Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Supertouch Live on WNYU LP

Still catching up on my backlog, here's one I got a long ass time ago... the Supertouch 'Live on WNYU 1988' LP. This one came out on 17 March 2011, which was a date selected because it was exactly 21 years to the day after these songs were recorded. I'm not sure exactly how this vinyl version came about, but it was released by a new and unknown label, Horror Hotel Productions, and the release was not very well publicised. Still, I managed to pick up on this early enough to bag me a couple of copies.

There were 500 copies made in total. The first 200 were on red vinyl, the remaining 300 were on black. However, I think that there were also 50 release show versions... although, to be honest, I'm not sure on this - I think there may have actually been 100 release show versions, 50 of which come in a white sleeve, and 50 of which come in a black sleeve. I'm not sure, mind. But were there 300 black vinyl in a regular sleeve and then an additional 100 black vinyl in release show sleeves (making 400 black), or were there 200 black in a regular sleeve and then 100 with the release sleeves? Does anyone know? Does anyone other than me care? Sometimes I doubt it.

As much as I like Supertouch though, I have to say that this LP is pretty dull aesthetically. The front cover is alright I guess, but the back is a bit boring, the labels are boring, and there's no insert of any kind. I dunno, I figure that releasing something on the 21st anniversary would have meant that there would be some kind of information included. Something. Not nothing. So overall I'm seeing this as a good one to have on vinyl, but at the same time, it's hardly great. A missed opportunity I would say.

Also, the label's online store meant that it was not possible to order one red and one black copy. So I placed an order and got sent red vinyl only. I still have a spare red if someone wants to make a trade for a black one.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Youth Of Today CCME 2011 Reissue

Revelation recently sneaked out another classic reissue. Nobody I know seemed to know that this one was on the way, so it was quite a surprise to get the weekly Rev email and find out that there were two more pieces of vinyl to pick up.

The record in question is a 12" reissue of the Youth Of Today debut record 'Can't Close My Eyes'. Originally released as a 7" by Positive Force back in 1923, this was repressed by Revelation as a 12" circa '97. And now again, in 2011.

This year's pressing comes on two colours of vinyl - red and purple. I got one of each:

As has been observed, there is a fair bit of variation between the shades of purple that this thing comes on. As you can see above, mine is very pale purple and looks almost grey. Others are very purple. Dobek has so far managed to obtain and document FOUR distinctly different shades so far. Peep his photo HERE.

This reminds me of two other records which have always featured on peoples' lists as either grey of purple:

1. Deadguy 'Fixation On A Co-worker' LP

2. Warzone 'Live At CBGB'

Both of these records are frequently described as either grey or purple. I think the reason is because this color is actually just all the random leftovers thrown in together. Some dude used to call it 'putty'. Others have referred to it as 'scrap'. Whatever. The point is, any record pressed on this colour is always going to have a ton of variations just because of how it's made. So stop trying to buy up every copy, Dobek!

What I like about this record is that Revelation have based the layouts on the original 7" pressing of this record. The previous YOT reissues that came out in the late 90s were remastered and came in new artwork... which was, for the most part, not very good compared to the originals. The 90s reissue of this record has by far the worst cover of any YOT record ever. Here's a pic to show the current reissue along with the original 7" and the awful 90s reissue.

And here's a few more pics to show the recent reissue next to the original 7". It's kinda cool how they've tried to make this new 12" version as close to the original 7" as possible. God only knows why they didn't do this back in 1997.

I guess I wouldn't be surprised if the other YOT records got the reissue treatment soon. I guess they must have been out of press for a few years now. If they do get repressed it'll be very interesting to see what happens to the artwork.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

'No Peace / VVar' Box Set & Tests

Record Store Day. It was the best of days, it was the worst of days. But one release that didn't even make it on to the radar of most people who were participating in the day was a compilation that was sneaked out by Organized Crime Records.

Entitled 'No Peace / War' this 7" features Integrity and Rot In Hell (both of which I think are ok, as you may have gathered) as well as some other Holy Terror favourites like Gehenna, Vegas and Cape Of Bats. The idea of the comp is that each of these bands covers a song by a Japanese hardcore band. What I know about Japanese hardcore could probably be documented on a single grain of rice, but hey, this seems as good a place as any to start my schooling.

The Record Store Day deal was that there were 135 copies on blue vinyl made for punters in the States, and 185 copies on yellow for the rest of the VVorld. Unlike most of the RSD output though, there were only about two stores in the whole world that actually knew about and ordered this thing. In other words, this was next level hard to get. I mean, this one was so limited that there was no point in even trying to THINK about putting it on your want list for the day. No chance.

