Friday 12 July 2024

More Slivers

Towards the end of last year I finally picked up a copy of the Nirvana 'Sliver / Dive' 7" that I had wanted for years. I used to have a copy in the early 90s and sold it, and have regretted that for quite some time. Anyway, obtaining a copy last year then led to a mini obsession, and I found myself checking eBay for additional copies for sale almost daily. In my opinion, eBay is better than discogs for records by big bands as there were large numbers of copies pressed and lots that would have made their way to the UK. Generally there are plenty of copies of this record on eBay at all times, but the main challenge is to find one for a fair price.

Well anyway, I got pretty lucky a couple of months back when I spotted a blue vinyl copy for auction sat a good price. I watched it for a few days and then (as always) bid in the last few seconds, and to my surprise I won it for a lot less than I expected. I managed to win this for around £28, whereas it will usually sell on discogs for £150-200. I'm not really sure why this was the case. Perhaps this was because it ended on a Sunday evening, or perhaps it was because the listing put people off in some way, but I was very happy with the result regardless.

This is a slightly weird version, as it appears to be a first press blue vinyl copy in second press sleeve. But it is a legit variation. There are a few of them out there.

In addition to the above copy, I also got outbid on a couple of more recent pressings which somehow sold for higher prices, and they also sold on eBay for more than they usually sell for on discogs. I can only think this is because they are more recent US pressings, and no doubt fewer of these made it over the pond. So the more recent colour pressings sell for more in the UK than they would do in the States. As soon as I was outbid, I realised that I needed to buy them from the States to avoid significantly overpaying. So that's what I did.

First up is a Newbury Comics exclusive from 2015. This blue/pink split vinyl is out of 1,000 copies.

Next is another Newbury Comics exclusive that was released in 2018. There were 500 copies of this blue / clear split vinyl.

And another Newbury Comics exclusive from 2018 also out of 500 copies, this one is the clear / pink split vinyl.

And finally, I also grabbed this more recent 'silver' (aka grey) vinyl pressing. This one is limited to 1,000 copies and was exclusive to a record store in Portland, Oregon called Jackpot Records.

This is such an addictive record to try to collect as there are a lot of colours out there, and some very subtle differences between some of them. Attention to detail is a must. But kinda funny that prior to October last year I did not own a single copy of this record, and then thanks to some time searching and a bit of luck, I now find myself with 10 copies. Here's a nice square photo showing the 9 Sub Pop copies I have acquired (the 10th copy I have is a crappy UK pressing with different labels so I opted to leave it out for aesthetic reasons).

I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not, but there are still at least another 6 colours that I can go after, although from this point forward it will in theory become a much slower and more expensive game, and is likely to roll on for years to come. But hey, that's what this game is about, right?

Wednesday 10 July 2024

The Second Stage Turbine Blade

Coheed And Cambria is a band I know absolutely nothing about. Their debut relesase, 'The Second Stage Turbine Blade' was released by Equal Vision Records in 2002, and for me absolutely represents the end of the 'old' Equal Vision. Up to that point, EVR had released hardcore records by the likes of Bane, Floorpunch, Sick Of It All, American Nightmare, Converge, Saves The Day... the list goes on. I used to buy everything they put out whether I had heard of it or not as they rarely put a foot wrong. So when they released the debut Coheed record on CD only in 2002, I blindly bought it... and immediately thought 'what the hell is this?'. It was not like anything that the label had put out previously, but I gave it some time because I had shelled out my hard earned money for it and, as is often the case, I started to quite enjoy it.

And here we are in 2024 and, 22 years after its initial release, 'The Second Stage Turbine Blade' has been pressed onto 'transparent black vinyl' to mark the 20th anniversary of this record. Quite why we are getting a 20th anniversary pressing after 22 years I am unsure, but hey. And come to think of it, who the hell decided on 'transparent black' as a colour of vinyl?

