Tuesday, 30 April 2019

A Blank Bill

One of the cool things about record collecting is finding weird anomalies. The seller of the Mudhoney 7"s also told me that they had a Seaweed 'Bill' 7" with a blank label. I'd never heard of it, so it got me interested. I asked for a photo and was intrigued by what I got back, and instantly decided that I needed to buy it.

I was expecting the blank label to be plain white. But as you can see, the label is not technically blank. It's a standard Sub Pop label, complete with the pressing plant info, but without the text relating to the release itself. The word 'Bill' has then been stamped roughly where the word shold have appeared in the first place, although in text that is ten times bigger. It's kinda crappy but very cool at the same time. This pic shows a comparison with my regular copy:

Interestingly, John Pette's Seaweed discography makes no mention of this record, so it could be a pretty rare variant. Makes me wonder how many copies of this thing exist, although like so many records we will most likely never know.

And mainly because I'm getting back into the swing of this blog and taking photos, I cracked out the other two copies for an updated family photo. Always a good way to end a post.

Monday, 29 April 2019

Touch Me I'm Sick

If you've read this blog previously you'll probably know that I have a bit of a thing for some of the earlier Sub Pop releases. Sub Pop is (or at least, was) pretty much THE most collectible label ever, with multiple colours pressed of a lot of releases, and a bunch of transitions and weird variations, many of which are still unconfirmed or rumoured to this day. It's fun, but if you were to get seriously involved then it could become a full time job... although you'd probably need three full time jobs to pay for it all.

Anyway, I recently connected with a Sub Pop collector in the UK who was selling some stuff. So I picked up a few bits. I'm not a full blown Sub Pop collector, but I dabble now and again. This time around I picked up some Mudhoney 7"s. Or rather, several versions of one particular Mudhoney 7"...

The band's first official release, way back in 1988, was the 'Touch Me I'm Sick / Sweet Young Thing Ain't Sweet No More' 7". I used to own a second press copy on a dirty clear blue vinyl way back in 1992, which I sold about 4 or 5 years later. Over the years I had decided that I wanted to own a brown vinyl first press copy, but I've not managed to find one for a price I wanted to pay. So when I got the chance to re-buy the dirty clear blue pressing, I got a bit nostalgic and decided that it would be kinda cool to own it again.

It's not easy to see in the photo, but in the top left corner of the back cover it says 'Second Edition'.

Well, after a couple of emails I had decided and agreed to buy a complete second pressing colour vinyl set in one go. The price seemed fair, and the colours looked pretty cool together. So I bought 8 copies all at one go.

And after all that I still don't own a first press copy. Maybe one day.

If you were remotely interested in the full pressing info for this record, a better place to look would be on John Pette's site.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Winds Of Promise

The final record in my series of 2018 LP releases that I'm finally catching up with is the debut release from Winds Of Promise. This is a new version of an old band featuring a bunch of legendary SoCal scenesters - Joe Nelson (from Ignite & The Killing Flame), Joe D. Foster (from Unity & Ignite) & Pat Longrie (from Uniform Choice & Unity).

Apparently the band initially formed back in the mid 80s, and wrote songs (that ended up being used by Uniform Choice & No For An Answer), but didn't really get going. Fast forward a few years, and they decided to get back together and release a record via Unity Worldwide Records.

Interestingly, this record also has the Wishingwell Records logo on the back, and on the b-side label. However, I did notice that it doesn't have a WW catalogue number.

I will admit that I didn't really want to like this record for various reasons. I downloaded it and took a while to give it a spin. The first listen I thought that some of the lyrics were kinda corny. But then for whatever reason I tried again and it caught me in a better mood, and I kinda liked it. And now that the weather is getting better it seems that I am reaching for it more frequently. It sounds like a typical west coast band to me, and for some reason that kinda thing always seems better when the sun in shining. If this makes any sense whatsoever then I'm guessing you would probably dig this.

Friday, 26 April 2019


Still focussing on 2018 releases that I'm late to picking up physical copies of, this next record is one that I started to notice because it started popping up all over the place. And whilst I am generally late to new bands these days, if I see several people I know and respect posting a record, at some point I am going to take notice. Such was the case with the Sunstroke 'Second Floor / Seven' 12".

After seeing two or three copies of this gold vinyl pressing, I started to take notice. I quickly found out that there are a lot of versions of this record, but after seeing several gold copies, I had it in my head that gold was the one I wanted. So that's the one I picked up. 88 copies exist.

