Saturday, September 29, 2012

Better Red Than Dead

In 1996, Crucial Response released the first Manliftingbanner discography, We Will Not Rest. While I already owned the original vinyl for all their stuff, I still picked up the CD discography. It turned out to not be as "complete" as I'd hoped, as they has chosen to not include the Profound 7 inch, and they left off the songs from the Share Common Ground comp. While Michiel from the band has told me that Profound was a different band, I'll respectfully disagree and argue that to fully capture the legacy of the band, you need to include the Profound songs as well. Can you imagine if REV did the Bold discography, and didn't include the Crippled Youth songs?

In late 2011, I received a message from Michiel stating that the Manliftingbanner discography was going to be released on vinyl. While the Profound stuff was still not included, he did promise that there would be eight new songs that the band had recently recorded. As he had described them as a cross between Straight Ahead and Judas Priest, I had no idea what to expect for the new material. When the band released their first video for the song Wall Street Wars, you could see that 20 years after their last record, Manliftingbanner hadn't skipped a beat. Still fast and furious hardcore...still no compromise.

In my mind, the best way to own this copy would be to get it on the limited red vinyl. Having to order overseas caused me to procrastinate for 6 months or so, but thankfully, Crucial Response still had the red vinyl in stock when I placed my order in August. Limited to 511.

One of the biggest parts of this discography release was the booklet/lyric sheet that came with the vinyl. As luck would have it, mine arrived without one. I exchanged a few emails with Peter from Crucial Response, and I ended up paying a few more dollars for him to ship one out to me. While I wasn't thrilled with having to spend money to correct the labels mistake, I figured that it was a small price to pay to complete this package.

While I was purchasing from Crucial Response, I figured that I'd add a few more items to my shopping cart. Earlier in the year, the label had made some limited silk screened sleeves for a few of their releases, so that seemed like a good place to start. First up is that classic Profound 7 inch.

If I was ever in a band, I would have insisted that we cover X's For Respect. Screened cover is limited to 70.

Colt Turkey was kind of a side project for the Manliftingbanner guys. They took the Straight Edge and Communist themes and amplified them by ten. "Me and my edge crew, we'll deal with your drugs."

Again, limited to 70 with the silk screened sleeve.

The last item I added to my cart was the It Runs Deep 7 inch from Sportswear. I didn't pay any attention to this band when it was released back in 1998. After being a faithful follower of all Crucial Response releases, I started to lose interest after the Rectify, Spawn, and Spirit of Youth releases. The label no longer interested me, and other than a record here or there, I've pretty much ignored them since then.

I recently heard someone claim that Sportswear was one of the best Straight Edge bands to come out of Europe, so I figured that I'd check them out.

I wouldn't call them the best, but they are quite good. Definitely worth checking out. 817 on orange vinyl.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Speed Metal Punx

I love Municipal Waste. I love Toxic Holocaust. Put them on a split together and I'm all over it.

Blood, guts, and toxic waste. That album cover is so Metal. Love it.

One of the main reasons that I chose to order this particular pressing was the name of the color that the label had come up with. Limited to 250 for "PP Spill" colored vinyl. That is some bright yellow urine.

I had to do a double take when I saw the three X's on the back cover. Straight Edge? No, just a warning for the Xtra loud Thrash.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Slippin' In Quicksand

I've enjoyed Quicksand since back in '91, when I saw them open up for Soulforce-era 7 Seconds, and Eye For An Eye. Quicksand and Eye For An Eye were amazing, and I had a blast jumping around the dance floor and stage diving. 7 Seconds on the other hand...who knows...I didn't stick around to watch them rock out.

When Slip was released in 1993, I had a pretty hardline stance against major labels, so I guess it is kind of surprising that I picked up the album at all. Still I did buy a copy...on CD. When Shop Radio Cast repressed the vinyl this year, I figured that it was about time to finally buy it on my favorite format.

Shop Radio Cast had a couple different pressings available when it was first put up for pre-order. I figured that the green and yellow would best fit the album artwork, so that's the one that I went with.

