Tuesday, 31 December 2019

2019 Wrap Up

I didn't do any kind of 'end of year' post in 2018, and twelve months on I kinda regret it. The only real point of this thing these days is to serve as some kind of documentation of what I buy, and without the year-end wrap up it isn't easy to look back on a year in one handy post. So I made myself do one this year mainly so I can look back in the future.

This was a weird year for me and records. It felt like I bought fewer new releases than any other year. It also felt like I added fewer records to my collection than any other year. Both of these are partly due to the way I have been buying records the past few years. I seem to have fallen into a habit of buying records and having them shipped to a friend in the states, and then getting them shipped over months later, which means that I generally receive the physical copies of new releases months (or years!) after the release date. As a result, the timeline of this blog is all over the place. It seems like a long time since I used to receive new releases a few days after they came out and blog about them a couple of days later. So in some ways, my year-end look back has become less meaningful as the years have passed.

Regardless of the delay in receiving new releases, this year was generally a pretty good year. On the personal front, I took two large chunks of time out of work, and also had 4 holidays, meaning that I worked for 9 months of the year had a total of 3 months off.

Our house renovation also got finished, allowing me to fulfill a lifetime dream and get my very own record room... which was definitely one of the highlights of the year.

One of my 4 holidays was to NYC back in March so that I could see Into Another play again. The band were great, and I brought home circa 75 records, which gave me something to blog about for a while. But other than that trip and the records I received, I probably only received about 10 packages in the rest of the year. So this blog was pretty quiet for long periods of time.

Anyway, enough chit chat. Time to get on with the show...


When pulling together this list, I actually surprised myself, as I listened to more new releases in 2019 than I initially thought. But due to the way I buy records (as mentioned above), I don't actually have many of them on vinyl. In previous years, I have been pretty strict on only listening to records once I have the vinyl, but this year I changed that approach and just listened to stuff whether i had the vinyl or not, as I was pretty hungry for some new music. So I decided to do a list of my favourite new releases in two parts...


(Or, in text format)

01. Magic Circle 'Departed Souls' LP (20 Buck Spin)
02. Cave In 'Final Transmission' LP (Hydrahead Records)
03. Morrissey 'California Son' LP
04. Stages In Faith LP (Quality Control HQ Records)
05. Tied Down 7" (Refuse Records / Sakari Empire)
06. Tørsö 7" (Revelation Records)
07. Dividing Line 7" (New Age Records)


01. Wild Side 'Who The Hell Is Wild Side?' LP (Triple B Records)
02. Payday 'Second To None' LP (Quality Control HQ Records)
03. Antagonize 'Slip Death' 12" (Triple B Records)
04. Orville Peck 'Pony' LP (Sub Pop Records)
05. Hammered Hulls 'S/T' 7" (Dischord Records)
06. Fury 'Failed Entertainment' LP (Run For Cover Records)
07. Angel Du$t 'Pretty Buff' LP (Roadrunner Records)

Overall I've kinda cheated by doing two lists. It seemed easy to figure out which records were Number 1 on each list, although I'm not sure I could decide which of the two number 1s is my favourite. As for the rest of the entries, I could probably change the order on a weekly basis. In fact, as I look at it now it looks wrong, as I played Orville Peck way more than Payday. I guess this list more represents where I am with these things this week.


I picked up a lot of great and rare records this year. I also spent more on records this year than in any other year in my life. I guess there were a lot of opportunities that I couldn't say no to. Hopefully my bank account will be able to chill a bit in 2020. Anyway, it was difficult to pick a top 5 or top 10, so I just picked a bunch of records that I was super happy to add to my collection. There was a very clear number 1 in this list though...


This list could also be called 'stuff I don't have on vinyl but will probably get around to buying at some point in the future'.

Other than the stuff highlighted above, this list represents some of the stuff that I have spent time listening to that's old and that I only just got around to listening to in 2019 (and not bought on vinyl for various reasons) is:

Bad Brains 'Rise' & 'Quickness' LPs
Black Sabbath 'Mob Rules' LP
Drain 'Time Enough At Last' demo
Jar 'Daylight' LP
Zozobra 'Bird Of Prey' LP
Saves The Day '9' LP
Shook Ones 'Body Feel' LP


I seriously have no idea how many people still read this thing, although I'm guessing not too many. I'm mainly doing this for myself these days, but I very much appreciate anyone who does still read this. It is nice to get comments and interact with people, albeit less than I used to. But if you are still reading this in 2019 (or 2020!), I thank you!

Now, onward to 2020...

Monday, 30 December 2019

Integrity / Krieg Split

The final post in my 'catch up of the year' series. Today it's the Integrity / Krieg split 12". This was I think the first record I got this year. I remember taking photos of it in January which were low quality. I tried again a couple of months later with the same result. I've finally managed to get some acceptable photos just in time for the last post of the year.

Kicking things off with the test press in hand drawn sleeve. I have no idea who the face is on the front cover.

Next, the most limited colour vinyl pressing. The clear vinyl. As with every Relapse release, there are 100 made and they not sold to the public.

The rest of the colours are pretty ugly. This one is called 'clear with black smoke & splatter' and it is also out of 100 copies.

This is the 'Milky Clear with splatter' and there are 200 of these.

And the 'White & black merge with splatter', which is the most common colour, out of 300.

And finally, the black vinyl version. No idea how many of these exist.

It seems crazy that it took me almost a year to get this up here but that's just the way this rolls these days. Although hopefully now I have discovered a new photo taking technique, I can keep this more up to date next year. We shall see...

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Tied Down

I picked this 7" up months ago, in March I think. I tried to take photos of this one on three separate occasions, and each time they came out looking really washed out.

TIED DOWN come from the north east of England, and feature some dudes who have played in a few different bands over the decades. They play old school hardcore that doesn't really bring to mind any other single band, but if you think of Boston and New York bands from the 80s with lyrics full of anger and hate, then you're in the right ballpark.

This is really good stuff with great artwork, and I was lucky enough to pick up what I think is a complete collection.

First, the limited green vinyl pressing. This comes in the regular sleeve and is out of 110 copies.

I also grabbed the regular black vinyl which I believe is out of 390.

There were also 25 copies sold in a limited sleeve at Sweatfest back in February. I didn't go to the show, but managed to get one anyway by some miracle. According to the labels of the record, I scored number 14/25.

However, according to the sleeve, I got 'unlucky' number 13/25.

Not sure what happened there exactly, but if someone has record number 13 and sleeve number 14 and wants to swap then I'd be up for that.

Now, here's where it gets interesting, because the records sold in the Sweatfest covers are test pressings. You can tell from the labels. I've seen these labels on tests before. Lins (the 'singer' of the band) also told me that the Sweatfest copies were the tests. However, I also managed to pick up a test press in a different sleeve.

I also find it interesting that the Sweatfest copies were numbered, but the test pressings are not. I mean, surely there are fewer in this cover, right?

I saw the band play towards the end of the year supporting Judge and they were pretty tight live. They have a split 7" coming out next year and then who knows. Hopefully a full length if we're lucky.

Anyway, you can still pick up the black copy from the label HERE. The other copies are long gone.

Monday, 23 December 2019

New Age Catch Up

Another set of records that I picked up earlier in the year but never got around to putting up here. Today's post features a bunch of 7"s from New Age Records that I think I picked up in about April. At the time I'd pretty much given up on New Age, as I had missed out on a few of the limited 77 pressings, and it just felt as if I was so far behind that it would be impossible to catch up. But then the label posted that they had put a few extra 77 pressings up in their webstore, so I grabbed them and checked out fast.

The first 7" I was really stoked on, as I had heard great things about it and been listening to it for a couple of months. The Debut release from Restraining Order. I remember seeing a stack of these on a shelf at RevHQ when I visited last year, but the limited pressing was long sold out. So it was cool to grab one for 'new release' price.

I also grabbed a purple vinyl copy too. Purple was the more common color from the first press, but it looks great I think.

Next up, the 77 pressing for the debut 7" by The Dividing Line, 'Turn My Back On The World'.

The Dividing Line are a straight edge band from somewhere in New Jersey, and they vaguely remind me of Floorpunch, as both bands have a larger gentleman on vocal duty. They also apparently play weddings.

I've been really enjoying this 7" lately, and I hope the band release more music in the new year.

Next up, the Drug Control 'Clean Slate' 7". I picked up the 77 pressing, and also the red vinyl copy. Not sure why I picked up two of these but only one Dividing Line 7", but hey.

I liked this record way more than their first 7".

Once I had picked up the above three 77 pressings, I figured I was back in the New Age game and also picked up two other releases that I had completely missed out on. First up, the Cutting Through 'Empathy' 7" on gold vinyl / 200.

I had really enjoyed the previous 12" that New Age put out, although I wasn't as into this 7". Not sure why. It just didn't seem to stand out for any reason.

And finally, the Decline 'Own Your Words' 7" on gold /300.

This one really rips, and if I had actually picked it up when it came out then I'm sure it would have made my best of the year list.

Overall it's good to see a label that was huge when I was first getting into this stuff still going, and signing up some great young straight edge bands. Far better than relying on the releases from the past. And since this post New Age have put out some more cool records too, which I hope to get my hands on and feature next year at some point.