Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Permanent Death

It probably comes as no surprise that I was late to the party for Red Death. I'm not doing a great job at keeping up with new Hardcore bands this year, and I'm going to really need someone to be working the hype machine overtime if I'm going to pay it the slightest bit of attention.

I'd heard the Red Death name thrown around a bit when their album was released. Chris over at Unwavering Spirit posted about it, and then Sandwell started giving it some praise, comparing it to early Corrosion Of Conformity, I figured that I'd grab a quick download, and see if it was worth the Crossover hype I was hearing.

At the time, I was giving the last Iron Age record repeat listens, and following that album up with the new Red Death was a perfect combination. Those raw and raging guitar riffs! After giving it a few spins, I knew it was time to finally grab the vinyl.

Because I slept on this one for so long, the limited red vinyl was long sold out. 851 pressed on black vinyl.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Straight Edge Razor

In case you can't get enough Brendan Radigan bands...XfilesX, Rival Mob, Battle Ruins, Magic Circle, Stone Dagger...React! Records gives us one more with Straight Razor.

Back in February, I was pretty excited to grab a test press for this 7 inch. It was a cool experience to own a record that wasn't yet available to even order at the time.

Straight Razor were a straight edge band, but honestly, I was hoping this was going to be a bit over the top with its edge-ness. I expected this to be right up in your face, with lyrics in the vein of Slapshot. Radigan has an over the top personality with his bands, and I expected this one to follow suit. Basically we just get more Rival Mob style lyrics...still good, but not what I was hoping for.

150 on gold vinyl, and 350 on black.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Gloves Of Metal

The progress I've been making with my Megaforce collection has been slow going this year. Despite the snails pace, I've managed to knock one heavy hitter from the Want List with Metallica's Kill 'Em All LP. For Megaforce silver label pressings, most people may consider that album, or even Ride The Lightning, as the label's holy grail. I'm here to challenge that theory, and present you with what I believe to be the biggest catch from the silver label pressings.

If you do a quick search for Kill 'Em All on eBay, you'll find that without fail, someone is always looking to unload a first press copy with the silver Megaforce label. Now check for Manowar's Into Glory Ride, and chances are you will come up empty. Sure there are plenty of options to pick up the black label pressing with the red Manowar logo, and some of them may even be listed as a "first pressing", but make no mistakes...the silver label is the real deal for an original pressing. I have no idea what the pressing numbers are for this record, nor when Megaforce switched to the black labels, all I know is that they are harder than fuck to find...hell, popsike only shows two copies ever sold...and one of them is the one I grabbed. It shows up so infrequently, that there were times that I doubted that it even existed...like it was myth...the legend of the great white whale. When I finally saw one available on eBay, I pounced. The cost wasn't a concern, I finally had one in my sights, and I wasn't going to miss.

The funny thing about this quest is that, at the time, I wasn't really sold on this Manowar album. Sure, I've been a fan of everything from Hail To England through Kings Of Metal, but for Into Glory Ride and Battle Hymns...I just never bothered. Thanks to my obsession with those early Megaforce pressings, I finally checked out Into Glory Ride, and I'm glad for the push. This is classic Manowar, and I can't believe I've ignored this album for so long.

Got to love those simple silver labels. This record puts my collection at 10 out of 19, and knocks the first three Megaforce releases off the Want List.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Mos Limited Generator

You know how some bands only release new music once every five years (Iron Maiden, I'm looking at you)? Mos Generator are not that kind of band. Seems like every time I turn around, Tony Reed and company are releasing something new.

The band had a new piece of vinyl ready to go for Record Store Day this year, but apparently they weren't happy with the pressing quality, so they scrapped the whole thing. They had 25 of them pressed, which I assume was a test pressing. The band sold a few to close friends and fans, and then put up the last 10 in their webstore. I jumped on it as soon as I saw the announcement, and managed to grab a copy of the most limited pressing Mos Generator has done.

The signed sleeve is a nice touch.

