Tuesday, 29 November 2022

Boycott Pink

Everyone knows that pink is the best colour of vinyl, right? And not just pink, but especially solid pink. I mean, clear pink is kinda meh (like most clear colours, other than clear) but a solid pink is unbeatable. So on that basis I figured I would pick up the latest repress of Government Issue 'Boycott Stabb Complete Session' LP. Dischord have been cranking out some colour vinyl represses of late, and some of them have proved too tempting to resist. And even thought I have never really been a Government Issue fan, I figured I would give the band another go... mainly because of the pink vinyl.

The original 'Boycott Stabb' EP contains 11 songs, but this version contains 20. Side A plays the original 'Boycott Stabb' songs and Side B features the previously unreleased session outtakes.

I once owned a Government Issue 7" many years ago that I wasn't overly impressed with and consequently sold. I'm not sure that this record is doing much to help me appreicate them either. As expected from a record that originally came out in 1983, this sounds pretty basic and raw. Maybe this is a little too punk for me in 2022, or maybe I just need to spend a little more time with it.

Monday, 28 November 2022

Neglect & Obey

Back at the end of 2020 there was a pre-order laucnhed for a new 7" by Encounter. The band were active int he early 90s and released a great 7" on Redemption Records back in 1991. After that they appeared on a couple of split 7"s, but that was it. Back in the early 90s when I was discovering straight edge hardcore and similar, the Encounter 7" was pretty new, and I loved it. So when a new 7" was announced almost 30 years later, I was definitely in. So I did what everyone else did and place a pre-order... and then waited. And waited. And so much time went by that it started to feel like a rip off. Before the pre-order, the band's instagram was relatively active, and then after the pre-order there was just nothing for months. There was even a post saying that records were going out, and then nothing for weeks. But despite the farce of the pre-order process, when the record actually surfaced, it did look great.

I'm not sure how many were pressed on clear and how many on black, but the clear copies do look great. They are pressed on the kind of clear that looks like glass. Beautiful.

Also, the band sent out test presses randomly in orders, and I ended up with one. However, I am pretty confident that this one was not particularly random and was also actually intended for me at all. So for now I feel that I am temporarily looking after this one.

As much as this thing looks and sounds great, it is ever so slightly disappointing to me. Without wanting to be too down on it, this contains two songs which are actually old but previously unreleased songs. Well, except for the fact that the songs have been floating around digitally for years. But hey, I'm nitpicking. It's great to have these songs, and this record ia a thing of beauty. It's also nice to see Watermark Records temporarily ressurected for this release to. All in all, a 90s hardcore kid's dream come true.

Saturday, 26 November 2022

Survival Instinct

Somehow I completely missed out on the Morning Again 7" that came out on Revelation back in 2018. Or rather, I intenionally let it pass me by because the limited colour version sold out super fast, which I was surprised about at the time. I figured that one of the more limited colour copies would come up for sale on eBay or discogs soon enough, but it seems that it took a lot longer than I thought that it would because I ended up with it this year, which is somehow now 4 years later. Madness.

I used to like Morning Again back in the late 90s. They played metallic hardcore but had socially and politically aware lyrics, which in my mind helped them stand out. It was no real surprise to me back then when they got signed to Rev (this was when Rev was probably the biggest label and the one every band dreamed of being signed by), and it seemed like validation that they were doing the right thing. But then it also felt that the band just faded away. So it was then equally surprising when they reformed twenty years later or so to release a new EP.

Red vinyl is the more limited colour of this one with 315 copies, whereas grey vinyl was out of 835 copies.

'Survival Instinct' was released as a 4 song 7" or a 5 song digital release. I remember being sceptical when it came out as most bands that release new music many years after they broke up fail to recapture their old glory. But this record comes out hard right from the start, and sounds fresh and current. This to me sounds like a band who took a short break and carried on, rather than a band who got back together after 30 years and tried hard to copy what they were doing before.

After enjoying this 7" I then realised I had somehow missed a red vinyl repress of their LP on Rev, so I had to put that straight and pick one up. There were 518 copies of this one, pressed in 2018. I'm not convinced that red was the best colour choice, but it is what it is at this point.

