Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Doubled Horse

Troubled Horse caught my attention back in 2013 with the release of their first album, Step Inside. Rise Above Records was on fire with a streak of amazing albums, and with the word that Troubled Horse had some ex-members of Witchcraft, I downloaded the songs to check them out. The band met all my expectations, but for one reason or another I never got around to picking up the vinyl.

While Troubled Horse walked a similar path as Witchcraft, the band never seemed to come close to that level of popularity. It's a shame, because Step Inside is an awesome ride.

You can tell how underrated Troubled Horse is, because five years after its release, Rise Above still has Die Hard pressings available in their webstore. It was tempting to pick one up while I was placing an order recently, but cooler heads prevailed, and I decided to save a few bucks and went with the red vinyl option. 300 pressed.

The reason that Troubled Horse were back on my radar was because they had a new album on the way. I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that Rise Above was releasing the band's sophomore record, Revolution On Repeat. I had no idea that this was in the works, and after checking out their new video for the song Hurricane, I was there in the store to order a copy as soon as they were available.

I am loving this record right now. I don't think it is a strong as the first one, but over time, it may get there.

For Revolution On Repeat, the Die Hard pressing came with a bonus 7 inch, so that was obviously the way to go. 100 pressed on black vinyl.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Saturn Spectra

A few years ago, Rise Above released the debut Saturn record, Ascending. The album came as a surprise, but they had a strong late 70's Heavy Metal sound that I was really digging, and it really grew on me.

When Rise Above listed the new Saturn album, Beyond Spectra, in their webstore, I didn't hesitate to grab my self a copy. The album cover looks so cheesy, that I instantly fell in love with it...the songs on the inside on the other hand, are a bit more difficult to get into. Some of the songs are a blast...Still Young is a total ripper of a good time...while other songs just seem to miss the mark. Shame, because the guitar sound on this album is excellent.

Only 100 pressed on black vinyl.

Monday, May 29, 2017

I Spy

I dig chasing new music, and while the level of my interest ebbs and flows, I generally enjoy keeping up on new bands. That said, the excitement of adding new releases to the collection, pales in comparison to crossing off a classic from the Want List. I get such a charge out of buying these old records, that at times it makes me wonder why I bother buying so many new releases.

When I first heard the No For An Answer album, it was when I bought it on cassette back in '90 or '91. I haven't listened to cassettes for over 20 years, and I've never owned A Thought Crusade on CD, so it blows my mind that it has taken me this long to finally own the album.

In this age of vinyl reissues, it is surprising that your only option for A Thought Crusade is to dig for an original Hawker pressing. Black vinyl only. I'm sure it is only a matter of time until this changes, and someone presses this on a few different colors for the nerds.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Welcome To The Night

A couple years back, Night Demon released their killer debut, Curse Of The Damned. That album was great, and the only reason that it didn't crack my Top 10 for the year was because it was such a strong year for Metal...something had to get cut from the list, and unfortunately Night Demon had to step aside and make room for other records that I was obsessing over.

It might to early to call it right now, but with Night Demon's new album, Darkness Remains, they should be making my list easily this year. This album is a blast...such a great Iron Maiden/early 80's Metal influence. In fact, the band pay homage to Maiden with their song Maiden Hell, with lyrics full of Maiden song titles from the band's debut, all the way up to and including their latest, Book Of Souls. Some might find the song a bit cheesy, but I'm loving it.

500 pressed on metallic silver vinyl.

Thursday, May 25, 2017


Alongside Warbringer, another one of those Thrash revival bands from around 2010 that was at the top of my list at the time was Havok. Their Time Is Up album from 2011 was one of my favorite Thrash albums from that time. The fact that I did't own a single piece of Havok vinyl is kind of embarrassing.

When Century Media posted pre-orders for Conformicide, I thought that maybe it was time to finally pick up my first piece of Havok vinyl. Their last album was a bit dull, so I was a little hesitant, but as soon as I tuned in to their video for Hang 'Em High I was sold. Lyrics with a political slant about rebellion and corruption...reminds me of those old Sacred Reich albums. Fucking old school Thrash!

400 pressed on yellow vinyl for the U.S. pressing...with a D-side etching that is difficult to see (as they usually are).

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Rejected Battery

Greatest hits records for Hardcore bands are weird, and for those us that are diehards, they are absolutely pointless. When it was announced that REV was releasing this compilation of Battery songs, I was prepared to pass it by, and leave it for the completists.

When Chris over at Unwavering Spirit offered to grab a copy for me at Battery's reunion at the Damage City Fest, I figured that adding a limited REV pressing to my collection couldn't hurt, so I took him up on it. Honestly, if this was anything but a special pressing that was basically being laid at my feet, I wouldn't have bothered, but this opportunity was too good to pass up. Too bad this record didn't include the new Battery song, My Last Breath, that the band recorded as they prepare for the reunion show. It would have been a nice addition on this record.

