Thursday, February 28, 2013

No Doubt About Mindset

Without a doubt, the new Mindset was one of the most anticipated Hardcore albums of last year. The bad news was that the vinyl didn't finally ship until 2013. You know, typical pressing plant delays that seem to plague REACT! with most releases. Those setbacks weren't going to slow down Mindset from getting the music out though, as they made free downloads available back in October. Hardcore lives.

As soon as Mindset dropped the video for the song Leave No Doubt last July, you knew this album was going to be special. Seriously, how can you watch that video and not want to sing along and stagedive? Impossible. Fuck, it has been too long since I've seen these guys live. Hopefully when they get done dicking around with California and Europe, they'll get up to Massachusetts again.

200 on blue smoke.

Does the album live up to all the hype? Without a doubt. Ten songs in a little over 18 minutes. This is as close to Hardcore perfection as you can get. An album full of anthems that say something and make you want to move. Modern day classic.

400 pressed on red smoke.

Mindset singer, Ev, handles the design work for the LP, and he did a great job. Man, the photos, the colors, the notch.

1,000 on black vinyl.

With the release of Leave No Doubt, Aram has handed the reigns of REACT! over to Ev of Mindset. Thanks for all you've done with the label, Aram. Looking forward for what's to come.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Grand Magus On Clear

The first time that I'd heard of Grand Magus was through Sandwell. That guy has turned me on to so many new bands, I've lost count of them all. When he first posted about Grand Magus on his blog back in 2008, I paid little attention to it. However, over the summer of 2011 I began to worship at the altar of Rise Above Records. Ghost, Blood Ceremony, Gentleman's Pistols, The Gates Of Slumber...I could not get enough, so I started looking into the labels older releases. I remembered Sandwell's praise of Grand Magus' Iron Will LP, so I downloaded it to give it a listen. I probably listened to only two songs. Grand Magus didn't have the doomy sound that I was looking for, so I didn't bother giving it much of chance. Still, Mark liked them, so I kept the album on my iPod with the expectation that I'd check it out some other day.

When the band released their new album, The Hunt, in 2012, I was prepared to just ignore it. Again, Sandwell posted about the record on his blog which forced me to download it and give it a listen. This time, I committed myself to spend more time with it than I did with Iron Will. I added it to my iPod playlist and would listen to it while I went out for a run. The album took some time to sink in. It wasn't the Thrash or Doom that I'd been listening to. No, this was straight up Heavy Metal. Once it settled in that Grand Magus were cut from the same cloth as Maiden and Priest, and not Slayer or Exodus, I found that I really enjoyed it.

In January, I was making an attempt to pick up a few new 2012 releases that I'd missed last year. The newest Grand Magus album, The Hunt, was on that list. My first stop was the excellent distro All That Is Heavy, but the album was no longer in stock. They did, however, have one copy left of the self titled Grand Magus album...on clear vinyl. Rise Above Records no longer had this in fact they didn't have any info on their website for the clear I grabbed a copy before it was too late.

This album has a bit more of a doom sound than The Hunt, but damn, this is some great Metal..

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Yellow Anchor

Last year, I ordered the new Anchor LP from REACT!. I ordered the most limited pressing, and Hellfish sent me the most common one. Not happy with just the black vinyl, I had to place another order.

I'm torn on this album. It starts off so strong, providing a rush of adrenaline. Those first 3 or 4 songs suck me right in each time, and I'm thinking that Recovery is better than I remember from my last listen...but then by the end of side two, I'm just glad it's done and I can listen to something else. Maybe this should have been a 7 inch instead.

125 were pressed on yellow. I can't believe that this color is still available. Even that weird Tranzmitors 7 inch sold out of 500 pieces of colored vinyl.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Corpse Hung On Post 777

I don't believe in god, and I have this kind of juvenile, close minded, knee jerk reaction to anything slightly religious. When I noticed that my next post count was to be number 777, I decided to pull the most obnoxious record from the pile and move it to the top.

I've never really been able to hang with Death Metal. I was a total Metalhead as a kid, and loved that the sound was getting faster and more aggressive as I moved from Iron Maiden to Slayer, but around '89/90 things started to get even more extreme with bands like Obituary and Deicide. It was too chaotic for me, and those cookie monster vocals were the worst.

Last month I felt a need for something completely over the top. I wanted something that my wife would beg for me to turn off. I wanted something new and brutally heavy. When the Bravewords messageboard voted on their top albums from 2012, Cannibal Corpse was sitting at number 3. The band has been releasing albums since 1990, but I knew that it was time for me to give them a listen.

