Sunday 27 March 2016

Building, Dwelling, Thinking

I was listening to the new record by FOR PETE'S SAKE recently. I still haven't ordered one as the super cool clear blue colour sold out, and after seeing that I don't really want any of the other colours. But anyway, when I bought the Shook Ones LP a couple of weeks ago, I also made some offers on stuff from the same seller. One of the records was this Sportswear 'Building, Dwelling, Thinking' LP:

Sportswear were a band out of Norway in the 90s that came about at the same time as a lot of other youth crew revival bands. They had a couple of 7"s released by Crucial Response Records, and this LP came out on Supersoul & Good Life. I think there were three colours of vinyl, and this purple colour was probably the most common.

Funnily enough, I had never heard this LP until now. It came out in 1999. I guess it just never really stood out before as something I needed to listen to. I was always put off by the band name. But damn, this is good stuff.

Sunday 20 March 2016

In Search Of ALL

I started listening to Descendents in 2009. This was circa 16 years after I had first bought one of their records and subsequently decided that I didn't like them. A couple of months back I watched the Descendents movie/documentary 'Filmage: The Story Of Descendents/ALL', and they had interviews with the vocalists of their alter ego band, ALL. Well, one of these dudes seemed both puzzled and disappointed as to how ALL had never been as popular as Descendents. I remember him saying 'it's the same band', and it made me feel bad that I had not given ALL another chance after also dismissing them as a band I didn't like circa 1993. So I downloaded one of their albums and gave it a go. And it clicked pretty quickly. So I then downloaded a couple more. When I realised that I now definitely liked ALL, I also knew it would mean that I would want to start looking for their records. A couple of weeks ago I bought three from a UK seller on eBay, which felt like a good start.

The first LP, 'Allroy Sez.....' features Dave Smalley on vocals. This was the first band he did after leaving Dag Nasty.

The 'Allroy For Prez' 12" was the follow up to the first LP. Dave Smalley was still on vocals. This is a six song EP, not a full length.

Smalley left after this 12" due to the band's relentless tour schedule. He was replaced by Scott Reynolds, who stayed with the band for three albums. The third of these was 'Percolater' which came out in 1992, and which was the first LP to not feature the band's mascot, Allroy, on the cover.

So that's a start to an ALL collection. I do intend to pick up more of their LPs, and hopefully it shouldn't be too difficult or expensive as there aren't really any colour vinyl or limited pressings of any of them. I'm hoping to bag them by the end of the year, so expect to see more ALL records in the next few months.

Saturday 12 March 2016

Too Tired To Skate Tuff

When you have a few thousand records by several hundred bands, it's easy to forget some. Recently I was discussing trading away one of my Atari 7"s, which got me to listening to the band again for the first time in a while. I had completely forgotten how good they were. They were never my favourite youth crew revival band back when they came out (I always preferred Rain On The Parade & Floorpunch back then) but I know people who firmly rank them as the number 1 of that era. I can kinda see why too. Anyway, I decided to go to Discogs to see what was going down on the Atari scene, and realised that they had a discography LP that came out back in 2010 which completely passed me by. I hate discographies these days, but I found a copy of this one on limited clear vinyl for a really good price. Plus it's a 12" whereas all other Atari records are 7"s. So basically I got sucked in.

This was released on CD on Broken Man Records, and the vinyl edition was pressed by a couple of German labels - Prügelprinz Records and Drastic Actions. There were 400 back vinyl, and 100 on clear.

The clear vinyl copies also came with a pretty cool sticker made from griptape. Even better is that it's pink, which seems to have become my favourite colour.

Well, I got sucked in even more, as I spotted a test press for sale. The price wasn't too bad, but it also had a 'make offer' button, which I used to successfully get it a bit cheaper. The tests are numbered out of 25 copies, and I got number 8.

The test also came with a sticker, but this one is just a regular sticker. It's not made from griptape this time around.

Now, please excuse me while I got find my skateboard...

Tuesday 8 March 2016

All Shook Up

Now this is pretty damn cool. Back in March 2013, I picked up a red vinyl copy of the Shook Ones 'Facetious Folly Feat' LP. It had taken me three years to track one down after picking up the other two copies, and as a result I ended my post with these words:

If you want to see pics of the release show version, then at the rate I'm going I'd advise you come back here sometime around March 2016.

Well, as much as I hate always being right, it seems that my prediction was absolutely spot on. As I type this, it's March 2016, and here's the record release version, featuring the red vinyl in a limited sleeve:

I always thought that this sleeve was one of the worst ever made when I saw photos. But that's because everyone's photos looked exactly like the one above. And let's be honest, based on that you're probably thinking the exact same thing - that it looks boring. So here's another prediction - that by the end of this post, you will have changed your mind and you too will think that this sleeve is awesome...

The first thing that's cool is that this is actually a proper sleeve. It's not just a piece of paper or card like a lot of release show covers. It's a screen printed LP jacket. As such I don't think that it really needed to also come with a regular sleeve too. Just the white one would have been fine by itself.

The back of the sleeve is left plain and untouched:

The best feature of this sleeve, however, is the one that you can't see. It glows in the dark. I took a couple of photos with the lights low (and off) to show what it looks like. I would guess that you probably haven't seen this before unless you own one.

So was I right? Is your opinion of this one higher than it was when you started reading this post? If not then I can only assume that you are either blind, or have no taste whatsoever.

And wouldn't you know it, but there also happens to be another limited sleeve for this record which was made for a tour, which also features some glow in the dark print. According to my previous schedule, I'll be due to find one circa March 2019. However, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and predict that I will find one before the end of this year. Fingers crossed...

Sunday 6 March 2016

What Can I Say?

Finally kicking off the 2016 test press campaign, and I think I'm starting off with a pretty good one:

Dischord's 19th release came out in 1986. It made zero impact on me at the time because I was 11 years old and not really interested in music. But I think it's fair to say that it made a pretty big impact on the rest of the world. It would take me about 7 years after its release to get around to hearing it, after which I would never tire of it. There's not many records that you can listen to over a 20+ year period and not find boring or dated, but here we are thirty years later and it still sounds good to me.

When I saw this pop up for sale I wasn't sure where it would go, or whether I would make a serious play for it. I only really made my mind up near the end, and was actually surprised that I won it, as I would have expected it to sell for more. Maybe people were sleeping, or maybe this alum isn't as iconic as to other people as I think it is. Who knows?

Despite this coming only in a plain white paper sleeve, it's customary for me to snap a pic with the proper cover as it makes for a more interesting photo:

I've already bought a few tests so far this year, but not received them yet. I've picked up way more than the one per week average that I was aiming for a couple of years ago, so I'm thinking that maybe this year I could hit the target of 52 for the year. Time will tell I guess...