Thursday, 15 August 2019

SSS

Moving on, the next items I picked up in a lot from a reader of this blog are by the band SSS. I was actually at the band's very first show in Liverpool. The only thing I remember was the singer swinging a wooden chair leg about at one point. A few weeks later at a different show I bought their CD demo, and a few months later still I picked up their 7" and LP, both of which were released by Dead & Gone Records. This was back in 2006. I picked up the limited colour vinyl copies of each, both of which were on clear vinyl. And now here I am 13 years later picking up the record release show versions of each.

First is the 7". It comes in a spray painted card mailer, and is numbered out of 50 copies on the back.

The mailer is sealed shut, and there's a sticker over the back of it. The previous owner left it sealed and so right at this moment it doesn't feel right that I should open it, even though I am keen to see what's inside. There's a similarly packaged Walk The Plank 7" which I own and which I did open, and inside it's like a pop up book. So I'm sure that whatever is in here must be pretty cool looking.

Next is the LP, which comes in a cloth tote style bag:

Fortunately the bag isn't sealed shut, so I could easily take out the LP and have a look. It's pretty cool. The band have basically taken the standard LP sleeve and spray painted the logo on the front in gold:

And on the back, they've each written some nonsense.

The back cover is also numbered out of only 25 copies.

I've just added both of these variants to discogs as neither were there previously. What I then found interesting is that the band released 3 more albums, the last of which was in 2014. I literally had no idea they had kept going for that long. It's also funny that, whilst I really enjoyed these two records, I never really had any desire to listen to any more of their output. Funny how that happens sometimes isn't it?

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Walk The Plank

The next item in my haul from a long time reader of this blog is a test press of another great record from the 2004/05 era of UK hardcore. Walk The Plank 'Dead Weight In Hostile Waters' LP. The band were active circa 2004-2006 ish. As I type this it seems crazy that they only existed for about three years, because I saw them play quite a few times in that period, and looking back it felt that they were around for longer. Wow. Anyway, the band featured Lecky on vocals (most known for being the vocalist of Voorhees previously, who had been one of the most 'successful' UK hardcore bands ever at that point in time) and they always sounded raw, hard and tight live. And with Lecky himself being a bit of a record nerd, they put out smoe great reocrds in super nice packaging. They had a 7" with pop up artwork, a 4 x 7" series, all in gatefold sleeves, and a full length with cool cover art and a couple of limited collectible versions. Pretty much a perfect hardcore band in every sense. But they broke up and sadly appear to be less well remembered than other bands who weren't as good.

Anyway, in short I loved the band live and I loved the records they put out nearly as much, so I was pretty stoked to be able to pick up a test press of their LP.

Again, this Dead & Gone Records release comes only in a plain white paper sleeve, with a D&G stamp and the release details written underneath. It isn't a visual treat, but tests aren't really about that. So as usual I took a photo of the test next to the regular sleeve:

On a related note, I'm now starting to get into the process of adding releases to discogs. I own something like 500 records that aren't listed on discogs at all, so I figured I would start adding them to the database. This test press wasn't there previously, so I just added it. But in doing so I notice that there is a limited version of this LP for some reunion show in 2012 that I had no idea about. So that's one for the collection and one for the want list at the same time!

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

On Thin Ice

A couple of months ago or so, someone reached out to me via this thing to tell me that they had some stuff for sale. It used to happen quite a lot in the early days of the blog, but these days nobody reads this anymore and any communication from it is rare. So it was nice to get an email from a long time reader, and even nicer when he sent me a list of records which had some nice little items. A few weeks later and they were delivered to my house, but it has taken me over month to take any photos. Such is life. Anyway, I figured I would break the pile into a few different posts else it would be too long.

I thought I'd start with some UK hardcore from 2004/05 era. On Thin Ice were a band from the 'dirty south' of the UK that I saw play a lot in a short space of time. They sound very similar to early Blacklisted, which was a sound I was very into back then. Come to think of it, I still am. Anyway, I picked up a test press of their debut 7", released on Dead & Gone Records in December 2004.

This one isn't a lot to look at, which is kinda surprising for a test from this era, which was when tests really started to become collectible, and most had alternate covers made. So kinda cool that this is just in a plain paper sleeve with a stamp. But this record is one of my absolute favourites from this era. I still listen to this one regularly (which these days means probably once or twice a year). It's every bit as good as anything being put out by similar bands of the time in the States (i.e. everything on Dead By 23 or Malfunction Records).

I also took a photo of this next to the regular cover:

I also picked up three copies of the On Thin Ice / Down To Nothing split 7" that I didn't have, and only 14 years after it came out. The first version is the pink vinyl in the US record release sleeve. Numbered out of 125 copies on Grave Mistake Records.