Torture was just the album that I was looking for. Violent and ugly. It isn't going to be my favorite Metal album by any stretch, but when I want to get absolutely pummeled for 44 minutes, I know that I can count on Torture to deliver.

As far as I'm concerned one of the only acceptable times to use splatter vinyl is for Metal records...blood red on clear of course.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Horisont Boogie

I first heard Horisont during the summer of 2011. I was over visiting with my friend Jeff, and he pulled out the TvÄ Sidor Av Horisonten album, and gave it a spin to see if it was something I was interested in. My first reaction was that it reminded me of Cream, and that was all it took to sell me on the band.

Once I got home and downloaded the album, I noticed that half of the songs are in the band's native tongue of Swedish. Ugggg. I have a hard time hanging with bands that don't sing in English. If I can't sing along to the songs, it limits my experience with the band, and therefore I can't connect. I still liked the album though, but it was no longer a Must Buy for me. I had my eye on a copy that All That Is Heavy had for sale, and over the next year and a half, I watched it go in and out of stock. Each time I saw it listed as Sold Out, I worried that I'd missed my chance, but then a month or so later it would be back in stock and I'd breathe a sigh of relief.

With Horisont's excellent sophomore release, Second Assault, and with such a great experience from All That Is the album was on sale, so that sealed the was finally time to grab a copy.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


I like to think that I keep with the new bands in the hardcore scene. I buy a bunch of new vinyl each year from Hardcore bands that are starting to make some noise, and as an old guy in the scene, I feel confident that I've got my hand on the pulse of what is going on. So when someone as out of touch as Marcus picked up the new America's Hardcore compilation before I did, I knew that it was time to stop dragging my feet, and finally buy a copy.

I'd been slow to buy the new America's Hardcore comp. Mainly this was because I've been trying to limit my spending recently, and since I'm not going to collect all available pressings, I was in no great rush to get in early to order a copy.

The first America's Hardcore comp was very well done, and filled with some great bands, but's a comp, and I have a hard time getting excited for a compilation record. Either way, I'm glad that Marcus inadvertently kicked me in the ass, because like the first one, Volume 2 is damn impressive.

Sure there is some shit on here that I couldn't care less about...Ringworm and Shipwreck...but with bands like Bane, Sweet Jesus, Disengage, and Beware, the good far outweigh the bad. The biggest surprise for me on this comp was Boston Mayhem. I had no idea who was in this band. Crucial John from Give, Pete from In My Eyes, Pat Flynn from Have Heart/Clear, Doug Free from Free Spirit/Rival Mob, and Sam Triple B...damn...we better get more than one song from this band. No doubt, it rules.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Mind Over Matter

Last year, I found myself unable to get enough of those early 90's Hardcore bands. That time was special for me, the bands were unique, and I found myself spinning lots of Bad Trip, Eye For An Eye, Kingpin, and Black Train Jack. I was obsessed with these bands, and started looking for bands that I may have missed the first time around. That was when I discovered Mind Over Matter.

I'd heard their name mentioned "back in the day", but I'd never bothered with them. During my search for new early 90's bands, I started looking at the Wreckage label. Hey, they had Bad Trip and that first Die 116 record, so Mind Over Matter might be worth checking out. I managed to find a download of their first two 7 inches, plus a live radio set from '92, and I was hooked.

I kept checking eBay, but for months I came up empty with my search. I finally struck gold six months later with an auction that contained both of the records I was looking for...the self titled debut from 1992, and Hectic Thinking from 1993. As the only bidder, I won them for the opening price of $9.00.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Original Jerks

In the past, I've often been conflicted over hunting down an original press for a record, or just picking up a nice new mint copy of a repress. Six or seven years ago, when vinyl was starting to make a resurgence, I felt that it was important to buy that most recent repress...kind of like it was my vote to keep this format alive. These days, vinyl is as strong as it has been in years, and while the market is flooded with new pressings of old classics, I'm finding myself less and less interested in buying them. Instead, I feel the need to chase down some original pressings.

After picking up original pressings of Fear and Black Flag recently, I figured that I needed to own an original copy of one of my favorite Hardcore albums of all time...Group Sex from Circle Jerks.

If you aren't already familiar with this record, I'd be left speechless. Early 80's Hardcore perfection.