However, those of us in the know were always destined to get one through the secret channels in which we mix. So when the time came, I took the chance to own this thing on the most glorious format known to man - the box set.

The box itself is a regular 7" mailer, which has been adorned with some of the usual HT symbology. It is numbered out of 35 copies. I picked up number 34/35:

The box is then sealed by a thread of cotton wrapped around two Japanese coins which have been attached with some kind of rivet type thing.

Once opened, the inside of the box is decorated with the band logos.

Inside are four versions of the 7". Now, I know that I mentioned before that there were 135 on blue and 185 on yellow for the States and the VVworld respectively, but then you also get a green copy (mail order version) and red (band colour). Just like Japanese records, each record sleeve comes wrapped in an obi-strip, and the obi-strips here are printed in the colour of the vinyl inside. A great little touch if you ask me.

The care and attention that has gone into making these things is once again impressive. Putting these things together is clearly a labour of love for label owner Clint. As you can probably tell, it's not just any old fartknocker that gets the chance to pick up such special items, and I feel both lucky and privileged to get in on this.

But it doesn't end there. Oh no. I also had to go one stage further and pick up the tests.

Organized Crime does seem to have some bad luck with pressing plants. Pretty much every release seems to have a rejected test press, and an accepted test press. I'd probably start looking for a new pressing plant if I had this many problems. Anyway, this also means that there are two sleeve variations on the tests.

First up, the rejected test. Not sure what the cover is, but my guess would be that it is taken from a G.I.S.M record.

The accepted test is the 'punk' cover. I think this is taken from some Japanese punk comp LP (featuring G.I.S.M.) that came out before you were born.

A truly beautiful piece of art.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Skull Crusher 'Blinded By Illusion' 12"

The thing that the mp3 generation are missing out on (in my opinion) is artwork. As I have probably said before, I have been drawn to some records & bands in the past by their artwork. A good cover will draw your eye to a release, and can grasp your curiosity. This record is a great example of that.

The record in question is a 12" by Skull Crusher called 'Blinded By Illusion'. It was released by Livewire Records in 2010. Unlike every other Livewire release, I initially ignored this record. Not sure why. Possibly it came out at a time when money was a little tight. I can't remember. But I recently saw the artwork somewhere on the internerd & it served as a reminder to pick this up. So I did.

The band features Ed McKirdy (owner of Livewire Records) on vocals and Gordo (of Double Cross) on drums, with some other dudes who I haven't heard of doing other stuff. For me this is a difficult record to pigeonhole. I guess it sounds like New York hardcore from an era when bands were bringing metal into hardcore. Kinda brought the Icemen 7" to mind, and maybe stuff like Cro-Mags... but with Dan O'Mahoney style vocals. Kinda interesting, kinda good in places, but also kinda average. Overall though I would say that this is alright. Not bad, but nowhere near as interesting as the cover would have you believe.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Roses Never Fade - The Man They Want To Hang 7"

Somewhere around about 2007, I ordered a 7" by a band called Roses Never Fade. The only reason I had heard of the 7" is because at the time I (like most people) used myspace, and one day Dwid from Integrity posted up about another band he was in having some new 7" available to order. That was about as much information as I needed at the time, so I placed an order. At some point further into the future (could have been weeks, could have been months - I forget), I got a refund. No word of an explanation. But at least I got my money back. Needless to say (although I'm going to!), I never received the record. But until A389 put the album out at the start of this year, I probably didn't care, seeing as I had never heard the band and didn't realise what I was missing.

Once I got the album, however, I realised that Roses Never Fade was indeed good stuff, so naturally I wanted the 7"... although with there being only 100 copies in existance, it was not going to be an easy find. But thankfully I managed to track one down.

As I have mentioned before, this band is one of my current obsessions. I don't want to talk about the music because I don't know what I can say other than "I like it, you should check it out", but I've said that before twice already. So for now, I just want to show you the record itself, because it is a well crafted item. Entitled 'The Man They Want To Hang', there are only 100 of these things (hand numbered, of course), and each comes with a small noose attached to the dust sleeve by means of a wax seal.

Looks good huh?

There are 4 songs on here. One made it onto the 12" that A389 put out. The other three are exclusive to this 7"... although they were tagged onto the end of the album for the CD version released by Neuropa Recordings. So I guess they were exclusive to the vinyl format via this 7". Also, for the record, I would just like to say that the final song doesn't really fit with the rest of the band's output. It's longer, is not acoustic and sounds a lot heavier. To me it sounds like Isis with Dwid yelling over the top. I'm not sure why I am telling you this. You probably don't have the song, don't care, and even if you do then you're going to disagree with me because that's the kind of stubborn ass that you are.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Hang The Bastard 'Hellfire Reign' LP

A few short weeks ago I went to see my old mate Robert Moron play with his current band Narrows in some shithole in London. It was in the uber fashionable Shoreditch zone of London, where people generally look like THIS and/or THIS. Thankfully though, the occurrence of a hardcore show in the cultural centre of this zone meant that the bellend ratio was reduced to a slightly less offensive level for the evening. Thank god.

