Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Better Off Green

Here's another 97A 'Better Off Dead' 7" and, as you may have noticed (unless you are colour blind), unfortunately it's not a red vinyl copy.

On the plus side, however, this copy is on clear green vinyl, which is actually a reasonably tough find. There are only 50 copies, which isn't many at all, especially as a % of the total press for this record.

Here's a pic of a part of the insert which states the pressing info:

I'm still holding out for a red vinyl copy of this record before I retire. There are only 25 copies and, unlike this one, they are hand numbered. I missed out on one on eBay once, which really irritates me as I haven't seen another for sale since. If anyone has one they can part with, let me know.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Problematic

Another ALL LP for the collection. 'Problematic' is the band's 8th album (or 9th if you include the live album 'Trailblazer') and originally came out back in the year 2000. I wasn't really into them back then, so have no idea how it was received, but I would guess that it probably didn't make much impact.

This copy is a reissue from a couple of years ago. The fact that this is still available from the label two years later kinda suggests that this isn't the most popular record or band... which is a shame, as this is a really great record. In the same way that the Descendents 'Everything Sucks' and 'Cool To Be You' LPs don't sound quite the same as their early LPs, this doesn't sound much like the early ALL LPs. However, just like those aforementioned Descendents LPs, it's full of catchy tunes.

I've lost count now of how many ALL LPs I have managed to pick up now, but I've still got at least couple more to get for the full set.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Fastbreak Friday

I picked up another copy of the Fastbreak 'Don't Stop Trying' 7". It's funny, but this record came out in 1996, and I probably picked up my first copy a year or so later. And here I am, 21 years later, still picking up more different copies. This one is the (I think) 5th pressing from sometime in the mid 00s. I'm not sure how many were made exactly, but I do remember when it was pressed not buying one and thinking it was lame to repress this again years later. Which makes it kinda funny that I just caved in and bought one.

And only a couple of weeks after I picked up the solid yellow copy, I FINALLY had an opportunity to grab a 1st press blue vinyl copy. This is the one that eluded me for years, and ended up being the last colour copy for me to track down. Cool to finally have one.

So that's that. Twenty one years on from this record's release and I have a collection I'm happy with. Here's a couple of pics of the lot together:

Included here is: 1st press test press (/55), 1st press blue vinyl (/100), 2nd press gold vinyl (/100), 3rd press red vinyl (/100), 4th press clear vinyl (/100), 5th press yellow vinyl (/not sure).

There is actually a second test press that was made for the mid 00s repress. I think there are quite a few of those (50 or so) which, I guess, it would be nice to have. If I did have one, however, it would make the photo more challenging. I mean, 6 is a much easier number to deal with than 7, right?

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Test II

Not much of a story to this one. I was browsing eBay and came across this test press for the second Black God 7", entitled 'II'. I won it as the only bidder and snagged it for $10. Good job, Captain!

I thought it was pretty cool that I appeared to get number 1 out of 10 too. But then I saw ANOTHER copy for sale on eBay which wasn't numbered at all. Which makes me think there are probably more than ten. Which made this one then seem less cool than I first thought.

I see this as the start of another collection. The objective is to get test presses of all 4 of the Black God 7"s. Kinda funny as I don't even own the third or fourth 7"s at all yet. Once again I'm probably setting my sights unrealistically high...

Monday, 19 June 2017

A Second (And Third) Glimpse

When the latest Dinosaur Jr LP came out last year, it felt that there were too many colours of vinyl, and as is often the case with new releases, I was determined not to get sucked in. So I went to my local shop and purchased a purple vinyl copy. And I thought I was happy. Well, that was until I realised that purple vinyl was out of like three million copies, and there was a rare clear vinyl version. Then I wasn't quite so happy after all. But by good luck, and via a reader of this blog, I was able to get a copy of the clear vinyl from Newbury comics direct for much less than copies were trading hands for on eBay and discogs.

And of course, once I had the purple and clear, I couldn't help then going to the Amoeba Records online store to order a copy of their exclusive blue vinyl version too, in order that I may 'complete the set'.

So there it is. Proof once again that if there are multiple versions available, I will make it difficult for myself by ignoring them when they first launch, only to then decide I want them once they are sold out. Fortunately, however, this time my own dumbass plan backfired and I ended up with all three copies for new release prices.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Do Not Request Clear

If you know anything about Relapse Records, you'll know that they press 100 copies of every release on clear vinyl. These are for the bands and label only, and are not available to Joe Public. Their store always makes a point of clarifying this by stating the pressing info for the release which always includes '100 x clear' along with the statement 'Do not request clear'. See HERE for an example.

