Friday, 31 March 2023

Time Will Tell

Last year I picked up some Lockin' Out 7"s, including one by a band called Big Contest. It was released in 2020 and, as ever, I was late to the party. But I then found out that they had previously released an album way back in 2014. The band contains Ned Russin (from Title Fight, Stick Together, Disengage) as well as dudes from other bands (Intent, Free Spirit, Step Forward). So I am going to just assume that the other bands took over and left Big COntext on the backburner. Anyway, I saw the LP for sale for cheap and couldn't resist picking it up. Sometimes I'm just a sucker for lesser known hardcore bands, especially if the record has a black and white cover.

I also like records that borrow ideas in a tribute kinda way, and the layout of the back cover is clearly heavily influenced by the back of 'Screaming For Change'. In case you want to have a look, here's a LINK.

I have no idea how many of these were pressed on clear, but I do know that not all of them were. Black copies seem to be more common.

As I said before when I picked up the 7", this is no frills fast hardcore, and when I'm in the mood for this kind of thing then this record really ticking the box at the mo. And I'm only 9 years late to it, haha. I guess I should pay more attention to other blogs sometimes.

Thursday, 30 March 2023

A Place In The Sun

I picked up this third LP by Triggerman a while ago. The band is a longstanding outfit from California. Their first release was on Workshed Records back in 1992, and then in 2012 (yep... twenty years later) a second full length was released... although I think this may have been old unreleased songs (I'm not sure as I don't have it). Then a further 9 years later in 2021 they released a new album, 'A Place In The Sun'. The band released it themselves and pressed 300 copies as a double LP in a gatefold sleeve. I picked up a cheap copy of this a while ago but struggled to get into it. But after trying again I've been really enjoying this one lately.

The line up consists of Joe Nelson on vocals (Ignite, The Killing Flame, WInds of Promise), Gaving Oglesby (No For An Answer) on guitar, Brett Rasmussen (Ignite) on bass and Derek O'Brien (Social Distortion, Adolescents) on drums. I'm not sure this is a 'supergroup' as such, but these dudes have a lot of experience so the musicianship is strong.

The artwork is kinda cool, although it's not overly easy to make it out in these pics. Basically, the front cover is a street scene as viewed from above with a couple of dudes dressed like 1930s detectivesin trench coats and hats. The inner sleeves contain the same themed artwork. And nowhere on the cover is any text. I also received this copy sealed in shrinkwrap, and there was no sticker or anything. But there is text on the spine. So if you're flipping through records in a shop and you see thie, you'd have to turn it sideways to figure out what is was.

I'm not sure how I'd describe this. It's not exactly hardcore. It's slightly melodic, but not poppy. It's not too fast, and there's a song with a group of kids singing the chorus. It definitely felt pretty bland at first, but definitely a slow burner. So now of course I want the second full length from 2012 that I missed.

Friday, 24 March 2023

Human Outline

As I mentioned in my last post, when I picked up the Koro 7" repress from Static Shock Records I looked around the store to see if there was anything else interesting to buy and ended up buying a couple of really great new releases. The second is the new full length from a band called Wound Man called 'Human Outline'. I hadn't actually heard of this band before, but it seems that they have been going for ten years, with their last album coming out back in 2016. Part of the reason I am surprised that I hadn't heard of this band before is that it features DFJ on drums from every band of the past twenty years or so, and I have a lot of records by bands he has been in. So how this band passed me by for a decade I have no idea.

This record (like the Brain Tourniquet LP in my last post) is on Iron gLung Records. The white vinyl is out of 150 copies, which seems like the perfect colour given the artwork.

This record is also quite similar to the Brain Tourniquet LP in that it's very much in the Infest / Crossed Out kinda ballpark, and I'm absolutely loving this right now. I genuinely can't decide which of the two records is my favourite, but I'm having fun listening to each one every day to try to figure it out. 2023 has started pretty strong for hardcore it seems, and there are more new releases on the way that I'm stoked for. Bring it.