Number 157 out of 200.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Calling The Coroner

When it comes to Metal records, there have been a few labels that I've entertained the idea of chasing...silver label Megaforce and green label Combat top that list. Now we can add the Noise Record label as well.

While I've always enjoyed the bands on the Noise roster, for one reason or another, I've just never been enticed to collect them...until I started reading Damn The Machine, the story of Noise Records. Suddenly, I found myself dusting off those old Running Wild and Kreator CDs, obsessing over Celtic Frost, and downloading stuff that I'd never heard like Hellhammer and Warrant. I couldn't get enough of those Noise bands.

As I was spinning a Noise playlist, and hunting for vinyl on discogs, I came across the original German pressing of Coroner's Punishment For Decadence record. Instead of the cover image of a skeleton playing the violin that I was familiar with, instead we get this twisted mass of bodies that was a piece of The Gates Of Hell sculpture. Having never seen this original cover before, I had an immediate need to get my hands on a copy.

Punishment For Decadence is an underrated classic. I didn't fully appreciate it at the time, when it was originally released in '88, but this album as certainly held up over the years, as I've been listening to it day after day during this Noise obsession.

I love inserts that list the labels catalog to that point, and I can review and dream of which one I want to add to the collection next.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Growers Of Mushroom

Since sorting my record collection chronologically by release year, I tend to focus on those albums that are still missing from my shelves...especially when I get into a 70's frame of mind. I mean when my music playlist from 1971 only includes 19 albums, I get stuck focusing on those few that I still don't own the vinyl for. When I start obsessing over those years, I immediately hit up discogs, looking to fill those few remaining holes.

Leaf Hound are one of those buried treasures from the early 70's. I've loved their Growers Of Mushroom album since I first discovered it around 10 years ago, when I was heavily on the hunt for obscure 70's bands. With a strong early Zeppelin sound, the band became one of my favorite finds from that time period.

Last summer, I was scooping up a number of those early 70's records that I was still missing, and I came across the Leaf Hound album. I hit up discogs to see what it would take for me to grab an original pressing, and I was floored. Apparently a first press of Growers Of Mushroom is quite the collectors item, and the average going rate tops $3,000. Fuck that. Do I look high? That is some crazy cash. Looks like I'll be settling for the Repertoire reissue from a few years back.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Hunger Farm

Nemesis Records were a pretty big deal when I started buying Hardcore records back in 1990. No doubt about it, the label defined the Southern California Hardcore scene, and they released some of my favorite records from that time...they also released a lot of records that didn't even come close to being on my radar. It is amazing to look back and see just how many records that Nemesis put out that I've never heard of, or know very little about.

Case in point...Hunger Farm.

As I was reading through the recent Nemesis Records book, I came across the Hunger Farm entries. I'm sure that I must have heard this name at one point or another, but if I did, I promptly ignored them, and never bothered to check them out.

Reading the one-page write up for each record, Big Frank mentioned numerous times that he was certain that Hunger Farm was going to be a huge success. Out of all the bands on Nemesis, he thought that this band was really going places. With his high praise behind the band, I figured that the least I could do was check them out.

After getting burned on that Fishwife record a few years back, I wasn't taking any chances, and I hit up youtube to preview a couple of Hunger Farm songs before investing any money into this chase.

These two records are full of quirky and catchy punk songs, that really remind me of that early 90's time period. Not as tight as those first Green Day records, but definitely in that same fun pop punk vein. I don't really hear that next-big-thing potential that Big Frank was picking up on at the time, but I still really like these records.

No special colored vinyl pressings for these two 7 vinyl only...and given that these aren't the most popular Nemesis records, I was able to scoop them up through discogs for cheap. Over 25 years after their release, and I'm still able to pick them up for what it would have cost me to buy them through Ebullition's distro back in 1990. Good deal.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Reality Protester

There were a few years recently where all I cared about was Metal. New releases, or older didn't matter...Metal ruled my daily playlists. I just had no real burning interest in Hardcore...and if you were a newer Hardcore band, it was pretty tough to capture my attention for much more than a casual listen. During all that time though, Protester were one of the few new bands that were able to get me excited.

Earlier this year, I found myself in position I hadn't been in for a number of years. I was getting a charge out of checking out newer hardcore bands. I bought up a number of new records, and I was loving it. So it was perfect timing for Protester to come along and release a new album.

Protester keep up the same intensity with Hide From Reality. Another great new Hardcore record to add to the mix!

200 pressed on blue vinyl.

