Monday, 8 March 2021

Lycanthrope

Back at the end of 2016 I picked up a bunch of TAD records. I had been a fan of the band in the early 90s, and then sold all records I had of theirs when I got into straight edge hardcore as stupidly thought I didn't like TAD anymore. Well, when I got back into collecing the band's records 4 or so years ago, I then started looking for any and all other TAD records that I didn't have. It turned out that I had missed 2 full lengths in the early to mid 90s, which I have now managed to pick up, but the most surprising discovery was that there had been a TAD 7" released on the Pushead Fanclub label way back in 1992. I had no clue, and quite how I had managed to miss this information in the prior 24 years I do not know (although I guess it was probably bacause Pushead releases were never exactly easy to get, and I stopped looking for TAD records probably a year or so after this came out anyway). Still, I was surprised that I had never so much as heard of it, but after learning of its existence it went straight onto the want list.

Since discovernig that it existed, I have seen a few of these pop up for sale in the last 4 years or so, but the asking price seems to vary quite a lot, and even though I wanted one, I wasn't quite ready to pay $300. So I did what I always do, and just sat and waited, and eventually one popped up for sale on discogs for a really good price. The price was so good that I was a little sceptical, so got the seller to send me some photos, but they came through and the record looked to be in great condition, so I pulled the trigger. And when it arrived I was pretty happy as it did indeed to be in great shape.

The record itself comes on yellow vinyl, and the sleeve has a wraparound vellum cover which glows in the dark. As with all Pushead releases, it looks great. There are 2 songs on this 7", both of which were released on the band's third LP 'Inhaler'.

I got number 112/160. And even though I am really happy to get one of these, it also makes me want more, because it turns out that there are other versions, and it turns out that mine is the most common. There are different sleeve variations, and also copies on orange vinyl. Wish me luck!

Saturday, 6 March 2021

I Wanna Kill Your Boyfriend

There's a title of a Curl Up And Die record which is, I think, some kind of famous quote: 'we may be through with the past but the past ain't through with us'. Which is exactly how I feel about my record collecting at times. I think I'm done with something and then it comes back into my life and takes me back to a distant past, which I always romanticise even though life pretty much sucked at the time no doubt.

So I was on eBay a couple of weeks ago and somehow ended up finding some UK seller who had a whole bunch of Dwarves records. The Dwarves were a band that i got into back in about 1992 and I stuck with them for a few years, but eventually got bored as (like a lot of bands) they got old and boring. But I stil get tempted to buy some of their records just for the fun of the covers, most of which have boobs on. Sadly, today's record does not feature boobs, but I picked it up because its one of their records from their heyday.

This is a two song 7" from 1992 on a label called 'Sympathy For The Record Industry' called (as you can see) 'I wanna kill your boyfriend'. One memory I have of this songs is around 20 years ago when I was seeng this girl who actually had a boyfriend. One day I just put this song on to see her reaction. She laughed. But sadly didn't leave her boyfriend for me.

Anyway, I have a copy of this 7" that I probably bought in either 1992 or 1993, which is on clear pink vinyl. So when I saw this copy on a nice solid pink vinyl going for cheap I couldn't resist grabbing it, as pink really is the best vinyl colour in my opinion.

I don't think I even knew that this came on different colours of vinyl to be honest. But this seems to be one of the band's least expensive records to buy, and there are a few different colours out there, so I feel a strong tempation to pick up more. And just when I thought I had all the Dwarves records I would ever need...

Sunday, 28 February 2021

New Age Catch Up: Lifetime

Day 7 of the New Age Records catch up, and we've finally moved away from the third and fourth letters of the alphabet.

As well as the test pressings of the more recent releases, there was also randomly a test press of the first Lifetime 7" for sale. And just like the other tests, it was up for a really great price - less than half of the cheapest price that one has sold on discogs. SO of course, I had to grab one. It's not the most exciting of tests as it comes in nothing more than a white paper sleeve.

New Age Records number 9 was released way back in 1991. I've always referred to this as the self-titled 7" because it has nothing but the band's name on the front cover, but it seems that other people refer to it as 'Dwell' (which is the name of the first song) as that's how it's listed on discogs. People are weird I guess.

With hindsight, this is not Lifetime's best work. It may even be their worst work, as they were one of those rare bands that actually get better with time. But I always liked their early material, because it was the first I heard of them, way back when I bought records purely because of the record label they were on. I was always disappointed that this one was never pressed on colour vinyl, so I'm happy to have grabbed this test press to have some kind of 'special' version.

One final thought that made me feel old. This 7" came out in 1991, and the band's final (reunion) LP came out in 2006. That's 15 years of Lifetime releasing records. I'm writing this in 2021, which is 15 years since Lifetime's last LP. So at this point in time, Lifetime have been out of the game for as long as they were in it. Seems crazy huh?

