Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Powered By Judah and Justice

Since I've been doing this blog, I find that every once in a while, someone will reach out to me with an offer to buy some of their records. Chances are, they read one of my posts, and will fire off an email looking to sell a record or two and help build my collection. I don't know why, but I very rarely take people up on these offers. When I received and email from Geert, who used to help run Powered Records, the offer was too good to walk away from.

With Geert's first email, he offered a couple different variations on the Euro tour press for the Lion Of Judah album that I posted about back in July. I had the green cover, but apparently the tour press was also available with red and yellow covers as well. Geert's price was very reasonable, and less than what I'd paid for the green cover, so I took the opportunity to buy the LP with the red cover. While the tour press was limited to 300, it would seem that the red, green and yellow covers are limited to 100 each.

Knowing that I was looking to build my LOJ collection, Geert also offered me a Powered pre-order copy of the Universal Peace LP.

Splatter colored vinyl rarely looks good. Just don't do it.

Number 3 of 75 for pre-orders.

As a bonus record, Geert also threw in what looked like a test press for the Lion Of Judah LP. No cover, white labels...yeah, it looked like a test to me. Turns out it was left over vinyl from the tour pressing. After doing the 300 tour covers, there were a few pieces of vinyl left over that Powered didn't do any thing with. Now I've got a copy on my shelf. Very nice.

While exchanging emails, I also mentioned that I couldn't get enough of Justice right now, and if he had any extra vinyl hanging around for the Powered releases, I'd gladly take them.

This was my first Powered pressing of the Escapades LP, and I was really impressed with the thick lyric booklet that they did for this. Geert listed this one as clear blue vinyl, which was limited to 250. I'm assuming that all the clear blue vinyl had this marbled pressing, but I'm loving the colors on this copy.

Escapades was a split release with Powered and Reflections Records. Of course this copy was from Powered, so it had the Powered stamp on the dust sleeve.

In addition to the Escapades LP, I also grabbed a copy of the Live and Learn 12 inch EP. Uggg...more splatter vinyl. Gross. This one is from the regular press, so there is no pre-order stamp. Limited to 240.

More emails were exchanged, and my total continued to grow. This time it was for the Loud and Clear LP. I love this record, and when Geert offered up a clear vinyl pressing, I just couldn't say no.

Limited to 100 on clear vinyl.

These were all pressed for the Light The Fuse fest. Hand stamped and numbered dust sleeves. I do love those low numbers.

Geert now runs Control Records, and as if I hadn't already spent enough money, I decided to also pick up the second pressing of the Tremors 7 inch that Control had stocked in their webstore. The second pressing comes with a new cover and is limited to 150 copies.

This 7 inch is brutal. Full of distortion and anger. Since the Euro press has one song that was left off the US pressing, I'm glad to own a copy of this.

There it all is. What stemmed from an offer for a couple of Lion of Judah records quickly grew. It was more money than I should have spent, but I was glad for the opportunity to fill some holes in the collection. Thanks, Geert.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Over Killbox 13

Back at the end of September, I was listening to my radio station, and Overkill's Evil Never Dies came up in the playlist. Now I'm a huge fan of Overkill, but hearing that song just struck a chord in me, and set me off on a mission to find some vinyl for the band. Initially, I was on the hunt for some of their older albums...the classics from the 80's, like The Years Of Decay or Under The Influence...but in the end, I decided to go with a copy of their 2003 album, Killbox 13.

The main reason that I chose to buy this album was because I was hoping that it was the pressing the Night Of The Vinyl Dead had done back in 2009. I wasn't aware of any other vinyl pressing for this LP, and instead of really reading the item description on eBay, I just clicked ADD TO CART. The NOTVD pressings are amazing, and I wish that I could afford more of their releases. They are incredibly limited, and beautifully packaged. They are also extremely expensive. Turns out, the pressing that I ordered was still an import, and still limited, but it was not the NOTVD pressing that I was hoping for, and therefore it wasn't nearly as cool. Instead, this was a new 2012 pressing from some UK label named The Vinyl Countdown.

Killbox 13 is far from my favorite record from the band, but is still a solid release, and there really is no such thing as bad Overkill.

Hand numbered out of 1,000 pressed.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Legendary Witchcraft

When I heard that Witchcraft were releasing a new album this year, it immediately moved to the top of my most anticipated albums of 2012 list. When I first heard this band back in 2007, I fell in love with them. The comparisons to Black Sabbath were undeniable, and we all know how much I love Sabbath.

As soon as I saw the album was available to order, I didn't hesitate to buy a copy...overseas shipping fees be damned!

