Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Stand Off

In my last post I talked about being up to date. And here's yet more proof, as if it were needed. This is the debut vinyl release from a band called Stand Off. Not to be confused with the UK band from the early 90s who had a 7" released by Crucial Response Records, this band come from Washington DC. This 7" is actually the band's 2014 demo put to vinyl, and this particular version was a pre-release version sold at Damaged City Fest... back in April 2016.

This was put out by Youngblood Records twelve months ago, and a few months later it got a proper release... although obviously I don't have that, because that would require me to be up to date. Gimme a few months and maybe we'll talk about it.

The funny thing about this is that Damaged City happened again this year a couple of weeks ago, Stand Off played it as their last show. Yup, that's right - just after the band broke up, I managed to get their pre-release 7". Just how late can a dude be to his favourite new band? Stay tuned for more releases from your past to find out...

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Record Store Day - Nothing Less

Up to date as ever, last week I obtained this copy of the final Mindset 7", 'Nothing Left', with this Verbal Assault 'Ting Giants' rip off sleeve.

It's a thick, quality cardstock which has been screen printed, and sits on top of one of the regular covers.

This was made for Record Store Day 2016, and sold exclusively at Celebrated Summer Records in Baltimore, MD. There were only 50 made, hand numbered in the bottom right corner of the back cover. I'm really lucky to have this, and super grateful to have been sent it by a friend for nothing.

Tune in at some point in about twelve months' time to see what I picked up for record store day 2017...

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Step Aside

There's nothing I love more than buying variants of older records in my collection that I don't own for cheap. Here's a classic example from 2003:

Our Turn were a band from San Francisco, active in the early 00's. The only reason I heard of them was that they had a 7" released by Youngblood Records. I used to order everything that Youngblood released, and at some point when the Our Turn 7" came out Sean told me that he had some copies of their first 7" too. So of course I bought one. It came on black vinyl. A couple of years later Aram sold his collection and I got the gold vinyl copy of the first 7" in a limited sleeve. And now, 13 or so years later I'm picking up the same 7" again, but the 'gold vinyl in regular sleeve' version.

Do I need a third copy of this 7"? Probably not. In fact, I'm not sure I even needed a second copy. But if you offer me these things for cheap, I'm probably gonna bite.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Move Thru Me

As well as the record release for the Search 7", I was also sent this Turnstile record release version for their latest 7" 'Move Thru Me'. I hadn't gotten around to picking this record up at all yet, so it was really cool to end up with this special version as my first and only copy.

The record release element of this package is the white cover, which is just a single piece of cardstock placed on top of the regular cover. What I find interesting about the cover is how bad it is. I mean, look at it... some random doodles in different colours, hand numbered in black marker smack bang in the middle. It's so awful that its kinda cool.

The regular cover for the record is just as bad as the record release cover, if not worse. I mean, why put the song titles on the front? What's wrong with the traditional setup of a picture on the front and the song titles on the back?

This 7" contains four songs, one of which is a cover. But unlike most bands, Turnstile don't bother covering a classic. Instead, they opt for a Give song which featured on their full length from a couple of years ago. Another interesting move.

The main conclusion I draw from all this is that Turnstile simply do not give a fuck about what other bands do or what is normal. They make their own rules, and I have to respect that.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Between The Lines

I vaguely remember the days when I owned every Revelation release, and ordered everything they put out immediately. That kinda came to an end last year, and since then I've just lost interest a little. I think it's just a money thing. The exchange rate, combined with the sheer number of represses they were knocking out, and how far behind I was... well, it meant I would have had to drop literally hundreds of dollars to catch up. And I wasn't overly excited about doing that. So I sit here seriously behind, on both represses and new releases.

One release I certainly was excited for was the debut 7" from SEARCH, a NJ supergroup of sorts, featuring Tim McMahon on vocals with a band comprised of members of loads of other bands (Hands Tied, Floorpunch, Turning Point). However, I didn't order it immediately for various reasons. And then all of a sudden there was an announcement that the limited color (clear) was sold out. Oops! So I jumped on the computer box and managed to find somewhere still selling it. Bang. Done.

I do really like the layout on this one. The artwork and the colour scheme are pretty much everything I am looking for in a record. And the music is also pretty much everything I could want from a straight edge 7" in 2017 too. Pretty much a perfect record, and I'm glad that these guys are still active and being creative.

