Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Firehose Test Press

fIREHOSE. Heard of 'em? Probably not if you're under 30! I don't know much about them either, which is odd since I have been listening to them for about 18 years. I became aware of fIREHOSE because they had a song ('Brave Captain') feature on a Santa Cruz skateboard video about 18-20 years ago. Following this, my friend bought the album 'Ragin' Full On' on vinyl and I taped it from him. Several years later I bought it for myself. A great album and one which I have never got bored or tired of. Last week I bid on a test press on eBay. I was the only bidder and won it for the listing price of $9.99, which I was pretty happy with.
Unlike a lot of "older" test pressings which came in plain paper dust sleeves, this one has a sleeve and a couple of cool features...

A close up of the sticker on the sleeve says, which says "1986 SST Records" (I couldn't get it to come out well on the camera)

A message on the dust sleeve, which reads "Special Treat Firehose Test", which makes me wonder if this was given to someone as a gift at some point:

Hand written label, where someone seems to have had trouble writing the word "Firehose":

There was also a piece of paper inside with proofs of the label art. What's cool here is that someone has written "black ink with pink field" at the top:

And here's the regular version of the record with the proof next to it. It seems the idea of the black ink and pink label was accepted by whoever makes decisions on these things:

Overall, I am stoked. A good bargain.

76% Uncertain Sealed LP

Wishingwell Records. They put out some classic LPs which, on the right colour vinyl, sell for big money. The obvious Wishingwell releases most people are familiar with are the Youth Of Today 'Break Down The Walls' LP, the Uniform Choice 'Screaming For Change' LP, and the Insted 'Bonds Of Friendship' LP. But a couple of Wishingwell releases are less well known. The 76% Uncertain LP, I would say, is one. 76% Uncertain were a band from CT who existed circa 1983-89. If you want to read about their history, you can read that HERE.
Their 3rd LP, 'Hunka Hunka Burnin' Log', was released by Wishingwell Records in 1989. I've owned a copy for a few years. It's a good record and I like it. But recently I got offered a colour vinyl pressing, which I received in the mail today. The coolest thing about it was that it arrived sealed, which is pretty amazing since this record was released in 1989.

Since I don't think it helps anyone to keep these things sealed, I opened it. I was pretty happy with the result:

For no reason whatsoever, here's a picture of the back cover:

In short, this band rules and you should check them out. They seem to have got with the times and put together a myspace page. More surprisingly, they seem to be back together and playing shows.


I recommend you listen to the song 'Coffee Achievers' if nothing else.

Finally, due to my good fortune, I now have a black vinyl copy of this album spare. If you want it, get in touch.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Godflesh Messiah

The past year or so, one of the bands I have spent most time listening to is Jesu. Check them out if you can be arsed. The myspace lists them as "Metal / Shoegaze / Electronica". Sounds weird, but works. The main dude in the "band" is a chap by the name of Justin K Broadrick, whose previous band was called Godflesh. So I figured I would check this band out. I checked online & it seems that they released about 400 records, which is not good. I don't think I am interested enough to try to track them all down. Yet. But I did pick one up on eBay recently (because it was relatively cheap) was the Messiah ep. This was originally released as a cd ep back in 1994, but the folks at Relapse saw fit to reissue it on vinyl earlier this year:

Relapse have a pretty cool habit of pressing 100 copies on clear vinyl of every release, which are not for public consumption, but rather for the band and friends of the band/label. So any Relapse clear vinyl pressings are hard to find and, if they appear on eBay, usually go for a lot of money. Except, for some reason, this one didn't.

A decent enough start to a potential collection here... although I am not sure whether I can be bothered going much further. Although, that said, I do really want the Sub Pop 7"...

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Gentlemans Pistols LP

I've been meaning to pick this record up for some time now, but only just got round to it. The debut LP by Gentelmans Pistols.

