Thursday 28 June 2012

Nemesis Live... on Green?!?

Even though I've been collecting records forever, every now and again I still find out about variants of things that I've had for years that I never knew existed. Here's yet another example...

Back in 1990 or so Nemesis Records released a series of three live compilation 7"s. All three came on black vinyl as standard, or clear vinyl in a numbered sleeve. I've had the three clear vinyl copies for years and years. And then a couple of months ago Geoff pointed me towards an eBay auction which was listing one of them on green vinyl. I can't remember exactly, but I think my reaction was something along the lines of What the hell?

I'd never heard of this before, and I wanted it, but the bad thing was that it was one of three records in a lot, and the price of the lot was $100. I decided that this was way too much though as the other two records would probably sell for $10 on a good day. So I didn't bother. Unsurprisingly, the lot didn't sell, and then the seller relisted with a lower price, which also didn't sell, and then the record got listed on its own for $50 and ended without a bid. This may have happened a couple more times too. I forget. But after watching it end a few times with no bids, I emailed the seller and worked out a deal.

Until I saw this for sale I had never seen or heard of this before. But after getting it I did a search on the HYE trade board and found one other dude who has one. Mine is number 152 and his is number 154, so I think we can be pretty sure that number 153 is also green, wherever that may be. But aside from three, who knows how many more there may be? Perhaps there are only three, or perhaps there are as many as a hundred (although I doubt it). As to how it came to be, I can only assume that there was a small number of these on green that came off of the press sequentially and which ended up in the midst of the clear vinyl copies. But as to exactly how many there are... I think it's pretty safe to say that anyone involved with the label either didn't know about them or, if they did, has probably now forgotten the numbers. Which means that nobody will ever know.

Wednesday 27 June 2012

Highly Refined Pirates

Minus The Bear. I used to listen to this band a lot and then just stopped. Not sure why exactly. Although, if I think about it, it probably had something to do with the fact that their fourth album just had THE worst cover art of all time. Put me off wanting to listen to it at all. Funny how artwork plays such an important role for me, yet I imagine that for the average young music fan in 2012 it is probably completely irrelevent. Anyway, after owning the first album, 'Highly Refined Pirates', for something like 8 years, I finally picked up a first press colour vinyl copy. And only ten years after it originally came out.

I love stuff like this for this time of year. Perfect to listen to in the summer sun. If only we actually had some sun this year!

Sunday 24 June 2012

Two Headed Coin

Pretty much anyone who lived through the 90s and came out the other end has (or had) a copy of this record. I would even go as far as to say that most rate this 7" highly. Those of you under the age of 35, however, are probably unsure what I am talking about. So for you, the kids... this is a split 7" by Hoover & Lincoln which is cleverly titled 'Two Headed Coin'. Despite owning one of these things since it came out, I recently spotted this silver sleeve version on eBay which I had never seen before. The seller described it as the 'dime' version as it features a different coin to the regular version. I was intrigued, and because it was pretty cheap I nabbed it.

There was no insert with this version, but there was something - an old Art Monk Construction catalog from 1997. This actually proved very helpful and has allowed me, Sherlock Homes style, to piece together some kind of pressing information.

I now have three copies of this one. Gold vinyl with copper sleeve, a blue vinyl with a different copper sleeve (which I also bought on eBay, and which the seller stated was limited to 50 copies, although I don't think I believe that), and this version with the silver sleeve.

The gold vinyl copy I know is from the first press in 1993 because I got one not long after that time. And since the silver sleeve one has a 1997 catalog inside it, I'm assuming that this is some later repress. But also, on closer inspection, it seems that the vinyl in the silver sleeve copy has a slightly different matrix to the gold copy. So it must have been repressed using newer plates, or possibly a different pressing plant. The blue vinyl copy has the same labels and matrix as the silver sleeve version, meaning that it too must be a later repress. So there you go.

I think that I may once have seen a version with a photocopied sleeve too, but I'm not sure. It could just be my mind playing tricks. Anyone know?

Saturday 23 June 2012

Front Toward Enemy

I'm guessing that most people reading this won't have heard of the record or band I'm featuring today. The band is called F.T.E. (which stands for 'Front Toward Enemy') and this double 7" has taken me YEARS to acquire.

The band's name is taken from a type of landmine (the M18 Claymore Mine) which has the words 'Front Toward Enemy' written across the top. It's no surprise therefore that the cover features a picture of said mine.

