Thursday, January 30, 2020

Armageddon Seven Inches Pt. 8 - Social Circkle

This is the final post for my Armageddon Shop haul. I don't expect much when I shop there, but this trip ended up being a pretty good haul.

I first heard Social Circkle back in 2012, and I thought for sure that I'd picked up at least one of their records along the way. I remember really liking them at the time, and I was certain that I'd grabbed either their City Shock album or the Static Eyes EP back then. I saw a couple of their 7 inches at Armageddon that I wasn't familiar with, and I scooped them up. I got home and when I went to check the other Social Circkle records in my collection, and was kind of surprised to find that I didn't own any. Wow. I guess I just thought about buying them years ago, but never actually pulled the trigger.

Social Circkle were out of Boston, so maybe that explains why Armaggedon had some of their limited colored vinyl in stock, and I wasn't stuck with only the black vinyl.

Red vinyl is limited to 150.

I am really loving these two Social Circkle records. I'd totally forgotten how much fun this band is, and I only wish that I'd heard them before they broke up. I bet they were a blast live.

Listening to these records now really makes me want to go out and buy the ones that I thought that I already owned.

Another Social Circkle score from Armageddon. This time it is the record release pressing on clear vinyl. Numbered out of 50.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Armageddon Seven Inches Pt. 7 - Double The Pain

At the very least, diving into the 7 inch bins at the Armageddon Shop reminded me of some cool bands that I hadn't thought about for years. I might not have been picking up rare and limited pressings for these records, but I was certainly rediscovering some cool bands.

I first heard Dead Nation back around 2000 when I picked up the Dead End CD. They played a cool thrashy style of hardcore that was popular at that time, but it seemed like it burnt itself out a couple years later. I hadn't thought about the band for a long time, but when I saw the Painless 7 inch at Armageddon it hit me that I may want to give the band a spin again. I'd never heard this 7 inch, so I figured that I'd grab a copy while I had it in my hands.

Damn. I am loving this record right now. So glad that I spent the $3 for this.

When I was picking up the Dead Alive Records pressing of the Painless 7 inch, I noticed that Armageddon also had the Kangaroo Records pressing. It had a different front cover photo, and that was all that I needed to convince me to buy two copies of this record that I'd never even heard of before that day.

I didn't realize it at the time, but in addition to the different front cover, there is a difference with the track listing between the US and Euro pressing for this record. While the US pressing has Politically Challenged, this song is swapped out for A Voiceless Generation with the Euro press. I'm glad that I grabbed both!

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Armageddon Seven Inches Pt. 6 - On Patrol

Back when the record collecting blog community was strong, and before everyone fucked off to Instagram, I was following Lins over at Never Ending Game when he introduced me to Citizens Patrol. That was around 2008, and while the band only had a couple 7 inches available at that time, I loved what I was hearing from them. The band absolutely ripped with that fast early 80's hardcore sound.

The blog that Lins was doing died off a few years after that, and no one else seemed to be talking about Citizens Patrol, so I had no idea what the band were up to...but when I saw the Retarded Nation 7 inch in the bins at Armageddon, I figured that I'd roll the dice and take a chance on the record.

Oh shit! This record is great! The Retarded Nation EP was released back in 2012, but the band still sounded just like I remembered from their first records in 2007/2008.

Of course the record that I'd grabbed at Armageddon was just the common pressing, and isn't as exciting as the clear vinyl ones. Still it was very cool to find this and discover something "new" from the band...even if it was originally released 7 or 8 years ago.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Armageddon Seven Inches Pt. 5 - Seven League Boots

A few years back, I was on a big Soulside and Rain Like The Sound Of Trains kick, and I couldn't get enough of those bands. While I was knee deep in those bands, I remembered that I'd seen the singer Bobby Sullivan fronting another band named Seven League Boots in the early 90's opening for Fugazi in Boston. It had been about 20 years since that show, but I'd still never heard anything from the band. Thanks to the power of the internet, I was able to download the band's entire discography about 15 minutes later.

