Monday, 21 June 2021

Closure

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.

Monday, 31 May 2021

Blut & Schweiß

The life of a Revelation collector is never easy. Right now there's a new release (or repress) every single week, plus there are new releases coming out with several versions of each. But every now and again they make it really hard to keep up.

A few months ago there was a special version of the Sick Of It All 7" to accompany a book about the Koller brothers. Both Coretex and Generation Records got copies, with 100 of each made and hand numbered. Each version sold out lightning fast, and I saw a lot of people who had wanted one but missed out complaining online. Well, a few weeks ago the same thing happened again, but this time the Rev record collecting community was also caught sleeping and missed out. The latest version was a special edition sold by Coretex Records (again) to accompany a German version of the book. Only 100 copies of the 7" were made on this new colour of vinyl with the limited labels showing the Koller brothers as kids. There was no announcement on this one, and nobody I know had a clue it was coming. It was announecd in an email from Coretex, and it sold out instantly.

Like everyone else, I missed out, but I got an opportunity to pick one up on the 'after sales market'.

I also got the German version of the book that it came with. I'm happy about this because without the book it would have felt incomplete, even though I won't ever read it. The 7" itself is on 'bone' colour vinyl, which is very slightly off white colour.

And as ever with these Coretex versions, this is numbered out of 100 via a sticker that has been slapped onto the sleeve.

One thing that was instantly noticeable is that the German version of the book is smaller than the English version. It's shorter and also thinner too. At first I thought that maybe the German language is just more efficient with the number of letters in it's words, but then I realised that it was simply that it was printed with a smaller font.

To end the post I thought I'd just put the two different 7"s and books together for pic.

It'll be interesting to see what happens with these in the future. Will they become highly sought after, or will nobody care as there are about 50 other versions of thie 7" to collect? Personally I now think that there are too many versions of this record and that it has / will put people off collecting it. But right now I'm pretty happy to have both of these in my collection as I doubt that any of these will surface for sale at a good price in the near future.

Friday, 28 May 2021

Out Of Touch

I bought a record from the singer of Sinking Ships on discogs a while back, and took the opportunity to ask if he had any spare records of his band left at all. I have a few Sinking Ships records, and I know that there are still loads of versions of the various records that I am missing. I figured they are one of many bands who are now less well remembered, so the records should be a lot cheaper than they were back at their peak circa 2007/8. It turned out that he only had a couple of spare records, but I didn't have either, which worked out quite well.

First up is the 'Safe / Revenge' 7". This one was self released by the band back in 2007. It was their first release after 'leaving' Revelation Records. Unlike all of their previous releases, there was no colour vinyl and no limited sleeves. ALl of these were just pressed on black vinyl

I do quite like how the whole package is so minimal. Kinda reminds me of some of the screamo records of the mid 90s.

I also picked up the gold vinyl version of the final 7". I remember when this came out back in 2008. It felt that it wasn't 'properly' released, but copies just started appearing. According to the info on discogs, there were 250 blue vinyl copies sold at Sound & Fury festival, and 250 gold vinyl copies sold via mailorder.

This is what record collecting is about to me. Just waiting to pick something up until the price is right... even if that does happen to be 12 years later. Judging by the speed I am acquiring Sinking Ships records, I should be on track to have a complete collection just in time for my 90th birthday.

Monday, 24 May 2021

I Look, We Look

It's been a while since I added anything to my Bane collection. And this 7" was never particularly high on the want list. But I bought a few 7"s recently, and the seller also had this for the price of a bar of chocolate, so I decided to grab it.

This is a compilation 7" featuring Bane and 3 other bands (Capgun, Driven, The Rolemodels). It was released in 1997, which would have been before Bane got signed to EVR. But they were still 'big' enough to make the front cover.

So the main reason I picked up this 7" was because it is different to the one other version I have. And until I placed them next to each other, I never really appreciated the difference between them. It'a almost like a game of 'spot the difference' but in 7" record format.

For a start, the layout has changed completely. But the weirdest thing of all is that the title of the record has changed on the cover. The black vinyl version that I have just picked up is called 'As WE Look To The Future', whereas the blue vinyl copy is called 'As I Look To The Future'. But the labels on both records have the 'We' version, which suggests that the 'I' version is wrong. But does this mean that the blue vinyl 'I' version this was the first press and nobody spotted the error initially, and it was then corrected with the next version. Or does it mean that the black 'We' version was first, and then when they changed the layout on the second pressing they made a mistake? If anyone knows, please comment.

Friday, 21 May 2021

It's Only Fun Till Someone Gets Hurt!

Another in my series of It's Alive Records limited colour vinyl represses, and this one was (I think) the first in the series. This is a split release between Good Riddance and Ill Repute. The record was first released back in 1997, but I had literally no idea that the record existed at all until this repress appeared. And also, I can honestly saw that until I picked this up I had never heard Ill Repute in my life.

I guess with this being the first repress in the series, Fred was finding his feet with what he could do with the packaging. This one doesn't quite have as much included as the other couple of represses that I have already featured, but it's still got some cool little features. It starts off with a stamped and hand numbered paper inner sleeve:

The record itself is on brown vinyl. Oh yeah, and the cover art is completely different to the 1997 pressing.

The inside of the sleeve has some cool It's Alive stamps, and there are a couple of inserts. But compared to the other releases on the label, this one seems pretty minimal and tame.

The best thing about this record for me is the Ill Repute side. I'd never been interested in the band before as I just perceived them to be some old punk band, but I have really enjoyed these songs enough to make me want to listen to more.