I wouldn't usually listen to stuff like this. The only reason I have heard of this is because it has Atko on guitar (some dude who used to play in
Voorhees , is in current UK hardcore band The Horror , and also has a rock band called The Sex Maniacs). Basically, everything this dude does is gold. But what do Gentlemans Pistols sound like? Well, pretty much exactly as you would expect a bunch of dudes who look like this to sound:

Their myspace says that their influences are 1968-1973. I think that sums them up perfectly. I seriously cannot stop playing this record. Check them out:


Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Bent Corners

It feels like ages since I got any new records. In reality it's been five days. And only five days because I have been sick for two days and didn't go to work to collect my mail, otherwise it would actually have been only three days. Anyway, today I got a parcel of eBay wins. First item was a tour version of the first Blacklisted 12". The flimsy piece of card shown here is instead of a sleeve, which I'm not really into at all:

To make matters worse, the lyric sheet and dust sleeve arrived with the corners all bent up. This is because the dude sent the LP wrapped in bubble wrap and brown paper. No cardboard at all. The worst thing is that I had bought an LP from this guy a few weeks previous and he had done the same thing. So this time I specifically asked him to ensure that the records were packed in thick card to avoid them getting damaged in transit. But the dude obviously decided to ignore me. Check it:

So now I'm not sure what to do. On the one hand, he did send it pretty damn quickly. And the 7"s (shown below) arrived in great shape. But the LP arrived with corners bent because he ignored my specific and reasonable request. So does this warrant negative feedback? I'm not sure. I think I'm going to ask for a partial refund and if I don't get that then maybe go for the negative feedback.

Next up is the first Right On 7" with a 'Sink With Cali 2005' sleeve, numbered out of 50, made to look like the Straight Ahead 12", which I think is really cool:

Finally, the Lights Out 7" with a Record Release sleeve from 2004, numbered out of 115:

The cool thing is that this came with a coupon. I think what happened is that the 7" wasn't actually ready for the release show, so people in attendance got given a token, which they could then exchange for the 7" when it was ready. So it's cool that this one comes with the actual coupon included. But what's funny about this one is that it is numbered in three places - on the back of the sleeve, on the coupon, and on the dust sleeve. However, the dust sleeve is number 92/115, whereas the sleeve and coupon are both number 95/115:

What an embarrassing cock-up for all concerned!

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Internal Affairs x Dalek x Triumvir

Today the mailman brought me a gigantic box. It turned out to be half full of air, 40% full of bubblewrap and the remainder was two Internal Affairs LPs.

I'm having a lot of records arrive in inappropriate packaging lately. Why can't people follow the golden rule of "send how you would like to receive"?

State Of Alert

One of my record collecting regrets is that, when I started properly collecting records in about 1993, I avoided all the early hardcore classics. Negative Approach 7", X-Claim LPs, early Dischord releases - even 15 years ago they were expensive. Nowhere near as expensive as they are now, but expensive relative to everything else. For the same price as a Minor Threat 7" I could buy ten other 7"s, and I always chose quantity over quality I guess, since I was keen to hear new bands. In retrospect, I could have picked up all the old classics that I still want today for a fraction of the prices they sell for today. And even though I have more money these days, early hardcore record prices have continued to go up and up, so they still don't feel affordable. So I'm pretty much resigned to never owning any of these things.

However, that said, you should never say never. A couple of years ago I thought I would never own an S.O.A. 7". But as of today, I do.

Unlike a lot of early Dischord 7"s these days, this really is in great condition. Both the record and the sleeve are almost flawless. Although, this is perhaps not surprising given that it coming from the collection of a fellow obsessive. True, it may not be a first press, but I'm not too fussed about that at this stage. I'm stoked to have any version of this record.

