Saturday, November 30, 2013

Aftershock From Motorhead

20 posts in one month. Do you know when the last time this happened on this blog? Never. This sets a new high for me.

It is crunch time right now, and I've been working hard over the past month to catch up with my backlog of 2013 releases before the year end. Plus, when I saw that Marcus was posting daily, I made it my mission to try to keep up with him. I fell a little short of his production, but I've made some serious progress this month. I still have 13 more posts lined up...and a few more new releases scheduled to arrive in the coming I can't let up now. I've got to keep churning them out if I have any hope of catching up before January.

Lemmy is closing in on his 68th birthday, and it was a tough year, healthwise, for him. So you've got to give him a ton of respect for still being able to turn out another great Rock/Metal record.

Motorhead doesn't change their formula for Aftershock, although there are a couple of bluesy tracks included on this one, and Lemmy sounds as solid and as raw as ever. There is no such thing as a bad Motorhead record.

Aftershock has one of my favorite Motorhead album covers of all time, and the "amber" colored vinyl looks amazing as well.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Ancient Heads

I first heard about Ancient Heads when I was getting ready to go to the Triple B Showcase last December. They were scheduled to play, and I'm always down to check out a new, young hardcore band, so I downloaded their two demos. I still get a charge when new bands like this come around...great Youth Crew styled hardcore.

When it was announced that Climbin' Aboard Records was releasing both demo's on one 7 inch, I was all over it. Seriously, a band name taken from a Beyond song, and a record label that takes it's name from an old Supertouch song. I love the influence.

Of course I went for the pre-order package deal. 50 with the silver sleeve, and 250 with the regular sleeve. Both on clear vinyl. What? No green vinyl pressing?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

This Means War

When I first got into record collecting, around 2005, vinyl was just starting to be resurrected from the dead. I was new to the game, and I was mesmerized by the shiny, new vinyl reissues...and I bought a bunch of them. Instead of tracking down original Bronze pressings of the early Motorhead records, I was sucked into buying colored vinyl reissues. Same was true of the first Megadeth and Exodus countless of others as well. I felt as though, somehow, my purchases were casting a vote that vinyl was still a legit format...that vinyl still mattered. Vinyl has made a pretty strong comeback, and nowadays, it is rare to find a new release that doesn't get the vinyl treatment. So why am I still buying reissues?

Over the past few years, the countless REV reissues and Record Store Day releases have started to leave a sour taste in my mouth. What started out as fun, started to occasionally seem more about labels looking to make a quick sale, and I've started to question my attachment to those vinyl reissues.

I've always thought of record collecting as a kind of historical mission...capturing and preserving music history. After some recent conversations with other collectors, I started to question what the point was in buying all of these reissues and I've started to refocus my priorities. I don't have any issues with vinyl reissues, but I now see them as something for either those that don't care about the history, and just want a copy on their shelf, or those that obsess and need every single pressing from a certain band. There is nothing wrong with either of those, but for most of my Metal collection, I don't find that reissues really fit in with the definition of what I want my collection to be. Now if we are talking about Dio, all bets are off, and I'll buy anything.

Recent talks with a few friends has put me in a Metal state of mind. With the additional talk about original pressings, it wasn't long before I was surfing around eBay looking for something to satiate my hunger.

I've picked up quite a few original Metal pressings lately, but one of the first things that got moved up on my endless Want List were the original pressings for the first four Venom albums.

Fuck Earmark. Fuck Back On Black. Fuck the multitude of pressings for different countries. I needed the original UK pressings from Neat Records. After losing out on a copy of Black Metal, I managed to score myself a copy of At War With Satan.

Through the Banzai Axe compilation, Rip Ride was the first Venom song that I'd heard...and based on that, At War With Satan was probably the first Venom record that I bought (on cassette of course). I love this album...especially the 20 minute epic of the title track.

Great packaging with the gatefold sleeve made to look like a cover to a bible. Inside reveals a burning cross...Satan laughs...

Monday, November 25, 2013

Headfirst To Last

A few years ago, I went a little overboard with the Underdog double LP discography that Bridge Nine released, and I ended up buying three different pressings. At the time, I was still in a mindset where if I bought a record, I needed to buy every available copy of the record. What can I say? I was still a little overzealous, and apparently had too much money lying around that I could throw at these things.

To this day, Marcus still teases me mercilessly over it. I've calmed down a bit since that experience, and I try not to throw money around so frivolously. Seriously, there are more important records to buy than repressings and multiple copies of discographies. I've learned my lesson, and tend to have a bit more of a conservative approach to these things.

Back when I really started to get into Hardcore around 1990, Headfirst's Back In Control 7 inch was one of the first records that I picked up. When I heard that Indecision Records was doing a discography for the band, I was thrilled that Headfirst was going to get some exposure to today's kids.

