Sunday, 28 August 2016

Hypercaffium Spazzinate Part 1

So unless you've been living under a rock, you'll be aware that there's a new Descendents album which has just dropped. I think it would have been possible to miss either of the last two albums when they came out, but in the modern era I think it's pretty much impossible to have not noticed this one. It's called 'Hypercaffium Spazzinate' and is actually the first Descendents record to have been released since I got into them. The last LP, 'Cool To Be You', came out way back in 2004 when I was not into Descendents and when record collecting was in a different place. In 2004, for example, Epitaph didn't press anything on colour vinyl (save a couple of exceptions) and Fat Wreck saw fit to press only 197 copies of 'Cool To Be You' on color vinyl in total - the rest of the press was black vinyl. In 2016, however, the world works differently and within a week of the new album's released, Epitaph had pressed 8 different colors of vinyl (plus some on black too).

When the pre-order launched I got sent an email containing a link to a special pressing on glow in the dark vinyl. I was on the way out for a walk, and figured I'd order when I got home. Unfortunately, however, by the time I got home it had sold out. I saw this as a sign that there was going to be a lot of interest in this record, so made the decision to immediately order the other versions that were available. These were as follows:

1. 'Clear with black swirl' vinyl. This was the pre-order version from Kingsroad Merch in Europe.

2. Green / black swirl vinyl. This was exclusive to two stores in Europe (Green Hell and Flight 13). I got mine from Flight 13, which is why it has the extra orange sticker on the front.

It does look almost black in the photo, so here's the photo I put on instagram just to prove that it is in fact green:

3. Clear green vinyl. This was the pre-order color available from Kingsroad Merch in the States, but I don't have this one yet.

So that was that. There were four colours made, and I had missed one. I figured I'd get one eventually. But then, when the official release date arrived, there were suddenly 'new' colours being talked about. My approach to life is generally all or nothing, and seeing as I was already down the path to 'ALL' (se what I did there?) then I was left with no choice but to pull the trigger on the additional copies. These were as follows:

Silver / black swirl vinyl. This was the UK indie stores exclusive. No idea how many were made.

Red vinyl. I think this was available in both the States and Europe, but limited to 500 copies. No idea if this is rarer than other colours.

White vinyl. This was the US indie stores exclusive (big thanks to Mike for picking one of these up for me!).

So there you go. That's 5 copies I have, on possibly the most boring looking colours of vinyl I have ever seen. I did take a group shot but it looked so dull that I just deleted it. There's also a clear blue vinyl which is a Hot Topic exclusive, and there's also now a rumour of another blue, although I havent seen a picture of this and currently think it could be just confusion caused by people referring to the Hot Topic version as either 'coke bottle clear' or 'clear blue'. I don't know. But I have all copies covered now except that glow in the dark, which I could have ordered immediately if I hadn't have been confident that it would still be there an hour after I received the email. Ugh.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

We Are Love

It seems like only yesterday that Give appeared on the scene with their fancy flower imagery slapped over everything. It seemed new and interesting, as did their Swiz-like sounds. But it's been 6 years ago now since that they appeared, and in the time since they've released quite a lot of records. And especially after the last LP, it feels to me like people are losing interest.

Well, when people start to lose interest then I see it as an opportunity. One of the items I have been missing for nearly 4 years now is the 'Singles Going Confetti' 12" with limited sleeve. Back when I saw them play in 2012, they were selling their newly released 12", and I bought a yellow vinyl copy and was happy... until I discovered that I had somehow missed out on the limited cover version.

There were 110 copies with this limited cover and on yellow vinyl with black swirls. Some were sold by the band on tour, and some were sold via the label directly. The giant flower logo looks perfect blown up to this size, don't you think?

When I was a kid I used to think that 8 was my lucky number. I guess some things never change.

If anyone else is looking to offload any Give records, I'm still looking for a pink vinyl copy of the 'Electric Flower Circus' LP. Email me if you're looking to sell.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Purple Fudge

So when I spotted the Seaweed 7" for sale on eBay I couldn't help but do a quick search for 'Sub Pop' to see if there was anything else up for sale at that exact moment which seemed interesting. I guess I just prefer picking up whatever is there rather than waiting and targetting my spend at things I actually want. Haha! So anyway, I spotted a couple of copies of Mudhoney's 'Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge' LP. I've seen several colours of this record in the past and often thought about trying to build a collection, so when I saw a couple up for a good price I figured now was the time to start. I bid on two copies but got outbid on one, leaving me with this purple vinyl copy:

Back in the '92 this was one of the first records I bought. I had a picture disc copy that I buoght from the big HMV in Southend on Sea. I actually sold that copy years ago, and then a few years later re-bought a copy on some maroon type colour which I still have. So this purple copy here is the third copy of this LP that I have bought in 24 years.

