Wednesday, July 31, 2013

In Memory Of...

On May 2nd of this year, it was announced that Jeff Hanneman, founding member and guitarist in Slayer, had died at the age of 49. Such terrible news, and an even bigger shame to hear that the cause of death was alcohol-related cirrhosis. So senseless, and completely preventable with a healthier lifestyle.

While Reign In Blood is the high point in Slayer's career, I usually hold out for Hell Awaits as my favorite album from them. It was the first Slayer album that I ever heard, and it just seems so raw in comparison to their other works. With the passing of Hanneman, I figured that I'd add another copy to the collection, to honor his memory.

The orange and red split colored vinyl was pressed by Back On Black for Record Store Day this year.

Damn, that picture disc from 2008 looks gross.

This past May also marked the three year anniversary of Ronnie James Dio's death. I'm a huge fan of everything Dio, so while I was picking up the Slayer vinyl for Hanneman, I decided that I needed to buy something in memory of Dio's passing as well.

Back On Black had just released new pressings of the Rainbow albums, as well as Dio's Holy Diver, so it was a tough call on which one to pick up. In the end I went with Long Live Rock 'n' Roll. I love the look of this split colored vinyl.

It's funny. I typically don't collect multiple copies of Metal records, but that doesn't seem to be the case with these albums.

Monday, July 29, 2013

These City Streets Are Red With Violence

There has been a lot of hype this year around Violent Reaction. I wasn't too familiar with the band when Painkiller announced that preorders were going to be going up soon, but I knew that if I slept on it, I would regret it. I made sure that I was one of the first in line, and insured my copy on colored vinyl.

I'm glad that I followed the hype train on this release, because this record rips. This is a great Straight Edge record, with a strong early 80's Boston Hardcore influence.

There has been a lot of talk over the past couple of months, that Violent Reaction may top The Rival Mob for record of the year. The jury is still out on that verdict, but now whenever I listen the the City Streets LP, I immediately follow it up with the Mob Justice LP, in an effort to figure out which one I like more. Violent Reaction are Straight Edge, so that helps their case to be number one, but no one can fuck with Rival Mob's Brutes Of Force. It is going to be a tough call at the end of the year.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Controversial Noose

Noose did a European tour last year that ended in a shit storm of controversy, and getting dropped by Refuse Records. I'm not sure of the entire story as I didn't follow the messageboard gossip machine that closely, but apparently the singer said some inflammatory remarks that Robert from Refuse took offense to. Like I said, I don't know all the details, but when you put out a record from a hardline Vegan Straight Edge band that etches "Go vegan...or go fuck yourself" in the deadwax of the 7 inch you are releasing, I assume you have to know what you are getting into.

Because Refuse is a European label, I didn't order the Depraved Indifference 7 inch right away as I had trouble justifying the overseas shipping costs for one record. When all the drama went down, and the label stopped selling the Noose record, I knew it was a mistake to have waited. REVHQ recently uncovered some extra copies, and put them up in their store, I quickly grabbed one.

When REACT! Records released their demo on vinyl, I thought the band were just okay. I liked them more when the second 7 inch, The War Of All Against All, was released. With their third 7 inch, I'm a fan. The more I hear from Noose, the more I like them. Solid.

300 pressed on red vinyl.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Red Hare

I love surprises, and one of the best surprises of the year has been Red Hare.

Red Hare consists of three out of four members from Swiz. You could kind of consider it a Swiz reunion, but you have to respect the guys for not looking to cash in on their legacy, and instead they start fresh and build something new with Red Hare. I was interested in checking out their new record, but my expectations weren't too high. I mean, did the guys still have "it" after all these years? I was quickly put in my place. This record is amazing.

What? No mention of Sweetbelly Freakdown?

The rabbits on the album art for this, completely remind me of Watership Down. Such a great movie, but one that scared the shit out of me as a kid.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Flex

Sectarian Violence and Violent Reaction have made some noise in the hardcore scene this year. With one of the dudes also in The Flex, of course they are going to benefit from the hype.

The Flex represent the London Straight Edge, and bring us more of that early 80's Boston sound. Not as memorable as Violent Reaction or Boston Strangler, but still pretty damn good. I picked up this record on a whim with one of my recent REVHQ orders, and it doesn't disappoint.

