I used to be a big big fan of Rocky Votolato. For those of you unaware, Rocky is a dude from Seattle who used to be in a band called Waxwing. He was also an 'actor' (in the loosest possible sense of the word) in the film 'The Edge Of Quarrel' (I've never actually seen this film, by the way). Anyway, after Waxwing disbanded, Rocky started writing and performing songs solo. And back at the turn of the century, I was WAY into this dude. I remember getting a text one day back in 2003 or so from a friend whilst I was studying in the library, telling me that Rocky was playing that night in Sheffield. I packed my shit into my bag and left the library immediately, and headed off to pick up my friend as suddenly driving to Sheffield was the only thing that mattered. And at that point in life I probably would have driven to the North Pole if I'd heard he was playing there too. Such was my love of what this dude was doing at that point in time.
Well, these days I'm less excited by this style of music. But when I got chance to buy a bunch of Rocky test pressings from Second Nature Records, I took it. I managed to get a test of almost all of the albums. Each comes in the same style 'sleeve', which is basically a folded piece of card. So here goes...
01. The first, self-titled LP. This was released in 1999, although back then it was CD only. The vinyl followed a few years later. I'm not sure when exactly, but I would guess at least 2005.
02. The second LP, 'Burning My Travels Clean'. This one came out in 2001.
03. The third LP, 'Suicide Medicine'. This one was originally released by a German label called Hometown Caravan in 2005, and was then re-pressed by Second Nature a few years later. This is a test of the Second Nature version.
04. The fifth LP, 'The Brag And Cuss', released by Second Nature in 2007 (as you may have realised, I didn't manage to get a test of the fourth LP).
05. The sixth LP, 'True Devotion'. This came out on Second Nature in 2010. I don't own a regular version of this LP.
06. The seventh LP, 'Television Of Saints'. I also don't own a regular version of this one either.
07. And finally, a test of a 7" called 'Ends Like This', which came out in 2007. I don't own a regular version of this one either.
The sad thing about all of these tests is the condition. They were sent to me in PVC sleeves, without the records being stored in paper dust sleeves. The records themselves had become stuck to the PVC sleeves, which meant that when I took the records out, they look completely fucked. The artwork on the card strip things had also stuck to the PVC, and some got torn or ripped as a result. It just goes to show how bad a choice PVC is for storing your records. Here's a picture of one of the records that shows what I mean. The weird patchy surface is just how it looks, it is not a trick of the light.
Awful isn't it? And each one of them is like this. Ugh.