There were two things that got me interested in buying the discography. First, there was just one colored vinyl pressing for this triple LP, so there was no chance that I was going to get stupid, buying multiple copies. Second, between a couple of unreleased songs, and two demo recordings, there were a bunch of songs on here that I'd never heard before. Solid. I'm sold on it.

The band's second demo sounds great, and is in the same vein as the Back In Control record, but man, that first demo is a tough listen. I'm glad that it was included to truly document the band's discography, but the production is pretty bad...even for a demo.

Overall, this is a great discography, and I hope that more kids check out this underrated band from the early 90's.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Violent Justice

Back in July, Back To Back put up pre-orders for a couple of new records. I'd never heard of either band, but based on the strength of the label's history, I still bought every copy available. Back To Back stuff tends to sell out quick, and I wasn't going to waste any time dicking around trying to check out bandcamp pages. I put some faith in the label and hoped it didn't come back to bite me.

Blind Justice were an amazing surprise. This record rules...great Hardcore that makes me think of The Suicide File. I was immediately glad that I picked up all three pressings.

75 on blue, 125 on orange, and 300 on black vinyl.

Maybe because it was following up the greatness of the Blind Justice record, or maybe it was the harder edge to Violent Situation, but this record was kind of disappointing when I gave it the initial spin. I set it aside, and ignored it for a few weeks. When getting ready for this post, I put on the Violent Situation record again, and was surprised at how much more I was liking it. I can't hang with this "fuck positivity" mentality, but this is a great Hardcore record that isn't going to take any shit.

75 on red, 125 on clear, and 300 on black vinyl.

Friday, November 22, 2013

True Colors X'd Up

A few years ago, I was all over collecting True Colors vinyl. At the time, my maximum spending price on a record was a bit more reserved than it is now, and therefore, my collection never really got very far. You know how it is though...time marches forward, and new bands take over the focus of your attention, and soon I stopped chasing True Colors vinyl. With the latest pressing of Focus On The Light from Six Feet Under, it has me thinking about how great this band is, and maybe it's time to see what eBay has to offer.

For the second pressing, Six Feet Under mixed things up a little, and went with the red lettering on the front cover. Looks great! For the vinyl, we get a couple pieces of clear vinyl...with one of them getting a nice solid white X across it.

Damn, this album has aged well...still a great listen.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Farrah Loves To Get Off!

I'm not that into live albums. They are interesting, especially for bands that are around for a number of years, in that they capture what a band was doing at that particular time in their career...but, it is a pretty rare case for me to ever give them more than a handful of listens.

I'm a huge fan of of all things Keith Morris, and when I heard that there was a new live album from OFF!, I was interested in checking it out. The Live At Generation Records 7 inch was a bit of a bust, but when I saw the track listing for the LP included Rant 1, Rant 2, and Rant 3, I was curious, as I do love between song banter on live records. Overall, this album is a fun listen. It was recorded back in 2011, so it contains 15 of the 16 songs from the first four OFF! EPs, but it also includes Sexy Capitalists, which has never been released. Worth checking out.

When I first heard that OFF! had a new live album out, I immediately started hearing about how it had sold out quickly. Thankfully, I was able to track down a copy, and I quickly purchased it. 1,000 of these things were pressed on red, white, blue, and yellow colored vinyl (plus a limited run of 100 on pink). I figure that red and blue (and possibly even yellow) would look great with the simple black and white cover, and unfortunately, I managed to get the least exciting color of them all...white.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Death By Enforcer

I started listening to Heavy Metal around '82, with AC/DC's For Those About To Rock being my first serious vinyl purchase. From there, things got heavier with Judas Priest's Screaming For Vengeance and Iron Maiden's Piece Of Mind, and Metal music became my life through High fact, my senior quote in our school's yearbook reads "If you're not a metalhead, you might as well be dead". I was rocking Slayer, Megadeth, and Metallica t-shirts every day, and covering my books with band logos and angry Metal lyrics. I lived and breathed this music.

By the time the 90's came around, I was discovering bands like Judge and Insted, and I pretty much kicked Metal to the curb for the entire 90's decade. Around 2005, I decided to clean out my CD collection and toss out some of the crap that I'd managed to collect over the years. To help separate the trash from treasures, I came up with the "brilliant" idea to listen to every CD that I had in my collection. Given that I had a couple thousand of them, it was quite the undertaking, and it took me a couple of years to complete the project. During that time, and dusting off those old Metal CDs, I fell in love with that music from my youth all over again. From there I was inspired to dig into what the Metal scene was up to. Here we are in 2013...30 years after Metal music first took over my life...and while many people thought that this was just a fad, and something that I'd grow out of, I still get a bit of an adrenaline rush when I discover a great new Metal band. Long Live Heavy Metal.

