Thursday, August 30, 2018

22 Going On 23

After picking up a small haul of records from the Armageddon Shop, and showing Marcus how disappointing Newbury Comics is these days, we decided to walk a couple miles through the blazing hot city to get some vegan ice cream. A little over halfway to our destination, we spotted another record store, Looney Tunes.

We had a quick discussion about if we should even bother stopping at this small hole in the wall. Since I had sweat dripping down my back, and the intense sun overhead was baking me on the sidewalk, we decided to take a break and at least enjoy some air conditioning.

We really had low expectations with this record store, and were prepared for the stacks upon stacks of old, beat up 70's records...but hidden within all this useless vinyl, we were shocked to stumble upon the occasional record for Botch and The Rival Mob. We had a laugh wondering who might stumble into this store to pick up the latest Botch reissue, but surprisingly, there was one record that really caught my eye.

A couple of years ago, I was surprised to find myself on a serious Butthole Surfers kick. I was listening to those early albums a ton, and I ended up grabbing a first press colored vinyl pressing of Psychic...Powerless because I was so obsessed. I wanted colored vinyl pressings for Rembrandt Pussyhorse and the Cream Corn EP, but then my infatuation cooled off, and I was running after something else. Since the Locust Abortion Technician album didn't see an colored vinyl pressing in the original run, and I found a first press copy at Looney Tunes, I didn't hesitate to grab it.

Locust Abortion Technician was the first Butthole Surfers album that I'd heard back in 1987, and they sound was so far off the wall that I loved it. The intro to Sweet Loaf is a classic, and is something that my brother and I will quote to each other to this day...and I've used the "A funny thing about regret is, it's better to regret something you have done, than something you haven't done" line as justification for some questionable choices throughout my adult the record definitely made a lasting impression on me. While I don't think this is their strongest record, it does have the song Human Cannonball, which is one of my favorite Butthole Surfer songs ever, and 22 Going On 23, which may be one of the creepiest.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Walk Together, Armageddon Together

My 7 Seconds collection is pretty damn weak. I mean, I absolutely love the band, but when it comes to chasing vinyl, I've never been able to get it going. I thought that I was ready to get down with it back in 2009 when I picked up a copy of Committed For Life, but I got one record in before I was off chasing something else. This cheap pick up for the Walk Together, Rock Together album, nine years later, doesn't really help strengthen my collection all that much.

I know that I shouldn't have bothered with this reissue, and should have just held out for the first pressing with the original artwork, but fuck it, at the end of the day both versions should be in my collection. Seeing this copy at the Armageddon Shop just made it easy to take the cheap way out and start with this one.

Grabbing this record was a last minute decision while shopping with Marcus. I already had a few records in my hands, and I was ready to head to the counter and check out...but Marcus was still browsing, so I took another minute to randomly search and flip through a few more albums. I saw this copy of Walk Together and said "Why the fuck not?".

Friday, August 24, 2018

Test Press-ageddon

After picking up a couple of records from the Metal section at the Armageddon Shop, I started flipping through the Hardcore/Punk section. Honestly, I didn't expect to find anything. My search can be pretty specific when I'm looking for Hardcore records, and I just expect that anything I want will have to be picked up online.

I never expected to find a test press while I was flipping through the bins, but when I came across one for the Robot Whales 12 inch, I was just glad that I spotted it before Marcus, and I quickly pulled it from the rack to claim for myself.

How the hell is this album 12 years old?!?! That can't be right. I feel like I've lost some years along the way, because it doesn't seem that long ago that I picked up the yellow vinyl version of this and was knocked on my ass with how great this record was. 12 fucking years doesn't seem possible...and these songs still sound just as urgent and vital.

Nice touch with the special cover for the test pressing.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Armageddon's Vitus Victim

A couple of years ago, I caught Saint Vitus live for the first time. Have you ever had one of those experiences where you liked a band, but after watching them perform live, that you find yourself with a much deeper appreciation for what they can deliver? That was me with Saint Vitus. I always preferred the Scott Reagers line up for Vitus, but after watching the man front Vitus live...holy shit...I was in awe. Reagers was a man possessed, and you could tell he was loving it.

Since seeing the band live, I've had the thought of "I need more Saint Vitus vinyl in my collection", and seeing a copy of Hallow's Victim at the Armageddon Shop, I instantly added it to my growing pile of records to buy.

This album is an absolute beast, the the back to back attack of War Is Our Destiny and White Stallions...goddamn...for a "stoner/doom" band, those two tracks make me want to fucking move.

