Thursday, October 31, 2019

Cut Loose

While I've been recently obsessing over some newer hardcore records, I'm still not playing the game of buying multiple copies...yet, for some reason it has triggered me to buy different pressings for some older records that I already own. Every time I think I'm out, they pull me back in.

I mentioned that I've been obsessed with newer hardcore bands, but that basically spans the last 15 years, as I still consider stuff from back to 2005 as "new". I guess that with the tidal wave of new bands and records since I've starting doing this blog, very few records get overplayed, so it all still feels fresh...either that or time is stuck at some kind of weird double speed, and it is all just going too fast.

When I came across the Risky Business demo 7 inch in my playlist, it still gave me a shot of excitement to revisit it. This record is just a blast to spin, and I immediately hit up Discogs to see what was available.

White vinyl with the silver cover is limited to 100, and was well worth the $3 price tag.

Adding a third copy of this record to the collection has me itching to pick up the last few that I still need. I've added them to my Discogs want list, and now we play the waiting game.

Monday, October 28, 2019

To Whatever Fateful End

A couple months ago, I took a trip to Boston to check out the Murder In The Front Row movie. It was only playing in select theaters, and when I was exchanging some messages with Pete, he mentioned that he wanted to go see it as well, but he had no one down there to go with him. I jumped at the chance, and said that I'd be willing to make the two hour drive down there to catch it with him. It was a great night, and over dinner we got to talking about the Have Heart reunion from over the summer, and I mentioned how crazy it was to have so many people showed up for that hardcore show. Pete agreed, and mentioned it was too bad that when Magnitude came through Boston recently, about only 50 people came out. My first thought was "Who the fuck is Magnitude?"

When I was recently picking up the new Antagonize record from Triple B, I figured that I'd check to see if any of their other new releases caught my attention. I saw the Magnitude name, and figured that maybe I should take the time to check out what they had to offer.

I gave a couple songs a quick listen, and figured they were good enough for me to buy the new record, To Whatever Fateful End, from Triple B. They didn't really jump out at me, but I was in the mood to buy hardcore records, so I grabbed a copy. I've given the album a closer listen over the past few days, and holy shit, this thing is so fucking good.

I would have ignored this based on the cover artwork, which gives off a metalcore vibe that I don't usually hang with, but man, I'm so glad that this made its way onto my radar. This record really reminds me of some of the 90's straight edge hardcore bands like Culture and One King Down, and it may be one of my favorite things to listen to right now.

The vinyl doesn't look too impressive...until you hold it up to the light. So nice. 300 pressed on "galaxy yellow" vinyl.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Slip Death

Triple B has been rolling in 2019. They have a ton of new releases this year, and I'm not sure if any other label can keep up with their production schedule. I've only been interested to grab a handful of new records from them this year, but I think that when all is said and done at the end of December, we are going to see those Triple B bands taking up a majority of the space in my Top 10 list. The latest record that I might have to find a spot for, is the new one from Antagonize.

The big draw for me with Antagonize is Aaron Bedard from Bane on vocals. Sure the other guys have been in various bands, but I'm here for Bedard...and this record does not disappoint. I mean, this is no Bane, but for a hardcore record in 2019, it is still pretty fucking good.

After releasing their cassette demo last year, it is good to see Antagonize release a proper record this year, because as good as that demo is, I'm not buying into the cassette game.

Green with black splatter is limited to 200.

Friday, October 25, 2019

The Eagle Has Landed 40

Saxon release more live albums than Iron Maiden...and since Maiden have around eight live albums, that is saying a lot. Seriously, going through Discogs, I count fifteen live albums from Saxon. When you are as productive as Saxon, and have that longevity, I guess the live records start to add up...but still, that is a lot of live shit.

Saxon released their first album in 1979, and with the band celebrating their 40th anniversary this year, they decided to recognize the accomplishment with a huge live release.

This box set was substantial, and along with that, it carried a hefty price tag. I was torn if I really wanted this or not...on the one hand, how often am I going to listen to all forty live songs in one sitting...but then again, I've had my eye on picking up the 22 song live set for the Heavy Metal Thunder album that was live at Wacken from 2012, and waiting around on these things doesn't seem to make them cheaper. In the end, I bit the bullet and pulled the trigger on account be damned!

This box set contains five records...each with their own cover photo of a band this thing had my attention from the start.

I love the look of these individual album covers. That red is a good look.

The songs from this set are pulled from different shows from 2007 through 2018, and covers an impressive spread of material. A lot of these songs I'm really not too familiar with, so I'm excited to hear them here.

Included in the box set is a set of 23 guitar picks, featuring that artwork from Saxon's 22 studio albums. I find this to be a cool addition and something special and unique for this box set packaging. Nice touch.

