Saturday, 31 December 2022

2022 Is Dead

So that's a wrap on 2022. And what an interesting year it was. Over here in the UK we enjoyed 3 different Prime Ministers (with one being the shortest serving and shittest of all time) and 'The Queen Is Dead' finally became more than a song. It was a weird year for me personally as I only spent the last two weeks of the year working - the rest of the year I was unemployed. But at no point was I bored as I had a lot of things to keep me busy. I sold a friend's record collection (well, most of it), went on 3 holidays overseas, visited 2 record pressing plants, watched 4 Spiderman films and painted 2 garden walls. With all this going on the year absolutely flew by and made me wonder how I ever had time to have a job in the past.


The year in music was an interesting one for me. I'm pretty sure that I added more records to my collection in 2022 than in any other year of my life. I mean, I haven't counted every year, but I cannot recall a year where I could possibly have acquired as many as in 2022. Things kicked off in January with me visiting a friend and driving away with his whole collection of 700 records. I sold the majority for him but ended up keeping nearly 50 of them for myself, which sent me on a nostalgic trip back to the early 90s. For about the first 3 months of the year I was listening exclusively to pop punk bands from the late 80s or early 90s, and I loved it. Anything remotely hardcore just didn't do it for me during that time, and things only changed when I took a short trip to the California in April. I stayed with Dave from Indecision Records and hung out at RevHQ for a few days, and this got me listening to a lot of new hardcore. I ended up coming home with over 30 Indecision releases from the past 4 years or so that I had missed or ignored, and I discovered some great bands and music as a result. I also decided on this trip to try to pick up more new records and be a little less picky about which versions I bought. All in all I ended up bringing home around 60 records from that trip. I also received a couple of parcels from my good friend in the States filled with stuff I bought last year, and then at the end of the year I went back to the States and came back with 95 more records. I think it all stemmed from not having a job and viewing buying records as a passtime and source of entertainment. Sure it was fun, but not the best move to make my savings last.

Given that I probably won't ever have a year like this again, I decided to take a couple of photos of all the records I acquired over the past twelve months. This was pretty easy to do as I haven't filed them away in the collection yet. If I had done that then there is no way on earth I would have been able to pull them out for these photos. This first photo gathers together all of the 7" records I picked up this year, except for the Dischord 200 boxset that I still haven't opened yet for some reason.

In case you're wondering, There are 160 7"s pictured above. The next photo shows all of the 12" records I acquired. There are 226 of these bloody things here, which fill 3.5 cubes that I thought would take about 4 years to fill.

There were also 4 x 10" records that I picked up but didn't see the point of including. So in total that's 390 records that I welcomed into my house, which anyone can work out averages out at more than one per day... which is insane and made me wonder - what the hell am I doing? It's almost as if my name is Mike and it's 2012 all over again.

So yeah... with the large number of records I added to my collection and all the extra time I had available, I listened to a hell of a lot of music in 2022, which made putting together this post a lot more fun (and work) than most other years.


The combination of no job and lots of records coming in meant that I managed to keep this blog pretty active. In fact, this year has ended with my highest post count since I started back in 2008. Here's a graph that serves as proof (and definitely isn't here just because I was looking for an excuse to do a graph):

Every year my target is 120 posts (10 per month) and I easily surpassed that in 2022. Even after banging out 151 posts, I have ended the year with a huge backlog of records I haven't had the time to post about or properly listen to yet, especially as 95 of them only entered the house two weeks ago. Ah well. At least that means that I have some material in reserve for 2023.


For once I felt ike I bought quite a few new releases this year. I pulled out my favourites and laid them out for this photo... although the photo is so boring that I probably could have just used stock images of the covers rather than pull records off the shelf and lay them out on the bed.

Pictured above (from top left, moving across then down) and in no particular order are:

High Vis 'Blending' LP
Ignite 'S/T LP
Bitter Branches 'Your Neighbors Are Failures' LP
Skullcrack 'Addicted To The Underground' LP
Be Well 'Hello Sun' 12"
Beach Rats 'Rat Beat' LP
Praise 'All In A Dream' LP
Sumerlands 'Dreamkiller' LP
Speedway 'Paradise' 7"
The Flex 'Chewing Gum For The Ears' LP
Cave In 'Heavy Pendulum' LP
Sweat 'Gotta Give It Up' LP

I've not attempted to put them into any kind of order of preference, because past history shows that the order generally changes over time (I mean, in 2010 I had the Get The Most LP at number 2 and I probably listened to it once since then, but the records I had it ahead of still get semi regular play). Obviously the future is uncertain, but I think that the ones that will get most play in future years are likely to be the Cave In and Ignite albums - two bands that I have loved for 25+ years and still listen to regularly. Does that make those two the best? I'm not sure. But time will tell.

