Saturday, August 31, 2013

Foundation For Appreciation

Some bands just grow on you. You don't initially appreciate them, but over time you suddenly find yourself listening to them more and more. That was certainly the case with Foundation. I was digging their Hang Your Head 7 inch from 2009, but to be honest, I never really spent much time with their 2011 LP, When The Smoke Clears. Since it's release, I'd probably only listened to it about 15 times. It just never grabbed me...until earlier this year.

One day, recently, I was trudging through my workday, listening to the 2011 playlist on my iPod when the album came on. It suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks, and soon after that, I found I could not listen to it enough. Passionate and powerful Hardcore.

I've never sent out to collect Foundation records, but I've still managed to pick up more than a handful of different pressings over the years. While in the middle of my Foundation obsession, I couldn't resist an eBay search to just check out what what was currently out there. Yeah, I was just looking...I wasn't really going to buy anything...until I saw the United Blood fest cover. Fuck. I immediately knew that I was going to make it mine.

The record itself was their 7 inch preview of When The Smoke Clears. You know, those obnoxious records that have a song or two from the band's upcoming album, but lure you in with one exclusive track. So annoying. Still, it is worth it when it comes in a limited fest sleeve, hand stamped and numbered out of 150.

...if you don't listen to Avail, we feel so bad for you...

Wait. There is a possibility that some people might actually not listen to Avail? How could someone not like that band?

Foundation have such a strong early 90's Straight Edge Hardcore sound, so a tribute to Avail seems like an odd choice...but I've got to applaud the band for doing something a bit off the beaten path with their choice for their United Blood fest sleeve. Since this cover was a tribute to Avail's first 7 inch, I figured that I'd drag out my copy to get a picture of them side by side.

I'd tried to talk myself out of buing another copy of Foundation's When The Smoke Clears LP. There were three colors for the first pressing, and I only bought one copy when it was released. It would be stupid to buy a copy of the second pressing that Bridge Nine had available, right?

I currently can't get enough of this album, and during a recent stop at the Bridge Nine webstore, I couldn't resist the call and added another copy to the cart before checking out.

1,000 pressed on clear olive green vinyl. Damn, am I going to have to go back and buy a copy of that colored vinyl that I missed from the first pressing?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tolerate Hardcore

You never know what you are going to get with Reaper Records. I have no interest in some of their stuff (what, people still listen to Terror?), while some of their other releases pepper my annual Top 10 list. With that said, I approach each Reaper release with a bit of trepidation.

I must have been in a adventurous mood when Reaper put up the pre-orders for a new band called Tolerate. I'd never heard of them, but I did a quick search on the band, and found a free download for their 2012 demo. Wow...I did not expect this. Tolerate remind me of bands like Disengage and Beware...they would totally fit in with the Back To Back roster. You can bet that my next move was to order both available colors for the new 7 inch.

I'm not sure how many were pressed on blue, but if Big Hoss approves, it is good enough for me too.

300 on clear with another message on the dust sleeve. What a solid record, and nice surprise for this year.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Getting Some True Head

It is no surprise that I'm way behind on getting stuff posted up on the blog. I bought a lot of records over the summer, and at this point I think I'm about 2 months, and 23 posts behind. Being so far behind, I'm surprised that no one else has posted about the latest Youngblood release, True Head.

Youngblood orders always seem to take forever to arrive. When I pre-ordered these at the end of May, I figured that I'd be lucky if they arrived before 2014. Sean Youngblood is a solid dude, he's just got other responsibilities to keep up with, so it just takes him some extra time to get stuff out the door. I know this, and I've never sweated the wait. When I'd received an email from him in June, letting me know that the records were shipping, I was shocked. Only a month wait? Damn. From the time they landed in my mailbox, it took me longer than that to get this post up on the blog.

100 pressed on a great looking pink vinyl.

True Head don't sound like anything else from Youngblood...okay, maybe that Give 7 inch is an exception...but somehow, they seem to be a perfect fit with the label. I love bands like Soul Side and Ignition, and True Head certainly draw their inspiration from those early 90's DC bands.

150 pressed on clear.

Initially, I wasn't really digging this record very much. I loved the band's DC inspiration, but overall their interpretation fell a little flat for me. I've grown to appreciate it more with repeated listens, so we'll see if it eventually sinks it's teeth in.