The packaging on this is really well done, but my favorite part of the whole thing is the addition of Quicksand's cover of How Soon Is Now by The Smiths. I'd never heard this song until now, so I'm most appreciative that they decided to dust it off and include it with the LP. I don't understand why anyone really gives a shit about The Smiths or Morrissey, but hey, this cover is pretty good.

Speaking of Quicksand is just one of the many REV repressing that we've been getting bombarded with. It is almost overwhelming how much new vinyl they are throwing at us...still I can't help but hit that Add To Cart button. Green vinyl, and oh look, they just repressed on red as well. Ordered.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

New Testament

I grew up on Old School 80's Thrash. As an awkward and insecure teenager, this music was my safe haven all through High School. I didn't feel like I really fit in anywhere...I wasn't overly intelligent, I didn't play sports, I didn't drink...the only place that I felt at home was when I had an album spinning, and I was banging my head along to Exodus, Slayer, and Metallica. Because of this, I have a strong affinity towards this type of music, and the bands of that time. When those old 80's bands stay true to their sound, and release a new album, I'm at the front of the line to buy a copy.

I was very happy with the new Overkill album this year, and figured that it was going to take the top spot in my Best of 2012 list. With the release of the new Testament album, though, I'm having second thoughts. While I enjoyed Testament's last album, The Formation of Damnation, the new one, Dark Roots of Earth, really brings me back to the days of Practice What You Preach and Souls of Black. I can't get over how great this album is.

I'm going to see Testament in a few weeks, along with Anthrax and Death Angel. Dark Roots of Earth is such a strong album, I'm hoping that the band puts 4 or 5 of these new songs into their live set. You can bet that I'll be up front and thrashing along, just as I did back in '89.

Nuclear Blast loves their colored vinyl, and gave us 6 different pressings for Dark Roots of Earth. It felt good to not have to order from overseas, and I was able to grab the blue with black splatter colored vinyl from the US webstore.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Break Away

Sometimes, I don't need a lot. Sometimes, all I need is a Straight Edge band, playing bare bones Hardcore and singing about how much drugs and alcohol suck.

Break Away is that kind of band. Nothing really original, but that's okay, I still get stoked on kids doing Straight Edge bands. I've seen this record listed in a few distros over the past year or so, and I figured that it was about time that I finally checked 'em out. Go!

171 pressed on clear vinyl.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Outlast Straight Edge

It seemed as though there was a little backlash when Outlast signed with Harvcore Records for their latest 7 inch. The band commented on their Facebook page that the shit talking had started on them for joining the label. I'm not sure what the issue was, other than Harvcore releasing records for a bunch of bands that I don't really care about. Oh well, I guess I can't keep up with scene politics.

What can't be denied is how great Outlast is. From their 2009 New Jersey Straight Edge demo, to the Take Control 7 inch, and finally their newest, the self titled 7 inch on Harvcore...Outlast can not miss, and they just keep getting better.

150 on red.

The song GFL (Get Fucking Lost) is so good, it makes me wish that these guys would take another trip up to Boston for a show. Give me the mic, and let me sing along.

150 on white.

I found it kind of cool that both my red and white pressings appear to have a black "fingerprint" on each of the records. I wonder how many others were like this.

200 on black.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lived And Learned

I mentioned it a few months ago, but Justice has become my newest obsession. I keep returning to the band's catalog, and spinning those records again and again. Of course, with this obsession comes an overwhelming need to buy more of their records, so I started scouring eBay every few days...desperate to find more Justice vinyl.

There were only 102 pressed on clear for Six Feet Under Records...wait, let me repeat two important facts...102 pressed...Six Feet Under why was I able to win this on eBay for only $3.25? With low pressing numbers, and Six Feet Under's high profile, I figured this would command a higher price than that. Do people really care that little about this record?

After picking up the clear vinyl copy, I hit up the Six Feet Under store to grab the black vinyl. 753 pressed.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Purple Matter

Another vinyl re-issue...this time from Dischord, and not Revelation.

