Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Voicebox 7" Test Press

Another day, another record. Today a test press from the band Voicebox. I'm not sure if this really counts as a "band" as such. I don't know if these guys ever played any shows or wrote any other songs other than the 2 on this 7". But this "band" is composed of two famous hardcore dudes, Dan O'Mahoney & Chuck Treece. I can't be bothered to list the bands they have been in. You should know already. And if you don't then the internet can tell you. Anyway, I always liked this 7". So paying $24 for the test press didn't seem too much of a big deal.

If you're not familiar with this record, then this is what the proper version looks like:

It was released by Workshed Records. Someone once told me that Dan O'Mahoney owned this label, but I'm not sure. They did put out some good records in the early 90s though.

If you want to hear the Voicebox 7", but don't have a record player (or indeed a Voicebox 7"), then worry not - I can help you out. I have kindly ripped it and uploaded it, so all you need do is click with your mouse:

Voicebox 7"

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Gorilla Biscuits Tour Toy

Gorilla Biscuits went on tour in December in Japan & Australia. For some reason, to mark this occasion, they made up some 'action figures'. They were selling like hotcakes & pretty much impossible to get. Fortunately, I have a friend in Perth who was kind enough to pick one up for me. When I opened the package, I was surprised, because it was bigger than I was expecting based on the pictures I had seen. I was also surprised at how much these things cost. A lot of money for something that does nothing. But kinda cool. And just like records, they made different colours, so idiots like me can have fun trying to collect the set. Pah!

And now a big thanks to Paul for helping me out with this.


Miss you, dude.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Samiam - I Am 7"

This was a nice one to get just in time for xmas - the Samiam 'I Am' 7", first press (denoted by purple sleeve, all subsequent pressings have a brown sleeve) on colour vinyl. This record has been on my want list for as long as I can remember. I published my want list in my first zine back in 1996, and I checked it & this record was on there. It was probably on my want list prior to doing the zine too, but I don't have any copies of my want list from then. So a definite 12 year wait for this one, although most likely 13 or 14 years I would say. The only down-side is that I have only previously seen this one on clear vinyl, whereas the one I picked up is on clear green. Which means that, technically, I still don't have the one on my want list. Bummer.

For anyone who doesn't know, Lookout Records first pressings are denoted by the orignal address of Laytonville, prior to the label's move to Berkeley:

I haven't listened to this band in a long time, but this 7" serves as a good reminder as to how good they were.

Monday, 22 December 2008


It's not often that a record excites me these days. It's even rarer that I literally cannot wait to get it on the turntable. But here's a rare exception - a new Integrity 7" that was released by A389 Records sometime in the not too distant past. It's taken me a while to get around to picking this up, but it does not disappoint. I was worried about what an Integrity record in 2008 would sound like... but the answer is that it's pretty similar to an Integrity record that came out in 1995. Which is obviously a good thing.

I missed the pre-orders on this and then just didn't bother trying to order it, figuring that it would be all sold out. Then last week I found myself at the A389 webstore and discovered that they had some still in stock. Better still, there was a "new" colour that they had "found" recently, which the label refer to as Green Trash vinyl. The website says "Among the 1000 grey copies we sorted out approx 100 that were a greenish color"... although to me it looks more yellow than green. I also picked up the red vinyl, of which there were 300 copies (100 of which came with a Voodoo doll, which I need badly), and the grey vinyl which is out of 1000.

Apparently there are also some on white. I needs to get me one of those too. And the label site says a second press is coming soon. So I have a feeling I'm going to be buying more copies of this one at some point...

Integrity Septic Death Karaoke

Integrity are one of the best bands of all time. That's not open to debate. A lot of people already know this, and some of their records are quite sought after. However, I have noticed that the eBay value of the Septic Death Karaoke 7" seems to yo-yo up and down like no other. I got one of these from Dwid years ago in a trade, but a couple of years ago discovered the that the sleeve was damaged, so I turned to eBay to find a replacement. I was surprised to pick one up for about $20. The next week the same seller listed another, but it went for three times what I paid the week before. Then a few weeks ago I was surfing eBay, and spotted another for sale. The reason I wanted a second copy was that it had a blue sleeve, which I had never seen before:

Even better, I got what I like to refer to as the "James Bond Edition":

Better still, it was only $24, which I consider to be a bargain. I have no idea how many copies exist with a blue sleeve. [EDIT - I contacted Dwid & he told me that the first ten have a blue sleeve]. All previous copies I have seen have the standard white sleeve. Here are my two side by side:

And for no other reason than I like taking photos of records, here's my other copy, which also has a "cool" number:

Only 98 copies to go and then I'll have the full set!

