Sunday, 8 July 2018

Antenna

Back in 2013 I bought a bunch of Cave In tests. And then some more. The stars came into allignment I guess, and I was able to pick up several of their tests in a very short space of time. I was then left needing only one test press to have a full collection of full length test pressings. So I started the search. But as you'd expect, a search for a test press is never going to be straight forward.

The missing test was their biggest 'hit', 'Antenna'. I describe it as a hit because it was released on (CD) on a major label. Around this time they went on tour with Foo Fighters too. So it was a big deal at the time.

The vinyl was released by Hydrahead back in 2002. Back then I didn't really collect test pressings. Heck, even getting the yellow & orange vinyl version was tough enough.

I had emailed the label about this a couple of times, getting no response either time. I also spoke to Steve Brodsky about this. He was selling some other Cave In records on eBay, so I messaged him asking if he had an Antenna test. I got a reply, but unfortunately no, he didn't have one.

As you can see, this comes in the standard Hydrahead test press sleeve, featuring the hippy that I ended up buying this from on the back.

About two and a half years ago, I randomly got a message one day from someone I follow on instagram, telling me he was going to some dude's house who had some Cave In records for sale. I didn't pay too much attention, just figuring it would be some random fartknocker whose collection was about ten steps behind mine. But the next day he sent me a pic of the 'Antenna' test press. Not only that, but the dude had FOUR copies of it! Turns out he went round to the house of the guy who used to help run Hydrahead! By the time he sent me the pic, he had left the guy's house. But he had got me the guy's phone number so I could get in touch with him to arrange buying one myself...

I tried to get hold of the dude to no avail. Phone call, whatsapp message, facebook, email and also email through discogs. No communications ever got a response. Knowing that he had 4 copies, and I only wanted one, it felt like I was painfully close. Yet I couldn't seal the deal. I couldn't even get close to a deal. I then asked a couple of people I vaguely knew in the LA area if they could go and visit the hippy in the record store he runs. Then eventually a friend in San Francisco got in touch to let me know he was going to the store in LA at the weekend, and asked if there was anything I was looking for. Well, the story ended nicely when it turned out that there was a copy out for sale in the racks in the shop. Being old and remembering life before the internet and obile phones, this was a total technology appreciation moment, as he sent me pics of all the Cave In records for sale and just ask which I wanted. If you'd have told me back when I first heard Cave In that one day I'd have some dude in a record shop in LA sending me 'live' pictures of records for sale and asking which I wanted, my brain probably would have melted.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Interiors

It feels like months ago that Quicksand released their 'comeback' LP 'Interiors'. In fact, it feels like months ago because it WAS months ago. It came out in November, although the pre-orders went live in August of last year. As is the case with every record these days, there were about 4 different colours launched, each exclusive to somewhere or other and, as is also common, most colours sold out pretty much immediately. I picked up the only option that was available to me, which was the clear vinyl. I even had the privilege of paying extra for this version as it came with a t-shirt that I didn't want.

This is one of the downsides of the way I buy records these days - I get them months after they came out. It therefore seems pointless saying anything about this record as it's old news at this point. So... good night!

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Torture Culture

Back in October last year news emerged of a new No Warning LP with, quite literally, no warning whatsoever. One day, nothing, the next there was a pre-order up. I hit up some friends to let them know, to find that none of them were remotely interested. Discussion turned to one of the pre-order bundles that offered some kind of vape pen with the record, and everyone agreed that No Warning were a fucking joke and the new album wasn't worth buying. Well, everyone except me that is. I listened to a song and it was pretty good, so I ordered the most limited colour vinyl (called 'Pink Kush') and waited.

Eventually I got my hands on it. And the first thing to note is that 'Pink Kush' got changed to 'shitty green' due to a pressing plant mistake. Makes no difference to me though. It's still the most limited colour.

