Wednesday, 25 February 2009


Sometimes strange and cool things happen. You look back and think that maybe if you hadn't done this, or had done that, there may have been a different outcome. I've always said that the only thing that I ever seem to have good luck with is records, and this is a story of something cool that happened recently that was largely down to good fortune.

It all started three weeks ago. Out of the blue I got an email from some dude saying he had a test press of the 1st Bane 7" that he would sell if I was interested. Turns out he had typed "bane test press" into google and somehow found me! I replied immediately to say that yes, I was interested, although I wanted to know how the guy even had the record. I mean, I know that a couple of the later records on the same label only had 3 test pressings made, and i had never known anyone to have this before, so part of me worried it was some kind of elaborate scam. Anyway, the guy replied & said he used to be in a band with the guy who released this (Aaron Dalbec) who also happens to play guitar for Bane. So it all sounded legit. But then we started to talk money, and I suddenly realised I wasn't entirely comfortable sending some random stranger a load of money based on a couple of emails. Yet at the same time, I didn't want to risk losing out on the chance to get a rare record. So I realised that I needed some kind of plan...

The only idea I could come up with was to get fellow Bane enthusiast (and CEO of howsyouredge) Brian Murphy to go and collect this record in person from the seller. I did, however, worry whether this would actually work out though. Firstly, I worried that it might sound a bit cheeky to ask someone that I have never met to do me a favour like this. And secondly, I figured that Brian would himself probably quite like the record, so asking him to fetch it & then mail it out of the country felt kind of an unfair request. But I had no other ideas. So I just emailed murphy my idea & threw in some vague promise to get him some Nikes to sweeten the deal. Thankfully he went for it, and two days later he went over to see the dude & pick up the record.

It turned up in the mail yesterday. Here's what all the fuss was about:

Just a regular, bog standard test press from United. No cover, no numbering, nothing. So here's a picture of it next to the regular sleeve for the record, just because it makes it look slightly more interesting:

I would ask Dalbec how many of these exist if I thought he would have a clue. But last time I talked bane records with him his memory seemed to malfunction. So it's probably not worth it.

Also, as promised, I picked up some Nikes for murphy on my lunch break last week, and sent them over to the States. This is the first time I ever sent shoes overseas.

I wasn't sure how to describe the parcel contents on the customs form. In the end I opted for "casual shoes", figuring the package would have a lower chance of being stolen than if I wrote "dope ass sneakers".

Anyway, as well as the Bane test, I got a couple of extra items thrown in. First up, a numbered cover and CD for my Bane 'Ten Years Plus' 7", since my 7"s came un-numbered and without CDs (you can read about that HERE)

The other bonus item was an old compilation called "Soundtrack To The Revolution". In my opinion, however, this record should have been called "Soundtrack to Aaron Dalbec". This record is interesting for the following reasons. First, it is on yellow vinyl and hand numbered out of 500:

Second, was released by Dalbec's first label, Onlook Records, in 1994:

Third, it features a band called Knockdown. This band featured Tre McCarthy (of Deathwish Inc) on bass and Aaron Dalbec of Bane on guitar. It also features a band called Converge, which also features Aaron Dalbec on guitar.

I'm stoked to have picked this up. I'm also surprised I never heard of it before. But cool that I just managed to pick up a record from 1994 in 2009 because some random dude emailed me after typing "bane test press" into google. The wonders of technology never cease to amaze me.

So that's it. The story of how I came to own a Bane test press. I now have 2 of the 7 Bane tests. Only 5 more to find! Anyone who can help will be handsomely rewarded (Seb!).

Finally, I would like to extend my gratitude to bmurph and dickie cummings for their help with this one.


Monday, 23 February 2009

Random 7"s

Three ebay 7"s all rolled up on the same day. None of them particularly exciting.

Let Down 1st 7" on gold:

A-Team 7" with tour sleeve:

Conviction 2nd 7". This one's for a friend.

Try as I might, I can't muster the energy to write anything about these. I need to get to the more interesting records that just showed up...

