Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Departure

Today's post features yet another cheapo 7" from the 90s that got me super stoked. This is a compilation 7" called 'Departure'. I've owned this record on black vinyl for many years. I don't even know how many. At a guess I would say I probably picked it up in the late 90s in the days of the Revelation trade board. But a few months ago I saw a record posted on instagram which was released on the same record label (Community Chest Records), and it reminded me of this comp, and something in my head clicked and reminded me that I had once, probably twenty years ago, seen this compilation on someone's trade list on pink vinyl. So I had a look around the internet and found no evidence of it whatsoever. But just in case my memory was correct, I added this 7" to my Discogs want list and sat back and crossed my fingers. And then, after a few months, one day I got an email which told me that someone or other had just listed one of these for sale, and in the description it said pink vinyl. I usually message any seller on discogs and ask for pictures, because I've been burnt a couple of times by morons, but in this instance I was so keen to own this thing that I just bought it quick smart. And $8 later, I was stoked as hell.

OK, so this isn't the greatest comp of all time. But that's not the point. As I said a few days ago when I posted the Union 7" on purple, it's the rarity and obscurity that I enjoy with some of these 90s releases. I mean, I can't imagine that anyone would even remember this record, let alone be wanting to buy one in 2017 (although it appears I am wrong as Discogs tells me that there are 10 people other than me who want this!). Anyway, of the few people who may want this, I have to wonder if I could possibly be the only one who knows that this thing even exists on pink vinyl? Given the rarity, it feels totally conceivable that I could be the only person who knows this exists and is trying to find it. And if I'm right about this, it probably means that when it did surface for sale, there was no competition. Which is good for me right?

I'd never seen this thing before I received it, and I have to say that it's an interesting colour. The pink vinyl is kinda halfway between clear and solid pink. It's different. I tried to get a pic with the light behind to show it.

So there we go - another obscure 90s 7" that you probably never knew about and don't care about. Maybe I should put a few of them together in one photo soon...

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Cross Section

Last year I got an email from someone telling me that Pete Spielman had passed away. I felt like a fool because, at the time, I had no idea who he was. I was informed that he was a guy from the Syracuse scene who was in Beta Minus Mechanic and Cross Section. The internet also told me he was, at some point, in both Green Rage and Another Victim (there may have been others too, but this is all I can find). Now, I've always been a big fan of Beta Minus Mechanic, but I'd never heard of Cross Section, so I looked them up and damn, I was really into it. So I was straight over to Discogs to buy their 7".

They only released one 7", on Significant Records. I'm not sure how many were on blue vinyl, but in simple terms I would say the minority as most copies on Discogs were on black.

I was around through the 90s and know all kinds of obscure bands, but somehow Cross Section passed me by. I'm really glad to have finally discovered this 7", but I'm sorry that it was a result of such sad news. Listening to this now, in 2017, and I think it's held up well. It does indeed sound like it was released in the 90s for sure, but it's good enough (and interesting enough) to sound still somehow sound fresh. I guess good music never really sounds old, right?

If like me you'd never heard Cross Section before, please take a couple of minutes to check one of the three songs from this record out:

Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Most Beautiful Record (In The Room)

And now for something a little different...

Last year I saw a picture of this LP on instagram and i instantly wanted it. The only copy I could find at first was on Discogs and priced at $60. Fuck that. I then found out that this was actually a new release. Or rather, a repress which was exclusive to Newbury Comics. I then went to their store and bought one for whatever the new LP price is. Cool.

For those of you who don't know, 'Flight Of The Conchords' was a TV show that aired on HBO 2007-2009. I watched it on the recommendation of a dude at work who was from New Zealand and told me he thought I'd like it. He was right. I watched both seasons and enjoyed it, and then pretty much forgot about it. Then a couple of years ago, for some reason I can't remember, I watched it again. The second time around it was even more enjoyable, and I found myself really digging the songs. So I downloaded them. I then found out that most of them were released by Sub Pop a few years before when the TV show aired. And on vinyl too. I found this kinda weird, but kinda cool at the same time. I mean, when was yuonger, Sub Pop was the grunge label that released Nirvana and Mudhoney. And here they were putting out comedy records.