Thursday, 24 November 2022

Postcard CV

At the start of the year I was up to my neck in pop punk that I used to listen to in the early 90s, and finally got into a band called Senseless Things that my friends used to listen to circa 1991-3 ish. I was never interested, but this year gave one of their records a chance and really liked it. At the end of that post I wrote this:

I've also been listening to their other releases online as a result of being into this one, so I may have to try to track those down at some point.

Last week I drove an hour to meet an old friend for lunch, and then ended up at his place looking through his old records, and then ended up being given a small pile. One of them was the first Senseless Things album, 'Postcard CV'.

This was originally released by a label called Way Cool Records back in 1989. I'm not sure exactly when my friends picked up on this band, but I would guess 1990 or possibly 1991. Either way, this is now old stuff, and it took me 30 years to realise that they were actually onto something good back then after all.

I'm stoked to have been given this by my friend as he was THE biggest Senseless Things fan back then. It means a lot to me to be able to now call his copy a part of my collection. What I need now is the third LP, although interestingly none of my friends seem to have had that one. I think they bailed on the band at that point. So I may have to go out and buy my own copy rather than just get given one out of someone's collection.

Monday, 21 November 2022

Hogan's Heroes

It's interesting how time changes things. Somewhere around 28 or 29 years ago a friend of mine bought an LP by a band called Hogan's Heroes in a used record shop. I don't think I ever got to hear it, but what I do remember is that a few weeks later he took it back and traded it in for something else, telling me 'it was shit'. So that was the basis of my opinion on Hogan's Heroes for the best part of three decades.

I was in a used record shop a couple of months ago and I came across the 2nd Hogan's Heroes LP at a very cheap price on colour vinyl, so I figured I would rescue it from the store. You know how it is sometimes, you just fancy buying something.

Hogan's Heroes were a band back from the early 80s to the early 90s and were from New Jersey. That's pretty much all I know about them. I kinda realised that I never ever seen anyone post ay pictures of their records, nor do I ever remember anyone I know ever mention them in any capacity. The only conclusion I can draw from this is that they were never really that popular. For what it's worth, I think this record is alright. It's not great, but it's also not bad. I'd definitely pick up another of their LPs if I saw it... well, as long as it was pretty cheap.

Saturday, 19 November 2022

In Vain

Even though I have been trying to minimise the number of reissues I was buying for quite a few years, there are still exceptions that crop up regularly. When It's Alive Records announced a colour vinyl repress of the Visual Discrimination 'In Vain' EP, I found myself instantly ordering a copy.

'In Vain' was originally released by Nemesis Records back in 1990. Back when I was first getting into buying hardcore records, Nemesis was a label that I latched on to fairly early on, and the Visual Discrimination 12"s were amongsth the first few releases that I bought. OK, they weren't the greateest band in the world, but they hold a place in my heart and I get nostalgic about their records when I see them. And even though Nemesis pressed lots of records on colour vinyl (and a few of their records on multiple colours), 'In Vain' was only ever pressed on black. So I figured that a colour vinyl copy on a differnt label would still be kinda cool.

As usual, this one came in a mylar sleeve sealed with stickers. I managed to open it without any damage to the stickers. SHame I didn't figure this technique a couple of years ago when I bought the first of these It's Alive releases.

The record is on a nice blue marble colour vinyl. I mean, I'd probably have chosen white, clear or grey, but it still looks good.

The paper inner sleeve is printed and hand numbered, and the b-side label is also hand written. It's a great touch to remind you at all times that this was made DIY style by a one man operation. Also, one thing that is interesting about this one is that the back cover of this pressing is completely different to the original version. I should really have taken a pic of the two side by side, but nevermind.

As with every It's Alive release of the last couple of years, this one is absolutely stuffed full of stickers, posters, inserts etc. The 'value for money' box is well and truly ticked.

If you haven't heard this record then it's worth checking out. An old (almost) forgotten CA hardcore gem, and I think it has aged pretty well.