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Make Do With What You Have, Take What You Can Get

Today I received my copy of the ADULT CRASH book:

This is a new(ish) book of photographs by Dave Brown, who does a label called Vicious Circle Records, which is a hardcore label that has been going for a long time. He's also a hardcore veteran with lots of stories to tell from shows he has been to over the years. More importantly, Dave Brown (kind of) discovered Clutch... so a lot of people owe Dave a favour and don't even know it.

One thing Dave is keen to emphasise is that he is not a photographer. In the intro, he says that he has never owned an expensive camera or taken photography lessons. Rather, Dave just had the foresight to stick a camera in his pocket before he left his house to go to the show... for twenty years. And now he's assembled over 400 of these photos together and published them in book form. To make the whole thing more interesting, he got some hardcore scenesters (John Joseph, Walter Schriefels, Tim McMahon and lots of others) to pen some words about surviving the "adult crash". And even better, he got some bands (Down To Nothing, Kill Your Idols, Slumlords & Cloak / Dagger) to contribute to a 7" to make the whole package even more attractive. The most limited version of the record was white vinyl, but this sold out in about an hour, and I didn't get one. But I'm happy with my blue vinyl copy because it's a nice shade of blue:

The problem with the book, in my opinion, is that there seems to be no order to it. I mean, you'll have a page with pics of bands from 1989 stuck next to modern bands like Down To Nothing. It kinda gives me the impression that, whilst the photos themselves were carefully selected, the order in which they are presented was anything but. As I turned the pages, I just found myself wishing that the photos were put into some kind of order, whether it be chronological, alphabetical by band, by venue or by some other method that I can't think of. The randomness kind of annoys me.

Overall though, I'm into this. In essence it has come about because a guy who loves hardcore decided to gather together a bunch of his photographs and make them into a book. And this is a truly fantastic concept. Hardcore was built on the DIY principles that anyone can do a band, release records, take photos or make a book, and ADULT CRASH just proves that it's true and it works. Stuff like this is why I love hardcore in the first place.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

A389 Order

This is a lesson in impulsive purchasing. I went to the A389 Records website a couple of weeks ago to order a copy of the 2nd press of the latest Integrity 7", but decided that buying one 7" was not economical, so figured I should buy something else to make placing an order worthwhile. Here's what I ended up ordering:

Integrity 'Walpurgisnacht' 7" second press on clear:

Oak LP on blue (apparently only 100 on blue):

The overall look of this LP is great. Art both inside & outside of the gatefold sleeve makes this a record that you look at & just get drawn into. I can't explain it, but basically it just has something about it that makes it interesting, due entirely to the artwork. It's been a long time since I have bought a record on the strength of the artwork alone.

I also picked up a first press of the Pulling Teeth LP:

I'd never heard this band before, so figured I would check them out. I guess most people use myspace to check bands out these days, but that's no fun to me. I like the "whole package" of a record, i.e. i like checking the artwork & perusing the lyrics while I spin the disc.

Finally, a 7" by a band called Supreme Commander. I never heard (or heard of) this band before, but it was the last copy in the webstore of the limited sleeve, so I figured it worth picking up and checking out.

Including postage, this lot set me back $76.60. What's funny is that the 7" alone would have cost me $9.30, which means that I spent a further $67.30 to make ordering "worthwhile". Believe me, this probably sounds as stupid to you as it does to me. What a cretin.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Striking Distance Test

There's nothing like getting something good in the mail to brighten up an otherwise crap day. Today is a perfect example. Here's what showed up:

Striking Distance 'March To Your Grave' LP Test Press. My first Youngblood Records test press. My fifth version of this LP. One of my favourite post 2000 hardcore records.

This band toured the UK circa 2003/4. I remember because the nearest show to me was Manchester, but I didn't have a car back then & couldn't be arsed to catch the train over on my own. Boy how I regret that now. I guess the lesson is that if you can't get to a show due to lack of transport, go anyway. Otherwise you'll live to regret it. Having said that though, I did see Set To Explode play in 2006 when they toured, and that was one of the best shows of all time. They even played my favourite Striking Distance song ('Fail Me, Fail You'), causing me to enter the crowd feet first and probably kick someone in the face. So it all turned out ok in the end.

I'm not exactly sure if I bought this or traded it. Kind of both. I can't be bothered to explain. But big thanks to Juan for helping me secure this. You rule dude!