It amazes me how long it took me to check out some of this Dischord stuff. While the Food For Thought LP was originally released back in 1985, I didn't getting around to listening to any of the Gray Matter stuff until some time in 2004. I liked it the instant that I heard it...still, it took me another 8 years to finally buy a copy.

I was doing some research on discogs to try and find some pressing info for this. I didn't have any luck, but it did list that there was also a green and a gray pressing. In addition to that, I found that the Food For Thought album wasn't originally released on Dischord...the initial release was on R&B Records. I had no idea.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Reissues Of Today

When Revelation started repressing the Youth Of Today vinyl a year ago, I did not expect them to crank them out like they have. Just a couple months after repressing We're Not In This Alone and Break Down The Walls, they give us another one. I've still got a back log of new vinyl to post up here on the blog, so I'm probably the last to write about these, but here they are.

We're Not In This Alone on clear red.

In my last post about the new Break Down The Walls press on red, I joked that blue vinyl was probably next on the repress list. Well, here it is.

When REV started with these YOT reissues, I tried to resist the call. It didn't take long, however, before I was wrapped up in the excitement, and picking up each color they had available. One of the pressings for Can't Close My Eyes, from last year, was this odd looking purple and grey marble mix. I grabbed a copy, and didn't think much of it...until I saw Dobek's write up of all the different pressings of this record. Holy shit, his photo of five different shades from this grey/purple pressing looked amazing.

I was on ebay recently looking around for some new YOT vinyl, and I stumbled upon a shade that looked very different from the grey one that I had initially received. This one was more of a pink/purple blend, so I pulled the trigger on the Buy It Now option.

I don't typically get caught up in slight color variations, but this one was strong enough to get me interested. Finding the blue shade of this pressing would be pretty sweet.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Common Visions Of Enough

Enough have got to be one of the most productive bands in Hardcore, right now. A demo in 2010, two 7 inch records in 2011, and then a full length LP in 2012. Impressive.

The new album, Common Visions, is head and shoulders above all of their other releases. The production, the songs, the packaging...all top notch. I was lucky enough to catch this band in Boston a while back, and I would love for them to make a stop on their next tour.

Baby blue vinyl was used for pre-orders. Dust sleeves were stamped and numberd out of 98.

400 pressed on clear vinyl.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Verse 2012

In 2006, Verse released one my favorite albums of the year with From Anger And Rage. It was my mission to collect every pressing for that fact, I think I tried to buy every pressing for most of the records that I bought at that time. It ain't 2006 anymore. I'm trying to be a bit more selective on which bands I collect vinyl for, and after failing to really ignite me with Aggression in 2008, I basically walked away from actively trying to collect Verse vinyl. It's not that Aggression was still maintained some passion and intensity...but something was just missing, and it never got it's hooks in me.

Verse proceeded to break edge and break up...although not necessarily in that order. In any case, when it was announced that they were back together and recording a new album for 2012, I struggled to show any interest. Bands that go away and then come back, rarely maintain any of magic that made them so good the first time around. Still, it was Verse, and based on the strength of those first two albums, I figured that I owed it to them to at least give the new record a listen.

While I find Bitter Clarity, Uncommon Grace to be a bit better than Aggression, they certainly haven't strayed too far from where they left us four years ago. They are still some intense motherfuckers, and there is no doubt that they pour every ounce of emotion into these songs. Lyrically, this is some serious shit, and Verse still can create a rally cry for those looking to change the world around them. Impressive on all fronts, but I still hang on to From Anger and Rage and Rebuild, and think, "yeah, but it is nowhere as good as those first albums". So while I do like Bitter Clarity, maybe it just needs to marinate in my playlists, and it will improve as I become more comfortable with it...or maybe it will be like Have Heart's Songs To Scream At The Sun, and forever be in the shadow of those that came before it.