I also grabbed a red vinyl copy, which to be honest I'm not even sure I knew existed. Discogs tells me that there are only 50-75 of this colour, but I'm not sure I believe that. I'm sceptical of any information on discogs, but that's another story.

And finally, a UK pressing of the same 7" on Dead & Gone Records with a limited tour cover. In theory I was at a show on this tour and could have bought one there, but I never actually saw them for sale.

This split 7" has a crazy number of variants. Discogs contains 15 of the things. I now have 7 and don't think I really need any more, but if someone has a US test press I probably wouldn't say no.

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Hard Stance

As I said in my last post, I am trying hard these days to avoid spending money on represses, reissues and discographies. Yet I manage to make exceptions to the rule all the time. So here is yet another example of me breaking my own rules...

A few months ago Indecision Records put up the Hard Stance 'Foundation' LP for order. No, the band hadn't reformed and recorded a new LP, but instead Indecision had compiled all of their output onto one handy discography LP. As discographies go, this one is pretty good - it has artwork that is the same as their 7" (rather than some new design that doesn't look right) and it includes a glossy booklet. There were three vinyl colours to choose from, so I picked the most limited (blue / 200). I didn't feel I needed more than one copy.

The LP contains 20 songs, which is quite a lot for a single LP. Fortunately none of the songs are too long. But check out the number of tracks on one side of the LP. Looks kinda cool if you ask me:

Inside, the booklet contains lyrics and a lot of photos.

And despite me saying that I didn't feel that I needed more than one copy of this one, I could not resist picking up a test press. Indeicison never used to sell their tests, but have done so with a couple of their newish releases. It does actually look pretty cool, coming in a black sleeve with a spray painted logo, and a spray painted catalogue number on the back.

Mine also features a nice corner ding for extra punk points.

So is this worth buying? Well, yes. I mean, it sounds good, it includes an unrecorded song (played live) and it looks good, and its nice to have all their output on one piece of wax. Although no doubt in a year or two I will probably regret buying it as I seem to do with pretty much all discographies.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Fat Represses

Even though I have been trying to avoid represses, reissues and discographies for a while, I always seem to be able to find reasons to bend my own rules and buy more of the things. Today I present two more examples...

Firstly, a repress of the Good Riddance 'Symptoms Of A Levelling Spirit' LP from 2017. I kinda got the bug for picking up Good Riddance records after picking up another of their represses ('Ballads From The Revolution') last year. I think partly it's because I know that some Fat Wreck stuff is highly sought-after and hard to get, so when the chance comes along I figure best take it.

Apparently this red vinyl repress (which seems a far better colour choice than the original grey vinyl pressing) is limited to 327 copies. I didn't actually own a vinyl copy of this LP before this, and it was super cheap, so everything worked out pretty well.

I also couldn't help myself from picking up this yellow vinyl repress of the Sick Of It All 'Life On The Ropes' LP.

I'm not exactly sure what it was that made me want to spend money on this. I mean, this is far from my favourite Sick Of It All record. I guess the prospect of a Fat Wreck colour vinyl LP for $10 seemed too good to turn down.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Curl Up And Die

In early June a fun little competition was announced in the weekly update email from RevHQ. This is what it said:

The main riff in "ITSAFUCKINGTIMEMACHINE" was written to sound out a message in Morse code, so they decided to name the track using the same code. If you're able to figure out the message being played by the guitar, e-mail it to us at webmaster@revhq.com, and we'll enter you in a raffle for a chance to win a Curl Up And Die test pressing. Go!

Once I read this, I was intrigued and wanted to have a go. Fortunately, with modern technology the way it is, the fact that I didn't even own the song in question (as it was released on CD only) didn't prove too much of a problem as I was able to play it on youtube. But even after finding the song, and (eventually) transcribing the morse code, figuring out the message proved quite a challenge. It was one of those things that just got in my brain and wouldn't let go, mainly because I felt like I was close to getting it and would probably figure it out if I just invested a few more minutes. Eventually I clocked up a few hours of trying to figure this out, and then just gave up. But to give myself a chance I at least emailed the morse code sequence to show I had done SOMETHING.

In the next week's email they printed this:

Last week, we told you about the Curl Up And Die song that's titled in Morse Code and contains a message within the music in that same code. We challenged readers to try and decipher the message in the song's main riff and the task proved more difficult than we thought. Of the "many" replies we received, only one came close. While our valiant reader translated the notes into Morse Code correctly, he was unfortunately unable to break the dots and dashes up into the correct corresponding letters on the Morse Code chart. The notes in the main riff of track #3 ("ITSAFUCKINGTIMEMACHINE") on Curl Up And Die's EP "But The Past Ain't Through With Us" were properly transcribed by our loyal reader Marcus A. as: -.-...-.--.. But without the spaces between each set of dots and dashes that identify an individual letter, it proved impossible to guess that the bands intention was for it to read as: -.-. ..- .- -.. , which, when translated from Morse Code, spells out C U A D. Thanks for reading, and to the determined Marcus A, we say: -.-. .-.. --- ... . . -. --- ..- --. .... -.-- --- ..- .-- .. -.