Back in 2008, I got it in my head to start collecting the Group Sex record. I bought one copy on colored vinyl, and then changed direction to start chasing something else. Hey, I get distracted easily. Over four years later, it feels good to add another original the collection.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Damaged Noize

Marcus recently posted about completing his Black Flag colored LP collection, and then Doug followed it up with a post of his original pressings for the Black Flag 7 inches. Suddenly, I found myself feeling a bit inadequate...kind of like Hank with the one and a half...and needing to buy some Black Flag vinyl.

When Doug posted on Vinyl Noize about an auction that was up for an original pressing of the Damaged LP it felt like it was my turn to step up and get serious with some Black Flag vinyl. This wasn't just any copy either. No. This one had the "Anti-Parent" sticker on the back.

The problem was that this record was featured on Vinyl Noize. Doug's write up was enough to catch my attention, but I probably wasn't alone in my interest for this record. Now I don't really know how much this pressing normally goes for, but it just so happened that I found another copy on eBay that ended a couple of days after the one that got the VN spotlight.

The Vinyl Noize copy sold for over $100. The copy that I picked up was $36. Gimmie gimmie gimmie.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Time For Inner Strength

The first record that Victory Records released was the Time For Reality 7 inch from Inner Strength. This was back in 1989. Here we are in 2013, and I'm hearing it for the first time.

I don't know why I never bothered with this record. Getting into Hardcore back in early 90's, and loving the Worlds Collide, Billingsgate, and the Only The Strong comp from Victory, you would have thought that I would have been all over this Inner Strength record. For whatever reason, it just never happened, and as time marched forward it was forgotten about.

When I was looking over the records that Jeff from Bottled Up had available on eBay a month ago, mixed in amongst the super rare pressings from Have Heart, The First Step, and Outlast, was this copy of the Inner Strength record. I figured that if I had a chance to grab it for cheap, I'd take it. No surprise, but I was the only one interested, and won it with one bid.

Listening to this today, I probably overlooked it back in the early 90's because I'd possibly read some reviews, and to be honest, this record isn't nearly as strong as the next few Victory releases. I still enjoy the record, but it isn't anything to lose your mind over...still, it is a fun listen when you are in a mood for some late 80's/early 90's hardcore. Queue this up next to Walk Proud, and you'll be all set.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Dead Brain Cells

Two things confuse me on eBay. One is sellers that put records up on eBay for ridiculous Buy It Now mostly happens with Metal records, and I can guarantee you that no one is going to spend $50 for Voivod's Dimension Hatross album, when the auction price usually tops out around $30. The other thing that I don't understand is when sellers don't post a photo of the record they are selling. Honestly, how many people are going to buy an album that they haven't seen, and can't judge the condition for themselves?

Well, I guess that when the Buy It Now price is right, and I want the record bad enough, I'm the one that will take the chance and buy it sight unseen.

I've been on such a late 80's Metal kick lately...listening to albums from 1987 to 1989 almost exclusively...and my recent eBay searches have centered around Sacred Reich, Flotsam & Jetsam, Coroner, Powermad, and Sabbat. It was the music of my late teenage years...those glory days of Metal...and I haven't been able to get enough from that era lately.

Around '89 or '90, I bought a CD from some Canadian thrash band called Dead Brain Cells, or DBC for short. It contained both of their albums, with the tracklist starting with their second LP, Universe. I found it kind of dull, and rarely found the ambition to listen to the entire 22 track CD. This meant that DBC's first album never really got much of a listen. In the midst of my recent late 80's listening spree, I stumbled upon that first album by Dead Brain Cells. Holy shit! This is total thrash/crossover brilliance! I fell in love with it, and found myself queuing it up on my iPod daily.

In my search for late 80's Metal vinyl, I discovered this copy of DBC's first album on eBay. I was sick of seeing album after album with $50 Buy It Now prices, and even though there was no photo on the auction, I took the chance. Thankfully, it all worked out, and I ended up with a great looking copy. Sure, I would have preferred a Combat Records pressing, but fuck it, I've got not problems owning the Rough Justice import instead.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Secret Love, Sacred People

Last year I picked up the pre-release pressing of the Sacred Love/Secret People split 7 inch. I had no idea why this was getting a "pre-release", or what the hold up was with the regular press, but two months later, Upside Down Records finally delivered.

Man, I can't talk highly enough of the new Sacred Love song on this split. Yeah, I liked their two other records, but In DifferÄnce just blows me away and makes me appreciate the band so much more.

Have I mentioned how much I love Secret People? Yes, I think that I have. Get into this band.

150 pressed on red.

I love this record, so when Upside Down Records put the record up in their bigcartel store I ordered both the black and red pressings. Something got lost in the translation, because I ended up with two red copies.