I don't have too much to say about this record. I actually like it. It's pretty much as per the last couple of NW 7"s but with a power ballad thrown in for good measure. I've listened to it a lot, and even though it's probably my least favourite No Warning album, it's not a bad record by any means. Even the terrible cover art has grown on me. Shame I didn't manage to bag the vape pen, but you can't have it all I guess.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

To Die For The Eighth Time

I finally got these two colours of the Integrity 'To Die For' 10". These things went up for sale in August 2017. I ordered them on the first day that they went up for sale, and I have finally now received them. Kinda crazy how long it takes for records to reach me sometimes. Anyway, these constitute the final pressing of this record, as A389 Recordings has now closed its doors for good.

Green vinyl was out of 200 copies.

Glow in the dark vinyl, out of 100 copies:

Adding these two to the copies I already had means I now have a total of 8 copies, including 3 different test pressings. Job done.

Saturday, 23 June 2018

A New Beat From A Dead Heart

I saw 108 play a show back in December of last year. I wasn't really that bothered about seeing them to be honest. I saw them play twice back in 1995 and that was it. That was always enough for me. I mean, I loved their first two records, but never really followed them after that. For me they were a band I loved at a certain time, and I haven't listened to them for quite a few years. Well anyway, their performance a few months ago blew me away. They sounded great, the crowd loved it and there was a good atmosphere, Kate was back in the band, and they all really seemed to be enjoying it. It got my attention big time, and made me want to add more records to my collection. So I picked up copies of all three albums that I was missing...

'Threefold Misery' came out in 1996 on Lost & Found Records. Back them it bothered me a lot. Lost & Found was a well known rip off label that put out records either without bands consent, or with their consent but without paying them any royalties. At the time I couldn't get my head around why they would jump from Equal Vision to Lost & Found. It just didn't make sense. And more annoyingly, the only vinyl version was some awful looking picture disc. So I never bought one. I did acquire a promo CD copy, which I played quite a bit. Twenty years later, in 2016, Six Feet Under reissued it. So I picked up one of those copies.

I have to say, SFU did a good job on this. The cover and vinyl look rad. 166 copies on black/white starburst swirl.

'A New Beat From A Dead Heart' was 108's comeback record. It was released in 2007 by Deathwish Inc. I downloaded it at the time and thought it was ok. But it just wasn't quite what I was looking for at that time. It's funny, but listening to it eleven years later, it sounds good. Or maybe I was just more in the mood for it?

I picked up a copy with a limited cover made for a Cal Robbins benefit show back in 2007. I got this copy from a good friend who I have never met.

And finally, the final LP, '18.61' which was released in 2010, also on Deathwish. If I am completely honest, I didn't even know this one existed until recently. I have no memory of it coming out whatsoever. I guess 108 were just not on my radar at all in 2010. I picked up this clear vinyl copy, which is the rarest color being out of 300 copies.

This one is clearly the weakest of the bunch. There are a couple of good songs, but it generally seems to lack the urgency of the others. I don't know, maybe I need to give it more time? We shall see.

Anyway, that's how you catch up on 20 years of a band's history that you missed in one fell swoop.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Jersey's 2nd Best Dancers

So I've been on a Lifetime kick the last couple of months after finally getting round to picking up their final album about ten years too late. So of course I started looking for more of their records. Truth be told, I already own all of their records, but as ever, that's not enough. So to keep myself entertained I figured I'd pick up more copies of records I already own. You know how it is right? I very rarely buy anything from Discogs, but when this red vinyl copy of 'Jersey's Best Dancers' popped up from a UK seller at a reasonable price, I couldn't resist.

I remember when this came out. In those days pretty much all labels made one limited colour vinyl pressing and that was it. But Jade Tree kinda stood out, as for some reason they seemed to make two different colours of their releases, with many of the two variants being a solid and clear version of the same colour. What's more, they never released any pressing info, so you couldn't know which colour was the rarest. I used to order from them directly, and ordered one copy of each release, and I was just happy to accept whatever colour I got. But looking back I kinda wish I had picked up both colours of some releases as some have gone on to be classics, and now cost quite a bit. And whilst there are a few I'd like, I don't think that this is a bad place to start.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Slow Moments

Even though I've always been attracted to aesthetics of records, like cool cover art or nice colours of vinyl, I'm also generally into minimal design. Control Records recently pressed up a 12" record for a Blacklisted Euro tour, and I was pretty keen to get hold of one to 'complete the set' (of three Control Records tour 12"s - the others being Free and Higher Power).