Mudhoney were one of the first bands I became obsessed by. But I've never had more than one copy of any of their records. Some of them are quite expensive these days, so I guess I should have done this sooner. But since I won this I've been watching a couple more copies so there may be more Mudhoney posts to come in the near future...

Monday, 15 August 2016

Green Bills

So here's a variant of a record I've had for years that I have been meaning to pick up for years and only just got around to. Seaweed 'Bill' 7" on Sub Pop on light green vinyl.

I picked this up from a UK seller on eBay. After paying mainly international shipping charges, it's nice to 'only' pay domestic rates now and again, especially on a cheap pick up.

There are two known variants of this 7". This light green copy I have just picked up, and a darker, blueish greeny thing.

The reason it took me so long to pick this version up is that I could never remember which one of these I had. After I saw a seller list both on eBay, I decided to check which one I had, so that I could finally pick up the other. It's taken a few years, but I finally the job got done.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Humanity... Remixed

Feels like a while since I've posted an Integrity record on here, and of course it's a test press.

This is a test press of a record which hasn't actually been released yet. A couple of months ago, for record store day, Organized Crime Records reissued the 1995 classic 'Humanity Is The Devil'. They did the same a couple of years earlier for 'Systems Overload', and then a little later they put out an updated, remixed version. Well, the same is going to happen for 'Humanity Is The Devil'. Magic Bullet Records already released it on CD, with the vinyl version to follow at some stage in the near future. This is the test press, with a cover hand made by Dwid himself.

As the year rolls on, I'm still struggling to move on from the major disaster of my lost parcel. One of the items in there was a test press of the recently released Integrity / Power Trip split 12". I bought the record directly from the label, and then paid a little bit extra to have Dwid make a cover for it. Well, the record was coming to me from the States and got lost, but the cover made it over from Belgium just fine. So after I'm left with a handmade cover for a record I don't own.

It's a pretty cool looking cover and all, but it seems a cruel twist for me to get sent two bits of a record and to end up with the more useless bit. Still, one day I may be able to pick up the record, and there will be a nice cover waiting for it.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Jug

My interest in records, and in particular Revelation represses, fell off a cliff recently. But sometimes when you go off track, you can get pulled back unexpectedly. And so it was with this yellow vinyl repress of 'Bringin' It Down'.

When I first saw it I was disappointed that it had been made at all. I mean, back in 2001 I bought what I was told was the 'final press' of this record. Then a few months ago Rev delivered a 25 year anniversary edition, which I could forgive as it was, in theory, a one off. But another repress on another colour just felt like a line had been crossed. I wasn't excited by it, and wasn't too fussed about picking one up. But then two things happened - firstly, a photo of a transition copy appeared on instagram and then, more importantly, it suddenly sold out. It turns out that only 252 copies were pressed, and I guess the numbers of people buying two copies in the hope of finding another transition copy had ensured it sold double quick. I then did what any self-respecting Rev collector would do - I panicked, and started searching frantically for one . Thankfully I was able to find one for sale via another online retailer, so I grabbed one while I still could.

A few people have been saying that this new yellow pressing is too close to the 2001 'final press', although I don't really see it.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Fuck Your Sympathy

So after what must be at least two years of talking about it, I finally caved in and traded away a record from my collection that I didn't really want to part with. I'm not going to say what record it was, but suffice to say that it was a test press, and the main reason that I gave it up was that I got an offer that I couldn't really refuse. So I finally said yes to the proposed deal and sent off my record, and I received this beauty in return:

To clarify matters, this is a test press for the Unbroken 'Ritual' LP on New Age Records. I don't think I have ever met anyone who thinks that this LP is superior to their second LP (the now legendary 'Life. Love. Regret'), although when I play this one I find it tough to imagine that there could be a better record in existence. As some general advice, I'd say that you should never allow yourself to forget how good this LP is. If you're at all sceptical, go and put the thing on right now. You'll be agreeing within seconds. It's fucking incredible. I'm lucky as hell to have this test press, and I'm stoked that it came in a sleeve too, for shelf filing purposes.

