Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Loose 'N Lethal NWOBHM

I always dream that someday I'll have a killer New Wave Of British Heavy Metal collection. I felt like it had been a while since I've gone down the NWOBHM road, and after chasing a few early 80's American Heavy Metal records, I figured it was time to show some appreciation for those bands that were doing their thing overseas.
The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal scene produced a ton of bands that were so damn good, yet they went nowhere. Metallica put a huge spotlight on bands like Diamond Head and Blitzkreig, but they also gave some love to bands like Savage and were known in those early days to kick around a cover Let It Loose. I mean, when you listen to the original Savage song, you can hear the influence that Metallica took from that band. While Savage may not be the most proficient or tightest of bands, they have that youthful energy that I can't resist.
This album is almost 40 years old, and when the seller listed this in "near mint" condition, they weren't fucking around. This this is gorgeous and was well worth the price tag. Very happy to have this beautiful copy in my collection.

Monday, August 30, 2021

One Foot In American Heavy Metal

AFter watching a youtube video about early 80's American heavy metal at the start of 2021, I got it into my head that I wanted to chase some of those bands and improve my record collection for those bands. I haven't been as productive as I would have liked over the first half of the year, but I was still feeling good about the Lizzy Borden, Manowar and Omen records I'd picked up. Still, three records still felt short of where I wanted this mission to be, so I started looking around to see what other damage I could do.
One of the bands that was brought up on that youtube video was Cirith Ungol. My man, Doug, picked up their early albums a few years ago, and I was instantly jealous that he was getting the jump on collecting this band before me. Those album covers are epic, and the music that was pressed on the wax is some straight up traditional metal that still manages to sound unique. Love 'em or hate 'em, but no one sounds like Cirith Ungol. I've got a long way to go to catch up to Doug, but I'm very excited to grab my favorite out of the first three Cirith albums, One Foot In Hell.
When I found a seller on Discogs that listed One Foot In Hell in such amazing condition, I couldn't resist and had to take the opportunity to buy it. This thing looks beautiful.
You know I'm a sucker for records that come with the original merch insert.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Speak Of The Live Bootleg

I've been known to occasionally chase live bootlegs every now and then. I love the raw and unpolished live sound of these unofficial releases. They typically sound like shit, but for me, that is part of the charm. For the most part, I usually just focus on Iron Maiden, but when the mood strikes, and I'm not opposed to throwing money out the window, I'll jump on live boots for other bands as well.
I'm not too interested in live bootlegs for Ozzy, but I would like to get my hands on one from The Ultimate Sin tour. As I was searching the internets to see what was available, I stumbled upon this nice looking boot from Ozzy's performace at the US Festival in '83. Honestly, as soon as I saw that cover, I needed to own it. That black and white cover design with the bat and the gold OBI is cool as hell.
The Speak Of The Devil live album only consisted of Black Sabbath songs, however the tour to promote that record had a setlist that, for the most part, was filled with songs from the first two records that Ozzy recorded with Randy Rhodes. Jake E Lee is on guitar for this live show, and shortly after this, the band was in the studio to record Bark At The Moon which would be released later in the year.
Along with the poster, this record comes with multiple inserts to promote other live bootlegs that Rock Brigade has recently released. Honestly wouldn't mind owning all of these.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Beast Of Bourbon

Back in the early 2000's I was starting to get interested in metal after taking a ten year hiatus. I was digging back into those old albums that I loved in 80's, and I was interested in checking out new bands as well and oddly enough I found myself digging a bunch of Nu Metal bands for a few years as well. Linkin Park. Slipknot. Limp Bizkit. Powerman 5000. Man, that was a strange fucking time. Anyway, as we worked our way into the mid-2000's, I left that Nu Metal stuff behind and discovered that bands were still kicking around and doing straight up metal and thrash.
Tankard were an 80's German thrash band, and I loved their first few albums that Noise Records released. I hadn't thought about that band for years, and since I was starting to get interested in checking out newer metal releases again, I figured that I'd grab a copy of the lastest Tankard album at the time, Beast Of Bourbon, and give it a shot. That album blew me away and helped to reinvigorate my love for metal and checking out new shit. Tankard hadn't changed at all from the Alien EP that they had released 15 years earlier. Straight up thrash.
Of course back in 2004/2005 I wasn't buying a lot of new metal albums...but I was certainly downloading a bunch of them. I had stacks of CDRs of stuff that I'd grabbed off of Soulseek or WinMX or whatever sharing tool I was using at the time. Here we are 15+ years later, and I'm finally buying myself a proper version of that Beast Of Bourbon album. It has seen a couple different pressings since it's original release, but I grabbed this nice looking magenta vinyl version from 2019. 100 pressed.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Red Blood In The Water