Thursday, 17 November 2022

Shook Ones

A couple of years ago (which was somehow four years!) there was a new Shook Ones album released by Revelation. The band had previously been quiet for 9 years and this was a comeback record. Having just read my post on that record, I do remember really liking it at the time, although I have probably only really listened to it about twice since. Well, given that the band were firmly back on the scene, Rev then decided to repress their first two albums, which were previously released by different labels a long time in the past.

The band's first album 'Sixteen' was originally released back in 2005 by Endwell Records (a label which existed from about 2001-07). I actually remember buying the tour version of this one somewhere around 2006. And 16 years later I am adding two more copies of 'Sixteen' to my collection. Who'd have thought?

There were two colours of this one, neither pressed in particularly large numbers. There were 164 on orange and 540 on purple.

The 3rd album is called 'The Unquotable A.M.H.' (and I have no idea what the title means) and was originally released back in 2009 by a label called Paper + Plastick, a label which it seems was owned by the drummer of Less Than Jake. Interestingly, the band's 2nd album was put out by Rev back in 2006, so I'm guessing this move to a new label was an attempt to get more attention. So it seems kinda funny that it ended up being given a reissue on Rev thirteen years after it's initial release. Despite owning the band's other albums, this one had completely passed me by and I had no idea it even existed until this repress was announced. Crazy how that happens sometimes huh?


This one was pressed on two colours too. There were 160 on peach vinyl and 703 on salmon vinyl. I'm not entirely sure which colour is which, as one of mine is distinctly pink, which to me is neither peach nor salmon.

The thing that I have probably said about Shook Ones before is that they are one of those bands who get better with each release. So if I were to rank their records in order of preference, it runs backwards from the latest to the first. So Rev represseing this was the kick I needed to finally listen to the their third album for the first time after all these years. I may even look at picking up an original pressing out of curiosity if I can find a cheap one, although it's probably not necessary.

Tuesday, 15 November 2022

25 To Get Ready

Collecting is a weird game soetimes. You get it in your head that you collect a certain band and you then convince yourself that you have to buy everything that comes out to keep your collection 'complete'... even if you feel it's not overly necessary to buy it. And that's what happened here. Dr. Strange Records reissued the second Gameface LP 'Three To Get Ready' to mark its 25th anniversary (it was originally released in 1995 according to Discogs... although I could have sworn it was 1996). Anyway, I already have about 5 different copies of this record already, and figured I didn't really need a reissue. But then that other part of my brain kicked in, telling me I needed ot keep my Gameface collection as complete as possible. So I bought both colour copies.

Limited to 100 copies, the 'tri colour' version looks alright I think... even though I generally don't like records that look like this. The second colour is a very dark green and is also limited to only 100.

I also picked up a test press to keep my Gameface test press collection as complete as possible. It was a very fair price.

Inside each of the LPs came one of these flyers inside. I thought it was an interesting photo and worthy of posting. Hopefully you agree.

Thursday, 10 November 2022

Pillsbury Hardcore

A couple of years ago a new label appeared on the scene called Black Claw Records. Run by a guy who was in a few bands in the 80s & 90s (Pillsbury Hardcore, PHC, End To End, Process), the label was kicking off by pressing a compilation LP of Pillsbury Hardcore songs. The band was around in the mid 80s and I had never heard them before. All I knew was that they had a 7" out that someone I know always talks about. The record was being pressed at a decent pressing plant and on a nice looking pink vinyl, so I decided to grab one.

The record is titled 'Ghosts of Straight Edge Past' and contains 13 songs. Ten of these songs were originally released as two 7"s and the other three were on a compilation. They were all recorded at the same time in the same studio, which is I think the reason they got compiled into this one LP. But this is not a complete discography of everything they ever recorded.

This is like a lot of 80s hardcore records. It sounds very raw and very basic which is what defined hardcore back then. And given the price of the 7"s these days, I think this acts as a good way to own a hard copy of these songs.

I happen to know that the guy who runs the label got some help and advice from Fred (who runs It's Alive Records). As well as advice on how to put together a record, it seems the advice also extended to 'make sure you stuff the sleeve full of extra inserts' because that's exactly what you get here. The replica 7" sleeves are a really nice touch.

Well in theory that should have been the end of this post. But a little under two months after the above record was released, the label announced that they were going to sell a 'mystery record'. Given the Pillsbury Hardcore record looked like a great package from the photos that I had seen on instagram, I was curious. I'm not usually a fan of these type of things where you blind buy something, as usually it turns out to be something you wouldn't have bought if you'd have known what you were going to get. But in this case I figured that the label had made a good start and I'd trust them with a few more dollars. So I ordered the mystery record... which turned out that the mystery record was just another copy of the Pillsbury Hardcore record, but with a limited 'Kill Everyone Now' cover and different labels.

This thing does look pretty cool, and I was quite lucky to get one as they sold out really fast. But I'm not convinced I would have bought it had I known what was going to get.

Overall this is a great way to own a record by an old band. A high quality package for sure. The pink vinyl is long sold out but there are some green and yellow copies available from the label at a good price (link at the top of this post).

Tuesday, 8 November 2022

More Lockin' Out Exclusives

At some point last year I ordered something from Lockin' Out Records. As ever, whilst in the store I checked out what else was available and decided to pick up some colour vinyl 7"s to somehow 'make the order worthwhile'. Yeah, that familiar excuse. I didn't really know anything about these bands and records, but just decided to grab them because they were on colour vinyl and still available... which definitely isn't the case anymore.

First up is a 7" titled 'Monkey's Paw' by a band called Big Contest. I don't know much about this band at all, but it has Ned Russin (Title Fight, Gliterrer) playing bass. This I would definitely refer to as 'no frills' hardcore.

Next is the 'Magic With A Smile' 7" by Illusion. All I know about this band is that it has the drummer from Fury on vocals and the first song on here features Riley Gale (RIP) and sounds huge. It turns out that this was released back in 2018, which is an age ago now, and given that nothing else has been released since I am assuming this band is now done. Shame. This is great.

And finally, the 'Condemned' 7" by Skourge who hail from Houston, Texas. This is probably my favourite of the three. This one was released in 2019 and absolutely slays. I think the band played London this summer but obviously I didn't go because I am lazy and most venues are too far for me to get to. Still, the fact that they played suggests that they still exist, which makes me optimistically think that maybe they will release more music at some point.

I will admit that when Lockin' Out was a newish label back in the early 00's, putting out Mental and Righteous Jams, there is no way that I would have ever guessed that it would still be going all these years later. It's kinda cool that it still pops out a record or two every year, and they're pretty much always well worth checking out.

Monday, 7 November 2022


As I have probably mentioned a couple of times in the last few months, I spent a few days in California earlier this year. On my second day I ended up taking a trip to Erika Records (a pressing plant) to collect some records with Dave from Indecision Records. I had no idea what was going on, but when we got back and I helped unload the car I realised that we had picked up the new LP from Skullcrack. At that point I had never heard them before, but having just help unload a few hundred of their LPs, I figured I should check them out. They play a style of fast metalic hardcore that is often refered to as thrash or crossover, and I think that both their name and the artwork on their records gives a big clue as to what they deliver.

Well, needless to say that I quickly decided to pick up all of the three Skullcrack records that Indecision have put out to date.

Shown in the order they were released we have the debut full length 'Turn To Dust' on purple vinyl (200 copies, released in 2019), the 'Bring Back The Guillotine' four song 12" EP (200 copies made in total) and finally the second LP 'Addicted To The Underground' on blue (100 copies, released this year).

One thing that has been puzzling me is why this band isn't more popular. The style they play I can imagine would appeal to a lot of people, and I think that they have a good name and great artwork (which is clearly giving more than a nod to Pushead). All of the elements are there, but so far it seems that they haven't really got out there too much. But this is some good stuff right here that I can imagine a lot of people would like if they heard it. For now though I'm just happy that they haven't blown up else I wouldn't have been able to buy their records so easily... which makes a nice change in 2022.