Thursday, 23 March 2023

An Expression In Pain

So when I bought the Koro 7" repress (as per my last post) I did that usual thing that we all do, where I looked around the store to see if there was anything else that I might want. Well, I had recently been paid so was feeling like I had a bit of money to play with, so I was looking for an excuse to buy something I guess. One thing that caught my eye was the debut full length from Brain Tourniquet. I bought their first 7" in 2021 and, whilst I thought it was good for what it was, I haven't listened to it much since. But I was in the mood to buy someting, so I figured I would grab the new LP and give it a chance.

The LP is titled '... An Expression In Pain' and was released by a label that I haven't really dealt with previously called Iron Lung Records. With hindsight I did well with my timing on this one, because I managed to get one of the red vinyl copies, which seem to have sold out pretty soon after I got mine. There were 200 pressed on red, and also 100 on smoky clear, all of which are now long sold out. So I feel I was lucky to land one of these, especially as I bought it on a whim.

The band features Connor from Protestor / Red Death / Joing Custody, and they clearly model themselves on the early Slap A Ham bands (Neanderthal, Crossed Out, Infest). And whilst I struggled with the 7" as I found it almost too intense, this has absolutely blown me away. There are 10 songs on here. The first 9 are done in 10 minutes, and then there is a tenth song (which is the highlight) which itself goes on for 10 minutes. Short and fast or long and slow, it seems they can do both.

I'm playing this twice a day at the moment as I love it so much, so it already seems pretty clear that this could be a strong contender for the best release of 2023. and definitely worth checking out if you like the heavier end of the hardcore spectrum.

Tuesday, 21 March 2023

700 Club

A couple of weeks back I got an email from Static Shock Records telling me that they had a new repress copy of the legendary Koro 7" in stock. As a record collector, this is a 7" that I have heard a lot about over the years, and know to be nigh on impossible to find. There were originally only 500 copies made way back in 1983, and if one comes up for sale it sells for a lot of money. Basially, there is no way I am ever going to care enough to buy an original, so I thought that £8 plus postage for a legit colour vinyl repress was a pretty good deal.

As far as I can tell, aside from the vinyl colour this is a pretty good replica of the original. I like how the sleeve isn't too clean or crisp looking. I think if it were pressed on black then you could easily be fooled into thinking that this is an old record. A pretty faithful reproduction, which is nice because the same label pressed it back in 2006 and something wasn't quite right (I think the songs were either listed in the wrong order or put on the record in the wrong order, but not sure as I don't have one).

I don't know much about this band other than what I vaguely knew or read. Basically they were a bunch of high school kids in Knoxville, Tennessee who wanted to be the fastest band there was. This seems to have been the objective for a lot of bands back then, but no doubt these kids nailed it. Apparently there has been speculation over the years that these songs were somehow sped up, which has also been strongly denied. The band apparently existed for two years, released this 7" themselves that rips through 8 songs in 7 minutes, and here we are 40 years later and people all over the world are still super interested. I mean, what other kind of music scenes are there where people are paying thousands of dollars for am obscure 8 song record put out by completely unknown teenage kids from the middle of nowhere who never went on to do anything else? Hardcore punk rock is really awesome and unique at times.

Anyway, this is a great record for a great price. With only 300 copies made, which are only available from either Static Shock Records or La Vida Es Un Mus, this will soon sell out and be gone for good. Best grab one while they're still available.

Sunday, 19 March 2023

Soul Blind

At some point last year someone recommended that I check out Soul Blind. A young band from New York state, these kids play music that sounds a lot like 1990s grunge, which is a sound that feels increasingly fresh and interesting these days. I downloaded a couple of songs in Summer last year and really enjoyed it, and then at the end of last year their debut album, 'Feel It All Around', came out. I couldn't wait to listen to it, and downloaded it immediately. I think I first checked it out on the 1st or 2nd of January, and instantly I thought that this could be the album of the year...well, aside from the technicality that it actually came out in November of last year.

As is often the case these days, this was pressed on a number of vile looking swirly splattery colour options, but the only one that looked remotely acceptable was the 'silver smoke' version, which just so happened to the a UK exclusive. I figured it would be easy to find if it were a UK exclusive, but sadly not, because the so called UK exclusive was only sold by a retailer in Germany, which is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard, and further confirms to me that modern day record selling is largely run by total morons.

