Friday, June 30, 2017

Rocket To Russia

I've enjoyed the Ramones, on and off, over the years, but I've never really been that excited over them. I'd give their early stuff a listen now and then, but it wasn't anything that really came close to making my record collecting Want List...until last year. Last year, I became obsessed with Punk albums from 1977, and included in that all encompassing blaze were the Ramones.

Since that passion for late 70's punk was ignited, I've toyed with the idea of chasing the Ramones '77 albums, Leave Home and Rocket To Russia. With U.S. politics full of stories involving an orange president, Russian golden showers, and sketchy secret meetings, it helped to sway my decision.

Once again, Russia is rigging the selection process here in the U.S..

This album is a blast. Solid Punk Rock from start to finish.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Machine Response 7 inch

At the beginning of June, I would have had to write a blog post almost every day in order to catch up with the backlog of new records that are piling up on the floor in my music room. It is cluttered and unorganized, and with stacks of records crying out to be filed appropriately, it is giving me anxiety attacks every time I add a new one to the pile.

My plan was go fucking nuts this past month, and blog like a maniac to get caught up. Yeah, that didn't happen. Warmer weather rolled around, and I found myself out of the house interacting with other human beings. It has been terrible. Can't a man just stay inside watching movies and listening to records? Why does this world demand so much of me?

So as we approach the end of the month, and I'm making a desperate attempt to get my post count to double digits for June, now seems like a good time to blog about a record that saw was behind schedule more than I was.

I first ordered the new Career Suicide 7 inch back in November last year. A full six months later, the record finally arrived in my mailbox. I'm not sure what the delay was, and I wasn't really sweating it, but judging from the note on the inside cover, it sounds like it was a painful ordeal for the band.

It seems kind of strange for Career Suicide to release a new 7 inch and an album this year, giving the Machine Response name to both of them. You couldn't find a different title for each record? Oh well. No matter, because eight years after their last EP release, Career Suicide still rip with that early 80's Hardcore Punk sound. Worth the wait.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Familiar, Not Forgotten

I've been entertaining the thought of picking up the Walleye LP for years. It has been a cycle of getting stuck in some mid-90's nostalgia, and listening to that stuff on an endless loop for weeks, with my thoughts inevitably turning to Walleye.

Adding the Walleye album to the collection is no major feat...and you can pick it up for super cheap whenever you want. Because of this fact, there has never been any great pressure to buy it. It makes it too easy to procrastinate, and I kept pushing it out, saying that I'd get it next month...and then months turned to years.

Last month, I found myself in that familiar place of 90's obsession, and when Walleye popped up on my iPod playlist, I figured that it was finally time to get the job done. I hit up discogs, and five dollars later, I was finally crossing this off my Want List.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Maybe Tomorrow

There is still no greater thrill than the feeling of finally crossing off old records, that you grew up with, from your want list. It doesn't matter if it is a $150 rarity, or a $15 pick up...adding those albums, that helped shape who I am today, to the collection, still provides me with a charge that tempts me to sell my kids on the black market, and buy more records with the $50 that I'd get for them.

Insted were a huge part of my transition from Metal into Hardcore around 1990 or so. I wasn't tough or hard like the Slapshot or Cro-Mags guys, and when I saw the pictures of Insted, and read their interviews...they seemed like a band that I could relate to. Insted were MY band, and really helped shape my mindset. I hung on their every word, and their songs Feel Their Pain and Maybe Tomorrow were the major catalyst that pushed me to go vegetarian. I even, in a moment of embarrassing fan boy mania, tracked down Kevinsted's phone number, and called him repeatedly, leaving messages on his answering machine, until he changed his message to something along the lines of, "If this is Mike from Maine, give me a call this Sunday at 7:00. I'll be home, and can talk then.". Hey, I'd heard rumors they had just broken up, and I was determined to find out if it was true, and take the chance to speak to one of my Hardcore heroes. Man, I was a nerd.

So yeah...Insted and their What We Believe album was huge for me as a kid, so it feels especially good to finally add the vinyl to my collection.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Hole In The Sky

In my entire record collecting career, one of the highlights has to be completing the Vertigo Four for Black Sabbath. Buying those first four Sabbath albums, all as complete UK Vertigo swirl label first pressings, was a huge accomplishment that pushed my spending limits and had me stressing overtime until they arrived safely on my doorstep in excellent condition. It took me about three years to get them all, but in reality, my Sabbath mission was far from complete. I still had more original UK pressings for the band in my sights.

Even though I own the majority of the Ozzy and Dio-era Sabbath albums on vinyl, there was one record that has always eluded me...Sabotage. Having owned it on CD for years, I knew Sabotage well enough, and there have been times where I would call it my favorite Sabbath album...but still, it was embarrassing to admit that this piece of vinyl was still a hole in my collection.

Having left Vertigo behind after Vol. 4, and then making a brief stop on the WWA label for Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, the band found themselves on NEMS for the first UK pressing of Sabotage. Following in the footsteps that Doug laid down with his blog post back in 2013, I knew that this was the pressing that I had to chase. Thankfully, prices drop considerably after the Vertigo Four, so it didn't put a strain on the savings account when I finally grabbed one. I don't know if it is due to the textured cover, or what, but this sleeve is in amazing condition considering that it is over 40 years old.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Free At Last

Triple B has been dominating my playlist for current Hardcore bands. I'm not getting sucked in to buying every release by the label, but damn, there are a handful of records that have been my favorites over the past year or so...and the latest Free 7 inch is no exception.

Free is basically a Have Heart reunion under a different name. The only problem that I have with the whole thing is that now I have two bands named Free in my collection...and I hate it when that happens. Outside of that petty pet peeve, this record is everything that you would expect from Pat Flynn and company.

Somehow I missed the announcement that preorders were available, and by the time I got into the store, the limited clear vinyl had already sold out. 500 on grey and 800 pressed on black vinyl.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

When Then Becomes Now

While I've recently been rolling with a bunch of newer Hardcore bands, Triple B releases picks the perfect time to drop a new 7 inch from Abuse Of Power in my lap. I couldn't get enough of their demo from last year, and I jumped at the chance to hear more from this band.

Abuse Of Power still maintain that early 90's, Outspoken and Mouthpiece feel, and still sound like they would have fit right in alongside those bands on the Words To Live By comp. That time period was when I was really starting to immerse myself into Hardcore, so listening to Abuse Of Power has the nostalgia kicking in full time. I love this stuff.

I only ordered the limited black vinyl pressing from Triple B, but I'm feeling a strong pull to go back and order the colored vinyl as well.

100 pressed on black.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Can't Kill The Tribe Dream

I wasn't too familiar with Our Side, but when I saw they were playing at the Violence To Fade record release show, I figured that I better dust off their 7 inch that I'd picked up a few years ago. According to my blog post at the time, I had really enjoyed it...I just hadn't listened to it since then, and I'd forgotten all about it. Digging it out, and giving it a spin again, reminded me of how great this record was, and I was really looking forward to checking them out live.

As I walked into the show, I noticed that there was a merch table set up, and someone was selling the Our Side 7 inch with a special sleeve that was made just for this show. Damn right...I was buying one.

Labelled as the Show Of The Century Edition, with a special lyric sheet that was thrown together for this release, and hand numbered out of 50.

When Our Side kicked off their set with the intro to Detroit Rock City, I couldn't have had a bigger smile on my face. They played a fun set, and had I been more familiar with their songs, I would have been right in the mix, singing along and getting pushed around.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

The Mighty Violence To Fade

It has been a long time since I've gone out to a Hardcore show. Holy shit. I can't even remember when it was? We have got to be talking years. Yup...I'm that old guy now that doesn't want to leave his house, and would rather go to bed early with a good book than deal with Boston parking and see Judge play a reunion show. I hate myself.

Some newer Hardcore bands have been kicking my ass this year, and they managed to shake me from this slumber that I've been trapped in for the past few years. When Keith from Violence To Fade announced that his band was having a record release show for their new album, I committed myself to shaking off the cobwebs, and getting out to a Hardcore show.

I love a good record release cover, and the one that Violence To Fade put together does not disappoint. Keith is a huge superhero and anime fan, so to see this comic book cover for the Unstoppable Force record release is a perfect fit.

There were a few bands on the bill that I was interested in checking out. Glory was the one that I was most excited to see, but Violence To Fade, Our Side, and Vantage Point were great to see as well...and Red Sun is definitely a band to keep an eye for in the future. Too bad the sound was so terrible in VFW hall that the vocals were buried in the wall of sound. Hey, I guess that I've been spoiled over the past few years with Metal bands and a decent PA.

Number 8 out of only 25 made for the show. Worth making the two and a half hour drive for this alone!

Before the record release show, my preorder for Unstoppable Force arrived from Triple B. Such a solid influence of that classic New York Hardcore sound. Another great release from Triple B.

100 pressed on blue.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Black Vinyl Sux

I'm not the biggest Descendents fan in the world. They can be really good, and a load of fun to listen to, but I don't really consider them terribly collectible for myself. Still, when I was thinking about finally buying a copy of Everything Sucks on vinyl, I had some colored vinyl copies in my Want List on Discogs.

All that changed when I noticed that my local record store had the new 20th anniversary pressing in stock. Lured in by the embossed cover and bonus 7 inch, I didn't stand a chance to resist the temptation of instant gratification.

In my haste, I failed to do any research, and later discovered that this was pressed on a couple different colors as well. Great. Not the original pressing. Not colored vinyl. Just your common black vinyl pressing. Fuck me.

Since I'd never heard the two songs on the bonus 7 inch, that was the bait that hooked me. Two cool Descendents songs that were a nice addition to this album.

Despite my disappointment in not waiting to chase the limited colored vinyl, and since I only need one copy in my collection, I'll look on the bright side, and just be happy to finally own a copy of this on vinyl.