The first few songs come crashing off the vinyl with doomy brilliance, and I am in awe. Holy shit, this album owns me. Then things settle down into more of a rocking sound, kind of like Graveyard. Still good, but not as powerful as the first half. And while the whole thing is not as strong as Firewood or The Alchemist, you'd be a fool to dismiss this album. Easily one of my favorite Metal releases this year.

Again, Nuclear Blast puts the hand numbered sticker on the shrink wrap of a gatefold LP. Frustration. Thankfully they remove easily enough, and can be applied to the poly sleeve I use for storage.

Along with the Legend LP, Nuclear Blast also had the It's Not Because Of You single available for order. Limited to 250 on green vinyl.

This single is worth the price paid for the non-LP track, Take Me With You When You Die. B-side songs on the single are typically throw away songs. Not this time around. The song is amazing.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Two and a Halfmast

At the beginning of the year, I picked up a copy of Halfmast's first 7 inch, Influence. I'd never heard it before, and after stumbling across a copy on eBay, 15 years after it's initial release, I decided to finally grab a copy.

The one I bought had a green cover, but I also was aware that a white and a yellow cover also existed. When I recently saw the 7 inch with the white cover available for 99 cents on eBay, I couldn't resist buying it. I'm a sucker for buying different pressings of those early to mid-90's bands that no one cares about anymore.

Hey, this record isn't going to blow anyone away, but for some mid-90's Straight Edge Hardcore, it is still a fun listen.

When I posted about my first copy back in February, I had commented on the cheap vinyl that came with the green cover pressing. It looks like Third Party used some better quality for the later pressings that got the white cover.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mental Jah

I've been wanting to get back to collecting Mental vinyl for a while now. I started making a small dent back in 2006 with a few additions of Get An Oxygen Tank, but since then all progress on it seriously stalled.

Recently I seem to only be posting new release vinyl or cheap ebay wins, and I felt the draw to pick up something a bit more exciting...something more substantial. In my ebay quest, I found an auction for the And You Know This record release. Here I was looking for a big purchase, and there was this Mental record practically calling out to me. It was destiny.

Who doesn't love a special record release cover? The spray painted "rasta" cover on this looks amazing.

Nice touch with the hand numbered record labels, and the record release date on the inside sleeve. Whoa, this thing is almost 10 years old. Holy shit.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bonus Records

Some guys are just good dudes. When I picked up the REV25 LP from an old friend that had gone to the Cali shows, he mentioned that he was going to throw in a few extra records that he had laying around. He no longer collects records, so he saw it as an opportunity to clean out what was left of his old collection and dump it on someone that might appreciate it.

I wasn't really sure what to expect, and while there were some pieces that I already had, I was quite happy to add a few surprises. I've set aside the doubles of the Maelstrom LP, as well as the All Systems Go I already had the CR flexi, and the Flagman 7 inch. Everything else was a good score.

The one that I was most excited about from the lot was the Wrecking Crew 7 inch. Mark McKaye from Slapshot originally released this back in 1988, and while there were certainly better records from this time period, I'd still consider this one a Boston Hardcore classic based on historical relevance Guts and Glory is a rager of a song.

800 were pressed on black vinyl. Some got red covers...others got grey. Some were numbered...some were not.

Mine was handstamped as number 77.

Seems as though someone was a big fan of Smartfood popcorn, and put a message on the inside sleeve.

The other record that I was very happy to receive was the Battery 7 inch. Released back in 1991, this record has eluded me until now. I've always liked Battery, so how has this 7 inch slipped past my radar? I'm just happy to finally have a copy.

Yeah, these were Battery's early days. Is Brian McTernan wearing lipstick in that photo? And Ken Olden smiling? The last few times I've seen that guy play, he is so damn serious. Dude, when you are playing bass for Youth of Today, how can you not have fun? Weird.

The last piece of vinyl that was a keeper for me was the Rebirth of Hardcore: 1999 comp. This LP was huge at the time. New songs from some of the biggest names in hardcore at the time...and many of these songs are still only available here. Ten Yard Fight, Rain On The Parade, Fastbreak, Atari, and Better Than A Thousand. Plus as a bonus, you get a couple of Shelter songs that don't sound like complete shit.

The packaging for this LP is crap though. For a record sleeve, you basically just get a giant poster that is folded up. Go ahead and keep pulling this out to check the lyrics, unfolding it, and then folding back up...let me know how long it takes until the seams start to split.

I'm feeling pretty good about this small haul. Free records rule.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Grim Gods & Devils

I started working on my Fire & Ice collection back in December of 2010. When collecting records, my mind kind of wanders. I start out all gung-ho on a band, and after I buy a few pieces of their vinyl, something else catches my eye and I move on. That has not been the case with Fire & Ice. I've been locked in a focused, and now, almost two years later, I've picked up the last two 7 inches that I need.