It doesn't show up too well in these pics, but this silver' colour is slightly transparent. I took one more pic of it on the cover to show it better.

The story doesn't quite end there for Soul Blind. I was picking up something else from a UK distro and it turned out that they also had a Soul Blind 7" in stock, so I figured I'd grab it. This is called 'Greatest Hits Vol 1' and was originally relaesed by Trip Machine Laboratories in 2020.

There are 4 songs on here and this is the stuff I downloaded last year. And as is often the case when you're kinda late to the party, I'm bummed I didn't pick up on this band sooner and be able to grab a first press copy of this. Can't win 'em all I guess.

Anyway, as I mentioned above, this is a great band that creates a sound I really love, and one that will definitely get a lot of future play. Some records I know I will only listen to a little over time, and others I know will last long into the future. These are definitely in the latter category. According to itunes I have already played the album 22 times in just over two months. I wonder where that number will be by the end of the year?

Thursday, 16 March 2023

Wasted Time

Last year I checked out the debut LP by Beach Rats, and it would be fair to say that I loved it. Featuring Brian Baker from Minor Threat / Dag Nasty / Bad Religion, the singer of Lifetime and a coupe of dudes from Bouncing Souls, the record was a great catchy punk LP that made me feel stupid for completly ignoring their debut 7" when it came out. So I went back to fix that problem.

'Wasted Time' is a 5 song 7" that was released by Bridge Nine Records in 2018. I initially dismissed it based on the cover art. To me it just looks like a bad tattoo. The back isn't much better either. It doesn't exactly entice someone to want to check it out I would say.

The first pressing of this 7" was on two different colours of vinyl - brown / 700 (above), and red /300 (below). I managed to find both for less than they usually sell for. I wasn't really looking to buy more than one of these, but I bought the brown one and then not long after stumbled across a red one. I guess that's how it happens sometimes.

In a way I am glad I only got around to checking this out after I picked up the LP. I can't imagine hwo long the wait for more songs would have seemed if I'd have picked this up when it came out. This is so catchy... and over so quickly. I just hope that it's not another 4 years before they serve up something else.

Tuesday, 14 March 2023

4 Years To Jupiter

So I used to collect Cave In records. I say 'used to' because I have now officially given up. Their latest LP came out last year on 12 or more different colours of vinyl, and that was enough for me to quit. Just in time too, as it seems that most of their back catalog is going to be repressed by Relapse Records, probably on a multitude of splatter vinyl options which I want no part of. Anyway, I'm still interested in picking up the older releases that I am missing, and here's one that has a slightly cool story to it... the test press of the european pressing of 'Jupiter'. This one was pressed by a label called Chrome Saint Magnus back in the year 2000.

I first held this exact record in Los Angeles in 2018. I went back to some dude's house who used to help run Hydrahead Records, and he had this record in his house amongst a lot of other records that were for sale. I was interested, but we couldn't agree a price. He wanted $350, which I thought was way too much. I told him that I would be prepared to go to $120 but tht was my limit. Needless to say, I left the record in the house that night when I left.

Well, only a couple of months later and the dude sold most of his records to record shops in LA, and a lot of them (including this one) appeared on discogs. I can't remember the exact price, but I think it was initially listed for $300, possibly a little more. It doesn't matter really. The point is that the price was way too high. But still, I added the item to my cart. I figured I would watch it and hoped that the price would come down. And yes, the price did come down, but very slowly. After being initially listed at some point in late 2018, the price came down and down over the course of 4 years. Then, near the end of 2022, the price came down to $120. I then shot the seller a message offering $100, and he accepted. So after 4 years, my estimate of this record's value was finally proven correct. As I have said so many times before... record collecting is all about patience.

WHat I always liked about the Euro press of this record is that it uses the green cover art. The US vinyl pressing has purple cover art, although the US CD version (which came out before the vinyl by a good few weeks, I think) had the green cover. Anyway, as ever I don't need a black vinyl copy, so this collection ends here. One of my favourite records of all time, and I tihnk that I now have every version that I want.

