Saturday, 14 August 2021

Another Live Record

Last year I won a test press of a Down To Nothing 'Live On The James' LP in a raffle. I was pretty stoked on it as it's a Revelation release, and their test pressings remain hard to get. I also then picked up a pink vinyl copy of the same record as I didn't own a regular copy and it didn't feel quite right owning just a test press. At some point a few months ago I spotted a sealed copy for sale on ebay UK that was up for sale for a pretty low price, and even though it would be a third copy of a pointless live record, I was drawn in by the bargain price. Including postage it worked out cheaper than buying a new copy direct from Rev in person, so I added it to my want list and figured I'd do my usual trick of bidding in the last ten seconds. But I forgot about it and it ended with no bids, then was immediately relisted. Well, I watched it again and the same thing happened. And then it happened again. I was in a weird cycle of watching this record and not bidding and having it end with no bids. I lost count, but I must have watched this thing end with no bids probably 6 times. And then one day a couple of weeks back I got an eBay alert that it was about to end, so I decided to bid and (surprise surprise) I won it.

The pink vinyl copy I bought last year was the rarer colour, so I figured the eBay copy would be the more common gold version, and when I opened the shrinkwrap I was proven correct. I think the main reason I picked this one up is because it would mean I would have a complete collection of this one, which is obviously REALLY IMPORTANT to my daily life. And of course, having a complete collection means one thing - a collection photo.

Sunday, 8 August 2021

Another Sledgehammer

Earlier this year I picked up a 7" by a band called Sledgehammer. The band put out one release back in 2004 and it took me until 2021 to buy one or hear it. With Dwid on vocals and dudes from 90s Belgian metalcore bands Congress and Liar, it's a pretty ferocious little 7". So I initially picked up an orange vinyl copy, then also picked up both red vinyl and black vinyl copies. And now I have also acquired a clear yellow vinyl copy too.

This one came to me from a reader of this blog, which makes a nice change. I used to get quite a few people contact me and offer me stuff, but it rarely happens these days. But always nice when it does happen.

So here's an updated pic of this collection:

I think I am only missing one version of this one now, which is a limited sleeve preorder version numbered out of only 30 copies. I don't expect to be seeing one of those anytime soon, unless anyone has a lead on one of course.

Tuesday, 3 August 2021


So this one caught me totally by surprise. A new LP from Iceburn that came out a few weeks ago. It's funny though how it came onto my radar. I saw a post on instagram for an Engine Kid box set that came out on RSD a few weeks back. I haven't listened to the band for a long time, but the box set looked great and really caught my attention. I did some research and then realised that they have a bandcamp page where you can download all of their songs for free, which I did, and I then spent a few days re-acquanting myself with their catalog. I then listened to the 'Where It Went' podcast episode on the Engine Kid / Iceburn split 12", which talked about a new Iceburn LP. I was intrigued as to what Iceburn would sound like in 2021, thinking it would probably be the worst thing I had ever heard, so I headed to the Iceburn bandcamp to check it out... and about 20 minutes later I had ordered a copy.

The Southern Lord store only offered me a black vinyl option, but I then found a Southern Lord Europe store which also had a clear vinyl option. It didn't actually mention pressing info anywhere, so it was surprising to see that the clear is out of 300 printed on the hype sticker.

The record came sealed within a loose fitting poly sleeve which had a perforated top that you could tear off to allow access. But once you tear off the top bit, the poly sleeve isn't tall enough to contain the sleeve. As you can see, the top of the sleeve sticks out. Without doubt the worst poly sleeve I have ever seen.

Anyway, onto the record itself, and I have to say it looks great. The artwork, the colour scheme, and the vinyl sum to a really nice looking piece of art.

This is a full length album in terms of running time, but as you'd expect with Iceburn, not in terms of number of songs. There are only two songs here, which average 18 minutes each.

Now, this is the point where I sense you may be slightly sceptical, but this record is incredible. Seriously. And as bad as it sounds to say it, I think it's because it sounds absolutely nothing like Iceburn ever sounded before. When I first played this on the bandcamp page, my first thought was that it sounded like Clutch. The riffs are heavy and the vocals are deep, and it kinda reminded me slightly of Clutch from an era long ago when I actually used to listen to Clutch, around the time that they released their self titled LP. Upon further listens I have moved away from this comparison a bit. Today I decided that the guitars are kinda reminiscent of 70s stoner rock and at times the vocals remind me of Mastodon. I may change my mind tomorrow and decide that it sounds more like something else, but you get the picture. Slow and heavy and possibly the best Iceburn record there is. I've been listening to this one twice a day for the past couple of weeks and it's one of those records that I get excited just thinking about listening to. Crazy huh?