Tuesday 27 May 2014

Palm Sunday

I think a month almost went by without an Integrity post. I'd better fix that quick. How about this test press of the 'Palm Sunday' LP? This is the Organized Crime repress, which comes in a wraparound acetate cover. I got number 7 of 14.

Just to make sure that I don't have a complete collection of anything ever, I still don't have the grey and white vinyl versions of this LP. #Toomanyintegrityrecordsnotenoughtimeormoney

Monday 26 May 2014

Poetry Of Worms

I picked up this Rot In Hell / Psywarfare split 12" on white vinyl a while ago, but I was waiting until I also picked up a clear vinyl copy before I posted it up on here. Unfortunately, that still hasn't happened, so I decided to quit stalling.

There are three Rot In Hell songs on here. These are the acoustic folk style RIH songs, and I to say I have played them quite a lot is an understatement. If you haven't heard this side of the band then please fix this and seek them out. As for Psywarfare, I first heard this outfit back in the late 90s when Integrity released a split 7" with it. I didn't get it and didn't like it back then, and not much has changed. Psywarfare is noise. Not music that sounds like noise. Just noise. I played this for about 30 seconds then turned it off.

Sunday 25 May 2014

Drive Like Jehu

I've said it before many times, but the passing of time constantly amazes me. I just picked up this clear vinyl copy of the first (self titled) Drive Like Jehu LP, and I was trying to work out how long it is that I have been after one. The answer is... one longass time.

I think that this has been a want of mine for either 18, 19 or perhaps even 20 years. I remember getting a list of stuff in the post off someone years ago when I was at uni and this was on the list. I phoned the dude up but it had already sold. A few years later, circa 2002, a sealed colour copy appeared on eBay, which I bought, and which puzzled me by being on white. Looking back, I'm guessing it was a repress. Then in recent years it was repressed on grey. But I always knew that the original colour press was clear. And finally, eventually, I got around to picking one up.

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Zen Arcade

One of my semi-recent obsessions is Hüsker Dü. I had tried to get into them something like 20 years ago and failed, but a couple of years back I had another crack, and I definitely dig them. And now and again eBay continues to throw up colour vinyl copies of their older records. Here's my latest - a pale green vinyl copy (which was hard to photograph without looking white or grey) of the 'Zen Arcade' double LP on SST:

I'm still trying to figure out the timeline with Hüsker Dü. They have a lot of records, with some of them pressed on different labels, so I'm not sure which order things came in. I had to use google to find out that this is their third studio LP. I also found this interesting information which I wouldn't have known if it weren't for wikipedia:

Zen Arcade tells the story of a young man who runs away to escape a miserable and abusive home life. The character briefly joins the military, turns to religion, and seems to find a tenuous peace through love before losing his girlfriend to drugs. He reaches a point of despair, ultimately concluding that he won't be able to change his circumstances before waking up to find that the whole odyssey had occurred in his subconscious during a night of troubled sleep; the challenges of his life—for better or for worse—remain in front of him. "Reoccurring Dreams", a disorienting 14-minute instrumental that reprises a shorter instrumental interlude ("Dreams Reoccurring"), closes the album.

There's a lot of variety of sounds on this LP across its 23 songs. I think it's gonna take me a little more time to get into it, but after only a couple of plays it feels like a good record for the summer time.

Sunday 18 May 2014

Don't Wait Up

I thought I'd try to go back to the glory days of this blog and post a new release before anyone else. It makes a change these days.

It's been 8 or 9 years since Bane released their last album 'The Note'. Firstly, I can't believe how much time has passed since then, but secondly, I can't believe that it's taken this long to release the follow up. Anyhow, the band have decided to call it quits but wanted to put out one final record before doing so. And here we are. 'Don't Wait Up' is the latest, fourth and final Bane LP. And for some reason, the European version has been released before the US version.

Both of my European pre-orders arrived this week. Placing these orders in the first place was a bit of a pain in the ass, as both were available from different German record stores whose websites were (obviously) in German. I lost count of the number of times I cliked 'translate this page' in my browser! Anyway, there were 300 purple copies available from Green Hell and 500 on 'orange' from Core Tex.

There's also a blue vinyl copy of the European pressing available. I'm annoyed that I didn't know this when I ordered these, so I 'm gonna have to place yet another order and pay more extortionate postage. Ugh.

Over the years I have played Bane songs to death and I really struggle to listen to them these days. However, this LP reminds me of when the first LP came out 15 years ago, or when 'Give Blood' came out in 2002. It's a damn good record that gets better with every play, and I can't stop playing it. I think I have averaged 4 plays of this each day over this the last week. Not sure how long this will last, but right now I'm not interested in listening to anything else. I'm happy that they're going out on a high note, although at the same time it disappoints me that they didn't release more records over the years they have been together. I really hope that somehow this won't be the last.

Monday 12 May 2014

Until Your Hypothermia Stops

A couple of months ago, Geoff emailed me to tell me that someone had put a bunch of Cave In test presses up on eBay. I had a quick look, and what I found was bittersweet. On the one hand, there were a couple of tests that I didn't have. On the downside, the ones I didn't have were by far the most expensive on offer. I thought about it for an hour or so, and then realised that in the time I was thinking about them, I was getting worried that someone else might buy them... which made me realise that I did want them, and that if I didn't buy them then I would probably regret it. So almost inevitably, I pushed the button.

The first test is for probably the rarest Cave In record made - the 'Beyond Hypothermia' 12".

This 12" was pressed only once, circa 1998, in a pressing run which totalled only 320 copies. Getting one of these at all is quite an achievement as there were 300 copies on grey vinyl and 20 copies on purple vinyl. No idea how many test presses there were, but probably less than ten I would guess. I decided to get my other copies out for a collection photo.

Getting these out, I thought I would also take a photo of the insert that came with my purple copy, which explains the story of this record. I love the final sentence of this - 'Thank you for helping avoid the death of the beloved 12" record format for a few more days'. Back when this came out it did feel like vinyl was on the way out, yet here we are sixteen years later. I can only assume we're all here because I bought this Cave In record and single handedly kept the music industry afloat... right?

The second test is for Cave In's first proper LP, 'Until Your Heart Stops'. This one also came out in 1998 and was a huge release back then. This one fused metallic hardcore with 70s rock and launched the band to the forefront of what was going on in the late 90s. It's a modern day classic, and I feel pretty lucky to own this test pressing, which is from the first pressing from 1998 (as opposed to the reissue from a year or so ago).

Again, I got my other copies out for a photo, but I only have the clear vinyl and the orange/blue vinyl pressing. I don't have the tour press, or any of the reissues from last year. But I'm still happy enough with this mini-collection.

At the start of 2013, I owned one Cave In test press. With these two that I have just picked up, I now own 11. A year ago I would have been happy with three, but now I can only think about the ones that I DON'T have, and I feel stressed because I feel a NEED to pick them up to 'finish' my collection.

Monday 5 May 2014

Manifest Decimation

Sometimes I intentionally sleep on new records because the limited version has sold out. Such was the case with the Power Trip 'manifest Decimation' LP. I found out about the pre-order a few days too late, and just figured that the limited version would have sold out. I couldn't be sure, but I didn't want to risk it, so I decided to wait. Well, about eight months later, I finally got one on 'oxblood' vinyl.

I really enjoyed the 7" that was released on Lockin' Out Records, which I was surprised at back then as it's not my usual style, but I do struggle to get through this LP in one sitting. I've not really got a thrash/crossover/whatever background and this stuff feels relentless after a few songs, like I need a break. Three to four songs is good, but more just feels like too much. But maybe I'll change my mind when I start to get used to the songs after a few more listens. Only time will tell.