Monday, 31 October 2022


Without a doubt one of my favourite records of this year is the second full length by UK band High Vis. 'Blending' came out not quite two months ago, and it has been impossible to ignore. I initially picked up on this band when all they had out was a 7", and then picked up their debut LP two years ago, and at the time they were pretty much unknown outside of the UK. But in the last few weeks that has definitely changed significantly. This record is literally everywhere right now.

So like a lot of new records these days, this came out on a few different vinyl colours, with the most limited being swirly colours that I didn't really want to own. I saw a friend post a picture of a grey one and thought it looked great, so made moves to try to pick one up. Rather than order one online I went out of my way to pick one up at Rough Trade records, but even though this colour was exclusive to them, they had none in the shop. Then a couple of days later I went to order one online but it was sold out. Goddamn it. By some stroke of luck, my friend ended up with a spare copy and was kind enough to sell me one for what he paid for it. So I did end up with the one I wanted all along. 'Marble smoke' (aka grey) vinyl is exclusive to Rough Trade and there were 300 copies.

I never really thought High Vis to be a 'hardcore' band. The singer at least definitely comes from a hardcore background, but from the word go they were going for a very different sound. They have continued to play a lot of hardcore shows and played with hardcore bands, so they seem to be considered 'hardcore' in some sense. But there is a lot less anger in this record than in the previous ones, so I can see this really crossing over to an indie crowd (if such thing exists in this day and age). To me this sounds more like an indie band from Manchester from 1990 than a hardcore band, yet the hardcore kids all still love it. Who'd have thought it?

What I am really curious about is exactly how this record has got out there quite so much. I have seen almost everyone I follow on instagram posting pictures of this record, including Americans in their 50s. Quite how so many old and out of touch foreigners have picked up on this band I have no idea, but it clearly shows that the band has now achieved a truly global reach. This is probably the best band in the UK right now, and it's great that the world now finally knows it.

Sunday, 30 October 2022

Owe You Nothing

I really enjoyed the debut 7" release by The Dividing Line a couple of years ago. It was a band I had never heard before, and I bought it because it was a straight edge band on New Age. In a few ways it reminded me of Floorpunch. So when the band's full length went up for order, I was all over it. I think this was last year, although for various reasons I only got it this year and I put off posting about it because I wanted to give it another chance.

This thing was pressed on 4 different colours of vinyl. I decided that I would be more than happy with one copy, and picked up the 77 pressing. The claer red vinyl looks ok, but the label is weirdly small. I'm not sure why the label came out so small, but it seems that whatever the problem was, they still haven't realised or figured out a way to fix it.

As much as I enjoyed the 7", this record fell a little flat for me. I don't really know why, but it just didn't quite deliver. I've tried a few times, and I will try again. AFter all, life is all about expectation. Whenever you expect something to be great, it rarely is.

Thursday, 27 October 2022

Here's Where You Should Try To Be

If you read this blog on a regular or semi regular basis, you will know that I am a big fan of Gameface and also singer Jeff Caudill's solo work. Earlier this year it was announced that two of his early solo releases were being put out on vinyl for the first time. That was all I needed to know that I wanted one. When the orders opened I bought one right away.

The record is a double LP titled 'Here's Where You Should Try To Be'. It's quite a cool release, and well thought out. The title is a combination of two previous CD only releases; 'Here's What You Should Do' (released in 2005) and 'Try To Be Here' (released in 2008).

There were 200 copies on clear vinyl and 300 on black. I figured that one copy of this one would be fine, so I opted for the habit of a lifetime and grabbed the coloured version.

When I placed my order I also made sure to grab one of the test presses that was available. A few minutes after I placed my order I got an email from the guy who does the label telling me that he had only put up two test presses for sale. So I count myself lucky to have been able to grab one.

As the photo shows, the test press comes with a cover that was hand drawn by Jeff himself. What I like about this is that it's a hand drawn version of the regular cover. It's a black card cover drawn in silver ink, and looks great.

Also, one point of note here is that this record was pressed at Third Man Pressing, which is the pressing plant owned by Jack White's Third Man Records. I usually like to monitor where things are pressed these days, and I don't think I own another record pressed there. And unsurprisingly, these records look and feel like the usual high quality US vinyl. These days I'm happy to get anything other than stuff pressed at the Euro plant as it seems increasingly rare.

Anyway, I hadn't heard either of these two albums before, so this was a great release for me. Two new albums for the price of one, so to speak. But given this is a reissue of two old albums, it probably can't count in a list of best releases of the year (which it is almost time to start thinking about again, somehow). Or can it?

