Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Metal Pangea

I love when old 80's Metal bands keep the flame burning strong, and are still out there playing live and releasing new shit. Irregardless of what my parents were telling me back when I was 16, Heavy Metal will never die.

I first heard Paradox around late '89 or early '90. I picked up their Heresy CD, but as I was starting to lean more towards Hardcore at the time, I didn't really spend a lot of time with it. It was a good album for sure...but Hardcore quickly became my everything at the time, so it was quickly shelved and forgotten.

Since getting back into Metal, and spending my days hanging out in the Bravewords messageboard for the last few years, I'd occasionally hear the Paradox name dropped here and there. I was surprised to find that the band was still kicking around, but I never really looked in to what they had released. When I heard that the band had a new album coming out this year, I figured this was finally the time to jump in and check out what they were up to.

Their video release for the song Ballot or Bullet captured my attention immediately. The production gives it a bit of a modern feel, but this is 80's inspired Speed Metal through and through. I was sold on it instantly, and in my excitement, I quickly grabbed a copy on vinyl from Amazon.

Man, you squeeze this album in with the other big 80's band that have released an album this year, and it looks like the old school is going to dominate my Top 10 list for 2016.

Seems like most Metal bands these days go for the double LP with the etching on the D-side. It's a good look, and Paradox step up with a nice looking etching for Pangea.

A total of 500 pressed on vinyl.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

In For The Kill

Organizing my record shelves a couple of months ago brought my focus around to the early 70's. I spent a bunch of time obsessing over some holes in my collection from that time period, and while I still had a long way to go, my attention eventually got pulled in other directions after picking up a record or three.

When I was picking up the first record from The Clash recently, since the seller was from the UK, I decided to see what else was available. Hey, when I'm paying overseas shipping, I might as well make it worth my while, right?

Seeing that the seller had a Budgie record available, it pulled me back to that early 70's frame of mind. Last year I started my Budgie vinyl collection with Bandolier, and it seemed like a great time to finally cross another one off my list.

Man, whenever I listen to a Budgie record, it immediately puts me in the mood to queue up another. This band is so damn good...and underrated classic.

While it certainly didn't break the bank, this piece of vinyl is my most expensive record from '74...and was worth every British pound that I paid.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Bat Chains

Ryan Waste, from Municipal Waste, has been letting the buzz around his new band, Bat, slowly build over the years. Releasing a demo in 2013, and then a 7 inch single in 2015, they finally drop their first album this year. Everything they have released so far has been pure gold, so the Wings Of Chains LP was one of my most anticipated releases this year.

As soon as the album was available over at Hells Headbangers, I was in the store and picking up the clear vinyl pressing.

The only downside with this album is that literally half of the songs were released on different recordings. Twelve song LP, with six of them already appearing on the demo and last year's single. Damn. This thing rules though. Awesome Venom worship.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Anger Battery

Metallica released a new video recently, and it looks like we are finally getting a follow up to Death Magnetic. Eight years between albums is a fucking joke, but I'm still looking forward to it, and the new video is a nice preview.

The only downside to new Metallica is that all the haters come crawling out of the woodwork. I get it..."Metallica sold out" and "only the first three albums are true". They took your virginity and didn't call you the next day. Yeah yeah, you've got a chip on your shoulder for how badly Metallica have let you down.

I'm not delusional, and I can certainly understand why some people only need the first four...but for this guy, I can hang will all of the Metallica albums. So in the spirit of firing up the haters, I figured it was time to cross a big win off my wantlist/shitlist for this year.

As far as the Most Hated Metallica Album goes, I'm pretty sure that St. Anger takes the crown. The recording is raw. The drums sound like shit. There are no guitar solos. It was supposed to be a return to form, but instead just sounds like the band trying to be more modern. People despise this thing with a passion, but I love these songs...and of course, because people hate it so much, it just made me want to own a copy even more.

When it came time to cross this turd off my wantlist/shitlist, I figured that I'd go with the original UK pressing on Vertigo. I had no real logic behind it, other than the Vertigo name just seems cooler than Elektra. Of course, now that I own an original pressing of St. Anger, but still don't own Ride The Lightning or Master Of Puppets, just shows how misguided and retarded I am.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

I'm So Bored With The U.S.A.

