Wednesday, 29 November 2017

A Parallel Hell

Another Integrity variant that I missed a few years ago was this blue vinyl copy of the split with Gehenna. I remember Dwid telling me about it, but for some reason I didn't pick one up. Blue is the most common colour by a long way, being out of 666 copies. But only 50 of these (I think) came with blank labels, which were then stamped on either side.

For whatever reason I missed out on this when it was released I can't remember, but it's been harder than I expected tracking these things down. This thing is now five years old, and aside from the black vinyl version, I now have six copies, so I dug them out for a celebratory photo:

Shown above are:
Pink vinyl / 200
Clear vinyl / 100
Blue vinyl / 666
Test press / 15
Tour press on green vinyl with test press labels / 100
Blue vinyl with stamped labels / 50

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Persevere

Anyone who reads this thing regularly knows that I'm not a big fan of black vinyl. My reasons are not particularly interesting, but simply because I've always beein into limited stuff, and generally speaking, black vinyl isn't 'limited'. So if you can scan this blog you won't see many black vinyl records. Now and again, however, I'll go out of my way to pick up something black. For example, this Floorpunch 'Division One Champs' 7". It's black vinyl, but given that it comes in the second press sleeve with green lettering, it's sufficiently different to my other copies to warrant buying.

So all of a sudden I find myself in a situation where the only copy of this 7" I don't own is the first press black vinyl copy. So I kinda figure I should probably pick up one of those too to 'complete the set'.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Right Brigade

For as long as I've been collecting records, I've always maintained a want list. It's mainly because there have always been so many things that I want that I need a reminder or reference, else I will forget. If I didn't have a want list and I visited eBay or Discogs, I'd go blank and not know what to search for. So a want list has always been essential. And it's a good job too, because the other thing I have always been is patient. Many years ago I learned that if I sit and wait, eventually everything I want will appear and I will get a chance. Now and again I add stuff to the want list, and then I look now and again. And when something does appear, it's important to me to get it for a good price. So sometimes I can wait for a year or two to get the chance at something, then not bother because it's selling for more than I want to pay. So basically, with these ingredients combined, some stuff will just wit on my want list for years.

Such was the case with this limited 'Clevo Sucks' version of the Right Brigade 7". I've been searching for one for years, and seen several sell for more than I wanted to pay. Every time one would appear, I would be convinced that either I was the only person who had spotted it, or I was the only person who would want it. And every time someone else would pay over $100. I started to think that my own policy of being patient needed some revision. But a couple of months ago I got another shot, and the stars came into alignment.

I don't know much about this record, i.e. why it was created. But it's a cool variant. There are only 38 copies, numbered on the label in thick marker. Also, the labels have the original label detail scrubbed out with black marker. This was released by Stillborn Records, but this variant has no Stillborn detail on it at all. Instead, the back cover has a reference to Standhard Records. It even has a catalog number - Standhard Records #9. It also has some comical references on the sleeve, for example 'Standhard Records Website: www.eBay.com' (which, in 2017, is kinda true), and 'original layout barely done by John Lacroix'. Ha!

After picking up this final piece of the puzzle, my collection of this 7" is pretty much complete. I don't have a test press, but I've never seen one so figure it's an impossible find. So excluding the test, I'm done.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Another Dead End

Oh how time flies. It's been almost exactly three years since I received my Violent Reaction 'Dead End' 7" from Painkiller Records. At the time, I was mildly disappointed to receive a dark grey vinyl copy instead of the camo green that everyone else seemed to get. At the time I wrote 'I am keen to also find a green copy'. Well, three years later and one turned up...

Well, kind of. Because, as you can see, this copy isn't actually very green at all. It seems more of a brownish yellow. So maybe I still need a green copy to sit nicely in between these two...

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

I've Seen The Needle And...

I was actually pretty out of touch with hardcore when THE DAMAGE DONE were an active band, circa 2000-2003. Back then I had a couple of years where I was studying hard for exams, and in that time a lot of new labels and bands were springing up and I just didn't have the time to keep up. The 90s had ended and the hardcore landscape was changing. The internet was really starting to become a major force of news and gossip, and I no longer knew where to look. With nobody to give me any advice, and all of the older labels that I had grown up following and trusting starting to put out crap (or stopping releasing vinyl altogether), as well as the lack of spare time on my hands, I started to really feel like I was losing touch with what was going on. So it's no surprise that, all these years later, I'm still hearing some of the bands from that era for the first time.