As typical with Bridge Nine releases, the packaging is outstanding. I love the look of the clear with red smoke vinyl. In buying only one copy of this LP, I'm glad that I went with this color.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Omegas Of Lunacy

The Omegas were introduced to me through their Blasts of Lunacy LP at the end of last year. I immediately loved their fast and frantic 80's Hardcore sound. I looked everywhere for that LP, but kept coming up empty handed.

After posting about my woes back in March, a couple of nice souls sent me some links on where to get a copy. I wanted one of the color copies, but they were the overseas pressing, and I didn't feel like paying the shipping I waited it out and finally grabbed a black vinyl pressing from REVHQ.

Featuring Spoiler from Justice on bass, this album rages from start to finish.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

By The Grace Of Black God

Straight Edge Hardcore is my foundation. I can listen to it at any time, and it still will get my heart racing. Just ask my wife...earlier tonight, while we were making dinner, I was stomping across the kitchen because Stick Together come up on the ipod. At any rate, I've recently found myself reaching out for something more...something a little different. I blame that fucking Gypsy record. It's got my head all mixed up.

Marcus had posted a couple records that he had picked up from a band named Black God. I'd never heard of them, but the singer from Endpoint and By The Grace Of God was in the band, and Rob Pennington's bands typically have a flair of originality, so in an effort to find something new and a little different, I decided to give them a shot.

They definitely have that By The Grace Of God sound going on...but since Rob's voice is so distinct, it's hard not to draw comparisons to his older bands. Black God were more straight forward Hardcore sounding than I expected, but they still manage to sound a little different.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Harder Than You

Live Hardcore albums...there are really only a few that I care about. Mindset's Liveset, Misfits Evilive, Black Flag's Who's Got the 10 1/2?...and the list wouldn't be complete without including Agnostic Front's Live At CBGB. I've never owned the original vinyl for this classic AF live album, so I couldn't resist picking one up with Bridge Nine's recent re-issue.

I consider myself pretty far from patriotic, but damn, when I saw that Bridge Nine was repressing this classic live album on red, white and blue vinyl, I knew that I needed to score a copy. Just like all Bridge Nine re-issues, the packaging on this is top notch.

When In-Effect was around, they used to use the Harder Than You logo on all thier cool to see Bridge Nine use it here.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Fist Fight In The Parking Lot!

I've got a warped sense of humor, and I love a good joke. What I don't like, is humor in my music. Maybe I'm uptight about it, but I just don't care for it to fuck around. When Saturday Night Live aired a skit back in 2010 about a guy "getting the band back together" for his daughter's wedding, and then proceeding to destroy the place while raging through one of their old punk tunes...surprisingly, I loved it.

A month or so ago, I was killing some time at my local Bull Moose Music store and flipping through the 7 inch vinyl section. I didn't really expect to find anything, but I was surprised to find a record from a band called Crisis Of Conformity. Hey, this was that Saturday Night Live parody punk band. I wasn't finding anything else that caught my attention, so I decided to take a chance and pick it up.

The big selling point, for me, was the song from the b side that I'd never heard before, Kick It Down And Kick It Around. I've read that Black Flag's Gimme Gimme Gimme was the inspiration behind this song, but to me it sounds more like the Angry Samoans. Pretty solid for something that isn't very serious.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Remnants Of What Could Have Worn Thin

After picking up another copy of the Lion Of Judah LP a couple months ago, I was reminded of how much I've neglected my mission in building a Youngblood collection. To try and remedy the situation, I started looking around on eBay and came across the Worn Thin 7 inch, Remnants Of What Could Have Been. Yeah, I didn't own a single vinyl copy of this record. Shameful.

Before Carlos sang for Police & Thieves, he was in Worn Thin. They were around in the early 2000's, and play a similar style to P&T. I don't listen to this band enough.

400 pressed on red.

Having originally purchased this on CD when it was released about 10 years ago, it felt pretty good buying the vinyl for this at $3.00 a piece. Every once in a while, I find that I don't have to pay through the roof for vinyl that I missed out on the first time around. Solid.

500 pressed on clear vinyl.