On this record we get one new song, Wicked Willow, and an acoustic reworking of Electric Mountain Majesty. Man, that new song is great...hell, the whole thing sounds great. I'm not sure why the band didn't release a regular pressing of this record.

Mos Generator love their splits. After their split with Isaac earlier this year, they give us this fun little split with Daily Thompson.

Mos Generator cover a song from a band out of Washington state called Golden Pig Electric Blues Band. Apparently the band was around in the mid-90's, and were a big influence on drawing Tony Reed back to playing that Sabbath influenced, heavy rock sound from his teenage years. This is a cool little tribute.

Like most splits, there is really only one side that I'll be spending a lot of time with. While the Daily Thompson side isn't bad, I just don't see myself being draw to listen to it like I will be for the Mos Generator side.

Only 50 pressed on metallic gold vinyl.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

High Spirits 7 Inch

I was slow to appreciate High Spirits. It took a lot of prodding from Doug and Sandwell, but I finally saw the light, and got into the band in a big way with their two full length releases.

Last month, I received a message from Doug, giving me a heads up that Electric Assault had a High Spirits 7 inch available in their store. In my excitement, I made the assumption that this was a new release from Electric Assault, and I quickly grabbed one.

When the package arrived in the mail, I was surprised it was actually the Hells Headbangers 7 inch release from last year...and even though I didn't own a copy of this, I was kind of disappointed that it wasn't new High Spirits material.

250 pressed on clear vinyl.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Colored Vinyl In Our Time

Back in the late 90's/early 00's, I absolutely loved Good Riddance. In fact, at that time, I may have even considered them my favorite band. I even went as far as bleaching my hair, and then coloring it red, so that it would look like the style Russ was sporting on the inside photos of the Ballads From The Revolution album. Yeah, I may have been man-crushing...you got a problem with that?

By the time that My Republic was released in 2006, I was barely paying attention, and while the band broke up in 2007, it took me over three years after the release date to finally pick up that "last" Good Riddance record.

Earlier this year, I heard that Good Riddance were back together and were putting out a new album. More shocking than this bit of news, was the fact that I was actually interested in checking out what the band had to offer in 2015. I was surprised at how much I liked that last Only Crime record, and I figured at the very least, a new Good Riddance album would be able to top that.

I thought about ordering the record direct from Fat Wreck Chords, but it wasn't really clear if I was ordering the colored vinyl option or not...and I didn't want to get stuck with black vinyl that was going to be available in every record store. Fat Wreck colored vinyl seems to draw some attention with collectors, and if I was going to buy a copy, I wanted to do it right.

Since it seemed like a gamble ordering direct from the label, I took the easy way out and just paid more than I probably needed to, and grabbed a copy off eBay.

Colored vinyl came with a bonus 7 inch, with an etched b-side. I love how the 7 inch is incorporated right into the front album design with it's own coordinated cover and plastic sleeve that is attached right to the cover.

I'm really impressed with this record. Feels like it is 2001 all over again.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Rock You Like A Hurricane

A bit of an "Odds and Ends" post, really. This is basically just some cheap records that I've picked up over time, and I'm sick of seeing them laying around, so I'm bundling them all in this post, so that I can finally file them away properly.

I bought the Scorpions Love At First Sting album last summer. My original plan was to pick up a couple more Scorpions records, and then bundle them with this one for a single post. Christ...here we are, almost a year later, and that plan hasn't come to fruition. Oh well. I guess that when I finally get around to picking up that German pressing of In Trance, it will warrant it's own post.

I've enjoyed the early Scorpions albums for a while, but my cut off had always been Blackout, and I stayed away from anything after that 1982 release. Love At First Sting had some monster hits, and because of this, I've stayed away from it, and wrote it off as "too commercial". When I saw it in the used record bin last year, I figured that maybe I should give it a chance. I'm glad I did, because this album is a blast to listen to. Over 30 years past it's release date, and I'm finally appreciating this classic.

As much as a tool that Ted Nugent is these days, I still can't help but enjoy his 70's albums. I'm not terribly familiar with the Weekend Warriors album, so when my friend Jeff offered me a copy on vinyl, I didn't hesitate to add it to my collection. It's not as good as the first three Ted Nugent classics, but it is still a good 70's rock spin.