Sunday, 23 October 2022

Digh Down

Here's a great example of a record that is perfect for collectors but still pretty much completely pointless. This is a lathe cut, square 7" which contains one song from a band called Digh Down.

There's an interesting backstory behind this record. The band is made up of Ron Brotherhood on vocals, Dave Larson (owner of Excursion Records) on bass, and a couple of dudes from Undertow. Apparently the band was originally supposed to record a 12" for Indecision Records way back in the early 90s, but for some unknown reason it never happened.

The band recorded one song for a compilation that was released by Excursion Records called 'Universal Choking Sign'. That compilation came out in 1994 and featured a bunch of mainly north west bands including Undertow, Sparkmarker, Strain Brand New Unit amongst others. This then ended up being Digh Down's only ever recorded output.

This lathe cut 7" features that one song from the comp packaged in a sleeve showing photos of the band. Given I already have the comp, there was absolutely no need to buy this, right? Kinda funny to me though that if you have never heard this song before, it would be cheaper to buy the compilation LP than to buy this one song 7". Well, if you live in Germany that is, as there seem to be no US sellers of the comp for some reason.

Saturday, 22 October 2022

White Trash

At the start of this year I was selling the collection of a friend of mine and decided to keep some NOFX LPs for myself. There were 4 LPs that I kept, which were the first 5 albums that they released with the exception of the 4th one. This then felt like a gap that I should fill, so I kept my eye on eBay and discogs hoping I would get one. I did watch one on eBay but it sold for more than I wanted to pay. I kinda hoped that I would grab an old black vinyl copy for cheap but getting anything that is remotely 'old' for a good price seems increasingly difficult. So when I saw that there was a 30th anniversary pressing coming out, I figured that maybe I could just pick one of those instead. It was cheaper to buy a new colour pressing than an old black one. So I just went with that option. But I wanted to make sure I got a colour that looked acceptable and not one of the more modern looking splatter options.

This version seems to be known as 'magenta', even though to me it just looks pink. And to me this looks and feels like it was pressed at a good old fashioned US plant, although some of the colours look like they come from a low quality european establishment. WHich is weird because I would have thought that if Epitaph were using a euro plant, that they would supply the european countries with the stuff from there, and supply the US with the stuff from the US. But it almost feels like they have done the opposite. Although it is possible I have it wrong about what was pressed where I suppose.

Anyway, I always had it in my head that this is the best NOFX record. I somehow knew the song 'Something Sticking In My Eye'. I guess I must have heard it or seen the video in the 90s. But I'm not so sure that this is the best one of the five. The joke version of the song 'straight edge' is ok a couple of times, but once you've heard it it just feels like it breaks up the flow of the record. Anyway, none of this really matters too much. I'm happy enough to have filled another collection hole... and a collection that I would not have been able to predict this time last year.

Wednesday, 19 October 2022

Daylight Savings Time

I was never really a huge Turning Point fan. By far my favourite of their releases was the split 7" they did with No Escape, by which time I'm pretty sure that they had ditched the X. But musically, later Turning Point is where my interest lies. So naturally I absolutely love the Godspeed 'Swimmer's Ear' EP, which was a post Turnnig Point band from 1993. The Godspeed EP is one of those records that people either love, or they have never heard. Nobody who has listened to it dislikes it, and if such a person exists I have never met them. Anyway, I last posted about this record back in 2015 when I managed to score an original test press, which I was very happy about at the time. Fast forward a few years and I have also managed to obtain a test press of the repress, which came out to little fanfare in 2017.

It seems pretty rare for tests to come on colour vinyl, but it always makes a nice change when one does. Other than the red vinyl though, there is nothing else with this. No cover or insert or anything.

I got the red vinyl repress out to compare colours, but it turns out that the test is exactly the same colour. Not surprising in a way, but still worth checking.

Interestingly, it turns out that there are two tests for this repress, an approved and a rejected. This one here is the approved version, but te rejected one also comes on red vinyl. Here's to hoping that I can find one of those too at some point.

Monday, 17 October 2022

Bombs Overhead

I've posted a lot this year so far, partly due to having a lot of time on my hands, and partly due to picking up more new records than any other year in my life (probably). But it does feel to me that the majority of my posts have either been releases from either Indecision Records or Revelation (nothing new there). So here's another one for the series...

Until I picked up the record at Indecision HQ, I had never heard of Tap And Die before. Quite how I managed to miss them I'm not sure, because if I had read a brief description of it then I would have ordered it right away. The band has Steven Andrew Miller on guitar (from Unbroken, Kill Holiday etc.) and Oscar Paz on vocals, who was in a band in the 90s that I used to love called Impel. That was enough information for me to figure it must be worth owning and buy it.

The band released an album called 'Bombs Overhead' in 2019. I'm not sure how much attention it got, but I hadn't heard of it until this year, so I am assuming not too much. There were 500 copies pressed, all on clear red vinyl.

The band also has someone from Heroin in it and someone from Narrows & Godcollider (another Indecision band). In my opinion, Tap And Die sounds nothing like any of the other bands that I have mentioned in this post to date. If I had to try to describe their sound (which I don't), I would say that musically they mix Swiz with Black Flag... and that really is about the best I can do. But damn, this record is a real ripper, and definitely one of the highlights of the Indecision catalogue that I discovered this year.

Sunday, 16 October 2022

Free LSD

So a new OFF! album just came out, which was a surprise to me as I had no idea that the band still existed. Their last record came out back in 2014 and I honestly barely played it. After three albums that kinda sounded the same, I just started to find it a little boring, and in the last 8 years I have probably played one of their records once. Sure, back in 2010 they were super cool, but after 4 years it felt like the novelty had worn off. So why on earth did I find myself getting excited when a new album was announced earlier this year? I guess because it had been a while and I felt that maybe a new OFF! record in 2022 would sound as exciting as that first one did twelve years ago.

The record is called 'Free LSD' and, like most records in 2022, it was pressed on quite a few different colours. The most limited ones sold at out preorder stage, but I had no interest in those are they were crappy swirly things. There were also some more 'plain' colours (purple for indie stores, clear orange and the most common is clear blue). And even though I thought that the clear blue looked pretty cool, I took a chance and bought a sealed one on 'peacock green' (aka 'green') because it was a bit more limited. When I opened it up I was stoked because it looks pretty fucking awesome. This is a Rough Trade exclusive, although it's not clear how many copies exist. Their website says there are 300, whereas the sticker on the shrinkwrap says there are 400.

So it seems that in the last eight years OFF! have forgotten what they are supposed to sound like, to the point where this record sounds pretty nothing like their old records at all. This is probably to do with there being a new drummer and bassist in the band. I've been playing this every day for the last couple of weeks, and I still can't make my mind up on it. Even though I was kinda bored of their sound back in 2014, I'm not sure if I am happy that they now sound completely different. Ok, so Keith's vocals are still the same, but the music is darker and slower. It's actually quite interesting and I don't dislike it, but I think the main issue for me is that with 20 songs that go on for nearly 40 minutes, it jsut feels a little too long to keep my attention.

Thursday, 13 October 2022

What Can I Say?

There are some records that I can't help buying again and again. Dag Nasty's 'Can I Say' LP is one of them. This was the first Dag record I bought and heard and remains my favourite of all of their records. So when Dischord repressed it on a clear green vinyl in a green coloured sleeve, it was inevitable that I would send some money their way.

The slightly annoying thing about this copy is that it came with some sticker on the shrinkwrap that is not from the label that won't come off. I started trying to peel it off and it started to rip. So the choice seems to be to leave it in place or to remove the shrinkwrap... neither of which seem particularly appealing.

Dag Nasty is one of those bands that I have been slowly picking up their records since forever, to the point where I have quite a few now. I never really set out to collect their records, but in time I have amassed a fairly decent haul. Quite how many times I will continue to buy the same records over and over I am unsure of, but one thing is certain... this really needs to be pressed on purple at some point.

Wednesday, 12 October 2022

Rev LP Catch Up

Hot on the heels of the last post (a bunch of Rev 7"s that I didn't have anything to say about), I decided to similarly bundle together a bunch of Rev color LPs that I picked up this year. Some of them were represses that came out in 2021, and others are slightly older ones that I had missed out on. I found myself at RevHQ earlier this year and had the opportunity to pick up some records for a cheap price, and in that environment and with that opportunity I felt that I wanted to fill some holes. So here goes...