In addition, the package also includes a nice hardcover book, a slipmat and a tour pass that has a download code.

The book looks really nice, with forty pages of photos from Saxon's forty years on the road. This thing is really solid, although I would have loved to have some pieces of writing and history notes included...still, it is a nice piece of eye candy.

Finally, the box set also includes a print of the original hand written lyric sheet for 747 (Strangers In The Night).

The lyric sheet print is signed by Biff Byford and hand numbered out of 747. Overall this box set is really well done, and is a nice collectors item. I'm glad that I grabbed one.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Hardcore City

I've been hot to check out newer hardcore bands lately. The feeling seems to rise and fall, but right now we are definitely riding the crest of that wave, as I'm eager to check out anything that might be interesting in hardcore. Back when I was buying record after record from Triple B, and I was trying to find something new outside of that label, I remembered the Berthold City name and decided to finally check them out as well.

I'd heard the Berthold City name thrown around last year, with the release of their debut seven inch, but I wasn't being sucked into the hype. Yeah, one of the straight edge dudes from Strife was in the band, but it wasn't enough to capture my attention. At that time, I just didn't care enough.

Fast forward to now, and I'm on the hunt, so start to look into Berthold City to see if maybe it was something I was missing out on. I discovered that they released their second seven inch this year, so I dive in to check it out.

Hey now...this is some good stuff that makes me think of stuff like Betrayed. I don't know why I'm so surprised over how good this is, but damn, I immediately hit up War Records to buy some records.

I was late to the game, and missed the more limited gold vinyl, so I had to settle for the teal vinyl pressing that is limited to 400.

While I was picking up the new seven inch, What Time Takes, I was hoping to scoop the first record, Moment Of Truth, as well. War Records was on their second pressing for this one, but they still had some limited red vinyl with a silk screened cover available in the store.

I'm not sure what the deal is for these screened covers. I don't know if they were left over from some other project, but the label had both purple and black screened covers available, and since they were limited to 50 each, I paid a few extra dollars to get one of them, instead of the standard second pressing.

Looks like I got number 49 out of 50. Good stuff.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Vinyl Driven

When I was picking up the vinyl pressing of the Onward album recently, it got me thinking about another album that was originally only released on CD, but was finally getting pressed to wax...Value Driven, from Better Than A Thousand.

While vinyl might have been left for dead in the mainstream music business when Value Driven was originally released in 1998, it was still odd for hardcore bands to abandon the format at that time. Not that it mattered to me back then, because I was a fool and following that CD trend...but seems strange to look back and think that there was a time when bands and label thought that only a CD option was fine.

Also odd was the fact that it took almost 20 years for this album to finally get the vinyl treatment. With so many records getting reissued and repressed with ten different colored vinyl options, I'm surprised it has taken this long for Value Driven to finally get pressed.

2018 vinyl pressing limited to 300 on transparent orange.

Man, I was excited for this record in 1998. The Youth Crew revival was in full swing, and at the time I thought that Value Driven was a lot better then the Just One debut. Back then, I felt like this record was on par with those classic Youth Of Today records...these days, it has lost something over the years, and doesn't feel nearly as potent. Still, it has been fun to revisit this one, and it is cool to finally get a vinyl pressing.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Open Mouth Kiss

While I like to think I'm pretty open minded within hardcore and metal genres...I mean, I enjoy the self titled Warzone album, Token Entry's Weight Of The World, and Metallica's St. Anger...there are also times when I can be a bit prejudiced and rigid. It took me until just a few years ago to finally listen to Dag Nasty's Wig Out At Denko's record simply because it had that guy singing that wasn't Dave Smalley...and it wasn't until this year that I finally listened to Ozzy's No More Tears album, because I incorrectly assumed it was past his prime so the record was shit. The same kind of short sightedn view held true for Leeway as well.

I've only really acknowledged Born To Expire and Desperate Measures in the Leeway catalog. I know they had other albums, but I'd heard some negative reviews at one point so I never bothered to check out anything else from the band.

I was listening to some station on Spotify a couple months ago, and the song Foot The Bill came up in the playlist. I had no idea what this song was, but I had to immediately check to see who the band was, and I was floored to discover it was Leeway. The band released Open Mouth Kiss back in 1995, and given how much I enjoy bands from this period like Black Train Jack and Bad Trip, I should have kept my mind open and checked this record out earlier because this album falls in line with those bands that were doing their own thing at the time, and doing it well.

