Wednesday 27 February 2013

Doghouse Tests I

I used to like Dohouse Records back in the 90s. They put out some interesting and varied bands, and seemed to have feet in different camps, both hardcore and 'emo' (before that word meant what it means now). It seems weird now, but at one point they were one of the labels I followed and trusted, because they always had their finger on the pulse, so to speak. Recently they have been auctioning off test pressings on eBay, and most of them have been selling for pretty low amounts. The only exception is the Get Up Kids tests, which went for a bit, but aside from those most went pretty low. I can only assume that not many people around today care too much about any Doghouse releases.

I was pretty late to these auctions myself. I think they'd sold two or three rounds of tests before I found out. Shame as I could have got myself a Transcend LP test. Never mind. Anyway, I picked up a couple of items that I was pretty happy with.

First up is a test of the second Threadbare 12", 'Escapist'. This was only $20, which I was really surprised at. I used to love Threadbare back in the mid-late 90s, and whilst I prefer their first 12" 'Feeling Older Faster', this one is also a solid record. The test has plain white labels and comes in a plain white paper sleeve. Pretty standard stuff really.

As usual, I took a photo of it next to the sleeve for the regular version of the record. It makes for a better picture, as you can see.

The second test I won on eBay is for a much less known record from the Doghouse catalogue. This is an LP entitled 'Accident' by a band called Omaha. At the time this came out I had no idea what it sounded like and only bought this because it was on Doghouse. This is just indie rock really, but back in the late 90s I did listen to a lot of stuff like this, and I enoyed this LP for a while back in the day. Whilst this doesn't really get spun today, it was worth $13. This one also comes in a plain white paper sleeve and has the standard Erika labels.

I won these two on eBay and then messaged the seller / label to ask what other tests they had. I then arranged to buy two other LP tests. However, when the parcel turned up they weren't present, so I've optimistically calling this post Doghouse Tests I because I hope there will at some point be a part 2. Hopefully the other records will be sent soon and I won't have to file some kind of eBay dispute.

Sunday 24 February 2013

Anger Battery Tests

Just over a week ago I got home from work and pretty much straight away received a facebook message from James of Times Together letting me know that Anger Battery Records had put some test pressings up for sale in their online store. Fortunately I was at home with a good connection, and I had some money in my paypal account, so I clicked through and made a couple of purchases right away.

The first item was a test press of the second Times Together 7". This has a fantastic cover which is a rip of the Uniform Choice 'Region Of Ice' 7". If I had a copy of that 7" I'd pull it out and take a photo of the two side by side, but unfortunately I don't. Anyway, as you can see, this is number 6 of 12.

So as usual, when I found myself in the online store I had a look around to see what else was on offer. I bought a couple of Iron Curtain 7" tests, but a little later I got a refund because one of them had somehow already sold out, even though I'd added it to my cart, checked out & paid. Ah well. Still, that was only one of them. The other one I did get. This is a test for the second 7", 'Year Of The Wolf'. There were actually two tests of this one for sale - one on black vinyl, and one on yellow vinyl. I got the yellow one, which is number 2 out of 6 copies.

It's not too often you see colour vinyl tests, but this one looks really good. A nice bright yellow. Love it.

Saturday 23 February 2013

Violent Reaction

As usual, I'm slightly behind with new releases. But on this occasion, it was due to this record being in high demand and sold out that meant I couldn't seem to get my hands on one. This is the debut 7" by a UK 'band' called Violent Reaction. This used to be a one man project, but I believe there's now a band put together so they can play live.

There was a lot of hype around this band in the past few months. I'd say that this band and record was like the UK version of The Boston Strangler. Mark went to the record release show back in August and reported that the 7"s were all sold out before the first band had played. I tried to get one but failed. I also read with interest that Sean ranked this as his stand out favourite release of 2012. Just like the Boston Strangler LP, it seemed everyone was invited to the party but me.

In typical style, I've finally got my ticket six months after everyone else. I think this version with the brown paper cover and regular white paper dust sleeve is a second press. There are no colour vinyl copies though, and I'm not overly fussed on what colour paper I have. So this is ok for me. Getting any copy at all feels like an achievement.

I've had the mp3s for a while so am familiar with the songs. This is straight edge hardcore, but not your typical youthcrew type sound. More of a raw X-Claim style sound, but with catchy parts. I don't know. Maybe it's just the hype thing, but this very much reminds me of the Boston Strangler LP. Hardcore punk at it's finest. If you haven't heard this yet, then sort yourself out. Trust me.

I actually managed to miss this band play live back in September. They toured with No Tolerance and Give. I went to the London show and somehow got the running order wrong. There were about 6 bands playing, and I was convinced that some band or other were playing second, so sat upstairs chatting. I then went downstairs to watch Violent Reaction only to find I'd just missed them. Gutted. I guess they must have impressed someone though as their LP is scheduled to be released this year by the mighty Painkiller Records. I'll make sure I don't miss that one for sure.

Friday 22 February 2013

Descendents 'Merican 7"

It's been quite a while since I picked up any Descendents vinyl. There are only two colour LPs that I need now but unfortunately they seem pretty hard to find. On the positive side though, there are a few 7"s out there, none of which I have.

Or rather, I didn't have any. Now I have two. Here are two versions of the 'Merican 7" on Fat Wreck. This was originally released in 2004, which was before I was even a Descendents fan. The first colour vinyl pressing of this was on red vinyl, which I think was pressed back when this was first released in 2004. The copies I have just picked up, however, are (I think) re-pressings done a couple of years ago. They're more limited than the first press on red though just to keep things interesting.

The first copy is on clear dark blue vinyl. Blue is out of 218 copies.

Mine has a big dirty black smear in it.

The second copy is out of 233 on white vinyl.

Just to make it annoying, some of the blue vinyl copies are on a different colour, being a solid baby blue vinyl. I actually have no idea if this is some kind of transition colour (between blue and white) or a separate pressing. But they're definitely harder to find. Plus there are nearly as many first press red copies as there are blue and white copies put together, yet somehow the red seems to come up less often. But whatever the pressing info, I'm sure that the pesky Fat Wreck collectors aren't going to make this collection an easy for me to complete.

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Supersoul 1999 Comp Test

It seems that all I buy these days are test pressings. Sometimes I wonder if it would actually be possible to acquire a test press for every single record that I own. Given that I own the entire Revelation catalogue, probably not. Still, it's always a buzz picking up a test press, and this one here is no exception. This is a test press for a compilation called 'The Rebirth Of Hardcore 1999', released by Supersoul Records, a label that was owned by Ray Cappo. I guess this was his last attempt at staying in touch with modern bands. Anyway, I picked this up a couple of weeks ago. This is one of those tests that I was surprised to win for such a low bid. Was nobody else watching or did nobody else care? I like to think the former, as this finished on $16. What a steal.

I haven't listened to this in a long time, but it holds up well. It has some great bands, such as Ten Yard Fight, In My Eyes, Better Than A Thousand, Battery, Atari, Rain On The Parade, Fastbreak, Saves The Day, Shelter, and more. Oh, and it also has Good Clean Fun on it for some reason. Nevermind. The sleeve is a big fold out poster, and this one has seen better days. It's pretty tatty. But then again, for $16 I can't complain.

It's cool that the label is numbered. This is number 6 of 8... although the 8 looks like it is written over a 7. Looks like they numbered them out of 7 and then realised that there was one still sat on the turntable and actually there were 8, so they had to go back and modify the numbering. Dipshittery at it's finest.

Also funny that someone couldn't spell 'compilation'. How on earth did they not spot that given there were only four words on that sticker? So all in all, a good record but one hell of a sloppy label.

Monday 18 February 2013

Youngblood Test Covers

Today's post is not about records. It's about covers, sleeves or jackets (depending on which word you like to use). Back in November 2012 I picked up some Youngblood tests, none of which came in sleeves. But now, three months later, Sean sent me the sleeves. And as you would expect, they're all top quality.

First up I'm posting my favourite. The No Tolerance 7". This one has a foldover card sleeve which has the same artwork as the regular version of the record, except for the fact that this one is printed in gold ink. Also, the inner paper sleeve is red paper and has 'Youngblood Records test press' stamped on it. As you can see, it looks great.

The next one is a sleeve for the Give 'Flowerhead' 7". This one comes printed on thin orange paper. It looks cool, and is a great twist on the Youngblood logo, although I am slightly concerned that it's just photocopied and therefore at risk of damage over time. On the positive side though, unlike the No Tolerance, this one is numbered, which is always a nice touch.

And finally, the Police And Thieves 'Fracturing' 12" cover, which is made from a nice thick card. This one is pretty much identical to the release show sleeve, but printed on green rather than white card.

At some point I hope to get a cover for the Face Reality test too. Tests with covers are so much nicer than those without.

Saturday 16 February 2013

No Tolerance BSE Gold 39/88

Sometimes seeing is believing. That was definitely the case for me with No Tolerance. I'd had the demo on my ipod for a while and played it a lot, but when I got he Youngblood 7" I really started to pay attention. And then I saw them play live and pretty much decided they were the best band in the world. So it was pretty important that I get the demo 7" on gold... which I finally received this week. This obviously gives a nod to the Floorpunch 7", being on gold vinyl numbered out of 88 copies.

Overall I would say that the Youngblood 7" is the better record, but this is clearly the one everyone wants (well, aside from tests of course). Since this is the first copy of this that I own, now I need a black copy. Anyone wanna help me out?

Monday 11 February 2013

'New York City Hardcore - The Way It Is' GREEN TEST

I've not been able to post much lately. I did this grown up thing and bought a new kitchen, and over the past week I've been living in a building site, with half of my posessions crammed into one room. Taking photos of records was just not possible.

So, now the kitchen is done, I'm back on the scene, and to start February off with a bang, here's one of my most recent pick ups, which instantly becomes THE most important record in my collection. This is a green vinyl test press of Revelation's classic 'New York City Hardcore - The Way It Is' compilation LP.

For those of you who don't know what this is, it's a test press for the second pressing of this LP. Here's the pressing info as listed on the Revelation discography:

Test press : 8 black vinyl

1st press+: black vinyl, Blue/green split labels, large lyric booklet, and trade list flyer.

Test press : 10 green vinyl. Most of these had real labels put on them and slipped into mail-order for a few lucky kids.

I've had two brushes with this thing in the past. The first time was back in 2002. A friend from the States was on tour with Bane in the UK and he told me he was looking to sell his copy of this. He wanted $400 back then. I remember really badly wanting the record, but $400 back then was like fifty grand today, or so it seemed. Bear in mind, I had bought a Supertouch LP test press back then for $50, which seemed like a lot of money, so stepping up to $400 was a whole new level, and one that I was not ready for. So I passed.

The second time was about two and a half years ago. Dave Mandel was selling his copy. I emailed an offer but was told that someone else had offered more. So I upped my offer, only to be told that the other person upped theirs too. So I threw in the towel. I was beaten. However, all good things come to those who wait, and it turns out that this copy I've just picked up is the same one that Dave Mandel sold.

To say that this is my holy grail would be a slight under statement. I figured I would never own this, but after recently arranging to buy a new kitchen, I was already prepared to see my savings drain from my bank account. So when I saw someone offering one of these for sale on the message boards, I figured that waving goodbye to even more of my savings wouldn't really matter too much. Plus I decided that I was sick of seeing someone else buy these whenever they (rarely) came up for sale, with me left thinking that I couldn't afford one and would never own one. So I paid up. More money than I have ever paid for a record by a long, long way. But I still think that I got a pretty good deal when a few days later I saw a Floorpunch on gold go for over $1,500 on eBay.

Anyway, enough talk. Here are some more pics. the green vinyl looks kinda solid in the above pics, but it's kinda see through, especially when held up to the light. See for yourself...

So there we are. The most important and most expensive record I own. Yet, funnily enough, I have to admit that I'm actually more stoked on my new kitchen. Who'd have thought eh?