Friday, August 31, 2012

REACT!: Mindset Collection

2009 and 2010 each ended with a Mindset EP in the number one spot for my top 10 list. I already have 18 pieces of Mindset vinyl, so why would you think that I'd stop there?

This newest REACT! release celebrates their 30th record, and combines those two amazing 7 inches onto one LP. To sweeten the deal even more, REACT! pressed 200 copies as a Deluxe Edition that included a bonus LP of the Liveset record. While that live record is excellent, I wish the band finally pressed the Anti-Wasteoids LP to vinyl, and included it instead. Sure it isn't their strongest stuff, but it is still a fun listen. It was Mindset's starting point, and I would have loved to have seen it as part of the Deluxe Edition for historical context.

Throw in a bonus fanzine with all kinds of photos, history, and an interview of the band, and you really can't lose with this deal. Plus, how cool is that RXR-XXX logo? I need that on a shirt.

300 on white vinyl.

The entire packaging on this LP is mint. From the insane front cover photo that truly captures the intensity of the Mindset live experience, to the gatefold sleeve and design...this thing looks amazing.

500 on black.

This was a REACT! release, so of course there was a pressing of 100 somewhere. There was a 'band only' copy on gold vinyl, and thanks to the power of Facebook, I was able to grab one from the band when they posted that they had some available.

Monday, August 27, 2012

REACT!: Stranger and Stronger

REACT! is well known for releasing some of today's best Straight Edge Hardcore records. Every once in a while, however, they will step away from the formula. While these oddities are usually not my favorite releases, I imagine that their latest will leave a lot of kids scratching their heads in confusion.

When REACT! posted a preview track for the new Tranzmitors 7 inch, I checked it out and liked what I heard. I enjoy listening to The Adicts every once in a while, and this song had some serious Adicts influence.

200 on clear blue vinyl.

When the record arrived, I couldn't wait to work it into my regular daily playlists. Unfortunately, not one of my three copies came with a download code. I thought this was strange, as all previous REACT! releases have come with a digital download, so I sent them an email to see if they could hook me up. My email went unanswered. Disappointing, but I wasn't going to dwell on it, so I ripped the mp3s myself.

300 on solid blue vinyl.

While one side still reminds me of The Adicts, the song on the B side is a bit slower, and has more of a 50's feel to it. While it really didn't impress me, and doesn't inspire me to search out any other Tranzmitors records, I still find that I spin this 7 inch every few days.

500 pressed on black.

Getting back to basics, REACT! also give us the debut 7 inch from Growing Stronger. This is more like it! Angry Straight Edge Hardcore that rips through 6 songs in a little over 6 minutes. Upon first listen, I kind of breezed through it and didn't think too much more about it, but with each listen I like this more and more. This is a definite sleeper. Don't ignore it.

200 on gold vinyl.

Man, I hope that this band keeps going. I want to hear what they do next.

300 pressed on red.

500 on black vinyl.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Year of the Iron Curtain

I bought the first Iron Curtain record because it was on Anger Battery Records. When the new 7 inch went up for preorder, I ordered it because it was Iron Curtain.

Compared to the 2011 demo, Year of the Wolf has a bit more of an edge to seems a bit angrier...but maybe it's because the demo had cartoon monkeys on the front, and this one has a snarling wolf.

50 of the gold vinyl got pre-order stamps on the inside cover and were hand numbered.

160 on green colored vinyl.

210 on black vinyl.

Iron Curtain, representing the London Straight Edge. XXX

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Obsession Revealed

I seem to recall an interview that Indecision fanzine did with Mike Hartsfield from Outspoken/New Age Records a long time ago, where he was asked about his obsession over Wide Awake. In the interview, Mike acknowledges that they aren't the best band in the world, and he can't explain why he feels so strong about them...he just does. I can relate to that vague sense of reasoning when it comes to Reveal. I've enjoyed the band since I first heard about them in the early 90's, but as I've started collecting records, and discovering a new pressing every couple of years for the Descent 7 inch, my general interest has snowballed to a point of obesession. At this point, I feel like I'd buy every copy that I see on eBay.

I was surprised to find the record was pressed with a special cover when I stumbled upon it back in 2005 while flipping through some of Brian Murphy's used records at the Posi Numbers fest. Then in 2009, I discovered this special cover actually came on three different colors. Three years later, I finally picked up the last cover that I was missing...yellow. Five bidders on eBay, and still this record didn't top $5.00.

Hand numbered out of 100 created for the Vort 'n Vis festival in Belgium.

It looks like the yellow covers were numbered first, then the blue ones, and finally orange.

