Wednesday, 28 April 2021

PHC Blues

Last year I spent 9 months working at home, and kinda got into buying cheap records from within the UK. I found that cheap records were every bit as satisfying as expensive ones, if not more so due to the added satisfaction of not spending much money. One of the records I picked up was the PHC 7" on New Beginning Records. I found two really cheap copies, one on purple vinyl and one on grey. So of course, I then decided to keep an eye out for any other copies, and recently a blue copy surfaced.

Apparently there were only about 25 copies made on this colour, and on the other colours I picked up. The most common colour happens to be the one that I don't have (clear yellow), which seems to be the easiest to find but also somehow is the most expensive. Ah... gotta love discogs prices!

So yeah, I now have 3 different colours of this one. Kinda typical move for me here. If I see a 7" I don't own I figure I may as well buy it, especially if it's cheap. Good job I have a bit of space in my house.

So now I want a clear yellow copy, but not enough to buy one of the 3 copies currently for sale on discogs. If anyone happens to have one and want to trade then get at me. Oh yeah, and I also want a copy of the LP too, which is also not exactly cheap despite there being no limited colour vinyl pressing. If there's one thing I have though, it's patience. So I'm sure these will come eventually.

Monday, 26 April 2021

New York Photocopy

I picked this one up a couple of months ago, but for various reasons only just got around to taking the photos this weekend. This is a copy of the 'New York City Hardcore Together' compilation 7" with a photocopied sleeve. According to the Rev pressing info:

4th press : 100 (?) black vinyl. Sleeves are obvious photo copies of previous ones due to the washing out of most of the pictures' detail. The (insert) was made much smaller for this press. Chances are that there are many more than 100, however there is no data to verify one way or another.

I always wanted one of these, but never really wanted to pay too much for it. I also wanted to make sure I got one in good condition. This one ticks both boxes.

This photo shows the two piece, small insert. Its considerably smaller than the insert in the other pressings.

And this photo shows the back of the sleeve next to the sleeve from one of the other pressings. You can really see how the detail from the picture has been washed out by the photocopier.

I now have more than my fair share of copies of this 7". The sad thing is that I'm not really happy with my 1st press black vinyl copy as there is a small tear which someone repaired with sticky tape. So ideally I'd like to replace it with a better condition copy at some point. I'm not sure that will ever happen as any copy of this record is insanely expensive these days. But it's good to have a target.

Sunday, 25 April 2021

Petroleum Spirit Daze

A couple of weeks ago I listened to Swervedriver and asked myself why I have never bothered to listen to anything but their first EP. The band released the 'Son Of Mustang Ford' 12" EP back in 1990 on Creation Records, and even though they went on to release 6 full lengths, I'd never heard any of them. Nor for that matter had I been interested in any of them. Well, as often happens, I was wanting to listen to something a bit different, so decided to check out the first Swervedriver LP. Four songs in and I was really enjoying it. I then read that they had recently released an alternative recording of their debut EP. The band pressed up 500 copies and they sold out instantly, so they pressed 500 more. There were 65 copies left according to their bandcamp and it was a good price, so I figured I'd grab one.

This 12" contains the original recordings of these 4 songs. The story is that the band recorded it but then the label thought it wasn't great so made them re-record the songs again in a different studio. But the band kept the tape of the original recording, and released it 30 years later with a slightly different title.

I'm not really sure that red vinyl goes partocularly well here, but I guess this is the modern world we live in. Black vinyl doesn't sell.

The final pic shows the original EP from 1990 next to this new record. I like how they have used an except of the original artwork. Oh, and the title 'Petroleum Spirit Daze' is a line from the song 'Son Of Mustang Ford'.

This recording is actually really good. I can see why the band kept the tape. It sounds a little more raw than the originally released EP. Certainly worthy of being released. ANd kinda funny that all I own from this band's entire existence is essentially two different versions of the same EP.