Friday, 10 March 2023

Serenity Of The Once Lost

A few months ago one of the biggest Integrity collections in the world got sold in one chunk as part of a larger collection. Some early birds managed to raid it and get the rarest stuff, and then Dave from Six Feet Under bought the remains and sold it all on eBay. There were no big or expensive items that I needed, but I did watch a few auctions with the intention of plugging some smaller holes in the collection. Most of the records sold for so cheap that it actually worried me that my Integrity collection is practically worthless, but hey, I'm in too deep now to really care about that stuff. So I ended up picking up a few cheap 7"s that I was missing.

First up is a black vinyl copy of the first 7", 'In Contrast Of Sin', on Dark Empire. I have no idea of the pressing info of this, but the black version of this pressing always felt rarer than the white vinyl. This copy is signed on the front cover, which kinda ruins it for me, but never mind.

Next is the black vinyl pressing of the split 7" with Lockweld. This one was put out by Victory Records back in 1998. I bought the white and silver versions when it came out but had no need for the black... until 25 years later.

Next is the black version of the 'Evacuate' flexi 7". This contains one song, which is a Negative Approach cover. I remember this coming out in 2012. The whole press sold out before I even knew it existed. So it's cool to have finally got this one.

Next, the black vinyl version of the split 7" with Gehenna. I thought I had a complete collection of this 7", and then somehow only realised recently that there was a black one that I didn't have. Apparently black was the Integrity exclusive version. I still don't have a complete collection as there is a test press that I don't have.

Next is the black vinyl Indie Recordings pressing of the 'Black Heksen Rise' 7". Another one that I ignored when it came out.

ANd finally, the odd one out. The red vinyl pressing of the split 7" with Rot In Hell. Unbelievably this one came out way back in 2011, and I picked up the other copies of this one, but the red eluded me.

These things have been on my minor want list for years, so it felt quite efficient to grab them all in one go and pay only one lot of postage. So that's 6 more into the INteg 7" box, which now contains 140 records. And as crazy as that sounds, there are still quite a few that I don't have.

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Jade Dust

Sometimes I am relatively up to date, and recently I have been really enjoying the band Jade Dust. The band ceom from Portland, Oregon but sound more like they came from Washington DC circa 1985. Bringing to mind bands like Rites of Spring, Gray Matter, One Last Wish, Embrace, Rain, 3, and also slightly Give. This is some great DC emo sounding stuff that genuinely gets better with each play. I picked up their debt release, the self titled 6 song 12" EP.

There were 100 copies on blue vinyl, and 200 on 'random' colour vinyl. I got one of the ramdom copies, which is on this bright yellow colour.

Somehow I then got confused. A couple of weeks later I went to order the second 12" EP, but accidentally ordered another copy of the first 12". The second copy was also one of the ramdom coloured pressing, but this time on orange.

So of course, when this arrived and I realised my mistake, I then ordered a copy of the second 12", 'Wild Geese'. This one was also pressed on random coloured vinyl, and the copy I received is a nice mish mash of several colours, which I think looks great.

I think it's great that there is a band playing this sound in 2023 and I can't stress enough how good this is. If you're into this sound at all then this band is definitely something you will enjoy.

If anyone wants to buy or trade one of the copies of the first 12" that I have then please get in touch. I'd be happy to let one go, although not sure which one yet.

Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Unnumbered Green

Back in 2020 I picked up a bunch of 7"s by Constant Elevation, which is a band featuring Sammy from youth crew bands and the singer of The Movielife. It was ok back then but I haven't really listened to it much since. Anyway, there were 3 different colours of vinyl and the most common one is still available as I type this, so I think it's fair to say that this one has not been overly well received by the masses. Regardless, the rarest colour was green vinyl which was exclusive to Coretex, and numbered out of 150 copies, although the Rev pressing info states that there were 165 on green... meaning that 15 copies were not sold by Coretex and do not have the Coretex sticker slapped onto the back cover. I managed to acquire one of the unnumbered copies, which isn't overly exciting to look at. But it's a cool one to have.

