Tuesday 23 November 2021

To Die For 2021

Integrity's 'To Die For' LP was originally put out by Deathwish back in 2003 on CD only, which I remember felt like a weird decision at the time. What felt like an eternity later, it was then finally put out on vinyl by A389 Records in 2010. And then a decade later, it was reissued on 12" vinyl format by German label Backbite Records. And here we are, a year and half or so later, and Backbite have pressed up a few more copies, with different cover art. I think these went up for sale on Halloween, although I am unsure as to whether they were pressed specifically for Halloween or whether that was just a coincidence. But they arrived on the scene with very little warning, and as usual I felt obliged to pick up one of each. Over the years I have learnt that it is best to buy while the opportunity is there, because chasing things later can take time and cost a lot more.

The first copy I picked up was a green vinyl test press with a cover handmade by Dwid. Colour vinyl test presses are pretty rare, and I think this one looks great.

There was then also a gold vinyl test press made which was sold by the label. This one comes in a black sleeve with a gold stenciled skull on the front. It also looks great. My only slight issue is that it isn't numbered. In my mind, anything that exists in a quantity of less than 50 copies should be numbered by default.

Next up is the black vinyl 'Diehard' version. This one comes with a numbered postcard, which has the front cover artwork on the front, and a sketch by Dwid on the back. It's numbered out of 66 copies.

And in addition there were 4 different colour vinyl versions pressed. Rather than take individual photos, I just bundled them together in one shot.

I didn't realise until today when I checked the label's online store, but these colours are all much more limited than I had initially assumed. Each of the green, yellow and red vinyl copies are out of only 55 copies each. The pink vinyl is more common, being out of 200 copies. But all copies of this thing are sold out now. So I'm glad I was quick out of the blocks as no doubt these will remain a tough find for some time to come.

Monday 22 November 2021

Liquid Death

Another Integrity post for a record that I bought when it came out, but have only just received. I paid for this one in August 2016. Yup, over 5 years ago! I distinctly remember I was on my way home from work and I knew exactly what time this thing was going on sale, because I was nearly home but had to run the last couple of hundred metres to make sure I was going to get there in time. And I remember this because the last bit of my walk to my house is up a pretty steep hill. So there I was, full on running up this steep hill in my work clothes and carrying a bag, desperate to get on to a reliable wifi connection. Haha! Well anyway, I made it and got an order in, which I am even happier with now than I was then, because even though this thing cost a lot of money for a 'new' release, buying one today will cost you somewhere in the region of 3-5 times as much.

So this is a reissue of Integrity's 'Humanity Is The Devil' on a liquid filled 12" record. I'm sure that anyone reading this has probably seen numerous photos or videos of this thing over the past 5 years.

These were stamped and numbered out of 66 copies. I got number 58.

It also comes with a little slip of paper which advises me to 'take extra care of it'. Like I needed to be told. I dare not breathe too close to this thing, just in case I disrupt the earth's balance in some way and generate a leak.

Part of the reason this took so long to get to me was that at first I didn't want my friend to ship it to me because I was worried about it getting damaged in transit. So I kinda figured that I might collect it in person, or that maybe I would think up some way to have it sent that would significantly reduce the risk of it getting damaged. Some of these leaked and I didn't want to have to deal with that, but I figured that if it was going to happen to anyone, it was going to happen to me because sometimes I just seem to have bad luck. Thankfully my luck held out for once and it arrived in perfect shape. Now I just need to worry about it leaking for the rest of my life.

Saturday 20 November 2021

Integrity Power Trip Variants

The records in today's post were purchased four years ago, in November 2017, but I have just received them. I don't fully remember the circumstance of how I became aware of these, but what I do know is that one day Magic Bullet Records put up for sale some rare variants of the Integrity / Power Trip split 12". I'm not sure if the sale of these things was announced in advance or whether they just went up without any kind of build up. But all I remember is buying them at my desk at work, and making a snap decision in seconds about whether I wanted to buy them or not. The deal was that there were 4 rare variants, with low numbers of each. I think at the time I was annoyed at 'having' to spend the money, but at the same time I knew that if I wasted 5 minutes thinking about it then they would probably be sold out. Sadly one of them was out of only 3 copies and I missed out on it, but I bagged one each of the other 3. So here we go...