Saturday, 24 April 2021

Daisy Ritual

I started collecting TAD records a few years ago, but for some unknown reason didn't quite get around to picking up a copy of the first 7". A few weeks ago I was spending some time watching music documentaries on Amazon Prime, and I came across a TAD documentary. It was my favourite of all the documentaries I watched, although I was surprised to find out after watching it that it was actually made in 2008. And there was me thinking that punk documentaries was a relatively recently phenomenon. It was a really interesting watch, but one thing it certainly remnded me about was that I was still missing a copy of the first 7" from my collection. It's not actually that difficult to find a copy, and the price seems to have come down a little in the past few years (or at least, the price hasn't gone through the roof like a lot of hardcore 7"s), so I was able to grab one at a great price pretty easily.

This 7" was released by Sub Pop Records back in 1988. It was the label's 11th vinyl release, and the 5th 7". For whatever reason, the first five 7"s that the label released did not come in picture sleeves. So this is all you get with this record. A clear vinyl 7" and that's all. Apparently these were originally issued in PVC sleeves, which we now know are really not good things to store records in as they can become 'sticky'. So a lot of these records ended up damaged just from being left in the sleeve that it came in. This one didn't come to me in a PVC, but if it had done I would have binned it.

There are only 2 songs on this one. But what's interesting about this is that this is basically a solo 7". Tad himself plays all the instruments on this record, before he recruited other band members.

There were just under 1000 copies made on clear vinyl, and also a small number on black, and an even smaller number on gold. I really hope to get one of the gold ones at some point.

Monday, 19 April 2021

Kill The Nerve Agents

It's not so often that I trade these days, but whenever I do I feel pretty stoked on the whole concept. There can't be many other scenes or hobbies where people the world over who have never met agree to send each other rare stuff in the post. It's kinda crazy when you think about it. Oh, and cool.

The latest incoming item from a trade is this test press of the Kill Your Idols / Nerve Agents split 7". It comes in just a white paper sleeve, but I'm happy as it came from a member of one the bands.

This one was released by Mankind Records way back in the year 2000. I remember it coming out. I don't know exactly where I bought it, although I think it was probably from Rev. However, my memory isn't quite so good when it comes to the record itself. I was sure that I had a purple vinyl copy and also a green vinyl copy, but it turns out I was only 50% correct.

So of course I want a green one now to make this little collection feel 'complete'. I'm sure it can't be too hard to find one, although these days everything is hard to find because of discogs and people generally being lazy. Right now 40 people have one, and 76 people want one. The odds are against me but I'll see what I can do.

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Rule Them All

Included with the Mil-Spec LP that I received was another 7" that I wasn't expecting, which was attached to a handy piece of advice:

The 7" is by a band called Rule Them All, and (unsurprisingly) I'd never heard them before, as they made music that came out after 2002. This 7" is titled 'Dreams About...' and was released by Flatspot Records at the end of 2019.

I got sent a copy with a limited cover. Apparently there are 50 of these. But mine seems to be even more special. This particular copy is the 'special cover w/ sticker pressing 1/1'. Pretty cool huh?

The cover is just a single piece of paper, behind which sits the regular cover. The colour scheme of the sleeve is inverted from the first press, which featured a yellow cover with blue lettering. I like it when these kind of changes are made as it helps to differentiate between pressings, plus it just adds a bit more of a 'fun' element to the game. It's just a shame they chose this splatter colour for the record itself. You know my feelings on splatter.

I doubt I would have given this a chance had I not been sent it. Between the cover and the vinyl colour, it looks absolutely awful. But in taking the advice I was given, I gave it a chance, and it's really good. Like, REALLY good. It definitely reminds me a lot of something, but I'll be damned if I can figure out what. I tried to find a review to see if anyone would have figured it out and mentioned it, but no luck. Someone mentioned the band Capital as a reference point, probably because this band comes from Long Island, but I don't hear that at all. The only real similarity is that the vocal style means you can actually hear what the dude is singing.

I'm probably gonna have to look into getting the 12" now, although that may be easier said than done.