So it seemed too much of a coincidence that around the time I started really enjoying the songs and listening to them regularly, the label repressed one of the albums on colour vinyl for the first time. All the signs were there, it seemed. This had been pressed especially for me. So of course, I had to have it.

These dudes are brilliant fun. A total pair of buffoons. Jermaine cracks me up. His face alone makes me laugh.

Interestingly, I think that this is the first Sub Pop release I can ever remember being hand numbered (well, except for the Nirvana 'Love Buzz' 7" that is). It's kinda odd to see a nicely printed LP sleeve numbered in black marker in the corner. Kinda feels a little unnecessary to me. I mean, 600 copies does feel like a lot to hand number. This ain't hardcore after all.

To end this post, I thought I'd share this video from youtube for one of my favourite songs. 'The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room)' is a love song full of back-handed compliments. The video makes it even better, especially the bit where Jermaine does his dance move. Enjoy...

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

How The Nerds Chill

One of my favourite LPs from the last couple of years is the second full length from Cold World, 'How The Gods Chill'. Back when this came out in 2014, I was REALLY into it. So much so that I bought three copies of the damn thing. But you know how it is. Sometimes three is not enough. And when I saw a test press for sale, I couldn't help myself.

I was pretty stoked on the test, but then of course I started to get that nagging feeling that there was one copy I was missing. Back when this came out, there was a clear blue vinyl version which was sold at whatever fest they played at. It kinda felt wrong to not have one, so I then had to start looking. Fortunately I found one for super cheap, which made the task more bearable.

It's always nice when the vinyl colors match the artwork. And this release is a great example of that.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

I Fell For It

I don't think there are many people who are still interested in obscure records from the 90s. But a lot of these $5 7"s get me excited, because I know how scarce they are, even if nobody else these days seems to care.

I originally bought this record back in the late 90s. The band is called UNION and the 7" is titled '...You Fell For it'. It was released on Ferret Records, a label probably most well known for releasing the Converge 'Petitioning The Empty Sky' 7". Looking back, I think that I originally bought this record by mistake. I had acquired a compilation 7" called 'The Sunny Side Of Louisville' which featured four bands, one of which was named Union. So when I saw a 7" for sale by a band called Union, I bought it.

Well, wouldn't you know it, this 7" turned out to be a different band completely. Whoops! But in a bizarre twist of fate, this band also turned out to be well worth listening to. They were from Buffalo (rather than Louisville), and sounded vaguely similar to Snapcase (first LP era). This 7" hits you immediately with a hard groove. If you're the kind of person who's recently been 90s stuff like Cast Iron Hike, then you might enjoy this too.

My original copy of this is on dark, clear red vinyl. And I was always happy with that. But a while ago I saw this purple copy for sale and had to have it. I remember hearing a few years ago that Ferret Records used to press 100 copies of every release on purple vinyl, and whilst I'm not 100% sure that is the case, it sounds plausible.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Another Day Rising

So I've been collecting Hüsker Dü records for five years now. It all started when I picked up a grey vinyl repress of the 'New Day Rising' LP. Around the same time, I saw a blue vinyl copy on eBay UK, which ended insanely cheap (like £5) but I forgot to bid. I figured that another one would pop up pretty soon and I would win it for cheap. But that didn't happen. I guess that around the time I got into them, so did lots of other people, helped in no small part by Record Store Day reissues. Anyhow, five years later and a blue copy finally fell into my hands.

What is REALLY interesting about this copy is that it comes with an insert. Now, I have a few SST Records releases in my collection, and aside from the standard SST catalog that used to come in every 12" back in the late 80s and early 90s, I have NEVER seen or heard of any SST release which contains an insert. So this is pretty cool. As you may expect, the insert contains the lyrics.