Flotsam And Jetsam surprised the hell out of me back when I checked out their self titled album in 2016. I hadn't paid any attention to the band in about 25 years, and suddenly they were blowing me the fuck away. I'd kept up with a lot of other older thrash bands from the 80's, like Overkill, Testament and Death Angel, but for some reason Flots fell off the radar and I was surprised to find that they were still going strong and packing a hell of a punch.
Blood In The Water is the third album from Flotsam And Jetsam since I've rediscovered them, and it does not disappoint. The opening track, Blood In The Water, sets the tone that this band can still bring the heat, and I'm in awe that bands can still release such strong material this late into their career.
I didn't have a convenient option for a US seller with this album, and I had to order from overseas. 500 pressed on red vinyl.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Dead Heat At War

I was a little late to the Dead Heat party, but when I discovered their Certain Death album at the end of 2020 they became one of my favorite finds for the year. I love that old school crossover sound, and Dead Heat nail that style. When it was announced that Triple B was going to be releasing the band's new album, I was excited to check it out.
I can't keep up with the Triple B preorders and their midnight drops don't help, so of course I missed out on the more limited pressing for the World At War album, but that's okay because the red inside yellow vinyl looks better (even if it looks nothing like the mock up that Triple B was posting on Instagram).
Initially, I was a bit disappointed with this new record. I'm not sure why, but it seemed to fall a bit flat compared to the first album. I've been spinning it a bit more recently, and it is clicking much better with me now. This is some solid crossover that still maintains that Suicidal vibe they had on the first album, but also isn't afraid to try new things.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Locked Inside The White And Pink

Earlier this year, Marcus made a post over on his blog that introduced me to Locked Inside. The band features Ed McKirdy from Hands Tied, Triple Threat andSearch on vocals, and he sounds so much like Dan O from No For An Answer that I immediately liked it. I did not hesitate to jump over to Discogs and grab the red vinyl pressing of their 7 inch.
A couple weeks after posting about the record here, Marcus brought to my attention that the label was doing another pressing of the record. It seems that the original pressing plates broke, so they had the record remastered and had it pressed to white vinyl.
For some reason, the label ended up with a single remastered 7 inch on red vinyl...and that led to 15 copies on pink as the pressing plant transitioned over to white. The only way to get a pink copy was to message the label on Instagram. There was no clue as to how much this thing was going to cost, but I sent them a message and said that I was DTF.
I love how this pink vinyl looks, and the hand numbered back cover is a nice touch. Definitely worth the price of admission for me.

Friday, August 13, 2021

God Hates Record Store Day

Record Store Day has taken to releasing a Dio picture disc single with each drop. They are pretty pointless, other than being a nice looking collectible, but it is Dio so I'm basically required to buy it no matter how useless they are. Plus, at this point I was five releases deep so I couldn't back out now and needed to pick up the latest.
This time around, the RSD single is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Dio album Angry Machines. It seems like that album gets brushed aside by a lot of Dio fans, but I love the dark and heavy vibe from that record. It is a bit different for Dio, so I understand why some fans might not enjoy it, but I think it is great.
This single has the song God Hates Heavy Metal on the a-side, which is a rare track that was only available on the Japanese CD pressing of the album. Not the most creative song title, but I still dig it. Over on the b-side we get This Is Your Life from the Angry Machines album, plus a live version of Hunter Of The Heart (which is such a killer song).
Awww hell, might as well pull all six out for a photo. I wonder how long the Dio camp will keep this picture disc single series rolling.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Tied Down RSDemo

