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.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Label Blowout

As we all know by now, Record Store Day is an over hyped pile of crap. Stores filled with pointless, overpriced reissues. But now and again some labels do some cool stuff, and last year Six Feet Under Records put up a limited War Hungry LP in their webstore. This thing sounded cool as hell, so I ordered one immediately. And finally, nine months later, I have it. And damn, was it worth the wait.

Of the first press of this LP, 99 copies were on red vinyl and sent out as pre-orders. But there were an additional 52 red vinyl copies which were pressed with the labels exploded inside the vinyl, and which were held back. Despite the photo above looking like this comes on red vinyl with black splatter, the bits in the vinyl are actually the paper labels which have been 'exploded' inside the vinyl. Here's a close up which shows it much better:

And the fancy shit doesn't stop there. Of these 52 'label blowout' copies, 36 were clear red, whereas 13 also had white streaks. I was lucky enough to get one of the thirteen. As the photos above show, it looks clear red on one side, but like a completely different record when you flip it over:

And as if that wasn't enough, the cover is also special, having the band name laser etched across the front. Here's a pic showing it next to the regular version:

This is a great example of what people can achieve when they want to push the boat out. This really is something truly special. It's just a shame that more people can't own one because it looks even cooler in real life than it does in these pictures, if you can believe that is possible.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

GB x Conne Island x RevHQ

I'm sure everyone knows the story on this one already. 350 gold GB 7"s pressed, 100 sold via Core Tex Records in Germany without too much of a big announcement, lots of people missed out, and then a few weeks later Rev put 150 copies up for sale, all of which sold in about 16 minutes. Being a Rev nerd, I wanted one of each and I managed it. I've already posted my Core Tex copy, so here's my Rev copy.

The only difference is that the Rev copies have a plain paper dust sleeve, and the numbers inside the sleeve are in the range 201-350.

Here are the two together:

I'm not overly convinced that I need one of each. If the Core Tex copies didn't have the stamped dust sleeve I'm sure one would have been enough. And whilst it feels kinda greedy to have two, I'm sure I'm not the only one who had to pick up both versions. Record collectors eh?

Monday, 6 February 2017

Hole

A few short years ago I decided to start collecting colour vinyl Black Flag 7"s. This was pretty much when I had completed (as far as possible) a collection of colour vinyl Black Flag LPs. I figured this 7" journey would take a while, which isn't a problem as I learnt to have patience years ago. So I sat back and started slowly scooping them up, one by one. Anyway, I thought I was getting pretty close to a complete colour 7" collection when I realised that there were two different red vinyl copies of 'Nervous Breakdown'. And finally I've managed to track down the one I was missing.

So what's the difference between this new one and the one I already had? Well, rather than explain, I thought we could play a game of 'spot the difference'. First up, the front (new record at the top):

And secondly, the back (again, new record at the top):

I had the exact same issue with two red vinyl copies of the 'Louie Louie' 7" - one with large hole, and one with small hole. You'll have to trust me on this, but it's an odd moment when you realise that you've crossed a line between collecting records and collecting different sized holes.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Slip It In California

So here's a record by a band that I know precisely nothing about. A tour version of a I12" by a band called Forced Forward:

I actually already own this 12" on pink vinyl in a regular sleeve. I got it from the label pretty much when it came out. It's a really good record, hence me picking up this limited tour version too. But I know zero about this band. Using my Columbo-like powers, I think I've managed to work out that they were from DC. This is because:

1. I found a pic of the record release version of this record, which shows that they played with LOJ, Cold World, War Hungry, Police & Thieves and Turn Into Ghosts. I know that LOJ and Police & Thieves were both from DC, and I kinda figure that Police & Thieves didn't get out of town much. So I would guess this show took place in DC.

2. The top right hand corner of this record says 'FFDC'.

This is the California 2007 tour version, numbered out of only 25 copies.

Notice that the dust sleeve refers to a blog that they did on tour. It's still up here ---> http://forcedforwardtour.blogspot.com

Interesting to think that on an average year I aim for 120 blog posts, but these dudes managed that in one month.

Anyway, if you have never heard this band I would seriously advise that you check it out. It's good, and you can buy a pink vinyl copy for super cheap on discogs.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Synesthesia

Back in the 90s I was really into what was going on in the Louisville scene. I really liked Endpoint, and they helped open my eyes (or rather, ears) to some other great bands that were around at that time. Initial Records were leading the charge and helping these bands get pushed around the world. I used to order directly from Initial Records by sending cash in an envelope. Andy who ran the label was always nice and helpful, and also patient with my questions about pressing info. Some of the earliest records I remember mail ordering from him was the Guilt 'Synesthesia' 10", the Falling Forward 'Hand Me Down' 12" and the Enkindel 7". They all came out in 1994, and I taped them onto a cassette so that I could listen to them on my walkman whilst walking around town. The order used to be Falling Forward, then straight into the Guilt 10", then the Enkindel 7". And they're all great records which I still listen to. So after coming up for 23 years of listening, I was pretty stoked to find a test press of the Guilt 10" for sale recently.