I was only saying to Nico a couple of weeks ago that I have no idea what the pressing info is for this LP. I had assumed that the blue vinyl was the first color pressing made from back in the early 90s, but I wasn't sure. With the discovery of this insert inside the sleeve, however, I'm a lot more confident that is the case and that this must be an earlier pressing than the other copies I own which do not have the insert.

The other two colours of this that I own I am pretty sure are recent represses. The grey one I bought in a shop in 2012, and the purpley one I'd bet money is also a variant from the same press.

I think that there was an early 90s pressing of this LP on grey marble vinyl, as I have seen one on eBay which had the 90s 'color vinyl' gold sticker on the shrink wrap, and they definitely don't use those stckers anymore. So assuming I am right and this thing exists, clearly I now need one of those too.

Monday, 8 May 2017

One Life Thug Free

I'm convinced that there are some records that I'm chasing that literally nobody else in the world cares about. Here's a great example. I've been looking for one of these for YEARS. I'm not sure how many, but at least ten, and possible as many as 18. Regardless, the point is that this record is tough to find, but I FINALLY have one and am stoked!

I don't know much about the band REINFORCE other than that they were from North Carolina. Their second 7" was called 'One Life Thug Free' and was, at the time it came out in 1998, quite interesting. At some point in time I learned that there was a limited version with a cover featuring Mel C (from The Spice Girls). It sounded like something I wanted, so I added it to my want list. I have only ever seen one copy of it before, which was on eBay a good few years ago. Someone else won it, but recently I managed to buy the exact same copy from the person who outbid me. Yet again, patience paid off.

This 'Melanie Jayne Chisholm' pressing is numbered out of 30 copies. No wonder it doesn't show up very often! One nice surprise was that this contains a postcard which has a picture of Mel on one side and an amusing quote from her on the reverse:

So that's that really. An obscure 7" from an obscure band that, in 2017, not many people will remember or care about. But it made my day / week. One thing was is quite annoying, however, is that I checked on Discogs and there's a picture of this pressing on there, except that copy has a different postcard. Both the picture and the quote are different. I thought I'd grab the pics from discogs and put them up here:

This makes me think that there could be three options - either there are two different postcards (mine, and this one), there may be more postcard variations, or possibly all 30 records have a different postcard. it wouldn't surprise me if they made 30 different ones, such seems to have been someone's love of Mel C. Cutting out 30 different photos of her was probably a night's entertainment for this person back in the day. Haha! But will I ever know how many postcards there are? Probably not, sadly. Unless anyone reading this happens to know anything. If so, get in touch.

Well, the person who was selling this one also had a test press of the band's first 7" (the 'Youth Shall Sing' 7" on Third Party Records). I figured I'd grab it as it was cheap.

What I didn't realise until I received it was that this is the rejected test press. The reason it was rejected was that half the songs were missing!

As the sleeve shows, there were upposed to be 7 songs on this record, but this test press has only 4. As cock ups by a pressing plant go, that's a pretty major one!

Aside from two 7"s, Reinforce also had a full length which was CD only. It was recorded by Roger Miret, and was actually really good. I'm not sure why this band ended, but it seems a shame as it felt at the time they were destined for bigger things. I guess that how things work though sometimes...

Friday, 5 May 2017

Yes, Record Collecting IS War

I've said it before, but us record collectors are all friends, yet we're all rivals at the same time. And sometimes I find myself picking up a longtime want and feeling guilty about it. Case in point, this gold vinyl press of the first Modern Life Is War LP, 'My Love. My Way.'

I remember when this came out. I picked up a white vinyl copy, but not long afterwards found out that there was a much more limited gold vinyl copy. I immediately wanted one. There are only 109 copies on gold, which was apparently the friends press. And whilst it has never been at the top of my wants list, it has moved up over the years due to my continued failure to find one. Well, that finally ended a few months ago when I won this one on eBay, and this week I finally received the record.

Obviously I'm stoked to have picked this one up, but part of me feels guilty because I know that Ralf still needs one, and he's a much bigger MLIW fan than I am. Sorry dude!