One of the few records that some of my old blogger friends had showed any interest in for Record Store Day was the colored vinyl pressing of the Tied Down demo from Negative Approach. I was planning on just ignoring it... I mean, spending $24 for demo versions of songs that I was already familiar with seemed a bit dumb. Then, while I was in the store with two other records in my hands, I figured "fuck it" and I grabbed the one from Negative Approach and headed to the counter to check out.
I'm not sure if I necessarily NEEDED this record in my collection, but it was certainly fun to drop the needle and give it a spin. Negative Approach just pummel you, and these songs are just vicious from start to finish. I feel like I haven't really spent much time with this band over recent years, but this record makes me want to bring them out more often.
This is a typical TAANG! release and they don't really offer much in the way of packaging. No insert with any additional photos or commentary from the band. Kind of weak for the price tag this carries.
The Record Store Day sticker is a nice touch, although I always remove mine from the cellophane wrapper and apply it to my poly sleeve. This one proved to be more difficult to remove than most and I ended up mangling it pretty good.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Through The Mists Of RSD

I've been obsessing over AC/DC records for the last few years, so when I saw that they were releasing a 12 inch single for Record Store Day this year, I knew that I'd at least be picking up that one record for the day. If it wasn't for this one single, I might not have even bothered to get out to the store.
I wasn't excited that this latest single was pressed as a picture disc, but I'm not too bothered about it. I mean, it isn't like I'll probably ever play this record again since both of these songs were on the Power Up album that was released last year. Still, as another record for the AC/DC collection, I'll gladly take it.
Packaging is pretty minimal here, with just an OBI style strip that lists the song names. 5,000 pressed.
I saw that someone posted the other day on Instagram, checking in to see if people are still spinning the Power Up album, or if the hype had died down and it had been shelved. Me? You bet that I'm still playing that thing regularly.

Monday, August 09, 2021

RSD Leppard

There really wasn't anything that I was excited about for this year's Record Store Day, but I still figured that I'd swing by the Bull Moose store around the corner from me to see what was shakin'. Due to COVID restrictions, only one person at a time was allowed to flip through the bins of RSD releases, so I had to stand in line as the clown in front of me took his time to pull out and examine every other record. From the sidelines I could see a live Def Leppard record in the bin so as soon as it was my turn that was the first one that I grabbed.
I can only hang with the first three Def Leppard albums, so when I saw the 1980 date of the show on the front cover, I figured that I'd take a chance and buy it. I'm so glad that I picked this one up, because this live album fucking rips.
The songs here only cover the first EP and the On Through The Night album, as well as early versions of a couple of other songs. The whole thing is electric as the songs jump off the vinyl. I could have easily passed on picking up this live record, but I'm so glad that I didn't. This record sounds great.
The look and layout of this package is fantastic.

Friday, August 06, 2021

Finest Worksong

In the early 90's, around the time of Automatic For The People, I found myself really enjoying R.E.M. At that time, bands like Split Lip and Endpoint were starting to rock a bit, and I was loving stuff like Rain Like The Sound Of Trains. I was really digging into some more of the indie/college rock kind of stuff, and R.E.M. could not be ignored. After a few years I stopped caring about the band, and even a few years ago I was telling a friend of mine, that R.E.M. were a band that I never needed to hear again. Shortly after making that bold statement, I am of course eating those words.
Something clicked with me earlier this year and out of the blue I found myself really wanting to listen to some R.E.M. I don't know where it came from, but man, suddenly I ended up with a couple R.E.M. albums queued up each day. After revisiting the band, I kind of wanted to add a record to the collection, and an original pressing seemed like the cheapest and best way to go.
Document may be my favorite R.E.M. album, so it only made sense for me to grab this one. Front to back, this is just such a great album. Man, I was stupid excited when this thing arrived. It was in great shape and I got such a kick out of dropping the needle and taking it for a spin.

