Friday, 23 March 2012

Hot Topic Isn't Really Aimed At Me

I nipped over to the States at the weekend to scour round a few of the dead malls with only a few stores still open, ghost towns which are a shadow of their former selves now that there is a Walmart superstore on the next block that has everything the average loser needs under one roof.  One of these flea bitten decrepit joints had a Hot Topic in them, I've never been inside one of these and only heard about it when bands put out exclusive vinyl colours only available at Hot Topic which means I'll never own.  For anyone who hasn't been in one, it's the place you buy those long gloves with the one finger hole on them and neon hot pants that you see tweens wearing in the summer, it's also a place where you can pick up the latest Bring Me The Horizon shirt complete with a design that looks like a gorilla ate a complete paint set and then threw it up on a shirt.  Apparently you can't work there unless you have a mullet/sweep fringe combo and ears stretched so big that you can fit your hand through them.

Anyway, my curiosity was sated enough for me to leave until I noticed a couple of boxes of LP's hidden away at the back, naturally I had a flick through and came across the first Head Automatica record, for anyone who doesn't know who these are it's Daryl from Glassjaw and Josh from American Nightmare (going under the britpop moniker of Jarvis) playing a kind of funk dance punk thing, sounds shite on paper but it's dead catchy.  This is the first time it's been pressed into vinyl after coming out in 2006 and  Hot Topic had 1500 on green/blue split, the rest of the press was only available on black.  I read about this reissue in a magazine last September and didn't think anything of it because of the Hot Topic thing so it's cool that I found one in a shitty old mall.

This next one I was debating purchasing, I didn't enjoy the record in the slightest on the first time round, haven't been able to get into it in the years since but for ten bucks I couldn't really leave it in that crummy store.  This is one of the clear pink records that come with a super big poster insert with the background music cover on the back, I'm assuming that reissue has the same poster inside too.  It's a shame they didn't have Bakcground Music in stock as I haven't picked up any of these reissues from Deathwish and I like that record much more than We're Down Til We're Underground.  Not bad for ten bucks eh?

 I don't own a copy of the original pressing of this record, did it come with a gatefold cover?  I know Background Music didn't on the first pressing, not sure on this though.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Ancient VVisdom - A Godlike Inferno [Magic Bullet]

This record came out in 2011 and marked the first time in my life that I have legitimately downloaded a record on MP3.  I really hate to admit it but there was no vinyl release announced at the time and I'd rather just have the songs on my iPod than own another wate of space that is a CD, even if the package looked more like a gatefold LP.  I'd also like to note that for me it was the record of the year, I listened to it non stop last summer and even the missus enjoyed it which is a rarity.  

Fast forward to now and it's finally got the vinyl treatment via Magic Bullet Records, we have here a bevvy of colour choices out of a total of 500.  The artwork is expanded from the CD release which was just a plain cover with the fire from the colums in the middle and the band name/album name.  I'm pleased they went with a different cover actually, makes the wait for it a little bit more worth it.

The four different colours have names like Wasteland and THC, I'm fucked if I can remember what record they correspond to and all I care about is that I have all 4 of them.  I missed out on a test press as they sold out about 3 shows before I caught them back in January in Toronto, maybe I'll catch up with one of those in the future.

 Black record sleeves too, it just makes it a little bit different.
If you've not heard Ancient VVisdom before, they're kind of a satanic folk band that sound like Danzig playing the Manson Family jams, it's the kind of stuff that makes you want to build a fire by a great lake, drop some acid and wait for the star constellations to come to life.  That shit aint for me though, I'll have a root beer and toast some marshmallows while everyone else sees the great bear take a shit in the plough in the sky.
 One thing I'd like to mention about the way these were sent to me that I feel is very important and often gets overlooked, the record sleeves themselves weren't inside the covers, just loose in the pastic outer sleeve.  This is the CORRECT way to mail a record.  If they're left inside the main cover then the record gets thrown around inside the mailer in transit and often splits through the cover leaving a tear of at least an inch and a ruined purchase.  If you're mailing a record to someone please take the extra ten seconds to take the record out, you only look like a dick at the other end and it saves on any disputes that undoubtedly will arise.  A lot of labels and collectors mail the correct way, just don't be the wanker who forgets, kids.

So ends my record mailing rant.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Anne - Dream Punx [A389]

This is another record I picked up at the A389 bash, I'm slowly updating my blog with everything I purchased there, I would do one mass post but my upload speed out in the sticks is 1997 slow and it takes me at least 45 minutes to upload a posts worth of pictures so I apologize.

Anne are kind of shoegaze post punk and definitely a departure from what A389 normally put out, this is not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination and I'd urge anyone to listen to it. 

I haven't checked out the pressing numbers for the LP but I think the whole press came out on volour with the numbers shared between the variants, there's no insert with it and the back cover doesn't really give you anything to go on other than the song titles.  Basically the music speaks for itself, I've been listening to this pretty much non-stop for 3 weeks and I keep hearing something new in the songs every time.  A rare treat.

