first vinyl copy of the band's debut 7 inch, Get Out. Not as strong as their LP, but this still rages.

150 pressed on green vinyl for pre-orders.

That might have been my first vinyl copy of the Lights Out 7 inch, but truth be told, this was the first time I've even heard the Life's Halt record. This stuff is pretty manic, fast paced stuff. It doesn't blow me away, but it's still a keeper.

925 pressed with black ink on yellow paper for the second pressing.

Finally, we have the Shark Attack Blood In The Water 7 inch on My War Records. Another first, as this is my first copy of this on vinyl. Nope, I don't even own a Bridge Nine pressing. Lame. This record rules hard, and I need to cough up the cash and get to work on collecting this.

I have no idea how many were pressed from My War.

As a bonus, Lins threw in some stickers of the early Revelation bands. Sweet, now I can decorate my car just like I did back in '91. Thanks man, cool stuff.