My Reveal collection may be complete, but that is not to say that I wouldn't buy another copy if I happened to see it on eBay.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Still Trippin'

Last March I started heavily listening to Bad Trip. I also began to routinely search for their vinyl on eBay, and I scored two different pressings of the Positively Bad 7 inch. Still, I kept coming up short on both the Fear And Loathing and Buzzy LPs. Six months later, I'm still listening to this band like crazy, and I'm happy that I've finally added one of their LPs to my collection.

While I assumed that Wreck Age had pressed the Fear And Loathing LP on colored vinyl, I'd never actually seen one, so I couldn't be sure. Discogs showed that there was a yellow vinyl pressing of Buzzy, but there wasn't any info listed on colored vinyl for their first LP. Thankfully, Marcus spotted one on eBay, and pointed it out to me. With one other bidder, I managed to grab it for fairly cheap at $12.00.

Grey marbled vinyl. I'm not sure how many pieces of colored vinyl Wreck Age typically pressed...500???

Monday, August 20, 2012

Point Blank Blacklisted!

Ahhh...early 90's drama. You know that if something was going down, a line in the Politically Correct sand had been crossed. Point Blank released their first 7 inch with an ugly song about those on welfare, called We Don't Owe You Shit. Maximum Rock N Roll was doing a distro at the time called Blacklist, and did not approve of lyrics, so they refused to carry the record. Point Blank responded with their second 7 inch...Blacklisted - We Won't Be Silenced!

Man, I love that Blacklisted 7 inch. It fits in nicely with the Chorus of Disapproval LP that Nemesis also released that year. I've owned the black vinyl since it's release, but when I stumbled upon the red colored vinyl I knew that I needed to own it. Seriously, at $1.99, how could I refuse?

The only thing disappointing about this record is that it doesn't have the lyric sheet insert.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dropping Acid

Just being on the Rise Above label generates a lot of hype for bands. With a bizarre name like Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, and the fact that the first vinyl pressing last year was extremely limited...selling out in seconds, with ebay prices topping $600 for the Ultra Die Hard version...and soon you even have my attention to see what the fuss is all about.

By the time Rise Above did a second pressing of Blood Lust this year, I had found a download and was digging the low-fi/garage doom sound, so I was looking forward to grabbing a vinyl copy. The day that the album was available for pre-order, I was feeling like I'd already spent too much money on records recently, so I held off on placing my order. When I checked the webstore the following day, it had sold out. Suddenly, it didn't matter how much I'd already spent that month. I had been sucked into the hype machine, and I needed to find a copy. Desperately.

Thankfully, I was able to find a US distributor that still had some in stock. I didn't hesitate and grabbed a copy.

As usual, Rise Above did a great job on the packaging for this. Styled after those old 60's Euro rock records, complete with laminated, flipback sleeve. Nice touch. 400 pressed on white and red vinyl.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Early 90's (ego.) Trip

Yeah, I've been on a bit of an early 90's kick lately. Actually it's a vicious cycle. I'll been in the mood for early 90s Hardcore, and I'll spend a week or so listening to nothing but that time period. Eye For An Eye, Kingpin, Junction, Endpoint, Blindfold...they all get some serious playing time on my iPod, and then I'll find myself searching, and buying a bunch of vinyl on eBay. The mood will cool off, and I'll move on to something else...probably listening to that Fire & Ice or Gypsy record that I can't stop spinning. Anyway, a month or so later, I'll start blogging about those records that I bought, and it will put me back in an early 90's frame of mind. The cycle starts over and those are the only bands I'll be listening to, and then I start searching eBay again.

With my last early 90's kick, I found myself searching through some old 7 inches...looking for some records that I don't have loaded up to my iPod. One of those records that I dug up was the Es Kommt Von Selbst 7 inch from the band (ego.). (ego.) was the band that Mike Bullshit formed after Go! split up, and they pick up right where his last band left off. It's funny that as much as I liked the Es Kommt 7 inch back in the early 90's, I still never managed to pick up their first record until now.

Today, you can find any new vinyl release with a quick internet search, but back in '92/'93 we were restricted to what the distros carried. I'd get the Ebullition, Lumberjack, and Very (R.I.P. John Dudeck) catalogs, and if the record wasn't listed in there, I couldn't get it. Maybe it was because both (ego.) records were pressed overseas, but I never had the opportunity to pick up the Form As Function 7 inch. Thanks to today's power of the internet, I was able to finally buy and listen to this record that had eluded me for 20 years...and the best part is that (ego.) have held up over the test of time. Great record, and a deal with the 99 cent pricetag.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Celebrating Summer

I know that I shouldn't have tried for this record after spending so much on that Fire & Ice test press, but damn, spending money makes me feel good, so I went for it.