Saturday, 27 February 2021

New Age Catch Up: Drug Control

New Age catch up Day 6, and it's yet another band with a name starting with the letter 'D'. This time it is a band called Drug Control. The band are (or were, as I think they broke up now) a straight edge band from San Diego. I already had the regular copies of their 7"s, but couldn't resist picking up cheap test presings for both.

The band's second 7" (and first on New Age) was put out back in 2016. The 'Stabbed' EP was a 7" I enjoyed back then, although was puzzled why the pressing didn't follow the same pattern as the rest of the releases, as there was no 77 pressing. Anyway, I picked up a test press with an alternate sleeve.

Interestingly, there is a test press of this one on discogs, and it has a completely different sleeve. I kinda like this one as it matches the rest of the series of New Age tests.

And here it is with the two colour copies of this 7" that I own, the green (/500) and the purple (/600):

I also bought a test press of the second 7" that the band put out via New Age, the 'Clear Sight' 7".

This 7" was a step up from the previous one, in my opinion, and had me looking forward to a full length. But sadly it was to be the band's last release as I am sure I read somewhere that they split up after this. Shame. This record did have a 77 pressing on white, as well as a nice looking red / black mix colour (/300).

Excluding the test presses, you can still buy all the other copies of these 7"s in the New Age webstore, including the 77 pressing of the 'Clear Sight' 7". Seriously, what are you waiting for?

Friday, 26 February 2021

New Age Catch Up: The Dividing Line

New Age Records catch up day 5, and the third band in a row with a name starting with a 'D' (excluding the word 'The'), The Dividing Line. The band are from NJ and immediately make me think of Floorpunch, mainly because they come from NJ and their singer is on the larger side. Plus they play pretty hard sounding straight edge hardcore. Definitely one of my favourite current hardcore bands, and I'm pretty excited for the upcoming LP.

So pretty much the same deal as the other 7"s that I've written about this week. When in the New Age store, I couldn't believe that I had the chance to grab a test press of this 7", so I grabbed it immediately. It has similar bad handwriting on the label, but it's in a bright green so is barely noticeable.

So of course, once I had added the test to the cart, and I also had the 77 pressing from, I figured I should probably also pick up the other colour that I didn't have. The clear vinyl is the more common colour /300.

So again, I've ended up with an almost complete collection of this 7". I'm missing the white vinyl with regular labels, but I don't really see the point of adding that one too.

Thursday, 25 February 2021

New Age Catch Up: Decline

Day 4 of my New Age Records 'catch up', and today is the second band in the series with a name that starts with a 'D', namely Decline.

The band is made up of dudes that have been involved in hardcore for 25 years or so, but who have somehow been in bands that I have never heard (Haunted Life, Expired Youth, Noose and New Heart). But the important thing is this band, which plays some straight up straight edge hardcore that kicks off with a great bass intro... like all the best hardcore records do.

The 'Own Your Words' 7" originally came out in 2018 the 77 pressing sold out super quick, but luckily for me some copies must have been held back and listed at a later date.

This time around the 77 pressing comes on the more limited colour of vinyl, being blue (/200).

And again, there was also a test press for sale for a very reasonable price:

Adding these two copies to the regular gold copy (/300) that I already had leaves me with a nice little collection.

Over two years since this was released, is the band still going? I hope so. Would be great to get a follow up at some point.

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

New Age Catch Up: Dear Furious

Day 3 of my New Age Records 'catch up', and today's 7" is the debut (and to date the only) release by Dear Furious. The band is made up of two members of the band Amendment 18 (Mike Hartsfield & Isaac Golub) whose last LP was titled 'Dear Furious', so no prizes for guessing where they got their name. The band also features dudes from other Californian bands Throwdown, Adamantium and Mean Season. Sound-wise, this band sounds pretty similar to the last A18 LP, which is not a bad thing, not least because A18 was one of those bands who actually got better with each release.

This 7" actually came out a long time ago now in hardcore terms, way back in 2017. Yet somehow there are still copies of the 77 pressing available in the label's webstore as I type this. I guess not many people care, which is kinda sad.

And, as with the other NA releases, there was also a test press available for a great price.

What was particularly satisfying about this one was that I had watched and been outbid one one of these on eBay, but it had no cover with it, and it sold for more than this one cost. So a double win.

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

New Age Catch Up: Cutting Through

Day 2 of my New Age Records 'catch up', based on a recent(ish) experience where I went to buy a 7" from their store and got sucked into buying a lot more.

Today's installment is the Cutting Through 'Empathy' 7". This one came out in 2018 during a point where it felt like New Age were putting up a new pre-order every other week, and I just lost track, so I missed this completely. I do have a vivid memory of seeing a stack of these for sale at RevHQ on the day that I visited back in August 2018, and I did manage to grab one (gold) copy of this 7" a few months later when I had a similar splurge in the New Age webstore, but I was missing the 77 pressing.

So I was pretty stoked to see the 77 pressing for sale, and I grabbed one quicksmart.

Unlike every other 77 pressing that the label have released, this one is actually numbered on the additional paper sleeve that wraps around the regular sleeve:

This time around the 77 pressing is pressed on the more common colour for this release, being the 'blue' vinyl (/300).

There was also a test press up for sale, which was going for too good a price to say resist. It has some really neat & tidy writing on the label as you can see:

I have to say it, but I am really into this band. There's something here which is more interesting than most. The singer was in Fired Up, the guitarist was in Get The Most and Blue Monday, and to me the song writing is definitely more mature than the average hardcore band. The songs slowly build rather than blast out, and definitely feel slightly more melodic. So good.

A bit of a theme for the week, here's a pic of all 3 copies together. The test, the 77 pressing, and the gold vinyl (/200) version.

Monday, 22 February 2021

New Age Catch Up: Cross Control

Almost exactly a year ago, a friend of mine in DC wanted to send me a 7" that she had been given, that she thought I would appreciate. The only problem was that she didn't have anything to mail it in. So she asked my advice. I came up with a genius idea that, if she was cool with it, I would buy a 7" that I had my eye on and have it delivered to her house. She could then open the mailer, insert the 7" she had, and then forward both 7"s on to me. Sounds both clever and simple, right?

Well of couse, the plan backfired. I'm not sure exactly which 7" it was that I had wanted to buy to have shipped to her, but I know that it was being sold by New Age Records. So once she agreed to my plan, I went to the label's webstore to pick up one 7", and ended up checking out on 15 seven inches. Well, it wasn't my fault that they'd sneakily just listed a bunch of test presses for sale at really good prices!

So here begins the story that will take me the rest of the week to tell, because I'm going to break it into several posts, rather than try to do it all in one post. I'm gonna cover them in alphabetical order, just because that's the kind of guy I am. Organised.

So day 1 features the debut release by Cross Control, a band I know nothing about other than they are from LA and their 7" is a banger.

First up I grabbed the 77 pressing. As usual, New Age made 77 copies with the old logo labels.

The pressing info says that there are 200 copies on green vinyl. I'm never really sure if these numbers include or exclude the 77 pressing. So either there are 277 green, with 77 of them making up the 77 pressing and 200 coming with regular labels, else there are 200 green total, with 77 and 123. But probably one of these.

The more common colour is clear, out of 500 copies.

The record is titled 'Outrage Culture', named after the a term that describes the modern era in which we live. I lifted this defintion from the urban dictionary:

When people play the victim card and bend over backwards to be as offended as possible when they really aren't. Using hissy fits, political correctness, character assassination, and a false sense of moral authority, the outrager hopes to gain power and public recognition for their brave act of justice as well as a sense of control over their meaningless existence. Often accompanied by demands for financial compensation for their "pain and suffering".

No wonder these dudes sound so pissed. I'll bet that LA has more than its fair share of these kind of modern humans.

I also picked up a test press. At the time I'd only played these songs about twice, but I figured I should grab one now while the price was right in case this turned out to be my favourite 7" of all time.

In the spirit of these posts, even though I have just posted photos of these 7"s, I thought I'd take another of them all lined up together.

Saturday, 20 February 2021

Sincerity. Conviction. Trust. Commitment

It felt to me that pretty much everybody had the Change 'Closer Still' LP in their best of 2020 lists. And rightly so. It was (and still is!) a solid hardcore record, made more attractive by the cool artwork. What I also liked was that there was a real buzz about it, with copies selling out as fast as they appeared for sale. I don't know why I liked this, but it just felt like ages since a hardcore record that wasn't a repress had everyone excited. Well, sadly my own bad decision making meant that I missed the most limited colour (pink) when it went up for sale, but after realising my mistake I made sure to grab a copy of the release show LP.

The LP comes on black vinyl and in a limited sleeve. It's numbered out of 90 copies via a sticker on the poly cover. Which is great, unless of course your poly bag has a tear in the back.

The front cover features an illustration of some dude called Rich Jacobs. Rich who released the Brotherhood 'No Tolerance For Ignorance' 7" on his label Skate Edge Records way back in 1989. The cover shows him stood next to a skate ramp that has 'RIP Ron G' written on the side. The cover is a tribute to Ron Guardipee, the singer of Brotherhood who sadly passed away from cancer in 2019.