The irony of the situation is that I jumped on ordering the clear vinyl version, but didn't bother to also pick up a blue one. I'm not sure why I did this. I think it was not wanting to spend an extra few dollars, combined with the fact that there were something like 700 copies made, which I figured would hang around for a while longer. In a cruel twist of fate, however, the blue is now sold out and I didn't manage to get one.

Well, as quickly as fate frowned on me, the postman came along with a package that really cheered me up and made up for it. Some kind soul had been to the show that served as the release show for this 7" and picked up a copy for me. To say I was stoked would be an understatement.

As you can see, the release show sleeve is the same as the regular sleeve, but with all blue changed to red. And witht he addition of a small box in the bottom right corner which contains a number. The only thing that could have been better is that this could have contained a red vinyl record instead of blue. Don't ya think?

Another nice touch is that the inside of the sleeve has been stamped with the date of the show:

And there's an additional insert, being a flyer for the show that this was sold at:

This whole package looks totally great, and I count myself super lucky to have one. But just in case I was getting complacent and feeling 'up to date', Rev went ahead and pressed this record on green vinyl too. And then the band made up another limited sleeve for the Dave Franklin tribute show. So even having these two copies, I'm still more 'behind' than I am 'ahead' with this record, with there being 3 versions I don't own. I guess that's why this thing is called The Endless Quest...

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Blue Heaven

Finally picked up some new records. This one is another to add to the Dinosaur Jr 7" collection, the 'Just Like Heaven' 7" on baby blue vinyl. The sleeve has seen better days, but I don't mind that so much. I can't afford the time to sit around and wait for another one to come along with a perfect sleeve. I'm too old.

This is now my 4th version of this record. I have no idea how many there are. Discogs suggests that there's only one other colour I don't have, being purple, although I wouldn't be surprised if there are more colours that Discogs doesn't know about. Time will tell...

Monday, 20 March 2017

Ashes

My ability to think up a remotely clever or amusing title has completely evaded me today. But that's ok, because what matters isn't the title. It's the fact that I have obtained a test press of one of my favourite bands. I got this in a trade recently from someone who picked it up recently but, fortunately for me, didn't want it.

For the younger readers, Ashes were a band from Washington DC, active in the early 90s. They were notable for having a female vocalist with an enchanting voice and, for a few years, they were the band that any other band with a female vocal got compared to. They had Brian McTernan on guitar, who was also known for being the vocalist in Battery. If you haven't heard them, you should check them out. They were popular because they were interesting and different. Well, at least back in the day they were. Not sure if they would sound 'different' today, but give them a listen and let me know.

Predictably, I pulled out my other copies for a photo. As well as the test press, included above is the black vinyl first press with greenish sleeve, and the second press on white vinyl with black cover.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Let Down II

A couple more Dead by 23 records for the collection, because I definitely didn't have enough already.

Unfortunately, the website (and the pressing info) got taken offline years ago. So I have no idea how many of these exist. But having said that, I don't think the website was online when the Let Down 7" was released anyway. So it's just a guessing game. But the fact that I hadn't seen this variant before means it's probably pretty rare.

I also picked up one that's probably a little more common. The Damage II 'Broken Bloodlines' 7" on gold vinyl with a small hole.

As I said a few weeks ago about a Black Flag 7", here is further evidence that I'm collecting holes. Here's the latest Damage 7" next to the other gold vinyl copy I own.

I checked the spreadsheet, and I now have a grand total of 62 DB23 7"s. I'm not really sure how that happened. Yet there are loads of variants that I know I don't have. To quote No For An Answer - when will it end?

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Drowning Room

I really love picking up test pressings of lesser known (or less well remembered) records. One of the advantages is that they are less expensive, but they are every bit as satisfying. Take this Lament 7", for example. Lament was a band from NYC which, I think, featured a couple of guys from Maximum Penalty. They released this 7" on Inner Journey Records in 1991, and also a CD on Too Damn Hype Records (which I've never heard). Then they were done.

Inner Journey Records was a pretty cool label back in the early 90s. The put out some great 7"s - Clutch, Sub Zero, Railhed and Release. Each one came on two different vinyl colors, and there were also limited edition copies with comic books or superhero covers. Great records which were also highly collectible.