The only bad thing is that I only have the green vinyl version on my want list, which means that even though I have acquired this awesome piece of wax, my want list hasn't got any smaller. Typical.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

All Out Shite

Earth Crisis 'All Out War' 7". The record that I waited longest for in the mail. From sending off the money to receiving the record, my wait was two and a half years. A pretty funny story that I can't be bothered to tell right now.
Anyway, a couple of years ago I realised that a bunch of my 7" covers had become damaged. They weren't ripped or bent or anything, but the ink had gone 'sticky' and stuck to the poly bags. I think such a problem is caused by heat. I had about 120 7"s affected by this problem. When I first found this problem I was in a state of despair. But since then I have been slowly replacing the sleeves via eBay.
Recently I was trawling eBay, and found an Earth Crisis 7" going pretty cheap. I bought it, so I could switch the cover with the damaged one on my blue vinyl copy. However, when it turned up, Joe dipshit had mailed it out in an envelope with no cardboard included, and it had got a little bent in the mail. So this isn't quite the mint condition cover I was looking for. So now I need another one. Balls.

Is it fair to leave negative feedback for something that was packed badly? Hmmmm. I need to think about that one.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Self Destruct 2nd 7"

Self Destruct are a hardcore punk band from the UK. They cite their influences as Minor Threat, Negative Approach and Black Flag. Not long ago I wrote about their first 7" (you can read that HERE). And now a new 7" has just come out, called 'All My Friends Are Dead'.

This records is a split release between two UK labels - Rumour Control and Zandor. This looks and sounds like it could have come out in about 1982. So if you're into hardcore punk from that kinda era then you're going to be into this. This 7" sounds like a step away from the first 7". Generally the songs seem a bit slower to me. But in a good way. I'm most into the first song, which kinda reminds me of something you would hear on the early Santa Cruz skate videos, or maybe the first H-Street video. Good stuff. And the cover rules too.

Check out the band's myspace for a preview: http://www.myspace.com/selfdestructhc

Monday, 15 September 2008

Mental Talk

Today brings the arrival of another order from Six Feet Under Records.
Several weeks ago I was sat at the computer on a Saturday night, and an email dropped into my inbox from SFU, announcing a pre-order of a live Trash Talk LP of which there were only 97 copies. The funny thing is, I never heard this band before, but I figured that I should pick up the LP because, if I waited a couple of hours, then the only chance I would ever have to own this thing would be via eBay. Which would of course mean that I would have to pay five times the price from the SFU store. So I bought it. The cover and the record aren't much to look at:

... although the B-side does look very pretty:

I also picked up the proper version of the Mental demo 7". The last one with the crazy cover (see HERE) had a song missing. This is the one with all the songs intact.

Short Announcements

Taking a break from the schedule for a moment to make a couple of short announcements:


If you like this blog, and if you generally like looking at pictures of records and reading about records, there are two blogs that I have picked up on lately that you should check out.

The first is done by Lins87, a fine British gent who has sang for UK bands such as Vengeance Of Gaia, Break It Up & (currently) Sick Humour. His blog reflects on records in his collection, both old and new. He's been into hardcore for many years so some of these stories make for interesting reads:


The second blog is by a guy called Mike based in Maine in the US of A. Mike is also an 'older' guy, whose blog is similar to mine in that he documents everything new he gets in the mail.


Coincidentally, both dudes have used the exact same template and colour scheme for their blogs.


I don't know the exact date, but at some point in September 1994 I announced to my friends I was going straight edge. They laughed at me. My friend Neil told me that if I made it six months he would buy me a 7", and if I made it a year then he would buy me an LP.

Fourteen years. Where the hell are my records dude?

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Never Enough Time!

Internet message boards. I love them and I hate them. Places where people who have nothing to say talk non-stop. But I'm prepared to pick through the nonsense to find some interesting news/information/gossip. And occasionally, people list records for sale and invite readers to make offers. And sometimes they actually have good stuff. This is good because it avoids having to go through the farce of eBay. I made some offers via a messageboard last week & the goods arrived this week in good shape. Typically though, I wasn't happy. I got stressed by the number of records I had just bought, since I couldn't see where I was going to find the time to actually listen to them. The worst part of growing up and getting old seems to be that there is never enough time to do everything, made even worse by myself recently because I just joined a gym, which I need to devote time to at least three times a week. Nightmare!