There were three bands that played. The first I missed all but the first song and I have no idea who they were. The second band were called HANG THE BASTARD. Now, I acquired a split 7" with them on a year or so ago, but it never really struck me as anything too special and as such I wasn't expecting too much from them. I guess that's how life is generally though - high expectations are rarely met, whilst low expectations are easily exceeded. And the latter was certainly the case for me that night. Hang The Bastard blew me away. I don't know whether it was the duel guitar with Slayer t-shirts and bandana style approach, the bassist who looked like he could have been in a metal band playing working men's clubs in the 80s, the singer's Leeway t-shirt, or just the fact that a full metal assault was happening upstairs from some Friday night hipster fancy dress party... but somehow everything seemed perfect, and the band ripped the fuck out of the venue. I was so impressed that I came right home and ordered their debut LP, 'Hellfire Reign', which turned up a couple of weeks later.

Now, I can tell that these dudes are pretty well grounded in both hardcore and metal. But from an aesthetic point of view, the metal influence is much stronger. The cover of the LP is maybe a bit dodgy, but hey... hipsters would hate it, so I can't complain.

The record itself is on split blue and green vinyl. There were 400 on this colour. There were also 100 copies on black, but they sold to all the people who had the sense to have been listening to this band for a lot longer than me.

Ok, so anyone who knows me knows I am not the biggest fan of metal. But I make the odd exception, mainly if its hard and dirty. This band takes moments from a lot of bands I do like, or used to like a few years back, and puts them together on one record. It's interesting stuff, and I haven't managed to pull myself away from this record for the past two weeks now. And remember - you heard it here last.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Neglect 'Pull The Plug'

Another hole in my colour vinyl Wreckage Records collection filled! Here's the Neglect 'Pull The Plug' 7" on green. Wreckage was a label that firmly believed in keeping their colour vinyl properly limited and hard to find. They would make like one record in every ten a colour record. I believe that this 7" on green was limited to only 200 copies:

This band was great. Pure negativity and hate. Hard as nails. I guess their 'gimmick' (if you can call it that, which you probably can't really) was that their main theme was suicide. I remember hearing stories when I was a kid about how apparently some Beatles records could be played backwards to reveal secret messages about killing yourself or some crap. Well, Neglect dispensed with this old fashioned idea of secret messages, and just got straight to the point. Their 12" was called 'End it', they had a song called 'Fuck Life', and their lyrics advocated slitting your wrists and blowing your brains out and stuff like that. If you've not heard (or heard of) this band before, then I can imagine that this may sound quite interesting, but back in the early 90s when this band was about and I first heard them, all I remember thinking to myself was "if you think suicide is so great, then why don't you stop singing & get on with it?". 16 or so years later and this is probably still a reasonable question to put to them. Haha! Anyway, since they briefly reunited in 2005 (ten years after breaking up), I'm guessing these dudes must have taken their own (much later & uncharacteristically positive) advice and decided to 'Hang On In There' after all.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Integrity 'Detonate Worlds Plague' 12" Test

Last year Integrity dropped their first album in years, the aptly named 'The Blackest Curse', on hardcore super label Deathwish Inc. As far as I can tell sat here in my remote corner of the world, it went down pretty well with idiots the world over, and helped further build interest in the band that seems to have been steadily increasing over the past three years or so. Deathwish is a pretty big label in hardcore terms with good distribution, so I'm sure they shifted a fair few copies of that record. It's just a shame though they still didn't get around to putting together my suggested 'blackest' pressing on black vinyl with black labels in a plain black sleeve. Ha!

Anyhow, knowing how well received that album was last year, the latest release seems to me to be a relatively low key affair. It seems that not a lot of people are aware that there is a new Integrity 12" which is now available for purchase. I therefore think that people need to sit up and take notice.

Me, I still didn't get around to ordering the regular version(s) of this thing yet. But I did manage to acquire a test press because I'm a sneaky fucker like that sometimes. I believe that there are 20 of these things out there in a screen printed sleeve:

This record is entitled 'Detonate Worlds Plague +6'. That's because the first song on it is called 'Detonate Worlds Plague', and there are then six other songs on it after that one. And if you buy the CD version (which is only $6.66), it also contains all the songs from all of the 7"s that have come out in the past couple of years as well plus it has a 30 minute interview, which is really interesting.

