Monday, 30 November 2015

Children Of The Void

I mentioned in my Alert post a couple of weeks ago that when labels do big auctions on eBay, like Dave and Six Feet Under Records, I often watch bits that I think other people won't be too interested in. So aside from the Alert records, I also had my eye on this test press of the Tremors 7" that got released back in 2011. I really like this 7" and wanted this test as it's a UK band, and I kinda like having test pressings from UK bands. I'll definitely have a UKHC test pressing section in my hardcore museum when I get around to opening it.

This is nothing to look at. No special sleeve. Nothing. Just the record in a plain paper dust sleeve, the same as it would have been received back from the plant. So as is tradition on here, I pulled out the regular cover to make a more interesting photograph.

Funnily enough, back when I first bought this 7" from SFU originally, my order also included a copy of the Alert 7". This means that a pattern has now been established, being that if I buy an Alert 7" from Six Feet Under Records, then I simultaneously must also order a Tremors 7".

That's 29 tests for the year so far, for anyone who's counting.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Low In The Dust

Another new release, and another new band on Revelation. This is the debut album from Fell To Low, a Californian band who have had a previous release on React! Records. I'd never heard the band before, but when they popped up on Rev I obviously knew I would have to buy their record. The LP is titled 'Low In The Dust' and came on either clear vinyl or some whack black 180g option. The choice was a no brainer for me.

So, first thing to say is that I'm not sure if I'm into this or not. I mean, it's not anything like the typical Rev release, and nothing like the React! releases in my collection either. I have no idea how to describe this band. Their profile on Rev states 'They deliver a smart and angular form of punk with odd timing, build ups, melody and wit that brings a hardcore approach to a sound pioneered by Slint, Unwound and June of 44'. I think I listened to Slint once and found it dull, and I've never heard the other two bands, so I can't tell if the description is good or not. Pretty much all I can say is that this sounds different. But I'm still not sure if it's different good or different bad at this point.

Monday, 23 November 2015

12 Inches Of Hate.

One of the most infamous hardcore records of the past 20 years or so is the I HATE YOU. discography. The band were from Philadelphia and existed circa 1995-98. They had a discography put out on CD by Deathwish Inc. around the start of the new millennium. Then, a few short years later, Dead By 23 Records went on to release it on vinyl.

Now, I certainly don't know much about the details of this, but at the time there was a bit of commotion as pre-orders went up but many people didn't receive their records. A few copies were sold at Posi Numbers fest. History suggests that 40 were sold, and anywhere between 90 and 138 copies were made in total, but nobody really seems to know. It has become folklore, and at this point in time doesn't really matter. But the point is, this thing is not easy to come by.

Well, cutting to the chase, I picked up a test press of this thing from Tru Pray a few months ago. Like a lot of test presses, this isn't too exciting to look at. It's black vinyl in a plain sleeve. It does at least have some cool lettering stenciled on the label though.

In case you've never seen the record (i.e. those of you who weren't reading this blog back in May 2009), I took out the regular version so I could take a photo of the test press next to the actual sleeve. This was not an easy photo to take I can tell you.

If anyone is curious as to what this band sounds like, they have a bandcamp page up where you can stream (or download if you're old fashioned) all of their output. Check it out.

I HATE YOU. bandcamp

Sunday, 22 November 2015

The Learning Edge

The third record that Chris picked up for me earlier this year was this release show copy of the Red Death 'Permanent Exile' LP. This limited cover was sold at the release show, which was actually this year's Damaged City fest in the band's hometown.

I have to admit, I have absolutely no idea what the front cover is about. 'Get The Learning Edge' sounds like some kind of straight edge pro-education mantra, although I'm sure that it probably means something completely different.

This screen printed cover is numbered out of 100 copies. I took a close up as it doesn't really show up in the picture above.

This has become a regular player for me in the gym the last couple of months. Short, fast hardcore blasts with vocals that remind me a lot of Sick Of It All. Pretty much everything I have ever read about this band mentions crossover and COC, neither of which really mean much to me. But regardless of comparisons and descriptions, I can see why this band have gained so much attention over the last two years. This is good stuff.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Distinct Sounds

When Chris picked up the Give LP for me he also sent a couple of extras. One was this special pressing of the Nuclear Age 'The Distinct Sounds Of...' 7" on React! Records. Back when Chris picked this up, there were only 4 copies for sale and he bought them all, without knowing whether this was a test press or tour press. I really liked the idea that it was a test press and there were only 4 copies, but alas that's not the case.

Even though this has the Rainbo test press labels, this was a tour press, made way before the record was actually released. There were 80 made.

I've been blasting this one a lot the past month or so. I'm pretty stoked on it. In fact, this is one of my fave releases of the year so far. I love the cover of this record and I love the tunes that this contains. Not sure how other people feel though as the limited red vinyl press of this record still seems to be available. Which reminds me, I still need to pick one up for myself...

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Give Again

I'm sat here watching the 'Salad Days' documentary and thought it would be the perfect time to whack up this post about a modern day DC band. If you read this thing regularly then you probably remember seeing a few records by GIVE over the last few years. Heck, you probably even remember a few versions of their 'Electric Flower Circus' LP in recent months. Well, guess what? Yup, I got a couple more of the damn things. Both are pretty cool variants, and even though I don't really feel that I need four or five versions of this LP, I don't see how I could do without these two as both are super cool in their own right.

As we all know, Record Store Day is a pile of crap, but this year there was one thing that I wanted badly - a purple vinyl copy of 'Electric Flower Circus' with limited sleeve. The only problem was that this was only available from one store in the whole world - Joint Custody in Washington DC, which is approximately 3650 miles away from my house, and probably a little too far to venture to buy a record. So I was very kindly assisted by fellow Give collector Chris, who lives a great deal closer.

This version comes in a photocopied sleeve featuring another part time member of the band, Azriel Nathan Mendoza.

At this point I'm starting to wonder exactly how many temporary members of Give there are. I must have at least 5 records with limited covers featuring temporary members. And some other dude played guitar with them when they toured the UK this Summer. In fact, at this point I must be just about the only person not in Give.

The record itself looks like black vinyl in the above photos but as I said, it's a dark, clear purple. There's only really one way to showcase the colour:

The second version is a special Spanish version that was made for a tour of South America this year. This is the regular US version of the record but in a special sleeve and with special insert made by Amendment Records. This is a cool item. It's basically the same sleeve and insert as the Euro press, but with everything translated into Spanish.

The back of the sleeve is hand numbered out of 150 copies:

The only thing that slightly lets this down is that it uses the same vinyl as the US press, including the labels. So whilst someone has gone to a lot of trouble to translate everything into Spanish, the labels give away that this is a prime piece of American vinyl. And there I was about to award them ten out of ten for attention to detail. They'll just have to settle for nine I guess.

I've pretty much lost count of how many copies of this record I have bought now. But I still need a blue vinyl and a pink vinyl vinyl copies. The pink especially seems almost impossible to find. There are 100 copies out there but it seems that nobody who has one is selling. Surely someone must be starting to tire of this band now as they've been around for an age in hardcore terms. If so, sell me your pink vinyl.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

The Party's Over

Another 2015 new release, and I'm not sure how I feel about this one yet. This is the debut release from Straight Razor, which is a(nother) band fronted by Brendan Radigan. I can barely keep up with how many bands this guy is in all at the same time... The Rival Mob, Battle Ruins, Magic Circle, Stone Dagger, Mind Eraser... did I miss any? Well anyway, the Straight Razor 7" is in a very similar vein to The Rival Mob. Short hardcore blasts with a straight edge vibe.

There were 350 on black vinyl and 150 on gold vinyl. Unlike other Radigan bands, this one didn't sell out in two minutes flat and I was able to get these direct from the label. It makes a change to buy them without turning to eBay or discogs and paying 'market prices'.

So when I said I'm not sure about how I feel, it's because this one hasn't quite grabbed me yet. It's not for a lack of trying though. I've played this enough times to know it pretty well. It just hasn't hit me like the other records from the other bands this dude is in. I'm guessing I just need to stick with it a little longer though. I mean, the Battle Ruins 12" took a while. Perhaps by the end of the year I will have realised the true power of this 7". Stay tuned to find out...

Monday, 16 November 2015

Guess It's OK

Here's one that I needed to fill a critical gap in my Cave In collection. The split 7" with Piebald came out in 1996 when neither band were particularly well known anywhere but their native Boston. It was released by Moo Cow Records, and I can distinctly remember ordering a copy of this back when it came out, although that copy was white vinyl. This pink vinyl copy was a fourth press, and I never felt like I needed one originally as back then one copy was enough. As time as rolled on, however, I have realised that pink is by far the best colour for records and found it increasingly difficult to not have one of these in my life.

Some of my memories are funny. I remember back when this came out I emailed the label from work to reserve a copy. At that time, there was only one computer in my office that was connected to the internet, and my role was to log in every morning and check the email. I took the opportunity to use it to email record labels, ask them to hold records for me, and then send money in an envelope. I also remember getting in trouble because the dude who was the manager of my team found out I used email and thought that it was like phone calls, where the cost was per email sent, and I got told off and told not to use it again. Ha! It was worth it though, because those first press white vinyl copies have always been pretty tough to find.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Find Your Way

Dave from Six Feet Under sold a huge bunch of stuff on eBay a couple of months ago. There were loads of rare pressings of most of his releases all listed at the same time. Quite often these huge sales can mean that a couple of smaller items don't get as much attention as they otherwise might as everyone clambers to grab the big, rare pieces. So I often watch some bits that I think other people won't be too interested in.

Case in point, the Alert 'Find Your Way' 7". I really like this 7", but only ended up with the most common version when it was released. I figured that not many people would remember this band now, so made a play for a test press and won it for a pretty reasonable price.

Well, once I'd won the test, I figured that I may as well also try to grab the other copies. I mean, when you have the rarest and the most common versions of a record, then you're at a halfway point, but with the hard work out of the way it kinda makes sense to finish the puzzle. So I then decided to bid on the other versions.

Solid purple was the colour given to pre-orders, with 105 copies made.

And there was also a limited cover version made for Sound & Fury back in 2011. I didn't win this one, but fortunately got sent a second chance offer.

So a pretty cool way to grab an instant collection. That said, I did manage to miss out on the record release version, so technically I didn't quite grab an instant collection, and am missing one version. On the positive side, however, at least it gives me something to aim for.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

One With Serenity

Last month I picked up a 7" by a UK band called FADE. I'd never heard (or even heard of) the band before and just took a chance with the 7". A bit like I used to do in the old days. But damn, I'm glad I picked up that record. I used to love stuff like this and there doesn't seem to be much of it about these days. Or at least, if there is, I don't know who's putting it out.

Anyway, I immediately knew I wanted to pick up the band's other records, so that's exactly what I did. Fortunately both 7"s are still currently available from the labels that released them, so it wasn't difficult.

The first 7" is a vinyl release of the demo and was put out by Speedowax Records. I ordered one copy but Rich very kindly sent me two copies. There's a grey vinyl and black vinyl, and the sleeve for each is slightly different.

I think one sleeve was designed by the band, and the other was designed by the label, although I can't remember which is which.

The second 7" (which was actually the first proper 7", if that makes sense) is titled 'One With Serenity' and was released on a Leeds based label, Neutral Words Records. I used to live in Leeds (for 13 years) and it's cool to see that there's still a lot going on up there.

This 7" is on dark green vinyl. Green is always the most difficult colour to take pictures of for some reason. There was also a clear vinyl out of 75 copies, but I was way too late to get one of those.

So in total there are three 7"s, and ten songs... which is basically an album. I've been pretty much playing these songs every day for the past month. So good. If you want the songs then you can grab downloads from their bandcamp. Be careful though, this is addictive stuff.

Friday, 6 November 2015

A Test From Hell

I think I read somewhere recently that there's a new Rot In Hell record on the way. Really looking forward to seeing what that will hold. In the meantime, I'll carry on spinning the back catalogue, which now stretches back over 7 years and something like 15 releases. If you're too lazy to play 6 or 7 split EPs, then you can instead play this LP which nicely compiles them onto one 12".

I haven't been monitoring how may test presses I have picked up this year so far, but I'm pretty sure Nico will ask me at some point, so I did I quick count, and this one makes 26.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

More Integrity 12"s

My last post was a bunch of Integrity 7"s that I needed to fill some gaps in my collection. Today is the same theme, but 12"s rather than 7"s. There's no real order to these.

First up, one from this year, when Deathwish Inc. pressed the 2010 LP 'The Blackest Curse' on 'clear with black smoke' vinyl.

The LP features a new 36 page booklet, although I couldn't be bothered to take a photo of that.

Next is the second press, limited colour of 'Those Who Fear Tomorrow' repress on Organized Crime. This one is one purple vinyl and is numbered out of 116 copies. I purposely passed on this when it came out because I thought that second press colour variants of a reissue was a step too far.

Next is my third copy of last year's 'Den Of Iniquity' double LP. There were three colours made, and I previously picked up two, and it has taken me over a year to pick up the third. This is the 'clear with black smoke' pressing with limited cover numbered out of 320.

And while I was at it, I also picked up a test press for the same 'Den Of Iniquity' double LP. It comes in a cool sleeve and is numbered out of 19 copies.

Next up is the yellow vinyl pressing of the 'Detonate VVorld's Plague' 12". I missed this when it came out as some company called Hellfish got this colour as an exclusive and I didn't want to order from them at the time due to their scandalous shipping rates. At least, that's how I remember it. 100 made.

The next two came out on Record Store Day back in 2012. Organized Crime Records reissued the 'Palm Sunday' LP on two colours of vinyl - grey and white. Somehow it has taken me over three years to get around to picking these up.

On to the second press reissue colours of the classic 'Systems Overload' LP. There was an orange vinyl, numbered out of 115:

And also a grey vinyl press, out of a whopping 600 copies.

Next, another test press. Back in January 2014 there was a delux double LP pressing of 'Systems Overload' which featured the album stretched across two records, each with an etched b-side. This of course meant that a new test press was required. It comes in a nice hand drawn cover numbered out of 18 copies.

Adding this lot to my collection means that I now have 54 Integrity LPs. Combined with the 7"s, I have over 150 Integrity records. And even though I can't stop collecting them, I'm starting to wonder what the point is. I mean, what the hell am I doing?