Last year, Mindset jumped into the Record Store Day game, and made up a limited cover for their Time and Pressure 7 inch. It was an awesome idea to help bring business in to their local record store, Celebrated Summer, and Mindset did a great job ripping off the Funhouse pressing of Youth of Today's WNITA album.

Great cause. Great design. Great band. I wanted one. The only problem was that you could only buy them from the Celebrated Summer record store which is located about 9 hours away. Too far for my day out on Record Store Day. Thus, I had to bide my time and pay 10 times the original selling price on ebay.

Stamped inner sleeve, and hand numbered out of 40.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

411 Feeds The Fire

When Tre, from Deathwish, puts records up on eBay, chances are that he will have something in there that I'm going to want. When I saw he had a few different pressings of the 411 Say It 7 inch, I decided to take a run at all three of them.

I was hoping to win them for cheap, so I bid low. In the end, the only one that I ended up winning from him was the "pink" copy he had listed. This was the one that interested me the most. I had bought a copy in the early 90's that was a solid red vinyl, with some white swirled in, and yet the "pink" copy that Tre had listed appeared to be a clear red. I was intrigued and had my heart set on winning it so that I could see the difference for myself.

Yup, two different pressings. With the different Headhunter logo on the back cover, I'm assuming that the clear red one is a later pressing.

I missed out on both the grey and black vinyl from Tre, but now that I had the pink one on the way, I really wanted one of the other ones. Luckily, there was another seller on eBay that had the grey vinyl available, and I was able to grab it for cheap.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Finally Showing Some Restraint

Sure there is a huge thrill in obtaining that rare piece of vinyl, but often times there is a cost to be paid for that. If you want to spend the money, it can be yours. Sometimes, what I find more exciting is finding that piece of vinyl from a band that you know not many people will care about.

Does anyone care about Flagman's 7 inch from 1993? Apparently there was one other guy that was interested in this band when I was bidding on this piece of vinyl on eBay...but even he didn't care too much, as I outbid him by 25 cents and won this for $4.25.

I remember both Flagman and Watermark Records were making some noise in the early 90's, but for one reason or another, I never picked up the Restraint 7 inch. Crazy to think that this record is 20 years old, and even though I have a strong love for Hardcore from this era, I haven't heard it until now. On days when all I want is to listen to bands from the early 90's...those bands that were just starting up when I was fully getting into Hardcore, and leaving Metal in the rear-view mirror for the next 15 years...Flagman is a perfect fit into that playlist.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Still Killing It

I can't believe that big Metal labels are still dragging their feet on pressing vinyl for North America. Just about every new release from a Metal band that I've bought this year has been an import. Oh well, I guess if I want it on vinyl, I'll have to pay for it.

With Overkill's latest album, The Electric Age, Nuclear Blast gives us six different options for colored vinyl, plus a picture disc. Damn, that is a lot of choices. Plus, some of them were pressed in small amounts...100 on neon yellow, and 150 each of red and white vinyl. I don't get stupid over Metal vinyl, like I do for Hardcore, so one copy is enough for me. Still, I can't help but think how nice it would be to have one of those rare colors in my collection.

I've always been a big fan of Overkill, and would chose them over both Anthrax and Megadeth in my personal Big Four list. Their last couple of albums, Immortalis and Ironbound, have been excellent Thrash records, and with The Electric Age, Overkill keep the streak going. Easily one of my favorite Metal records for this year.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Fire & Test

Yeah, it's true. Once you break a price barrier in record collecting, it is much easier to do it again. After buying the Get The Most test press last year, and then the In My Eyes 7 inch earlier this year, I didn't even bat an eye when I threw down a bid for the Not Of This Earth test from Fire & Ice.

I wasn't fucking around, and I put in a pretty serious maximum bid. I mean, how awesome is that cover art! Holy shit, I needed this. At the last second, however, I lost the auction. Still, I didn't give up hope. Reaper Records was the seller for this on eBay, so I was hopeful that I'd get a Second Chance offer as they mentioned that the label had five copies. One week later, that offer arrived and I didn't hesitate to accept. Not Of This Earth is one of the best albums this year, and I was stoked to win this test press.

Reaper test presses are limited to 15.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

I Am The Natural Law

Sometimes I'm just not hot on checking out someone's recommendation. I know what I like, and I like to think that I keep up with the newer if someone recommends a band that I've never heard of, chances are that I'll just blow it off. Such is the case with Natural Law. I ignored Tim's initial suggestion to give their new LP a listen. A couple months later, he was still speaking highly of it so I finally took him up on the offer of a free download.