Anyway, after initially panicking about the time needed to listen to the pile of records before me, I then calmed down & realised that there was nothing to worry about after all, since everything I had just bought was just a variation of a record I already had. This is good news because it means I don't need to waste my time listening to them at all. I can just put them away in boxes. Or, rather, I can add them to the piles on my floor, since I haven't found time in the past year to actually put my new records into boxes.

Here's what I picked up...

1134 final 7". This was the first release on Livewire records. This version has a green, numbered sleeve, which I had never heard of or seen before. I went to the discography, but it isn't listed. I'll have to find out what the crack is with this one. Anyway, I picked up number 27, which I am stoked about.

Champion 1st 7" with Side By Side sleeve. I already have this, but the sleeve is not in mint condition, so this is a replacement. Plus this new one is also a lower number. Which makes it cooler still. So now I now have a spare copy of this for sale or trade. If you want it, get in touch.

Some Have Heart 7"s:

I get the feeling I could be starting down a long path here. There are about 400 variations of these two 7"s. I have four or five of each now, but there are still more versions that I don't have than I do.

Also, a couple of Have Heart LPs. Thankfully, there aren't 400 versions of the LP. So nothing to worry about here.

Learn 'Life And...' 7" on red. Only 100 of these suckers out there. I had to email Tru Pray to clarify this, since there is no Malfunction discography online anywhere anymore.They need to sort that out ASAP. Don't worry yourself about it though, I'll email them & get it sorted...

Right Brigade / A Poor Excuse split 7". I only ever had one version of this record, the most common colour. Now I have a couple more. Maybe one day I will have as many as Graham Hopper. But I doubt it.

Yet another Rain On The Parade 7":

I'm getting close to having every version of every record this band ever did. This is part of the final press of this record, which includes at least three different sleeve variations. When they came out I thought this was a lame idea. But Matt Smith told me recently that the green, red and blue sleeves were meant as a tribute to the Minor Threat 7". That suddenly makes it seem a damn good idea, so I now want to own them. Shame I didn't buy them when they came out to save myself the hassle of having to track them down 7 years later. Then again, it gives me something to do I guess.

Finally, the Soul Control / I Rise split 7". I was going to pre-order this when it was released, but the colour vinyl sold out in about one day and I missed it. So I'm glad to finally pick it up. I'm also really into the full colour, glossy sleeve on this one.

Thank you for listening!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Ebay Bargains

It seems that it is still possible to get a bargain on eBay. The trick is to buy things that nobody else cares about.

Internal Affairs LP, release show edition, $13.62. The cool thing about this is that the regular version of this LP has an etched B-side. This version does not. And to compensate, this one has a fancy screen-printed sleeve:

Police Beat 7" on grey, $1.25. I never heard this band, but for the price of a bar of chocolate, I figured it was worth picking up.

Saturday, 6 September 2008


Getting this record felt like a major accomplishment. It had been on my want list for about ten years before I picked it up. That was three years ago, and I probably haven't played it or looked at it since. That's record collecting I guess. Anyway, this one is a double that I have acquired. I'm advertising it here as available for trade. I know at least three people that want this. It's not easy to come by, and I'd like to trade it for something cool. Let me know.

Monday, 1 September 2008


Even though I'm generally pretty miserable, there are rare occasions when something special happens that really touches me and makes me realise that there are still some nice people out there after all. This is a story about one of those times...


Equal Vision Records. If you're reading this then you're probably familiar with their output. From the early days of krishna-core bands like Shelter, 108 & Prema, to the mid 90s post-hardcore rock bands like Shift, Copper & Understand, and the straight edge revival bands of the late 90s like Hands Tied, Ten Yard Fight & Floorpunch, Equal Vision was a label that I could trust. I could buy anything they released and know, even before I dropped the needle, that it was going to be good. By 1998-2001, many other people had figured this out too, and EVR had become one of most important hardcore labels in the world, releasing albums that have since gone on to become hailed as modern classics, by bands such as Floorpunch, Converge, and American Nightmare, which will (I am sure) remain important and influential for many years to come.