The timing couldn't have been better to introduce this album to me. While it was originally released in '95, it didn't get a vinyl release until this year. 200 pressed on black vinyl from Reality Records.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Awakening Of Sacred Reich

There is no denying how big Sacred Reich were to me in the late 80's. Ignorance is one of my favorite thrash albums of all time...I can clearly remember sitting in the parking lot at college, and listening to the Surf Nicaragua EP between classes...and then for those car rides home from Boston shows, I'd crack open a can of Jolt Cola, pop a couple of No-Doz, and throw on the American Way album to stay awake for the ride home. Man, I loved that band.

I always assumed that Sacred Reich would be one of the few bands that would never reunite and record new material. I could have sworn that I'd read years ago, that they would never do that...but here we are. Every other band seems to do it, so why shouldn't they, and in these days of Trump and political insanity, we need bands like Sacred Reich.

While the new album, Awakening, isn't as biting and angry as I'd hoped, it is still a solid album from a band that hasn't see a new album for over 20 years.

Because it is 2019, there have to be a ridiculous amount of pressings for each album. There are eight different vinyl pressings for Awakening, but I just went with the "haze" pressing. Limited to 500.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

In A Crucial Place

I'm pretty stoked on hardcore right now, so that means that I'm buying hardcore records. I'm not only taking chances a checking out new bands, but I'm also having some fun dusting off some older shit that I haven't thought about for years.

At some point last year, I saw a post on Instagram about the Onward album, In A Different Place. I remember that it stood out to me because the cover photo was different than the original CD pressing from '93. I thought it looked pretty sharp, but at the time I wasn't really into chasing new hardcore records, so I shrugged my shoulders and quickly forgot about it.

Recently, that Onward record caught my attention again. I don't know why, since it had been years since I'd listened to the band, but I was feeling really drawn to that album cover. Apparently the original artwork and layout was lost, so for this reissue, the label had to pull together a new design. I'm digging it.

I remember getting the original CD back in '93, and comparing it to We're Not In This Alone...okay, looking back on it, that is kind of a stretch, but as a young edgeman, I was stoked on this album. Still, I'm glad to see this finally get a vinyl release, and it has been fun to revisit it.

While I was picking up the vinyl release for In A Different Place, I decided to add another copy of the Onward 7 inch to my order. It was kind of the spur of the moment, dumb decision that you would expect from record nerds. I mean, I only have a common black vinyl first pressing of this 7 inch, so it's not like I'm "collecting" this record...but with the red cover looking so different from the first press blue cover, I just grabbed this without thinking.

Apparently Crucial Response did this gold vinyl pressing for some kind of Record Store Day release. I'm not sure how many were pressed or if they actually made their way to a physical record store, but hey, I'll take one.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Glow In The Dark Thieves

My collection for Police & Thieves is damn strong. Colored vinyl and test pressings...yeah, I have them. There may be only one or two records that I'm missing, and the biggest hole was the record release pressing for the first 7 inch. When I saw one pop up on Discogs for four dollars, I didn't hesitate to finally grab a copy.

The record release pressing of this 7 inch comes with a special cover that was made with glow in the dark ink. The bright yellow ink on the white stock makes it a bit hard on the eyes, and I'm assuming that there is shelf life for this ink because this copy doesn't seem to glow in the dark anymore.

It has been a while since I've listened to Police & Thieves, and picking up this 7 inch was a nice reminder of how much I really love this band.

Number 16 out of only 50 made for the record release. Damn, with all those leading zeros, you'd think there were hundreds of thousands pressed. Also, my copy seems to be missing the magnifying glass that I'm going to need to read that lyric sheet.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Hello Operator

In the early to mid 2000's I was looking for something that was a bit different musically. The majority of what I was spinning was hardcore and punk...I was starting to get back into metal, but I was still searching and looking for something outside of what I normally listened to. That was when I stumbled upon The White Stripes, and they really gave me what I was looking for at that time.

I loved The White Stripes up through their final album in 2007, but at some point I kind of played them out, and the last five years I've kind of ignored their records. It has been fun revisiting the band recently, and since I was still missing the first two albums in my record collection, I figured it was finally time to pick them up on vinyl.

The self titled album was originally released back in 1999. The band started out with that red and white peppermint theme and rode it all the way to the end.

The album has seen a number of reissues since it's original pressing on Sympathy For The Record Industry. I grabbed this one from Amazon and I'm thinking it is the 2010 repress. I've owned the CD for this forever, but it is nice to finally have the vinyl.

The second album from The White Stripes, De Stijl, was released in 2000, and while it is impossible to pick a favorite from the band, this is probably the album that I reach for first out of their catalog.

Another 2010 repressing that I recently picked up from Amazon.