Anyway, just before Xmas last year, I was searching eBay and came across an auction for the new(ish) Ringworm LP, 'Snake Church', on clear vinyl. I added it to my watch list. I noticed that it was being sold by the label, so knew it would be a good condition, unplayed copy, which kinda made me want it more. To my surprise, I bid and won it for not too much money at all, and a decent amount less than people were trying to sell copies on discogs for sure.

Just like the last Ringworm LP, the cover looks awesome, and the clear vinyl compliments it perfectly. Definitely the best colour to own it on I'd say.

Well obviously I looked at the other items being sold by the label, and there were a lot of clear vinyl records. Maybe they were trying to recoup some cash and figured xmas would be the perfect time. And whilst I'm not the biggest fan of the label, it does have a few bits that I like, so I ended up watching a few auctions. Most of them went for lots of money and I didn't even enter a bid. But there was one recent release that was sitting at a pretty low price, so I had a cheeky bid and, surprisingly, ended up winning it.

This is the debut LP by Sumerlands. It's a metal record featuring DFJ from every hardcore band of the last 10 years. I actually listened to this band a couple of years ago on someone's recommendation and wasn't overly into it. But when I read Mike's blog a few months ago, I was going through a period where I was searching for something new and interesting to listen to, and his post made me want to give the band another go. So I downloaded the album and gave it a few listens, and started to get into it. And then saw the clear vinyl copy for sale. Basically, the planets aligned and everything fell percectly into place.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Blessed Majesty

So it was 7 years ago that A389 Records released Integrity's 'To Die For' LP as a 10" record. And back then I pushed the boat out and paid for a test press. I was pretty stoked back then because the test press was on a cool blue vinyl, and numbered out of only 5 copies. Well, at some point later I learnt that there was also a red vinyl test press too. I had no idea when it was released, and suddenly felt short changed. I mean, imagine, you fork out some big money for a test press and then find out that there was another different test press. So I waited and waited and eventually I managed to get one.

I do like the cover on the red vinyl test press. Definitely the most attractive cover in this set of 10"s for sure.

Well anyway, shit got worse, because after I found out that there was a red vinyl test press, which I was chasing, I then found out that there was also a black vinyl test press too!!! I mean, holy crap, three different test presses. What the fuck was going on? No idea, but it really doesn't matter. The point is, it's an Integrity record, it exists, I need to have it. And fortunately, I managed to grab one at the same time as the red one.

So finally the quest for the 'To Die For' test presses is complete:

There are 25 test presses in total - 5 blue, 15 red and 5 black. Obviously there can't be more than 5 people who could possibly own all three, so I count myself very lucky here. Or possibly very stupid. Definitely one of the two.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Soul Structure

It was two years ago that I first saw and heard Higher Power play live, supporting BURN in London. They were pretty good, and I picked up their debut 7" as a result. A week or two ago their debut LP came out, and man, it's a good one. Released by Flat Spot Records in the States, and Venn Records in the UK, 'Soul Structure' comes in a sleeve that makes it look kinda like a mid 90s grunge record.

My copy is the clear with orange haze vinyl from Venn Records in the UK. I think there were 300 of these made.

Musically this reminds me a lot of the second Leeway LP. It's hard but also has a real groove going on. I have played this once or twice every day for the past couple of weeks, and no sign of it getting boring yet. This one will surely be the sound of summer 2017, mark my words.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Last Piece Of The Puzzle

I've always been a fan of Gameface. Well, not always obviously. I mean, when I was like 3 I had never heard of them. But ever since I first heard them, I've been a fan. I first saw them play in Summer 1995 or 1996 (can't remember which exactly) and since then they've always been a band whose records I have picked up, to the point where I now have a pretty good collection. The latest edition is this test press of their first record, the self-titled 7" which was released in 1991 by Nemesis Records.

In line with tradition, here's the test press next to the cover for the regular version of the record:

This represents the 4th Gameface test press in my collection, which I'm pretty happy about. Unfortunately, a couple of their records came out on Revelation, so I'm never going to own those. But there are a couple of other releases that I could realistically aim to find in the fullness of time, so fingers crossed...

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

The Prodigal Son Brings... Records

Following on from the Search post, here are the other records I received as a part of the same trade deal. I'm putting them as a separate post as it somehow didn't feel right adding them to the end of the Search post.

This one's a funny one, but I saw a copy of the Mind Eraser 'The Prodigal Son Brings Death' 7" a few months ago on this particular colour of vinyl, and it made me wonder if I owned it. In my head I had three copies and this wasn't one of them. So I checked, and I was correct - I owned three colours, but not this particular colour. And I couldn't think why that was the case, given that I thought I owned pretty much everything from Youngblood. Well anyway, I then saw one for sale on ebay, and bid and won it. But somehow forgot to pay for it. And then I started negotiating a trade with the person who was selling it, so he just threw it in as a part of the trade deal, which was nice as it saved me some hard cash.