Thursday, 15 April 2021

World House

Last summer I was looking for something new to listen to, and I decided to 'catch up' on a couple of newer bands with 7"s on Lockin' Out Records. By 'newer' I just mean bands I haven't heard or heard of really, as opposed to records that were new out. One of the records was a 7" by a band called Mil-Spec. I had no idea who they were, but I downloaded the 7" purely because I have grown to trust Lockin' Out over the years. I found myself listening to it quite a lot, although it didn't really hit hard and blow me away. But still, when I saw that a full length was coming out, I was still keen to give it a listen, and it turned out to be a bit of a step up from the 7". I think I was about ten seconds into it when I decided I wanted to buy a copy.

Well, as you can see, I was lucky enough to get one of the cream vinyl copies, but this was not without incident. I ordered the record from the Lockin' Out store and I selected the cream vinyl option that was available. I then also bought a couple of other 7"s that were in the store. But when the parcel arrived I had been given a black vinyl copy of the LP. This was the second time that Lockin' Out sent me something different to what I ordered, so I was annoyed. I emailed and asked if they could rectify the error but got no reply. Somehow there were still cream copies available, but I really didn't fancy paying for another one only to have the same thing happen again, because knowing my luck it absolutely would. So instead I persuaded a friend to buy me one and trade it for something that he would ultimately find disappointing.

If I had received this LP when it first came out then it would definitely have made it into my 'best of 2020' list. It really is that good. It's not exactly a traditional 'hardcore' sound, and I genuinely do not know how to describe it. If anything it reminds me of the Abuse Of Power LP that Triple B released a couple of years ago... which is no doubt a reference that most people won't get. It's kinda melodic and there is a lot going on. It's well worth checking out, but I think it takes several plays to really appreciate it. And I'm still playing it weekly 4 months into the new year.

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Your Arsonist

Today's post is a little known 7" by a band called Sledgehammer. They released this 7" (and also a CD version) back in 2004 and that's it. The CD and the 7" feature different covers, but I always preferred the 7" artwork.

The band features Dwid from Integrity on vocals and then Belgian dudes (from 90s Belgian metal bands Liar and Congress) doing the music. It was a few years after it came out that I even became aware of its existence, and it's taken me up to now to actually pick up a copy or listen to it. I don't really know why. I saw a copy for sale in a shop once really cheap by the sleeve was in really poor condition. Other than that I've just never really chased a copy or had one fall in front of me.

To me this sounds a lot like the Integrity 2000 LP that Victory released. I think a lot of people don't like Integrity 2000, but I still to this day have no idea why. Ok, so it doesn't have the Melnicks, but it sounds hard as hell. As does this 7".

I also enjoy the sexy insert that comes with this one:

I'm not sure why it has taken me so many years to pick up one of these, but I'm glad to have one. I think there is also a red vinyl and a yellow vinyl copy out there too. I'm sure that I will end up trying to track them down at some point. I mean, it's an Integrity project band, so in theory I need all copies. At the rate I'm going I should have them all by about 2053.

Thursday, 8 April 2021

What's Wrong With Me

I'm generally not a big fan of live records. As a general rule, I would describe them as 'pointless'. But when I started seeing photos of a live Faith LP a couple of months back, I immediately wanted one. I guess that's the thing with collecting records - sometimes you see a record and you want it just because it looks nice.

There are 3 colours of this one. The first press was clear (300) and blue (700, i think). I was able to get a clear one from the label when this came out. It's taken me ages to get around to posting this though because I wanted to listen to it first, and my record player hasn't been working for a while. By the time I got around to finally spinning it last week there has also been a second press (on black & gold split vinyl).

The record contains two live sets, both recorded on the same day (December 26, 1981). The band supported Bad Brains and played two sets, and obviously also had the shows recorded. I imagine they were probably thinking at the time that it would be good to release the songs on vinyl approximately 39 years later.

The insert contains some great writings from the band members about their memories of the shows and the trip to New York. It was a really interesting read, and the amount of detail really does show how important this must have been for the band to have stuck in their minds for so many years. I often assume that for most bands, all shows just blur into one and they have difficulty remembering one from another, but that's clearly not the case here. This was obviously a hugely important show for these guys at the time.