The reason that I was after this record is that it was released by Exit Records, which was a sub label of Wreck-age Records, which was a label that I used to collect back when they were active in the mid to late 90s. Wreck-age used to release lesser known bands from the NY area, but they had a pretty good roster - Bad Trip, Mind Over Matter, Yuppicide amongst others. Also, they used to put limited colour vinyl pressings of most of their releases, but the numbers of colour that they made were low. Most colour pressings of their 7"s were out of 200 copies, whereas there were usually somewhere in the region of 2500-3000 black copies. So less than one in ten a colour copy made some of them hard to find.

This double 7" was actually released in 1996 and this is first copy that I have ever owned. I would buy stuff put out on Wreck-age & Exit at the time this came out, but somehow this record didn't seem to get out much. I only knew of this record because it was listed on the label's discography, but other than that I would not have known it existed at all. So I put it on my want list as a reminder that I didn't have it. What I could not have known at the time was that I would not get a sniff of one until 2012!

In the end I had this sent to me my Nick Mango. Nick's is WAY more obsessed with Wreck-age stuff than I am, and in the past few years has managed to track down every piece of colour wax they released, as well as some test pressings too. I like to think I helped him because a few years ago I was able to tell him about some of the colour records he had which (correct me if I'm wrong, Nick) he didn't know about at the time. So anyway, a few months ago he let me know that he had managed to track down a colour copy of this F.T.E. record. Not only that though, he had also picked up a spare! A few months later and the dude sent it to me. He wouldn't even let me pay him the postage costs. What a guy.

For those who are interested, here's all I could find on the internerd about the band:

F.T.E (Front Toward Enemy) was started in 1994. None of the members had played in bands before except guitarest XSteveX, who had played in a NYC band called Yuppicide. The bands roots are in the northeast, but if you didn't know any better you would think it was a southern California band from the early 80's. The band grew up pissing off the general public, skateboarding and BMX riding, wishing they lived on the West Coast. The music is fast and aggro like the sk8 rock bands of yesterday.

Anyone else ever heard this band, or own this record? Even better, anyone happen to have mp3s of the songs?

Tuesday 19 June 2012

7" Storage Boxes

Here's a question that always attracts a wide range of answers - how do you store your 7"s?

I use cardboard boxes that are made specifically to hold 7" records. Before that I used to use empty printer/photocopy paper boxes, but they always seemed a bit flimsy, so circa 2005 I upgraded to something better. I bought 15 boxes and I was happy. However, as the years have ticked by, those boxes became full and I once again started using photocopy paper boxes for the overflow. Eventually (i.e. last week) I got sick enough of the situation to invest in ten more proper storage boxes. I love these things. They come flat packed and you then 'assemble' them yourself in a matter of seconds. They're really sturdy, stack neatly and have handles (which makes it easier when you come to move house). These ones are also better quality than other similar boxes i have seen as they are double thickness and have white (rather than brown) insides.

If you're using anything else, you're probably doing it wrong.

The place I got these is stuck in the dark ages & doesn't have a website, but if anyone in the UK needs a pointer as to where you can buy these things, get in touch.

Grey & White Silence

Only last month I finally picked up a copy of the latest Cave In album on vinyl, 'White Silence'. I had been looking for a copy since it came out over a year previous. The last sentence of my post on that record was 'Somehow I have a feeling that this won't be the last copy of this record that I acquire'. Well, wouldn't you know it, I was bang on with that statement. In the last week I have received the two other colours - grey and white:

I have no idea which is the most limited colour. I believe that white was the Vacation Vinyl excusive colour and is limited to 100. But whether that means it is rarer than the other colours, I don't think anybody knows. All I know is that excluding the black, I now have a complete set of colour pressings of this one.

Just like buses, you wait ages for one and then three come along at once.

Sunday 17 June 2012

Give me some Citizens Arrest

My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I heard about a new Citizens Arrest 7" coming out in 2012. I mean, seriously? I had no idea these dudes had got back together and recorded some new material. So when I saw that this thing was up for pre-order I jumped on it right away. Excited? You bet.

So here it is. Citizens Arrest 2012. This new record is called 'Soaked In Others Blood' and was released by Painkiller Records. I was lucky (or early) enough to get one of the red vinyl copies.

Interestingly, this features the original line-up back together, including Ted Leo, although this time around he's on second guitar rather than vocals.