I'm not sure how to refer to this colour. It looks kinda brown, but when held up to the light it's more like gold with black swirls. Whatever. Anyway, it's a colour I didn't have, so I'm happy. Here's my updated lot of this one:

Now, I was happy with the trade right there. But dude was under the impression he still owed me more to make it an even trade. So to keep him happy in feeling that the trade was even, I happily accepted the offer of yet more versions of a couple of LPs I already own. Just because... well, you know. The first of the two is this clear & white vinyl version of the last Blacklisted LP, 'When People Grow, People Go'. I was into this LP when it came out a couple of years ago, and at the time I picked up the rarest colour, which just so happened to be the one that loooked the worst (benig a blue and pink swirl). I always thought that this white & clear version looked visually the most interesting, so figured I woud take one if it was being offered:

The second LP I got was this purple vinyl copy of the Gypsy LP:

It's funny how when I fist picked up the Gypsy LP when it was released in 2012 and a local shop had a couple of the colours, but I said back then that I didn't need more than one of this one. And now here I am adding a 4th copy to my collection, leaving only one that I don't have. You probably don't need to have special powers to predict how this story is going to turn out...

Monday, 29 May 2017

We Will Never Forget Who Our Friends Are

This year has been a tough one so far for sure. At the start of January, news emerged that Dave Franklin (vocalist for NJ band Vision) had passed away. Even though I never met Dave or saw Vision play, it felt like a sad day, and the ripples were obvious all the way over the pond. Dave and Vision were a critical part of the NJ scene, having been a part of it since the 80s. The tributes were many, and pretty quickly a benefit show was set up to take place at the start of April.

A few days before the show, SEARCH posted some pics on their facebook page of a limited cover for their 7" that they would be selling at the event. The choice was perfect - a rip off of the classic Vision 7" 'Undiscovered'. More perfectly still, the record inside the sleeve was to be a second press Search 7" on green vinyl, which would match the limited green vinyl pressing of the original Vision 7". Sounded cool. The only problem was that I wasn't going to go, and this thing was obviously going to sell out quick.

Fortunately I managed to find someone who had one to trade, and I had something he was after too. I guess you could say that it worked out perfectly. I received this record in the mail a couple of days ago, and I have to say it's every bit as cool as I thought it would be.

The limited sleeve wraps around a copy of the regular sleeve. There's also a SEARCH sticker thrown in.

The back cover:

Printed inside the front cover is this touching message:

The best way to appreciate the attention to detail here is to compare it to the original Vision 7". So here are some photos that do just that.

Not much else I can say really. A great version of a great record, and I feel very lucky to have it. I know I say that a lot, but this time it's especially true.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Face Reality

This collection was a long time in the making. I used to only be interested in owning one copy of each record, but somewhere along the lines that changed and I started picking up multiple copies. I had a blue vinyl Hard Stance 'Face Reality' 7" since the early 90s, but it wasn't until 2012 that I picked up a second (green) copy. At this point I guess I was pretty much committed to trying to collect the set of all four colours.

The red vinyl copy of this 7" has always seemed like the most elusive. I've seen far fewer red copies over the years than any other color. So when I saw one pop up for sale, I knew I should grab it.

After I had bagged the red copy, by coincidence a clear vinyl one appeared on eBay UK. It felt like destiny. I then won it and was the only bidder. It cost next to nothing, which made it even sweeter.

So after nearly five years since I last picked up a Hard Stance 7", I picked up two within the space of a month of each other. And of course, for anyone who can count, that meant that I now had all four colours.

Friday, 26 May 2017

One Year Later

The second post I made on this blog last year was the white vinyl copy of the 2nd Magic Circle LP, 'Journey Blind'. In the post, I said this:

Hopefully it won’t be too long until I receive the blue, but for now, I only have the white one.

Little could I have known at that point in time that my blue vinyl copy would go missing in the mail, along with a shitload of other records. A year later, however, I finally got around to replacing the lost copy.

It's funny how excited I was for this LP when it came out, but how quickly I got bored of it. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's a good record. But whilst I played the first album for months, this one lasted maybe two before I moved onto something else. But hey, this one looks better though, especially on this cool clear blue, and we all know that's what counts these days. Right?