In May 2006 I went on tour around the UK with my friends Bane. The biggest show of the tour was at the Underworld in Camden. The show was sold out. Bane were playing with Betrayed and Fearless Vampire Killers. But despite this line-up, my main interest in the show was not the bands. I had been told on the way to the show by Dalbec that Steve Reddy, owner of Equal Vision Records, was going to be in attendance, and I was stoked on this news. In an indirect way, Steve was responsible for so many of the records that had made such a positive impact on my life that I just wanted to meet him. And maybe say thank you and get some stories. Oh yeah - and ask about why EVR had stopped putting out hardcore bands and making vinyl!

I was introduced to Steve by Aram (vocalist for Betrayed, guitarist for Champion, owner of React! Records and all-round good dude), who told me that Steve had sent him a white Floorpunch LP for his birthday. With an introduction like this, I figured that Steve must surely be the nice guy I was hoping for. And I was not let down. We talked about all kind of things, like how under-rated the Prema LP was (and still is), how so many people never knew that Understand were a UK band, why he made a Bane TV commercial, and how EVR had become a business that employed several people. I was keen to let him know that several of the earlier EVR records still mean a lot to me, despite being forgotten by a lot of people, like the Shift records and the Project Kate LP. I like to think this made him realise that I wasn't some young kid and that I was genuinely interested in the EVR history, although I'm sure my questions had already made this obvious. And although I felt like I was bothering Steve at times by asking stupid questions about things that were probably ancient history to him, he remained polite and talkative throughout.

At the end of the night I said farewell and jokingly threw in a comment like "Don't forget to send me that Project Kate test press". He gave me his business card & told me to email him my address. Naturally, I figured he was joking, but a week or so later I emailed anyway, just in case he was serious. To my disappointment, he never replied.

Fast forward to 2008. I was tidying some stuff at home and stumbled across the business card Steve had given me. I realised that 2 years had passed. Even though I had never seriously expected to get anything, I also figured that if there was even a remote chance, then I should explore it. So I decided to send a brief email. I sent something short that was supposed to be funny like "Steve - I just realised it's been 2 years and no sign of the record. Maybe you should contact the post office?". I figured this might make him laugh if nothing else. But no reply. So I forgot all about it.

Three months later I got an email completely out of the blue from a girl at EVR. She told me that she was Steve's assistant, and that she needed my address to send me a record. A few weeks passed, a few emails were exchanged, and today I received a package in the mail.

EVR 28 - Project Kate "The Way Birds Fly" LP Test Press

This makes me happy in so many ways. I loved this album when it came out. I still love it today. I love this test press. And I love the story of how I came to own it. You can't buy stories like this on eBay.

Steve & Kate - You made my day. THANK YOU XXX

Robotic Empire Trade

I arranged a trade with Robotic Empire recently. They wanted to take some of the 27 LPs that I released, and suggested a trade. The sensible approach would probably have been to trade for things that I could sell to recoup the money I spent on that LP. However, being an idiot, I traded for some of their new releases that I wanted for myself. Here's what I got sent...

Isis "Live IV" 2 x LP on clear brown: (I have a spare copy of this if anyone wants it?)

Verse En Coma "Rialto" 10", on tan vinyl in a gatefold sleeve that nicely matches the artwork, and with CD included:

Continuing the theme of gatefold 10" sleeves with a CD included, a repress of the Torche "In Return" 10": (I have a spare copy of this if anyone wants it?)

Versoma LP on white splatter:

Two versions of the new Jesu / Battle Of Mice split LP:

This is the coolest record ever. It looks black until you hold it up to the light, then it looks like something you might see if you took a ride into space on a rocket: