Saturday, May 30, 2015

Face Aggression

In addition to the Ancient Heads record, React! also deliver a new 12 inch from Break Away.

Break Away play HARDcore...this is some angry and heavy shit. I think I've made some comparisons to Right Brigade in the past, and I'd say that still holds true with this latest record. The sound is tough, without sounding like some tough guy, meathead shit that I stay away from. Bonus points awarded for getting Mark Porter to add guest vocals to one of your songs.

Once again, React! does an amazing job with the layout and design for this release. I love the colors, and how the vinyl looks next to the cover. Nothing but quality.

150 pressed on white, 350 on orange, and 500 on black vinyl.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Jason Tarpey has made some serious changes as a singer since fronting the straight edge, youth crew inspired Far From Breaking back in the early 2000's. His style got more dark and aggressive when he took the mic with Iron Age in the latter part of the decade, and now with Eternal Champion things are full on metal.

I fell in love with his new band when I finally checked them out earlier this year. That two song 7 inch was not nearly enough to satiate my appetite, and now they follow it up with a one song split 12 inch. I wasn't going to take any chances on missing this limited pressing, and ordered my copy from overseas at No Remorse as soon as they became available.

The song Retaliator rules, but for the love of all that is metal, this band needs get in the studio and record a proper album! Three songs released over the past two years, and I want more.

The flip side of this split features some epic metal out of Canada with Gatekeeper. This is a pretty good introduction to the band, and I'm digging their contribution, but really, all I want to do it listen to the Eternal Champion song over and over again.

Monday, May 25, 2015

React Heads

My record collecting habits have changed quite a bit over the past year or so. Part of this change has been a strong pull to listen to more and more metal, and the result of this shift has been that I find I'm not as quick to check out each and every hardcore band. I still love the music, but I haven't had the drive to chase many new bands. The second change in my behavior has been in the desire to buy each and every pressing for each new hardcore record that I like...I'm not feeling it anymore. Thanks to the constant stream of REV reissues, and Reaper shoving four new pieces of colored vinyl down our throats every six months for each Turnstile lost the magic.

One of the eye opening things about focusing my attention on buying older metal records is that back in the 80's, labels at that time didn't give you ten different colors of vinyl. You want the vinyl? Here it vinyl is your only option. Take it or leave it. Collecting shit from those days, the only decision you are faced with is, do you want the US pressing on Combat, or do you go for the overseas pressing from Under One Flag. Sure you could get into it deeper, and start looking at if it is a green label Combat pressing, but really, it is basically that simple. I guess that for the most part, the same could be said about hardcore bands. Somewhere over the last few years, things changed. Shit got out of hand.

Record collecting is about the love of the music, and the passion for chasing the vinyl...preserving a piece of history. When labels continually churn out different pressings of limited colored vinyl, it becomes a commodity and collecting loses the appeal...I start to feel like I'm being taken advantage of...I get bitter, say "fuck off, I'm not playing". I won't contribute, and I hope labels choke on their excess.

Now that I've had my rant, and can step off my soapbox, I'm going to post the recent release from React! Records...where I bought all three pressings that were available at the time of preorder. React, along with Youngblood, are still one of the few labels that I continue to have a love affair with. These labels still have a level of integrity, and I don't feel that they are just pushing a product. I feel there is a deep appreciation of the 'core with these labels...and while I'm not looking down on any other labels...all I'm saying is that React and Youngblood are the only two that I still feel that dedication towards, and I will step up and buy whatever it is that they are selling. No questions asked...just take my money.

Don't go looking for anything new with the latest Ancient Heads record. This is just straight forward, hoods up, x's on hands, hardcore. These young dudes are all fired up over their hardcore pride and the straight edge, and their passion is infectious. Hardcore needs bands like this.

150 pressed on red, 350 pressed on white, and 500 pressed on black vinyl.

Sunday, May 24, 2015


I might not be paying very close attention to new hardcore releases this year, but it is still a safe bet that I'll be jumping at anything that Youngblood releases. This label, along with React, are probably the only two hardcore labels that I will still follow religiously.

I've always liked Disengage, so this purchase was a no-brainer. Still, given my metal state of mind, I didn't expect to listen to it regularly. Six songs in five minutes, hardly seemed like it was going to be enough to really chew on. Much to my surprise, along with Aggression Pact and Public Suicide, the new Disengage is getting regular spins on my iPod.

200 pressed on blue, and 300 pressed on black vinyl.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Aggression Pact

As I mentioned in my last post, I haven't been very motivated to seek out newer hardcore bands. When your daily playlists are back to back 80's metal albums from start to finish, I guess that tends to happen

When Painkiller announced preorders for some new hardcore band, Aggression Pact, I was tempted to just ignore it. Pfft...who has time for another fucking hardcore band? Still, I live in fear of "music regret"...not wanting to miss out on some hidden I gave the band 30 seconds of my attention. After a brief listen of one of the songs, I wasn't completely sold, but I figured that I'd throw a few bucks to the label and grab the record anyway.