I spent a lot of my teenage years hating Aerosmith, but as my appreciation for 70's rock has grown over the years, so has my appreciation for this band. 70's bands loved their double live albums, and Aerosmith was no exception. This live "bootleg" is cobbled together from a bunch of live shows through '77 and '78, and is a pretty cool listen.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Saint Vitus Dance

In issue #13 of Iron Fist magazine, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of 1984, they compiled a list of their Top 20 albums from that year. Who doesn't love a good "Best Of" list, and the opportunity to scrutinize it? What? Scorpions 'Love At First Sting' made their list, but Dio 'The Last In Line' didn't?!?! Heresy!

While I was reviewing the list, there were only two albums that I wasn't familiar with. I'd never heard the number one pick, Bathory, and in my ignorance, I wasn't even aware that the first Saint Vitus was a self titled release from 1984...I'd always assumed that Hallow's Victim was their first.

When it comes to Saint Vitus, I prefer the Scott Reagers albums, over the Wino releases, so when I learned about this debut, I quickly downloaded a copy.

After I'd listened to that album everyday for about two weeks, I figured that I should probably buy a copy. With that black album cover, I expected it to be a complete nightmare to try and find a copy. I needed this shit to be in great condition, and I expected to have to wade through all kinds of ringwear and banged up covers to find one that was good enough for my high standards.

Soon after starting my search, however, I found a still sealed copy on eBay. I have no idea what pressing this is. It has the embossed logo, and is in great shape, so I was sold.

I love that metallic silver embossed logo on the front cover. So damn cool.

Man, what a great and heavy album. I'll take issue with Iron Fist rating the superior Trouble LP below the Saint Vitus debut, but really both records are absolute beasts.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Iron Magus

Back in December, Rise Above reissued the first four Grand Magus albums on vinyl. I was late to the party, and considered myself extremely lucky that the most limited pressings on clear vinyl were still available when I finally stepped up to place my order a couple months later. I grabbed the Wolf's Return LP at the time, and imagined that by the time I got back to their store to place another order, both Iron Will and Monument would long be sold out of the clear vinyl.

When I placed my order for the Sheavy vinyl in April, I couldn't have been more shocked to find the Grand Magus albums were still available.

Sandwell introduced me to Grand Magus through his blog with his post for the Iron Will LP back in 2008. Seven years later, here I am picking up my own copy of the album on clear vinyl. Man, what a solid slab of metal.

Clear vinyl for this pressing is limited to 100.

I wonder if my luck will hold out long enough to grab Monument on clear vinyl in the near future.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Awakened From The Electric Sleep

It blows me away that I'm still able to find hidden treasures. I've been around the block a few times on this musical ride, and I like to think that I've got things locked down on all the good bands from the past 45 years or so...and then, along comes Rise Above Records and Sheavy to prove that there are still some surprises out there.

Sheavy are a stoner/doom band out of Canada. To best describe them, all you need to know is that the original band name, Green Machine, was taken from a Kyuss song, and the singer, at times, sounds like a dead ringer for early 80's-era Ozzy. I'd heard of the band throughout the years, and had given a couple of their albums casual listens from time to time, but I was not prepared for the greatness of The Electric Sleep.

This album was originally released on CD by Rise Above back in 1998, and this year the label decided it was time to give it a proper release on vinyl (and throw in a couple of bonus songs for good measure). Not one to turn my back on a Rise Above release, it seemed like it was a good time for me to finally check out this album. Holy shit. I had no idea what I'd been missing out on. Before I decided to make a purchase, I gave the the title track, The Electric Sleep, a quick listen. The song immediately had it's hooks in me, and I quickly grabbed the clear vinyl direct from Rise Above...high shipping prices be damned.

After finding a quick download of the album, it quickly became a permanent fixture in my daily playlists. After a month or so of listening to The Electric Sleep, my jaw still drops when I hear it. This may be one of my favorite records that I've heard this year.