I should have trusted his judgement sooner, because this is a raging Hardcore album. Find The Flock takes it's influence from that early 80's DC hardcore sound, and while I've heard some people make comparisons to Minor Threat, I don't know if I'd go that far. Still, this is a solid Hardcore record.

770 pressed on black vinyl from Deranged/Katorga Works.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

More Rain, More Parades

Gotta keep chipping away at that Rain On The Parade collection.

I've seen the red vinyl pressing for Body Bag occasionally on eBay over the past few years, but I've just never pulled the trigger. As I'm getting closer to completing this collection, I figured that it was time to finally bag one of these...sorry for the bad pun.

After picking up the blue cover for the third pressing of Full Speed Ahead, I went to work on collecting the other colors. The green cover has the yellow vinyl with the My War stamp.

I believe that the red cover is the most limited one from this vinyl and hand numbered out of 100. Then again, I've never seen the yellow cover for this one, so maybe that one is more limited.

I think that the only thing I'm missing now is the Redcheeks Pressing, the Rain Crew cover, and the yellow cover for Full Speed Ahead. Finding these will be no small feat. Oh yeah, I don't own a single copy of the Fired Up 7 inch.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Phantom Menace

Kreator have been releasing a string of great albums since they went back to the old school thrash sound with their 2001 release of Violent Revolution. Add that one in with Enemy Of God and Hordes of Chaos, and I was looking forward to their new album this year.

When the album artwork for Phantom Antichrist was released, my anticipation grew. When Kreator posted the title track, to give the fans a taste of what was to come...holy shit...I couldn't wait.

The album arrives and it storms out of the gate...Phantom Antichrist, and Death to the World are killer songs...but then something funny happens...throughout most of the rest of the album, I can hear elements of Power Metal sneaking their way into Kreator's brand of German Thrash. It sounds out of place and awkward. I just want the band to blaze through this album and destroy everything in it's path...instead we get some "uplifting" and "epic" sections. The album has grown on me a little bit over the past couple of weeks, but I would still rather have my old Kreator back.

300 pressed on brown vinyl, and available exclusively through Nuclear Blast.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Nineteen Eighty Seven

Last year, I picked up the new album from Crusades. I loved it, and it quickly became one of my favorite surprises of the year. Their mix of punk rock and melody kind of reminded me of a band from the early 90's called Sticks and Stones. I hadn't thought of them for years, so I dug out my copies of The Optimist Club and Theme Song For Nothing. For being almost 20 years old, those albums held up really well, and it got me looking into what else the band had released. I checked the internet high and low, but kept coming up empty handed in my search for free downloads. I couldn't find anything.

I don't typically blind buy records. I like to check them out first to see if it is worth my purchase. I wasn't going to have any such luck if I wanted to hear more Sticks and Stones.

I had built up a pretty decent credit at Interpunk, and it was burning a hole in my pocket. When I saw that they had the Nineteen Eighty Seven EP in stock, I took a chance and grabbed a copy. This is the bands first recordings from 1987 (obviously), and while they had a different singer at the time, and it is more raw than their LPs from '93 and '94, I'm still loving these songs.

The B-side of this record is etched with the Sticks and Stones microphone logo. It was difficult to get it to show up in a photo, but it is there.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The Reality Of The Master Of Brutality

When I was on my heavy doom kick last fall, one of the bands that I decided to check out was Church of Misery. In 2011, Rise Above had reissued the band's hard to find 2001 debut, Master of Brutality, so I decided to give it a chance. The fact that the Rise Above cover for the LP ripped off the Master of Reality cover from Sabbath, certainly helped to get my attention as well.

Church of Misery base all of their songs on serial killers. I'm not well versed in who a lot of these killers are, but after listening to the eerie intro of Killifornia with Ed Kemper talking about holding a severed human head and wondering if he was insane, I felt compelled to do a little research on the subjects of these songs. Staggering just how fucked up these guys were, with Herbert Mullin killing a total of 13 people because he believed that in doing so, he was protecting California from earthquakes...or Ed Kemper having oral sex with the decapitated head of his mother. Crazy and creepy to read some of this stuff. However, these songs are the perfect soundtrack to the stories of these disturbed individuals.

Since Church of Misery is from Japan, Rise Above included an OBI strip as part of the packaging. It's a real nice touch, and shows how much Rise Above care about the packaging of their releases.

300 pressed on the split grey and transparent purple/red vinyl.