Anyway, I saw this for sale at a UK distro and figured I would grab one whole they are still available for new release price. Having looked on discogs, it seems that most vinyl records by this band end up selling for pretty hefty prices. So I kinda figured this to be one of those 'now or never' moments to finally add this to my collection on the superior format.

I would definitely describe myself as a casual listener of this band. Discogs tells me that they have to date released ten studio albums, of which I have heard only four, the latest of which came out in 2007. But all these years later and I still find this band to be a bit of a mystery, in the respect that I have no idea quite why they seem to be so popular, nor what kind of people like them. Please chip in and tell me if you've ever listened and what your thoughts are.

Tuesday 9 July 2024

Bent Stroke

I'm not doing too well for new releases so far in 2024. I was about to type that this record is one of the few that I have picked up, when I just became aware that this actually came out last year. Damn.

This is a split 7" by both Sunstroke and Bent Blue which came out as a split release by both War Records and New Morality Zine. I saw this one at a UK distro and figured it would be worth picking up. I haven't bought a Sunstroke record for 4 years, but back then I did listen to them a lot. Their DCesque sound is really refreshing to hear in the 2020s, although slighlty disappoiting as it contains only one new song. The other is a cover.

Well anyway, I ordered another record from a different UK distro and then noticed that they also had this 7" for sale, but on a different colour of vinyl. So I figured why not?

The other band on here, Bent Blue, I haven't really given them a chance to this point, partly due to the fact that their records look visually disinteresting. I saw them play live a couple of years ago and wasn't overly excited by them. But a couple of my friends really enjoy them so I'm sure there is something there. Again, they have two songs on here and one is a cover, so it's probably not the best platform from which to judge them. But I do like what I hear on here and it makes me want to explore them more.

Both of these colours are limited to 150 copies each. I like how they match to the artwork, and I also like how they were clearly pressed at a US plant, which seems increasingly rare these days.

Monday 8 July 2024

Still Screaming

It feels like no matter ho many copies of 'Screaming For Change' I own, there are still more copies that I am looking for. Even though I was only really interested in the colour vinyl copies on Wishingwell, at some point I realised that the first press sleeve was different, so I decided that I wanted one of those too. The main issue for anyone trying to find a first press copy, however, is that it came with both a poster and a sticker, and finding a copy for sale with both of those things is extrememly difficult. I figure that when this came out most people were young punks who immediately put the poster on the wall or slapped the sticker on a skateboard, and they then got separated from the record and probably ended up in the trash. But as far as I am concerned, knowing that the record is supposed to have a poster and sticker, I was never going to buy a copy without either one, no matter how cheap. So I played the waiting game... for years. And then, a few months ago I came across a copy on eBay with a reasonable buy it now price, and the description said that the poster and sticker were included. I took a moment to clarify with the seller, and then once I was happy, I bought it. The seller turned out to be in Orange County and was the original owner, so that's also a nice touch.

The poster is pretty damn huge. This next photo shows it laid out to the right of the record and cover. I also laid the (white) sticker on top of the poster, so that the right half of this picture is pretty rare.

So that's pretty much that. What I have done for the rest of this post is to lay out the sleeve and insert next to a second press equivalent so you can see the differences. In all photos, the 1st press is on the left and 2nd press on the right.

What's fascinating about the front cover is that the first and second press copies are actually different pictures. Both are hand drawn by Gavin Oglesby, but they are different versions of the same picture. I remember that this first came to light on the internet in the 00s on Double Cross, and if I didn't remember reading about it then I'm not sure that I would have ever noticed. But if you look closely, you can see some subtle differences. Turns out that the first press picture was drawn onto leather and then photographed, but they didn't think it looked quite right, so when it came to do the second press, Gavin drewn it again on illustration board.

I ignored the Southern Lord reissue of this record a few years ago, and I still have no intention of going back on that decision. I'm only interested in Wishingwell editions of this record. And even though this is my 10th copy of this record, there is still one more that I am looking for - the grey vinyl version. I've missed a couple over the years but I'm sure that one will come eventually.