This one looks exactly like the other two 12"s - a plain white DJ sleeve with a sticker in the top right corner. Black vinyl with an insert. And the same number pressed (135).

This compiles two recent Blacklisted 7"s that I don't own. Maybe one day I will own them, although at this rate, it's anyone's guess.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Inhaler

A year and a bit ago I got back into Tad bigtime. I picked up a shitload of Tad records and then a little later I got around to downloading a couple of their major label LPs that I had completely ignored when they came out in the 90s. I guess they came out at a time when I had moved on to straight edge hardcore, so Tad was not cool with me anymore. But this was a time when vinyl sales were shrinking and major labels were starting to pull out of pressing it, and any that they did press was probably not in large quantities. So basically, when I decided that I wanted these records over 20 years after their release, I found it surprisingly difficult to find them either in good condition or for a good price.

'Inhaler' was the band's major label debut, and came out in 1994 on Giant Records (the label that released the Dag Nasty 'Field Day' LP). I added this to my discogs and ebay searches over a year ago, and finally one came up for sale at a low-ish price. It was also in the UK, meaning cheap shipping.

It also turned out to be a promo copy, with a press kit (aka a piece of paper).

It's funny, but I kinda expected that this would be pretty weak compared to their previous efforts on Sub Pop, but I was wrong. This thing is like a juggernaut. I'm glad to add it to the collection, albeit 24 years after its initial release.

So this got me to looking for a couple of other Tad records that I was missing. I managed to pick up a reasonably priced copy of the split 7" with a band called Pussy Galore.

This 7" was released as a part of the Sub Pop Singles Club back in 1989. There were 2500 copies, all on black vinyl. Each band covers the Black Flag songs 'Damaged I' and 'Damaged II'.

There are still more Tad records I don't have, so hopefully those will feature on here before the year is out.

Monday, 23 April 2018

S.T.E

So when I had the Turnstile LP shipped to my friend who was coming to visit, I also took the opportunity to have a fresh eBay win shipped there too. I mean, the only thing better than someone coming to visit and bringing you a record would be someone coming to visit and bringing you TWO records, right?

I won this on eBay about two weeks ago. A test press of the Set To Explode 7" that was released by Grave Mistake Records back in 2005. Sadly it was the only record that the band released, but what a corker it is. I had a couple of chances to pick up a test press over the past ten years, but they were always going for $100 or more, which I considered to be too much. So only twelve years later or so, I managed to pick one up for almost half price.

this one comes in a photocopied sleeve, which is kind of a tribute to the classic S.O.A. 7". As you can see, this is hand numbered out of 24 copies.

If I had more time I might have taken an updated collection photo, but I've been really struggling for light these days so it'll have to wait for another time.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Time And Space

A couple of weeks ago, Turnstile played a release show for their new LP 'Time And Space'. A week later and a friend hit me up and asked me if I wanted a copy of the release show LP. Given that I hadn't ordered a copy of the LP at all when it launched (due to the limited colours selling out within seconds), I jumped at the chance. Even better, but a friend from the States was due to come visit, so I had it shipped to him and he brought it over for me and handed it to me in person, so I received it just after a week after the show. How awesome is that?

So the packaging on this record is pretty damn cool. But requires several pictures to explain if you haven't seen it in real life...

So the slightly different thing about this is that the release show bit of this package is a single paper insert. It sits inside the 'cover' but on top of the gatefold sleeve.

This insert is numbered out of 200 copies in the bottom right corner. Apparently the red vinyl is also exclusive to the release show LP, which is kinda cool. Most release show versions these days seem to be the most common vinyl colour but in a limited sleeve. So it's cool to see a special colour as well as a different 'cover'.

So once the release show insert is removed, what's left is the standard packaging.

So the sleeve of this thing is a double affair. A gatefold sleeve slipped inside another sleeve which has a big hole in the front. I'm not sure how else to describe it.