Also, an honourable mention to a record I have been listening to a lot for the past 3 months or so but don't have the vinyl for: Silent Drive 'Fairhaven' LP.

I downloaded this out of curiosity as their last record was 18 years ago and at first I didn't like it, but within days I was addicted and listening to it twice a day. Without doubt one of the best records of the year for me, and hopefully I will bag a physical copy next year.


I started adding this section to this summary a few years ago to record things I listened to a lot that weren't released in the year, or that I didn't buy a physical copy of. This section could also be aptly titled 'late to the party'. Usually this section is full of stuff I downloaded on a whim and quickly fell in love with, but this year I got so many records that I didn't really need to go searching for much else. So this photo shows more of the great records I discovered and played a lot this year that came out prior to 2022:

Shown in the photo are these (or records that represent these):

NOFX 1st 5 LPs
Lagwagon 'Trashed' LP
Sweet Baby 'It's A Girl' LP
Pegboy 'Earwig' & 'Chacha Da More' LPs
Senseless Things 1st 3 LPs
School Drugs 'Modern Medicine' LP
Lungfish - all
Power Alone 'Rather Be Alone' LP
The Mr. T Experience LPs
Mega City Four 'Who Cares Wins' LP
Retaliate 'IV' LP
Fiddlehead 'Between The Richness' LP

I also enjoyed 4 other records a lot that I downloaded and (as yet) do not own the vinyl for. These are:

Nomeansno LPs ('Wrong' & 'Dance Of The Headless Bourgeoisie') - I never fancied listening to this band in the past, but this year it came on youtube after something else and I was instantly hooked. Shame the records are so damn expensive these days.

Soulblind 'Greatest Hits Vol.1' - a new band who sound like they are fresh out of the 1991 grunge scene. I am excited to check out their new album.

Teenage Fanclub 'Bandwagonesque' LP - another one that my friends used to listen to when I was about 16 and I thougth was weak. I was wrong.

My iTunes tells me that I added 150 records this year which is an average of nearly 3 per week. I guess that really does show how much time I spent listening to music. But the one sad thing about this is that it feels that music makes less of an impact these days than it used to. When I was younger I would probably spend more time with each record, and some I would play over and over and over and learn every word and every note. That rarely happens these days. I listen to something a few times and then, if I really like it, I probably play it for a few weeks at best before I'm bored of it and moving on to something else. I'm not sure why this is the case, but I kinda miss the days of experiencing real lasting love for a record for months on end. The most I seem to get out of something that I really love these days is about 3 weeks. Is this just me?


It's always fun for me to go back through my posts and feel excited at all the cool, rare items I picked up, but this year I didn't actually pick up too many big items. It was mainly a year of picking up lots of new music rather than collecting rare 'pieces' for the sake of the collection. That said, I did still manage to get hold of some really great items that I am super happy to now own. Unsurprisingly, nearly all of them are test pressings as that is firmly where my interest lies these days.

The items shown above are as follows:

Farside 'Rochambeau' LP Test press - the result of a trade that took about 2 years to get around to. One of my all time favourite records.

Farside 'Scrap' LP Test press. I was surprised to find this one on eBay and knew from the second I saw it that I would win it. I love this band so much.

Judge 'Bringin' It Down' LP Test press - I still cannot fucking believe that I own this.

Down By Law 'Blue' LP Test press - I love the first 4 DBL albums, and this one is probably my favourite. I couldn't not buy this when I saw it for sale.

Shift 'Pathos' 12" Test press - another trade, and this one completed the holy trinity of Shift 12" test pressings for me.

Gameface 'Cupcakes' 7" Test press - I probably overpaid for thsi one, but it was worth it as this was a big hole in my Gameface test press collection.

Bloodline 'The Waiting Game' 7" Red vinyl - this one had been on my want list for 20 years+ and is incredibly hard to find. I was stoked to finally get one, and for only $10 too.

Inch 7" Red vinyl - this one had me so happy. I never knew it existed on colour vinyl despite owning it for close to 30 years.


