Monday, 31 March 2014

Systems Of The Witch

So here we go again with another Integrity record, and this time it's a 'deluxe' reissue of the classic 'Systems Overload' album. This was reissued twice by Organized Crime Records in the last year or so - once as a regular single LP reissue, once as the 'A2 / Orr' mix, and now it's been put out on a third different reissue format as a very limited double LP. This thing was put together for the A389 Records tenth anniversary bash which happened in January this year in celebration of the fact that the line-up from this LP got back together to knock out some songs at the show.

This thing is on double orange vinyl. The sleeve for this version is a gatefold affair with different artwork to the regular version. One small touch that I love is that the front cover contains no text. The band name and the record's title have been relegated to the back cover. The front looks better without it for sure.

This thing went up for sale over the xmas & new year holiday period. I don't remember exactly when. What I do remember though was that on whatever day it went up for sale, I casually checked whether it was available, saw it was, and ordered one. Seemed pretty easy and stress free and didn't feel like a big deal. Even though this double LP is numbered out of 168 copies there were only 100 copies available as part of the bundle. The rest were, I believe, available at the show itself. I later read that this bundle sold out within an hour. I guess I got lucky for once. Just like old times.

This is the BACK cover:

Each record has music on one side and a skull logo etched on the flip side.

Well anyway, wouldn't you know it, the excitement didn't stop there. Ordering this special holiday package also got me a fancy ass NEW Integrity record too. This 7" is called '7th Revelation: Beyond The Realm Of The Witch' and contains one song recorded by the same 'Systems' lineup that reunited at the A389 bash. This 7" is limited to only 100 copies on clear vinyl with a glow in the dark screen print witch on the b-side.

Of course, there are at least two other colours of this 7" out there which I do not have yet, but that's just the way it is these days. I have to miss at least one version of every Integrity record that comes out to give me something to chase. Anyway, this song is damn great. I think this 7" made me realise that I actually prefer the slower Integ songs to faster ones. It's only taken me about twenty years and 130 or so records to figure this out.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Distressed Life

Back at the tail end of last year, I got an email from Mike telling me that Irish Voodoo Records were selling Done Dying test pressings in their store. Well, unfortunately for me, by the time I got the message they were all sold out. The label sold the test pressings for only $6 each, which seems insane these days as a lot of labels will sell tests for big money to help recoup some of their cash that they will probably lose on putting the record out in the first place. Anyway, due to the frustration of missing out on the tests, I didn't place any kind of order at all, and only remembered about the record once people started posting pictures of their 7"s on their blogs... by which point the first pressing had completely sold out. At this point, I was even more bummed and gave up. Done Dying were clearly a hot new band and, as is often the case these days, I wasn't fast enough to get in on the action.

Well, a second pressing appeared so I decided to buy before missing out again. I picked up the red and clear with black swirl pressings of the 'Dress For Distress' 7" from Irish Voodoo. I thought that both were second pressings, but it seems the the first press was red, so I'm not sure if there was also a second press on red, or whather my red is in fact a first press. The Irish Voodoo website is kinda confusing so I'm not sure. Can anyone clarify for me?

I also decided to add the red and yellow 'Shelf Life' 7"s that Reaper released when I picked up the Turnstile 7"s from a couple of posts ago. These look less pretty than the other 7", but the songs are equally good, if not better.

I can say the same as Mike, in that I've liked everything that Dan O has ever done... even God Forgot. And Done Dying is definitely up there with the best of 'em. If you haven't heard them yet I can strongly recommend that you give them a chance.

If anyone can help me with mp3's for the 'Dress For Distress' 7" I'd be extremely grateful as I can't seem to find them anywhere.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

A Safe Place

I've always loved Coalesce. I started listening to them from when they only had one 7" and I have everything right up to the last release. I think it was when the first album came out that put them at that next level. I remember listening to it when it had just come out whilst walking to work and just being in awe of how good it was. I still get the same feeling when I listen to them today. I always associate them with Converge. Why? Well, both bands started around the same time, their names mean similar things and have several similarities (both are 8 letter names that start with a 'C', have an 'o' as the second letter, an 'e' as the fifth letter and end with an 'e')... oh, and they did a split 7" together. I guess most people prefer Converge of the two bands, but Coalesce was always my stand out favourite.

Well anyway, I have a few Coalesce records, but am far from having a complete collection. I don't even want to collect everything as there are way too many pressings and variants of many of their records. At this point I'm just trying to pick up their most interesting pressings. Like this one for example - a 'Chicago Weekend' version of their 'A Safe Place' 7":

The cover says 'Limited edition of 75' although it is not numbered. It also has plain white labels, which I think is kinda cool as it gives a great DIY feel.

I have only ever seen once before, on eBay, about a year ago. I bid on it but didn't win. But in a bizarre twist of fate, this is that very same copy. So I guess I won in the end.

As is often the case, this latest version made me pull out my other copies to take a group photo.

Aside from test pressings, there are only really three Coalesce records I'm fussed about now - two variants of 'Functioning On Impatience' (the 4th press purple vinyl, the 5th press solid orange vinyl), and the black vinyl pressing of 'Give Them Rope' that comes in a burlap sack. If anyone wants to sell me these then get in touch. Ta!

Monday, 24 March 2014

Pressure To Collect

It's funny, because a huge chunk of my collection came about through the 90s when I just bought everything that came out on certain labels. I didn't know the bands, but I didn't care either. I just trusted certain labels and bought everything they released, which meant that years later I had amassed quite a large collection, much of which ended up becoming quite sought-after. These days I am almost the exact opposite - I don't buy anything new unless I have downloaded it and listened to it and am convinced it is worth sinking money into. The problem of this approach is that I now quite often miss out on entire pressings of some releases, which I then have to try to track down once they have sold out. So I missed out on the first Turnstile 7" completely (two pressings) and the first pressing of the second 7".

Well, when I saw third pressings go up for sale in the Reaper store, I figured that I should try to stay up to date rather than fall further behind. So I ordered all three colours of both 7"s. And here they are...

First up, the 'Pressure To Succeed'. This comes on blue (300), orange (700) and clear (1000).

And second, the 'Step 2 Rhythm' 7", on 'purple' (which looks more pink to me, out of 600), silver (400), and baby blue (1000).

So here it is - an almost instant Turnstile collection:

The depressing thing is realising that there are still more Turnstile 7"s that I don't have than I do. On the positive side, however, at least I will have something to do in the coming months trying to collect the rest.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

No More Games

Back in June last year, Chris posted a new version of the Striking Distance 'March To Your Grave' LP that I hadn't seen before. It was made for something called Damaged City Fest that took place last year for which the band reformed to play a set. This album was originally released by Thorp Records on CD and by Youngblood on LP. I remember opening the package containing my green vinyl copy like it was yesterday, except it was about 13 years ago now, which seems insane. Well anyway, I love this LP, so when I realised that there was a new version available, I wanted in on the action. So here we are:

This new pressing is on black vinyl and comes with a new insert. The sleeve is screen printed on black card and looks pretty awesome. It also has different labels than the original pressings.

This version also has the Grave Mistake Records logo on it. I'm not sure exactly what Grave Mistake have to do with this pressing exactly. Did they make the covers, or pay for the pressing? Anyone know?

Well, after picking this up and taking the photos, I thought I would get my other copies out and take a group shot.

Shown in the photo are:

Damaged City Fest 2013 pressing /200, Yellow vinyl Posi numbers 2003 pressing /100
Green vinyl, Winter Tour 2002 pressing /100, Green vinyl with regular cover /375
Test press (orange cover) /24, Pre-release (red cover) black vinyl /126

Friday, 21 March 2014

Blue Hare

Red Hare's 'Nites Of Midnite' LP was one of my top ten favourite releases of last year. The name, artwork, and vinyl colour all came together in one neat package, topped off with Swiz-esque soundwaves. Good stuff. And then to top it off, Dischord put out a second pressing on blue vinyl, changing the previously red cover and insert art to blue. The only thing they didn't do was change the band's name. Well, in typical style, I only just got around to picking this one up.

I have to wonder whether they'll get around to a third pressing at some point and, if so, what they'll do with the colour scheme. Changing the cover art to match the vinyl surely can't be a sustainable move.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Got No Time For Some People

It was the end of last year that Chris posted up about his new Mutoid Man 'Helium Head' LPs. I had previously read that this thing was coming out but then completely forgotten about it. Well, despite the late start, I managed to grab a copy on red vinyl... although I have to admit that after seeing the cover, I almost decided against grabbing one altogether. I mean fuck... look at it:

This 'band' is composed of only two humans - Steve Brodsky from Cave In and Ben Koller from Converge. You may be aware that I'm a fan of Cave In, so I was really interested to hear this.

At first I was definitely disappointed. It has some of the familiar Cave In song traits, but it generally sounds a bit sloppy, but at least it seems in keeping with the spazzy cover.

Well I made sure to give this a few listens, and it wasn't long before this started to really sink its hooks into me. I think I've listened to it 2-3 times a day for the last couple of weeks. Having said that, I'm not sure I want to pick up any futher copies because... well, because of that cover. One should be more than enough for anyone.

Monday, 17 March 2014

The Difference Between Us... Is That I Care

I was going to put up a different post today, but some other fool put up a post saying that he wished there was a Rev reissue checklist available, so I thought I'd do my bit to help out. And whilst I can't be arsed to make a check list using actual words, what I can do is put up some pictures of the last few of these things that I bought... which is the probably the latest ones available (aside from the two or three they pressed the day I after I placed my order, as always happens). I seem to post one of these Rev reissue catch up posts every couple of months, and as usual I'm just going to put up pictures in alphabetical order. I'm also going to leave out words as I don't think any are necessary.

So about that checklist... well, if you really want to see if you missed anything then you should just click on the 'Revelation Records' label on this blog and scroll down to see everything that's been re-pressed and re-issued in the last couple of years. I'm probably one of only about three people to have bought every single one of them (which includes at least two Shai Hulud records!). Christ.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Don't Quit

In June last year I picked up via a trade a second colour repress variant of the Uniform Choice 'Screaming For Change' LP. At the end of the post I wrote:

It was only about three years ago that I didn't own a single copy of this LP other than a second press on black. Now, including the recent reissues, I somehow have six colour copies

Well, thanks to some more reissues, the six has now risen to eight. I'm not sure why there are more copies of this thing now available, or who is pressing them (I mean, Wishingwell Records doesn't really exist anymore, right?) but someone out there has clearly decided that the world needs more coloured vinyl copies of 'Screaming For Change'. And if they're making 'em, I'm buying 'em.

This time around there were three new colours of vinyl... although at the moment I have only received two of these. One is on white and one is on blue.

Not sure why, but both copies have completely different stickers on the front. Suff like this fascinates me. I mean, I can understand wanting to know which ones are which colours, but I'd expect that both have the non-specific 'color vinyl' sticker, and then they each have additional stickers on to denote whether they are white or blue copies. But to label them as 'white' and 'color vinyl' seems a bit dumb to me.

These appeared out of nowhere and seemed to sell out quite quickly, and then a gold vinyl copy appeared. I have one on order so in theory my eight colour copies will at some point become nine.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Keep The Glove

Last time I posted a Dinosaur Jr record, which was only about three weeks, I said this:

Every time I buy pick up a Dinosaur Jr record I have the same thought - I need more Dinosaur Jr records.

And pretty much immediately after I posted it, I went shopping and found this purple vinyl copy of the 'Freak Scene' 7" on SST records:

I've had my current 'Freak Scene' 7" for many, many years. I have a red vinyl copy. I never really thought to collect these before, but recently I realised that there are several colours and they are all pretty cheap, and being on SST there are probably quite a lot of them out there. So I figure I'm going to try to collect the set now.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Alone In A Crowd

It's been a long time since I bought anything from React! Records, other than the outstanding Mindset 'Leave No Doubt' LP last year. I started following the label from the first release and picked up multiple versions of the first 14 releases, up to and including the Give 7". Then I stopped. I'm not sure why exactly. I know that at some point the distro moved from Aram to Hellfish and it seemed that they sucked ass at sending out records. Plus their website didn't divulge what colors of vinyl you were buying. And there were a couple of releases that I was distinctly unstoked by. So I lost touch with React records and gave up.

Well, until now. I decided to check out some of their current bands lately online and was pretty impressed with Caught In A Crowd, so I decided to buy a copy of the 7". Obviously the rarest versions of the record were gone, but at this point I'm not too fussed. I can pick them up later. But for now, this white vinyl copy will do me nicely.

This 7" rules. I generally don't like listening to music until I have the physical record in my possession, so I've only been listening to this for a few days, but I can't stop. 4 short songs + 1 long one = 1 awesome EP. Now, someone sell me the other colours and the first 7" on clear and I'll be happy.