Friday, October 27, 2017

Blackfinger Of Doom

I love the old Trouble records, and I was even a fan of that record from The Skull from a few years back...but for some reason, when I was told that vocalist Eric Wagner was also singing for a new band, Blackfinger, I kind of shrugged my shoulders and ignored the recommendation. I'm not sure why I was so indifferent to it...maybe because The Skull had already released an album that same year, and I didn't want to overplay Wagner's voice...or maybe I just thought the Blackfinger name was stupid. Either way, I steered clear of their self titled debut in 2014.

When I saw that Blackfinger were releasing a new album in 2017, I figured that maybe now was the time to check them out.

Given Wagner's distinct voice, hearing it here immediately brings Trouble and The Skull to mind...and while Blackfinger are still firmly entrenched in the Doom/Stoner sounds, there is something a bit more sparse and melancholic here. With the first couple of listens, I was disappointed that Wagner didn't give us another record from The Skull instead, but with each listen I appreciate this more and more...and as we work our way into Autumn, I'm finding that this album fits the season perfectly. I'm obviously going to have to go back and get my hands on the Blackfinger debut as well.

400 pressed on blue and black marbled vinyl.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Quality Control

There was a time in the early 2000's when I was listening to a lot of hip hop, and the blame lies squarely with my friend Rob. When we weren't killing each other in Unreal Tournament online, we were hanging out quite bit and playing Magic the Gathering for a few hours each week at his house. We were total nerds, and were having the best of times while doing it. While hanging out, we always had the stereo going, and working through a rotation of CDs. We weren't a perfect match musically, but we did share some common ground...and when we weren't listening to Overkill or Slayer, we were trying to convert each other to other music that we were loving at the moment.

While I kept pushing Cast Iron Hike and Boy Sets Fire, he would force feed me Beastie Boys and Wu-Tang Clan, and eventually we started to rub off on one another a little bit.

It eventually got to the point where I was actively searching out, and downloading a bunch of hip hop stuff. My interest only lasted a few years, and I eventually got bored with the genre...but during that five year period of interest, I did discover a handful of albums that really left a mark on me...and the first album from Jurassic 5 was one of those.

To me, J5 were the hip hop equivalent to 7 Seconds. They weren't looking to pose or be hard...they came across as positive and down to earth, and goddamn, it was fun to just chill with their flow.

These days, it is an extremely rare occasion for me to revisit any of those hip hop albums. For the most part, they just sit on my CD shelf and collect dust...but every once in a while, a warm summer day will inspire me to kick back and bob my head to those beats. A couple of months ago, I was hit by one of those inspirations. I hadn't heard some of this stuff for years, and it was a fun trip back in time, to when I cared about this shit.

When I saw that Newbury Comics had an exclusive pressing available for the first Jurassic 5 album, and they were having a 25% off sale on all vinyl, I couldn't resist adding it to the collection. I've never been overly interesting in buying vinyl for those rap records, but I suppose that every once in a while, I'll make an exception.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Vinyl Seeker

As soon as I finished up my 1987 obsession a couple months ago, I immediately moved straight into '88. It was fun getting stuck in '87, and wanting to follow the evolution of music through the years, 1988 was the next stop. Working my way alphabetically through the playlist, my first stop was AC/DC's Blow Up Your Video.

Blow Up Your Video was the last AC/DC album that I bought as a kid, and by the time the follow up, The Razors Edge, was released in 1990, AC/DC no longer cut it for me. By then, they were no longer loud enough...they weren't as heavy and fast as thrash...and they weren't as real as the punk and hardcore bands I was starting to get into...but in 1988, Blow Up Your Video was my last attempt to hold on to the band that had at one point been a favorite when I started getting into heavier music.

I enjoyed Blow Up Your Video at the time...even though it was a quite a bit weaker than previous albums. Hell, I vividly recall going nuts and stage diving like crazy onto my couch to album closer, This Means War. That song ruled. I even managed to catch AC/DC live for the third time on this tour...but I soon started to get tired of them, and put them on the shelf for about 10 years.