As ever, thanks to the people who continue to read this, and especially to those who comment. I started this thing to engage with other like minded people and share information and stories, so it's nice when other people chip in. If you read and don't comment then I'd like to encourage you to do so in future. I love getting comments, but it happens much less frequently these days. Come on people!

I'm not sure 2023 will bring, but I'm pretty sure it will bring fewer records into my house. I'm aiming for a smaller yet higher quality haul for next year. I already have my sights on a couple of items that have me excited and I just hope that they come off.

See you all next year!

Thursday, 29 December 2022

Five Times For Unity

As much as I hate the word, World Be Free is something of a modern day hardcore 'supergroup'. They are comprised of Scott Vogel from Terror on vocals, Sammy from every band ever on drums, Andrew Kline (Strife / War Records) and someone else I forget. They had a debut LP come out back in 2016 on Rev and then went a little quiet. Then last year this new 5 song EP, titled 'One Time For Unity' came out. It took me until Summer this year to get my copies, and then I have spent ages waiting for the opportunity to take photos to get this post up.

One of the reasons this took so long to get around to is that there were a lot of different versions, and one day I took a photo of all of them, and then afterwards realised that I had left one out. Ugh. The prospect of laying them all out again seemed too much to bear, so I left it... until this week.

There were 100 copies on clear red vinyl sold as a Coretex exclusive. I got a pretty low number on this one. Not that it makes a difference really.

Like a lot of records these days, this ia a single sided 12" EP. The b-side is devoted to some laser etched logo.

The other version I wanted to specifically mention is the black vinyl version that came in a different sleeve and that was sold by the band directly. The same thing happened with the first 12". The main difference was that the first album in a limited sleeve was limited to 100 copies and sold out super fast, whereas this one is numbered out of 184 (which is a weird number) and lingered for weeks, or possibly months. It seemed nobody cared.

There were 3 other colours but I didn't see the point of taking individual photos. So here's a group shot of the lot.

Overall the vinyl looks great (the result of using a proper pressing plant) and the record itself is ok. But does it live up to any of the records made by the band members' previous bands? No, I don't think so. And would I have bought this if it weren't on Revelation? Probably yes, although it's unlikely I would have bought more than one copy. The things I do to keep up with the Rev machine right?

Wednesday, 28 December 2022

Love Is Worth It

Time moves so fast that it messes with my mind. A few months ago this record ('Love Is Worth It' by Silent Drive) got pressed onto vinyl for the first time. There were two different colours of vinyl made, and I picked up this clear blue one, which was originally sold as 'coke bottle clear'.

This record was originally released eighteen years ago, back in 2004, on CD only. The band features Zach Jordan on vocals (most known for playing guitar in Bane) and Pete Chilton on bass (who at the time also played bass in Bane). I remember where I got my CD as if it were yesterday. I went to see Bane play in Glasgow in 2005, and was chatting to the band before the show, and Zach gave me the CD as a gift. I hadn't heard it and I guess he was proud of it and wanted me to hear it. I then ended up playing that record a hell of a lot back then and it became one of those records that I played so much that I could pretty much sing every word to every song.

Over the years I bugged Zach and Pete about pressing the album on vinyl many times. At one point I even asked if I could press it and release it myself, but I think they didn't have the appetite to try to convince Equal Vision to let that happen. It might have helped if I had been a proper record label. But with so much time having passed, eventually vinyl has become so popular that I am guessing that Equal Vision have spent some time looking back through their catalog to identify some titles that never got put on vinyl originally, and this was one of them. Batter late than never I guess.

Tuesday, 27 December 2022

I've Been Around And I've Seen Enough

There are some records that I never even dreamed I would own, and this is one. Judge 'Bringin' It Down' LP test press. This is one of the original test pressings from the first press from 1989. Apparently only 8 were made. This one came to me in one of the first press sleeves, with the 'printed in Canada' text on the spine. Always nice when a test press comes in something other than just a white paper sleeve.

You can tell this one is old from the labels, as the top part of the label is filled in black. That's an old design. Based on other test presses I have seen, the design must have changed not too long after this one, at some point in the early 1990s. There is also a later test press of this record from 2001 (the so called 'final press') which was pressed at Erika Records and has yellow labels, so it is easy to tell the two apart. There were only 8 of those as well, although somehow that one feels like it is slightly more common as I feel I have seen more people post photos of it.