As you can see, this is numbered 3 out of 10. I've seen pics of a few Initial Records test pressings before and for most there are only 3 copies. So ten copies of this one is a relatively high number.

Oh, and in case you've never seen the actual cover before, here's what it looks like:

Back in the 90s, Guilt always stood out as a really interesting band. Each record sounded like a big step up from the last. But they also had interesting aesthetics and ideas going on which kind of made them stand out. For example, all of the songs on this record are named after colours, but the back cover doesn't name the songs using words, just colour blocks. After this record they got picked up by Victory (this was in an era when Victory was a good label) and they put out a full length LP and (unbelievably) another 10", on which all of the songs were untitled. Kinda funny that their entire vinyl discography consists of only 5 releases, of which 40% are ten inches.

If anyone happens to have any other Guilt or Initial Records tests that they don't want, hit me up. I'll gladly take 'em.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Houston, We Have A Problem

One of the coolest thing about record collecting is when you find out about a record that you've never seen before and had no idea even existed. It's even more satisfying when you manage to find out about such things via picking them up. Case in point, this My Luck 'Cleaver' 7" in a limited sleeve:

This sleeve appears to have been made for a Youngblood showcase that took place in Houston, Texas back in 2004. There were only 25 made, and I appear to have bagged the last one. Not much else to say really.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Ready To Receive You

At some point last year I saw that there was going to be a new Angel Du$t LP dropping. So I signed up for some notification from the new label that was going to be releasing it. A couple of weeks later, the notification came that the album was ready to order. So I clicked on the store and looked at the options... and then, for some reason decided to wait and order later. I guess sometimes I can't bear to part with money, and somehow feel that if I can defer it for a few days it somehow makes it better. But most of the time all that happens is that the most limited versions sell out and I feel like a fool. And such was the case with the 'Rock The Fuck On Forever' LP. The most limited pink vinyl copies (/200) went super fast, so I picked up a white copy (/500) instead.

I gotta say though, I'm happy with this white copy as it's clearly the colour that most matches the front cover. Although saying that, the blue one looks alright too.

When the first album came out a couple of years ago I was completely addicted to it. This one, however, I've not been into as much. I mean, I have played it a lot and yes, it's catchy. But it's just not hit me quite in the same way. I've probably listened to this 20 times since I first downloaded it last year when it came out. The last LP I probably played 20 times in the first week. I guess after the first one it just doesn't sound 'new' in quite the same way. So one copy of this one will do just fine.

Monday, 23 January 2017

True Vision

At the weekend just gone, Violent Reaction played their last ever show. After having their first LP released by Painkiller, and the second by Revelation, the band achieved a hell of a lot in a relatively short space of time. But as with all good things, they come to an end. But as has always been the case in the world of hardcore, instead of mourning their demise, we just look to the future and get excited about what new bands and music will speew forth from their ashes.

True Vision is a band that features at Tom from Violent Reaction. It may feature other members of violent reaction too, but I don't really know who any of them are because I'm old and out of touch, so I can't tell for sure. Anyway, members aside, this band plays a different style of hardcore. Musically, this really reminds me of Youth Of Today, although the vocals remind me more of something else (although I can't put my finger on what, or who).

This was released by the fine folks at Quality Control HQ, which has really churned out some great stuff over the last few years. They put this one out on blue vinyl in a blue cover, and black vinyl in a red cover. I figured I could live without the black vinyl copy and that one copy would suffice for me.

Well, that was until I realised that Painkiller in the States have also put this out on gold vinyl. So I had to cave in and pick up one of those two.

Anyway, forget colours and covers and whatnot, this record is good stuff. Five songs in seven minutes. When you can somehow make short, fast, hard blasts catchy tunes, you know you have a recipe for success. I'm already excited about a full length...

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Soul Searching Sun

It's funny how you can change your mind on something so dramatically, but when I first heard just one song from the third Life Of Agony album, 'Soul Searching Sun' at some point last year, I thought it was the worst thing I had ever heard, and had to turn it off without even getting to the end. My only experience of the band was the first album, and this third record just sounded like a completetly different (and totaly lifeless) band to me. I will also freely admit that I had no understanding of the history of the band. I had, in 2015, heard the first album for the first time and was then checked out everything else they had done in the course of about half an hour. In that small amount of time I had come to the conclusion that, like a lot of bands, they started out strong and then changed direction and, unfortunately, ran out of energy. I then realised that I should only venture as far as the second album and leave it there.

