Monday, May 31, 2021

No Escape From Selective Punches

No Escape were a hardcore band from the early 90's, and while Tim Singer went on to better known bands like Deadguy and Kiss It Goodbye, I always preferred the straight forward delivery of No Escape. When the band started talking about a new record 27 years after the release of their last album, Just Accept It, I was eager to see what they would deliver.
The band teased us with a song early in 2020, but I didn't really bother with it. I was confident that the new record was going to be good, so I figured that I'd just wait for the vinyl release. Little did I realize that it would take another year for the record to see the light of day.
When preorders went up for sale, I jumped on it. There were a number of colored vinyl options that I expected to look like shit, so I just went for the clear red version...which just happens to be the most limited pressing at 50, as well as the most expensive option as it came bundled with a shirt. Oh well, I'm happy with the results.
This record delivers exactly what I was hoping for from No Escape. It sounds like it was lifted direct from the early 90's, and makes a perfect follow up to Just Accept It.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Ballistic, Sadistic

I heard all kinds of good things about the new Annihilator album last year, but given that the only record that I listen to from their 15 album career is their first one from 1989, I didn't really buy into the hype. I ignored their 2020 release, Ballistic, Sadistic, all of last year, but as we moved into 2021 I finally decided to give it a listen to see if it was as bad as I expected it would be. I've checked out a few Annihilator albums in the past, but they have all fallen a bit flat, so I was not expecting this new record to hook me from song one.
Ballistic, Sadistic absolutely rips and is catchy as fuck. I can't believe how much I enjoy this record. Hilarious to think that the three guys joining the only original memeber, Jeff Waters, on this album weren't even born when the first Annihilator album, Alice In Hell was released. It's all cool though because whatever chemistry they have, it works here. Goddamn, if this was the lineup on the previous Annihilator album, I'm going to have to go back and check that out too.
While the front cover album artwork is a little questionable, at least the colored vinyl looks amazing.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Life Force And Defiance

When I first saw the album cover for the Life Force record, Hope And Defiance, I immediately disregarded it. With that X and hand on the front cover, it just seemed like another generic straight edge band, and I ignored it. I'm not sure exactly why I did that, because I love generic straight edge hardcore! As I was looking over the New Age Records roster recently and looking for something new to check out, when I saw the Life Force name I knew it was time to finally check out this band.
Life Force isn't as "generic" as I expected...there is something there that gives this record a bit more of a modern sound without having all personality sucked from it. While some newer bands are easy to track their sound back to specific bands or era's of hardcore, I'm having a bit of a difficult time nailing down Life Force. They just play solid hardcore without blatently trying to sound like any particular band.
The photo on the back cover with everyone crowded around the microphone with X'd up hands makes me want to see this band live.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Rage Of Vanguard

It has been a long time since I've bothered with anything from New Age Records. The label has released a lot of stuff since 2000 that I've just never bothered with... choosing to ignore it based on the assumption that their bands were playing a modern style of hardcore that I wasn't interested in. When Marcus did a series of posts for records from newer New Age bands, I figured that maybe it was time for me to dig in and see what I've been missing.
Vanguard is one of the newer bands from New Age, as it looks like their 12 inch EP, Rage Of Deliverance, just dropped earlier this year. Initially I resisted checking out this record as it was giving off some heavy Earth Crisis vibes, and outside of those first two 7 inches, I just don't understand the attraction. Still, I'm trying to keep my mind open to checking out some newer hardcore bands, so I queued up the new Vanguard songs on Spotify to give them a chance. Holy fucking hell. I'm already calling it... this thing is going to be my favorite record of the year... in fact, if the majority of the different colored vinyl pressings weren't so atrocious looking, I'd probably jump in to buy multiple copies. Last year, I got caught up listening to One King Down's Bloodlust Revenge record over and over, and this Vanguard record easily feeds off that same mid-90's straight edge hardcore vibe.
No doubt, Vanguard are here to push an agenda of animal liberation, and if you can't get down with that hardline message, you best step away because Rage Of Deliverance takes no prisoners. Cut every fence. Smash every cage.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Sodom And Genesis

After picking up the recent releases from old 80's metal bands like Raven and Accept, it got me thinking about some records from last year that I never bothered with at the time. One of those albums that I wanted to check out was the new Sodom record.
Sodom released a couple of classic thrash albums back in the 80's, and while I've checked out some of the band's other stuff over their sixteen album career I just find that I don't return to it like I do with Persecution Mania and Agent Orange. The band has been through a number of lineup changes over the years, but with the return of Frank Blackfire on guitar...and some very positive reviews for Genesis kind of had me interested to see what the hype was all about. After previewing a couple of songs on Spotify, I was quickly scrambling and trying to track down a copy of the vinyl.
This record is an all-out German thrash attack! Clocking in around 55 minutes, it is a bit too long...and cutting a couple of the songs would have made this album an absolute crusher...but I still can't help but be impressed by this shit. It is cool when older bands can still pull off something like this...a total throwback to the Sodom glory days.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Nightmare Omens

A few months ago, when I was doing the February Metal Punk challenge on Instagram I ended up posting an Omen album for one of the catagories. It had been many years since I'd listened to their The Curse record and I couldn't really tell you any songs that were on that thing, but it fit that day's challenge too well, so I used it. I exchanged a few messages with a couple different people about the record and to avoid feeling like a poser, I revisited the album. I was kind of surprised at how much I enjoyed it. This is some strong 80's American Metal, and I found myself returning to it day after day.
I'd never heard Omen's EP from '87, Nightmares, but because it is bundled with The Curse on Spotify, I couldn't help but include it into the daily playlist when listening to the album. From the start, the song Shock Treatment had me hooked. That song absolutely rages, and it gave me such a charge to uncover this long lost gem. I immediately set out to pick up the Nightmares record.
I did a bit of hand wringing over this one, as I really wanted one with the hype sticker on the front. My copy of The Curse is still in the plastic wrap and has the original hype sticker, so I kind of wanted my copy of Nightmares to match it...but finding one in good condition, without the sawcut on the cover, and at a decent price proved to be a bit more difficult than I expected. In the end I probably paid too much for this copy on eBay, but fuck it, I got what I wanted.
The six song Nightmares EP is made up of two new songs, three remixed songs from their previous albums and an AC/DC cover. Since I wasn't too familiar with the older songs, this entire EP felt new to me, and I absolutely loved it. This thing has gotten more spins than I would have expected so the price tag was worth it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

DTN Preorder 2010

Back in 2010, Reaper Records released the All My Sons 7 inch from Down To Nothing. At the time, I had no idea that DTN were releasing a new 7 inch, and I completely missed the preorders. Hell, I didn't even pick up a copy until Reaper did a second pressing later that year. Here we are, eleven years later and I'm finally picking up that special preorder cover.
While I do have a number of different pressings for some Down To Nothing records, I've never set out to collect this All My Sons 7 inch. I mean, minus the test pressing, there are sixteen different versions of this record, so it seems kind of dumb to be sitting here and buying a second copy of it. Yet here I am.
I've been spinning Down To Nothing a lot lately as I've kind of rediscovered just how much I love some of their stuff. So while I'd like to say that I'm not going to go down the road of buying more DTN variants, I will say that I'm really feeling that pull to collect right now, so who knows just how stupid I'll get.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Locked Inside

These past few months I've been discovering a number of bands from the past couple of years that for one reason or another I didn't pay attention to at the time. I felt like I'd been doing a good job keeping up with newer hardcore bands, but then Marcus went and posted a string of records for bands that I'd never bothered to check out and I suddenly felt out of touch. One of the records that he ended up posting about was Locked Inside.
I'm sure that I'd seen this record posted on Instagram by some of the people that I follow, but honestly, I don't remember it. I was probably too busy being a jaded old hardcore dude to pay it much attention at the time. When Marcus mentioned that Ed McKirdy, from Hands Tied and Search, was on vocals for this band, and that he really sounded at lot like Dan O'Mahoney suddenly I wanted to hear this record.
The Dan O comparison is spot on, and this is some solid hardcore. I'm kind of surprised with how good this is and that I let it get by me unnoticed when it was released. I need to be better about checking out new hardcore bands. The record is long sold out from the label, so I had to scramble to Discogs to find whatever I could. Happy to grab this red vinyl pressing, limited to 88, for a great price.