To be honest, those twelve Seven League Boots songs fell far below my expectations, and didn't come anywhere near my love for Soulside or RLTSOT. I'd basically ignored the band since then, but seeing the Man About Town 7 inch in the used bins at Armageddon for $3, I figured that I'd give them another shot. Who knows...maybe a small dose of two songs would sit better than trying to get into the bands entire recorded output.

Yeah, I don't know. Man About Town is a pretty good song, but Big Book has a bit of a reggae influence that I'm not interested in. Still, it was a nice cheap addition.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Armageddon Seven Inches Pt. 4 - Cosmic Unconciousness

Annihilation Time. Damn. There is a band that I hadn't thought about in a long time. When I first discovered the band back in 2008, I couldn't get enough of them, but it has certainly been a while since I've given them a listen. As I was pulling 7 inch record from the bins at Armageddon, I figured that I might as well grab the Cosmic Unconciousness EP while I was there.

Playing this 7 inch was a great reminder of how great this band was. Like a snotty punk version of Thin Lizzy, this band is so much fun to listen to. I'm definitely going to have to dig out their last two albums as well because these songs are a blast.

First press with blue covers and blue with silver vinyl. 500 pressed.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Armageddon Seven Inches Pt. 3 - Death By Ensign

Back in 2000, Indecision Records released a series of split 7 inches. It was really rare for me to buy records at that time, and I had been more focused on the convenience of CDs since around '95, so I didn't bother with a lot of vinyl only releases...although I did pick up the Voorhees / Kill Your Idols split from this series at the time, but honestly, that was probably one of the last records I bought for years.

Indecision did collect all the tracks from the split series and released them on one CD the following year, so I was able to hear the songs there, but seeing the Death By Stereo / Ensign split at Armageddon I finally picked up the original vinyl pressing twenty years after it's release. While I would have preferred to pick up the colored vinyl pressing, truth be told, I was just happy to grab a copy of the record for cheap.

Death By Stereo and Ensign were huge bands for me at the time, and the songs from this split are still a lot of fun to listen to.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Armageddon Seven Inches Pt. 2 - Holy Cringer

When I was first starting to discover underground punk and hardcore, around '91, I had picked up a copy of No Answers #9 because there was a Judge interview in there that I wanted to check out, and that 'zine opened my eyes to what was going on in the hardcore scene beyond Slapshot, Sick Of It All and Revelation Records. I read those interviews and record reviews over and over again, and was quickly sending some cash in the mail to Kent McClard's distro, curious to check out some of those bands that he was into. One of the first records that I'd ordered was the Cringer 7 inch, Time For A Little Something, and I felt like I'd discovered something special.

I bought all the 90's Cringer records at the time...their first couple of records from the early 80's didn't have the same impact with me...but it wasn't until much later on that I discovered they also had a couple split 7 inches and appeared on countless compilations. I ended up finding all those songs with the Greatest Hits CD years later, but by that time I wasn't buying vinyl anymore. Feels good to finally grab this split with Holy Rollers.

It is funny that all these years later that I'm still not familiar with Holy Rollers. I mean, they were a Dischord band, plus there was an interview with them in No Answers #8, but something along the way turned me off from seriously checking them out. The two songs on this split with Cringer are pretty good. It might be time for me to finally check out one of their albums.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Armageddon Seven Inches Pt. 1 - Rise And Control

Back in October I met Sandwell in Boston for some record shopping at Newbury Comics and the Armageddon Shop. Armageddon is a great store if you are just looking to buy regular pressings for new releases, but as far as albums go, I find that they don't really have much of a used or rare selection. After flipping through the Metal and Punk sections for a while, and not finding anything exciting, I decided to follow the expert advice of Marcus and dive into the 7 inch selection to see if there were any gems buried in there.

I didn't really expect to find much in the 7 inch bin, but I think I made a pretty good score with three copies of the Soul Control split with I Rise. This record was a big deal for me back when it was released, and I listened to these four songs a ton. I only owned the regular black vinyl pressing, so it was cool to scoop these all at once. Good deal at $4 each.

Blue vinyl with the handmade labels was the "friends press".

Numbered dust sleeve out of 100 pressed.

Armageddon also had a couple of tour pressings of the split 7 inch.

Cali weekend tour sleeve. Numbered out of 108.