Friday, May 12, 2017


Warbringer released their first album back in 2008. At that time, the thrash revival was really starting to take off, with more and more bands trying to emulate those golden years of the mid to late 80's. I was loving it and chasing each new album that was released. For the most part, I was still buying CDs for most of my Metal purchases, but the tides were starting to turn in my buying habits, and I remember that debut Warbringer album as one of the first new Metal bands that I bought on vinyl.

In the middle of the thrash revival, I remember that Warbringer was one of the few bands that appeared to have the most promise. In 2017, they are now five albums deep, and can still thrash with the best of them. In fact, Shellfire may be the best thrash song you hear all year.

200 pressed on a shitty looking metallic gold colored vinyl.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

No Longer At Ease

I have hang ups when it comes to reissues. I mean, it is great that it keeps the vinyl in circulation, and provides a purpose to the nerds that want to stock their shelves with multiple copies (speaking from experience, as I've taken that road numerous times)...but for where I'm at right now, I just don't want much to do with them. Although, when Revelation pressed up vinyl for the Beyond reissue, all it did was motivate me to get off my ass and get my hands on an original pressing.

Beyond always seemed like one of those hugely underrated bands, like Verbal Assault and Swiz, that never got the respect they deserved. A part of that might have to do with the fact that their only release was on Combined Effort. While that label also released a handful of legit classics in their very short run, by and large they have been out of print for the past 25 years. I guess being out of the public eye without the benefit of of a name like Revelation to back you up, you tend to get pushed to the shadows (although hopefully the recent REV reissue helps to keep the band on everyone's mind). Still, make no mistake, this Beyond album can stand toe to toe against any of the legendary New York albums of that time.

Another classic Hardcore release has found a home on my record shelves.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

In The Blink Of An Eye

Here we are, a full four months into 2017, and each month I've crossed at least one huge record off my Want List. January was DYS, February was Articles of Faith, March was the first Damned record, and last month it was the Gorilla Biscuits album on purple. I can't be stopped right now, and I'm hitting it out of the park again in April.

I've had Vision's In The Blink Of An Eye on my Want List for a while now, but I've never really chased it with much seriousness. That changed when I saw Chris post his purple vinyl collection for this record over at Unwavering Spirit. The kid has four different shades of purple vinyl, and I was feeling pretty inadequate not owning a single copy. I can't let these other vinyl bloggers make me look like a chump. Time to stop fucking around.

I had the record in my Discogs want list, and then I just had to wait until one was available. Before I'd even received my email update on new records that had been added to Discogs, Chris was already reaching out to me to let me know that one was finally available. I immediately jumped on it, and crossed another one off my 2017 Want List.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Doing It For Dave

Years ago, a wise man once uttered the phrase, "If you don't ask, you don't get". That advice really stuck with me, and I've put it to use a few times since then.

A couple weeks back, I was posting a picture of my incomplete Search collection to Instagram, and figured that I'd throw it out there that I was looking for the Vision sleeve. I didn't really expect any hits on it, but much to my surprise someone generously offered me their copy. He wasn't looking to flip it and make some easy money...nope...just was just asking for cost plus shipping. I couldn't have been happier to take him up on the offer.

Sadly, Dave Franklin from Vision passed away earlier this year. I'd never met him, but through the outpouring of messages from people about this loss, you could tell that Dave was one of those guys that everyone liked, and he seemed to have left nothing but positivity in his wake.

In April, the Hardcore scene came together for a memorial show in remembrance of Dave's life. To commemorate the occasion, Search packaged their 7 inch with a special cover that pays tribute to the Undiscovered 7 inch that Vision released back in 1988.

The packaging on this record is very well done. Such a great tribute.

This special cover is limited to 100, so once again, I consider myself to be extremely fortunate to have this in my collection.

Now that I have the full collection, I can bring them all together for the family photo.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Sacred Obsession

Even though I'm a big fan of Doom, there are still bands that are considered to be classics of the genre that I've never bothered to check out. Wino is undoubtedly a Doom legend, and has been in more bands and released more albums than I can keep track of...and the only thing that I've bothered with until now has been his work with St. Vitus.

When I was picking up the new Gruesome single, I noticed that Relapse also had a new record available to preorder for The Obsessed. Seemed like a good time to finally check them out, so I queued up the video for the new song Sacred...and then immediately added the record to my shopping cart.

This album plays tricks on me. On the one hand, I really like these stoner/doom jams...and then on the other hand, I'm thinking that the entire thing is too long, clocking in just under an hour. By the time it is over, I find myself thinking that I can stick in on a shelf and forget about it for a while....and yet when Sodden Jackal kicks the album off, I'm so impressed that I think I could listen to the album every day. Such conflict. Maybe I should start by taking the Thin Lizzy cover, It's Only Money, out of the rotation.

750 pressed on red with gold splatter colored vinyl.