So when I went to buy this, the label were also selling some rarities in their store. I had a quick look and spotted the test press for the Sunstroke 12". And you know how it is with me and test presses - I can't NOT buy one if it's dangled in front of me.

I like the simplicity of this cover. Oh, and also that it even bothers to have a cover at all. Makes a nice change for a test press. I also like the hand written labels, which gives it a more personal / DIY touch.

If you're even slower than me and haven't heard (or heard of) Sunstroke, comparisons have been drawn to Revolution Summer type bands, and rightly so. In particular, it reminds me of the the band Rain. If you're into this style, then this really is the record for you. And I have to say, it's great to see a band playing this style in 2018, and it's cool that people are into it. I just hope that the band continues and gives us more at some point as it would be disappointing to stop here.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Wake The Sleeping Dragon

So I was saying in my last post about how it's easy to gain and lose interest over time with some bands that have been around for a few years. Here's a perfect example - Sick Of It All. Over the years the pattern seems to be that I get interested in every other record that they put out. The last one I bought was the 'Based On A True Story' LP back in 2010. The last album (2014's 'Last Act Of Defiance') I vaguely remember seeing come out and having zero interest in. But as soon as I saw the 2018 release 'Wake The Sleeping Dragon' I instantly wanted it. Weird huh?

Well, in all honesty I think it is to do with the (debateably) old fashioned concept of artwork. I saw the artwork and it grabbed me and made me interested in the record. And then I saw the Fat Wreck colour vinyl pressing and I thought that it looked like a cool colour. So then I had two reasons to want it, which inevitably led to me picking on up.

I have no idea how many of this colour version were made. I think I may have seen someone say there are 400 or 500, but I may be imagining that. But the Fat Wreck pressing is in theory for US customers only. Century Media handled the european market with at least 4 different vinyl colour options, none of which looked half as interesting as this one.

So once I had this thing I was obviously going to listen to it. And yup, I've enjoyed it. To keep up to date there's even a song about people posting pictures of themselves online ('self important shithead'), which quite possibly reminds me of some of the people that I stupidly follow on instagram. Ha! Anyway, overall it's cool to see this band are still going strong and can still grab my attention, even if it is only ever 8 years or so.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Body Feel

And another 2018 release that I'm picking up late - the Shook Ones 'Body Feel' LP. This came out on Revelation a full 9 years after their last LP, and 12 years after their second LP that Revelation also released. That seems crazy to me. I mean, 12 years is the same amount of time between first Minor Threat 7" and Earth Crisis 'Firestorm' 7". Is it just me, or is 12 years these days far less significant than 12 years was three decades back?

Anyway, I digress. I was wanting something with a little more melody and this LP came along at the right time. I downloaded it and listened a few times and then realised that I wanted to buy a copy... and, as is often the case with me, it then turned out that the first press colour copies had sold out. Fortunately though I managed to find one without too much trouble. The first press is on this solid green:

And because the first press had sold out, of course there was then a second press available, which I figured it would also be sensible to pick up whilst I was at it. The second press comes on a solid light purple, which I have to say is a really nice colour:

I've had a weird relationship with this band over the years. Loved their first LP, didn't get on so well with the second, never heard the third at all, and really enjoyed the fourth. I think this is a thing I've noticed with a few bands that have been around for a few years - it's easy to gain and lose interest as time passes. For some reason you can love one record and then not be too fussed when the next one comes out. I guess it's because music is often a time and place kinda thing. Sometimes it clicks, sometimes it doesn't. But all in all I think this is my favourite Shook Ones record (of the ones I have heard), and there aren't too many bands that get better as they go on, right?

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Can't Have Nice Things

Another 2018 release that I picked up late was the debut LP by Shiners Club, 'Cant Have Nice Things'. If you're unfamiliar, this is Dan O'Mahoney's latest band. Shiners Club also features John Coyle (from Outspoken & Kill The Messenger) and some other dudes who have been in Speak 714 & Mean Season. So basically, some CA dudes with a pretty good resume. But I only really bought it for the Dan O factor if I'm honest, as I've always been a fan of his bands, and this latest one is no exception.

Shiners Club don't really sound like any of Dan's previous bands, although from the bands mentioned above I'd say that they probably sound closest to Kill The Messenger. The songs are kinda loud and messy, and at first I wasn't sure that I liked it. But after a couple of spins one of the songs got stuck in my head, and then the rest started to follow. Pretty soon it was my go to album of choice for my gym sessions.