My feelings on this are mixed. I mean, I love the original CXA 7", but was never overly psyched on the LP. I'm guessing my opinion mirrors that of most people. This 7" sounds way closer to the LP than the first 7". I mean, it's kinda ok in it's own right, but just knowing that this is the same band that gave us that legendary 7" twenty two years ago, it ultimately disappoints. I guess it's all about expectations. No doubt if these same songs came on a record with a different band name on the front, I would have been well into this. You know how it is though. You can't always have it both ways.

So when I picked this up I also picked up the standard black vinyl pressing of the last Give 7" that Painkiller also put out. I can't get enough of Give right now, which means I must buy all pressings of all records. This is just another one crossed off the list.

Of all the Give 7"s, I think this one has the best cover. The green colour looks great. Oh for the limited tour cover version...

Monday 11 June 2012

Unholy Majesty

What a depressing day today was. It's mid June, yet it was freezing cold and it rained all day. I went to work and, as usual, got frustrated by other people. By about 10:30 I was walking around with clenched fists trying to avoid talking to people and wanting to go home to chill out before I exploded.

It's days like this that bands like UNHOLY MAJESTY are for. Hailing from the arse end of England, these dudes had a 7" come out on A389 Records three or four months ago which, like an idiot, I missed (the clear vinyl copies sold out fast, so I sulked in a corner and didn't bother buying a black one because that wouldn't have been good enough). But I did download the songs and listened to it many times. Mainly when I was feeling like I wanted to punch something or someone. Which seemed to be pretty much every day. Then one day I decided that I wanted to own the record so I emailed vocalist Daniel and asked if he could help me out with a clear vinyl copy. Dude came through with flying colours.

Here's the regular version that you can still buy from the A389 Store. I love the picture on the front cover.

I was also lucky enough to get a clear vinyl copy. But not just an ordinary clear vinyl copy. This one comes in a special sleeve and is known as the Fiend press. Looks incredible.

And as if that wasn't enough I also manage to scrounge a test press.

So glad I made the effort to pick these things up. I seem to play these three songs pretty much every day. Really helps get through a day of having to deal with morons. Don't know what else to say really. If you like Integrity, Rot In Hell or are desperately looking for the soundtrack to kicking your co-workers down the stairs, then you seriously need to check this 7" out.

Thursday 7 June 2012


A few days ago I received my copy of the new, self-titled OFF! LP, sent over by fellow vinyl nerd and my own private post bitch who had greedily grabbed an extra white vinyl copy. Even though there are probably hundreds of them out there, it sold out fast & is clearly highly sought after at the moment. So I'm pretty grateful. Thanks dude!

OFF! is a band that I don't think I could ever get sick of. As I type this rubbish, I'm sat here listening to this LP thinking that I could probably get by just fine if this was the only record I owned.

If you haven't heard this yet, you'll be pleased to hear that it sounds exactly like their other records. Sixteen short blasts that render all other songs, bands and records completely unnecessary.

Sunday 3 June 2012

Born Against 7" on Clear!?!

Okay, so I'm going to say straight off that I'm not a big Born Against fan. But recently I saw a Born Against 7" listed on eBay with poor photos and a poor description, and something in my brain said "that's super rare". So I watched it and then won it for the list price, and in the end I was the only bidder. I can only assume that this was due to the poor listing, rather than the fact that nobody cares about Born Against.

This is the self titled 7", which was released on Vermiform Records (a label owned by Born Against vocalist, Sam McPheeters). According to the pressing info on Flex and Wikipedia there were 7090 copies of this 7" made in total, across five pressings, but there is no mention of any of them being on colour vinyl. The only variation between pressings is the colour of the labels, or the colour of the sticker on the cover (which this one doesn't have at all).

So what's the deal with this clear vinyl copy that I just found?

After I'd won this I emailed my friend to ask what he knew about it. His response was as follows:

Yes I do have BA on clear, got it from Sam Mcpheeters in a trade, it was a factory mistake from the last press, 10 were made before they corrected it.

I don't have another copy of this 7" to compare it to, but inside the sleeve is this little piece of text which supports that this is from a late pressing, as it states the year in which the band ended.

So only ten on clear out of seven thousand, or one in every seven hundred. Perhaps if the seller had mentioned this in his auction he might have got more than one bid... although good for me that he didn't.