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Store Finds

So before i went to the show last Saturday, I went to a newish record shop in Leeds called 'Noise Is For Heroes Records'. It was a small shop, but packed with a real mix of records. Reminded me of the old days, flipping through racks of used records just wondering what I was going to find. Good fun. And I managed to find a few things, so it was well worth the effort.

My first find was this Dinosaur Jr 'Without A Sound' LP. This is the band's 6th album, and came out in 1994, at a time when I had kinda moved on from listening to this band. After collecting their records in a big way for the last few years, I wanted it, but was always holding out for a copy in good condition at a good price.

This is the euro pressing on Blanco Y Negro Records. It'll do for now. There's also a US pressing on a major label that I would like, but I'm sure one will come eventually.

My other pick ups were some 7"s from the £3 box. I figured these were worth rescuing up for that price. The first is a 7" by Amenity. I used to own this but traded it away and it took me 20 years to get around to replacing it.

The band were from CA and played a sound that is typically 90s west coast sounding.

Next, a 7 Seconds 'Committed For Life' 7". This is the repress from 1990on Pazzafist records. I'm not exactly the biggest 7 Seconds fan, but I figured this was worth scooping for such a low price.

And the third 7" was this Voicebox 7" on blue vinyl. I already have one of these, but was sure that this copy was a different blue to my copy, so i grabbed it anyway.

The new copy is the one on the left, whilst my old copy is the one on the right. I know some people collect the hell out of this 7" as there are wide variations in the shades of blue and green vinyl. I don't really want to get into that game, but couldn't resist this when it was in my hand for three quid. You know how it is.

I also picked up a couple of Endpoint LPs which I forgot to take photos of, but which I already own. The first one on blue vinyl and the second on grey vinyl. If anyone is interested, get in touch.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Breakin' Out

I travelled up to Leeds on Saturday for day one of Outbreak fest 2017. I had originally intended to go up for the whole weekend, but after Turning Point pulled out I decided that I would miss the Sunday and save some money. However, my plan was foiled by some cunning humans who decided to sell records.

First up is the new Insist 7". I'd heard of Insist before, but actually had no idea they were from the UK. When they took to the stage I was really impressed. Every band before them had been similar sounding, but Insist immediately stood out for me, with a more typically youth crew look and sound. I then found out that they are a straight edge band who have just had a 7" put out by React! Records. And, luckily for me, they had a release version of their new 7" for sale. Numbered out of only 50 copies, 'Here And Now' is another great record by a UK band released by a US label. Good stuff!

Then, as if that wasn't enough, it turned out that Fury had a tour press of their LP for sale. Now, I'd only heard Fury a week before the show, as I downloaded their LP in order to check them out before seeing them live. And I will admit that I played it about 5 or 6 times and was getting into it. So it was a no brainer that I was going to grab a copy of the LP. The tour press has a stamped dust sleeve and comes on pink vinyl. It looks pretty cool. But then again, most pink records do.

So that was all I bought at the venue. Nobody else had any records that were exclusive to the show. But I did manage to buy a few more bits on the day. More of that next time...

Sunday, 30 April 2017

4/20

A couple of weeks ago it was the 20th of April. Something which I didn't fully appreciate (or understand) until this year was that the 20th of April is some global stoner celebration. Seems an appropriate time for me to finally pick up this Carry On 7":

This was made for a show that took place on 20th April way back in 2001. 420 fest happened in Boston, MA and also featured American Nightmare, Panic, Bane and some bands called Late Night Revenge. I guess that if the show had taken place a day later, this cover would probably have looked very different.

I could never really seem to justify paying much for this. I mean, the limited 'cover' is just a piece of cut card placed over the top of the regular cover. It barely even qualifies as a cover at all, as it doesn't cover anything.

That said, it is something a bit different. I mean, why not have a straight edge record with a marijuana leaf on the front? That's kinda punk in itself, right? Anyway, I believe that there were 100 of these, numbered inside the leaf. I'll bet these were a total pain in the ass to make too. Nearly as much of a pain in the ass as it was for me to track one down for a price I wanted to pay.

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...