Monday, May 17, 2021


I never set out to collect Whitesnake records, yet somehow here I am adding a couple more singles to the collection. Given how much I dispised this band when I was a teen in the 80's, I find it amazing that all these years later here I am obsessing over Whitesnake now. Initially, I set out to buy those Whitesnake albums from their 70's and early 80's years, but now I'm just as excited to pick up odds and ends singles along the way as well.
A few years ago I picked up the debut Whitesnake 7 inch and I remember feeling like I'd just bought an important piece of history. When I recently found a seller with a copy of the Japanses pressing of the Snakebite EP...although it is apparently knows as the Bloody Mary EP in Japan, I knew that I was going to have to buy it regardless of the price.
I love the look of this 7 inch with the alternate cover. Japanese singles tend to do something different with the cover art, and this one does not disappoint. So good.
Although Whitesnake's Come An' Get It album is from that classic period that I have really grown to love, it isn't one that I've spent a lot of time with. When I saw that the seller also had the Don't Break My Heart single from that album, I figured it was time that I get more familiar with those songs.
While the Don't Break My Heart title may sound flat and generic the song is actually quite good, however it is the b-side of Child Of Babylon that really captures my attention. That song is amazing. Happy to add another Whitesnake single to the collection.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Red Rainbow Connection

Last year was kind of random and everything felt unfocused when it came to my record collecting. I bought a number of singles in 2020, and while it feels totally pointless picking them up, it is also a lot of fun for some reason. Don't ask me to rationalize it, I just do what I enjoy. I've only picked up a couple of singles this year, but when I was recently buying an album from a UK seller, I took the opportunity to add a few cheap ones to the cart.
While I've been obsessing over various singles, for some reason that hasn't bled over into my record collection for all things Ronnie James Dio. Seeing this Rainbow single for L.A. Connection b/w Lady Of The Lake available from a seller that I was already picking up a couple records from, it was obvious that I needed to add this one to the cart as well. The Dio years of Rainbow are the only ones that matter.
While there isn't anything new offered here on this single, I was still at unexplainable levels of excitement when it arrived. For me, there is just something very cool about collecting these old pieces of history... plus, that red vinyl looks fantastic.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Don't Forget The 2021 Want List

These past couple of months have been a bit wild when it came to buying records. I've had zero self restraint and have been chasing whatever pops up on my radar lately. I got a bit out of control, and I knew that I probably needed to reel things in, but before I started to lock things down I wanted to have one last fling.
I wanted to go big. I wanted to make a dent. I looked at my Top Wants list for the year, and there at the top was the first pressing of Warzone's Don't Forget The Struggle LP. I haven't done a great job in tackling this list in years past, and I didn't want that to be the story for this year as well. As soon as a good looking copy popped up on Discogs, I was making moves.
This album is a classic for a reason. There is a lot of youthful energy and charm here that keeps this record sounding fresh after all these years. While there are definitely some cringe worthy aspects of the band, I still really dig them...however, if a band came out today playing songs like Fighting For Our Country or The American Movement, I'd tell them to fuck right off.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Double Live Snakes

Back in 2010, I picked up one of my first Whitesnake records. I remember finding a sealed copy of Live... In The Heart Of The City for $5 on eBay and being pretty excited about finding such a great deal. Shortly after, however, I discovered that this was initially released as a double LP, but the one that I'd picked up was only the single LP version. Weak. I knew that at some point I was going to have to fix this oversight and grab the double LP. Eleven years later, I'm finally getting it done.
The single LP version only has the 1980 live set from the Hammersmith Odeon, while the double LP also includes their set from 1978. Both sets are incomplete with some songs dropped so that the recording could fit on a single LP, so I'm kind of disappointed that we don't have the full setlist included to truly document both tours properly.
The 1978 show had been previously released as a Japanese only release titled Live At Hammersmith, so the collector in me feels the need to track down this record as well. Hell, I probably should have skipped this double LP pressing and just picked up that Live At Hammersmith record and called it good alongside my single version of Live... In The Heart Of The City. I'll figure this shit out someday.

Friday, May 07, 2021

Red Vinyl And Broken Badges

A couple months ago I picked up the purple vinyl pressing for the Rusty Medals And Broken Badges LP from Over My Dead Body. It was so fun revisiting that record that I started checking Discogs to see what other pressing there were for it.
Discogs told me that in addition to the purple vinyl, there was also a transparent red pressing that was sold at the band's record release show. This was limited to 103 and there weren't any available for sale, in fact at that time Discogs had no record of one being sold on the site. I was interested in adding it to the collection, so I threw it on my Discogs want list.
I think that I got fairly lucky when I received a notification shortly after that stating that one was available, and at only $15, I'd say it was a very good deal and I immediately snatched it up.
This transparent vinyl is so dark that the only way to really appreciate the look is to put some light behind here is a decent picture with both the red and purple vinyl.

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Not Done With You

Triple B recently moved their warehouse, and to avoid having to inventory and move some stock, they decided to throw in some free records with each order. I know that this was an opportunity for the label to unload some stuff that no one cares about anymore, but I was just hoping to not get some hot garbage and possibly receive something interesting. As expected, I didn't care about most of it, but I was happy to find the Stick Together album included when my order arrived.
While I remember enjoying this 12 inch when it was released six years ago, it didn't stick with me and I haven't really listened to it since then. Thankfully Triple B sent me this second pressing on brown/orange vinyl as a reminder because I'm getting a charge out of listening to it today.
I honestly didn't even know that Triple B did a second pressing of this record, and I guess in hindsight they probably didn't need to do one. Oh well, it at least put the band back on my radar and reminded me how great they were.

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Metal Command

When I was at the Vantage Point record release show in early 2020, I picked up a flyer for an upcoming gig. One of the bands listed was High Command, and since I'd seen their name around recently I figured that I'd download their latest album on Southern Lord to see if it was something I'd be interested in going to see live. The album was pretty good but I never did get down to Massachusetts for that show, and after one listen I moved on to other obsessions and never returned to the band.
When Triple B announced earlier this year that they were going to be releasing a new High Command 7 inch, I figured that maybe it was time for me to check them out again. They definitely fit in with some of the newer metal/crossover bands like Power Trip and Enforced...and they make me think of Black Breath as well. I liked what I heard, so I didn't hesitate to buy the latest 7 inch. I'm really digging this, and I'm obviously going to have to revisit that Beyond The Wall Of Desolation album.
These two songs were originally released by Southern Lord as a digital release, but I don't fuck around with that, so I'm glad that Triple B released this record...even if the vinyl looks gross.

Monday, May 03, 2021

Getting Closer Still

There was a time when I was obsessed with collecting multiple pressings for every record that I liked. It didn't matter what it was, if I was preordering the record then I felt compelled to buy every piece of colored vinyl available. At the time, one of my go-to record labels was React, and I ate up everything they released. Even for bands that I didn't particularly like that much, I still bought two or three copies. React has kind of gone quiet in recent years, and at the same time I've lost a lot of interest in the multiple pressing game. Still, when Aram and company released the new Change record last year, I felt that old spark of obsession flame back up, and I quickly found myself ordering each pressing that React had available. When the label announced that they were doing a second pressing, I really wanted to ignore it but in the end the temptation of owning a full collection someday proved to be too strong.
Second pressing on a nice looking blue vinyl. 500 pressed.
It is too easy to collect multiple variants when the vinyl looks this good. While there are some newer bands that I like more Change, I can't be bothered to chase the various pressings because they look like shit. I mean, I'd love a solid Ecostrike collection, but the Triple B vinyl with all the ugly patterns does not tempt me at all.
Shortly after the second pressing from React was available, the Deathwish store received 25 copies on white vinyl from Refuse Records. Given the opportunity to but it from a US seller and not have to fuck around with overseas shipping, I jumped on it.
It was cool to finally get my hands on a Refuse pressing to see the little differences from React. 460 on white as the second pressing from Refuse.
Far from a complete collection, but I still wanted to pull the Change records out for a photo. Maybe someday I'll be able to get my hands on that Euro tour press and the Refuse blue vinyl.