200 pressed on black.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Brotherhood On Red

My last five posts have all been for records that I've picked up for cheap. Ninty nine cents here...three bucks there. I think the most expensive one was for five dollars. Great deals for sure. The only problem with a string of cheap scores like that is that after a while, I start to get the itch to really invest some cash in a heavy hitter. Something that makes the records surrounding it in my collection, kind of step back, check themselves and shake their head...they mutter "oh fuck" because they know that their new neighbor is on another level of badass.

When Marcus posted on Vinyl Noize about the Brotherhood 7 inch on red, it put a target in my sights. I've loved Brotherhood since I first received the As Thick As Blood LP from Crucial Response back in the early 90's, but for some reason I've never really set out to collect their vinyl. I've picked up piece here and there over the years, but it has never really been something that I've actively sought out. Reading Marcus' post on VN, kind of woke me up to how much I needed this record. He wondered how high this auction was going to go, and while I'm sure that his posting helped inflate the price a bit, it was still worth every penny that I paid.

Everything about this record is perfect...the songs, the layout, the red cover with the red vinyl and blue labels...even the photos make you jealous that you weren't at that show, leaving you only to dream about being up front and singing along.

Since my Fuck Racism copy didn't come with a lyric sheet, I'm glad to finally have one with this copy.

While it has never officially been on my Want List, it feels pretty damn good to own a copy of this.

Second pressing of 500 on red vinyl.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Clear Dive

Let's get one thing straight, one of my favorite releases of the year has been Get High's Demo LP from Painkiller. I never really cared for the band in the past, but with this record, it finally clicked. Not only did I finally "get it", but I couldn't get enough of it. Because it is a vinyl release of their 1999 demo, I can't consider it a "new release", and therefore it won't make it to my end of year Top 10 list. That is a shame, because the record deserves large amounts of praise...even if it is almost 15 years late.

Well, with my new found infatuation with Get High, it prompted me to dust off those Dive songs on my iPod. Dive was starting up in the Boston Hardcore scene in the early 90's...right around the time I was starting to travel down to Massachusetts for shows. They were one of the first Hardcore bands that I followed from start to finish...from their 1991 demo to their final show, opening for Chorus of Disapproval in '94 or '95.

After repeated listens of Get High, it's like it was fate when I was scrolling though an eBay seller's list of auctions, and I stumbled upon the clear vinyl pressing of Dive's first 7 inch. Limited to only 50 on clear vinyl for the second pressing on Moo Cow Records. A steal at just over $3.00.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Only Answer

By picking up only a couple records from The Answer each year, I've guaranteed myself a lifelong pursuit.

I picked up my seventh piece of vinyl from The Answer a couple months ago, and at five bucks, it was a nice price as well. I hope the trend for cheap vinyl from this band continues, as I still have a long way to go on this collection.

The Answer is a fucking straight edge band. Man, I've always had a soft spot for bands that put that straight edge label right in your face.

The purple vinyl isn't much to look at, until you put it up to the light. Limited to 200 for this color.

Monday, August 19, 2013

More and More Reveal

Last year, I felt like I completed my Reveal collection. I had the white and the green colored vinyl, and had just added the limited yellow sleeve to the orange and the blue ones that I already owned. I thought that I was done. At that point, I was told that there was another variant with round Reveal sticker on a plain white cover. I've still never seen one of these, so in the meantime, I figured that I'd grab a couple more copies of the limited sleeve.

I've always told myself that if I found other copies of the limited sleeve, even though I already owned them, I'd probably still buy them if the price was right. I'm obsessed with this record, and when two copies popped up on eBay over the past couple of months, I threw a low bid on each of them. I figured that if no one else was going to bid, then I'd take them. Seems a shame to let an auction end on this record with no bids. Reveal deserve better than that.

At least the new yellow cover that I won is a different shade than the one I already owned. It saves me from looking like a total idiot for buying these again. It does, right?

I'm not sure what my end goal is here. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another copy, but am I really expecting to buy all 100 of these? No, not really. Still, it will be fun to see how stupid this collection can get.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Hiz and Herz

Sometimes I get more of a kick searching through a seller's auctions on eBay, as opposed to just searching for specific items. I'll do a couple of generic searches for some early 90's Hardcore stuff, and then I'll just start scrolling through what other records that seller has available...looking to find something that catches my eye. Occasionally, I'll find a cool surprise.