I'm not so sure where I'd place this on my 2018 best of list if I had to make one, but it would definitely feature. If you haven't given it a chance then I'd recommend trying to check it out if possible. The band doesn't have a bandcamp page, but the album is up on the label's page HERE. You're welcome.

I have to say, it's nice to see Indecision Records putting out new records again, and as ever they're putting out some interesting stuff. This one comes on two colours of vinyl - the 'clear smoke' that I picked up, and also clear red. Both are out of 500 copies.

Monday, 22 April 2019

North Atlantic

When I picked up the Remission LP from React!, I also decided to pick up the other release that they put out at the same time, the For Pete's Sake 'North Atlantic' 12". I was into the first record, but had just assumed that the band had called it quits after the singer, Peter Amdam, passed away a couple of years ago. So it was a surprise to see a new record available to order.

I have enjoyed this 12". It's quite rare for hardcore bands to release 12" EPs rather than LPs, but I think in this case the format works well as the songs are a little longer than the average 2 minute hardcore banger.

I can't imagine how tough it must have been to have written and recorded songs after your bandmate and friend passes away. So as expected, this record is full of raw emotion. I'm looking forward to seeing if they continue, and what the next chapter holds...

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Enemy Of Silence

Another of my favourite releases from 2018 was this:

Remission are a band from Chile in South America. React! Records put out their 'Winds Of Promise' 7" way back in 2010. I enjoyed it at the time, but until last Summer it had pretty much been completely forgotten. I guess I had assumed that they had broken up. But last year React! released their second album, 'Enemy Of Silence'. I wanted it, but it seemed to sell out super quick. Or rather, it became unavailable in the label's store. It was some months before it re-appeared, but when it did I made sure to grab one of the white vinyl copies (/150) quick smart.

I actually saw this band play in Summer 2018 in Washington, DC. They were playing the first night that we were in town, and in the absence of anything else to do, we went to see them play. It was a last minute show, and we were tired, and there weren't many people there, but Remission were REALLY good. It was one of those shows where it just made me want to listen to them more.

Also, while I'm on the subject of this record, the cover really does remind me of the old One Step Ahead 12" on Nemesis Records:

Not only does the cover art look very similar, but the names of the records are also very similar. So is this a coincidence, or is the band paying homage to this band & record? I'm not sure. But One Step Ahead also released a 7" called 'Remission', so it seems quite possible that this little known band from 1990 had a pretty big influence on these Chilean hardcore kids.

So I did think I'd be happy to buy just one copy of this one, until they put pictures up of a special version on their instagram. It would seem that Nemesis Records must have had a pretty influential on these kids, as they made up this a limited Reason To Believe rip off version. So of course I decided that I needed one of those too.

Friday, 19 April 2019

Little Acts Of Destruction

The next installment of my 2018 releases catch up is the Red Hare 'Little Acts Of Destruction' LP. This was released by Dischord records and, when it was first announced, there was talk of a limited clear vinyl pressing. Usually when Dischord press something on colour vinyl, they do the entire pressing on colour. But rumours suggested that there were only going to be 200 on clear, with the majority being on black vinyl. Well anyway, in typical fashion, I managed to miss out on the clear as it sold fast at pre-order stage. But several months later I managed to get one:

I remember ALMOST getting one of these on the first day I landed in the States last Summer. Checking the internet in the morning in Boston, someone had posted a link to some online shirt selling site that also had clear vinyl copies of this record if you bought a shirt. So I placed an order and felt relieved that I managed to grab a copy after Dischord had apparently sold out. Unfortunately, however, a couple of hours later my order got refunded as the item was out of stock. Disappointment set in and I once again kicked myself for not being quicker with the pre-order.

A few months later I made an enquiry that resulted in being offered this for a really good price. The old advice of 'if you don't ask, you don't get' came in useful once again.

Interestingly, when I listened to this I was at first disappointed. It's definitely not as much of an instant attention grabber as the first LP. However, perseverance is key, and with each listen this has grown on me. At the end of 2018 I would have placed this near the bottom of the releases for the year, but at this point I'd put it much closer to the top spot. I think all of my favourite LPs over the years have taken time to grow, and this is the same. And, as you can see, it looks the part too. The artwork and the clear vinyl really do look great together.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Dirge Of Escapism

I thought I'd spend the next few posts effectively catching up on 2018. I didn't buy many new releases in 2018 for various reasons, although I did download and listen to a few. Now that I'm managing to actually acquire the vinyl, I figured I'd spread the posts out and deal with them in alphabetical order...

I'm starting withe the Primal Rite 'Dirge Of Escapism' LP. I listened to this online and was blown away by the opening riff. It sounds so damn hard. It became the soundtrack to my gym workouts for a few weeks.

As you can see, this one came out on Revelation. Just looking at the band logo, that seems like a slightly odd fit... although it's not as if Rev has a particular sound really if you think about it. Anyway, this is some heavy hardcore that's great for lifting weights to, or punching holes in walls. Whichever you're most into.

Blue vinyl is the limited colour from the first press and out of 167 copies. Even though it came out in January 2018, somehow there are still copies available from the label here.

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Alone... Again

Almost two months ago Alone In A Crowd played a one off show. Everyone reading this is probably already aware. It was a benefit show for guitarist Howie, who has a tumour that has had a huge negative effect on his life. It's kinda difficult for me reading the story knowing how crazy the US healthcare system is. If anyone had the same condition in the UK they would get a free operation on the NHS (National Health Service), funded by the taxpayer. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of the US, but the healthcare system seems like a bit of a fail.

Anyway, I don't want to get political, but due to the need to pay for Howie's healthcare, Alone In A Crowd decided to play for the first time in 30 years. And one way of making some money was to press a limited 7" for the show. I couldn't go to the show, but had a friend that did who kindly picked one up for me.

There were 200 copies on a dark red vinyl with stamped labels. I got number 106/200.

After the show some additional copies surfaced numbered out of 29 and 36 copies. These came in a sleeve with the wrong date. Kinda cool, but I'm happy with this one. I really like that it was bought at the show for me. And I didn't even ask for one.

As I stared making this post I decided to watch the show on youtube. I didn't intend to watch the whole thing, as it was over an hour long, but I ended up doing so. There was a lot of talking between songs, and the energy in the room when the songs were on was really good to see. Kinda made me wish I had made the effort to travel. Looked like a really great night, and I would guess that it probably won't happen again.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

US East Coast Trip, Part 5 - Generation Records

When I was in NYC last year, I was very disappointed by Generation Records. But I was always going to go again, because looking in record shops is such a novelty for me.

As I learnt on my previous US trip, the 7" bins are where the interesting items are generally, so I went straight downstairs to the 7" section to have a browse. I had low expectations based on my previous visit, and I was pleasantly surprised as there were quite a few little gems for reasonable prices. I didn't have much space in my bag as I had already filled it with other stuff, so I limited myself based on scarcity and price.

It seemed to me that someone had dumped their collection in there at some point just before I arrived. There were lots of used 7" from the early 00s, and as was the case with that era, most hardcore 7"s got pressed on several different colours and also with several limited covers. So there were lots of 7"s in the bins with multipe copies. Lots of these things I already had, but there were some I didn't. My favourite find was a Damage II 'Broken Bloodlines' 7". There were 4 copies in the shop and after checking out all four copies, I found one I didn't have, which was this hand numbered transition copy.

The regular colour of this record was clear yellow (gold), but this numbered copy is a kind of dirty yellow colour. I can't actually remember as the DB23 site vanised years ago, but I'm pretty sure that the numbered copies are transition colours. I thought this was a pretty cool find for $1.99.

Another band that had their fair share of different versions was Internal Affairs, and I never owned a copy of their 'Casualty Of The Core' 7" with this tour cover before.

The tour cover comes wrapped around a regular cover, allowing me to line everything up in a nice instagram friendly square.

The 00s collection also had a couple of Over My Dead Body split 7"s I didn't own, which were also pretty cheap. First up, the split with Swindle on brown vinyl:

And the split with Time X on orange vinyl:

There were a few more 7"s I found, but the prices weren't quite so attractive. So these 4 were all I took from the 7" section. But after going back upstairs, I then found a section of used LPs that I'm assuming the same person's collection went into, as there were a few versions of LPs from the early 00s. Most I already owned, or didn't want to carry, but I did come across this American Nightmare (Give Up The Ghost) LP that I couldn't resist. This is the original Equal Vision pressing on clear vinyl.

Funny story about when this LP came out - I heard it was coming out so phoned up EVR to place an order. Dude on the phone told me that they weren't taking orders for another week. He also told me there were 4 colours of vinyl. Somehow I managed to talk him into taking my order there and then, but for some reason I ordered only 3 of the 4 colours. Maybe I just thought that clear was the common colour and not rare enough to waste my time with. I don't remember. But the way it went down with my premature phone call and my jedi mind trick on the dude on the phone meant that I was actually the first person to place order for this record when it came out. A few months later I heard from other people that there was some kind of drama with this release. Apparently lots of kids didn't get the limited colours and were not happy. This was back when AN were like THE band of the moment. Apparently lots of people thought that there was some kind of conspiracy to only give the limited colours to scene kids or something. I don't know. All I know is that I got the 3 limited colours without a problem and I was the least 'scene' kid ever.