I'm pretty sure that this is a reissue, but I'm just glad to finally have a copy in the collection.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Possessed At Armageddon

After trading a couple of records in Boston Common, Marcus was looking forward to checking out the Armageddon Shop in Harvard Square. I was happy to oblige, and we grabbed a ride through Uber and were there in no time.

Having visited the Armageddon Shop a few months earlier with Sandwell, I was curious if the store would have anything interesting available this time around. I mean, it is a cool store, but they mostly carried new releases and reissues, and there wasn't a huge selection of used records. Surprisingly, I walked out of there with more records than I expected.

The first record that I pulled from the bins was Venom's Possessed album. This record takes a pretty solid drop in quality from the first three Venom records, but there are still some great song here, and Possessed marks the end of band's classic period.

I already owned the Earmark reissue from 2002...which I'd picked up early in my record collecting career, but it was not really cutting it for me anymore, and I was hoping to replace it with an original UK Neat pressing at some point. While this copy isn't on the Neat label, as soon as I pulled the vinyl from the sleeve and saw the green Combat labels, I knew I was going to have to buy it, and with a $15 price tag, it was an easy purchase.

Friday, August 17, 2018

This Is Boston, Not UK

The Born Again album was a large hole in my Black Sabbath collection. When I saw Doug post about the record four years ago, it became obvious which pressing I was going to need...the UK Vertigo pressing with those custom labels.

I had actually bought a copy though Discogs a couple years ago, but even though it was listed as a UK pressing, it turned out to be a Dutch pressing with the Vertigo UFO labels. Nope. That was not going to cut it. It was pretty cheap, so I didn't make a fuss, and I just gave it to a friend that wasn't concerned with the pressing info...but it still left me without a copy in my collection.

The album is easy enough to track down, but I kept dragging my feet on actually grabbing one. I got tired of the procrastination and added the record to my Top Wants of 2018 list, hoping it would finally push me to make a move and buy one. No matter how great I think Born Again is, or how many moves I made to keep this on my radar, seven months into 2018, it was still sitting there on my Want List. I'd picked up the mission again, and started looking around for a copy recently...and then Marcus unexpectedly came to the rescue, and delivered one right into my hands.

Marcus was overcoming a serious fear of flying, and was making a trip from the UK to spend a couple weeks visiting the US. His first stop was Boston, and I was looking forward to finally meeting him in person. We've had this online/blog relationship for probably over eight years now, so it was great to finally connect face to face, meet his girlfriend, and spend some time hanging out and doing some records shopping.

We arranged to meet in Boston Common, and I had his copy of the new Battle Ruins LP that I'd picked up for him, and he surprised me with a small gift...the UK Vertigo pressing of Born Again. So happy to be able to finally cross this off the list, and to have it hand delivered from a friend in the UK made it even better.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Gruesome Prayers

Gruesome are a straight up tribute to Chuck Schuldiner and his band Death. They aren't trying to break new ground...they are just creating music that fits into the footprint left behind by Death...and they nail it. I loved the first three Death albums back in the late 80's, so what Gruesome offer here is just what I look for in a Death Metal band. I'm not sure how much longer the band can keep up with this routine, but I'm on board for another record.

That Repka art work looks amazing, and with the green camo labels that are an obvious nod to Combat Records, I had to go with the black vinyl pressing. Colored vinyl with those old school camo labels just didn't make sense in my head.

Twisted Prayers is another ripper that recalls those best early Death albums.

When I was ordering Twisted Prayers, I had the urge to pick up a Gruesome t-shirt as well...because you know, I can't have too many metal shirts that will make my wife cringe when I wear them in public.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Graveyard Peace

Graveyard had a solid run of albums with their self titled debut (2007), Hisingen Blues (2011), and Lights Out (2012), but I could never fully get on board with Innocence & Decadence (2015). The album wasn't terrible, but there were a couple of songs that just had too much R&B influence for my tastes, and it kind of ruined the album for me. When the band announced in 2016 that they were splitting up, I was glad. If Innocence & Decadence was the new direction, I'd rather they just split.

The band managed to stay broken up for almost a full three months before they announced their reunion. Shit. Now I was going to have to pay attention to them again...most likely getting my hopes up with a new album, only to deal with the disappointment of the new music not coming close to their classic albums.

Fast forward about six months, and Graveyard posted a video for their new single, Please Don't, and I was suddenly very interested in the new album. I don't know what it was, but I had a very good feeling about what they would deliver. All that hesitation and low expectations were washed away with that one song, and Peace was suddenly one of my most anticipated albums for the year.

I fucking love this record. It is pretty rare for me to listen to the same record more than once in a day, but with Peace, I can't help but queue it up for repeat spins.