There's not really too much I can say about this one. It's a classic / iconic straight edge hardcore record that everyone knows if they are reading this. There's not even a great story attached really. I had the chance to buy it and I paid up. The end.

What I will say is that this record has evoked some strong and strange feelings in me the past few weeks. It's a hard one to describe, but for some reason I feel that I don't really deserve to own this. With 8 made around 33 years ago, this feels a bit like a fantasy item and not one the kind of thing that should be sitting in my collection. Whilst I do love this record, and it was a very important one for me when I did first hear it back around 1993. But I wasn't around and eagerly anticipating its release when it came out in 1989 and I can't even say that Judge is my favourite band. In many ways, the same logic applies to many other records that I own, but for some reason this one in particular feels like one that I have no business owning. It is a strange feeling indeed. But whilst I continue to wrestle with these feelings, I can confidently say that this is hands down my single favourite record that I picked up in 2022.

Thursday, 22 December 2022


Another 2022 release that I enjoyed this year was the 'Deluge' 12" EP by Fairweather. I think that I only really knew that this was coming out because I was looking for the Bitter Branches LP in the Equal Vision store, and noticed this one listed. For those of you unfamiliar, Fairweather was a band that were around way back near the start of the century. Equal Vision put out their debut LP back in 2001, which I bought becaudse back then EVR was a great label (back in 2001 they also released the debut LP by American Nightmare and 'Give Blood' by Bane), so I used to buy everything they put out. So yeah, I bought the debut Fairweather LP even though I had no idea who the band was, and at the time I really liked it. They then released records in 2002 and 2003, and then broke up.

I'm not sure I would have bought this one if I hadn't been in the store to buy the Bitter Branches LP, but it was one of those moments where I figured I may as well add another record to the order to somehow save money on postage.

There were two colours of vinyl being pressed out of 250 copies each. I probably would have bought the grey vinyl version had it not been sold out, so my only choice was clear pink.

I enjoyed this record a lot this year. But the main problem is that it's only 4 songs. It doesn't feel like quite enough. I mean, it's been 8 years since their last album, so I kinda feel that they should have been able to come up with a few more songs in all that time. That said, there's 21 minutes of music here, so it's actually longer than a lot of hardcore albums that have ten songs or more. So I shouldn't complain really.

Speaking of their previous album, I distinctly remember it coming out back in 2014, because it came out at the same time as the final Bane LP. Back then I decided not to buy a copy because they were on black vinyl only, which I decided was too boring to bother with. Then at some point a little later it got repressed on blue vinyl. They still had some in the EVR store, so I decided to add one of those to the order too.

It's been a while since I listened to this one, but it still definitely holds up, and buying the vinyl for the first time was a good reminder to listen to it some more. As always, it's funny how bands move in and out of your life over time. I probably hadn't listened to this one for six years or so, but I played this quite a bit these past three months. I also met the one of the band members back in October as he also plays in Be Well. Dude was on tour in Europe but had lost his passport, which had ended up costing him a serious amount of money. I wonder if he made it home ok?

Wednesday, 21 December 2022

Rattle The Cage

It's a good job that I am a patient boy. I wait, I wait, I wait I wait. My time is water down a drain. It was a little over 2 years ago, in early December 2020, that I placed an order for the Struck Nerve LP from Youngblood. At the time I had never heard the band, but I was working on the assumption that it would be good, based on the fact I own every Youngblood release and there aren't really any duff ones. Well, all of a sudden a whole year had passed and I didn't have the record yet, but I knew it would come in the end. At some point earlier this year it arrived, but it was then a few more months until I actualy received it.

My Youngblood collection is pretty complete, and I have multiple copies of most releases, but when the preorder for this when live I didn't fancy spending money on three copies of the same record. So I just ordered one copy of the most limited colour, the red vinyl out of 100 copies. I also don't usually listen to records until I have the actual record in my hands, but at some point last year I got tired of waiting and downloaded the LP and listened to the songs a few times. So by thwe time I actually got this record, I'd already got bored of this and moved on.

As dumb as it sounds, one thing I love about this one is the amount of dead wax in the middle of the record. The grooves only take up about 50% of the record, and with this being on red vinyl it totally reminds me of the YOT BDTW LP on Wishingwell. I love to see a lot of dead wax for this very reason.