Anyway, years later and I finally have all 4 EVR colours, so I pulled them together for a pic:

After buying these records I left the shop and went on with my business. But the story doesn't quite end there. There was actually one 7" on the wall that I was going to ask to have a look at, but somehow forgot after I got stuck into flicking through the records. Two or three days later we were in the area, and happened to end up back on the same street that Generation is on. So I decided to pop back in to ask about the record on the wall. Well, funnily enough, when I walked in I recognised the dude on the counter. I'm not sure if he was more surprised to see me than I was him, but it was a pretty cool and funny moment. Miles used to work in All Ages Records in London, and sold me a few nice items a few years ago. I haven't been in All Ages for a long time, as I generally never leave the house anymore, so I had no idea he'd left and moved to NYC. But after each of us explaining why we were there to each other, it was nice chat briefly with a friendly and familiar face.

Miles also works one day a week in Limited To One too. So if you ever go record shopping in NYC then there's a reasonable chance you might bump into him in one shop or the other. If you then please say hello from me.

Anyway, after having been to Generation Records twice, with one time being disappointing and the other being quite good, I can only conclude that it totally depends on when you go. If you're lucky then you'll get lucky, and if not then you'll miss out. I guess the sheer numbers of people moving through NYC mean that stuff comes and goes quickly.

This post marks the end of the US trip in terms of records. Normal service will now resume...

Sunday, 7 April 2019

US East Coast Trip, Part 4 - Brooklyn

So on the day after the show in New Jersey, we went to see Into Another again at the Brooklyn Bazaar. It was a pretty cool venue. Apparently Youth Of Today had played there the week before.

So even though I was going to see Into Another, Beyond were also on the bill. Beyond also played, and even though I wasn't too fussed about seeing them, they really impressed me. I've never been a huge fan of the Beyond 'No Longer At Ease' LP, but I really enjoyed them live, and the songs sounded so good that I left wanting to go home and listen to the LP again.

I filmed a couple of songs so I'm putting them up here as a record.

When Into Another hit the stage, I filmed the first two songs, then put the phone away and enjoyed it. Here ya go...

Into Another were every bit as good as I had hoped. I stood at the front and sang along like it was 1995 all over again. I was so into it that I even got sucked into buying another version of 'Ignaurus', this time on red vinyl.

My photo of this one isn't great. The colour is actually a nice solid, darkish red. But here it just looks like a regular red. Sorry.

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

US East Coast Trip, Part 3 - Hold Fast Records

So after the first Into Another show, we had half a day in Asbury Park. It was a really interesting place. I'm told it is swarming with people in the Summer, but in March it was completely dead. Nobody on the streets and very few cars on the road. Almost a ghost town. But even in ghost towns in America, there are record shops. Approximately 15 minutes walk from our hotel was a shop called Hold Fast Records. So obviously we took the time to check it out.

Note the Rev logo inside the window to my left.

As was the case with most of the other shops I visited last summer, it seemed that the LP section wasn't great, but there were a few gems lurking in the 7" section. There was also a box of 7"s on the counter which were marked as 50% off, and inside I managed to find three 7" I thought I'd take away, for which I paid a total of $10.66. Bargain. In alphabetical order...

The first was an Atlas Shrugged 7" which I mainly picked for the cover. A fine Beyond rip off made for Japan. Presumably for a Japanese tour rather than the general Japanese populous, although who knows?

And I love how Snoop Dogg appears on the back for no discernable reason.

Next up, a true gem - a rare version of the Killing Flame 'The Dream Dies' 7" on Livewire Records. I've never seen this one before. This is a limited cover numbered out of 25 copies. The insert refers to it as the 'Jennifer Love Hewitt eBay special'.

I got this for $5, but it seems one copy sold on discogs last year for €40 (circa $50). So I guess I was pretty lucky.

And finally, an Integrity 7" I don't own. A standard issue black vinyl copy of the 'VVe Are The End' 7". It's not overly exciting to look at, but it was only $2 so worth grabbing.

So that was it. And with another successful trip to a US record shop complete, it was time to head back to NYC...