For those of you who don't understand morse code, the final bit translates as 'Close enough, you win'. Which I was pretty happy with. A few weeks later and it showed up at my house.

As with a lot of test pressings, and especially those from several years ago, there's no cover. It just looks as above.

The final picture shows it next to the regular sleeve, just because that somehow seems appropriate.

This is far from my favourite record or even Rev release, but I do think it makes for a cool little story. A nice change from 'I bought it from eBay' or whatever. Colour me stoked!

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Freewill Demo

I really love the Freewill LP. The mysterious, unreleased Wishingwell Records release that existed only as a test press for 28 years until New Age Records finally pressed it to wax to give it an official release. A melodic hardcore classic, but sadly the only record that the band put out. Well, until a couple of years ago, when the demo was put to vinyl by Mankind Records.

Last year I picked up the blue vinyl copy at RevHQ, but they were out of the more limited red. Fortunately the dude who released it works there, and he told me he had a few left. So I said I'd get in touch when I got home and we'd figure it out. I think we worked out a deal and I paid within about three weeks of getting home, but it then took months for me to get the records. Not that I was particularly in a hurry or anything.

The red vinyl is the more limited colour, out of 200 copies.

And of course, in the discussion about it, I asked about the possibility of buying a test press, which led to me buying a test press. Funny how things work sometimes eh?

So here's the set of three, which nicely makes a complete collection.

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Ten Spot At Denko's

I'm trying to avoid buying represses and reissues as far as possible these days, but some I still can't seem to ignore. A few months ago Dischord repressed a couple of classics and I couldn't resist adding them to the collection.

'Wig Out At Denko's' is Dag Nasty's second album and one which will always split opinion. Some people think this is their best record, others will say it's the first album 'Can I Say'. It doesn't really matter. Both are great. The thing that both have in common is that they were both pressed on black vinyl only until about 2008 or so, when both were repressed on colour vinyl. I'm not sure how many of each colour were made, but they seem relatively hard to come by these days. The thing I didn't like, however, is that those represses were on euro vinyl and the sleeves were made of super flimsy card. So a decade later it doesn't seem unreasonable that this record has been repressed again, on a better quality vinyl and with a proper sleeve.

Again, I have no idea how many were made, but it feels that not many people have picked it up as it is still available from Dischord and has been up for sale for at least 7 months.

The second record I added to my cart was the reissue of the first Shudder To Think LP, 'Ten Spot'. This one has been remastered and comes in a completely redesigned sleeve with different artwork, and is also on blue vinyl.

I seriously love Shudder To Think and have done for many years, but this reissue is a little disappointing. I'm not a huge fan of the new artwork, as it just feels a little boring, and there's not really much else of interest going on either. I can't really imagine that anyone who isn't overly familiar with the band would look at this record and have their curiosity peaked. Definitely one that would be flipped past in the racks. I guess it just feels like a bit of a wasted opportunity, which is a shame as this record SOUNDS great.

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Crucial Times

Another day, another big item scratched from the wants list.

Youth Of Today 'Can't Close My Eyes E.P.' on orange vinyl. 100 were made, and I've had this on my want list for quite a few years.

Until I picked this up, I've only ever owned one copy of the 'Can't Close My Eyes' in 7" format. You can see it in the background photo of this blog. A plain old black vinyl second press copy. I've never been overly excited about trying to grab a first press copy, or a Some Records copy. Mainly because they are pretty expensive and are, ultimately, black vinyl records... which I have always found pretty boring, and for which I have always been less motivated to pay big money (excluding test pressings, of course). But I did always want this orange vinyl pressing of the record, for obvious reasons, and it's especially cool to pick one up that is in mint condition.

Here's what the Rev discography says about this, in case you're unfamiliar with it:

4th press: 100 orange vinyl
The final press of the 7" originally done by Positive Force records. These were made by Jordan and Ray to trade for toys. The only press of the 7" on colored vinyl and contains a small Batman insignia on front sleeve, B-side label, and inner record sleeve.

Aside from the four (count 'em!) batman stamps on this thing, I also love how the label on this one got changed to blue ink, rather than black. Somehow the blue label really compliments the orange vinyl.

And of course, now that I have this, I have even more of a yearning to go after a first press and Some Records versions, although I can't see that these will ever really be a priority. But hey, we shall see...

