Monday, 28 April 2014

Forever Becoming

There was a time, probably back in around 2005/6, when Pelican were in my top 10 bands. Back then it seemed like Isis had spawned a whole new genre of music and I couldn't get enough of it. I remember that I went through this period when I felt that vocals RUINED music, and I would rather listen to some ten minute instrumental opus over a 2 minute hardcore blast. I don't think it was just me either. It seemed that lots of new bands of this style were springing up, and the 'press as many different colours of vinyl as possible' approach started getting out of hand as people could not get enough of this stuff.

These days I would say that I'm pretty much bored of this genre. I still listen to Isis from time to time, but I sold a lot of this kinda stuff already as I honestly don't care about much of it anymore. Still, Pelican were always my favourite, so I was keen to check out their latest album 'Forever Becoming'. I'm not sure exactly when it came out, but I only became aware of its existence when I started to see it for sale on eBay a couple of months ago. Obviously I had to have a colour copy.

My thoughts on this thing are mixed. I enjoyed it initially, but the problem was that after only two listens it felt familiar. I mean, it's good that they haven't strayed anywhere new or been too experimental... but at the same time, it feels a little stale and predictable. So overall, whilst I like it, it doesn't exactly fill me with excitement. Still, at least it looks nice eh?

Monday, 21 April 2014

Life On The Ropes

So Sick Of It All had a couple of their more recent albums repressed for Record Store Day a couple of days ago, and I wasn't interested. I'm not sure why, but as I've said before, there are some bands that I want to own multipe versions of records for, and some I don't. And whilst I'm pretty much a lifelong Sick Of It All fan, I've never been interested in seeking out multiple pressings of any of their records (except the first 7"... because it's on Rev). I think part of this is that I view a lot of the LPs are crappy reissues. I mean, I have an original 'Blood, Sweat And No Tears' with lyric sheet, and I don't feel any need to own a coloured vinyl repress on some weird Euro label.

Well, I'm interested in owning one copy of each LP, and I want the first pressings. But there was one LP that I had (until a couple of days ago) never owned, and that was the 'Life On The Ropes' LP from 2003. It came out around the time that Bridge Nine released the 'Relentless' 7" (which I did buy, and which is the opening song on this LP). I'm not sure why I didn't buy this when it came out, but it came out on Fat Wreck and the colour vinyl is pretty damn hard to find and pretty damn expensive even if you can find it.

I grabbed this from eBay. The seller was based in Japan, which I assumed would scare off most potential bidders. I was right. I was the only bidder and got this for a lot less than it usually goes for. It's not exactly one of their best albums, but I'm happy as it is very hard to come across.

Now I only really need the green vinyl copy of the 'Live In A Dive' LP and I'm done. Anyone wanna sell or trade me one?

Sunday, 20 April 2014

RSD 2014

After last year's bad experience, I decided I wasn't going to do Record Store Day again. So yesterday I stayed at home. I spent the day doing other things... although the longer the day went on, the more I wanted to go to the record store, as I saw lots and lots of RSD related photos on instagram which all conspired to make me feel left out.

Well anyway, there was one record I wanted more than any other, and that was the Cave In 'Jupiter' LP reissue. I had a friend in the States looking for me, but he didn't find one. I saw a lot of photos of black vinyl copies, but when I saw some dude post a color one up on instagram that was bought in London, I realised that not only did colour copies exist, but that some had made it to the UK. So this morning I called up Banquet Records in Kingston, which is about as local a shop as there is for me, and the dude on the phone told me that they had one copy left. Even better, it was a coloured copy. So I jumped in the car and drove straight there. Luckily it was still sat on the shelf, and wasn't even that bad a price. Sold!

The main reason I was so interested in this repress was that it was packaged with an extra 12" of previously unreleased songs, entitled 'Anomalies Vol. 3', which is on orange vinyl and comes packaged in a plain white DJ style sleeve.