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Departure

Today's post features yet another cheapo 7" from the 90s that got me super stoked. This is a compilation 7" called 'Departure'. I've owned this record on black vinyl for many years. I don't even know how many. At a guess I would say I probably picked it up in the late 90s in the days of the Revelation trade board. But a few months ago I saw a record posted on instagram which was released on the same record label (Community Chest Records), and it reminded me of this comp, and something in my head clicked and reminded me that I had once, probably twenty years ago, seen this compilation on someone's trade list on pink vinyl. So I had a look around the internet and found no evidence of it whatsoever. But just in case my memory was correct, I added this 7" to my Discogs want list and sat back and crossed my fingers. And then, after a few months, one day I got an email which told me that someone or other had just listed one of these for sale, and in the description it said pink vinyl. I usually message any seller on discogs and ask for pictures, because I've been burnt a couple of times by morons, but in this instance I was so keen to own this thing that I just bought it quick smart. And $8 later, I was stoked as hell.

OK, so this isn't the greatest comp of all time. But that's not the point. As I said a few days ago when I posted the Union 7" on purple, it's the rarity and obscurity that I enjoy with some of these 90s releases. I mean, I can't imagine that anyone would even remember this record, let alone be wanting to buy one in 2017 (although it appears I am wrong as Discogs tells me that there are 10 people other than me who want this!). Anyway, of the few people who may want this, I have to wonder if I could possibly be the only one who knows that this thing even exists on pink vinyl? Given the rarity, it feels totally conceivable that I could be the only person who knows this exists and is trying to find it. And if I'm right about this, it probably means that when it did surface for sale, there was no competition. Which is good for me right?

I'd never seen this thing before I received it, and I have to say that it's an interesting colour. The pink vinyl is kinda halfway between clear and solid pink. It's different. I tried to get a pic with the light behind to show it.

So there we go - another obscure 90s 7" that you probably never knew about and don't care about. Maybe I should put a few of them together in one photo soon...

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Cross Section

Last year I got an email from someone telling me that Pete Spielman had passed away. I felt like a fool because, at the time, I had no idea who he was. I was informed that he was a guy from the Syracuse scene who was in Beta Minus Mechanic and Cross Section. The internet also told me he was, at some point, in both Green Rage and Another Victim (there may have been others too, but this is all I can find). Now, I've always been a big fan of Beta Minus Mechanic, but I'd never heard of Cross Section, so I looked them up and damn, I was really into it. So I was straight over to Discogs to buy their 7".

They only released one 7", on Significant Records. I'm not sure how many were on blue vinyl, but in simple terms I would say the minority as most copies on Discogs were on black.

I was around through the 90s and know all kinds of obscure bands, but somehow Cross Section passed me by. I'm really glad to have finally discovered this 7", but I'm sorry that it was a result of such sad news. Listening to this now, in 2017, and I think it's held up well. It does indeed sound like it was released in the 90s for sure, but it's good enough (and interesting enough) to sound still somehow sound fresh. I guess good music never really sounds old, right?

If like me you'd never heard Cross Section before, please take a couple of minutes to check one of the three songs from this record out:

Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Most Beautiful Record (In The Room)

And now for something a little different...

Last year I saw a picture of this LP on instagram and i instantly wanted it. The only copy I could find at first was on Discogs and priced at $60. Fuck that. I then found out that this was actually a new release. Or rather, a repress which was exclusive to Newbury Comics. I then went to their store and bought one for whatever the new LP price is. Cool.

For those of you who don't know, 'Flight Of The Conchords' was a TV show that aired on HBO 2007-2009. I watched it on the recommendation of a dude at work who was from New Zealand and told me he thought I'd like it. He was right. I watched both seasons and enjoyed it, and then pretty much forgot about it. Then a couple of years ago, for some reason I can't remember, I watched it again. The second time around it was even more enjoyable, and I found myself really digging the songs. So I downloaded them. I then found out that most of them were released by Sub Pop a few years before when the TV show aired. And on vinyl too. I found this kinda weird, but kinda cool at the same time. I mean, when was yuonger, Sub Pop was the grunge label that released Nirvana and Mudhoney. And here they were putting out comedy records.

So it seemed too much of a coincidence that around the time I started really enjoying the songs and listening to them regularly, the label repressed one of the albums on colour vinyl for the first time. All the signs were there, it seemed. This had been pressed especially for me. So of course, I had to have it.

These dudes are brilliant fun. A total pair of buffoons. Jermaine cracks me up. His face alone makes me laugh.

Interestingly, I think that this is the first Sub Pop release I can ever remember being hand numbered (well, except for the Nirvana 'Love Buzz' 7" that is). It's kinda odd to see a nicely printed LP sleeve numbered in black marker in the corner. Kinda feels a little unnecessary to me. I mean, 600 copies does feel like a lot to hand number. This ain't hardcore after all.

To end this post, I thought I'd share this video from youtube for one of my favourite songs. 'The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room)' is a love song full of back-handed compliments. The video makes it even better, especially the bit where Jermaine does his dance move. Enjoy...