Monday, 22 July 2019

The Aborted

Almost five years ago I paid more than I had ever paid for an aborted press copy of the Warzone 7".. I featured it on here, but that was kinda cheating as I never really intended to own it. I had bought it to trade to someone else, so it was in my possession for only a few days. It was (is) stupidly rare, and I genuinely never thought I would ever own a copy for myself. Heck, I wasn't even too bothered about not owning one as it was too rare (and too expensive) for my blood.

Well, time flies and things change, and by some miracle I somehow now have one of my own.

For those of you unfamiliar with this one, this is what the Rev discography has to say about it:

There was 41 copies of the initial pressing that come with white paper labels rather than blue and have the 'Warzone' logo on the sleeve colored in with orange magic marker. Besides the normal lyric sheet, a number of the first press come with one of two fold out inserts that have a photo of a band member on either side.

This copy does indeed come with a big fold out insert that has pics of the band members, as well as a 'standard' insert. Just like the last copy I picked up, there is a lot of folded paper going on here:

The other copy I picked up contained a Warzone sticker, but alas this copy does not have one. But hey, you can't have it all I guess.

So that's the 7th copy of this 7" that I now own, yet still there are a few versions I don't have. I doubt I'll add any more copies of this one as the ones I don't have are rare and expensive and I am not that fussed about owning them. But then again, that's what I used to think about this one, so who knows?

Monday, 8 July 2019

Who We Are II

I vaguely remember when I started collecting Descendents records a few years ago. Finding one of their records felt like a rarity, and as such it was kinda exciting. I remember how stoked I was to grab 'I Don't Want To Grow Up' on red, and 'All'on blue. Those were exciting records to buy. These days, however, any excitement has been well and truly beaten out of me by endless pressings of new releases. Yet still I consume. I was hugely underwhelmed with the clear vinyl euro pressing of the 'Who We Are' 7" on clear, but still decided to add a red copy to my collection.

This one was for the States, and is on a better quality vinyl (or so it feels), plus it actually came in a poly bag. But yeah, it doesn't really interest me in the slightest I'm afraid.

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Dew It!

A couple of months ago I went to see Into Another play, and I had pretty much ignored (or not cared) about the fact that Beyond were supporting. I've never been a big Beyond fan. I Picked up their LP about 25 years ago and thought it was ok, but over the years it never really found itself coming back onto my playlist. So I wasn't too fussed about seeing them play.

The first night we only saw a couple of songs, but the second night I watched the whole set and actually really enjoyed it. Even though the band looked kinda old and there wasn't much energy in the room, the songs kinda clicked with me more than ever before. I found myself wanting to buy some records, although obviously there's only really one. Still, I managed to find something to waste my money on...

A couple of years ago Rev repressed the band's only official release, the 'No Longer At Ease' LP. I didn't pick it up at the time due mainly to not being bothered, so decided to grab a copy of the rarer colour, which is 'opaque red':

Around the same time, Rev also put the band's 'Dew It!' demo onto wax, along with a live set. Again, I picked up the rarer colour which also happens to be 'opaque red', although the eagle eyed amongst you will notice that both of these 'opaque reds' look pretty different to each other.

Kinda funny that seeing a band live can re-ignite my interest in songs that I have owned for 25 years, but sometimes that's exactly how the game plays out.

To end, here's a couple of songs I filmed from the show I went to. Enjoy...

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Toybox Records

I don't remember when exactly, but at some point last year a lot of grown men got very upset at not being able to buy a toy monkey. Super 7 put up a Gorilla Biscuits boxset for order, containing a blue vinyl pressing of the self-titled GB 7" and a gorilla toy. I tried to buy one but failed. I'm not going to pretend that I wasn't disappointed, but I accepted it, didn't whinge and moved on with life.

A few months later and I got the chance to pick one up for cost price, which I couldn't really turn down.

I have to say, the box is pretty cool. But the record looks a little cheap, mainly due to the plain looking labels.

And it doesn't have a sleeve. There is a folded up poster, but I'm not sure whether this is supposed to act as a cover or whether it is just supposed to be a poster.

And then a few weeks after I picked this thing up, another one went up for order at RevHQ. A 'second pressing' purple box was made and again I couldn't say no.

This one is kinda the same yet kinda different. This one opens in a different way. Rather than open like a book, it's a slipcase style to reveal the toy inside.

This one comes WITH a purple vinyl pressing of the GB 7", which (unlike the blue version) has a more typical style sleeve.

The sleeve itself is a booklet which contains a bunch of photos and some blurb about the record from various people involved in its release.

As I mentioned, the purple box comes WITH a 7". I'm emphasising this because it doesn't actually fit inside the box. Well, the record fits inside, but the sleeve is too big. So a bit of a major cock up.

And I think this is how I feel about both of these things. They both feel like a missed opportunity. The blue one doesn't have a proper cover, and the labels look too plain. And the purple record doesn't actually fit in the box. So slightly underwhelming really.