All of these are stamped on the inner paper sleeve, which is a pretty good way of making clear which ones are the legit official variants. The first one is known as 'Smoked' and is numbered out of 8 copies. It's basically a slightly less clear clear vinyl.

The second is known as 'Headwound' and is numbered out of 9. It's basically a clear vinyl with a red splotch, but you can see where the name comes from.

And along the same lines, the third one is called 'Mindblower'. This one is numbered out of a massive 21 copies:

These were definitely 3 records that I never planned on buying, especially since I had already forked out for 3 copies and a test press. These limited, numbered variants are cool for the fact that they are numbered, although the colours themselves are slightly disappointing as they are not too far off the regular colours. It's also super frustrating that this is one collection I can never complete because the one I missed is out of 3 copies and there's no way that the dudes who have one will ever let theirs go. But all things considered, I'm happy to have had a chance to grab these, and glad that I pulled the trigger as no doubt I'd have regretted passing on these.

Anyway, here's an updated collection shot. The regular copies are at the top, the numbered copies in the middle, and the test press is at the bottom.

Friday 19 November 2021

Integ A.D.

Another Integrity post today, and this one is another that I had completely forgotten I had bought until it arrived. This is a test press for a split 12" with a band called Krieg that Relapse Records released back in 2018. Dom and Dwid split the test pressings between them, and Dom made up a Misfits 'Earth A.D.' rip off cover for his copies. I'm not really a Misfits fan, but thought that this looked awesome regardless, so I was happy that I managed to get one as there were only ten made.

These are numbered on the inner sleeve, rather than on the pseudo Misfits sleeve.

The crazy thing about this is that at the point I bought this I already had a test press of this one that I obtained from Dwid. I'm generally not into collecting more than one test press variation, but there are always going to be exceptions I guess.

Thursday 18 November 2021


Here's another record that I have only just received three years after it came out, and another one that evokes the question 'how the hell is time going so fast?'. This is an Integrity 7", but a bit of a weird one. I'm not entirely sure why this came to be released in 2018, but this 7" contains two songs from a CD that came out the year 2000, released under the name Integ2000. That CD contains 10 songs, of which 5 are covers, and I don't think I am being unfair by saying that the Integ2000 CD is widely considered to be the band's worst release. So I'm not sure why it was decided to re-record two of the songs and release them in 2018 on a 7". But that's what this record is.

This 7" is titled 'I.N.T.E.G.2K.18' and contains one original song ('Beneath The Flesh') and one cover ('Bad Girls' originally by Donna Summer). It was a pretty limited affair, with only 300 copies made in total, pressed on 3 colours of vinyl of 100 copies each. The first version is a pink vinyl version, which comes in a pink cover:

The second version is yellow vinyl, which comes in the 'regular' black and white cover:

The third and final version is black vinyl in the regular cover:

As usual with Integrity records, I managed to acquire a test press with a hand made cover from Dwid. I'm not 100% sure on this, but I think that the face on the front is Donna Summer.

As I mentioned, the two songs here were re-recorded versions of songs originally released in 2000, and they do sound much better than the original versions. Maybe after these two songs, the whole album will be re-recorded and released at some point?

Tuesday 16 November 2021

City Of 1500 Hopes

This first thing to say here is that is a milestone post. This is post number 1,500 that I have made on this blog since I started it back in February 2008. This month marks the 165th month since I started this blog, which means I have averaged 9 posts a month (or one post every 3.3 days) for 13.75 years. As ever, such stats seem crazy to think about. 'Where has the time gone?' and 'why the hell am I still doing this?' are the most obvious questions, neither of which seem particularly easy to answer right now.

Anyway, my friend Kyle used to sing for a band called The Damage Done. They were mainly active at a time when I was slightly out of touch with hardcore, so I missed out on them. But I decided to start listening to the band and collecting their records a few years ago. There are four 7" releases, with numerous vinyl colours and different covers for each and these days they are quite cheap to buy, so it seemed like a fun band to collect.