It doesn't just stop there though. In negotiating the trade, as often happens, we decided to expand the deal. I gave up something else that I'm not going to mention, and in return got hold of another legendary New Age records test press. Catalogue number 10.

For those of you not familiar with what NA10 is (which I can forgive as not even I know many catalogue numbers off the top of my head), I dug out the regular record so I could snap the test (not literally) with a cover. And all so that your brain could compute what this record is.

Man, I love this record. Back when I was getting into this shit, this 7" was one of the first straight edge records I heard, and it blew me away. I'm stoked to have this test, although it's not anywhere near enough compensation for the red vinyl version that got lost in my missing parcel.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

In Faith & Loyalty

I lost touch with React! Records a long time ago. The label started strong, got a little lost for a while, and then Ev took it over and brought it back stronger than ever. But after the 'lost' period, I removed the label from my list of labels I could trust, and unfortunately it has never made it back on there. These days I pick up some of their releases, but I'm a long way behind the preorder crowd. So by the time that I started to see pictures of the For Pete's Sake 'In Faith & Loyalty' LP on clear blue vinyl appear, and decided that I wanted one, it was long gone. A couple of months later and I picked one up on Discogs.

I really like the artwork on this thing. I love how it's not typically hardcore. The front cover looks like something you'd find hanging on the walls of Tate Modern, and the clear blue vinyl goes with it perfectly.

This band features Peter from Sportswear on vocals, but this is nothing like that band at all. For Pete's Sake sounds a lot more mature, which is exactly what you'd expect from a band in their 40s. I've been enjoying it a lot recently, although it took a few plays to get into it. It's definitely a grower rather than an instant hit I guess, which is the exact opposite to the cover and lovely clear blue vinyl.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

My World Be Free

A little over a month ago I had a parcel go missing. Inside was 98 records, a mix of old and new, rare and not so rare. The last month has been a roller coaster of emotions, but I'm now finally coming to terms with it. The parcel is officially lost and the records are gone. Fuck it.

Bizarrely, one of the records I was most excited about was the debut album by World Be Free, which came out at the start of the year. A friend had kindly picked me up a copy with a limited sleeve made for their tour in February, and I was looking forward to it. The band's logo is rad and I loved that the tour sleeve looked like a Chung King tribute. I also had the regular green and orange vinyl copies in the box too, which I was less fussed about. Well, that was until I realised that the first press was now completely sold out. Then replacing them became pretty urgent as I figured that I may still be able to find them in distros for relatively cheap.

The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that the labels used on this LP matches the labels on the Warzone LESC 7". As do the vinyl colours. It's details like that which can only really be appreciated by true Rev nerds.

The green vinyl wasn't too easy to track down. There were 553 copies of this made, and being the limited colour, this version was only sold by Rev and a couple of distros in Europe that order from Rev in bulk. Come mid May there were no labels or distros selling this as new, so I had to go to Discogs and pay double what I paid the first time around.

The orange was slightly easier to find. With 1,354 copies made, I was able to find a distro that still had copies available for new price, which was good.

This best bit about this release, aside from the crazy characters on the back cover, is the photos on the insert. When your band is made up of old dudes who have been in bands for years, and who are probably looking a little past their best, then why would you use current photos when you can just dig out pictures from back in the day? Ha!

Back when this came out I was hugely underwhelmed. But I gave it a few tries and in time found myself enjoying it. It's quite catchy stuff... although not immediately catchy. Definitely worth persevering with if you have the patience.

There's now a second press of this available, and it sticks with the Warzone vinyl colour theme. But it's not about the ones you have. It's about the ones that got away, and it's gonna take me a fair amount of time (and money) to find a replacement for my lost tour press. Fucking parcel losing cunts.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

1000th Post

I realised a few weeks ago that I was getting close to my thousandth post on here, and started wondering what I would put up to mark this occasion. At the time I had a parcel coming to me with nearly 100 records inside, and there were two records in there that I had been searching to for close to twenty years. So I figured one of those would be it. But then, unfortunately, that box went missing. So I needed an alternative choice. I figured this Sick Of It All 7" would be an apt choice for reasons I will get to at the end...

So Sick Of It All are now celebrating 30 years as a band, and back in March this year played a show at a venue called Conne Island in Leipzig, Germany, which is now celebrating 25 years as a venue. So when the two got together, it seemed fitting enough event to mark with a commemorative item. Revelation pressed up a gold vinyl copy of the 7" and some dude in Germany made a special cover and insert, and the records got sold at the one show on 12 March 2016. Now obviously I didn't go as that would have involved leaving the house, but luckily a friend helped me out.