I am loving that splatter vinyl look for this pressing. Limited to 350 for the US pressing.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Line Of Sight

When I first heard the Line Of Sight demo back in 2015, it didn't really hold my attention, and I was quickly moving on to other things. Give me a break, man. Iron Maiden and Slayer had just released new albums, so I already had my plate full.

When Youngblood announced earlier this year that they were releasing a new Line Of Sight 7 inch, I figured that maybe I'd give the band another try. I mean, that demo from a couple years ago had a lot of hype, so maybe I just needed to revisit it with a fresh frame of mind.

I've been very happy with some of the new Hardcore records that have been released this year, so with that mindset, I found that the Line Of Sight demo fit right in with what I've been listening to lately. I loved it and quickly placed my order with Youngblood for the new 7 inch.

Oh hell yes. This record is great. Youngblood delivers again.

100 pressed on purple vinyl. 200 pressed on clear, and 250 on black vinyl.

When I was placing my order with Youngblood, the purple vinyl option was sold out. If I wanted it, I would need to spring for the pre-order package which included all three pressings, plus a t-shirt. All I really wanted was the two colored vinyl options, but instead I walked away with the full package...just so I could get the limited purple. What's an extra $24 just so that I could get what I wanted?

Refused Records out of Europe took the new Dissent EP, combined it with the demo songs, and released them together as a 12 inch. Line Of Sight received a number of copies, and in an effort to avoid overseas shipping costs, I ordered one direct from the band.

The sleeve on this is glossy as fuck, and really captures every one of my greasy fingerprints.

Cool just to have those demo songs on vinyl. 314 pressed on black vinyl.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Youngblood Final Pressing

The past couple of years have seen me cutting way back on buying multiple pressings for new Hardcore records. This year though...those old habits are sneaking back in every now and then. One of the labels that I'm still a sucker for is Youngblood, and when they posted some "final pressings" for a couple of their releases, I was adding them to my cart like an addict having a relapse.

The 7 inch that Youngblood released a few years ago from Disengage is great. The damn thing is only 5 minutes long, but it is still pure Hardcore fury. I had no problem adding another copy to the collection.

120 pressed on black vinyl with this special cover.

On paper, I absolutely love No Tolerance. They play fast and angry, and are unapologetically straight edge...everything that I look for in a Hardcore band as I celebrate my 48th birthday. Still, I find that I just never really reach for their records, and I'm not sure why that is. Someone needs to reach out to me weekly with a reminder that says "Listen To More No Tolerance".

150 pressed on clear vinyl with hand stamped labels.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Thoughts Are Things

I was slow to check out Discrepancy, and ended up missing out on the colored vinyl for their demo 7 inch. I was surprised with how good that record was, and was kicking myself for missing out on the more limited vinyl. I was not going to make the same mistake when Youngblood posted preorders for the band's newest release.

Discrepancy fly the flag of Orange County Hardcore, and man, they sound like they came from that scene circa 1988. These songs bring to mind the days of No For An Answer, Uniform Choice, and a few times I was thinking that a couple of these songs would fit on the Words To Live by comp from New Age. Great stuff.

100 pressed on red vinyl, and 200 pressed on clear.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Rebirth Of Slick

It is a pretty rare occasion for me to listen to hip hop these days. At one point, I enjoyed the style, but it all got old rather quick, and at the end of the day, I just prefer guitar riffs over sampled beats. However, it seems that once a year, when the weather is warming up, and we move from Spring to Summer, I'm hit with the urge to dust off some old hip hop CDs that I have on the shelf and chill.

Earlier this year, I was heading out for a 10 mile training run, and I wanted something fresh for my playlist...something to take my mind off the miles, and I could just lose myself in the music. It was going to be a great Spring morning, and I thought that hip hop would fit the mood and do the job. I added an album from Digable Planets and A Tribe Called Quest to my phone, popped in my earbuds, and started running.

Those albums, with their jazzy beats and old school flows were perfect for what I was looking for, and set the pace for a nice relaxing run. I loved it so much that I was soon checking what vinyl options were available.The original 1993 vinyl pressing for the Digable Planets album, Reachin' (A New Refutation Of Time And Space), was averaging in the $100 range, and I wasn't interested in going that deep, but I found that preorders were up for a reissue on colored vinyl, and I quickly placed my order.

I was riding a hip hop high when I placed the order, and had ideas that it was going to be my music of choice for my runs...but that only lasted a few days before I got bored, and I was back to a punk rock playlist. Still I'm glad to have this record in the collection, as it is probably in my top five favorite hip hop albums of all time.