Soul Control and I Rise toured together over the summer when this split 7 inch was released. Each band had different tour covers, with Soul Control selling the pink ones.

It's been over ten years since this record was released, and I've never really hunted down any colored vinyl or special covers, but now that I have these three, I kind of want more. Too bad Armageddon didn't have the I Rise version with the green cover as well.

More records to come, but I did get a photo of Sandwell and I after our shopping trip, and refueling with some vegan food from the Clover Food Lab in Harvard Square. I was a bit jealous of the Iron Age 7 inch that he found.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Bootleg On The Wall

Last year, I picked up the vinyl for AC/DC's Fly On The Wall album. It had been a while since I'd really listened to that record, but I was interested in growing my AC/DC collection, so I grabbed it when I found it in the used bins at a great price. I didn't expect to have such a strong reaction to it, but man, revisiting that album had me falling in love with it all over again, and surprisingly I was giving it repeat spins.

The Fly On The Wall tour was the first time that I saw AC/DC live, and it was one of the earlier concerts that I had gone to. Revisiting the album had me all nostalgic for those days, so when I discovered a bootleg album from that tour, I didn't hesitate to grab a copy.

There are a lot of bootlegs showing up these days that are old radio broadcasts, and this AC/DC boot is one of those. The sound quality is excellent, but it doesn't capture the full setlist, and around five songs are missing here. That's okay though, it still captures the three songs from Fly On The Wall that AC/DC were playing on this tour, and those are the ones that I'm most excited to hear on this.

Nice gatefold packaging with a bit of writing on the state of AC/DC at this time...pointing out that while the band wasn't selling as many albums for Fly On The Wall, the band was still selling out stadiums everywhere. Such a great bootleg to capture that band at this time.

Friday, January 17, 2020

30 Years Out In the Cold

I'm a big fan of Judas Priest, but I've never really been obsessive about collecting their records. I have most of their albums on vinyl, and that is all that I've really ever focused on for them. However, recently I've really been tossing around the idea of taking my Priest collecting to the next level.

When Doug was recently in Japan, he picked up one of the singles for Priest, and it got me interested to take a look at the band's Discogs page...just to get an idea of what the band had released for singles, and then I suddenly fell in love with the look of all those picture sleeves...especially the Japanese ones. Since then, I can't get them out of my mind, and I really want to go on a spending spree. Money is a bit tight at this moment, so I'm really trying to pump the breaks on this right now, but man, it is a daily struggle not to start spending stupid money on this obsession. To try and keep things in check, I figured that a cheap Priest addition might help things from boiling over.

A couple years ago, Judas Priest celebrated the 30th anniversary for their Turbo album. The album was remastered and repackaged, and while the CD release included a bonus disc containing a live set from the Turbo tour, the vinyl release doesn't really offer anything new. When I first saw the Turbo 30 record in the bins at the record store back in 2017, I was tempted to buy it simply because of the alternate album art, but in the end I managed to talk myself out of it. Two years later, with a Priest obsession consuming my thoughts and eBay searches, I knew that I needed the Turbo 30 record in my collection.

I'm a huge fan of the Turbo album, but it may be one of those records that is a "time and place" thing. I got this album the summer before my 16th birthday, and while there was definitely a bit of a disappointment when I first heard it, it still became the defining album of that summer.

Give me more Judas Priest!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

We Do Not Have A Dinosaur

A while ago, I got it in my head that I wanted to make a run at collecting all the pressings for the Slap Of Reality records. It probably wouldn't be that difficult of a task, as I don't think there is really anything all that rare, but I do love the band when I'm in the mood for that early 90's hardcore vibe. The thought, however, didn't stick for very long as I was soon chasing other things. Still, at the time it was on my mind, I did throw a few things onto my Discogs Wantlist in hopes that something may show up that I could grab for cheap.

A couple years ago, I managed to pick up the Fletch 7 inch, and since then I haven't been motivated to buy any other Slap Of Reality records. When I was recently picking up some stuff from the Armageddon Shop on Discogs, I noticed that they had a Slap Of Reality record with a great price tag, so I quickly added it to the cart. Damn. It will be good to not have this show up in my Wantlist notification anymore.