I got the numbered copy out to take a photo of the two together, and it was then obvious that they are different shades of green.

I'm not sure whether the majority of these green records are more like the lighter green one or the darker green one. But I guess it doesn't matter. I think it's just kinda cool that as well as the numbered and unnumbered copies I lucked out on different shades too, as I'm really into this level of nerdery.

Monday, 6 March 2023

Single Successful Guy

On the last night of my last holiday in December last year, I found myself passing by Newbury Records in Boston, so decided to look inside at the record section. I have had mixed results at Newbury Comics in the past, but one thing that it does have going for it is that it gets lots of exclusive pressings from all kinds of labels, and they have a fairly healthy selection generally. I didn't really find anything that I really needed, but there was an exclusive orange vinyl pressing of the self titled Bouncing Souls LP in the bargain bin at a really cheap price.

This is actually a 25th anniversary pressing and there were 500 made. On the Newbury Comics website the vinyl colour is referred to as 'orange cream sherbert', although I think it could just as legitimately be called 'orange'.

I've never really been interested in the Bouncing Souls before, but given that I spent the first three months of last year listening exclusively to pop punk, I figured I'd give it a go. It didn't grab me immediately, and at first I felt that there were too many songs and it was a bit too long. But after I started to get used to it, the songs started to become very catchy, and it felt like the album was over very quickly. Weird. So that's where I got to with this one. A catchy record that you can sing along to, especially 'The Toilet Song'.

Sunday, 5 March 2023

Even Score

I've always thought that record collecting is built on patience. If you're the kind of person who wants a collection by the end of the month then sometimes that is possible, but generaly only if you are incredibly lucky or willing to spend big. But for the most part, it's about patience. After collecting for three decades now, I genuinely believe that everything will present itself in time. So it's just a case of waiting... and waiting some more.

At some point in the past couple of years or so I picked up a second colour vinyl copy of the Victory Swingin' Singles Club pressing of the Even Score 7". And then another. So here's yet another that I picked up recently for pretty cheap.

Every time I buy another one of these I think it is the best looking version, and this white one is no exception. It looks great with the silver ink on the cover.

I think I'm only missing one colour version of thie record now. But I'm in no rush. It will come.

Saturday, 4 March 2023

Time After Time

My love for the band Gameface has been well documented on here over the years. My spreadsheet tells me that I have 53 Gameface records, and they are one of only a small handful of bands that I have tried to collect everything for. A few short years ago I traded away one of two test pressings that I owned for their second LP 'Three To Get Ready'. It was released by Dr. Strange Records back in 1995 and I initially got a test press from someone at the label via a trade in the late 90s. The second one I bought for cheap on eBay in the mid 2000s. But after ten years or so of owning two, I let one go. Well, a couple of months back I came across another for sale on eBay and ended up buying it.

This one I bought for two reasons. Firstly, because it came with a promo sheet stapled to the paper sleeve, which I had never seen before. I think that technically this is a promo copy rather than a test press... although clearly both are really the same thing - an early pressing of the record with plain white labels.

The second reason I buoght this was because it was too cheap to pass up. $15 buy it now in this day and age is an absolute steal. So here I am back to two copies of this test press again... although I'd probably consider trading one away (again) if someone was keen.

Friday, 3 March 2023

Still Strong

I was given this record a few weeks ago by a friend I've known for most of my life. We grew up together skateboarding and got into a lot of music together way back when we were young. We'd both get into bands and then recommend them to each other. Probably around 1994 I gave him this Bold LP. It would have been one of the first ten Rev records I owned, and was just a bog standard early 90s pressing in a non gatefold sleeve. I bought this in a record shop and then at some point not long after acquired a first press gatefold sleeve copy, so this one was spare. So I gave it to my friend.

So now somewhere around 29 years later and it has come back to me. I'm not a big collector of black vinyl 'regular' pressings, and certainly have no intention of collecting the black versions of every Rev release. But I figured I would keep this one as it used to be mine. And also because I think this one is the pressing that comes from the green vinyl test press that I own.