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Standoff 7" Test Press

Will anyone except Nate appreciate this one?

About this time of year back in 1993 I went to a small show in Southend on Sea. It was two local bands - Understand and Standoff. I'd seen Understand before, but not Standoff. Understand had a 7" out at this point on Armed With Anger Records, and had toured with Quicksand. Standoff had a song on a UK hardcore 7" compilation, but I hadn't seen them play out. Standoff featured a couple of the guys from Understand, as well as a couple of other ruffians, and played youth crew inspired straight edge hardcore. All I remember of the show was that their singer wore a red jacket throughout the set and seemed twice as big as anyone else in the room, and I was concerned that he might take out his apparent rage on random members of the audience. Oh yeah, I also recall some little kid with a shaved head moshed like a maniac and then did some breakdancing. Overall I was blown away by how hard and fast the band sounded, and like any good hardcore kid, I bought their 7". For those of you who haven't seen it before, this is what it looks like:

I've had this record on grünes vinyl (as the German label, Crucial Response Records calls it) for many years now. But as from today I can go one better, since I now own a test press of it too:

I wonder if any members of the band even own one?

Finally, seeing as most of you won't have heard this record, I thought I would upload it for your listening pleasure. I figure nobody will mind. Here you go:

Standoff 7"


Monday, 15 December 2008

This World... REJECTED!

The first email I ever sent, back in 1995, was to Initial Records. This was back when email was some new thing, and email addresses were sequences of numbers. I remember someone else I used to know had an address which was something stupid like '11875987532474@compuserve.com'. Utter nonsense. The probability of actually getting the address correct and emailing the right person seemed slim. Anyway, I launched myself into this new world of technology to find out about records. Back then, Initial Records was a cool young label with a few releases in its catalog, and I wanted to ask the dude who ran the label, Andy Rich, what cool pressings he had that I could get. As it turned out, Andy was a cool guy who was happy to send me pretty much every pressing of every record he had put out up to that point. I then carried on buying everything he released until a few years ago when the label just fizzled out and died. I saw the band COLISEUM play a couple of years back, and asked Ryan Patterson if he knew what happened to Andy Rich, and he told me that he ended up moving to Las Vegas to work in a casino. As Initial would have said... Krazy!

One of my favourite Initial releases was the THIS WORLD REJECTED 7". This came on three colours of vinyl. The rarest was baby blue vinyl in a limited sleeve numbered out of 100. Even though I've had this record for about 13 years (holy shit!), I just picked up another one on ebay to replace mine, since the sleeve had deteriorated slightly. Here's the one that arrived today:

I bid on one of these on ebay a few months ago and it sold for way more than I expected. I think it went for like $55 or so. But this one that I won a couple of weeks ago I got for $1.50. Stoked!

If you have never heard this record and want to check it out, I have uploaded it for your amusement:


Thursday, 4 December 2008

Mates Rates

I got this stuff over a week ago, but hadn't found time to take photos & update this thing, let alone listen to any of the records. I'm spending too much time at work and the gym at the moment. I hate winter and I hate December. Cold and dark. My policy is to get out of the house as much as possible to save money on heating!

Anyway, once again I sourced some records from a friend within the UK, thus avoiding the crippling US dollar exchange rate. And once again, I look at the records I have bought and realise that there's only one of these records that I didn't own already. It's pretty funny how I hate spending money on stuff in 'real life', but this does not apply to records. I mean, I have a pair of shoes for work, and I think to myself "I have a pair of shoes, so clearly buying a second pair would be a pointless waste of money". Yet for some reason the same logic does not apply to buying records. I'll buy multiple versions of the same record, and play none of them, and somehow this seems ok. I wonder if anyone other than a fellow collector would understand this? Probably not.

So anyway, on to the haul. I'm dealing with these in alphabetical order. First, a couple of split 7"s... the A-Team / R'N'R split on blue (the only record in the batch I didn't previously own), and the Blacklisted / First Blood split. You will notice that one of these has a really, really shit cover:

Did you spot which has the shit cover? Yes you did, because it's both of them, so you can't have got it wrong. Well done! Next up is a pair of 7"s that make me think of the Livewire board, since people from both bands are regular posters there. Get Down 7" on pink and The First Step 7" on red:

Next up we have the Get Real 7" on blue, which is one of my favourite 7"s of the post-2000 era, and the posi numbers press (on green, numbered out of 100) of the Iron Boots 7":

Internal Affairs demo 7". This version is numbered out of 50, and came with 'Wise Up' fanzine issue 3. I have a spare copy of this zine & 7" package if anyone wants it:

Next, two further versions of the same Internal Affairs demo 7", one on clear vinyl with a white cover, and one on black with a Unit Pride sleeve:

Next, another Internal Affairs 7". This is, I think, the record release show sleeve (numbered out of 100) of the Malfunction 7". Also pictured is the Living Hell 7" on A389 Records, which is also numbered out of 100:

Here are the numbers:

Now, a couple of posi numbers pressings. A Mental 7" made for posi numbers 2003, and a One Up 7" made for posi numbers 2004. The One Up sleeve is without doubt the gayest record cover of all time (I now have a spare copy if anyone is interested):

Once again, I took a photo of the numbers:

A Panic 7" on split blue & yellow vinyl. God knows why it has taken me so long to pick one of these up. I bought this when it came out and got the (much rarer) green vinyl version, but I liked the 7" so much that I decided I wanted the more common version shown here. This must have been like 6 or 7 years ago (can I REALLY be that long? Jesus!) and I've only just got this. I haven't listened to this for ages. I put it on my ipod & have been listening to it a lot this past week. Regardless of what anyone else thinks, I love this 7".

And finally, an LP. The Loud And Clear LP. This is the first press on red, put out by euro label Powered Records. This is one of my recent favourites. I only started listening to it a few weeks ago in the gym, and it's now a gym regular. Sounds like Youth Of Today to me, and is perfect soundtrack to squats.

This now concludes today's broadcast. Thank you for listening.

Nervous Breakdown

Another Black Flag colour vinyl repress for the collection. I was only planning to collect the LPs, but I found this on ebay uk pretty cheap and decided I should pick it up. Nervous Breakdown 7" on SST Records on red vinyl. Probably 1000 made minimum. Interestingly, the original first pressing of this record would probably cost about 100 times what this version cost me, although it would only be on black vinyl and would therefore suck... haha!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008


When the exchange rate drops and buying becomes expensive, dudes need to be resourceful and get their vinyl fix somewhere else. So I arranged a trade with my friend Mark. I've known Mark for about 13 or 14 years now and have traded records with him many times. He's a pretty easy guy to deal with. This time around he was able to help me with one of my newest fascinations, Godflesh...

The main interest I had was the Godflesh 7" on Sub Pop:

Apparently this one came on red, grey and also black vinyl. I'm happy to get a colour, although I think grey must be rarer since I haven't seen that one, whereas the red seems relatively common.

Next out of the box was a Godflesh 12" called "Pure", on Earache Records:

I'm into this band a lot, although they seem to have put out about 6000 records and I am not sure I can be bothered to try to track them all down. Actually, who am I kidding? Of course I'm going to track them all down. That's what I do.

The next item Mark sent me is a funny one. The final pressing of the Ray & Porcell 7" on Revelation Records:

This one came out somewhere round 1997-99 I think. I got one from the label at the time. But mine has suffered from a little sleeve damage, so it is not quite mint. So this one is a replacement. This means that I now have number 62/100 going spare. Get in touch if you want it.

Next one is the Iron Boots 7" repress on Grave Mistake records on grey:

And finally, a freebie that I wasn't expecting, from a band called Civic Progress. Not sure what this is like. I'll probably get around to finding out in about 2012 at this rate.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

100th Post! UK Hardcore Test Pressings

I would like to point out that this here entry marks my 100th post. A landmark achievement. Also, my little cluster map tells me that this site has now had over 5000 views. Not bad considering I never really publicised it or really expected more than about three people (including me) to read it. So I'm pleased with the progress. Thanks to anyone who reads & comments!

Next a quick explanation... I haven't made a post on here for ages now. My last entry was over a week ago. This is the longest I have gone without posting anything since I started this thing, which is due (mainly) to having no free time at all recently. Work has been insane, and there were also things going on outside work. So now I'm trying to catch up with a whole range of things, this being one.

However, the other reason that this hasn't been updated is that I haven't actually acquired many new records recently. A few weeks ago I was expecting something like 18 parcels at the same time, and I seemed to get something in the mail every day for two weeks straight. But I haven't had anything for over a week now. This is largely due to the value of the UK currency falling against the dollar. For all of 2008 the UK pound has bought me nearly two US dollars, but in the last two months the rate has been sliding, and current sits at circa $1.5 to the £. This month the exchange rate reached the lowest rate I have ever known, around 1.43. This means, of course, that even though prices have stayed the same in dollars, records from the States have become 25% more expensive for me. I've hardly bid on anything on eBay this past month as a result. Previously records were dirt cheap. Now they feel expensive. The situation is not good. Suddenly it feels like I am being affected by the goddamn world economic crisis. And with UK interest rates likely to fall, the situation is only likely to get worse. Balls.