Sunday 7 July 2024

Perfect As You Are

One of my favouite bands of the past 20 years is the Boston band 27. Heck, I love this band so much that I somehow talked them into letting me put out one of their LPs on vinyl when the label that released it put it out on CD only. The band are barely active these days, but they still crank out a new song or two every couple of years. This record here came out in December 2022 as a very limited lathe cut 7", numbered out of 50 copies.

This 7" features two songs - a new song, and a rerecording of an older song. It was a benefit for A Leg To Stand On, a charity that provides life-changing mobility solutions to children living with limb disabilities around the world. Kind of a shame that it was for a good cause but there were only 50 copies made, but I'm glad I got one.

Saturday 6 July 2024

Turn The Tide

Looking back, 2020 was a weird year. Somehow it seems like a lifetime ago now. During that weird year, when we were all stuck at home and not allowed to really go anywhere or do anything, I tried my best to spend some of the money I was saving on new releases, so I ended up with some records that I probably wouldn't have been overly attracted to in a normal year. One of those records was 'Turn The Tide' by Don't Sleep, with Dave Smalley on vocals and which reminded me a lot of early Down By Law records that I absolutely loved in the early 90s. Well, a while ago I spotted a test press on eBay which was at a pretty good price, so I watched it and won as the only bidder.

As per the picture, this one comes in a plain white paper sleeve, although it does at least have a sticker on it to say what the record inside is. As per tradition on here, I pulled out the regular copy of he record to take a more interesting photo.

The band actually put out a new record last year, which I still didn't get around to picking up. I need to get on to that at some point soon, although I need to find a copy for sale in the UK first.

Friday 5 July 2024

Psychobilly Freakout

The 2024 Sub Pop obsession continues, and this record is one of those that really surprised me. Back when I was 17 and buying Sub Pop 7"s in record shops in Camden, there was one record & band that I would avoid at all costs - Reverend Horton Heat. They had a full length with a dude on the cover wearing a checkered suit. It just screamed 'avoid' to me back then. Yet here I am 30 years later buying a 7" by them.

The Reverend Horton Heat (which is both the name of a single dude, but also his band) comes from Dallas, Texas and plays 'old fashioned' rock 'n' roll. The 7" is titled 'Psychobilly Freakout', and for anyone unsure, here's the definition of psychobilly from wikipedia:

It's been defined as "loud frantic rockabilly music", it has also been said that it "takes the traditional countrified rock style known as rockabilly, ramping up its speed to a sweaty pace, and combining it with punk rock and imagery lifted from horror films and late-night sci-fi schlock, creating a gritty honky tonk punk rock.

I have never, and thoeretically would never usually buy anything in this style, but that's half the fun of trying to collect records from a label with a pretty diverse catalogue. This 7" was released in December 1990 as Sub Pop 96 and contains two songs which are absolutely brilliant. The second song, 'Baby, You Know Who' has been stuck in my head for about a week now. Without a shodow of a doubt I would listen to more of this band.

Next stop, Hi Fi And The Roadburners...?

Thursday 4 July 2024

Wrong

A couple of years ago I went through a pop punk faze, largely driven by nostalgia, but I discovered some relly great records. As a result, I also listened to Nomeansno for the first time in my life. Back when I was 16-17 I was into Dead Kennedys and some related bands like Lard and Tumor Circus, and I used to mailorder records and shirts from their UK office (which no longer exists). There were records that were easy to get back then and super cheap, but I was never interested, and in time they have become quite expensive. So when I heard Nomeansno a couple of years ago for the first time, I figured I would be able to pick up their records for bugger all, but sadly that's not how it works these days. Nothing is cheap. So when I got wind of a repress of the 'Wrong' LP that has just come out, I figured it would be good enough.

