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.