I've seen pictures of the Clutch and Sub Zero test pressings, and they coe in the same standard cover. Pretty cool. I do like consistency. I only wish I had another test from this label to show how the covers are the same in a photo. Maybe one day. Anyway, the Lament 7" was the only Inner Journey release to come on not two but three different colors of vinyl. I have no idea which came first or which is rarest. But the colors are maroon, blue and pink. A bit like this:

I actually have a spare pink vinyl copy if anyone is interested. Hit me up...

Monday, 13 March 2017

Pummel

So yeah, as I was saying, I had picked up four ALL albums and had them go missing in the mail, so a few months later went to buy them again. One that I didn't manage to pick up last year, however, was the band's major label release on Interscope Records, 'Pummel'. Released in 1995, at a time when major labels were starting to severely cut back on the amounts of vinyl they pressed, this remains the hardest ALL record to find... and is therefore the most valuable / expensive. So imagine how stoked I was recently to find a sealed copy.

I don't believe in keeping records sealed. I don't believe that there is any benefit to doing so. If a record is rare and sought after, it will be so whether it is sealed or not. So I did what I always do, and I opened it up.

There's something really quite satisfying about opening a record that has been sealed for 20 years. I can't explain why, exactly. But this isn't the first time I've done it.

It's not easy getting into a band and records many years later and understanding the history and the context. If I were a betting man, I'd put money on the fact that ALL were signed by Interscope after Green Day got huge, in an attempt to find bands with hardcore / punk credentials and a lot of melody. The sixth LP from the band, it sounds less poppy and more angry than the previous (and subsequent) records. After reading around a bit, it feels as if this is not overly liked by ALL fans, although I think there are some truly brilliant songs on this record.

It's funny, but just as I've managed to bag an original pressing copy of this record, it is about to be re-issued on vinyl for the first time since it's release. So look for pictures all over instagram in about a month's time.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Mass Nerder

Almost exactly a year ago, I posted up three ALL records that I has bought, and explained that I had just got into the band and was on a mission to pick up all their records. So I bought up 4 albums and they promptly got lost in the post. So I gave it a few months then started to look for them again...

'Mass Nerder' is the band's 7th LP. It was originally released in 1998 by Epitaph. It was then repressed on clear orange vinyl in 2015.

Unlike any color Descendents record that's ever been made, this album was available to buy from the label for a good few months. I was able to buy one, store it for a couple of months at a friend's place, have him send it & it go missing, wait three months and then buy another one before it sold out. I guess this really does highlight how much less popular ALL are than The Descendents.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Clear Scene

I didn't even know that the Dinosaur Jr 'Freak Scene' 7" came on clear vinyl until a few months ago. But when I saw a picture I instantly wanted it. Having not seen one before in 20+ years, I figured it must be rare and would take an eternity to find. But it actually wasn't too bad.

Just like the colour Black Flag 7"s I'm trying to collect, which are also on SST Records, it feels like I'm picking up one of these every year or so. Which means I should have a pretty good collection sometime around 2025...

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Feeling Down

As you may or may not have figured out by now, I'm not the biggest fan of black vinyl. It feels 'common' and, to be honest, I always found it boring. But there was a part of me recently that was pretty damn keen to pick up this black vinyl copy of the Swiz 'Down' 7":

Truth be told, it was one of those weird record collector things, where I was feeling incomplete without the black vinyl copy. But now, finally, I feel complete...

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Gypsy Hardcore

There are some records that you have no intention of collecting, but you kind of end up doing so. I can feel that this LP is now falling into that category. I just picked up this copy of the Gypsy 'Giant's Despair' LP on white vinyl. There were 680 copies on white, which is the most common colour that was made. However, only 35 came with a 'This Is Hardcore' stamp on the dust sleeve. So that makes this record both the most common and rarest version of this LP at the same time.

I started out with a pink vinyl pre-order copy and then picked up a test press, and now with this I have 3 copies. It's kinda pushing me towards trying to grab the other two colours too, although I'm not sure if I want to. I guess time will tell...

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Our Times

A friend was selling some records a while ago, so I picked up a few bits for a pretty reasonable price. Among the hoard was a couple of copies of this 7" by a band called Generations. I already had one copy of this which I bought for cheap a few years ago, and I was really into it. It came out in 2006, but to me looks (and sounds) like it could have come out in 1995. Very Mouthpiece-esque. I have no idea what the pressing info is for this, but I picked up a white vinyl copy and a test press.

Adding the green copy I already had, I've managed to make this nice square picture:

I never thought to check until about two seconds ago, but it appears there is another version that comes with a zine. Bum.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

More Represses

No matter how many times I say I'mgoing to quit picking up Rev represses, there are some that I just can't say no to. More colours of the classiscs. Truth be told, I bought these some months ago but have only just received them.

Burn 'Last Great Sea' on solid orange. This one was probably due a repress to be fair as there were only 1,000 pressed in total back in the 2002. Solid orange seems like an odd choice of colour to me, although on the plus side, at least it's something different to the clear blue / clear green / clear yellow that Rev have repressed half their catalogue on over the last couple of years.

Not so sure that the Youth of Today 7" needed to be repressed again on a different colour, but here we go. And what was that I just said about everything being pressed on clear blue, yellow or green?

And finally, Judge 'Bringin' It Down' LP on red vinyl. This one was a pressing plant mistake. Last year they pressed 252 copies on gold vinyl, then changed colour and pressed 296 on red. Given the low numbers pressed on both of these, I quickly snapped both up.

Since this mistake happened, Rev stated that they would press more on both colors. So after the red, they went back and pressed another 420 copies on gold. I guess in theory once those sell out, they will do more on red to 'even things up'. The thing i have noticed though is that the red has pretty much no value in the market. The copies that have sold on discogs have sold for new release prices, and there's a copy sitting there right now for sale. Given how much coloured copies of this album have sold for in the past, this just tells me that the multiple repress colours thing has kinda killed it. People have pretty much stopped caring. Whether that's true or not, time will tell I guess...

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Encapsulated

I used to LOVE the Metroschifter back in the mid 90s. Such a great band that were years ahead of their time. One thing that always appealed to me was how the band had some really interesting and original ideas to keep things fresh and original. Case in point - their third album, 'Encapsulated'. Here's a test press of it that I have just recieved:

As you can see, this was a double LP. However, what makes this one interesting is that that the band themselves didn't even play on this record at all. Instead, they wrote the songs and then sent out demo versions to other bands, and asked them to record their own versions. The songs that came back then became the album. So it's a Metroschifter LP which the band themselves don't play on at all. I guess that kind of makes it a compilation... although it was released as a Metroschifter LP, not a compilation of Metroschifter covers.

Here's a pic of the test next to the regular (gatefold) sleeve.

When I took the sleeve out, I found the following sticker inside that I had cut off of the shrink wrap when I bought this back at the turn of the century.

Sadly, I think that the Metroschifter have been forgotten in the sands of time. But you can see from the line up of this record that they were a pretty big deal back in their day, being able to convince some of the bigger bands of the era to participate in their project.

I think this is the third Metroschifter test that I own. It would be four if it weren't for some dick on eBay a few years ago.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

A Story Of Life

We all love the feeling of picking up some big time records now and again. But it's also equally as satisfying to pick up records for super cheap. So when I saw someone selling a couple of copies of the Far Cry 'Story Of Life' 7" for super cheap, I jumped on it. It's not the best record ever made, but it's definitely an underrated little straight edge hardcore record with a rad cover.

The first copy I picked up was this pink vinyl copy in blue sleeve. The blue sleeve was the first press.

The second copy is this second pressing copy on yellow vinyl.

The pressing info for this one is confusing to say the least. The second press was apparently 251 copies on yellow vinyl, and 40 copies on 'swirled' vinyl. Previously I only owned one copy of this, which I have now placed next to the yellow vinyl in this photo:

As you can see, these two look different. But there's no way to tell whether the one on the right is one of the yellow or swirled copies. One thing is for sure though - this is a crazy record to try to collect. The first press was officially pink vinyl and yellow vinyl... but the 'pinks'range from pink to orange, and the yellows range from yellow to white. Then, the second press was officially yellow and swirled, but copies range from light yellow to dark yellow, and the swirls are (I think) various shades of grey. Not sure I want to pick up more, but I may do if I see them for cheap.