This record was originally on black vinyl only. It was pressed in both the States and also the UK / Europe in 1989, and I think (from memory) was still in print at least 4 years later. I imagine there are a lot of copies out there. But these days, like everything, it seems hard to find and is a lot more expensive than it should be.

It seems that Alternative Tentacles are repressing some of their classic records, and like every label these days, they are pressing up multiple colours of each one. And as much as I don't like reissues, the numbers don't lie. There are nearly 1,000 people on discogs who have the original US pressing of this record on their want list, and nearly 900 who want the UK pressing. This tells me that there are a lot of people who like this record and want to own a vinyl copy. So I figure this repress will sell quickly, especially the colour pressings. So I simply had to grab this right away.

If you've not heard Nomeansno before, then I would genuinely suggest changing that ASAP. This is such a funky, bass heavy record and is just a really good time. The songs 'Big Dick', 'Oh No! Bruno' and 'Rags And Bones' are absolutely fantastic and should be in everybody's collection, and I am very happy that after so many years they are finally in mine.

Wednesday 3 July 2024

With Dave

A year and a half ago or so I bought some records from a dude who briefly worked at Jade Tree Records in 90s. I remember asking him if he had any other test pressings in his collection that he was looking to sell, but the answer was no. So that was that. But then a few months later, he sent me an email to tell me that he had found a test press for the Swiz 'With Dave' 7", and asked if I was interested. Of course I was interested! It didn't take too long to work out a deal, and he sent it pretty quickly too. Sadly it didn't come in anything other than a plain white paper sleeve, but that's ok I guess. I'm just happy to have it at all.

The title of this 7" comes because these are the first (and last!) songs recorded with Dave Stern on bass. He replaced Nathan Larson, who left Swiz for Shudder To Think. I have had a blue vinyl copy of this 7" in my collection for many, many years, so I grabbed the regular sleeve to take a picture with the test press.

Swiz have long been one of my favourite DC bands. God only knows why they were never on Dischord. I'm sure that if they got back together and put out new music then it very much would be on Dischord. But I always felt that they should have been back when they were around. Regardless, I have always loved Swiz, and I have slowly acquired some pretty cool Swiz records over the years. There are 3 Swiz 7"s and I now have test presses of them all, which I think is a pretty big achievement, especially seeing as there are only 2 copies of the 'Down' in existence, and only 3 copies of the 'Rejects' 7".

I'd absolutely love to get test presses for the two 12"s, but they must be scarce as hell as I have never so much as seen either anywhere. Hopefully one day...

Monday 1 July 2024

Congregation

This year I have been buying a lot of early Sub Pop 7"s and discovering some great 'new' music (which is generally 30+ years old),a nd I was really excited to spend a little time with Afghan Whigs for the first time in a while. I used to listen to the band back in about 1992, and then in time I came to the decision that I only really liked the first album, so I sold the rest. But of course, here I am years later realising that I was too harsh, and realising that the second album, 'Congregation', is actually brilliant. So I set out to buy a copy.

This is one of those weird Sub Pop releases that originally came out with no colour vinyl option. In fact, the only vinyl option at all was pressed in Europe. If you lived in the States and happened to want a vinyl copy of this one back when it was released, you'd have had to had bought a European import. How very back to front eh?

So when I was looking for a copy of this one, it was either an original European black vinyl copy, or this 2017 US reissue on an interesting red marble colour for half the price. So this is one of those times when a reissue is absolutely fine.

If you've never heard this band, then they are not easy to describe. Their wikipedia page describes them as a garage band that incorporates R&B and soul influences. I think that's a pretty fair description. And even though I gave up on them years ago (except their earlier stuff) I am now thinking that I would probably appreciate their later stuff more, so I am sure that I will check some of those out at some point.

Sunday 30 June 2024

Like A Big Fuckin' Train

Another journey back into the early years of the Sub Pop catalogue, and I picked up a couple of 7"s by The Supersuckers. This is another band that I used to listen to in the early 90s and then abandoned when I got into straight edge hardcore and turned my back on a lot of other stuff too. I reaquired their debut LP in 2016 and loved it, but that was as far as I went back then. Picking up these two 7"s has brought them right back into my world with a bang.

The first 7" is titled 'Like a Big Fuckin' Train Ep'. It was released in December 1991 as Sub Pop SP125. There are 5 songs on here, and they are over in around 6 minutes. This is loud, fast punk and it's great fun, especially the song 'I Say Fuck'.

This also comes on blue vinyl, which is the one I Used to own back in the early 90s, and which appears to be slightly harder to find than the purple.

I also picked up a second 7", 'Hell City, Hell b/w Dead Homiez'. This one came out in 1992 and is 45 releases further into the catalogue, being Sub Pop SP170. I guess they were pretty busy back then, knocking out a release a week or so.

This one is slightly less fast and the songs are slightly longer. The first song is still great though. The second song, 'Dead Homiez' is a little weird I guess. It's one of those songs that's so bad that it starts to become good, because you can't help but sing along, if that makes sense.

Even though I like these early Supersuckers records, I feel no real desire to venture further into their discography because after this they seemed to change image and they started wearing cowboy hats. Enough said.

Saturday 29 June 2024

There Is A Difference

I imagine that most people wouldn't care about this post because it touches on later Revelation represses, which a lot of Rev collectors gave up on years ago. But I love stuff like this.

'The One Thing That Still Holds True' came out in 1996 and, at the time, there were circa 3,000 copies on black vinyl and roughly 300 copies on limited green vinyl. It stayed this way until the 2001 'final' press on grey vinyl. Then nothing for a long time. But in 2012 it was pressed on white vinyl and then clear vinyl, and then in 2013 it was pressed on blue vinyl and then green marble vinyl. It definitely felt like there were too many colours, although i have to say that I did love the green marble. Then in 2016 it was pressed again on green marble vinyl, so I ignored it. But due to the way that these colours are made, the 2016 version came out a slightly different colour. So I kinda wished I had bought one. And finally I have managed to obtain one.

To me, this looks like a very 'military' shade of green. It's verging on camo. Thankfully it's not actual camo else you would not be able to see it.

One of the reasons that this took so long to track down after I initially ignored it is that not many people out there would know or undrstand the difference between the different green marble pressings. After this 2016 pressing, there was another one in 2019 which also looked different, as it was a much lighter shade of green. I did pick up one of those at the time, so finally I have all three pressings.

SHown above (from left to right) are the 2013 version, the 2016 pressing and the 2019 pressing.

Thursday 27 June 2024

You're Only Young 5 Times

Another classic Rev record, and this time it's the Side By Side 'You're Only Young Once' 7" repressed as a 12" with three extra songs bolted on the end. I guess this very much qualifies as a reissue rather than a repress, as this particular version of these songs has never previously been put out. This came out last year and I'm sure everyone has seen pictures of every possible version of this, so I won't go into too much detail.

As is often the case these days, there were a few different colours of this and no black vinyl pressing, which for once I actually think is a shame as black would have matched the original 7" much better, as it was only released on black vinyl. I'm not as happy with this record as I was with the Bold repress as the vinyl for this one is pressed at an inferior plant, and the colours are pretty ugly. My favourite is this opaque purple pressing, which was exclusive to Coretex, Generation and Project M (whatever the fuck that is).

The record is a fairly good reproduction of the 7" in larger format. They've even blown up the insert to a giant, colour poster.

As ever, I picked up all colours of this one. There were 4 in total. This is what the other 3 look like:

The colours shown above are clear purple (1500), pink (600) and 'fuchsia and white' (450) which looks utterly awful in my opinion.

Well anyway, I picked up those and then Rev also stuck up a copy with a limited cover for sale, so obviously I had to grab one of those too. It contains one of the clear purple records and the cover is a photo of Alex Brown mid air at a Side By Side show in Albany in 1987.

This version is hand numbered and limited to 250 copies. Compared to most Rev releases in limited covers, 250 copies is actually relatively high number. The weird thing about this is that Rev restricted the sale of these to 3 per person, when other limited records they have released have been strictly one per person. Maybe they weren't as confident that these would sell? But of course, they sold out in no time at all.

Tuesday 25 June 2024

Speak Out Repress

So it seems that Revelation are now repressing some of their classic releases that have been out of print for a number of years. Bold's 'Speak Out' LP was last pressed on vinyl way back in 2001 and at the time advertised as the 'final press'. A few short years later and Bold's entire output was put back onto vinyl in the form of a 2xLP discography. And then pretty much without warning, last year, 'Speak Out' was repressed as a single LP in a gatefold sleeve just like when it first came out in 1988. The main difference is that this time around it has been put onto colour vinyl. So of course, I was in.

When I heard this was coming, I was initially concerned that it was going to be pressed on crappy vinyl. However, this has been pressed at a decent plant, and the records look great. Opaque Orange is the most common colour, being out of a whopping 1,500 copies, but it looks nice.

And of course, with how things are with records in this day and age, there are other colours and I was obliged to pick them all up.

Pictured above are clear (300), 'orange & white marble' (which, let's be honest, is yellow and orange) (450) and blue (600). In theory the blue should be the best match to the artwork, but its a kind of dull blue colour and in my view doesn't really look good at all. As is often the case, the clear looks by far the best.

Out of curiosity I checked my spreadsheet and I now seem to own 14 copies of this record, with many of those being added in the last couple of years. I think I am probably only about one record away from a complete collectin of this one, so hopefully I can get across the line and grab one of those. Because, you know how it is when 14 copies of the same record aren't quite enough.

There are a couple more 'classic' Rev represses that I also finally caught up on, so I'm gonna try to put them up here in the next few days. Then I can move on to some more interesting stuff.

Monday 24 June 2024

Money

There are some records that I seem compelled to buy again and again. Most of these are Revelation releases, but there are a couple of Dischord releases that will drive me to hit that 'order now' button every single time. The Embrace LP is definitely one of these records. The latest pressing is on gold vinyl. This is the 'old skool' version of 'gold' vinyl, which is basically clear orange, as opposed to the more modern 'gold' vinyl which actually does look gold (and also shit).

I bought my original first press copy back in probably 1994, and this copy was all I needed until 2009 when Dischord starting toying with colour vinyl and repressed it on red. I then felt that I needed the green copy that followed 13 years later in 2022. And now, only two years on, we have gold.

Without a doubt I would expect to see more colours of this one pressed, in time, and I will be there buying them like an absolute sucker. Do not consider yourself free.

Saturday 22 June 2024

Never Enough

The 6th and final part in my series of posts of stuff I picked up from a friend who was selling his collection last year, and I've saved the most important one until last. This is a limited cover version of the Mouthpiece 'Can't Kill What's Inside (The Complete Discography)' LP that has eluded me since it came out in 2015. The cover was made for 'Nate fest', a two day benefit show for Nate Gluck (Ensign bassist) to help raise funds for his cancer treatment. I remember thinking that I would be able to get one of these from soneone flipping one after the show, but somehow it took me 9 years to end up with a copy.

The cover of this one features artwork that was previously used by Mouthpiece for a limited 7" cover. I have the 7" and if I'd have thought about it earlier I would have pulled it out for a photo. Oh well.

This is numbered out of 50 copies on the back. Interestingly, there were two other limited cover versions for this record, one of which is numbered out of 50, and the other 60. I'm very happy to now have all three. I figured I would summon the energy to lay all of my copies of this record out for a photo in celebration of an (almost) complete set.

As ever, I don't have the regular black vinyl version of this one, and I'm not overly fussed about picking it up, unless I find one for $10 or so. But regardless, this is one collection I am very happy with.