Enforcer are from Sweden, but their new album, Death By Fire, sounds like it could have come out of Los Angeles back in 1985, and you would have found it in the vinyl bin alongside bands like Malice, Laaz Rockit and Lizzy Borden. Goddamn, I love this music.

I'm giving serious thought to placing this album at the number one spot on my Best of 2013 list. This album is a blast to listen to, and makes me want to dig out the denim and create a battle vest like Doug.

Sure, I had less expensive options on buying this album, and could have picked up the black vinyl from a US distro, but I felt that this album was worth the extra effort. Overseas shipping be damned...I ordered the limited version from Nuclear Blast Germany.

Hand numbered and limited to 150 on blue vinyl.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Double Or Nothing

After a tidal wave of vinyl repressings, it was nice to get something new from REV with the Rival Mob LP. Even more surprising was that the label managed to get another new release out in the same year with the Down To Nothing LP. I love seeing REV putting out quality Hardcore releases again.

Down To Nothing always deliver, and this new album is no exception. I don't think it is as good as The Most, but this is solid Hardcore, through and through.

I watch the video for the title track, Life On The James, and it makes me want to spend some time in Richmond. Classic summertime song.

In addition to the blue vinyl, REV also pressed this album on green vinyl. Of course, I ordered one of each. Unfortunately, REV fucked up my order and sent me two copies of the blue vinyl. Damn it. I'm going to need to visit REVHQ in the near future, and order that green vinyl...again.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Blood Bl'ast!

I don't know a whole lot about Bl'ast. I enjoy them, but I don't really spend a whole lot of time with their fact I don't own a single piece of vinyl for them. There was a lot of hype when Double Cross announced that the band had found some long lost recordings, and I got sucked into it, and quickly stepped up to order a copy from Southern Lord.

With a sound like mid-80's Black Flag, and an album cover that is reminiscent of the first Black Sabbath album...there was no way I was going to be able to resist buying this.

The album contains unreleased recordings from the In My Blood session, the main difference is the addition of a second guitarist. Like I said, I'm not too familiar with Bl'ast, so I can't really say how much these songs differ from their originals. All I know is that the songs on Blood, just sound amazing.

The limited red vinyl pressing includes a bonus 7 inch, which contains different recordings of the Alice Cooper and Germs covers that initially appeared on their School's Out 7 inch.

Overall, this entire thing was very well done, and I'm glad that I grabbed one while they were available.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Rise Above Singles

Rise Above recently released a couple of 7 inch singles...well, since I'm about two months behind on my posts, I guess it wasn't that recent.

First up is the Uncle Acid single for Mind Crawler. This song is obviously from their latest album, so it was odd to see them release the single several months later. Still, I was interested in checking out the b-side song which is a Charles Manson cover. Yeah, it is a strange trip.

The packaging on this is great. Clear vinyl is limited to 100.

The Uncle Acid 7 inch was cool, but I was more interested in the one that Rise Above was releasing for Horisont. The band had a killer album last year, and I was very eager to check out some new songs. Writing On The Wall is a great preview of the new album, and the video is fucking over the top. Check it out if you are into seeing nuns drinking and driving, running over a baby, vomiting and then making out. Who isn't into that, am I right?

The back cover has an AC/DC Back In Black vibe going on with the layout. I love it. 100 pressed on orange vinyl.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Black God III

I really enjoyed Black God when I first heard them last year. I bought a copy of their two 7 inches, and thought that I'd be done. I had no intent to get into the vinyl chase with them, but the more I listened to them, the more I liked them...and once I got hypnotized by the great looking colored vinyl that No Idea pressed for each one, my instincts took over and the hunt was on. Before too long, I'd bagged a few pieces for the collection, and I was feeling good

Then out of nowhere, and without much fanfare, Black God posted on their Facebook page that they had a new record available. I wasn't going to mess around. I immediately headed over to No Idea and scored myself a handful of copies.

No surprises here...this record fits in nicely with their first two. Great stuff.

The first two Black God records each had a set of rules carved into the deadwax of each record. I was looking forward to the next set of commandments from Black God with record number three.

Rule #5: No Splits

Rule #6: No Stress

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Kyuss Lives In Vista Chino

I had checked out Kyuss a couple of years ago, but after listening to a couple of songs, I quickly deleted them from my ipod. It wasn't really my thing. After Doug introduced me to Fu Manchu earlier this year, and was complimenting Kyuss in the same breath, I decided to give them another go. Much to my surprise, I found that I really enjoyed their laid back stoner vibe, and it was the perfect soundtrack for when I would go out for a 10 mile run. It was quite the trip to be running some off road trails in the summer heat with the song 100° blasting into your ears.

Vista Chino includes three of the original Kyuss dudes, and their new album sounds very much like their former band. Same fuzzed out and winding guitar riffs...same laid back vocals. Kyuss lives! I can dig it.

When it came time to pick up a copy of the album, I was in a spending mood and went big...ordering the Euro pressing from Napalm Records.

Limited to 200 on blue vinyl.

Just like the Orchid vinyl that I bought from Napalm earlier this year, the Vista Chino vinyl has a nice sticker with the pressing info.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Test Of Time

It feels like it has been ages since Bridge Nine put out a record for a Straight Edge band. Looking at their discography, I guess they did have the Foundation LP last year, so I guess it hasn't really been that long. I guess it just feels like it's been a while because I generally tend to have zero interest in what that label releases nowadays.

When I saw the cover of the new Test Of Time 7 inch that Bridge Nine was releasing, I was very interested in checking it out. That bold red X across the front certainly helped in grabbing my attention.

Overall, this just falls a bit flat for me. The vocals are very unique, and sometimes this can help to separate bands from the pack and give them a signature sound. I really want to love this, but really, it's just okay.

Bridge Nine did pull all the stops when I comes to the packaging though. The vinyl looks great, and the five panel, die cut cover is extremely well done. I love how this thing looks.

100 pressed on red smoke vinyl.

While placing my pre-order with B9 for the new record, I noticed that they also had the vinyl pressing of the band's 2012 demo, Inclusion, available as well. I had downloaded it, and while it didn't immediately grab me, I was hoping it would grow on me, so I bought a copy. Meh...I don't know if it ever will, but at least I didn't buy three copies of the damn thing.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

No Offense

When I first heard the first Take Offense album, Tables Will Turn, I was blown away. They had a sound very reminiscent to Join The Army era Suicidal Tendencies, and I could not get enough of that album. I might have missed the limited pre-order color for the first album, but when their 12 inch follow up, Under The Same Shadow, was released, I made sure I hit the Reaper store as soon as pre-orders went up. I loved that EP as well, and ended up going back to Reaper to buy the other two copies of colored vinyl. I was stoked for the new Take Offense album this year, and did not hesitate to buy one of everything.

The album arrived and I couldn't wait to drop the needle to the grooves to hear what Take Offense had to offer. Whoa. What the fuck? Upon first listen I was incredibly disappointed in the whole thing. I don't know if it the production, the guitar tone or the vocals, but they seem to have lost all of that Suicidal sound that set them apart from other Hardcore bands going on today. The whole thing sounded very generic and uninspired. My initial impression was not a good one.

300 pressed on clear vinyl.

I wanted to like this record so much, so I tried desperately to not dismiss it. Maybe it wasn't as bad as I initially thought, and I needed to just spend some time with the album. I stuck with it, and after a handful of listens, I got to know the songs a bit...bit by bit I started to hear the band's signature sound come through.

700 pressed on green vinyl.

I've warmed up to the album since my initial spin, but it doesn't come close the band's first two releases. It's too bad. This thing could have been a top release for the year, but I think it comes up a bit short. 1,000 pressed on silver vinyl.

In addition to the new album, Reaper also had a live 7 inch from Take Offense available. I'm not a fan of these things, but it was Take Offense, and I felt the need to buy a copy...even though I'll probably listen to it once and file it away, and never think of it again.

Hand numbered and limited to 500.

Another worthless purchase that I made was for the Place Your Bet single. Released on a green flexi, this may be the most pointless item in my record collection. Nothing new or special. Why, Reaper? Why?

At the end of the day, I spent $60...when really, just one $15 copy of the album was probably enough. I need to make better decisions.

Friday, November 08, 2013

European Violent Reaction

Earlier this year, I picked up the limited Painkiller pressing of the Violent Reaction LP. It is a great album and will rank high on my end of year list, but I wasn't planning on buying multiple copies of it. Yeah, you all saw this coming, didn't you?

I've recently become obsessed with owning original UK pressings for bands like Black Sabbath and Venom. While I was in the Anger Battery store, I saw they had the UK pressing of the Violent Reaction LP made perfect sense to pick up this pressing for this UK Straight Edge band. Vertigo...Neat...and now apparently Quality Control.

I love it when the Euro and US pressing look so different. For the Violent Reaction LP, we get a totally different cover to say though...the cover on Painkiller pressing looks better.

While I'm buying records for a band that I'm not going to collect, I figured that I might as well buy my fifth copy of their 7 inch.

The purchase point for this one is the very cool fold out cover that the vinyl is packaged with.

X is for respect.