Over the xmas period a couple of weeks ago I found myself housebound for a few days and one day, in a search for some new music, decided to give this third album another try. I was listening to it whilst doing something, so not giving it 100% of my attention. The first couple of songs sounded pretty bland and then when the third song came on I had to check my computer as I thought itunes had gone onto shuffle mode as I was convinced a Nirvana song from 'Incesticide' had come on. But no, it was still Life Of Agony. When that song ended, the start of the next song hit hard and I found myself now really starting to pay attention. Ok, so this may not sound like 'River Runs Red', but that small issue aside, this thing was starting to sound interesting.

Well, you know how it goes... when it ended I played it again, and then again. And by the end of the day I had listened to it 4 or 5 times. It then dawned on me that I was enjoying this record. A couple of days later I was hitting the 'buy' button on a vinyl copy discogs.

This album was originally released in 1997. That means this is about to turn twenty years old. Crazy. What's also kinda funny is that it was only released on vinyl for the first time ever in 2016. I mean, I don't listen to this band at all until 2015 and then, a year later, someone decides that this album, which seems to be pretty much universally disliked, should be pressed on vinyl. Kinda cool. I mean, if this had been pressed in 1997 no doubt it would be hard to find and cost $50 if it ever popped up. But I was able to grab one for a regular new release price. Don't mind if I do.

I remember seeing pics of this on Nico's blog last year and thinking he was a fool for spending money on this crap. Clearly now there will be people thinking the same thing about me.

The sticker on the plastic cover boasts that this comes with a '6 panel insert'. I have to say, I was intrigued as to what this meant exactly. The word 'panel' doesn't usually appear in conjunction with record inserts so I was slightly confused. But the fact that they saw fit to mention it on the gold sticker adorning the cover kinda suggests that this is something special. As it turns out, however, what it really means is that this record comes with a double sided, colour printed insert which has been folded up to fit inside the record, and this just so happens to be three 'squares' wide. Is that really something to mention like it's a selling feature? And surely if it is then they should have folded it a couple more times so it would be 12 or 24 'panels'?

The cover is so bright that I almost completely failed to notice that there's a number stamped on the back cover.

I've had a bit of fun reading reviews of this record. Most completely slate it. This one was one of my favourites, giving it a score of -9%. Haha! I mean, if you're going to give something a negative score and not say a single good word, why stop at -9%? Why not give it -100%? But the review itself is amusing. I don't think I've read a review this bad since I read someone's 5000 word story of why Metallica's 'St. Anger' is the worst record ever made... which promptly made me want to listen to it, and which subsequently ended with me loving it and playing it every single day for about two months straight. I guess I may have to finally admit that I have really bad taste in music.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

GB x Conne Island x Core Tex

Back in mid December, one of my fellow collectors tipped me off that there was a new, super limited pressing of the Gorilla Biscuits 7" available to order. Just like the 30 year anniversary pressing of the Sick Of It All 7" that was pressed last year, the new GB 7" was tied in with Conne Island, a venue in Leipzig, Germany.

There were 350 of these records pressed in total, all hand numbered. The first 100 were for those involved, friends of the band and the venue. The next 100 were sold by Core Tex Records in Berlin. These copies had a Core Tex sticker on the dust sleeve and were numbered out of 100 copies:

As you can see, the front cover features the Gorilla outside of Conne Island. As someone else said on instagram, it's the same gold vinyl that Rev have repressed half of their catalogue on over the last couple of years, but this time it actually seems appropriate.

The back cover is also completely different to the regular version, with a picture of the band playing live at Conne Island. And whilst I wasn't overly into the cover of the Sick Of It All 7" because it felt like it was made on a laser printer or colour photocopier, this sleeve feels like it has been properly printed.

Just like the SOIA 7", the inside of the sleeve is printed and contains photos of the band playing at the venue, as well as the numbering out of 350. The Core Tex copies were numbers 101-200 out of 350, but then also numbered out of 100 in the same sequence. So 175/350 is also Core Tex number 75/100. Geddit?

The flipside of the lyric sheet is the same, featuring photos of the band at the venue

All in all, this is a nice job. Definitely a league above the SOIA 7" in terms of quality. Unlike the SOIA 7", this was not sold at a show, but online, although there seems to have been even more of a shitstorm about this in the last couple of weeks. These hundred copies at Core Tex sold out super quick, but the store didn't limit people to one copy, so some people got extras which annoyed several people. And then, as these started to show up in peoples' mail boxes, Rev put their copies up for sale, and even though the limited the sales to one per person, all 150 copies sold out in something like 16 minutes. I think this one is going to cause some people a headache for quite some time...