The record is a really nice item. It looks good and the sound quality is very good for a live record. But I can't imagine I'll play it much, if indeed ever again. I mean, it's a really great tribute to a single day from a long time ago, and if I were in the band or at the show then this would be amazing to own. But that aside, for me this is (as I said at the start) pretty pointless. But it does look nice though, right?

Monday, 5 April 2021

Red Army Faction

When I last posted about Redbait a year ago, and their 'Cages' 7" on New Age Records, I figured that my next post on the band would about their full length. I ended up buying 4 copies of the 7" for various reasons, which was probably 2 more than I really intended, but I enjoyed the record so no big deal.

Well wouldn't you know it, but a year on and I'm now posting about a 5th copy of this 7" that I got tricked into buying. The final 60 copies (30 pink and 30 green) were bundled into a new, limited cover and went up for sale on Christmas day. They sold out pretty damn quick.

The sleeve is a tribute to Ulrike Meinhof, a German terrorist who headed a group called the Red Army Faction. I didn't know anything about this person so I read a little online. But I can see why the band have created this sleeve, although it proved a little controversial with some.

When you ordered you could choose either the pink or the green vinyl. I went with the green purely because I already have 3 pink copies. These are then numbered on the inside of the sleeve. I got number 34/60, which is prefixed with a 'G' (presumably to denote green vinyl). Based on this I am assuming that the pink copies were numbered 1-30 and the green 31-60. Also included is a regular cover, plus 3 sheets of stickers:

The stickers are really cool. They feature cartoon versions of the band members and their cats. They're actually really well made I have to say.

The most annoying thing about this record is that I have 5 copies but no test press. It's ojnly annoying because I managed to pick up most New Age 7" test presses released in the last couple of years, but not this one. I'd be pretty stoked to get one if anyone has a lead.

Friday, 2 April 2021

Car Vs. Driver

At the back end of last year I picked up a bunch of Wreckage Records rarities from a friend who was selling his collection, which included a bunch of Mind Over Matter test presses. I hadn't listened to the band in a while, so when the records were on the way I wanted to listed to them again. So I went to Soulseek and downloaded the second LP, which I had been missing digitally. I wanted to play it through my computer while I worked. So I pressed play, and got on with my work. But it was only about 3 songs in when my brain clicked that I had no idea what I was listening to. Whatever came out of my speakers was definitely not Mind Over Matter, but the distraction of work meant that I got through 3 songs before realising it was not what I had intended to listen to. That said, I was quite enjoying whatever it was... although I had no idea what it was. I had downloaded a Mind Over Matter LP, and the artist was showing as Mind Over Matter in itunes, but the songs coming out were not Mind Over Matter. So what the hell was I listening to?

Well, I remembered that there was an app that had been around for a few years that could tell you what any song was that was playing. I googled it, downloaded it, and then pressed play on my Mind Over Matter imposter song. Within about 5 seconds, the app told me that I was playing a song by a band called Car Vs. Driver. As soon as I got this name, I went youtube and searched the song out, which confimed that the app was right, and then I went to discogs and checked out whatever I could about the band... which wasn't much.

Around the same time, I picked up some record from someone on discogs and noticed that they had a Car Vs. Driver LP for sale for only $5. So of course I grabbed it instantly. The band had two full lengths, and this is the second, titled 'Out Of A Silent Sky'. It was released on a label called Lunchbox Records.

All I know about this band is that they were from Atlanta, Georgia, and existed circa 1994 - 1996. The style that they played is described as 'emo', but that word probably meant something different in 1994 to what it does now. I can't describe their tunes, but it isn't really what I would call emo at all. But it is very much typical mid 90s 'hardcore'. I guess that's why I love it. I figured I would give you a chance to trial it too if you've never heard the band. But if you listen to this song you have to listen to it all the way through. It gets more interesting at the 2:15 mark.

For some reason I feel a lot more interested to go back in time when it comes to discovering 'new' music. I love discovering bands that have been gone for many years, although obviously its bitter sweet as there is no chance of ever seeing them play live. But goddamn, the 90s was a good time. So many great bands and new styles being born. I lived through it and these days it feels like I barely scratched the surface. I could probably be discovering new bands from the 90s for the rest of my life.