Well, a couple of months ago I acquired this awesome test press for the 'City Of Hope' 7" by The Damage Done, which was released by Rival Records (before it changed name to Rivalry) back in 2003, during my period in the hardcore wilderness. Despite having never actually heard the band before acquiring this record, it's one of my favourite pickups this year. It's taken me a couple of months to get around to posting about this one as, believe it or not, I needed several attempts to get a half decent photo. I seriously took over 100 photos of this 7" just to get two that were just about acceptable.

A few years ago I struck up a friendship with Kyle Whitlow. He used to sing for The Damage Done, and he also ran Rivalry Records and released some great records. Being a record nerd, you may also know him as a guy who used to have one of the most jaw dropping record collections on the planet (check Seeking The Simple for the proof). I bought a couple of records from him back when he was selling a big chunk of his collection, and around that time we got into a couple of discussions via email talking about the reasons he was selling. As the years rolled on, our email discussions continued on all manner of subjects, to the point where I count Kyle as a really good friend, and his emails are the highlight of my inbox. When I get an email from him I like to wait until I have a few minutes to read it uninterrupted, as I know it's probably going to be long and raise some interesting points for me to consider. From my point of view, we seem to have a lot in common in the way that we think, and we both love to analyse stuff and think about stuff that most people don't dwell on for more than two seconds. Well anyway, a few months ago I bought a Damage Done test press from someone and mentioned it to Kyle, and he told me that if he'd known that I'd wanted one then he'd have given me one. I wasn't sure if he was being serious or not, but regardless, I asked for a refund on the one I'd just bought and then set up a cheeky little reminder for Kyle to send me a test press. And I was stoked when, a few weeks later, he actually sent me this awesome personalised copy.

I'm almost embarrassed to say that this is currently the only record by The Damage Done that I own, and I'd never even heard this until this came my way. As I said earlier, I just plain missed it. But this is a great place to start. Recently I've had some fun watching videos of the band on youtube, and listening to other bands of the era. I truly believe that the early 00's were an awesome time in hardcore after the bullshit of the late 90s, and I really love the sound of the bands from those days, even all these years later.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Sub Pop Variants

So the UK seller of everything Sub Pop listed more 7"s for sale reently, and I immediately had my eye on a couple of them. They were records that I already owned, but colour variants. One was more expensive than the rest, so I decided to watch them for a bit and see what happened. Well, what happened was quite simply that the seller then listed more records, including something I really badly wanted, so I made offers on a few, all for less than the listed price, and hoped that the seller would accept less money to sell more records. It worked. Two days later the records arrived at my door.

First up is this Rollins Band 7". If you know anything about this 7", you'll know that it comes on both red vinyl and pink vinyl. So when I saw this 'purple' copy, I knew it was rare and decided to grab it.

It's not really purple as such, but more a slightly darker pink. For me, it's different enough to warrant keeping, as you can see in this pic (the nwe one is the one on the right):

Next, a blue marble copy of the Fuckers 7".

The pic on eBay made it look like a solid colour, but in real life it's clear. Just not as clear as my other copy.

And finally, the one I wanted the most. It was only a week ago on an instagram chat that I talked about how there were some orange vinyl variants of the Seaweed 'Measure' 7"... and then a few days later, a couple showed up for sale. Whats more, they were cheap. So I picked up three copies.

This lighter orange colour is my favourite. It has a few pinkish swirls in it, which are quite clear in real life, although possibly not quite so obvious in this pic:

The other two copies were both a darker orange, although there isn't too much difference between them really. If you'd like to play spot the difference, feel free:

And finally, all three copies together:

There's also a pinkish copy of this 7" out there too. yup, just like the Bold 7" and the Unbroken 'You Won't Be Back' 7", these range from pink to orange, with all kinds of mix variants in between. And whilst technically I'm trying to collect all three, I think this is the only one I have a real chance of completing successfully, due in part to how cheap this is compared to the other two.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Loser

Sub Pop singles, day 3 of 3.

At the end of last year I posted some Tad records. I bought a few in one go. One that eluded me, however, was the 'Loser / Cooking With Gas' 7" on pale blue vinyl. In a similar story to the Afghan Whigs 7" I posted yesterday, when I decided that I wanted to acquire this for the second time in my life, only then did I realise that the colour I was missing (and used to own many years ago) was the rarest colour. The asking price on discogs seemed stupidly high, so I waited and hoped and, in the end, a reasonably priced copy came along.

This marks my third version of this 7", alongside the more common green vinyl and the ultra cool clear vinyl test press. There's also a black vinyl version, but as usual I'm not really fused about owning that one. So right here is where this story ends.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Purple Siblings

Sub Pop singles, day 2 of 3, and today's record is a 7" by The Afghan Whigs on a beautiful shade of purple:

Along with the purple vinyl Dwarves 7" I posted yesterday, this was one of the first records I bought, way back in 1992. I'd heard of The Afghan Whigs, and just bought this 7" as a way of checking them out. I got it from a record store not too far from my house, and my copy just happened to come on purple vinyl. Then a couple of years later, I sold it.

After realising I'd made a mistake a few years later, I then tried to acquire one of these for my collection, and then it became apparent to me that the purple vinyl is actually quite hard to find. I picked up a couple of other versions over the years, but even though I already had two copies of this on different colours, I couldn't resist the lure of the purple vinyl. As a fellow lover of coloured circles, I'm sure you can appreciate why.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Get High

Almost exactly a year ago, I picked up some classic Sub Pop records from a UK seller. It was a good end to a bad year. And recently, the same seller listed a few more items, so I grabbed some items to fill some holes in my Sub Pop collection. It didn't feel right posting them in one go, so I thought I stretch them over three posts...

First up is this copy of the Dwarves 'Drug Store' 7". I've owned a purple vinyl copy of this since about 1992, and back then I remember reading in a Sub Pop discography in Record Collector magazine that the first press came with a 'Fuck You Up And Get High' pin. But it was only a couple of years ago that I actually saw one for the first time. It seems relatively hard to find a copy of the record with the pin, and tougher too to find one in good condition. But this one ticked all the boxes.

The first press copies with the pin 'only' come on black vinyl.

But as well as the pin, the other thing that differentiates this from later pressings is that the inner sleeve is printed with a live picture of the band in action:

There's also a coupon attached for the Sub Pop singles club. It's always nice to find a 7" which has the coupon still attached.

Aside from this and the purple vinyl, that's all there is for this 7". No other colours exist. So unless I ever find a test press, this one is now done.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

I Told You I Was Freaky

Earlier this year I picked up a colour vinyl repress of the first Flight Of The Conchords LP. After picking it up, I also wanted the second LP, 'I Told You I Was Freaky', on colour vinyl too in order to complete the set. A couple of weeks ago a copy popped up for sale in the UK at a fair price, so I grabbed it quick.

Like a lot of clear purple records, the record itself looks really dark, but looks a lot more majestic with a light source behind it.

The record itself comes in a printed inner sleeve which has a photo on each side - one of Brett, and one of Jermaine. Each has diamond tears of a rapper on their face.

There's also an insert which contains the lyrics:

And there's a huge poster too:

I'm guessing that most people who read this aren't into or familiar with these guys. They're a New Zealand duo who had a TV show that aired on HBO network in America for two seasons between 2007 and 2009. I re-watched the shows a couple of years back and then ended up downloading the songs and listening to them a lot. Even though the songs are are in-built into the episodes of the show, and (obviously) meant to be comical, they're well written and catchy as hell. And also, in case I never mentioned it previosuly, their records were released by Sub Pop!

These bufoons are playing live in the UK next year and the tickets sold out in seconds. I missed out and am bummed as there are rarely any shows that my girlfriend actually wants to come to with me. I'm still hoping to get some tickets on the black market nearer the time. Time will tell on that front I guess. But to finish, I mentioned the tears of a rapper earlier, so here's a link to a video in case you're feeling adventurous...