The We Do Not Have A Dinosaur 7 inch was originally released on Break Even Point, which I believe was out of Italy, so it wasn't readily available overseas to me back in fact, I don't even know if I was aware of it until a few years ago. Prices have stayed pretty flat on this record, and 25+ years later it can still be picked up for $3.

Truth be told, this 7 inch isn't that great, and probably ranks at the bottom of the Slap Of Reality pile. The band were in a weird place at the time, and had a new singer step in before they broke up later that year. The band recorded this Dinosaur 7 inch, plus a tour pressing of a four song cassette (three of those songs ended up on this 7 inch, and the other song was on one of the split Suburban Voice 7 inches that came with an issue of the fanzine). I saw the band in Portland Maine during this tour, and can't remember if we knew the band had a new singer prior to the show, or if we discovered it at the show. Either way, it was fun to see them play even though the crowd at hardcore shows in Portland back then were the worst. Things escalated as some people started throwing things at the band while they played, and the drummer came out from behind the kit and offered to go toe to toe with any of them. Props to the band for not backing down.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Kiss The Go-Goat

This post wraps up the final surge of 2019 releases that I had ordered before the end of the year. Of course I've recently been reviewing some people's lists for their favorite metal albums of the year, and I'm discovering that there were a number of records that I'd forgotten about or missed completely. Time will tell if any of them are worth buying the record for, but my playlists will be full of some new music for the next couple of weeks for sure.

When I heard that Ghost were releasing a new 7 inch in 2019, I assumed it was another EP of goofy cover songs. I don't care for that side of Ghost...I mean it was cool when the band was new and they were doing cool covers from The Beatles or ABBA, but the gimmick is played out for me, and I don't care about their recorded cover songs these days. With that assumption, I was prepared to ignore the new Ghost 7 inch...and then I discovered that they were actually new Ghost songs. Okay okay. I'll give them a listen.

Officially titled Seven Inches Of Satanic Panic, this EP is great! Two songs that really capture where Ghost are today. It's not Doom like their first album, and I don't even know if you could call it metal, but for some reason, I'm really digging these songs.

Colored vinyl options for this 7 inch appear to have long sold out, and they are already commanding high price tags on Discogs. I wasn't going to throw too much money at this new Ghost record, so I'll settle for the black vinyl option.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Haunted Icarus Visions

Another late addition from 2019 that could have possibly cracked my Top 10 for the year if I hadn't ignored this record for most of the year. While Haunt released If Icarus Could Fly back in March I wasn't really paying attention.

After Trevor William Church released a 12 inch EP plus a full length album with his band Haunt in 2018, and then released ten EPs of material with his band Beastmaker, I was feeling a little overwhelmed with it all, so when Haunt released If Icarus Could Fly in 2019, I decided to sit that one out. I did however pick up the Haunt split 7 inch with Seven Sisters, and as I was checking it out at the end of the year, I was completely hooked by the Haunt song. The song was so good that it made me go back and check out If Icarus Could Fly and I was surprised at how much I was enjoying it.

All the colored vinyl options were sold out at Shadow Kingdom Records, and while I could have spent a few extra dollars to grab one off Discogs, I decided to settle for the black vinyl.

When I was picking up the last Haunt album from Shadow Kingdom Records, I discovered that they also released another EP, Mosaic Visions, at some point last year. Does this band ever fucking stop?

Mosaic Visions contains songs that were left over from the Luminous Eyes sessions back in 2018. Not wanting to miss out on the colored vinyl option, I scooped one up while I was already in the Shadow Kingdom store. More great traditional heavy metal from Haunt!

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Legion Of The Shadow Realm

Another 2019 album that I picked up at the end of December was the new one from Legion Of The Damned, Slaves Of The Shadow Realm. While the album was released back in January last year, it took me a while to get motivated to finally pick up the vinyl for it.

I don't really listen to a lot of death fact, I'm pretty selective about which death metal bands I spend much time with...but there is something about Legion Of The Damned's brand of blackened thrash that works for me. This shit is harsh. It isn't something that is going to get repeat spins from me, but when I'm in the mood for this kind of thing, Legion Of The Damned hit the mark. Plus I tend to really like their cover art, so it is always cool to add a new album to the collection.