Monday, October 07, 2019

Gret Zeppelin

I had no idea who Greta Van Fleet were, but suddenly I was hearing all kinds of criticism of the band. I didn't know where the hate was coming from, and honestly, I wasn't really paying attention...but once I discovered that people were complaining that the band sounded like a Led Zeppelin clone, I figured that I'd give them a chance. Hey, I love Led Zeppelin, so you can bet I was interested to hear if a new band could pull off that style in 2019.

I'll admit, I was skeptical going into this, but I queued up Highway Tune to see what everyone was talking about. Holy shit. The Led Zeppelin comparisons are valid. I wanted to make sure it wasn't a one song deal, and I checked out the entire From The Fires album, and this shit holds up. In addition to the Zeppelin comparison, the singer's voice also has hints that remind me of The White Stripes, and that is all good in my book. It might be cool to hate on this band, but this is some great late 60's / early 70's hard rock.

From The Fires was originally released in 2017, but the album finally saw a vinyl release this year. I'm down with this record, so I'll gladly add it to the collection.

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Saxon Singles

When I'm buying records from overseas sellers, before I check out, I'll check to see what else they may have available...and this usually pays off when I'm looking for NWOBHM stuff. When I was picking up the Iron Maiden single for Running Free, I quickly checked the sellers list, and was happy to add a couple of cheap singles to the cart.

When it comes to Saxon, it seems that most people tend to overlook their debut self-titled album. It is understandable, and the band didn't really hit their stride until their follow up, Wheels Of Steel. Still that debut is a solid rocker, and I was happy to grab a couple of early singles from that record.

I love that live shot of Steve Dawson on the front of the Backs To The Wall/Militia Guard single.

The Saxon logo kind of obscures what is going on in the cover photo for the Big Teaser/Frozen Rainbow single, but it's still a nice one to own, since this is the only pressing for the single that came with a picture sleeve.

These two Saxon singles were part of the Heavy Metal series from Carrere Records. They don't offer anything new, but I really like the look of these, and would love to get the rest of them. AC/DC, Montrose, Van Halen....and Stingray!?!? No idea who Stingray is, but they ended up in some good company.

Friday, October 04, 2019

Running Free

The place that I work, offers a sabbatical program that provides employees four weeks of paid time off. The thought is that it gives people that have invested some time in the company the chance to unplug and pursue some personal goals so that you are refreshed and prepared to come back to work with new energy. I applied this year, and was selected to participate, so I couldn't be happier to use the month of October to hike some mountains, and spend a bunch of time reading and listening to records. That said, I have a backlog of about 28 posts for this blog, and it would be nice to finally get that cleared up this know, so that I'm using my time off wisely.

When I first started to get into collecting records around 2005, I got it into my head to try to collect all the Iron Maiden 7 inch singles. I made a pretty good run at them but eventually let it incomplete and focused on records that were more important to me at the time. Given my obsession with the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal this year, and especially targeting some early singles from that scene, I figured that it was a good time to get back to Maiden.

Outside of the self released Soundhouse Tapes, the first Maiden single with EMI was for Running Free b/w Burning Ambition. With the b-side a non-LP track, I've never really been that familiar with it, so it was great to give Burning Ambition a spin.

Everything about this single is perfect. The single cover art, the black and white live photo with Eddie the 'ead as the stage prop, plus those custom center labels. Damn. If you were a metalhead back in 1980, even then you had to know that Iron Maiden were destined for big things.

I'm still missing some of the early Maiden singles, but it feels good to get Running Free into the collection.

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

No More Room In Hell

Earlier this year, a few old blogger friends were going nuts over the new Possessed album. While I loved the Possessed records from the 80's, I just couldn't get myself motivated to check out the new one, Revelations Of Oblivion. Part of my resistance was that I absolutely treasure Beyond The Gates and The Eyes Of Horror, and I was afraid that I would be left disappointed with the new record...and the other reason for my foot dragging was that I really only wanted to listen to hair metal and stuff from the early 80's. I figured that I'd get around to it sooner or later, but I was just in no hurry.

As I was digging into a few older thrash bands, like Death Angel, Flotsam & Jetsam and Overkill, that had released new albums in 2019, I figured that it was finally time to check out that Possessed album that everyone seemed to be losing their minds over.

While Jeff Becerra is the only original member from the 80's, this new record totally captures the band's sound from those days. Guitarist Daniel Gonzales comes into Possessed from the band Gruesome, where he nails the sound from the early Death records, and here he makes you believe that Revelations Of Oblivion would have been a natural follow up to The Eyes Of Horror in the late 80's. Believe the hype, because this album slays.

I had options for more limited pressings of Revelations Of Oblivion at my local store, but the red vinyl just seemed like the better option, so I went with it.