Here's a few photos of the gatefold sleeve once taken out of the slipcase style cover:

What's quite interesting is that the back of the gatefold sleeve actually looks like a back cover. Bearing in mind it is supposed to be completely hidden inside the slipcase cover, it seems weird, as strictly speaking it isn't visible. Although, that said, the inside of the gatefold is also hidden too. I guess the gatefold sleeve is kinda like an elaborate insert.

The final pic shows the actual back cover (of the slipcase thing that the gatefold sleeve sits inside of).

So aside from the packaging, what is this like? In short, it's fuckin' rad. There have been a lot of buzz over this record, and I can see why. It suonds like the next step on from their previous LP, and a tad more 'mature'. But at only 25 minutes or so, it's just too short, which means I've been getting through it about 4 times a day for the past two weeks... which means I'm already starting to feel I've had enough of it. The exact same thing happened with their first LP. I payed the hell out of it for about a month then never listened to it again. Hopefully this one will have a bit more longevity.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Live At TIHC MMXVI

I've probably mentioned before that live records are largely pointless, but when they're from a band that you're obsessive about then there's no question that you need them in your life. Case in point, this Integrity 'Live At This Is Hardcore 2016' LP. This was released last year, but it's taken me several months to actually get my copy, and a couple more to experience a day with no clouds and enough life to be able to see it. So by now it's pretty old news.

Interestingly, this isn't actually released by any label. It was put out by Dom & Dwid jointly and sold as a fan thing for a tour. As you can see, it's hand numbered out of 250 copies.

As usual, I also managed to get my hands on a test press. I have no idea how many copies exist, but mine came in a hand drawn cover:

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Records At Nite

A few weeks ago someone on my facebook feed this question popped up; 'Anyone else out there agree that the, “I just needed a day to feel lonely and blue” bridge, in Lifetime’s “All Night Long”, is the actual greatest 19 seconds ever put to wax?'. Now, I don't know about you, but I'm generally not very good at song titles. Most of the time I just listen to songs. I might learn a lot of the words through repeated listens, but I don't sit there reading the titles whilst the songs play. So my first thought was 'which song is it? I'll check... And then, after scanning through the songs on my ipod, I realised that I didn't appear to own the song in question at all. I was confused, so I googled it and then discovered that that it was on their last album, which I never actually got around to.

So of course, after downloading it and giving it a go, I soon found it on constant rotation. It's a pretty short record, so I was getting through it 3 or 4 times a day. It was then pretty obvious that I needed to own the record, so I went straight to Discogs and did my best purchasing manoeuvre.

This album was released by Fuelled By Ramen in 2006. I actually went to see the band play on the tour for this record, but didn't end up getting in to the show (I hadn't bought a ticket and didn't realise it was sold out, but even when I found this out I still optimistically thought that I would be able to sneak in once they came on. But alas, it didn't happen). Seems crazy that it was 12 years ago. Anyway, there were apparently 250 of the first press copies on red vinyl, so that's what I grabbed. Owning one of the many repress colours on No Idea just didn't seem good enough. You know how it is.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Living On The Edge

Today's record is another long forgotten 90s gem that I've vaguely wanted for many years. This is a compilation 7" called 'Living On The Edge' and was released by a label called Positive Vibes Records back in 1991. It features 4 lesser known bands, namely As It Stands, Step Aside, Dunamis, & Device. I think that this label was the pre-cursor to Inner Journey Records, which is a label that I've always been a huge fan of. Inner Journey did some limited comic book character covers for their releases, and this version of the 'Living On The Edge' comp is the Ghost Rider pressing.

Numbered out of 50 copies, I appear to have lucked out and got number one. Pretty cool huh?

I'd heard of this pressing but never actually seen it until I bagged this. Kinda funny, because if I had thought I could have seen it on discogs at any time. But I never knew that the records themselves are test pressings, stamped with 'Promotional'.

I've always been a big fan of detail, and the cool thing about this cover is that the name of the label is changed from 'Positive Vibes' to 'Negative Vibes', probably in recognition of the fact that Ghost Rider is a total badass.

I'm also a big fan of limited covers that sit on top of the regular cover so that they are an addition, rather than a replacement. This one ticks that box nicely.

To finish, I also pulled out my other two copies of this record to take a family photo. Et voilà: