Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Open Your Eyes

When Revelation repressed the first two Warzone LPs a few years ago, I wasn't interested. I just figured that they were records that I could live without. But of course, when I saw one selling for cheap on eBay recently, I found myself feeling tempted. I guess I am still a sucker for a piece of Rev colour vinyl that I don't own.

'Open Your Eyes' was the second Warzone album, originally released in 1988 by Caroline Records, and Revelation repressed it 30 years later, in 2018. This is the more common colour option, being out of 1315 copies.

The main difference between the original pressing and this repress is the insert. The original release came with a single sheet, folded in half, which had the lyrics on it and a photo of each band member. This repress comes with a large, glossy booklet, which has the lyrics printed in a massive font as well as some action shots of the band. Its kinda cool, although its very thick, and probably could have been condensed into half as much paper without too much effort.

I never liked this album as much as the first, or even the later ones on Victory. But listening to it again recently and I've definitely appreciated it more than ever before. Turns out it's not bad after all.

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Dot Class "C"

I first got into a band called Inch back in (I think) 1994. This was an era when I was discovering a lot of new music, bands and scenes, and I would read descriptions of records and just take a chance. I was keen to discover bands that my friends didn't know about so that I could bring stuff to their attention and feel like I was ahead of the pack. I don't know why that seemed to matter really, but it meant that I was always looking for something new. I think Inch ended up on my radar because their first LP was listed on a mailorder list from a record shop I used to buy from at the time, and it said that the band featured a dude on vocals who used to be in the band Sub Society, who I knew about due to H-Street skateboard videos. So that was enough information to buy their first LP. I also picked up 3 or 4 7"s back then too. I enjoyed them at the time, but probably within a year I had moved on and rarely listened to them again.

A couple of years ago I was adding my collection to discogs, and I found that Inch had two more albums that I never knew about. I guess there were so many bands and labels in the mid 90s that I couldn't keep up. So I lost touch with Inch. But I was interested to see that there was a vinyl pressing of their second LP, 'Dot Class C', although it seemed relatively hard to get. So I added it to my want list and waited. The copies that came up for sale seemed to be more expensive than I wanted to pay. But last week I was googling around and I found a brand new copy for sale for a super good price.

This album was originally released in 1997 on CD, and the LP was limited to 750 copies, which come in screen printed, hand numbered sleeves.

The band were from San Diego, and apparently these covers were made by another San Diego legend, Rick Froburg. I imagine he must have regretted agreeing to make 750 screen printed covers after making the first couple of hundred.

If you haven't heard this band before, which is probably most people reading this, then be aware that they sound like an indie / alt rock type band. Same vague ballpark as Drive Like Jehu. Not hardcore. You probably won't be into it.

Friday, 17 September 2021

The Closure Of Closure?

In June this year I bought 3 colour vinyl copies of the Integrity album 'Closure', which was officially issued on vinyl for the first time since it was released back in 2001. At the end of the post I wrote this: this stage, it is unclear as to whether there will be another pressing or not. Although if I know Integrity, it seems more likely than not.

Well, it was iterally one week after my post went up that I saw someone post a photo of two more different versions on instagram. Obviously I had to pick them up to keep the collection as close to 'complete' as possible... although obviously this is a total illusion as there is no such thing as 'complete' as far as Integrity is concerned, so I'm not sure why I keep on chasing the impossible. But never mind.

These two colours were also, I believe, limited to 100 copies each, just like the previous three copies I picked up. The first one is known as 'absinthe ice':

The second copy is referred to as 'Halloween':

This album is defiitely the odd man out when it comes to Integrity records, although the record has grown on me over the years. And whilst it's good to see an 'official' release on vinyl, and I quite like what has been done to the original artwork, I'm not such a big fan of the vinyl colours chosen. So it's a good job I only have 5 copies.

Monday, 13 September 2021

The Mutt's Nuts

Another new post and another new release. Will wonders never cease?

I would guess most people reading this are already aware of this one, but this is the sophomore LP from Chubby And The Gang, titled 'The Mutt's Nuts'. This was one officially released a couple of weeks ago so I'm actually quite up to date for once. I downloaded this and wasn't impressed after a couple of listens, finding it slower and less of a jolly romp than the first album. But after a couple more listens it started to grab hold, so I decided that I'd buy a copy. The dilemma was then whether to buy the more limited black vinyl, gatefold sleeve version, or the common colour vinyl version. Given that neither seemed particularly limited, I just went with habit of a lifetime and picked up the colour vinyl.

Cool to see that this one also features the same style artwork as the first LP, although the cover of this one looks way nice in my opinion. I guess it must be the colour scheme.

My copy arrived sealed, but outside of the shrinkwrap was included this 'insert' with signed pictures of the band members. I'm unsure as to whether every copy comes with one of these or not, although I would guess probably yes. But if that's the case then why was it not included inside the cover? Strange.

In some ways this record seems to have come along at a similar time to the first one for me. The first album always reminds me of January 2020, as I went through a short period back then of listening to it whilst walking along the River Thames on the way to my new job that I didn't like. And here we are a year and a half later, and this second album is now proving to be the soundtrack for me finishing up at that very same job, which I decided to leave as I recently realised that I still don't like it.

Monday, 6 September 2021

9th And Walnut

It's been a while. After being ahead of my scheduled 10 posts a month work rate for most of the year, the last couple of months have seen a total slow down in both blogging and buying records. The main reason is that I haven't had many records recently due to focussing on other things. But I have recently found myself losing interest in records for the first time in many years, for a few reasons.

Well anyway, I finally got around to picking up a copy of the new Descendents LP '9th & Walnut'. This was released by Epitaph Records a few weeks ago. I was already annoyed at preorder stage by the endless number of colour vinyl options available, so didn't bother ordering one at all. But after downloading the record and enjoying the songs for a few weeks, I was naturally drawn towards wanting a physical copy. So I ordered this white vinyl copy which arrived today.

Of all the colours I have seen for this, the white seemed quite a good match for the artwork. Plus it was still available to buy, which helped the decision making process. And even though the many vinyl colours that exist for this thing are apparently all out of the same pressing quantity of 500, I have seen fewer photos of the white one than some of the others, which somehow makes it feel rarer even though it isn't.

This record is an interesting one. I think I have this right, but these are all old songs re-recorded by the original line-up. I think the music was recorded years ago, and then Milo recorded the vocals recently. I wasn't so into it at first, but after a few listens I was really enjoying it, like all other Descendents records.

That said, there's a lot about this that I don't like. For example, the fact that mine has some dumbass sticker on the back that covers some of the artwork, and that won't peel off easily. But mainly it's that there are already 12 different colours of vinyl, and it's nigh on impossible to buy one and get much change out of £30. I guess this is modern record collecting, and it has sapped pretty much all of the fun out of the game. I stupidly got sucked into collecting several copies of the last LP, but that isn't happening this time. Game over.

Happy collecting!

Saturday, 14 August 2021

Another Live Record

Last year I won a test press of a Down To Nothing 'Live On The James' LP in a raffle. I was pretty stoked on it as it's a Revelation release, and their test pressings remain hard to get. I also then picked up a pink vinyl copy of the same record as I didn't own a regular copy and it didn't feel quite right owning just a test press. At some point a few months ago I spotted a sealed copy for sale on ebay UK that was up for sale for a pretty low price, and even though it would be a third copy of a pointless live record, I was drawn in by the bargain price. Including postage it worked out cheaper than buying a new copy direct from Rev in person, so I added it to my want list and figured I'd do my usual trick of bidding in the last ten seconds. But I forgot about it and it ended with no bids, then was immediately relisted. Well, I watched it again and the same thing happened. And then it happened again. I was in a weird cycle of watching this record and not bidding and having it end with no bids. I lost count, but I must have watched this thing end with no bids probably 6 times. And then one day a couple of weeks back I got an eBay alert that it was about to end, so I decided to bid and (surprise surprise) I won it.

The pink vinyl copy I bought last year was the rarer colour, so I figured the eBay copy would be the more common gold version, and when I opened the shrinkwrap I was proven correct. I think the main reason I picked this one up is because it would mean I would have a complete collection of this one, which is obviously REALLY IMPORTANT to my daily life. And of course, having a complete collection means one thing - a collection photo.

Sunday, 8 August 2021

Another Sledgehammer

Earlier this year I picked up a 7" by a band called Sledgehammer. The band put out one release back in 2004 and it took me until 2021 to buy one or hear it. With Dwid on vocals and dudes from 90s Belgian metalcore bands Congress and Liar, it's a pretty ferocious little 7". So I initially picked up an orange vinyl copy, then also picked up both red vinyl and black vinyl copies. And now I have also acquired a clear yellow vinyl copy too.

This one came to me from a reader of this blog, which makes a nice change. I used to get quite a few people contact me and offer me stuff, but it rarely happens these days. But always nice when it does happen.

So here's an updated pic of this collection:

I think I am only missing one version of this one now, which is a limited sleeve preorder version numbered out of only 30 copies. I don't expect to be seeing one of those anytime soon, unless anyone has a lead on one of course.

Tuesday, 3 August 2021


So this one caught me totally by surprise. A new LP from Iceburn that came out a few weeks ago. It's funny though how it came onto my radar. I saw a post on instagram for an Engine Kid box set that came out on RSD a few weeks back. I haven't listened to the band for a long time, but the box set looked great and really caught my attention. I did some research and then realised that they have a bandcamp page where you can download all of their songs for free, which I did, and I then spent a few days re-acquanting myself with their catalog. I then listened to the 'Where It Went' podcast episode on the Engine Kid / Iceburn split 12", which talked about a new Iceburn LP. I was intrigued as to what Iceburn would sound like in 2021, thinking it would probably be the worst thing I had ever heard, so I headed to the Iceburn bandcamp to check it out... and about 20 minutes later I had ordered a copy.

The Southern Lord store only offered me a black vinyl option, but I then found a Southern Lord Europe store which also had a clear vinyl option. It didn't actually mention pressing info anywhere, so it was surprising to see that the clear is out of 300 printed on the hype sticker.

The record came sealed within a loose fitting poly sleeve which had a perforated top that you could tear off to allow access. But once you tear off the top bit, the poly sleeve isn't tall enough to contain the sleeve. As you can see, the top of the sleeve sticks out. Without doubt the worst poly sleeve I have ever seen.

Anyway, onto the record itself, and I have to say it looks great. The artwork, the colour scheme, and the vinyl sum to a really nice looking piece of art.

This is a full length album in terms of running time, but as you'd expect with Iceburn, not in terms of number of songs. There are only two songs here, which average 18 minutes each.

Now, this is the point where I sense you may be slightly sceptical, but this record is incredible. Seriously. And as bad as it sounds to say it, I think it's because it sounds absolutely nothing like Iceburn ever sounded before. When I first played this on the bandcamp page, my first thought was that it sounded like Clutch. The riffs are heavy and the vocals are deep, and it kinda reminded me slightly of Clutch from an era long ago when I actually used to listen to Clutch, around the time that they released their self titled LP. Upon further listens I have moved away from this comparison a bit. Today I decided that the guitars are kinda reminiscent of 70s stoner rock and at times the vocals remind me of Mastodon. I may change my mind tomorrow and decide that it sounds more like something else, but you get the picture. Slow and heavy and possibly the best Iceburn record there is. I've been listening to this one twice a day for the past couple of weeks and it's one of those records that I get excited just thinking about listening to. Crazy huh?

Thursday, 29 July 2021

Thug Life

I've not had many records recently, and also haven't had much motivation to post for various reasons. But today seemed like a good day to try to get back on track with one of the cheap 7"s I picked up a bit earlier in the year.

Reinforce is one of those bands that I never really knew much about, given they were around before the internet really got going properly. I picked up their 'One Life Thug Free' 7" back when it came out in 1999. I had picked up on Underestimated Records as a couple of their early releases had found their way to a UK distro that I helped run for a short period, so by the time the Reinforce 7" came out I was automatically interested in this 7". And I do remember enjoying it at the time, although I haven't listened to it too many times in the 20 or so years that followed.

Well anyway, I was enjoying picking up cheap 7"s for a while, and ona whim decided to purchase the blue vinyl version. It was priced similar to a cup of coffee, so seemed worthy of some pocket change to grab it.

As you can see, the blue marble colour goes pretty well with the record cover. And its also just a nice colour generally.

Back when this came out I picked up a clear vinyl with blue stripe copy. And then many years later I finally managed to find the extremely rare Melanie C cover version, so this blue copy takes the collection to three copies. They do look pretty good together I have to say.

One other cool thing was that the band released a full length back in 1999 which was CD only and, as such, I didn't bother with. But due to the magic of modern technology, I was able to download it and finally listen to it for the first time. I'd consider buying one if it was for sale for a reasonable price (i.e. $1), but as usual the discogs crew want considerably more, the fools. So I'll stick to my download and party like it's 1999.

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

A Cheap Descent

A few years ago I helped my friend Mike out with a cool Reveal 7" that I found for sale. He was pretty obsessed about collecting this 7" back then, although I think that obsession died a death when we found out that there were 100 copies of each coloured cover (as opposed to 100 numbered copies total). But whenever I see a copy of this 7" I think of Mike... although recently I thought of myself for once. I haven't really bought many records lately but a couple of weeks ago found myself getting way too excited about cheap 7"s for sale in the UK (the same as I did almost exactly a year ago), so when I saw the Reveal 7" for sale with the numbered sleeve, I figured I'd grab it for myself. When it arrived the sleeve turned out to be green, which I don't think I'd seen before.

I'm not really sure what the deal is with this 7", but I will now reveal (pun intended) everything that I know. The band was from New Jersey, but the 'Descent' 7" (which is, I think, their only release except for one song on a compilation LP) came out on a label called PMA Records, which was based in Belgium. This 7" is from 1992, and the majority of the 'regular' copies seem to be on whie or green vinyl. There are then an unknown number of copies with a photocopied sleeve, which comes on a variety of colours of paper (brown, light yellow, dark yellow, orange, blue and green), and which are numbered in a variety of different ways. The majority of copies that I have seen before are numbered with either a thin pen, or thick black marker. But this copy I have just picked up has the number stamped rather than written. Also, it's interesting is that these photocopied covers have an email address on the back, which I don't think I'd ever really considered previously, but which is the biggest giveaway of all that they were made or sold much later than the original records, as the internet simply did not exist in 1992.

Anyway, what's funny about this is that I used to own the white vinyl and green vinyl copies many years ago, and ended up selling or trading both away because I thought the record was garbage. Yet here I am 20+ years later buying another copy because it's cheap. I listened to it a few times, and it's ok, but I can see why I wasn't into it back then. Compared to most straight edge records of the early 90s, it sounds kinda weak. But I do find myself kinda wanting to own those white and green vinyl copies again for some reason that I can't really explain. "I'd like to buy two more copies of a record I don't think is very good" is a weird concept to explain to someone I guess.

Monday, 28 June 2021

Even The Score

Sometimes I don't set out to collect a record, but it just happens. Case in point, this Even Score 7". The original 7" was released by Axtion Packed Records in 1990 and then reissued by Victory Records via their Swingin' Singles Club imprint in 1997. The reissue had (in my opinion) much nicer packaging, and came on 5 different colours of vinyl. I got one copy back when it came out on red vinyl, but was never fussed about owning any other copies. But then a couple of years ago I picked up a purple vinyl copy for super cheap, and now I picked up a pink copy for even cheaper. It was impossible to resist, given that pink is the best colour there is.

So of course now that I have three copies I'm feeling that I have no reason to not try to find the other two. I'm looking for white and clear. If anyone wants to help, please get in touch.

Sunday, 27 June 2021

Pissed Playground

I was having fun last year picking up cheap 7"s from within the UK, and I stumbled across the band PHC. I'd never heard them before, but really enjoyed the 7" (which was released in 1989) and ended up picking up 3 copies of the thing, which then made me keen to pick up the full length. So when a nicely priced copy popped up for sale in the UK, it was an easy decision to grab it.

The 'Pissed Playground' LP was released by New Beginning Records in 1989 and it was pressed on black vinyl only. The front cover art is kinda whack, but the back cover art is kinda cool I think.

All copies also came with a promotional poster, and fotunately this copy has it included. Overall it's in top condition, especially considering the age.

I'm not sure where this went wrong exactly, but somewhere between the 7" and this LP the sound seems to have changed. The guitar is barely audible on this record, and pretty much all I can hear is the bass. But then the record itself feels pretty disorganised, with lots of little breaks from the songs. It even starts off with a cover song, which I'm not sure I've ever seen before. So overall this has been a major disappointment sadly.

Monday, 21 June 2021


Back in 2001, Integrity was in a bit of a weird place. The Melnicks had left, and the people who had played in Integrity 2000 also seemed to have moved on, so a new band was recruited for the next record. I'm not going to pretend I know anything about what was going on back in 2001 with Integrity, but what I do remember is that it felt that the average hardcore fan had started to move on to the new, exciting bands of the time. Bridge Nine was the cool label, Equal Vision released the first American Nightmare LP, Bane 'Give Blood' and Converge 'Jane Doe'. It suddenly felt that Integrity was old hat. So when they released 'Closure', it kinda felt like it came out to very little fanfare. It felt like a very low profile release and to make matters worse, there wasn't even a proper vinyl release for it. Victory put it out on CD, and then some time later a small number of vinyl copies surfaced, which were for some reason pressed by an Australian label called Drug Bust Records. I remember when it came out, and the vinyl version of the record was not easy to get hold of at all. But for anyone who did pick this record up, it was definitely a different style, and as such is often regarded as the band's weakest release. So it seemed kinda cool that twenty years after it's initial release, it has been reissued.

Despite being put out by an Australian label, tt did have the Victory logo on it, so I'm sure that someone at the label must have given permission for it to have been put out. But in recent years Dwid has been pretty open about the fact that he regards the original vinyl pressing of 'Closure' as a bootleg, as he was never involved in the decision to release it. So twenty years later, the record has finally been officially released on vinyl for the first time via Dwid's own label, Holy Terror Records.

There were 3 colours of vinyl pressed, each out of 100 copies, and they were sold as a set of three.

Each colour has a name, so we get (in order) 'Gonz', 'Murnau' and 'Death Sun'. I think the names are themed around the 1922 film Nosferatu, although not 100% sure.

I almost didn't notice this, but the inside of the sleeve features a photo of the band. A nice touch, even if almost impossible to actually see.

As I type this, the triple pack is sold out. But at this stage, it is unclear as to whether there will be another pressing or not. Although if I know Integrity, it seems more likely than not.

And of course, it wouldn't be right for me to buy an Integruty release without also picking up a test press. This one comes with a hand drawn sleeve made by Dwid, featuring the Count Orlok character from Nosferatu.

Saturday, 19 June 2021

I Wanne Be... Your Sledgehammer

It was only back in April this year that I scored a Sledgehammer 7". The band featured Dwid alongside dudes from Liar & Congress and released a 7" / CD EP back in 2004. It took me almost 17 years to obtain a copy of this 7", and then a few weeks later here I am posting up two more copies of the thing.

After posting the orange vinyl copy that I picked up a few weeks ago, I went straight to discogs and found a red vinyl copy for sale. And then it turned out that the seller also had a cheap black vinyl copy for sale too.

There's a clear yellow vinyl copy that exists too that I need, and a red vinyl in a limited sleeve too. If anyone has either and would let them go please let me know.

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Dag With Shawn

There are some records & bands that I just can't resist buying. And whilst I never really set out to collect Dag Nasty records, I have managed to amass quite a good collection as the years have rolled by. The latest is this clear vinyl (officially referred to as 'sea glass' by Dichord) repress of the 'Dag With Shawn' LP.

I had no idea when this originally came out. It could have been 5, 10 or 15 years ago and I wouldn't have been surprised. Turns out that the blue vinyl copy that I bought was back in 2014, which is close to 7 years ago. Nuts.

For anyone unaware, this is a recording of the original Dag Nasty line up, with Shawn Brown on vocals. These songs were recorded way back in 1985, and then Shawn left and Dave Smalley stepped in and the rest is history. Of the 9 songs on this record, 8 were re-recorded and appeared on the 'Can I Say' LP. So it's cool that these songs were pressed on vinyl, as I'm sure some people out there would prefer Shawn's vocals to Dave's.

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Blasting Concept

With the recent limited colour vinyl represses of some of the releases on It's Alive Records, I decided to look through the label's discography and find out what other stuff they may have released that I knew nothing about. One thing that caught my eye was the cover art for a 12" by a band called Blasting Concept. Featuring a skeleton wearing a purple rode riding a motorbike through flames, it looked like it could be pretty interesting. I managed to find the song online to listen to and was into it within about 5 seconds. So I knew I needed to own a copy.

Rather disappointingly, my copy doesn't quite look as cool as to online version as the rider isn't wearing the cool looking purple robe. But speaking to Fred who released this, it's because they didn't have much purple ink so only a few of the sleeves were 'full colour'.

The band's bandcamp page describes them as simply BL'AST! meets Mountain. Played by retards. What a great description, haha! Personally, this reminds me a lot of the second Annilhilation Time LP generally speaking, but there's one song that sounds super like the band Magic Cirle too. It's like hardcore 70s rock. Very damn catchy and head bob inducing, and perfect for Summer days.

I also love how this has such a DIY feel to it, with a screen printed cover and blank label on one side. With only 300 were pressed back in 2010, this is one of those records that is probably only really known around their local area in California. Interestingly, it seems that they had a full length put out by Ebullition Records in 2015. I'll probably check that out at some point, although the cover art is pretty much the opposite to this record, i.e. it's kinda off putting.

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

One SIded War

Here's a record that I really can't make my mind up on. The band is called One Sided War and the record is titled 'The Sum Of Days'. It's an old recording, and features 10 songs, of which 6 were released on a CD back in 1998. The band features Matt Warnke (Bold vocalist), some dude from Citizens Arrest and some other dude from Supertouch, the band released a 6 song CD on Ambassador Records and then later recorded 4 other songs... all of which have now been pressed onto vinyl forthe first time. There were two colours of vinyl made, and I picked up the clear yellow, which was exclusive to RevHQ and limited to 200 copies.

I know that the point of a record label is to sell records, but I did find their description of this record slightly amusing. It starts as follows:

During the "Youth Crew Revival" of 1997 when bands like Floorpunch, Ten Yard Fight, Fastbreak, Better Than A Thousand and In My Eyes were in their heydays, Matt Warnke of Bold and Chris Daley started ONE SIDED WAR to leave their mark on that era.

Talking about making a mark... until this record was released, I'd never heard of the band before. I was around back when this came out, and was interested in what was going on and was buying new releases all the time, but I would say that the mark that this band left was none whatsoever.

So as mentioned, I'm not sure what I think of this. I played it a couple of times and it totally failed to grab me. But then I played it again a couple of days ago when I took these photos and i really enjoyed it. It reminded me a bit of Bold, but sounds almost halfway between the LP and the 7". So I haven't made my mind up yet, but there's enough to make me go back and try again at least.

Monday, 7 June 2021

Smoke & Cowards

I just realised a few days ago that there were some records I received a few months ago that I never got around to posting about on here. I distinctly remember taking photos, but somehow the photos vanished, and I forgot about the records. So this weekend when I realised, I took the photos again. This means that I have a few more records to post about before the 2021 well runs dry.

Earlier this year I posted about the latest LP by The Casket Lottery, but I also picked up a couple of test pressings of a couple of their earlier releases. I've loved this band for 20 years now, so I'm stoked to have been able to find some test pressings, which are from an era when tests were scarce.

The first is a test press of the third album, 'Survival Is For Cowards', which was released by Second Nature Recordings in 2001. I still remember the excitement of receiving my copy of this in the mail back when it came out. I was REALLY into this band back in 2001. But I was still just as excited to receive this test press 20 years later.

The record comes in a plain black sleeve which is sealed shut via the use of a sticker. On the back of the sticker it's stamped with a number. Mine is number 000006 out of only 8 copies that exist.

The characters on the sticker are from the scene on the front of the regular cover.

The second test press I scored was for the band's last release before they went on a hiatus for 8 years, the 'Smoke And Mirrors' 12" EP. This one was released as a 12" 'picture disc', although its a bit of a weird one. It looks like a clear vinyl 12" with a picture disc style centre label. It comes in the same cover as the regular release, i.e. a plastic sleeve with a sticker on the front.

It doesn't really look or feel like a traditional picture disc. But the test press is kinda cool, because it contains the same proportion of vinyl vs. picture disc. It basically just looks like a 12" with a giant label.

Here's the test press next to the regular version of the 'picture disc'.

In typical style, as happy as I am with these tests, the sad thing about this story is that I could have bought tests of the first two LPs a few years ago but didn't. I wish I could go back and buy them. The chance of finding them now seems pretty remote, and having the set of all 3 would have been pretty damn cool. Ah well.