As I mentioned, Rev didn't make the cover for this version, and the person who did went all out to make it unique. So whilst the front is the same picture as the regular version of this record that we all know and love, the back cover is something different:

Also, for some stupid reason the paper dust sleeves were stamped with characters from Batman. I'm guessing that it was some kind of tribute to the early Rev releases being stamped with Batman logo stamps, but in my mind this release could have done without it. I just don't think it adds anything really as it has nothing to do with the band or venue. Different numbers were stamped with different characters, so for anyone who's stupid (or rich) enough to try there are technically 5 different versions to go after.

The rest of the layout is pretty cool though, with lots of pictures of the band playing at Conne Island over the years. The inside of the cover is also hand numbered out of 330 copies, and there's a flyer for the show included.

The lyric sheet contains the lyrics on one side...

... and more photos of the band at the venue on the reverse. All in all, it's a pretty cool package.

The only thing I'm worried about is that the paper feels like it was made on a colour laser printer or colour photocopier. It's definitely got to go into my 'at risk' box. If it gets hot, it could end badly for all involved.

So when I thought about it, the reason I thought this would make an apt 1000th post was to do with this updated collection photo that I took. Back when I started this blog, I owned three SOIA 7"s - the Gilman press, and the grey vinyl and white vinyl represses. Over the last eight years since I started this blog, I've picked up a few more copies of this record, adding (on average) one more copy each year, to the point where I now have a pretty good collection going on. So in a way I think this photo acts as a pretty good representation of this blog and, in a way, me.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Still Got Something To Prove

I spent a lot of time on Discogs lately looking for stuff I lost. At some point I stumbled across this Spermbirds 'Something To Prove' LP on clear vinyl. It's a classic record and despite not really wanting to buy any records at the moment, I couldn't really help myself.

I don't know much about this band. They were a German band with an American G.I. on vocals and were active through the 80s and 90s. The rumours suggest that they never toured the States because the singer went AWOL from the army and so couln't return to the States. I don't really know if that's true or not, but it certainly sounds like a good story.

Monday, 16 May 2016

More Jungle Jamz

I really like the Jaguarz 7" so I bought another copy on yellow vinyl. It helped that it was pretty cheap.

I did also buy two other copies of this 7" from the label just before it folded, which meant I would have had a pretty good little collection going on. Unfortunately though, those two other copies have now been lost in the mail, so I don't. Ah well.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Rot In Finland

A couple of months ago Rot In Hell went to Finland to play two shows. I didn't know about it at the time as I don't know anything anymore, but I soon became aware when pictures of a tour record surfaced. Turns out it was actually a limited tour cover made for 60 copies of the 'Termini Terrae' 7" that came out on Dark Empire Records back at the end of 2012. I guess they had a few copies leftover. The tour cover was made by Sam Layzell, who is (I think) the current bass player and a tattoo artist. So it looks pretty good like.

The blue dust sleeve is numbered out of 60.

The record also comes with a flyer for the two Finland shows, which is a nice momento for those who were there. And also those who were not.

So apparently the old singer is now back in the band. The replacement left and the old one came back. It's a bit like one of those games of chess where a player makes a move and then three years later the opponent finds time to take their turn.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Last Great Stamp

So last night I saw BURN play for the second time in 7 months. And just like the last time they played, they had a 'special' 7" for sale at the show. Well, kind of. The 'Last Great Sea' 7" hasn't been available since it was first pressed back in 2002. Back then very few people cared about vinyl, so Rev only pressed 1000 copies of the record total. And that was it, until a month ago when it finally got the repress treatment in honour of Record Store Day. And then, as always seems to be the case, it got pressed again on a different colour vinyl. So this year we got 1100 copies on orange vinyl for RSD, and then 432 copies on clear green for Rev mailorder types. And of the 432 green copies, 120 copies got sent to Burn to sell on tour in Europe.

As you can see, my copy has a big dirty black smudge in it.

And just like last time BURN came over, the copies sold on tour were stamped inside the sleeve. However, unlike last time these aren't numbered. And the tour copies aren't a unique colour of vinyl. And there are only 120. So there aren't too many and they're not so easy to identify.

I'm guessing that this one will divide opinion. People will either think this is the dumbest thing ever and not give a shit, or they'll hunt high and low and pay out the nose for the privilege of having the stamp. If you're one of the latter then all I can say is... good luck!