Thursday, August 05, 2021

Four Walls Reissued

I really try to avoid the endless stream of reissues these days, but some of them prove to be too much to resist. When Patient Zero announced they were releasing a colored vinyl pressing for the first Four Walls Falling 7 inch, I knew that I was going to have to grab it. Four Walls was such an important band to me when I was getting into hardcore, and the songs from the Culture Shock album helped to shape me and how I see the world. Those songs are just as vital today as they were when I heard that record 30 years ago.
As much as I love Four Walls Falling, I have never picked up the first 7 inch from them. It was only pressed on black vinyl, and with 1,000 copies it never felt very limited so I just always figured that I'd grab a copy later while I'd focus on something more flashy. When Patient Zero posted preorders for the reissue, I figured that I might as well jump on it...ever though I expected the gold vinyl was going to look shitty.
The Patient Zero exclusive cover has a big X on the front, which seems kind of odd as I never considered Four Walls Falling to be an overtly straight edge band. Don't get me wrong, I like the look of this cover, it just seems like a strange choice for the band to use in 2020. 90 pressed on this black and gold split color.
This new pressing gets an update to the front cover artwork. While the original cover had it's late-80's hardcore charm, I find that this new version does look better. The gold vinyl on the other hand looks fucking terrible. Easily the worst color for vinyl. 196 pressed.
While Patient Zero missed the mark with the vinyl color, I'm still happy to have this in my collection...maybe I'll finally make that move on the original pressing now.

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Purple Rapture

I was pretty impressed with the new Deep Purple album last year, and while I hadn't paid much attention to the Steve Morse era of the band, Whoosh! sparked an interest for me to dig into those overlooked albums form the past 25 years. Granted, the newer stuff doesn't touch the Deep Purple records from the 70's, but for a straight up rock record, what I've heard has been surprisingly good. I still have a few more Morse albums to check out, but I was happy to add Infinite to the collection, and now I'm grabbing a copy of Rapture Of The Deep.
Rapture Of The Deep was originally released back in 2005, and when it was released I was just starting to discover Deep Purple so I bought the CD. It was okay, but it paled in comparison to those 70's albums that I was discovering so for the most part it just ended up getting stuck on a shelf. Someone on Instagram recently posted about a 2021 reissue of the album and was raving about how great the vinyl sounded...I ended up getting caught up in the excitement and I quickly tracked down a copy.
I'm not sure how much better the sound of this record is...this was originally supposed to be a remix of the album, but in my casual listen I don't really notice any huge difference to the original CD that I own. Either way, this is an enjoyable record and I've been happy revisiting it.
One of the things that initially drew me to pick up this reissue is the purple and white colorway for the album cover. It is a different look than my original CD, and I really like the way it looks next to the white vinyl.

Monday, August 02, 2021

Eye Of A Japanese Hurricane

When I was recently picking up a record from the No Remorse distro out of Greece, I knew that I was going to get hit with overseas shipping fees... so to make me feel better about it, I decided to add one more record to the cart. To my surprise, No Remorse didn't only stock new releases, and I was happy to pick up an older original pressing that I found in their store.
Loudness released Hurricane Eyes in 1987. It was a straight forward metal album, but at the time I wanted my metal to thrash, so I didn't pay too much attention to it. My friend, Bill, on the other hand loved the album, and I remember on one occassion going over to his house to play Bard's Tale on his computer and he dropped the Hurricane Eyes cassette into the tape deck and let the first track rip. While I don't remember much about the album from that time, but I'll never forget being blown away by the speed metal attack of S.D.I.. That song was killer. When I saw that No Remorse had a copy of the record available, I decided to revisit it some 30+ years later.
While the 17 year old version of me wouldn't have been too impressed with Hurricane Eyes when it was released, this album has been a blast to discover recently. I've wanted to collect Japanese pressings for the early Loudness records, but I've always ended up going with a cheap US pressing instead. It feels good to finally have a record from the homeland of Loudness.