Sunday, May 31, 2020

Swingin' Swords

Mindforce are probably one of my favorite newer bands lately. Both their first 7 inch as well as their Excalibur album are still seeing plenty of spins, and I don't see that action slowing down any time it feels good to inject some new Mindforce songs into the mix.

Triple B announced that preorders for the new Swingin' Swords Choppin' Lords 12 inch were going live at midnight. What the hell? Midnight? Am I expected to stay up that late to order records? Hard pass. I can't miss my bedtime. I figured that I'd just jump on it in the morning...well, much to my surprise, the more limited pressing was already sold out before I'd wiped the sleep from my eyes. Surprising. I didn't think that kids still went that hard for preorders anymore. Mindforce must be something special.

Yeah, this 12 inch EP delivers exactly what you want from Mindforce. Four songs of that classic crossover sound, pressed to a one sided 12 inch.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Orange County Hardcore

I loved that Discrepancy 7 inch that Youngblood released a couple years back...I liked it so much, in fact, that I bought both colored vinyl options. When Youngblood recently announced that they were making a special limited cover for the Thoughts Are Things record, it only made sense to get in and grab a copy.

According to Youngblood, the printer shorted them 40 covers back when this record was released in early 2018, so the label made this limited cover for the final copies of the 7 inch. Sales for this record were to be used to fund future projects with Youngblood, and I'm always down to help that label.

Hand-numbered and limited to 40.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Weapons Of Warbringer

I'd been collecting records for a few years when Warbringer released their first album, War Without End, in 2008, but up to that point, I was still basically buying new metal albums on CD. I'd been getting more and more back into metal, and with that first Warbringer album, I finally made the move to pick it up on vinyl. It was a big step in finally getting out of the CD buying trap for metal albums and making more of a commitment to record collecting.

Twelve years and six albums later, it is cool to see that Warbringer are still around and playing trash. I felt like they were one of the better bands back when the trash revival was going on back then, and they have definitely proved themselves along the way. With Weapons Of Tomorrow, John Kevill and the guys are still as potent as ever. It's great to see trash bands delivering a socio-political message like we got from thrash bands in the 80's.

I've bought every Warbringer album along the way, and I grabbed each on on colored vinyl. When I went to buy a copy of Weapons Of Tomorrow, I was only given the option of black vinyl. I thought it was odd, but I bought one anyway. Now that I've discovered that colored vinyl options exist, I'm kind of disappointed to have this one on black.

Before the release of the full length album, Warbringer released a single for Power Unsurpassed. I really wasn't interested in making a special purchase for this 7 inch single, but since it was available when I was picking up the album, I didn't mind adding a copy to the cart.

Only 300 pressed for this single.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

New-Clear Age

I was extremely late to the party when it came to the UK Subs and some how did not hear the band until 2016. I was heavily into the late 70's punk sound that year, and I was hungry to check out just about any band from that era. When I finally got around to listening to that first UK Subs album, Another Kind Of Blues, I instantly fell in love with the band, and that record became one of my favorite discoveries that year.

It took me some time to finally getting around to checking out the second UK Subs album, Brand New Age, and after downloading a copy, I really wasn't feeling it. It sounded really muddy and I wondered if I'd downloaded a shitty copy of the songs, but after checking a couple other options on Soulseek, they all just sounded muffled and I couldn't totally get into it.

I ignored the album for a year or so, until I decided to finally give it another shot a couple months ago. I noticed that the album was on Spotify, and figured that it might be more reliable than the downloaded version that I had, and I queued it up. Well damn, it finally clicked and I was fucking loving the record. Despite having only really discovered the album two months ago, it is already one of my most listened to records this year.

I love UK Subs colored vinyl and had to go with the clear option for Brand New Age. I'm not sure how many bands were playing the colored vinyl game back in the late 70's and early 80's, but the UK Subs albums and singles look amazing and make them fun to collect. In addition to this album, I wanted to grab some of the 7 inch records from the band as well...however, some international orders are seeing significant delays due to the global pandemic, and until things calm down a bit, I've backed off from ordering from overseas sellers. For now, I'm just happy to have received this album from the UK.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Worn Thin Road Ahead

Shortly after the US started issuing Stay At Home orders, Youngblood Records ran a 50% off sale in their webstore. I remembered seeing a Justice test press in the store a couple weeks ago, and quickly jumped in with hopes of scoring a good deal. Unfortunately, someone got to that test press for the Escapades record before me, but since there was a Worn Thin test still available, I wasn't walking away empty handed.

I don't really spend a lot of time or money chasing test pressings these days. I have plenty of other records to focus on chasing, however when a good deal comes along, I'm not going to let it pass me by...and since Long Road Ahead is my favorite Worn Thin record, it just made good sense to grab this when I had the chance.

No special cover for this test. Just a Youngblood test press sticker in the lower corner and stamped record labels.

Limited to 18 test pressings.

Once I had the test press for Long Road Ahead, I was only missing the record release pressing. When I discovered that a Discogs seller had one available for only $10, I snapped it up and completed the collection for this 12 inch.

I've always loved the look of this spray painted record release cover, and as an unexpected bonus, it happens to turn 15 years old this month.

Not including the test pressings for the 7 inches, I think that I'm only missing the record release cover for the first 7 inch. Close enough to complete to warrant a group photo.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Big Red Chubby

At the start of the year, I started seeing the Chubby And The Gang album plastered all over Instagram. I had no idea what this was, and with a name like Chubby And The Gang, I really didn't feel the need to follow up and check it out. The band came up in a group message with some friends, and opinions seemed to be split...some people really enjoyed it, while others absolutely hated it. I knew that I needed to finally check them out.

With my first listen, I was immediately interested. Sure there were a couple of songs that fell flat for me, but overall, this was some great late-70's inspired punk. I don't know how you could like The Damned and The Ramones and not enjoy this record. Tons of energy and just a lot of fun.

By the time I first listened to the Chubby And The Gang record, the first press on blue vinyl was sold out. The label, Static Shock, was taking pre-orders for the second press on red, so I decided to procrastinate and figured that I'd pick it up at some point down the road. When I saw that Marcus posted about the red vinyl that he'd picked up, I figured that I'd finally head to the label's store and grab myself a copy as well. Well fuck me, the red vinyl was sold out. I had to take a quick side trip to Discogs to score this one before the price started to get ridiculous.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Misdirection Of Things To Come

I'm usually very careful when I order through Discogs, and I typically will only buy a record if the sleeve condition is rated higher than Very Good. Ring wear, crushed corners and beat up sleeves are a major turn off, and I usually pay very close attention to those things when I'm buying from a seller. For some reason I was asleep at the wheel when I ordered this Ensign album.

I was buying a bunch of records from a Discogs seller, and they were having a small sale in their store. I got so caught up in the text mentioning the sale as I blindly added records to my cart. Somehow I completely missed that the condition was listed as Very Good for this sleeve (and it isn't even that), and I didn't even see that the seller pointed out that the "sleeve has some edge wear and a corner crease". I'm completely dumbfounded at how blind I was when ordering this. That edge wear on the corner is inexcusable, so I'm going to need to fix this with a better sleeve at some point.

Regardless of how disappointed I am over the wear on the cover, this is still a great album that I'm happy to add to the collection. Ensign seemed like such a huge band at the time when they released this album in '97. I don't know how kind hardcore history has been to their legacy, but they were pretty fucking important back in the day.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The Chase Is On

While I've always loved Reach The Sky, it wasn't until a few years ago that I got it in my head that I needed to really collect them. I made a good run at their first 7 inch and quickly grabbed a complete collection, plus I picked up some other random records from the band and I was on my way.

Somehow, three years have passed since I started up this Reach The Sky collection, and since that initial burst of activity I've made no further progress. While I was picking up some cheap records from a Discogs seller, I noticed that they had some records from my want list available. They were ridiculously cheap, so I didn't hesitate to grab them.

The Open Roads And Broken Dreams 7 inch was the first record from the band, after their Lost Glories demo, and the Boston hardcore scene was really strong at that time. I must have seen this band every other month back then.

Green vinyl is limited to 400. I have the white pressing so now all I need is the blue.

When the Everybody's Hero 7 inch was released in 1999, I wrote it off as pointless single from Victory. All the songs were on the So Far From Home album from Reach The Sky, and it kind of bummed me out when bands would release these kind of singles. It felt like a trick where the label would get you to buy the 7 inch, and then also include those songs on the full length a couple months later. Nothing exclusive here, but I do love these songs, and I want to complete the collection, so.....

This 7 inch was pressed on both grey and clear colored vinyl, and now I have them both, so this one is complete.

I'm almost done with the Reach The Sky 7 inch collection...unless I also chase after their splits with Buried Alive and With One Intent...which of course I'll have to do, and there are a number of pressings for those two records, so it may take me a little longer to complete this.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Seven Inch Teeth

I've been working from home due to the coronavirus since March 17th. Work has not slowed in the slightest, but I figured that while I was chillin' at home 24x7, I'd start posting to Instagram daily. Don't worry, I haven't resorted to posting a string of selfies to show off my quarantine beard...instead, I've been using the discogs shake tool in the mobile app to randomly select a record from my collection. I give that record a spin, take a picture and then load it up to Instagram. Given that I've got around 4,000 records loaded to Discogs, it has been fun to see what long forgotten record comes up each day.

One of records to come up during the daily discogs shake was the Teeth 7 inch on green vinyl that I picked up back in 1995. Teeth were out of Tucson, AZ and play that style of hardcore punk that was so difficult to categorize in the mid-90's. Do I call it hardcore? Is it emo? Is this punk rock? No matter what you call it, I love that style and got a kick out of listening to the record that I hadn't given a spin for the past ten years.

After the discogs shake had me pull the record, I started to check out the band on Discogs. I assumed that the self titled Teeth 7 inch was the only thing the band had recorded, and I was surprised to see they also had released a "2 song 7 inch" record back in '95 as well. There was a seller that had one available for less than a dollar, so I quickly added it to the cart.

This is a cool record. Good stuff to listen to when I'm in the mood for that mid-90's stuff like Greyhouse, Kill Holiday and Walleye.

Saturday, May 09, 2020

Empires Fall

It has been a few years since we've heard anything from Night Demon. The band took the number one spot on my Best Metal Albums of 2017 list, so I was excited to see what the band would deliver with their new single, Empires Fall.

This song is fucking great. Straight forward traditional heavy metal. A couple guys from Rancid lend some back ups for the chorus, and even though I've never liked that band, this song is so much fun that they don't fuck it up. Man, I was supposed to see Night Demon last month with Satan, before coronavirus came along and cancelled everything, and hearing how great this song is makes me even more disappointed in missing that show. I don't know if Empires Fall is a prelude to an album later this year, but goddamn, if it happens it may top my 2020 list.

The b-side for this single is a cover song from some obscure New Wave Of Heavy Metal band named Le Griffe that I've never even heard of. The song, Fast Bikes, is great and I love digging in deep with the NWOBHM, so this was a great introduction to the band. I'll definitely be looking to check out more Le Griffe.

300 pressed on opaque blue vinyl.

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Orgasm Record Addict

I remember my brother buying the Singles Going Steady cassette from the Buzzcocks when we were kids. We were metalheads through and through, but as 16 year old kids back in '86/'87, and basically feeling our way blindly, we had a string of good luck checking out bands with hilarious names like Butthole Surfers, Circle Jerks, and Dayglo Abortions. When we saw this Buzzcocks cassette, and with the opening song titled Orgasm Addict, we figured that we couldn't lose, and we took a chance on it. Unfortunately, it was a complete dud. Orgasm Addict was entertaining, but overall, it just seemed thin and weak to our ears at the time.

Just like The Weirdos, I decided to give the Buzzcocks another chance a few years ago when I was neck deep in a '77 punk obsession. I downloaded the band's first two singles, Spiral Scratch and Orgasm Addict, and had such a great time with them that I quickly also downloaded the first album Another Music In A Different Kitchen, and I was surprised with how much I was enjoying the band. I guess that my 16 year old metalhead ears just couldn't appreciate what I was hearing back then.

Initially I was looking to pick up a record with some history to it, and make a move for something bigger than a $3 record from a long forgotten 90's hardcore bands, and after grabbing the Crucifix 7 inch from Broken Bones, thing escalated quickly when I also added the We Got The Neutron Bomb from The Weirdos to the cart as well. At that point, I was in deep, and figured that I might as well go fucking nuts since the seller had a ton of great old punk records available, and I grabbed a copy of the Orgasm Addict single to the cart to finish this shopping spree off with a bang.

Monday, May 04, 2020

Solitary Confinement

While on a recent mission to pick up a record that was more substantial than the cheap haul of forgotten 90's hardcore bands, I was feeling content and fulfilled as I added an old Broken Bones 7 inch to my Discogs cart. The seller had a ton of other classic punk records for sale, and as I started scrolling through everything he had available, suddenly I wanted more.

A few years ago, I got heavily into late 70's punk. I hadn't paid much attention to those bands previously, but suddenly I couldn't get enough of that sound and I was hungry to discover bands from that era. I found so many great records and bands, and one of them was The Weirdos.

I've been familiar with the name The Weirdos for years...I remember seeing the Circle Jerks play live around 2003 and Keith Morris was talking about how great The Weirdos were before going into a great version of Solitary Confinement. Shortly after that show, I downloaded a copy of the Weird World comp from the band, but it never really moved me and eventually I deleted it. Finding myself deep into a '77 style punk obsession a few years ago, I figured that I'd give The Weirdos another chance and I downloaded their first two 7 inches. I fucking loved it. I'm not sure what didn't hook me with that comp the first time around, but this time I couldn't get enough of those early songs.

Two songs on the legendary Dangerhouse Records...although, this Weirdos 7 inch is actually the only thing that I think I've heard from this label. Maybe I should finally see what else they have to offer.