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:

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Green Blast

A couple of days ago social media lit up with tributes to 7 Seconds. Turns out that they have decided to call it a day. In a slightly sad turn of events, plans for a final show or a 40th anniversary show that they were thinking about had to be abandoned. Sounds like they literally cannot play anymore due to the health of a couple of members. A sad day for sure. But a good prompt for me to post this green vinyl 'Blasts From The Past EP' that I picked up a while ago:

I've never really understood the pressing info on this record. I mean, I know there are three colour vinyl versions out there (green, blue and clear). I never really knew which came first or which was rarest, but I'm not actually that bothered really. In my head I think that blue is the first press, but I'm not sure. What I do know, however, is that blue is the one that I am missing.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

The Beast

A new Arms Race 7" - 'The Beast EP' - dropped a few weeks ago. I saw it announced somewhere or other and read that there were only 100 copies on white vinyl, so figured I would jump on it right away.

As seems to be increasingly the case with UK hardcore records these days, there was a UK pressing and also a US pressing. I opted for the UK pressing for price and speed reasons, so this one came from La Vida Es Un Mus Discos. It has a label stamp on the inner sleeve which is kinda cool... but which also makes the inner sleeve irreplacable if it ever gets damaged.

The US pressing is on Painkiller Records and also comes on white vinyl. Probably I'd have ordered a US copy too if it had come on a different colour. But two white copies on two different labels feels unneccessary, which is good as I have a lot of other stuff to pay for at the moment.

This one feels like a bit of a step up from their last release. Not sure why I'm saying that, but it just sounds bigger and harder to me. Not that I know what I'm talking about of course.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

By The Grace Of Black God

Back in June last year I picked up a test press of the second Black God 7", imaginatively titled 'II'. At the end of the post I said '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'. Well, nine months later and here's my second one, which is actually the first one:

Granted, this isn't much to look at. But neither was the other one. So it's nice to have consistency if nothing else.

I'm still hoping I can eventually get tests of the third and fourth 7"s too, and ideally for a similar price.

Well, on a related note, I also finally managed to get a blue vinyl copy of the By The Grace Of God '3 Steps To A Better Democracy' 7". This was originally issued as a CD EP with very DIY packaging. I actually purchased the CD when it came out back in 1999. Then twelve years later it was repressed as a 7", with 100 copies on blue vinyl.

I didn't even know this existed until a couple of years ago when I saw this band play in London. As is often the case, I was stoked after the show and did the inevitable 'go to discogs and see if anyone is selling any records' manoeuvre, at which point I spotted that this record existed. At the time I spotted a blue vinyl copy and bought it, only to receive a black vinyl copy in the post.

The crazy thing was that the seller was the label, and the item for sale was described as 'blue vinyl'. But when I got in touch to point out he'd accidentally sent me a black copy, dude's response was something like 'I don't have any blue copies left - those sold out years ago'. He didn't seem to realise that he had listed the item as being blue, but despite this being clearly his fuck up, he was expecting me to pay to return the incorrect item to him. Fool. Anyway, so was born my policy of 'never buy from discogs unless you get photos first'.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Never Wash Away

Last year my friend Kyle sent me a test press of 7" of his old band, The Damage Done. I'd never heard them before, despite the band having been active many years ago when I was much more up on what was going on in the world of hardcore. But after giving it a whole bunch of listens, and enjoying it, I knew I would have to try to pick up more records at some point. Well, a couple of weeks ago I was trying to work out a trade with some dude, and I noticed he had a couple of The Damage Done 7"s, so I asked for them and he agreed to send them to me.

The 7"s are two variations of the same release - the 'Never Wash Away' 7", which came out on Western Front Records. First up is the record release version:

This one came out in 2002. I said it before, but at this point I was pretty out of touch with hardcore due to throwing myself into studying in order to try to get a job that paid well, so that I could afford to buy multiple copies of every record ever made. Haha!

I also got a copy in the regular sleeve on yellow vinyl. No idea what the pressing info is on this, so don't know if yellow is the rarer or more common colour.

This one also comes on blue vinyl, so it'd be nice to pick up one of those at some point. But after checking Kyle's blog, there are a lot of variants that I could go after. This could be a long game...

Monday, 12 March 2018

Ten Spot

When people ask who your favourite Dischord band is, I would guess that most people would opt for Fugazi or Minor Threat. Next in line would, I am sure, be the likes of Dag Nasty, Embrace and Rites of Spring. Maybe also Scream, Ignition, Jawbox or even Nation Of Ulysees. For me though, the answer is undoubtedly Shudder To Think. So I was pretty fucking stoked to pick up another test press, this time of their second LP, 'Ten Spot'.

This was from an era when test pressings were issued as promotional items. I don't know this for a fact, but I think there were actually quite a few test pressings of Dischord releases as they doubled up as promos for radio stations or music journalist types.

this one includes this (minimal) press sheet, which contains pretty much no information whatsoever other than the song titles.

This LP came out in 1990. If you live in the UK, what you would notice immediately is the old phone code for London on the label and press sheet. The code '01' for London was discontinued in May 1990, so that little piece fo information helps to date this record.

Interestingly, this album has just this year been reissued on vinyl for the first time in a long time, with revised cover art and remastered, so I'll probably have to pick that up at some point.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Architects Of The End

I first heard of Longest War back in October 2014 when I picked up their debut 7". Featuring ex-members of Despair, Chokehold and Union, this was a band that I quickly got interested in... and then forgot about. But when it was announced that their debut LP was to be released last year, I was keen to re-visit them.