Well I reached a point where I was starting to build a pretty good collection, so I sent Kyle a photo of what I had. He then replied to let me know that he could help me with a couple of the colours that I was missing for the final 7" ('City Of Hope') that was relased on his label, Rivalry Records. He said he'd dig them out a couple of the transition colours at some point when he went to his storage unit. Fast forward several months, and I reminded him of this, and a few weeks later he made good on his word. I was missing the blue vinyl and orange vinyl versions, and he made sure that those holes in my collection were filled. I assumed he would send me a couple of copies of each, but when the package arrived there were a few more than I expected:

Each time I look at this photo I feel that I didn't manage to lay the orange copies out in quite the right order. But I still think it makes for a pretty cool photo regardless.

I figured that this was as good a record to mark the 1500th post because I think it kinda sums up the crazy, fun and endless nature of record collecting in one photo. But also it represents the social aspect rather well too. I have a few good friends spread across the world due to my passion for pieces of round plastic, and I just love how everyone is happy to help each other out if they can. And I guess that really answers the question I asked in the first paragraph. Why the hell am I still doing this? Because it still gives me some sense of enjoyment, which is largely due to the social aspect. So thanks to everyone I call a friend who maintains an interest in collecting records and helps me realise I am not alone.

Friday 12 November 2021

More Than A Feeling

As a general rule these days, I will often decide that I want to listen to something new and different, but I will go looking for OLD releases to satisfy this urge. I think this is partly because I have a lot of band names in my memory banks and I have a vague idea of what I think they may sound like, which is slightly easier than new band names, which mean very little to me. Plus I think it's enjoyable to go and listen to a band 20-30 years after I used to flick past their records in record shops. There's an element of me preferring to see if my tastes have changed, or to see whether I was wrong all those years ago, because a lot of the time I used to judge bands based on either the cover art for their records, or from my own perception of what they would sound like based on their name. There are some bands from back in the day that everyone else seems to like that I never bothered with due to name, cover art, record label or some other factor.

Anyway, earlier this year I became aware of an old band from the early 90s that I had actually never heard of before. I'm not sure what brought them to my attention initially, but when I learnt that the band contained two ex members of Dag Nasty (Peter Cortner & Roger Marbury) I was interested enough to give them a chance. Initially it didn't grab me too much, but I gave it a few chances and soon found myself going back to it, and it has ended up being one of my most played records of this year. And finally a cheap copy popped up for sale in the UK, I decided to buy it.

'More Than A Feeling' was released in 1993 by Selfless Records, which was an interesting label back in the early 90s. They did colour vinyl for most releases, and sometimes did different versions. So this LP, for example, was released on either clear vinyl or red vinyl, but the red vinyl copies come with a bonus 12" EP, which is quite a cool bonus item I think.

Like a lot of releases from this period, the songs suffer slightly from not the best mastering or sound quality, but once you get over that the songs themselves are really catchy, singalong type numbers. There's even an Abba cover which I find myself singing along to when it comes on, which says something.

Wednesday 10 November 2021

End Of The Line

So here's a post that really does show how time is flying. There was a 'final' pressing of the No Tolerance 7" on Youngblood that came out in 2018. I decided to buy one because I used to really like the band and I wanted to keep the collection complete. So three and a half years later, here it is.

Technically this is a third pressing of this record. It comes in the sleeve with silver ink, which is the same as the second press, but it has plain red labels which simply have the name of the record ('No Remorse, No Tolerance) stamped on top.

So the crazy thing to think about here is the time since this came out. This record was initially released right at the end of 2011. So as I type this, this record is somehow now a month short of being ten years old. Yes, TEN. Yet at the same time, it still feels like a relatively recent record to me. Yet if I think back to other ten year time periods, it feels like they were way longer. I mean, talking about this record today is like talking about the Warzone 'LESC' 7" in 1997, but back then the Warzone 7" felt ancient, almost as if it was from a completely different century. It certainly did not feel relatively recent. So why does this No Tolerance 7" feel more recent today than Warzone did in 97? Is it just because I remember this one coming out, whereas the Warzone 7" was before my time? I'm not sure. Maybe.

Anyway, here's the updated collection photo:

The other funny thing about this band is that, whilst I really love the two 7"s, I had completely forgotten that they also put out a full length. For some reason it just didn't seem to grab me like the 7"s did. But I'm looking forward to giving it another go in the next couple of days. Perhaps it'll make more of an impact in 2021...

Tuesday 9 November 2021

We Are Not Friends

So in my last post I mentioned about how I ordered one orange and one clear Krimewatch LP and Lockin' Out sent me two clear copies. Well, in the same order, I had also ordered a 'bone' (a.k.a. white) vinyl copy of the Fiddlehead 'Springtime And Blind' LP. I remember that the label put both the Krimewatch and Fiddlehead LPs up for preorder at the same time, so I ordered both, and felt pretty pleased with myself for being up to date. So here's the coloured vinyl copy of the first Fiddlehead LP that they sent me:

I don't want to sound too ungrateful for receiving this record, as I didn't previously own it and it's a good 7". But for fuck's sake...

Monday 8 November 2021

New York Nightmare

Another record that I bought over 3 years ago that I have just recently received, and this one really shows how time is flying. Back in April 2018 I pre-ordered the debut full length by Krimewatch. I ordered an orange vinyl copy and a clear vinyl copy, and the fools at Lockin' Out sent me 2 clear copies. I got wind of this and managed to source an orange from somewhere else. And now, three and a half years later and I finally have the clear copy.

I have to say, the art on this release still looks great. The Krimewatch logo character on the front and this graffiti photo on the back. But what hit me about this is how time has moved on. At the point I ordered this, Krimewatch were the hot new band. There was definitely a lot of buzz about them. The LP came out and then all went silent. I'm not sure if they are still going or not. The last post on their instagram was almost a year ago. So we shall see I guess.

The funny thing is that when I first heard this band I wasn't overly impressed. I didn't get it. But in time I did get it and loved it. This band plays short blasts of raw hardcore punk, and in my mind this has all the essential ingredients. I mean, it's a good job I like it as I have now acquired 3 copies of this record.

As mentioned, I got sent two clear copies so have one going spare. Let me know if you're interested.

Saturday 6 November 2021

Kingpin II

There are certain records that everyone had in their collection back in the early 90s that they simultaneously knew nothing about. My take on this is that back at the start of the 90s, hardcore was a much smaller scene with fewer labels and bands, so people generally bought anything & everything that they could get their hands on. At least, that's my view from my geographical position in the UK. There were only a very small number of shops in the UK that would even sell US hardcore and straight edge records, so I think that when they got a new delivery in then everyone would just buy whatever came in, in the hope of being part of the first wave to discover whatever may have been the hot new band or record. See? Well anyway, I figure Kingpin was one of those bands. Everyone seemed to have the 7" in their collection back in the early 90s, but the band hadn't come over here on tour, didn't have any other releases, and weren't really on a big label. I'm not even sure they were that big in the States outside of the New England area.

Well, 25 years after the band broke up, Atomic Action Records released the band's second 7" for the first time. Recorded back in 1993, this thing finally saw the light of day on vinyl in 2018, and even though I ordered it right away, it has taken me 3 years to receive and listen to it.

There were 300 copies on white vinyl which were only for mailorder, and 300 copies on red. It seems I decided to only pick up only one of the two available. But I did also snag one of the tests that the label sold off too. Number 9/25.

I never heard these songs until recently, and I wil admit that I was super into this from about 5 seconds into the first song. I mean, I know that this was recorded in 1993, but it's one of the most 90s sounding records I have ever heard. And the modern mastering means that it sounds clean and loud. It also doesn't really sounds much like Kingpin, at least not to me. If anything, this sounds exactly like Temperance, which was another 90s band that I loved. Shame that this is either a 1993 or a 2018 release (depending on how you look at it), else it would definitely be in my 'best releases of the year' list this year.