Over the past few years, I've been loving AC/DC again, and have even toyed with the idea of chasing the Australian first pressings for their early albums. You know shit is getting serious when I start thinking about going down that path. So why am I here, dicking around with some late-era album that didn't leave much of an impression on me when I initially bought the CD the first time around? What can I say? When nostalgia hits, you just go with it...and dusting off these songs, with an '88 mindset, I found they were a ton of fun to listen to again. With a price tag under $10, it was too easy to grab a copy.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Accept The Chaos

Accept came blazing out of the gate with their new singer, Mark Tornillo, back in 2010 with Blood Of The Nations. Follow up albums, Stalingrad and Blind Rage proved that the band wasn't just a brief flash of brilliance...nope...Accept were something special, and were in it for the long haul.

Accept have a formula with Tornillo, and on their fourth album together, the band don't stray from the path they have tread. While some people might want the band to push some boundaries, and show some growth, I'm perfectly happy that the band stay consistent, and The Rise Of Chaos keeps up pumping out those solid Metal tunes. No surprises here...just fist banging Metal the way that I like it.

Nuclear Blast offers up about nine different vinyl options for The Rise Of Chaos. Given the number of gross looking splatter and swirl colored vinyl options, I went with a nice solid red wax. 300 pressed.

Friday, October 13, 2017

'87 Talks, And I Listen

My final post from the fallout of my 1987 obsession.

For a straight month, I did nothing buy listen to albums from 1987. Very little else mattered to me, as I worked through everything in my collection from that year. I made lists, ranking everything...and then I'd go back and spin my favorites again and again...tweaking my list like some crazy science experiment where I needed everything measured and mixed in the proper order. This shit was serious business.

Along the way, I committed myself to making a decent run at my Top 10 Metal and Crossover albums from '87. My collection was pitiful, and I wanted to take this opportunity to fill some big holes. As I was winding down in my spending spree, I knew that I had to make one last move to knock off one of my big targets.

Cryptic Slaughter's Money Talks album was hugely influential to me when I bought the CD as an angry and awkward teen. I didn't even know what Straight Edge was at the time, but already songs like Wake Up ("Smoke and drink just to be cool, Can't you see you're just another fool") were planting seeds that would take root for lifetime mindset. Cryptic Slaughter nailed it lyrically...from politics to positivity...and Money Talks really made me think about who I wanted to be, and what I wanted to stand against.

Buying this album to cap off this obsession was a must. I was hoping for a copy with the hype sticker still attached, but I'll settle for this one in excellent condition.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Possessed By 1987

During my time travelling back to 1987, I obsessed over a lot of different albums, but one of them received more plays than any other...The Eyes Of Horror by Possessed.

This 19 minute EP absolutely destroys with it's all out Thrash attack. From start to finish, this record does not let up. Even now, after some time has passed since my 1987 spending spree, I still can't stop spinning this.

Combat had stopped using the green labels sometime in '86, so by the time The Eyes Of Horror was released, they had switched over to the camo ones. While I really want to focus on collecting those green label pressings, it still feels good to cross an original Combat pressing off the list.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Storming Through 1987 With Menace

Even though I was on a strong Crossover kick while revisiting my 1987 playlist, let's not forget that Thrash was a fucking force to be reckoned with as well. So many great albums were released that year that it was easy to get caught up in my obsession to buy one after another.

Over the Summer, I read the Damn The Machine book, which documents the detailed history of Noise Records...and it should be of no surprise to anyone that this fueled a minor obsession with the label. Noise released a lot of classic Thrash albums, and I spent a lot of my Summer playing those over and over again.

While reviewing my 1987 playlist recently, Kreator's Terrible Certainty shot right to the top of the list. In my effort to cross those top records off my Want List, I set my sights on finally picking up the vinyl.

When I started checking Discogs for a copy, and I discovered that Noise did a red vinyl pressing, I knew that was the way to go.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

More 1987? You Got It!

While I was reviewing my '87 playlist, Excel quickly shot to the top of my list with Split Image, but let's not overlook that the entire fucking year was amazing for Crossover albums. Right in the middle of it all, Gang Green had an album that was connecting with some solid punches of their own.

You Got It ended up being another long lost treasure. Outside of their early Hardcore stuff, I'd pretty much written Gang Green off...forgetting all about how great their Crossover shit was. Revisiting it during my '87 obsession, and suddenly I'm thinking that You Got It might be my favorite Gang Green record.

Sure some of the lyrics can get goofy and cheesy...but you'll still find this Straight Edge kid singing along to Let's Drink Some Beer.

One of the big selling points for this copy was that the seller listed it with two green promo sheets, and the glossy promo shot. I love the extras!

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Your Life, My Life In '87

As I was working my way through my '87 playlist, I rediscovered a few forgotten treasures. At the top of the list was the Split Image album from Excel.

I was already familiar with the album, having owned it originally on cassette as a kid, and then on CD when it was reissued in 2000...but still, I'm not sure if I really appreciated it as much as I should have. Queuing up the songs for my drive to work, I was quickly amazed at how great this record truly is. With it's hooks firmly in place, I couldn't resist playing the album day after day after day.

With the album quickly becoming one of my favorites for 1987, it was obvious that I needed to track down the original vinyl pressing.

Sometimes I'm a sucker for the merch insert, and will gladly pay more than the going rate to get my hands on a record that includes one. The Split Image insert looks sick, and there was no way that I was going to walk away without one.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Don't Panic, I'm Still In 1987

There were a lot of great albums released in '87, but as I was going through the process of listening to everything that was released that year, I found a few gems that I'd forgotten just how good they were.

No Need To Panic might not be on the same level as the first few G.B.H. records, but I was all about this album when I picked it up as a seventeen year old kid. I was heavily into metal and thrash at the time, but punk was starting to work its way into my world bit by bit. The songs were still fast and catchy as hell, but it was somehow even more stripped down and raw when compared to my thrash records. To me, the two genres fit together perfectly, and it made perfect sense to place my G.B.H. cassette right alongside the latest from Grim Reaper. There were no lines drawn...for me, they both just fell under the umbrella of "good shit".

I listened to this album so many times over the summer, I knew that I had to track down a copy on vinyl. I wasn't fussed to track down a UK copy for this one, and the Combat pressing was good enough for me.

Monday, October 02, 2017

1987 Is Taking Over

I love making lists. Putting together my annual Top 10 is something that I look forward to all year. Ranking records, and adjusting their placement brings out the obsessive nerd in me.

For a while now, I've been tossing around the idea of taking a trip back in time, and ranking the albums from years long gone. With so many holes in my record collection, my thought was that if I can rank them all in a given year, it would help me prioritize and focus on picking up those classics that I still don't own.

With this year marking the 30th anniversary for a lot of my favorite albums as a kid, I decided to kick off my list making with 1987.

As soon as I started putting the list together, two things became clear very, with so many classics from my teenage years, 1987 may just be one of my favorite years for music ever...and two, I was missing an embarrassing amount of these albums on vinyl.

With the facts laid out in front of me, I got to work on my latest obsession...filling holes from '87.

For the longest time, I've held the opinion that Overkill stand as one of my favorite Thrash bands of all time. Sure, other bands have released albums superior to Overkill, but with their recent output, and their classic run from 1985 through at least 1989's The Years Of Decay, I have no problem giving the crown to them.

Yet, even as a total Overkill fanboy, my collection for the band is quite thin. I've made some false starts in picking some of those classic records, but I have never stuck with it, and after quick searches of Discogs and eBay, I typically push them to the side, with the promise that I'll get them next month.

Step one in my 1987 mission...quit fucking around with that Overkill collection.

After procrastinating on this record for so many years, it feels great to finally add it to the collection.