The 'release show' for this record was not exactly 'normal'. I think I misunderstood what was going on. I had assumed that the band were going to play an online show in an empty room, as other bands have done during the pandemic. But no. Instead, they held an online event to benefit a good cause. The money from the sale of the records went to the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women, and the 'show' was a talk from the coalition on what they do and why the issue is so important. I'm guessing that there were initially supposed to be three actual shows played, given the back cover of the record:

The only thing I find weird about this version is that it contains one of the European pressed records on Refuse Records, rather than the US version. But whatever. I'm just being picky for the sake of it.

There have already been second pressing colours for both the US and Euro pressings, and I'm starting to lose count of how many there are now. But I'm not out to collect them all. I would like a clear pink vinyl copy, but other than that I'm done on this one I think.

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Rot In Hell Split Tests

It's been quite a long time since I added any Rot In Hell records to my collection. Somewhere along the way they released a record and I missed it and just thought I was 'behind'. But then another record came out and the same happened. Then all of a sudden I felt that I was behind and felt annoyed with myself. Then a third record came out, and I basically just felt that I was too far behind and that I should just give up.

Well, I recently got the chance to pick up a couple of test presses of a couple of their split 7"s, both released in 2011. I couldn't turn these down, especially for the price.

Rot In Hell split 7" with Moloch. This one features Rot In Hell in their full on hardcore / smash your face in mode.

Number 1 out of 10.

The second is a split 7" with Horders, and the Rot In Hell songs on here are in their acoustic / folk mode.

This one is also numbered 1 out of 10.

Grabbing these made me want to catch up on the records I missed. But more on that later...

Sunday, 14 February 2021

Tragic

The last year or so saw two different Orange 9mm records repressed or reissused. Revelation repressed the first 12" on grey vinyl, and Music On Vinyl reissued the first full length on orange vinyl. It felt like perhaps this was building towards a reunion, but I guess that if it was then it got stopped by the global pandemic. Still, continuing on the same trend, a German label (Thirty Something Records) announced that they would be releasing the band's second full length, 'Tragic', on vinyl for the first time. There were several different colour vinyl options announced, most of which sounded pretty ugly, so I grabbed the one that sounded most acceptable.

The clear vinyl is the most limited colour, out of 150 copies, and is exclusive to the label's webstore.

This album was originally released by a major label (Atlantic) back in 1996. For whatever reason, at the time I had no interest in this, even though it only came out a year or so after the first full length, and two years after their debut. I guess back then I was young and life moved slower, and a lot changed in those two years. I was probably reading HeartattaCk zine and was wary of anything on a major label, although no doubt the fact that it was CD only didn't help its cause. Plus I had a hell of a lot of other music I was busy discovering, so I couldn't buy or listen to everything. So I didn't actually get around to listening to this at all until probably about ten years ago when I went through a phase of downloading a bunch of stuff from the past that never came on vinyl. I have to say, in the modern era this sounds pretty good, especially the song 'Failure' which is the absolute stand out.

This thing also came in a bright red paper inner sleeve. As silly as it sounds, I don't think I have seen a red paper sleeve on a 12" before. It caught my eye and instantly impressed me. Simple mind, simple pleasures huh?

It'll be interesting to see whether anybody steps up to the plate to reissue either of the other two Orange 9mm records, 'Ultraman vs Godilla' and 'Pretend I'm Human'. Both were CD only, and when I downloaded them I think I just about made it through each once. I was not impressed. But I'm willing to give them another chance, especially if someone puts them to vinyl. We shall see...

Thursday, 11 February 2021

Brain Tourniquet

You know when you see a record and on paper it just ticks all the boxes? Yeah, well... that.

Brain Tourniquet is (or was - not sure if they're still going - come to think of it, is any band actually 'going' in 2021?) a band featuring Connor (singer of Protester / drummer of Red Death) on vocals, some other dude who also plays in both those bands, and some other dude too. The debut 7" was put out by Painkiller Records and contains 10 songs, 7 of which are less than one minute long, with the other three being 1, 2 and 3 minutes long each. It came out in 2019 and completely escaped my attention at the time, but I came across it recently for a good price so couldn't really say no.

So 'Brain Tourniquet' just so happens to be the title of a song by Neanderthal. If the artwork on the cover and labels didn't give you a clue, the band cite their influences as No Comment, Crossed Out and Infest... and a little Black Flag. I'm not sure if the genre really still exists these days, but this one should definitely be filed in your power violence box. So much so, in fact, that I was surprised not to see the Slap-A-Ham logo on the back cover.

Anyway, as I mentioned, this ticks all the boxes on paper. In reality though, it's good... but as long as it's not too often. I haven't played this one as many times as other recent Painkiller releases (Rated X, Heavy Discipline) simply because it's too much. I mean, I know I'm getting old, but I seriously feel like I need a rest after listening to this one. Haha. As ever with this kind of stuff, there are times when this is just the ticket. If you're feeling majorly pissed off then this is pretty much the perfect 10 minute therapy.