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Roses For Me

Another limited colour repress from It's Alive Records. This one is the Unity 'Blood Days' 7". This is a slightly weird release. It came out in 2012, and contains 6 songs from the 'Blood Days' LP that was released back in 1989. I never really understood why this 7" was pressed. When it came out I assumed it was a different recording, like demo versions or possibly a remix or something. But the songs sound exactly the same as those on the 12". So I asked the label owner Fred, who told me that he just wanted to release the extra songs from the 12" on a 7". This basically means that you can own all of the songs from the Unity LP on 7" format.

As with other It's Alive represses, this one comes in some great packaging. Just like the Rain On The Parade 7" from my last post, this comes in a paper inner sleeve that has been printed (or possibly stamped) on both sides. The record itself is on white vinyl.

There are also a few extra bits and bobs. An extra insert, a couple of stickers and an extra label.

I hadn't listened to Unity for a while, so this was a good excuse to revisit. These are really classic songs. It's such a difficult decision trying to choose between Unity and Uniform Choice. Generally I think that UC get a lot more attention, but there's very little in it for me. I think UC get the attention because their record came out on Wishwingwell and features an iconic cover. But Unity certainly have the songs. And the cowboy boots.

Monday, 17 May 2021

Body Bag In A Bag

Today's post is another limited repress from It's Alive Records. The label had been quiet for many years until a year or two ago when it started repressing it's releases on colour vinyl runs of 100 copies. I think (but not 100% sure) that this was partly brought on by the closure of Californian pressing plant Rainbo Records and Fred retrieving the metal stampers from them before they closed their doors permanently.

The 'Body Bag EP' was released by Philadelphia band Rain On The Parade back in 1996. It was initially put out by a label called Contention Records (owned by the guitarist) and was later repressed by It's Alive Records. And here we are, twenty something years later, with another 100 copies pressed for (probably) the final time. I actually picked up this record before Xmas, but I only just got around to opening it this past weekend. It came in the most annoying packaging of all time, and I knew I would need a chunk of time to sit down and try to open it without damaging anything. So five or so months later I finally got around to it.

The first layer of packaging is this oversized envelope in a poly bag:

The 7" was sealed inside the envelope. It's basically a regular envelope with a screened print on the front, but the tab was sealed at the back. So I sat there and very slowly just prised open the seal. I was basically pulling the flap very slowly, so that it lifted away from the glue on the back of the envelope. I was actually surprised that I managed to pull it all the way open without a single tear. After opening the flap I then had to pick the glue off so that I could freely open and close the flap in future. All in it took the best part of an hour do to this. Inside was a 7" sealed inside another poly bag.

The second poly bag was also sealed shut with a sticker on the back, but this was just a plain white rectangular sticker. I managed to pull it off in one piece and because it was just a plain white sticker with nothing printed on it, I binned it. I don't really see that it was needed at all, but it feels like it was just added to piss people even more off by making the record even more inaccessible. But once the record was out of the poly bag, the beauty of this item started to become apparent, starting off with the printed inner paper sleeve:

I also like that the cover is printed on glossy paper. It's a better quality job than the original pressing that this label put out, which was photocopied. I hate photocopied sleeves as a general rule as the ink is always at risk of coming away if stored badly.

As usual with these It's Alive represses, there's a lot of work gone into this and there's a few extra bits and bobs included. There's an insert and stickers, and it's all hand numbered. I can't fault the quality of this at all.

Normally after picking up another record from a band I collect I'd be trying to take an updated collection photo, but with Rain On The Parade I can't be bothered as it would be too big a job. I'll do it one day I'm sure. This was actually one of the first bands that I got ito collecting multiple versions of, because I loved the aesthetics of their records and I found them to be musically more interesting than other bands of the same era. Getting this 7" made me listen to them for the first time in a while too, and I think it still holds up.

The only issue left to resolve is where I'm going to keep this thing. I hate oversized sleeves with a passion as they don't fit into regular 7" sized boxes. These are the kinds of things that keep record nersds awake at night...

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Another Scrap

I'm not sure how many people out there are still collecting Dead By 23 releases in 2021, but I'm sure I can't be the only one. There are a small number of releases, but an endless number of versions of each. Like a lot of things that I collect, I don't actively go out there and try to find them, but I'm happy to pick them up if they appear. The last time I picked up a Scraps & Heart Attacks 7" was in November 2016, and I ended my post with these words:

I know of at least two other versions out there that I don't have. I know they exist because I saw them sell on eBay a couple of weeks ago, but unfortunately they sold for stupid amounts of money. God only knows how long it may be until more copies surface for sale.

Well, the answer to the question appears to be 'about four and a half years'. A couple of weeks ago I found a 7" on discogs that I wanted so (as usual) decided to check out what else the seller had up for grabs to make the shipping cost worthwhile, and I noticed he had one of the copies of this 7" that I was missing. I even bought it without asking for a photo, which after I had paid and it was in transit, I suddenly realised could have been a major mistake. Fortunately it worked out ok.

I have no idea what the pressing info is on this 7", but discogs suggests that there were 38 copies of this one, and it was a pre-order version. It has the exact same artwork as the test press, and he cover is printed with gold ink that looks great. I think all in, this is the best looking version of this record that I own.

So of course, the it's time for an updated photo of all the versions of this one. I now own 8 copies. I think there's only really one more that I could hope to get, other than that there are some one offs but they don't really count.

This 7" was released in 2003, so on average I have picked up one every two years and a quarter years. But what's even funnier is that I have literally just found out today that they actually released a full length that was CD only, on Triple Crown Records. Makes me wonder how many other CD only releases from this period that I may have completely missed out on. Soulseek to the rescue...