Anyway, enough whining. Today's entry is something I am stoked about. I picked up some test pressings of some old UK hardcore records. These bands were mainly active around the early to mid 90s. These records are special to me because some of these bands introduced me to hardcore. And some of them had people in that I knew and respected. There's more of a personal connection to these than most records.

First up, a test press of the ABOVE ALL 7" on Sure Hand records:

This band came from Southend. The best show I saw them play was around December '94 in Bradford at the 1in12 club. They supported Earth Crisis. This was when Earth Crisis only had two 7"s out, before their first LP dropped. Earth Crisis were the buzz band at the time. But Above All came on and completely blew Earth Crisis off the stage. They could have achieved great things if they hadn't signed to Roadrunner & turned into a metal band. This 7" represents their best output. An incredible record.

Next up, a test of the DEAD WRONG 7" on Armed With Anger Records:

Dead Wrong were, I would say, one of the earlier bands pushing the boundaries between hardcore, rock & emo. I guess they would have been on Dischord had they happened to reside in Washington DC (if you hear this you will know what I mean). When I went to university in September 1993 I met their guitarist Rob, who introduced me to several bands I would otherwise not have heard. He sold me a Rorschach 7" for £2. I will never forget that. Not long after I saw his band play & was blown away. Back then it was like nothing I had heard. Great dude, great band, great record.

Next is a test of the KITO 7" on Armed With Anger Records:

I saw this band the very first time I went to the 1in12 Club in Bradford for a two day hardcore festival. I think this was late 1993, or maybe 1994. I can't remember exactly. But Kito played and I thought they were great, although kinda scary. Something about the club and the band felt kinda dangerous, and I wasn't entirely comfortable being there.. although, at the same time, I didn't want to leave. Shows weren't predictable back then like they are these days. This record takes me back to that time & place. An interesting time in my life.

Next, a test press of the UNDERSTAND 7" on Armed With Anger Records:

These guys were so far ahead of their time. They always got compared to Quicksand or Fugazi, although I don't think either of those comparisons is really very accurate. But back then, if you weren't doing mosh metal or thrash punk then you were probably gonna get compared to Quicksand. Understand used to support all of the touring US bands of the era, such as Sick Of It All, Helmet, Into Another and CIV. They also toured the States and attracted the interest of Equal Vision Records, who put out a 7" circa 1995. They were shit hot, and (familiar story) got signed by a major label, alienated themselves from the hardcore scene, had an album come out which didn't do very well, then split up. A couple of years later a band called Hundred Reasons came along and did something not too dissimilar and sold hundreds of thousands of records, even though they sucked big time. I guess life isn't fair sometimes.

Next, a test of the STALINGRAD 7" on Armed With Anger Records.I'm particularly stoked on this one, since the actual 7" that was released was a picture disc. So having a non-picture disc version is kinda cool.Here's a pic of the test next to the proper 7":

This band also played the first 1in12 festival that I went to. This was without doubt the scariest band I had ever seen in my life up to that point. Come to think of it, I have never seen a scarier band since. The singer (god knows why I'm referring to him as a singer, what he did could never be described as 'singing'!) spent half his time walking around the crowd screaming in people's faces. I'd never seen anything like that at the time. The dude had a shaved head and wore big Doc Martins and looked like he was trying to figure out which member of the audience he was going to kill first. I spent most of the time hoping that he didn't come anywhere near me. Fuck, I so wish I could go back in time & watch that show again. I'm intrigued as to whether, 14 years later with hundreds of shows under my belt, I would still be scared. Probably.

Finally, a test of the IRONSIDE 7" on Subjugation Records. The interesting thing about this one is that it comes with two different sleeves:

This is also the first test press I have ever seen that has the proper label on one side. I guess the point of this is to also check if the labels would come out as the label hoped.

I never actually saw this band. I think they played the festival I went to that I have mentioned twice already, but I missed them for some reason. In fact, I never got to see them play. But I remember picking up the 7" from a record shop in Leeds called Bad. I was amazed that this was a UK band. So good.

I was going to post up MP3s of these records so that anyone unfamiliar with these bands could check them out. But I don't have time. However, I will post them up later if people would be interested. Let me know via comments. If I get a sense that people would appreciate hearing these things then I will make the effort to post them up.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Darvocets 12"

I know absolutely nothing about this band whatsoever. I just bought this record because it is on Painkiller Records, and because the record itself looks cool. This band seem to have a UFO theme going on, hence the name of the record - "Authentic Music From Another Planet". Musically, the only band that this vaguely reminds me of is The Dead Kennedys.

The record has a crop circle pattern screened onto the second side:

Looks kinda cool huh?