Well anyway, in July this year Youngblood put up some copies of this record in a limited sleeve that were left over from This Is Hardcore fest. Even though this record hadn't exactly lit up my life, the prospect of owning a limited, numbered sleeve version seemed essential for some reason, so I banged in another order and hoped I wouldn't have to wait another year and a half.

This version is numbered out of 50 copies on the back cover and contains a white vinyl record which was the most common colour, out of 300 copies.

I think I listened to this for a few weeks nearly two weeks ago and wasn't overly excited by it. But I dusted it off again as I wrote this, and today I am blown away by how good it is. True story. A straight edge hardcore LP that has 9 songs and is done in 14 minutes. I need to listen to this more. I also now kinda feel that I wouldn't mind grabbing a clear vinyl copy. Goddamnit, I can already feel that this one could snowball for sure.

Tuesday, 20 December 2022

Sick Of Talk

Back in the 90s and early 2000's I used to live by the philosophy that I should buy everything as soon as it was released whilst the opportunity was there. This was based on the logic that if I then didn't like it further down the line then I could sell it, but if I missed buying it then I would either have to wait a long time to find one or pay a much higher price. At some point my philosophy changed to 'avoid spending money if you can' and I ended delaying on ordering some things and as a result I ended up missing many records over the years. I really need to learn and go back to the way I used to operate. Anyway, last year the Negative Approach 7" got repressed on clear green vinyl and I decided not to order one. There were 1000 copies pressed and I figured it would be easy to get, but nope, it sold out in an instant and discogs pricing kicked in and I was pissed at both myself and the game once again. Will I never learn?

Well, for some reason the prices on this one haven't carried on climbing. It's probably due to supply. There are always a few for sale, probably due to people buying them to try to make a quick buck, and then realising there isn't as much demand as they hoped. So the people who truly want to cash out have been forced to lower their prices. Ok, so I still had to pay discogs prices for this thing, but at the same time I paid the lowest price paid yet paid for one of these, so that's some consolation I guess.

I don't own an original of this one, and at this rate probably never will, as the price has reached a level over what I want to pay. So I think this is a pretty good consolation prize. The vinyl actually looks good and seems like an apt colour, especially given the Exorcist cover. And yes, if they repress it again I will be right at the front of the queue.

Monday, 19 December 2022

Anti Complicity Anthem

In a few ways, 2022 has been a bit of a weird year. In terms of live shows, this year I only went to see 3 live shows... 2 of which were Ignite. I saw them play a release show for their latest LP in California back in April, and then I saw them play in London on their Euro tour in August. What was also interesting was that their new LP came out back in March or April, but Revelation then released a 2 song 7" about 4 months later which I think was originally supposed to function as a promo for that LP, but which came out too late and therefore served no real purpose. Well, not strictly true, as one of the two songs is not on the LP. But given 7" sales these days are not what they used to be, this thing felt a little bit unneccesary. Still, that didn't stop me wanting to collect it, especially seeing as there were several different colours to collect. Like the fool I am, I wanted them all.

The most common colour is a solid green. I like it. It's a nice colour and is probably my favourite of them all. This one was available from RevHQ and probably some stores or distros.

The labels on this are interesting. White label one side, black the other. They look ok from a short distance, but close up they look bad as the ink has bled terribly. You have to look at them close up to see what I mean. But goddamn it, if I were running the show I would have made them repress the lot. The quality is terrible.

So as I mentioned, there were several colours of this one made, and not many of each pressed. Unlike some Rev releases from the past, I had a sense of urgency in getting these because I figured that some of the colours would sell out quick. As I write this, I think it is only really the clear vinyl copies that sold out. The rest are probably still obtainable.

As is the way with modern collecting, there were 6 different colours made, with each being given to a different retailer. A total pain in the ass for anyone to collect, especially as the sellers were spread across the world. Here's the breakdown:

400 opaque green vinyl
100 opaque blue vinyl (Programme Skate & Sound exclusive)
100 coke bottle clear vinyl... although 9 came out pink (Ignite exclusive).
150 gold vinyl (Coretex exclusive)
100 clear red vinyl (Impericon exclusive)
150 grey vinyl (Kingsroad / On Ink exclusive)

Also, due to where this one was pressed, there seem to have been a few interesting quirky copies that have surfaced. A small number of the clear copies came out pink (presumably they were pressed after the red copies) and were kept by the band. I have seen a couple of quirky blue copies (including one on discogs). And I was lucky enough to get a red one with a lot of black mixed in, which looks pretty cool.