I can't help it. When I'm buying a record from a UK band...especially when I'm reaching back in time for an original pressing, only a UK pressing is going to fill the need. Buying US vinyl for an old UK band, just feels like cheating and taking short cuts to me.

I've never been that big a fan of the Clash...never really understood was the fuss was all about. When I was stuck in my '77 playlist early this year, I was craving that early punk sound, so I decided to dust off an old Clash CD that I'd bought back in the mid-90's.

Man, I tried to get into that CD repeatedly over the years, but it never connected with me. It had been 8 years since I'd last given it a shot, and finding myself in a '77 frame of mind, the album started to click with me. It was a slow burn for sure. I completely expected to listen to it once, and then move on, but the damn thing ended up in my Recently Played playlist on my iPod, so it kept sneaking up on me, sandwiched between The Damned and Heartbreakers. After hearing it on consecutive days, strangely I found myself reaching for it, instead of having it just pop up randomly.

Wow. I don't know how it happened, but I think I like The Clash now.

After picking up a copy of a UK pressing through the Discogs Marketplace, I was surprised to discover that the US pressing has a different tracklist, with five other songs that don't appear on the UK press. What the hell!?!? Now I feel like I'm going to have to pick up a cheap US press at some point.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

30 Years Live

There was a time when I loved Bad Religion up through Generator, but time has narrowed my view, and lately if you'd have asked me, I would have told you that the band only had three albums that were worth a damn...the first one, Suffer and No Control. That was it. Everything else wasn't really worth my time.

I hadn't listened to Bad Religion very much over the past couple of years, but when I was recently stuck in a 1990 playlist, I decided to give Against The Grain a casual listen. I didn't expect it to move me very much, but much to my surprise, that album really sunk it's hooks in me, and I was listening to it daily.

At one point in my life, I had a Bad Religion Against The Grain shirt from the one time that I'd seen them live back in the early 90's. I hadn't worn that shirt for probably 10 years, but seeing how I was currently obsessed with the band, I wanted to dig it out and wear it. The problem was, I couldn't find it anywhere.

Desperately needing a t-shirt fix, I hit up the Bad Religion store. I was really digging the "Television" design, and noticed there was a package deal with the shirt and a copy of the new live album.

Celebrating a 30 year career, there were a lot of songs on this album that I wasn't familiar with at all. I was so obsessed with the band, that I figured that I'd take a chance on it, and maybe find some hidden gems that would shine through in the live setting.

The gamble pays off, because this album is great. You know, I'm not really into the live album format, but here it works, and has got me thinking that I've got to dig into those albums post-Generator.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Red Vinyl Death

You kids and your new Hardcore bands. I can't keep up. When Doug let me know that the new Red Death vinyl was available for preorder over at Lockin' Out, I was pretty excited, and rushed to make sure I got a copy on colored vinyl. I was really looking forward to the record, as I was pretty impressed with their 12 inch that was released earlier this year. Oh wait. That wasn't Red was Blood Pressure. I can't keep this shit straight. Why the fuck did I rush to buy this 7 inch from Red Death?

I knew that I recognized the Red Death name, and looking back, I see that I bought their Permanent Exile record last year. Interesting. I don't remember a damn thing about it. So glad that I quickly dropped $6 on this two song record...he said sarcastically.

In all seriousness, this record is pretty damn cool. Sure, I didn't remember a damn thing about their Permanent Exile record from last year, but checking the blog, I can see that I mentioned that it fit in with the heavy amounts of Iron Age that I was listening to at the time...which makes sense considering that the first thing I thought of when I heard this 7 inch was, "Hey, this reminds me of Iron Age". Hopefully I can retain this information this time around, and they don't just become "another Hardcore band that I don't really listen to".

Friday, August 12, 2016

Double Spazz

I enjoy Descendents. I like 'em, and they can be a lot of fun, but I've never really gone crazy for them. When I heard that they had a new album up for pre-order, I got wrapped up in the hype and rushed to add the more limited vinyl to my cart. I added the glow in the dark vinyl option to my cart, and contemplated even going for some other colored vinyl options as well. Then I stopped and caught my breath. Why was I acting like a fiend needing a fix, when I knew deep down that I would be completely content just picking up the regular pressing from my local record store? I needed to calm the fuck down. I emptied my cart and walked away.