Back in 1993, Old Glory Records released a great compilation LP called God's Chosen People. Avail, Greyhouse, Askance, Iconoclast, Rorschach...that comp featured some of my favorite bands of the time.

Another great song on that comp was Easter Island from Elizabeth Herz. I'd never heard anything else from that band. A month or so ago, I was searching through eBay sellers with early 90's Hardcore records, and I stumbled upon this 7 inch from them. With a 99 cent win, I figured that I'd take a chance on it.

This record is nothing mind blowing, but it does bring me back to a time when stuff like this was king.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Halfmast 'Deny Their Vision'

It has been a month since I've posted about an eBay win. I've picked up a lot of new releases lately, and while I've enjoyed it, there is just something more exciting...more satisfying...about blog posts for older records that I've scored from eBay. Maybe it's because after reading ten blog posts about the same Violent Reaction and Rival Mob records, it feels refreshing to post about a record that most people would probably ignore.

I picked up a couple copies of Halfmast's Influence 7 inch last year, and it was a great reminder of how much I like this band. These guys were around, pushing the mid-90's Straight Edge revival before the scene exploded with bands like Ten Yard Fight and Floorpunch. This style of Hardcore was not very popular at the time, but they stuck with it, so they get lots of respect from me for that point alone.

As much as I like their first couple of records, they definitely took things to the next level with Deny Their Vision. Easily their best sounding work.

One bid and $3.00 made this record mine.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Getting More Violent

There has been a lot of blogger activity lately for Violent Reaction. Seems like everyone has posted about the band, and with the exception of Doug, everyone is loving them. No doubt about it, I've been sucked into the hype, and when Mind Rot put up pre-orders for the US pressing of the band's first 7 inch I couldn't help but pull the trigger.

Fast and ugly Straight Edge Hardcore. As my kids are sitting on the couch beside me, playing some annoying hit songs of today, I'm turning up Violent Reaction as I write this post, and trying to resist the urge to walk over and smash the fuck out of their iPad to make it stop.

300 on red vinyl.

Only 100 pressed on white vinyl.

600 pressed on black vinyl.

Why buy one, when you can get three? XXX

Monday, August 12, 2013

Orchid In Full Bloom

Orchid are an amazing band, and with the release of their new album, The Mouths Of Madness, I was excited to start building a collection of their vinyl. I ordered a few copies of the new album that went up for pre-order at Nuclear Blast Germany, and went back and ordered colored vinyl for their first two records. Then there was a second pressing of those first two records, then more pressings of the Heretic 10 inch, then an exclusive pressing of the new album through Napalm Records...then a second exclusive pressing through Napalm...then a few more pressings of the new album through Nuclear Blast...then I found out about the exclusive green vinyl for the new album that was only offered to select Nuclear Blast customers...when the Nuclear Blast USA pressings came around, I came close to throwing in the towel. What started out as a fun project, had quickly spiraled out of control.

First up, Nuclear Blast USA gave us one pressing for the Mouths Of Madness LP. Okay, I can handle that. The purple and black vinyl looked really nice, and it came in a package deal with a sick looking shirt.

200 pressed.

Just when you thought it was safe, Nuclear Blast USA had pressed the LP on two more colors.

400 pressed on orange colored vinyl.

400 pressed on silver vinyl.

The Nuclear Blast USA stickers aren't as cool as their German counterparts, but it is still kind of nice to have them labelled.

Along with the second round of colored vinyl for The Mouths Of Madness, we finally get a US pressing of the Wizard Of War 10 inch.

What's three more pieces of vinyl at this point?

With three more copies under my belt, I figured that I must have this collection complete. I mean, how many more variations of The Mouths Of Madness can they press, right? I double check the pressing info on discogs...FUCK...there is another one that I don't have! Apparently there was a white vinyl pressing that Nuclear Blast Germany did that was limited to "vinyl dealers". I found a European distro that carried the white vinyl, and I grabbed one.

This is all of them, right? No. I just noticed this morning that Nuclear Blast Germany has two new pressings up for sale. I don't know if I can keep up any longer.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Truth

After a string of recent posts for new Metal records, it feels good to get back to a Straight Edge Hardcore band...even if it is for a boring piece of black wax.

Truth Inside released a great 7 inch last year on Bottled Up Records. Prior to that, the band had their 2009 demo pressed on vinyl with Ugly And Proud Records over in Europe. I've been wanting to pick up that demo 7 inch for the longest time, so it feels good to finally own a copy.

Of course, now that I have this one copy...and I'm loving these songs...I can't help but think about the colored vinyl that was pressed for this.

225 pressed on black vinyl.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Finding The Sacred Heart

The same day that I pick up the new Sabbath album, I also find a new live album from Dio in the record bin of my local store. Pretty nice coincidence, considering how I'd been thinking about how amazing Black Sabbath's new album would have been with Dio's voice at the mic. Hey, Ozzy did an great job, but he pales in comparison to Ronnie.

Recorded on the Sacred Heart tour back in 1986, shortly after Vivian Campbell was replaced by Craig Goldy on guitar. I actually saw Dio on this tour in September of '85, when Viv was still in the band. It was my third concert at the time, following Iron Maiden's Powerslave tour by about four months. The one two punch of Powerslave and then Sacred Heart shows, set high expectations in my 15 year old mind as to how a stage show should look. With a giant Eddie as a backdrop for Maiden, and then a sword fight with a fire breathing dragon from Dio...some of that may seem cheesy these days, but, man, back then it was awe inspiring.

While I could do without the drum, keyboard, and guitar solos...Finding The Sacred Heart does a great job of capturing Dio live from that period.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Black Sabbath 13

Black Sabbath may be my favorite band of all time. Yet, when it was announced that the band was getting back together with Ozzy, I couldn't help but let out a groan. This was sure to be embarrassing. Ozzy has turned into a cartoon, and his solo albums have gotten progressively worse since 1983's Bark At The Moon, with his more recent album being unlistenable. Add in all of the shenanigans that Ozzy's wife has pulled over the years, and I'd grown to really hate anything that they had a hand in. Still, it was Black Sabbath. It was still Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler. As much as I expected Ozzy to be a giant, stinking turd on the entire thing, I still needed to check it out.

As we got closer to release day, I let my guard down, and I found myself looking forward to it. Rick Rubin was involved and was driving the band back to their roots. He forced the band to listen to their first couple of albums, and challenged them to get into that state of mind, and write a follow up album to what they heard. It was tempting to get sucked into the hype, and on release day I found a download and listened to the first four songs on my drive to work. I could not believe what I was hearing. This was everything that I'd wanted from a new Sabbath album, and absolutely crushed my low expectations. Even Ozzy manages to not sound completely auto-tuned and over processed.

As soon as I got my first chance at work, I was out the door and headed to the record store. 20 minutes later I owned both the vinyl and deluxe CD of 13.

From the doomy greatness of End Of The Beginning, the trippy, and quickly becoming one of my favorites, Zeitgeist, the amazing guitar tone and solo in Age Of Reason, and the harmonica in Damaged, this thing just gets better with each listen. Well done.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Earth Rockin'

Over the past year or two, I have grown to really enjoy Clutch. They first caught my attention with the video for Electric Worry back in 2007. It wasn't at all what I was expecting, and I'm not sure if I'd heard anything like it before. I downloaded their new album at the time, From Beale Street To Oblivion, and it was on constant rotation for a few months while I was at the gym. In the years since, I've added some of their other albums to my collection, and with each one, they amaze me with how consistently good they are.

When I heard that they had a new album due out this year, I was interested. When the band talked about how they were influenced by their recent tour with Motorhead, and wanted the new album to be a heavier and faster than previous albums, I was really looking forward to checking it out. I downloaded Earth Rocker on release day, and it exceeded all expectations. Honestly, despite the goofy title, this is one of my favorite albums this year. I can not listen to it without wanting to turn it up loud, and bounce around the room.

I saw them live a few months ago, and for a band that has been around for 20 years, they still bring it live. Such an amazing, high energy set. I was most impressed to see that they don't just crank out the same set list night after night. Nope, each show is unique. How many bands do that? They are coming back through town in September, and you better believe I'll be there.