Show above are:
Beyond 'No Longer At Ease' - grey vinyl (2016 press) & green vinyl (2021 press)
Beyond 'Dew It! / Live at WNYU' - blue vinyl (2015 press)
Civ 'Set Your Goals' - red vinyl (2018 press)
Damnation A.D. 'Kingdom Of Lost Souls' - blue vinyl (2015 press)
Down To Nothing 'Unbreakable' - blue vinyl (2015 press)
Judge 'Bringin It Down' - clear green vinyl (2021 press)
Primal Rite 'Dirge Of Escapism' - red vinyl
Rival Mob 'Mob Justice LP' - picture disc (2021 press)

And no, that's not all of them. I had to break these into two photos just because it seemed easier to manage that way. So here are some more:

In this photo we have:
Sensefield 'S/T' - orange vinyl (2016 press)
Sensefield 'Killed For Less' - blue vinyl (2016 press)
Sensefield 'Building' - green vinyl (2016 press)
Shades Apart 'Save It' - orange vinyl (2016 press)
Shades Apart 'Save It' - blue vinyl (2016 press)
Shai Hulud 'That Within Blood Ill-Tempered' - gold vinyl (2016 press)
Shai Hulud 'A Profound Hatred Of Man' - purple vinyl (2015 press)
V/A 'Generations' - grey vinyl (2016 press)
V/A 'NYCHC The Way It Is' - red vinyl (2022 press)

A few of these were from 2015 & 2016, which was a time when I had decided to stop buying the Rev represses. But in time I got back to a point where I just feel that I want them. I'm now firmly back at a point where I want to try to build as complete a Revelation colour vinyl collection as possible. Besides, all of these are on acceptable looking vinyl colours, and not those damn splattery swirly euro vinyl colours.

There are still a few that I am missing that are now sold out and don't seem to come up for sale. A few years ago it felt like most Rev represses were pretty much worhtless, but that's definitely not the case now. Some of them just don't seem to sell at all, or they get listed at stupid discogs prices. So sadly the rest of the holes aren't likely to be filled for quite some time.

PS I still need more comments on my last post. If you're reading this and didn't have a guess then get to it!

Saturday, 8 October 2022

Rev 7" Catch Up (2021 Edition)

So I decided to do a lazy post here with a bunch of Rev 7"s I got a couple of months ago. All of these were pressed and sold in 2021 and I got them a while ago, but I have delayed posting them as I have pretty much nothing to say.

Fun fact - 2 of these records were pressed in the US and 6 were pressed in the UK. So let's play a game...

Guess which two were pressed in the US. Leave your answer as a comment. If I get at least 10 comments (which seems unlikely), then I wil come up with a prize, and whoever is first to get the right answer will win the prize. Oh yeah, and it almost goes without saying, but the prize will be a record.

Good luck!

Thursday, 6 October 2022

Hello Sun

Two days ago I went to see Be Well play in London. They were supposed to come over in November last year but the tour got cancelled so finally, two years after their debut album dropped in the midst of the shitshow that was 2020, they finally made it to Europe. They played early and they played a relatively short set, but they sounded great. The songs sounded harder than on the record, probably bacause the vocals were a little lower in the mix. Anyway, they had a few copies of the tour press of their last record, so I picked one up to help complete my collection, which reminded me that I hadn't got around to posting this one yet.

'Hello Sun' is a 6 song EP that came out in May this year, simultaneously released by two labels. Revelation handled the US pressing, whilst End Hits Records put it out in Europe. I picked up the three Rev versions mainly because I wanted to keep my Rev collection as complete as possible.

The clear vinyl copy is the nicest looking of the bunch, but is also the most common, with 1,000 copies pressed.

Like a lot of records these days, this record is a single sided 12" with a screen printed b-side.

Well, as I mentioned, there were three versions... or so I thought. Because the tour version I picked up two days ago was a fourth version. Here's a pic of the four from the front:

Shown clockwise from the top left are:
White w/ cyan sunburst vinyl (RevHQ exclusive /300)
White with black and yellow splatter vinyl (Indie store exclusive /300)
Clear vinyl (1000)
Clear vinyl with yellow inside (Tour version /???)

And here's a pic of the same four from the back:

And as if that wasn't enough, I also managed to get a test press. For anyone who knows anything about records and has eyes, the photos above make it pretty obvious where this was pressed. Yup, this one came out of the pressing plant that I don't like, and this record is the first I have seen from there with a logo label.

I've listened to this one a lot over the past couple of months. It's only 6 songs and is done in 18 minutes, so it fits in nicely as a short break when you don't have time for a full record. I think that where I got to with this record is that I like it, but don't rate it as highly as the full length. It's a bit more melodic, and one of the songs is kinda corny. But my biggest issue is simply that it is 6 songs. I mean, add four more and call it an album? At least that way it would feel like better value for money, which seems to be becoming an increasingly important issue with prices these days.

Oh yeah, and also I've just realised that there is actually a fifth colour vinyl version that I don't have, which is highly annoying. Although it's not as bad as the End Hits pressing, for which there appear to be 10 different colours, none of which I plan to pick up.

Tuesday, 4 October 2022

Under The Lost Smile

A few months ago I was doing my usual round of eBay searches when I came across a great little find. I came across a test press of an album called 'Under The Lost Smile' by a band called Empathy. I've had the record in my collection since it came out way back in 1995 and I'm pretty sure that I had never seen a test press before. I'm not sure how much I would have paid for it if it had been an auction, but the one thing I knew is that I was more than happy to throw down the $15 required to 'buy it now'. Easy.

The record is as most test presses were in the 90s. A black record with plain labels in a white paper sleeve. No frills.

I'm not sure whether anyone reading this will either know or remember this band, but I always enjoyed this record. The band were from Detroit although for some reason in my head I always thought that they were from Louisville. I suppose because they had a split 7" with a band called Empathy (who actually were from Louisville) and they seemed similar to Endpoint in a ball park kinda way, with their songs straddling 'emo' and 'hardcore'. Oh yeah, and also there was a dude in this band called Jay Palumbo who later went on to play in two Louisville bands (By The Grace Of God and Elliott). So kind of easy to see how I got mixed up.

The interesting thing about this one is that I then discovered that there ust be two different test presses that exist. Upon taking my other copies of this record out for a group photo, I did what I often do with test presses and I compared the matrix of each. At this point I realised that the two other copies I have are actually different to each other.

As you can see, I have two other copies of this record. The black vinyl copy comes in a normal card sleeve with cover art whilst the other ia a green vinyl promo tour version. You can actually see the difference between the records in this photo if you check the amount of dead wax in the middle of each black record. The test press has less dead wax, and it turns out is the same as the green vinyl version (even though this is not visible in the photo). So all I can conclude from this is that this test press is of the version that was then pressed on green vinyl. The normal black version is different, so was pressed from a different stamper, which means that there must have been another test press. This seems pretty obvious, although the reasons for this are completely unknown.

Anyway, there you go. Some great information that absolutely nobody needs. Glad to be of service.

Sunday, 2 October 2022

7 Minutes of Paradise

When I heard that there was a band called Speedway that had a record coming out on Revelation I wasn't overly excited. The band are from Sweden and had a 7" out on Triple B Records that had some weird cover art, which obviously I hadn't heard. I didn't bother listening to the band at all, but knew that I would end up buying whatever came out on Rev just because it was on Rev.

So anyway, 'Paradise' came out a couple of months ago as a 3 song 7", which clocks in at around 7 minutes in total. It has very similar artwork to the other 7" that came out on Triple B.

What has proven interesting about this record for me is that I was pretty much indifferent to its existence, and on the first couple of plays I found it kinda bland. But due to the shortness I kept playing it when I had a few minutes to fill, and after a while it really got its teeth into me, to the point where I'm thinking that this could be one of the best records of the year. I'm not sure I could give this record of the year for three songs that are a little over two minutes each, but damnit, this has a lot going on in not much time, and I can't stop playing it.

Unsurprisingly for a Rev releases, I ended up buying all three different colours. The colours themselves look good, but the records all look weird to me because they have those stupid small labels. The orange one in this photo looks kinda fat, a bit like a donut, don't ya think?

Saturday, 1 October 2022

A Force United

Locked Inside is a straight edge hardcore band from New York City. I'm not exactly up to date on these things, but it doesn't feel that there are too many of those about these days. They got my attention last year when I decided to buy their debut 7" release, 'Your Thoughts. Your Own' which was released by Not Like You Records. I thought it was a good little straight edge hardcore EP and, as seems customary for a sxe 7", there were several different vinyl colours available to collect. Sadly I missed out on all of them due to being late to the party and only managed to grab a black vinyl copy. But then all of a sudden a third pressing appeared on the scene, and I went all in, figuring that if I didn't then they would sell out and the only option would be to pay 3 times as much on the second hand markets.

The new pressing was apparently remastered, so a new test press was required. It says 'second edition' on the front cover, and it is numbered out of 20 copies on the reverse.

The 'common' version of the new pressing is on white vinyl. Apparently there were 287 copies of this version.

Oh yeah, and there were also 15 copies on 'pink' vinyl. I say pink, but these are clearly some impure white copies that came back from the plant. A true 'variant' of the white. These were numbered on the back cover, which I think is a nice touch.

I also then managed to find a store selling a green vinyl copy for new release price which was too tempting to say no to. Green was the second pressing out of 105 copies.

This is a pretty good little EP, and I feel myself wanting to collect more colours but as is the case with modern record collecting, the only copies for sale are the ones that are priced stupidly high. Hopefully more copies will surface at some point before the band releases something else and blows up, which I think is potentially on the agenda.