Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Low In High School

I have been a Morrissey fan for a few years now. But never before had the urge to buy any of it on vinyl. I guess partly because there weren't really any limited edition records. They're all just major label black vinyl options. That kind of stuff never really interested me, so I was happy enough with CDs (or, these days, mp3s). But recently I was in town and wandered into a record shop and found the new Morrissey LP on clear vinyl. So I couldn't resist buying it because, you know, clear vinyl is everyone's favourite.

'Low In High School' is his 400th album, and I have to say, at first it seemed disappointing. But the last two weeks it is literally all I have listened to. I think that it just needs a little more time than previous efforts. At least, it did with me.

The inner sleeve is really cool. A full colour photo on one side, then this disco sleeve effect on the other. I haven't seen many like this before.

I kinda wish I hadn't bought this in a way, as all I can now think about is whether I should chase the other 399 albums on vinyl. You know how it is - owning one just somehow doesn't seem quite right.

Sunday, 14 January 2018


It feels good to finally kick off 2018, and what better way than with a new(ish) release?

The hardcore world peed its pants with excitement when news of the band FREE broke. A new band that contains (I think) 4 of the 5 members of Have Heart, anticipation and expectations were high. A demo came out in 2015 and a 7" came out towards the back end of 2017. And then, in the last week of 2017, the band flew over for a short European jaunt and Control Records pressed up a limited 12" to mark the occasion.

This is a pretty low key affair, following the same layout as the Higher Power 12" that the same label also released about a year and a half ago. Black vinyl in a plain white DJ sleeve with a sticker in the top corner.

It may be a pretty plain design, but sometimes less is more. It's good to be served this aesthetically minimal records from time to time, rather than glossy gatefold sleeves full of splatter vinyl.

So I was pretty lucky to get this. There were only 135 copies made in total, and most sold out on the tour. The label kept a few copies back to sell online. About ten days ago, the label announced during the day that the remaining copies would be sold at a certain time in the evening, and I happened to be at my computer at the time they went on sale and, even more lucky, I remembered that they were going up for sale. When the witching hour came, I grabbed a copy immediately and a couple of minutes later they were sold out...

... and then, a little later, the label posted to say that somehow the webstore had oversold the record, and some people who thought that they had placed an order would be getting refunded and their order cancelled. Fortunately, my order got through. Must have been bad to be one of the people who thought that they had successfully placed an order only to then find out that they hadn't.

So what is FREE like? Well, I haven't listened to this much as I don't usually like to listen to stuff until I have the vinyl, and this is the first FREE record into my collection. So far I'd say that it sits somewhere between the two Have Heart LPs.It's better than the second, but not as good as the first. That's about as much as I can say. But I don't doubt for a second that this band is just finding their feet, and by the time a full length comes around (if) then I'm sure they will crank it up a gear.