While not very exciting, the black vinyl for Gods & Devils was still a necessity. All vinyl from the first pressing had sold out by the time I got into the game, but apparently Triple B held on to this one so they could flip it to eBay. That's cool, I guess. All profits go to future Triple B releases.

350 pressed.

The clear orange pressing of Grim was limited to 200. I've been on the hunt for this record for a while, and when Triple B put a copy up on eBay, I was determined to win it.

Does this fully complete the collection? Not yet. But I'm very close.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I'm the Heretic

Black Sabbath may be one of my favorite bands of all time, and I consider Orchid to be a present day version of that greatness. Orchid attack with songs full of heavy doom riffs...some of them sounding like they were lifted direct from Sabbath's back catalog. An excellent homage to the Sabbath legends, while delivering songs that still pack plenty of power.

I don't typically collect multiple copies of Metal records, but in this case, the excitement got the better of me and I couldn't resist. I fell totally in love with Orchid's 2011 release, Capricorn, and when Nuclear Blast announced they were releasing the band's follow up EP, I was beyond excited for the new material. Of course the EP was only available overseas, but without blinking an eye, I still added two copies of the Heretic 10 inch to my cart.

Cool ass photo on the inside of the gatefold, with the vinyl delivering three new amazing songs, plus one that was included on last year's Capricorn LP.

Clear and orange (also known as gold) vinyl. Black vinyl was also available, but I didn't bother buying one at the time. Now I want one. Record collector regret.

Each pressing was hand numbered and limited to 250. It's a nice touch, but completely irritating that the sticker was affixed to the shrinkwrap. This record has gatefold sleeve, so in order to see the full gatefold packaging, you have to remove the shrinkwrap and thus remove the sticker. Frustrating. In the end, I ended up using a hair dryer to heat the sticker and remove it from the shrinkwrap, so I could then affix it to the poly sleeve. Pain in the ass.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Step Aside For The Second Press

Released at the end of 2011, Step Aside's debut, Reaching Out, did not fail to impress. Apparently I wasn't the only one that thought so, as Life To Life quickly sold out of the first pressing.

In an attempt to possibly follow in the footsteps of Bottled Up's pressing for the Have Heart demo, Life To Live Records give us four different colors of vinyl for the Reaching Out second pressing. That totals 7 pieces of vinyl in under a year! Time for record collectors to step up.

75 on red. 100 on gold. 125 on white. 200 on "frost", a.k.a. clear vinyl.

Since I'm only missing the test pressing, I figured that I'd haul out the entire collection to get a group photo. Who doesn't like pictures of colored vinyl? Looking good Life to Live.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Anchoring Some Dead Weight

I feels like it has been a while since I've posted some new REACT! Records vinyl on here. Seems like earlier this year, I was continually posting about some new pressing from that label.

When pre-orders went up back in August for the debut Dead Weight 7 inch, it was described as "four songs of raging Accused-style speed-picked hardcore". Honestly, that was as far into the description as I got. I was on a huge Accused kick and listening to The Return of Martha Splatterhead constantly. As soon as I saw the Accused name listen in the Dead Weight description, I bought three copies.

200 pressed on grey.

While there are a few spots of that Accused speedy guitar sound, that is where the comparisons end. To be fair, the Dead Weight description also lists comparisons to New York Hardcore, and that is way more accurate. Unfortunately for me, I was expecting something a bit more wild from the band, and was left feeling a bit underwhelmed. This 7 inch is just doesn't blow me away.

300 pressed on clear.

500 pressed on black vinyl.

I honestly wasn't too excited over the announcement that REACT! would be releasing the North American pressing of last year's Anchor LP, Recovery. I had downloaded some of their past material, and it didn't interest me at all. Still, this was a REACT! release, and I felt the need to order at least one copy. Therefore, I added the more limited version, on yellow vinyl, to my cart. Hey, wait. This copy that I received isn't on yellow vinyl.

I seem to have had a string of bad luck since REACT! started using Hellfish to distribute their catalog. Bent corners, missing download codes, and now the wrong vinyl. Damn, I miss the days when REACT! had their distribution in-house. Sure it took them longer, but it seemed like more care was felt more special, like it was family that was pulling it all together and sending your stuff. Now it feels like there is some kind of it is less personable. I don't know. I still respect the hell out of them, but I guess that a label has to do what a label has to do.

Anyway, this Anchor LP was better than I expected. There is a solid early 90's vibe to it that I can appreciate. Sure, some of the songs don't stand up as strong as the others, but I'm still glad that I checked this album out.

200 pressed on black.