Now, pay attention, because I am going to say this only once - this is the best Integrity record of the past 15 years. Seriously. If you ever listened to and enjoyed Integrity then I would advise you to give this record a chance. You won't be sorry.

The only thing left to do is give you the magic code. So here it is:

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Self Destruct Release Show 7"

Why do people sell lots on eBay? I mean, seriously, what's the point? Generally it seems that people do it to get rid of records that they probably couldn't sell on their own. Yet if they aren't the ones that are desirable in the lot, then people are buying the lot for the other records. Which means that they would still pay the same price if you took away the more undesirable records from the lot. Which means that you may as well sell the good ones and just give the unsellable ones away.

Anyhow, the lot I bought recently was two copies of the first Self Destruct 7" - the release show sleeve version (which I wanted) and the regular version (which I already had). The total price for the two was £2.99. I would have paid more for the Release show version on it's own, so I thought it was a good deal.

Self Destruct were a UK band active for not very long (or so it seemed), probably circa 2006-8 or thereabouts. In my opinion, a great band, but they seemed to come along at a weird time when the UK scene that had spawned them was starting to fall to pieces. Two years prior and I think they would have gone down much better. Then again, maybe my idea of how popular they were is slightly distorted by the fact that I had moved down south and didn't really see them play more than twice. Oh yeah, they also featured old Iron Hat from Rot In Hell on drums. Just in case that gets any of you Americans more interested. I know you love Rot In Hell over there.

This 7" was released by the UK's own Dead & Gone Records (which, ironically, is now both dead and also gone!). I think that this record was one of only about three D&G releases for which there was no colour vinyl pressing at all. Which means that the only limited version was the one with the release show sleeve, of which there were only 50... and since the release show was in some shit hole northern town, I didn't go and thus wasn't able to pick one up when it came out.

The best thing about this is that the sleeve is is printed on photographic paper. I like this, because all too many sleeves are made on photocopiers, and end up deteriorating over time as the ink wears off. So it's nice to see one on quality paper which is as good as bullet proof. Come back in 25 years and this will still look as shiny as the day it rolled off the printer.

Finally... as I mentioned, I now have a spare of the regular version of this. If anyone wants it, get in touch.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Revelation catch up

I realised that I was a little behind with my Revelation collection a few weeks ago. I wanted to place an order in order to catch up, but at the same time I figured I should hold off on ordering until they put some of the RSD 7"s up for order, as I was missing the light yellow Burn 7". But then murphy sent me the Burn record, which effectively gave me the green light to order the other stuff that was outstanding.

The item I was least bothered about was the new album by rock / power pop band By A Thread. To be honest, I only ordered it because it is on Revelation. I got their first LP when it came out about 10 years ago, and I enjoyed that a lot back then, but the prospect of a new album in 2011 was not attractive. I guess time moves on and ten years later you wonder why you ever liked a certain band or sound at all. Well that was the case here. I was not excited by this whatsoever. The boring looking cover didn't help its cause much either.

I have to say though, this could be a contender for album of the year in my book. After I bought it I played it & gave it a chance, and my god, I am glad I did. I dunno whether the sunny weather makes a difference, but for two weeks straight I could listen to nothing else. Itunes tells me I have listened to this thing now 28 times, which is quite a lot considering I have had it less than a month and I stopped listening to it a week or so ago because I got hooked on something else. Anyway, suffice to say that this is a great, great record, and perfect for this time of year.

Next up was a hole I had to fill that really shouldn't have been there in the first place. Back in December I ordered the Past Present compilation LP, and the label sent me a black vinyl copy instead of a yellow copy. I know, I probably should have had them arrested or something, but instead I just left it a few months before finally placing another order. Anyway, I'm happy to finally have one of these things on egg yolk vinyl:

Next up, one that I would call "a repress too far". Haha! This is a repress of the Shai Hulud 7". Technically, this isn't on Revelation Records, but Crisis Records, which is (was) Revelation's sister label. But still, it has the Rev logo on the back, so I feel that I need it, even though I think this band is truly awful (sorry Juan!).

And finally, the second press of the Mouthpiece discography LP. The second press is out of 500 copies on green vinyl:

The vinyl colour is actually very similar to another classic Revelation release. I took a photo of the two together to prove my point:

It struck me that the first press of the discography was on white, and the second on this green, so I did start to wonder whether the two colours were specifically chosen as some kind of tribute to Judge. So I actually took the trouble to check this with Tim McMahon, who was kind enough to reply back & confirm that yes, I was right. So there you go. The 'Chung King white' and the 'Bringin' It Down green' were not random vinyl colour choices. And by the same logic, I would assume that if there's enough demand for a third press that we can expect to see it on clear orange. Ah well, here's to hoping...