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Lincoln Union 7"

Being a hardcore kid of the 90s, there are some records I hold dear to my heart that a lot of people have either forgotten about or never really knew about in the first place. I think the band Lincoln fits into this category. Their first 7", released by Watermark Records in 1993, was one of the first 'new' hardcore records I bought when I first started getting into straight edge hardcore in 1993. At the time, the only other bands and records I'd bought or heard were older bands, most of which had broken up by 1993. But Lincoln was a current / new band, and their debut 7" seemed to have everyone's attention when it came out. As discogs says, Lincoln was 'an American emo/hardcore band that existed in the early 1990s known for blending song structures that were similar to Washington, DC straigtedge bands of the time with screaming vocals and were generally considered one of the more influential bands of the burgeoning second wave of 'emo' in the early 90s'. I think that's a pretty fair description.

Their debut 7" is often referred to as 'Union'... although I was never really sure whether this was the title of the 7" or not. 'Union' is the title of the first song, but doesn't appear as a title on the front cover, so I was never sure if it was actually titled 'Union' or whether this is just how people referred to it. Anyway, I just picked up this green vinyl copy for cheap.

One thing that was slightly annoying about this 7" is that the seller only sent me a photo of the record, not the cover. I wasn't bothered because I was mainly interested in the shade of green vinyl. But when I received it I found it had a price sticker on the front. Oh well.

I've actually owned a green vinyl copy of this for a long, long time. But the reason I picked up another copy is that it's a different shade of green. At least, that was my reason for buying it. I actually used to own two different green vinyl copies of this years ago, so always had it in the back of my mind that there were two different greens. So when I saw this for sale I asked for a photo to see if it was indeed the brighter green that I was looking for. But when I saw the photo, and went to check my record, it then realised that both copies also have different colour labels.

This is what I love about record collecting. After owning this record for over twenty years, this is the first time I realised that there are two very different versions of the green vinyl. Given the relatively obscurity of this 7" in the modern, internet age, I'm also wondering how many other people know (or care) about this. Probably not many I would guess. But this seriously made my week.

For anyone unfamiliar with this 7", check it out on boobtube:

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Do Or Die

When the pre-orders for the new Burn LP went live, I wasn't exactly excited. If anything, I would probably rank my interest level at 'indifferent'. Despite being a record collector, the number of vinyl options put me right off, as well as the fact that they were all splattery swirly options. I ordered the European version ('Transparent Red w/ Orange + Black Splatter') and left it there.

First observation when it arrived was that it was severely lacking in the orange department. It just looks like red with black splatter to me. Not that it matters really.

The whole package is pretty high quality, with lots of bits included. The record itself comes in a great looking inner sleeve with a huge Burn logo up the side:

There's also a ridiculously huge booklet included which contains the lyrics. It's 28 pages thick, and the record sleeve itself is wider than average to accommodate it.

As much as the inclusion of a booklet is a cool move, this feels like a slight let down. I mean, if it were full colour and contained photos of the band and more of the burning building artwork it would have been cool, but devoting each double spread to one song's lyrics seems a bit of a wasted opportunity.

Anyway, what about the record itself? What's the verdict? Well, I have to say I like it. It's good. I was sceptical at first, and not overly impressed with the first song, but after getting over that and giving the other songs a chance, I think this is a good record. It sounds familiar enough to be recognisable as Burn, yet slightly different and up to date sounding. I was slightly disappointed to find that it contains re-recorded versions of two older songs ('Last Great Sea' and 'New Morality'), although I have to say that they definitely sound good. Both songs have been slightly slowed down and harder. So overall, this has proved an enjoyable record. Not an instant hit that I crave constantly, but one that I find myself going back to every couple of days. More of a slow burn, if you will ;o)

Oh yeah, and they also threw in a gigantic poster too... although between the booklet, the record and the poster, there are too many pieces to fit inside the sleeve.

So overall a good record but a few mild irritations on the packaging.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Nothing But The Blame

A couple of years ago, Rev reissued the third Soul Search 7" 'Nothing But A Nightmare', which had previously been released on Back To Back Records. I was into it and made a mental note to pick up other Soul Search 7"s if they fell into my path. And two years later, a couple did.

I picked up these two different colours of the 7" that Rev reissued. I have no idea on pressing info for this record, but I suspect that these two colours are second press and are probably not too rare. Still, they look much nicer than the reissues.

I also picked up this gold vinyl 'Bury The Blame' 7" on Triple B Records. This is a second press copy and the most common colour pressed out of 440 copies.

Nothing too interesting to see here, I admit, but at least they were all pretty cheap.