I went all out when ordering the last Legion Of The Damned album, Ravenous Plague, back in 2014, and I didn't hesitate to spend the extra money for the more limited colored vinyl. This time around I kept it simple and saved a bit of money by just going for the regular black vinyl pressing.

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Savage Myth, Magic And Steel

New metal records felt a bit underwhelming in 2019, and for the most part I wasn't strongly pushing any of the records from my Top Ten list. They were good albums, but there wasn't much on there that I was excited about. Now that 2019 is done and dusted, suddenly I've stumbled upon a record that I have been giving daily spins.

I'd seen the name Savage Master tossed around a bit over the last couple of years, but I never had any desire to check them out until I was recently in the Shadow Kingdom store, and saw one of their promotional ads for their third and latest album, Myth, Magic And Steel. The cover art looked great, and I figured that I'd check out the video for the title track. Oh damn. I was immediately hooked with that one, that thing is just fucking fun to watch.

Savage Master play an old school traditional metal style. Seriously, this stuff sounds like it was pulled straight off an early Metal Massacre compilation. We aren't breaking any new ground here, but who fucking cares. Let's just bang our heads!

I mean look at that band photo from the inside gatefold sleeve! That is a band that has my attention! This may not be the "best" metal record of 2019, but it is certainly the one that I keep reaching for and giving it multiple spins.

Monday, January 06, 2020

Don't Forget To Tell The World

I'd never heard of Big Cheese until a couple months ago when I meet up with Marcus in Boston. While he was in town, he took a trip over to the Armageddon Shop, where he picked up their latest release from Painkiller Records. Initially I wasn't too interested, as I figured that Big Cheese was some obscure weird Nemesis or Conversion Records band from back in the day that I wasn't aware of...but once I learned that they were actually a new hardcore band, I figured that I'd quickly check them out.

I did a quick listen to Big Cheese on Spotify, and after a few songs, I was rushing to Discogs to see if I could grab a copy of the album for myself. The Don't Forget To Tell The World album is a compilation of the first Big Cheese 7 inch plus some other demo tracks, all neatly packaged by Painkiller and released last year. When Marcus mentioned that the colored vinyl sold out rather quickly, and I found a Discogs seller that was letting a copy go for a relatively great price, I jumped to get one for myself. Funny enough, Marcus bought his copy from the Armageddon Shop in Boston, and the Discogs seller that I grabbed my copy from turned out to be the Armageddon Shop in Providence.

I was on a streak with great new bands, and quickly jumped to pick up this Big Cheese record. It seemed like every new band I was discovering was fire, and I couldn't lose...but now that I have this Big Cheese record, and I'm giving it a closer listen, it is just okay. It doesn't really ignite that same fire that I felt when I quickly checked them out initially. I'm still interested to see what they deliver with their release on Triple B later this year, but right now, this one falls a bit flat.

Saturday, January 04, 2020

We Are Not Your Kind

I haven't been interested in Slipknot for years. There were a few of the nu metal bands that I was digging in the early 2000's, but it really only lasted a few years...and once my love affair was rekindled for those old metal bands from my teen years, I left all that nu metal stuff behind. What can I say? It was a time and place thing, and nothing that I figured I'd be interested in again. So I was quite surprised when on a whim I decided to check out the new Slipknot video for Unsainted, and I was floored with how much I was enjoying it. I bought the picture disc single on Record Store Day, and kind of thought that it was all that I'd need.

I listened to the new Slipknot album, We Are Not Your Kind, a couple of times on Spotify and was surprised with how much I was enjoying it, but I still wasn't convinced to buy the new record. When I put that picture disc single from Record Store Day on the turntable for a spin, I was blown away. Both Unsainted and All Out Life were an absolute blast, and as soon as I ripped through that two song 7 inch, I was finally convinced that I needed the album in my record collection.

It is so weird to be buying any Slipknot record in 2019, let alone a new album. I keep second guessing myself, and questioning if I really like it...but then I'll go back to it and play it just to confirm that it isn't terrible...and then it kicks in, and I'm like "oh fuck yes".