So of course whilst I was there I had a quick look around to see what else was available. To be honest, most of it was crap and overpriced. But I did decide to pick up the Husker Du 'Candy Apple Grey' LP on colour vinyl. This has never been pressed on colour before, and whilst I knew it was being put on to grey vinyl, but had no idea it was also being pressed on 'lilac blue' (which most people know as 'purple').

The funny thing was that I also spent time deliberating whether or not to buy the One Direction 7" picture disc. Not because I like One Direction, but because I wondered if I could flip it and make some decent money. The store had three copies left, but it was £9 a go, which seemed a lot... but it looked as if they were selling on eBay for anywhere between £25-50. In the end I decided against it. Partly because it would seem wrong to use RSD to flip crap and make money, but more because of the feeling of shame of buying a One Direction record.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Bug Live

If I could go back in time I'd probably shoot whoever invented the live album. I mean, seriously, what is the point? The cynic in me thinks that the whole point of these things was to fulfill contracts. You know, like a band signs a 5 album deal and then wants to leave the label after 3, so to see them out of their contract the label releases a live album and then probably some kind of greatest hits compilation. But other than that, live albums have no point.

That said, if you like a band a lot and they release a live album, it's hard to say no. So I found myself happily paying money for a copy of Dinosaur Jr's 'Bug Live' LP, which is a recording of a show at which they played the classic 'Bug' LP live in its entirety.

What I like best about this is that the cover art is some kind of tribute to the original cover art, rather than some kind of stupid live photo, which is what most live albums seem to use. Here's a photo with the live LP cover next to the original cover:

So despite not really liking live records, there are at least two other versions of this one out there that I would like to own. It comes on purple out of 200, and a green vinyl in a sleeve numbered out of 50. I probably have a chance at getting the purple, but not the limited sleeve version. Still, whether I ever obtain them or not, it's kinda funny to think that I actually want three different versions of a live album at all when usually one is too many.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

This Month's Integrity Post

Barely a month goes by on here without an Integrity post, so here's this month's, which is made up of some random 7"s which have nothing in common other than that they are 7"s by Integrity.

First up is this second press reissue copy of the 'In Contrast Of Sin' 7". I think when this came out I was pretty much fed up of reissues, so I consciously decided not to buy it. But then as time went on it felt like I had made a mistake by leaving it. There were two second press colours and I still need the other. I'm sure I'll pick it up eventually.

Next is a first press copy of the split 7" with Creepout, on the Japanese label Juke Boxxx records. There were three versions of this one made. Previous to this, I had the rarest version with a tour sleeve. This one here is the most common version, although I think this is by far the best looking sleeve.

And finally, the A389 records pressing of the 'Black Heksen Rise' 7". This contains the songs from the split double 7" with Rot In Hell. It was originally pressed as a single 7" by a small label called Indie Recordings, and now A389 have pressed it on four different colours of vinyl.

Of course, I had to pick up all colours to score maximum idiot points...

I think I need to make an Integrity wants list. There are so many variants of so many records that I missed that I feel that I need to make a list to keep track. But with more Integrity releases planned for Record Store Day, it seems that things are likely to get worse before they get better. Maybe I should just throw in the towel...

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Shit Rolls Downhill

I picked up my first copy of The A-Team's 'A Is For Asshole' LP in March 2009 (i.e. five years ago!) and I wrote in that entry 'It also comes on camo vinyl, which I guess I would also like to pick up at some point'. Well, it would seem that 'some point' has finally come around...

Ok, so it's not really camo vinyl, but that's how a lot of people referred to it a few years back. I'm not sure how else you would describe this colour other than perhaps dirty green. Not that it matters of course.

I always liked this band and this LP. I had an email from the brother of one of the band members a year or so ago. He had found this blog and asked me if I could email him a high res photo of the LP cover. Apparently he was going to use it to get a shirt made up for his brother's newborn baby. Well, at least this blog came in useful for once.

Thursday, 10 April 2014


You may or may not be aware, but at some point in the next month or so Bane will release their final LP. After almost twenty years as a band, the time has finally come for them to hang up their boots, throw in the towel and whatever other clichés you can think of. So no doubt there will be some Bane posts on here in the near future. But for now there are still old releases that I am chasing.

Here are two records that were a lot harder to find than they should have been. These are second pressings of the 'Los Angeles 3:58 PM' 7". I can't find any pressing info on the shitty label's website, but according to discogs the second pressing consisted of 700 on clear vinyl and 300 on blue vinyl.

There is definitely something wrong with the pressing info. In theory, there are 1000 copies of these colours out there. I'm not sure exactly when they were pressed, but it was at least two years ago. Now, the reason that I don't believe that there can possibly be 1000 of these records is that I check eBay for Bane records EVERY DAY and these things never ever appear. They are also not on discogs. Well of course, eventually they did both pop up on eBay a couple of months ago, and both from the same seller, so I grabbed them. But it seems impossible to me that so many can exist yet so few could become available over such a long period. So I'm calling the pressing info bullshit. There's no way that there are 1000 of these things out there.

This 7" annoys me for another reason too. It's the only 7" in the series that for which I still need a test press. I did win one from the flakey label guy on ebay a couple of years ago, but it never came, and I stupidly left it too long to raise an eBay dispute. It's probably going to haunt me forever and be the only record I can't find a test for. Utter bullshit.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

A Positive Hardcore Compilation

I'm not sure which is my favourite 1997 straight edge compilation 7". The choice is either 'The Time Is Now' or 'Growing Stronger'. Both have great bands and great songs, but tough to choose a favourite. I guess I'd have to cop out if you pushed me to pick one. I'd say that 'The Time Is Now' has the better songs, but 'Growing Stronger' 7" has better quality aesthetics and packaging. It has a great photo on the cover, a nice glossy cover, and giant insert(s) and a few different vinyl colours to keep things interesting. My latest is this red vinyl copy:

Red is the most limited version made, with only 57 hand numbered copies out there:

As I mentioned earlier, this thing came with a couple of large, folded inserts. I unfolded them and took this photo of the inserts next to the record and cover. As you can see, you get a lot of paper for your money.

And of course, picking up this fifth copy of this record, what else was I going to do but get my other four out for a group photo?

The red lettered sleeves are the first press, and the blue are the second. There was also a third press with yellow lettering on the sleeve, but I don't have one of those. Kinda feel like I need one now for some reason...

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Good Things

Here's one that has been a long time coming for me. Insted 'Bonds Of Friendship' LP on white vinyl. I can't say that this is my favourite record, or even in the top ten, but it's a record that I have owned for many, many years and throughout all of that time a white vinyl copy has eluded me. Not that it is the rarest record ever, as I know a lot of people who own one, and everyone has seen it before, but this is just one of those records that I was always too late for. I have traded with and bought from lots of people in the past, several of whom were selling their collections, and every time I found someone who had one of these it seemed that they had already got rid of it before I got there. I've also bid on several copies on eBay over the years and always came second. Ideally I wanted one in the shrinkwrap with the 'color vinyl' sticker still intact, but as they say, beggars can't be choosers.

In the end I won this one on eBay. There was one I bid on with the 'color vinyl' sticker that I didn't win, but a week or so later this one appeared and sold for about $100 less. I can certainly live without that sticker for that price.

And just because I can, I decided to take out my red copy for a final photo. I've seen lots of peoples' photos of the white and red together, so this is nothing new, but I was just stoked to be able to take this one myself.

I remember back in the 90s when Kent McClard wrote some piece in 'HeartattaCk' zine about turning 30 and he printed the lyrics to 'Good Things'. It was a pretty depressing read, based around the notion that 30 was old in punk years and the best years were definitely in the past. At the time I thought that 30 seemed a long way away, but I also remember wondering if, like old Kent, I'd still be listening to Insted when I got there. I'd love to be able to travel back and tell my 20 year old self that I'd be picking this thing up on white vinyl for the first time in my late 30s. Ha!