'Architects Of The End' came out in the latter half of last year on Irish Voodoo Records. There were only 113 copies on a bright orange vinyl, which has proven to be one of THE most difficult records for me to get an acceptable photo of ever. I think I must have photographed this record on at least ten different days, and each time the photos looked ok on the phone screen but then awfully washed out on the computer screen. Today's attempt just about scrapes a pass.

For various reasons, I only got around to listening to this properly in the last couple of weeks. It's some good old fashioned metallic hardcore, with riffs reminiscent of Slayer in places. In short, it's pretty damn good if you're into that kind of thing.

Oh yeah, and I also picked up a test press. Irish Voodoo are pretty much the only label who sell their test pressings for a really reasonable price as soon as their records are put up for pre-order, so I couldn't resist.

Number 16 of 25 copies.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Militant Misanthrope

I never heard Broken Cross before, but I decided to buy the new LP after seeing a post on instagram. There were 50 pre-order copies, and anyone who bought one would be entered into a draw to win one of two test pressings that were being given away. I listened to a couple of songs online and liked what I heard, and with the added 1 in 25 chance to win a test press, I figured it was worth a punt.

There were 50 pre-order copies, all on this really nice purple vinyl and numbered on the inner sleeve. I managed to get the last one. All pre-order copies also came with a pin of the label art, which is pretty cool and which I placed on the dust sleeve for this photo:

Broken Cross plays some pretty heavy music. Descriptions generally seem to refer to it as thrash metal, but to me it sounds more like Japanese hardcore punk. Remember the band Hellchild who once had a split 12" with Converge? Well this reminds me of them a lot.

I should also mention that Broken Cross is a one man operation. The whole record is the work of one man (Niklas Holm), a fellow / rival Integrity collector who resides in Sweden. Dude has one of the two best Integrity collections in the world. It's probably not surprising then that the artwork for this LP was done by Dwid from Integrity.

It's probably also worth mentioning that this is probably the greatest shade of purple vinyl that I have ever seen. I think all copies of this release come on purple, so even though the pre-order copies are sold out you can still get yourself a copy that looks as nice as the one in the picture here. If you are interested, check out the Apocalyptic Visions store.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

TEN YEARS STRONG

Precisely ten years ago, I was sat around indoors wondering what to do with my evening, when I had the idea of starting a blog about records. The rest is history.

I'm actually surprised that I have managed to keep this thing going for this long. But given that I have, I figured I should mark the occasion in some way. So here for you amusement is a re-post, in picture form, of my first ever post from way back on 28 February 2008.

X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X

As I have said before, the passing of time never ceases to amaze me. It's kinda funny that I mentioned in my first post that 'It's hard to believe it's been over ten years since I first heard this band'... and now here we are in 2018 and it's over TWENTY years of Rain On The Parade, and ten years of this blog.

Crazy.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

A Bunch Of 7"s

I got a list from someone recently of stuff they were selling. There were literally hundreds of records on the list, and a few very rare or expensive items. But I mainly went after stuff that I was missing that was pretty cheap. In some ways, it was a good way to save some postage by picking up a bunch of things at the same time. So in the spirit of the older days of this blog, I figured I would present the entire haul in one go, rather than break it into separate posts. So here we go, in alphabetical order...

It's always good to start with an 'A' band. So here's an Amendment 18 (or A18) 7". 'Every Knife Has A Home' was their third 7", and this is a tour version that comes in a cool Antidote rip off sleeve:

Next, the Damage Control 'Can't keep us Down 7" on Crucial Response Records. This came out in 2002. I have about 4 copies of their full length, but literally never got around to picking up the 7" until now. This is the limited white vinyl pressing, out of 200 copies.

I also picked up this 'Raw Data Series' cover version of the same Damage Control 7". This one was out of 96 copies.

And the Damage Control 7" again, this time in a limited Camo cover. This one I like a lot. There were only 35 copies of this one made.

Next is a much more recent release. The Fall Silent 'Cart Return' 7" came out on Revelation last year. I used to like this band back in the day, so I was interested to see how this latest release sounds. Pretty similar to how they used to sound it would seem. Anyway, I picked this up on both colours - gold and red with black.

Next is the Insist 'Demo' 7". I saw this band last year and was really impressed. Their 7" on React! was a pretty good slab of straight edge hardcore, so it was good to grab this white copy of their debut recording.

And another recent(ish) release. Primal Rite have been making waves of late, and it seems that a lot of people are into what they are doing. 'Complex Life of Passion' is their first 7" which was put out by Grave Mistake records. This is the limited purple vinyl pressing, although you probably can't tell from these photos.

The second Primal Rite 7" came out on Revelation last year. Entitled 'Sensory Link To Pain', this one turns things up a notch from the previous 7".If you don't know what this band sounds like... well, you can probably figure that out from the cover art.

Next up is an older release. Remission 'Winds Of Promise' came out on React! around the time that I stopped buying everything the label put out due to a couple of questionable releases. I remember downloading this one on someone's recommendation and enjoying it, but the limited color pressings sold out pretty quick. So only about 8 years after it came out, I finally picked on up.

And finally, two copies of the Sportswear 'It Runs Deep' 7". The limited yellow vinyl copy, out of 220 copies.

And also this copy with the limited Nike cover: