Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Our Side Of Demolition

I think that I recieved the latest Triple B pre-orders back in August, so it looks like I'm still about two months behind on posts. Fuck.

Bands can be hit or miss with me for Triple B. Some are great, and some I just have no interest in. I had confidence in Our Side, and it does not disappoint! Straight ahead, no frills Hardcore.

I've been hearing the name Our Side for a couple years, and there was a bit of hype for their first vinyl in my excitement, I bought two copies.

100 pressed on clear, and 400 on black vinyl.

In trying to break the habit of buying every pressing for every record that I'm interested in, I only went with one copy of the Demolition 7 inch. I didn't know anything about the band, so I made an attempt to calm the fuck down.

Surprisingly, this record is really good. They have a great New York Hardcore sound that feels like it came from that scene in the mid-80's. I'm loving this record.

100 pressed on orange vinyl.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Die Hard Blood Ceremony

It has been a great year for Metal. With the release of the new Blood Ceremony album, The Eldritch Dark, I now have four contenders for my favorite Metal record of the year.

Blood Ceremony were a great surprise back in 2011, and I eagerly was awaiting their new release this year. As soon as Rise Above put up the pre-orders for the vinyl, I didn't hesitate to grab the deluxe Die Hard pressing.

The Die Hard edition comes packaged like a box set. Rise Above isn't one to cut corners, and this entire thing is quality...something truly special for the collector nerds.

The Die Hard edition also includes a belt buckle featuring the face of the horned god, Pan, and reads "The Old Ways Remain".

As for the album, to be honest, my expectations were set a little low. While their last album, Living With The Ancients, was absolutely amazing, I figured that there was no way the band could top it. I was wrong. From the moment that Alia's voice kicked in with a devilish snarl, "Black magic has risen in Witchwood...", I knew that I was wrong to doubt this band. This album is absolute perfection.

Limited to 100 on black vinyl for the Die Hard edition.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Culture - Born Of Blue

Over the Summer, I was listening to a lot of Foundation, and it influenced me to load up my daily playlists with a bunch of mid-90's hardcore...Earth Crisis, Chokehold, One King Down, and especially Culture. Seemed like I couldn't listen to Foundation without immediately following it up with Culture's Born Of You album.

I don't think that I ever really listened to this album that much when I bought the CD back in 1996. In fact, I think I've only listened to it once or twice over the past 15 years. These days though, I am loving this kind of Vegan Straight Edge stuff. Even though the album cover for this Culture LP is one of the worst, I still desperately needed a copy.

Mike Warden used to run Conquer The World Records, and when I saw that he had a copy of both the blue and the orange vinyl on eBay, my mission was to win one of them. Truth be told, I wanted both of them, but in the end I settled for just the blue vinyl pressing.

As is often the case, this dark blue vinyl looks better when held up against the light.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Age Of Taurus

Even though I'd never heard of Age Of Taurus, as soon as Rise Above announced that they were going to be putting up pre-orders for the band's album in the upcoming weeks, I knew that I had to do my homework. Rise Above consistently release some of the best Doom Metal albums, and I didn't want to get caught with my pants down. That label's stuff can sometimes sell out lightning quick, so I better be prepared. After quickly checking out an Age Of Taurus video on youtube, I added it to the list of things to do once the pre-orders went live.

For a band that seemed to come out of nowhere...for me at least...this is really a great Doom album. Once again, Rise Above doesn't disappoint, and they deliver another high quality album.

Because I'd prepared prior to the pre-orders going up, and I was one of the first ones online, I was able to grab the clear vinyl vinyl pressing that is limited to 100.

There was a time when I was hesitant to buy the deluxe Die Hard editions from Rise Above...these days it is an automatic purchase if they are still available. The Age Of Taurus LP comes with a bonus one sided 7 inch and a patch.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Second Press Turnstile

Turnstile's new 7 inch has certainly surprised me. When we started off the year, I was a bit disappointed with Step 2 Rhythm. Here we are in the closing months of the year, and now I find myself wondering where I should place it within my Top 10 list for the year. This record certainly grew on me, to say the least.

When Reaper Records announced the second pressing of Step 2 Rhythm, I didn't hesitate this time around.

800 pressed on pink vinyl.

200 pressed on lime green.

I love the vinyl colors for this pressing. Strangely enough, my lime green pressing comes in a Second Pressing sleeve, while my pink one does not.

Another variation between the first and second pressings are the b-side labels. I love it when record labels do these little changes to differentiate pressings. Too bad they didn't extend the changes to the entire front cover. I still hate that fucking thing.

Shortly after the second pressing of the Turnstile was available, Reaper uncovered a few copies of black vinyl from the first press. I was slow to move on the inital pre-orders for Step 2 Rhythm, and I missed out on the more limited pressing. I was glad for the opportunity to make up for that mistake, and I quickly added one to my cart.

300 on black from first press.

While I had all my Step 2 Rhythm vinyl, out I figured that I'd snap a picture. Looking good.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Unwavering Spirit Of Nervous Impulse - Good Dudes, Part 3

I thought that if I did another serious of posts, it would motivate me to bang them out real quick. Hey, it worked with my REACT! posts. Not so much this time around, as I've just been having some difficulty finding the time to keep up with everything lately.

Still, I've enjoyed spotlighting some good dudes with these last few posts. Let's close out this series with the Nervous Impulse record that Chris over at Unwavering Spirit sent me.

I've been pretty excited about this record lately, and when I posted about it last month, Chris let me know that he had an extra copy of the band's self released pressing...if I was interested, it was mine. I was quick to reply that I was. You see, I was sure that I had seen a photo of this record on blue vinyl somewhere, and yet Bridge Nine's pressing info only listed it on yellow vinyl. I scoured the internet, desperate to find some info on this mysterious blue vinyl that I had seen, but I kept coming up empty handed. I was starting to think that maybe I'd imagined the whole thing, and it didn't really exist. Then Chris comes along with the proof that I needed to restore my sanity.

Not only was Chris gracious enough to send me his extra copy, he did so without asking to be paid for it. I offered to send him something to cover his costs, but he stated that he was just happy to get the word out on this great band. Thanks, man. Much appreciated.

The packaging on this pressing isn't much to speak of...and the Bridge Nine release is much better...but damn, that blue vinyl looks amazing.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Not Sorry From Salad Days - Good Dudes, Part 2

David does Salad Days Records and is currently in a band, Clean Break, that released one of my favorite demos this year. He is a great guy, and if it weren't for the fact that he's in Portugal, and I'm in the States, we'd be hanging out. I consider him a friend, and because of this, I placed an order for the latest release on his label...the new 7 inch from A Thousand Words.

Honestly, I really didn't like this 7 inch when I first heard it, and I expected that I'd be filing it away to never listen to it again. Still, I wanted to at least give it a couple more tries before writing up this blog post, and it kind of grew on me a little bit. While I'm still not loving it, I've come to like it much more than that initial listen. There is a bit of a Verse vibe going on with the band's sound, and I can dig it.

What really drew my attention for this was the layout. The cover photo looks does the layout...and how about that pink vinyl? Sweet. Stamped labels, numbered and limited to 200.

When David mailed out the package, he dropped me a note saying that I should expect a nice surprise when it arrives. I was looking forward to what it may be, and I was completely surprised when I opened it up and found it was a test press for the Not Sorry record that Salad Days did a couple years ago. Such a great record.

Limited to only 14, and on a great blue/yellow swirl colored vinyl. Thanks, David!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Enough From Sandwell - Good Dudes, Part 1

There are a few records that I've recently received solely based on the kindness of good dudes. I figured that I'd highlight those that have helped strengthen this blogging brotherhood with their good deeds.

Over the past couple of years, I've gotten to know Sandwell over at Couch Slouch pretty well...well, as much as you can really get to know someone over the internet. The guy has some great taste in music, and has turned me on to a ton of great bands...from Iron Chic to Midnight. His blog doesn't see much activity these days, which is too bad, as I always enjoy seeing his new purchases.

Back in July, Mark was heading out to see Enough back in July on their European tour. He knew that I was collecting records from the band, and he sent me a message asking if I was interested in any special tour press that Enough may have with them. I was grateful for the opportunity, and gladly took him up on his offer.

Enough typically do special rip off covers, so I was surprised to see the Euro summer tour cover has just a simple, clean design. I like it.

Numbered and limited to 100.

While Assault Records handled the European pressing, Fat Sandwich Records held things down over here with the US pressing. 200 on red.

Enough have just gotten tighter and tighter with each release, and the Discontent 7 inch is much like their Common Visions frills Youth Crew inspired hardcore.

100 on white vinyl.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Razors Never Die

I've heard the name Monsula thrown around since the early 90's. I remember getting a copy of No Answers #9 because of the Judge interview in there. On the front of the zine, was an essay that started out with "I hate drugs, I hate alcohol, I hate cigarettes, I hate the users, and I hate the manufacturers.". I loved it and read it from cover to cover, over and over again...absorbing every word that Kent McClard said. That one zine, and his Ebullition By-Product distro, blew the doors open for my introduction to the Hardcore/Punk scene. If he gave a positive review for a record, or had a picture of a band in his zine, I was sure to check them out.

One band that I never got around to was Monsula. He gave a great review for their Nickle EP in No Answers #9, and a cool looking photo of the singer tearing into the mic...yet, for one reason or another I never had the chance to check them out.

Back in May, Pim from Said and Done, posted the video for the Monsula song Razors on his Facebook page. I'd long forgotten the name Monsula, but seeing Pim's post had me interested and after over 20 years, I finally decided to check it out.

Wow. I couldn't believe how great they were. I played that youtube video for the Nickle EP a couple of times, and I was suddenly desperate to own a copy. I frantically searched eBay for a copy of the EP on red vinyl. Weeks turned to months, but by August I finally scored one for $8.50.

Here we are five months later and I am absolutely in love with this 7 inch. I can't listen to it without feeling the need to turn up the volume and sing along. Definitely my find of the year.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Deal With Backtrack

When I first decided to check out Backtrack a couple years ago, I was a bit hesitant. I had seen them at the Triple B Showcase, and the dance floor for their set was dominated by meatheads that seemed like they were out to prove how tough they were. Not my scene at all, and I was turned off. Thankfully, I still gave their Darker Half album a chance, because that thing is great.

I've been meaning to pick up their Deal With The Devil 7 inch for a while now. When I was picking up the new Downpresser, I saw that 6131 had it available, so I added one to the cart. It is too easy to add "just one more record" to the cart when shopping online.

This 7 inch isn't nearly as strong as the Darker Half LP, but it is still pretty good.

The red vinyl pressing isn't that limited, but I'm still happy to finally have a copy of this in the collection.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

REV Mystery Box Of Nothing

Bridge Nine started the concept a few years ago of a "Mystery Box". It is basically a crapshoot. While there is a possibility of receiving a test press, or some other out of print rarity, you will most likely receive a box of shitty CDs that no one cared about when they were first released. It is a gamble, and when REV announced they were doing the Mystery Box package, I figured that I'd roll the dice.

I didn't know it at the time I placed my order, but the REV Mystery Box came with an exclusive Down To Nothing 7 inch. Earlier this year, REV released the Greatings From Richmond 7 inch, which has two songs from the forthcoming Down To Nothing album, plus one exclusive b-side track. This Mystery Box 7 inch just swaps out one exclusive song for another, so I basically just paid $15 for one song.

500 pressed.

I set my expectation low and the REV Mystery Box hit the mark. Nothing really cool, and a bunch of CDs from bands that I never gave a shit about. Oh well, it was still fun, and I'll probably play along if they do another one next year.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Mental Panic

While I'm trying to be more selective about the vinyl repressings I buy, there are some that I will step up and buy every time. Have Heart, Champion, In My Eyes, Chain Of Strength, Youth Of Today...okay, so maybe there are a lot of repressings that I will buy each time they are released.

Bridge Nine has done a lot of reissues lately, and I've passed most of them by, but there was no way I was going to be able to resist a chance to pick up some more Mental vinyl.

I'd forgotten how great Mental was. It has been a while since I've queued them up in my daily playlist, but this Bridge Nine reissue of Get An Oxygen Tank was a nice reminder of how much fun this band is to listen to. Some bands don't withstand the test of time...Mental has no problem with it.

One of the things that really excited me on this reissue was how great the vinyl looks. Once again, Bridge Nine picks some nice color combos. 300 on white/green haze vinyl.

The original CD pressing of GAOT included the songs from And You Know This, so I was surprised to see that those songs weren't included on this vinyl reissue. Instead, the B Side has the live set from WERS that was a bonus on the Yo! CD. Strange, but I guess it is nice to get the live set on vinyl for the first time.

700 pressed on red/yellow split vinyl.

Along with the Mental reissue, B9 also pressed another version of the Panic discography. The original version of Strength In Solitude only included the first two 7 inches, but this reissue includes the songs from the Circles 12 inch as well, plus some demo and unreleased live tracks. I'm not sure why I thought I needed this, as I already owned all the important pieces of this discography...still, it's kind of cool to have another version of the Strength In Solitude record. Maybe it is time for me to put some effort into building that Panic collection?

300 pressed on white vinyl.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Downpresser Don't Need A Reason

When checking out the new releases over at REVHQ, I was surprised to see a listing for a new Downpresser album. Whoa. I don't follow what every band is up to, but for some reason I would have thought that I'd have heard this was coming.

REV didn't list a colored vinyl option, so I headed over to the 6131 Records store for my copy. While I was to late for the blue vinyl, I had not problem with the clear vinyl option.

Downpresser don't change things up with this new LP. They continue with that thick and heavy sound that I loved from their other records. Man, this album is HARD! I have no tolerance for those tough guys that ruin a fun mosh pit, but damn, this album makes me want to throw punches.

300 pressed on clear vinyl.