Sunday, 6 November 2022


A couple of months ago I posted about a compilation called 'Nardcore For Life' that INdecision Records released, and I ended the post with the words - it has totally made me want to check out more of these Nardcore comps. I'm sure there are a few of them about. Feels like this could be another new collection that I try to complete. Not long after I made that post I spotted a very cheap copy of a different Nardcore comp in a UK distro, and I couldn't pass it up.

This compilation is called 'Nardcore' and was originally released waaaaay back in 1984 by Mystic Records. This copy is a recent represss put out by It's Alive Records. As with all of the records that It's Alive has put out over the past couple of years, this one came in a plastic sleeve sealed with a sticker.

I stupidly sliced through the sticker (after which I realsed that there was a simpler way to open it) so that I could get to the record inside. This version is pressed on blue vinyl, which is out of 500 copies.

Unsurprisingly, with this having been released in 1984, the bands on it are all (in 2022) pretty old bands. Ill Repute, R.K.L.,Stalag 13, Agression, Dr. Know and more. All classic nardcore bands. And as ever, It'a Alive Records have gone way overboard with extras. Posters, stickers, flyers... so much stuff that I cannot even begin to fathom how much it must have cost.

I'm not as into this one as I was the more modern Nardcore comp, but this is still a great record and makes me want to check out more by these older Oxnard bands.

Friday, 4 November 2022

The Waiting Game

I've chased a lot of rare records over the years, and some of the hardest to find seem to be things from the 90s that nobody cares about anymore. I don't know why this is the case, but perhaps it's because the kind of people that have some of these things have moved on to other things and their records are just sitting gathering dust. And maybe if they sell them, they take the easy option and dump them at a local store. I mean, I have no idea, but it always seems to be records from the early to mid 90s that end up becoming super elusive.

I don't know exactly when I added this Bloodline 7" to my wants list, but I'm gonna say that it was probably 20 years ago. Maybe a little more. I had the black vinyl version in my collection since the mid 90s, but I have no idea where or how I found out that there were some copies available on red vinyl. Obviously I needed to get one, but it literally never showed up for sale. But eventually one popped up on discogs for $10 and that was it. The hunt was finally over.

One thing that made this so hard to find is that everyone thinks that they have one. This is one of those records that was pressed on thin, cheap vinyl so that if you have a black vinyl copy and hold it up to the light, it kinda looks like a super dark clear red. So when I would see one for sale I would ask the seller, and every single time it would be a black copy that some fool was convinced was red.

Back in the early 90s it felt that this band was kinda popular. They were from St. Paul, Minnesota and I am unaware of any other bands ever coming from there. But somehow they had a full length on Nemesis Records and a 12" EP on Doghouse Records, both of which were popular labels back in the day. Here in 2022 and I can find no information about the band online. I actually still listen to their full length now and then as I think it still holds up. They play slow but heavy hardcore, a little bit like This World Rejected, Despair or Zero Tolerance. Forgotten by most but still enjoyed by me... like seemingly a lot of stuff from the 90s.

Wednesday, 2 November 2022

Concrete Altar

Another Rev release from last year that I haven't really spent much time with until recently is the 'Concrete Jungle' 7" by Urban Sprawl. The band are based in San Francisco and one of the members also plays in Tørsö. This 7" came out at the same time as the second Tørsö 7" on Rev in early 2021.

I'm not really a big fan of the front cover art. I guess I'm too narrow minded, but it doesn't really look like the cover of a hardcore record to me. One thing that is kinda cool though is that it's printed on metallic gold card. It looks kinda fancy when you see the back:

Of course, with this being a Rev release, I was duty bound to buy all available copies. of which there were three. As far as modern vinyl colours go, these ones don't look too bad.

Shown in the pictures are all three of the first press copies - Green vinyl (305), orange vinyl (305), and red vinyl (205) which was exclusive to indie stores. As at today, the orange vinyl is still available at RevHQ, which probably means that a second press isn't likely to surface for a while if nothing else.

I've struggled to make my mind up on this one. Generally I have felt pretty unexcited by it. But when I played it just before putting this post together, I knew all of the songs and it felt familiar and sounded pretty damn good. Overall I think it's a pretty good hardcore EP but let down by the cover that makes me want to just flip on past it.