Sitting here, a month later, and listening to the full record, I'm thinking that this may be the best gamble I took all year. I can not get enough of this record. Damn...these six songs have got me in a hardcore state of mind. What other shit have I missed out on this year?

150 pressed on green vinyl.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Nuclear Suicide

I've been slacking at getting this blog updated with new records. A couple months ago, I was all caught up and had zero backlog. I committed myself to keeping shit under control, and I was going to blog new records as they came in. Yeah, right. Without the pressure of trying to keep up, I got lazy...and now here I sit with stack of new records to blog about. Time to get serious, and start posting and dig myself out of this hole...again.

Chris over at Unwavering Spirit has solidified himself as a total dude. A couple years ago, he hooked me up with an original pressing of the Nervous Impulse record...for nothing. Just an email of "Dude, what's your address?", and then a record lands in my mailbox. This time around he sends me a photo of a Nuclear Age record that he picked up at the Damage City Fest..."Dude, I know you are a React nut, you want one of these?". Solid fucking dude.

It is pretty sweet to snag an advance copy of this, especially since React hasn't even put them up for pre-order yet. Chris wasn't entire sure what the story was on this pressing. He grabbed a few copies of the record from a merch table at the fest, but it seemed shrouded in mystery. Was it a test pressing? Was it a tour press? I fired off a quick message to Ev at React, and he sorted it out. While the record is technically a test press, there are 100 of them that were quickly pressed up so that the band would have some available for their tour. I can only assume that React also have the standard test to 24 with a cool alternate cover. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled.

While I've been a bit hesitant to dive in to checking out newer hardcore bands this year, when a free record lands in my mailbox, I've got no choice but to give it a spin. Such was the case with the Public Suicide record that Chris included in with the Nuclear Age 7 inch.

Chris didn't just send me the standard pressing for the Public Suicide record...nope...he sends me the record release pressing with some sunglasses wearing cat sticking a gun in it's mouth. Shoot pussy, eat guns.

Chris grabbed one of these for himself as well, but while mine had a blue cover, the cover on his was pink. I ended up with number 3 out of 20.

Damn, this record is actually pretty cool. Nice raging Infest styled hardcore. This is a really cool band that I would have probably otherwise overlooked. Thanks Chris!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Gruesome Death Worship

Suffering from Record Store Day hangover, I swore to myself that I wasn't going to buy any new records for a while. I'd spent way more money than I'd intended on RSD, and I needed to chill for a little bit. Four days. I held out for four fucking days.

I was at work, and killing some time and checking out the latest metal news over at Brave Words, when I saw they had a Featured Video for some band called Gruesome. In passing, I might have just kept on walking, but the album art caught my attention, and I figured that I'd give the song a quick listen. I was half expecting that I'd be investing 20 to 30 seconds before quickly moving on, but I couldn't have been more wrong. This was check was great! I did a quick search on the website for my local record store, saw they had a copy of the vinyl in stock, jumped in my car and 15 minutes later I owned the album. Ain't modern technology and convenience a bitch?

Gruesome are a straight up Death worship band, and they aim for the sweet spot of the Leprosy and Spiritual Healing years. Man, those two albums were in heavy rotation for me back in the late 80's and early 90's, and Gruesome is the purest tribute to what Death was doing at that time. The band logo, the artwork, the sound...hell, they even have a song titled Closed Casket...well done, Gruesome, well done.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Alternative Attack

Last month I picked up a few punk singles, and had a blast revisiting those old classics. Without warning, I had a new obsession, and I was on a mission...searching eBay and discogs for cheap additions to the collection. I was trying to avoid overseas shipping prices, and limit my purchases to the US...and when you are looking at UK punk bands, that limits your search considerably.

While I was on my search, the dude over at Massive Waste left a comment on my punk post, stating that Attack was probably his favorite song from The Exploited. Whoa...wait...I've been listening to The Exploited since I was probably 15 years old, and over the next thirty years, I'd somehow never heard this song? What the fuck? As I started digging around, I noticed that there were a handful of songs from The Exploited singles that I'd never heard. Damn...that's what I get for only bothering with the band's full length albums.

Thirty three years after its release, and I'm discovering new Exploited songs. Awesome. Finding treasures like this is one of the things that keeps record collecting exciting. Never stop searching.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

From Beyond

When I heard that there was going to be a new Enforcer record this year, I was beyond stoked. The band's last album, Death By Fire, quickly became one of my favorite records from 2013, and I was looking forward to the follow up this year.

I was prepared to dig into the savings account and waste my money on overseas shipping to get my hands on the more limited pressing, but thankfully Nuclear Blast has woken up to the fact that US dudes buy vinyl as well, and they had the clear vinyl available to preorder as an import from their North American disto. Awesome.

300 pressed on clear vinyl.

I was a little slow to warm up to this new album, but it has it's hooks in me now, and I can't get enough of it. Now, I listen to songs like Destroyer or Undying Evil, and I'm wondering what the hell took me so long to get into it. Absolutely killer.