When the album was finally released a couple weeks ago, I casually downloaded a copy to see if it was worth buying. Yeah, it's Summer, and some new Descendents certainly fit the mood.

The new album was good, so I set out to grab a copy from the store. They had the US Indie Store pressing on white vinyl available, so I drove over on my lunch break to score one. Perfect. This copy was all that I needed.

Cool glow in the dark ink on the front cover.

Because a 16 song album isn't enough for Descendents, they also had to drop an additional 5 song EP as well. These aren't just throwaway songs here...nope, this EP is completely essential as well.

This 12 inch EP is limited to 4,000, and as far as I can tell, is only available through mailorder from the Descendents distro...which meant that I still had to place an order from them in the end.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Lookout For Monsula

I was first introduced to Monsula a few years ago, based on a recommendation of their Nickel EP. I played the shit out of that four song 7 inch...but as much as I loved it, I didn't really venture too far beyond that. I downloaded both the Structure and Sanitized albums, but really, all I needed at the time was that first Monsula EP.

Being stuck in an early 90's frame of mind recently, it got me to blow off the three years of digital dust from the downloaded copy of Structure. Holy shit. I honestly can't believe how great this band was...and I can't get my head around the fact that I'm about 25 years late to this party. How did I miss out on this for so damn long?

This album was an easy $8 purchase through the Discogs Marketplace. might be time to check out the follow up album, Sanitized, as well.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Pinhead Summer

My musical tastes tend to change with the wind, and right now the warm summer breeze has blown me back to some of the more indie and poppy hardcore/punk sounds of the early 90's.

I'd honestly never thought that I'd be listening to Green Day again, but man, Summer seems like the perfect time to bounce around to this stuff. Once casual listen recently, and I was suddenly hooked, and spinning their early stuff daily.

Since the only Green Day vinyl that I own is their Insomniac record, I immediately hit up the Discogs Marketplace to see what I might want to get my hands on. Oh shit...there are early colored vinyl options...and they are as expensive as fuck. I kind of want to go down this road, but maybe I'll let my obsession simmer and see where it goes. In the meantime, I'll satiate some of that desire with some Pinhead Gunpowder quick and easy pick ups.

Pinhead Gunpowder was kind of an East Bay super group of the time, featuring dudes from Green Day, Fuel, Monsula, and Crimpshrine. I'd picked up a few CDs of theirs back in the mid-90's, but I recently realized that I'd never really paid any attention to their early 7 inches. I'd obviously been missing out, because their first two records are great!

Original pressing of Trundle & Spring on No Reality Records.

Pinhead Gunpowder's follow up 7 inch, 1992's Fahizah, is one of my favorites by them...a perfect blend of melody and grit.

Their cover of Big Yellow Taxi is catchy as hell, and has been stuck in my head for days.

Thursday, August 04, 2016


Two bands from Thrash's Big Four have released new albums in 2016...Megadeth and Anthrax...and I've fought them for months. I carry a chip on my shoulder for both bands for one reason or another, and I was convinced that they were going to flaming balls of shit that I wouldn't waste my time on. Still, the Metal community seems to be impressed with both albums, and after reading positive review after positive review for both Anthrax and Megadeth, I broke down and downloaded a copy of each.

The Anthrax album turned out to be a great surprise, but I still had doubts about Megadeth.

I never bothered with the last two Megadeth albums, and the general consensus was that they weren't all that great. I just figured that there was a lot better stuff being released from more exciting bands, so why would I bother wasting my time with Megadeth. With the new album, Dystopia, I tried to remain positive, and after listening to the download on my iPod a couple of times, the best I could come up with was, "Well, it doesn't suck".

The jury is still out on how I feel about this album. At times, it seems like a nice throwback to Rust In Peace era Megadeth, yet this doesn't really excite me all that much. I'm not sure how often I'll reach for this record, but finding it at the local record store with a sale price tag of $11, I figured "What the hell?", and I grabbed a copy.