Thursday 4 November 2021

Forever Bound

I think that I originally bought the Railhed 'Forever Bound' 7" simply because I was trying to collect the entire Inner Journey Records catalog. It all started with the Clutch 7" and inside it was an insert which mentioned all of the records and the limited versions that the label had available to trade, which helped me figure out what I was chasing. Railhed was the odd band out on the roster. They were the only non 'hardcore' band, and they also had a full length released by Jade Tree Records, which was probably not surprising when you consider that the vocalist of the band was Darren Walters (one of the two owners of Jade Tree). I'm not sure how it happened exactly, but I ended up buying two different colour vinyl copies of the from Darren Walters himself. Back in the early to mid 90s I would hand write letters to labels asking about colour vinyl pressings, and I probably just asked Darren if he had any coloured Railhed 7"s left. I'm pretty sure he sold them to me for $10 each, which I was pretty happy about at the time. Well anyway, here I am all these years later still collecting Inner Journey releases, and I managed to get a test press of the Railhed 7".

There are only 5 releases on Inner Journey Records, and 3 of the test pressings come in red paper sleeves. I really like this level of detail and consistency. This particular copy is slightly annoying though. It's not printed or folded straight, and the end of the 'D' gets cut off in the fold. You can see it in the photos.

This is now the 3rd Inner Journey test that I own, which I am pretty happy about. The other two are the Lament and Release 7"s. That leaves me needing the Clutch and Sub Zero tests for a full set. Both are tough finds, but realistically I don't think I will ever get a Clutch 7" test, so this is likely to be another collection that I never actually complete.

I really like this Railhed 7". Definitely an underrated 90s gem, and contains their best song in my opinion. Looks great too, especially the pink copy I have with black swirls. I still to this day have no idea if they all look like this or whether any were pure pink. I don't think I have ever seen another now that I think about it.

I also got sent another clear vinyl copy with this test press, which I don't really need. If anyone wants it, get in touch.

Wednesday 3 November 2021

Pornography Part 3

Here's another one that I bought when it came out, but which I have only just recently received. Originally released for RSD in 2017, Damnation A.D. covered the whole 'Pornography' LP by The Cure and Organized Crime Records put it out on vinyl. I never really planned to collect multiple copies of it, but that's often the case, but after the initial release of 800 blue vinyl copies the label made 200 white copies available, so I felt I should pick one up. And then after that they put up a few test pressings for sale, and of course I couldn't pass one up.

I think that psychologically it is a smart move for a label to release things in reverse order of rarity. If they'd all have launched at the same time I doubt I'd have bothered with the blue one. But there I was, sucked into trying to get one on RSD as it seemed hard to find. So I have ended up with three when probably one would have been ok. But now I have them I will probably keep them. I guess it helps that they all look nice and have different art work.

Monday 1 November 2021

Inflatable Dream

Another longstanding want crossed off the list is this rare Cave In 7". It was probably only about 8-10 years ago that I found out that this thing existed, and at the time it felt like it would be impossible to find. In the end it wasn't too bad. A friend picked this up almost 4 years ago, but for various reasons I have only just received it.Technology played a huge part in acquiring this one, and I think if I could go back in time and tell myself how I would get this I would blow my own mind. A friend of mine was visiting LA and went into Amoeba Records, and took a photo of some records that were on the wall, and sent it to me, asking if I needed anything. I got the photo on my phone when I was on the train home from work. I drew around this record and sent it back. Five minutes later I got a message to confirm that my friend had bought it for me. I mean, I know that this technology isn't new, but given I spent a big portion of my life without it, it still amazes me at times. I mean, there I was on my way home from work and askimg a human who was over 5,000 miles away to pick up a 7" for me in real time.

This is a test press for a Cave In 7" that was never actually released properly. The 'sleeve' is made of flower pressed paper, and on the front it states that it is an 'edition of 25'. It was put together by Hydrahead Records and given the catalogue number HH49, which actually ended up being assigned to another Cave In 7" - the 'Lift Off / Lost In The Air' 7". This contains two songs - 'Mr. Co-Dexterity' and 'Inflatable Dream', both of which were later released on the 'Anomalies Vol. 1' EP.

So this is the second unreleased Cave In 7" that exists in test press form. The other one also comes in a flower pressed paper sleeve, and is a split with Kid Kilowatt (another Steve Brodsky band). I count myself very lucky to have these things.