600 pressed...all on red vinyl.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

True Colors In Moscow

There was a time when I was hot to build my True Colors collection. Man, I loved that band, and they had so many variations and special tour covers that it was a collector's wet dream. Their final EP, Consider It Done, was Straight Edge perfection, but when they broke up in 2010, I started listening to other newer bands, and kind of forgot about True Colors.

Recently, Control Records announced that they were repressing the final EP on 12 inch vinyl. Even though it had been a while since I'd thought about collecting TC records, I couldn't resist a new pressing, and stepped up to be one of the first in line when they were made available.

Packaged in a black DJ sleeve with a simple sticker up in the corner.

Listening to this EP now, I'm reminded why I loved this band so much. Flawless.

50 were pressed with a red insert for mailorder, while another 50 had the orange insert from their recent reunion show in Moscow. A total of only 100 pressed.

Geert from Control also threw in a free copy of the Inherit 7 inch the label released last year. I wasn't very impressed with what I'd heard from the band when it was released, and my opinion hasn't changed. Metallic Hardcore...probably good for what it is, but what it is, isn't my thing.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

All Or Nothing

I keep throwing a lot of money at Revelation Records. Typically this is for vinyl re-issues, so it felt good to finally buy something new.

Down To Nothing have a new LP coming out soon from REV, and as a bit of a teaser they released this Greetings From Richmond Virginia 7 inch. This has two songs from the forthcoming album and one exclusive track. Man, I hate these fucking things. It bothers me to spend the money for just one song, and I wish that record labels would stop with this shitty gimmick. What is the real point to these things?

I was so bothered by this 7 inch, that originally I threw my hands up in disgust and only ordered the yellow vinyl. When I saw Marcus' post with all three copies, I threw my convictions aside and placed another order for the white and black vinyl.

So for all my complaining, here I sit with three copies of this record. Why? One reason is because it is Down To Nothing, and as long as the record isn't called Hem Hem, I'll buy multiple copies of it...the second is because it is REV colored vinyl...and the third is that I'll buy whatever Marcus tells me to.

520 pressed on yellow vinyl, 526 on white, and 550 on black.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Getting Naked

I've got a stack of old 7 inch records that never got properly filed away when I built my Music Room five years ago. Some of the records in this pile are things that I bought when I was first getting into Hardcore and have been tossed aside and forgotten. I've been slowly working through them over the past year or so, and I've uncovered some long lost gems...among them is the first Naked Angels 7 inch.

When I dug it out of the pile, I expected to give it a quick listen and then probably file it away for another 20 years. To my surprise, I absolutely loved it. There is nothing mind blowing here...just Hardcore from the early 90's, played with the passion of youth.

After listening to the record, I thought it would be fun to check out what eBay had to offer for the band. Since I'd only heard the Real Hardline record, I was hopeful to find something else from the band...when my eBay search returned three different variants to the record that I already owned, I suddenly became obsessed with owning them all.

The first copy of the record that I picked up on eBay was the black vinyl copy with the blue cover.

I got pretty excited when I found the gold colored vinyl pressing. I have no idea if it was rare or not, but it is the only piece of colored vinyl that I'd seen for this record. I'm sure that if I'd waited, I might have been able to score this record at a lower price than the $10 starting price for the auction, but I didn't want to take that chance. I placed my bid, and wasn't surprised to find that I was the only one interested.

I decided to show a bit more patience with the black vinyl. The seller had it listed with a Buy It Now option of $10. It wasn't listed with a Best Offer option, but after seeing it not sell, and get relisted a few times, I sent a message to the seller. I explained that I doubted that the record was worth the price tag he had it listed as, but if he wanted to drop the price, I would be interested. He replied right back, telling me that he'd had been trying to sell it for a while, and gladly accepted my offer. Sold.

The pressing info on these records is a mystery to me, which kind of enticed me to buy the three new copies. It is an unknown, and each different record is another clue that brings me closer to solving the riddle. Is this collection complete? I may never know.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Warpin' It

Dude, I love Losin' It. That Danger Zone 7 inch from last year was great. I was thinking that this must have been in my Top 10 list from last year...when I checked, I was surprised to see that it didn't make the cut. I guess when Prisoner Abuse is listed as number 10, it is going to be tough cracking into the list.

When Life To Live did a second pressing, I was all over it.

125 pressed on red, 150 on yellow, and then 225 on blue.

Live To Live made these available back in March, but it has taken me a while to post them up here as the blue vinyl that I received was "slightly" warped. Damn, I've never seen a record in such bad shape.

I had emailed Dan at LTL and told him what happened, and he said that we could work out some kind of deal. It wasn't his fault, I guess. I felt bad asking him to replace a record that was probably damaged by the Post Office, so in the end I just ended up ordering myself a second copy...'cause you know, I have money to throw around like that.

Adding three new pieces of vinyl to the collection meant that it was time to get a family photo. Damn, I love how all the colored vinyl looks for these.

When placing my order, I checked around to see if there was anything else that I could add to my cart. The Provider 7 inch really grew on me since picking up the preorder last year, so I threw an orange vinyl copy into my cart. 150 pressed.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Paint It Purple And Red

It had been a while since I'd listened to Paint It Black. At one time I really loved this band, but with the release of their third album, New Lexicon on Rivalry Records back in 2008, I started to get bored. The album fell a little flat with me, and they kind of fell off my radar. When I saw they had new 7 inch available through No Idea, I decided to download it and check it out.

Too my surprise, I loved these six new songs. They reminded me of how great those first two albums were, and I didn't hesitate to order a copy with my next order from REVHQ.

I mentioned it with my Black God post a while back, but damn, No Idea vinyl looks so good!

1,000 pressed on purple.

Back in 2009, Paint It Black announced that after three full length LPs, they were going to start just doing quick hits with 7 inch releases. I bought the first one, Amnesia, mainly because it was on Bridge Nine, but I never did pick up the second one, Surrender, that was released on Fat Wreck. Who knows why I never bothered with it? Maybe it was because I never spent much time with the B9 release, or maybe it was because I rarely buy anything from Fat Wreck. What ever the reason, now that I had two of the band's 7 inch releases, I had a sudden urge to pick up the only one I was missing. I wasn't having any luck with eBay, so I made my first purchase from the discogs marketplace.

320 pressed on red.

All three 7 inches have the same look to them...from the black and white cover, to the band name and record title in the upper left hand corner.

Even the back cover and record labels have the same look. I love the continuity.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Random Foundations

No self restraint. Zero. None whatsoever. I've been doing a terrible job of limiting my record spending this year. At the start of the new year, I told myself I was going to be more focused, and I wasn't going spend my money frivolously...I was going to avoid those random repressings, and not fall into the trap of buying each and every pressing for most of the records that I buy. Six Feet Under repressed Foundation's Hang Your Head record, and all that talk of showing restraint when right out the window.

Hang Your Head was originally pressed as a 7 inch back in 2009, and Six Feet Under recently took the opportunity to add in the songs from the self titled 7 inch from 2008, and press it as an LP.

The prefer the 12 inch format over the 7 inch, but I don't know if that fact alone would have me purchasing this record. No, what sold me is that they were pressed on random colored vinyl, and SFU promised to send different looking copies to those that ordered more than one. So what did I do? I ordered three copies, of course.

I know that I've been burned by the "random vinyl" gimmick before, but thankfully I had better luck this time around.

Sure, the pinkish and purplish clear vinyl are pretty similar, but I'm still satisfied with the variety from SFU. If I see another variant from this pressing, chances are high that I'll be interested in buying it. No self restraint.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Get Highness

Over the last couple of years I've stumbled upon some bands that have really surprised me with how much I fell in love with them. Crusades came out of nowhere in 2011, and Gypsy climbed into my Top 10 list for 2012. Lately, I've been wondering if I'll find the same surprise this year. I'm not saying that Highness is going to be that band, but I can't believe how much I've listened to this LP.

Back in the mid 90's, I bought a few Christie Front Drive records. Cool emo stuff, from a time when the term emo was starting wear a little thin. I don't actively seek this style out these days, and when a saw a friend post about a new band that featured someone from Christie Front Drive, I ignored his praise. A few days later he was still raving about the band and posted a link where you could stream and download the album for free. Honestly, years ago, I wouldn't have bothered with this band. I had no desire to hear mid-90's emo these days, but I started thinking back about what I would have missed out on if I'd ignored Marcus when he was talking about Gypsy. Maybe I should just give it a quick listen before dismissing it.

As soon as the first song started, there was no denying the Christie Front Drive connection. Same vocals...same winding guitar parts. Much to my surprise, I was hooked, and found myself listening to a lot of Christie Front Drive and Highness over the next couple of days.

I was so mesmerized with these two bands that I came very close to ordering a reissue of the Christie Front Drive album. Whoa whoa whoa. Let's calm down, Mike. I owned the original, and it's not like I was going to start collecting this band. Did I really need another copy just because it was on colored vinyl? In the end cooler heads prevailed, I skipped on the Christie Front Drive reissue, and just stuck with a copy of the Highness record.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Maiden Picture Discs

I went to see Iron Maiden last year on their Maiden England tour. Unlike their tour from the previous year, which focused mainly on material since Bruce Dickinson's return in 1999, the new Maiden England tour celebrated the 1988 tour of the same name. 75% of the 2012 set list was pulled from that original '88 tour...shame that they chose to drop Still Life, but to hear The Prisoner again in a live setting was real charge. It was such a great show, and I never get tired of watching Maiden live.

What we don't need is another live Iron Maiden record. The band has a bad habit of releasing a studio album and then following it up with a live album from the tour, and in this case, Maiden England '88 is the second live album that band have released since 2010's The Final Frontier. Just because we don't need a new live album, doesn't mean that I won't buy it though.

Iron Maiden love to release live albums, and they love their picture discs. Great to look at, but terrible to play. As soon as the needle hits the grooves, you get hit with a bunch of surface noise. Use regular black vinyl if you must, but stop with the picture discs...especially for a new release like Maiden England '88.

Sure the vinyl may sound like shit, but goddamn, it sure does make for a good looking release.

A sticker on the front cover lists this as one of eight in a series of limited edition picture disc LPs. Wait a second. From the debut self titled LP through Seventh Son, we have seven the Live After Death double live album...that is eight. This Maiden England '88 vinyl would be one of nine...not eight. Sloppy.

Last year Iron Maiden announced that they were reissuing their early albums on vinyl. With vinyl making such a resurgence, and with most of Iron Maiden's back catalog long out of press on wax, I was surprised that it took the Maiden camp so long to make this move.

I loved how great the new records looked, and since I already owned the original vinyl pressings, I wasn't bothered that they were being released on picture disc. Hell, I wasn't really going to be listening to these copies...they just looked cool enough to collect. The $40 price tag on each LP was enough to turn me off though. Single albums should rarely sell for more than $20...$25 tops...and the fact that Maiden was releasing these at twice that amount made me turn my back in disgust.

When I saw the first LP and Killers at my local record store with a 50% off sticker, my resolve crumbled and I bought them. Shit. Now I feel like I need to own the other six.

Like I said, the packaging on these are fantastic, with each side of the picture disc showcasing the art from the album's singles.

I had completely forgotten about the promo shot that is included on the dust sleeve. That picture of the disemboweled man, hanging behind the band, blew my mind when I saw it as a kid.

For most of my life, I've always preferred the self titled debut over the follow up, Killers. I've recently begun to waver on that opinion though. You can't fuck with the b-side of this album...Innocent Exile through Drifter are underrated classics.

That devils head from the Purgatory single is badass. When I first started this blog, I was doing a pretty good job of buying Maiden 7 inches, but over time I gave up on it. Every time I see this picture from the Purgatory cover, I'm reminded that I still need to own a copy.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013


I don't follow Six Feet Under releases religiously...half of the stuff the label puts out, I have zero interest in. When they posted preorders for a new 12 inch EP for some Australian band called Vigilante, I barely gave it a passing glance.

Back in March, I was looking to place an order with the label, and wanted to add something extra to my cart. I saw the Vigilante 12 inch, and begrudgingly took a trip over the Six Feet Under's bandcamp page to preview the release. 30 seconds into the first song, I was back to the SFU store and buying a copy.

The record was promoted as having an early New York Hardcore influence, and while the chorus for the title track really reminds me of Agnostic Front's Growing Concern, I can't help but compare Vigilante to early Justice. There were many times during this record that I kept expecting them to throw out a "2...3...Justice!".

Overall this was a great surprise for the year.