I'm not sure how sought after this record one will be in years to come, but I figured best grab all of them now while I could. But the fact that they didn't sell out quick suggests that probably not too many are too bothered. Still, I think they look cool as a set and am happy I saw the band on tour to get the clear one. And good luck to anyone trying to complete this set.

Sunday, 18 December 2022

What Happens Next?

Anyone who reads this thing regularly may have noticed that I have picked up a few classic Nardcore records this year that were repressed by It's Alive Records. And here is another one. Ill Repute are regarded as pretty much the first Nardcore band, and their first LP 'What Happens Next' has achieved classic status. Originally released back in 1984 on Mystic Records, this has been repressed a couple of times over the years, but this year's repress on It's Alive is the first time that the recorc has been pressed on colour vinyl.

As with all It's Alive releases, this one came sealed with a sticker, but I managed to get in without damaging the sticker in any way.

The record comes on clear vinyl, and there were 150 made. According to discogs, there were only 90 copies that were sold. If that is true, I'm not sure what happened to the other 60.

The numbering is on a small insert. I got a nice low number too.

And as usual with all It's Alive releases, this one is stuffed full of extras... posters, stickers, labels, flyers etc. You can see the record in the bottom right of this next photo. It looks small compared to the mass of paper stuffed inside this record.

I'd never heard this band before, and it's a lot of fun. The songs are short and fast. 11 songs done in 16 minutes. I guess it's difficult to understand how things were back in 1984, but this probably sounded revolutionary back then. I can see why another band named themselves after this record. Anyway, this is well worth checking out if you haven't heard it before.

Saturday, 17 December 2022

How Flowers Grow

It was pretty much exactly a year ago that the Scowl 'How Flowers Grow' LP came out. I remember because at the start of December I visited RevHQ and I saw a few copies sat in bins ready to be mailed out to people who had pre-ordered. Sadly at that point it was already completely sold out. At the time I was so desperate to get a copy that, for a couple of seconds, I thought about stealing one of the copies laying around at Rev. But no, I didn't, and figured I would find one for sale somewhere... which I turned out to be completely wrong about. The first press of 500 sold out in an instant and it was impossible to get a copy. And then eventually, seven months later or so, a second pressing of 1100 copies went up for order... and pretty much sold out in a day or two. Crazy doesn't even start to describe it.

Well, I managed to get one of the second press copies. This yellow vinyl version was the most common colour of the second presss, out of 600 copies. I would have bought the pink copy if it were stil available (which it wasn't), and I could have bought the 'Pearlescent Copper Swirl' (300 copies) but I swerved it because it sounded like it would look like shit, being a swirl and all (although having seen it, it actually looks ok).

It's cool to finally get a copy of this, although now I'm sitting down to type this I realised that it didn't quite have the lastability I thought it would. I listened to it quite a bit last December, but I got a little tired of it quite quickly, and then it fell off of my playlist. I think I just suffered from Scowl overload this year. It felt like they did a lot of tours and played a lot of shows and were constantly showing in my instagram feed, to the point where I just got used to flicking past them. But damn, it really is a great record, no doubt about it.

Tuesday, 13 December 2022

For Dancing And Listening

Back in the early 90s, one of the first bands I got into was Snuff. They got together in the late 80s and then broke up in 1991, only a year or so after I got into them. My musical tastes changed a lot over the 1992-94 era, so when the singer formed a new band in 1994, I wasn't really interested. I had moved on. That band had a comedy name, which was another reason I ignored them. The band was called Guns 'N' Wankers and they released three 7"s at the same time on a relatively small UK label. I didn't buy them, although one of my friends did. But the bad didn't last too long because around the same time Snuff reformed, and got picked up by Fat Wreck Chords and started to do pretty well.

Well, some of the Guns 'N' Wankers songs got pressed as a 12" by Fat Wreck Chords at around the same time. And then a few years later that 12" got repressed as a 10" for some stupid reason. And then all of those songs got repressed as a 12" in 2019 by a UK label. I guess there are a lot of people out there who still love those songs and don't want to have to deal with 7"s.

Anyway, my friends recently gave me the first press copy of the Fat Wreck 12" from 1994. I had no idea he had this one in his tiny collection, but after getting reacquainted with Snuff earlier this year, I found myself interested.

This is another example of time making all the difference. Back in 1994 when these songs were originally released, I was not interested in this sound at all. I was sick of it and wanted something harder. These days I have a lot of hard sounding music in my collection and often crave something more melodic. Due mainly to the Duncan's distinct vocals, this sounds just like a Snuff record, so I've been loving this one lately, and I feel like a fool for ignoring this for twenty eight bloody years.

Monday, 12 December 2022

About Time

Ending the year in a similar way to how I started it, by listening to some pop punk from the early 90s. Last month I visited another friend of mine who I grew up with, and he ended up giving me a few records, mainly stuff from the early 90s that I wasn't into then but am kinda interested in now, partly due to nostalgia. Back in the early 90s I liked the first two Pennywise albums, but after seeing the band play live in (probably) the summer of 1994, I decided I was no longer interested. Back at that time, pop punk was getting popular and the Pennywise show I went to was in a larger venue than I usually visited, and was full of morons. So that was it. I never really listened to Pennywise again. So here I am in late 2022 listening to their third album for the first time.

'About Time' was released in 1995. I vaguely remember it coming out, because I made a conscious decision to ignore it. Back then my taste was mainly for straight edge hardcore and Pennywise was old hat. But listening to this now, I find it kinda catchy. Time heals all wounds I guess.

This copy I have inherited is a first press copy from 1995 on black vinyl. It seems that this has been repressed on a few different colours over the years, which no doubt look cool, but I'm happy with this one for the price I paid.

I just checked discogs and it seems that Pennywise have put out something like 12 albums. Even though this one has been a fun listen these past three weeks or so, I'm not sure I really want to venture any further... although I would if anyone wanted to give them to me, haha.

Sunday, 11 December 2022

Rat Beat

Back in 2018, Bridge Nine released a 7" by a new band called Beach Rats. A new band made up of old dudes and a 7" with a cover that looked like a tattoo, I had zero interest in checking them out. Well, fast forward four years and they released a full length titled 'Rat Beat' and for some reason I fancied checking it out... and pretty much instantly I loved it. I guess it's not surprising given who is in the band that it would be catchy, but it's kinda funny that originally I dismissed this. The band features Brian Baker (Minor Threat, Dag Nasty, Bad Religion), Ari Katz (singer of Lifetime) and two dudes from The Bouncing Souls.

This was released by Epitaph and probably because it's a smaller band on the label, it 'only' came on four colours of vinyl. I wasn't too excited by the colours available in Europe, so I went after clear, which is one of the two US colours. As ever, clear looks great.

This really is a very catchy record. There are 12 songs and they are all done in 22 minutes, which in my mind is the perfect length for a record. The songs are short and fast but also have melody and audible lyrics that you can sing along to. It's a really fun record. But given the members are all in other bands, I'm curious as to how much they will play out live.

Anyway, this of course now means that I will now need to track down that 7" that I chose to ignore four years ago like a fool.

Saturday, 10 December 2022

Your Neighbours Are Failures

Another contender for record of the year that I finally got my hands on is the debut full length from Bitter Branches. The band features Tim Singer on vocals (No Escape, Deadguy, Kiss It Goodbye) and some other older dudes. They released a 12" EP a couple of years ago that I enjoyed, but this record feels like a step forward. I downloaded this one earlier this year and I have played this one a LOT. I may have played this one more than any other new released this year. When it came to buying a physical copy I was put off by the colour vinyl options available, as they seemed to be splatters or swirls and on colours not really matching the artwork. So in the end I just went with one that came with a limited, numbered cover... even though it comes on a splatter colour.

Interestingly, I am pretty sure that this one was not actually pressed at the plant that I hate. There's something about this that looks a little different, and the vinyl feels less like cheap plastic. So my guess is that it was actually pressed somewhere else.

Well anyway, at some point in recent weeks the band posted a pic on instagram of a white vinyl copy of the record, which looked like the most suitable colour of all. So I figured I would get one so that I had a 'regular' copy as well.

At this moment I think I am the only person who has the white one. I got it from the drummer, who I bought some things from on discogs. He told me that the white vinyl hadn't been made available yet, but he had a few and could sell me one. Score.

And on top of the two LPs, I picked up the pink vinyl version of the 7". When these initially came out the band sold a super low number at a show, and consequently everyone was under the impression that only 18 copies existed. But it turned out that there were just 18 sold initially, out of 200 pressed. They just got held back from sale for a few weeks, for no real reason. Anyway, I was happy to get this because we all know that pink is the best colour for records.