 The missus saw this and thought it looked lovely, I'm a little at odds if I'm honest, the colours go with the artwork and the a/b side splits always make for a different effect on each side, it just looks more like a dessert treat than a record, slap some raspberry sauce on this bad boy and you could have it as a follow up to a nice steak dinner.  That being said, I'd love for someone to come out with scented vinyl, is that even available?  That's be perfect for the colour choice here!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Young And In The Way - Amen/I Am Not What I Am [A389]

I picked up this record from the A389 anniversary show in Baltimore last month, I'd heard a few tracks from previews online and it seemed like my kinda deal, they describe themselves as all American blackened crust, now I don't think I have heard much all American blackened crust before and if this is what it sounds like, I'm down.  This is a double LP of two different records, one previously released on CD and one brand new as far as I can tell. I wish I took a picture of their merch desk, there was a deer skull with candles burning and all of the band had YAITW back patches on their biker leather jackets.  The band were burning incense sticks at the side of the stage when they played, for a minute I thought I was going to witness a Bossk reunion.
 Each of the records are upside down from each other on the back and inside, minimalist text on the inside with no lyrics which adds to the mysteriousness of the music itself.  I like how a lot of A389 records come on gatefold, they're not cheap to produce and a lesser label would be taking a risk doing such a thing, good thing this isn't their first release then.
 Both of the LP's are half and half, I've heard a few of the younger hardcore kids from round my way complain that they don't like this kind of vinyl and much prefer the gawdy pink and white splatter with clear bits infused in there too, each to their own.  I much prefer a nice solid colour or a half and half split over splatter effects any day, the colour choice goes with the artwork but then again if the artwork is black and white you can pretty much get away with any colour vinyl and it'll compliment it. 

 The B-side for the records has the YAITW combo logo they use on a lot of their shirts and artworks, I coudn't see the letter A in it for a long time until I realised they used an X for "and."

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Blood Ceremony - Living With The Ancients [Rise Above]

I got this double LP for Christmas, I’m on a catch up tip at the moment.  I’d never heard of this Toronto group until it was announced that Ancient VVisdom were going on tour with them and Ghost so I decided to check them out as I literally know of no other band that are similar to AVV and I’m willing to check out any band with a female vocalist in case it blows me away as much as Rose Kemp did when I first heard her.  Whilst Blood Ceremony didn’t hit me for six like Rose did, they certainly got my attention when I hear lyrics about the great god Pan and the flute solos dotted about the record, colour me interested. 
Anyways, I got this for Christmas off the missus, not knowing if it’d come on colour or what, turns out it was the green vinyl version and it’s a double gatefold too, bonus.  The Rise Above pressing info lists all of the variant colours as out of 300, the band didn’t have any copies with them when I caught them live in Toronto last month so good job I managed to get this one from the record store.
The band themselves look like they’re straight out of the 60’s, one of them needs to admit the fact he’s not as thick on top anymore and shave it while the singer does a good job of channelling Kate Bush’s moves on stage.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Organized Crime Halloween MMXII Package

The last couple of years Organized Crime records have listed a mysterious halloween package on their store, last years sold out real fast and an iPhone paypal error caused me to miss out on the records but I managed to score the shirt.  I subsequently ended up being gifted a glow in the dark copy of the Integrity In Contrast Of Sin 7" from Jamie Farrell last year which I'm immensely grateful for but never ended up blogging about, one day.

Anyways, this year I was bang on the ball, I'm not missing out on one two years in a row, like last year they kept the actual details under wraps and only asked for your shirt size so we knew only one thing.  Now OCR hadn't put out much in the year before, they did the Harder They Fall flexi 7" but I wasn't expecting a glow in the dark version of that, what we ended up with came a little out of left field, but not by much.

If you were hoping to be spoiler free until your copy turns up then I'd suggest not scrolling any further because there are gratuitous record pics from beyond the wax seal.

I'd already had a little spoiler of what I was to expect through some online friends (ooh, fwend) so the surprise was dulled a little, I still couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy.  What we have here is a split 6" record from Rot In Hell and Vegas.  The RIH side features what I'm assuming is the last song featuring Mr Nathan on vocals before they become Rot In H8000, VVegas offer up a haunting acoustic number, it was always going to be that or something blisteringly heavy.  For some reason the lyrics don't match up to the vocals on the RIH side, don't know what happened there.

I've never heard of a record coming on a 6 inch, now I have. Here's a comparison next to a 7" just for shits and gigs.

Everything on the outside packaging is screen printed, the wolf logo is the same as used on the shirt and the respective band logos are on the sleeve, it came with a silver sticker amalgamating both band logos too.

I probably wouldn't have opened this had I not read elsewhere that the wax seal was put over a round sticker that allowed you to prize it open with a knife without breaking the wax.  Had I not opened it I'd have had to settle on not knowing exactly what was inside the envelope.  Holy Terror, pushing the boundaries of art.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Integrity / Rot In Hell – Split [Thirty Days Of Night]

 Back in February 2010 when we were all a little more fresh faced than we are today, Thirty Days Of Night announced they were about to unleash pre-orders for a split 7 inch by Integrity and Rot In Hell.  I shat my pants at the time, like a lot of people because with this announcement Rot had just ended their Deathwish requested release freeze before the LP dropped (they still delayed it a while longer but that's a different story).  Anyway, a few nights later when the pre-orders went up I cancelled my plans to go to the movies and waited anxiously for the TDON store to be updated with the new bundles,  I ordered the most limited black copy plus the standard green/blue mix there and then.  I thought nothing of it at the time but no-one would have believed that we were to wait a further 18 months to get our hands on the things.  I won’t go into detail about it all because it’s been well documented elsewhere, I’m just here to give a bit of background and to blog about vinyl. 

This puppy is one of the band only copies on white vinyl out of 100 which I ordered direct from the band on the holy terror site, the records from TDON are safe and sound at the in-laws place.   Both records are housed in a black dust sleeve, it's good to see them opting for a corresponding colour rather than just the standard white paper, it's the attention to detail that I like most about records from these two bands.  This is a double 7" with the first record holding the actual split and the second being a kind of noisy accompaniment to the illustrations within the book by Herr Hellion.
The original idea was to have it housed within a hardback book but that didn't happen due to circumstances out of the band and label's control so it ended up being a double gatefold with a booklet inside which is still pretty different if you ask me.  It's full of creepy photographic art and messed up drawings of a fawn guy ripping a hole into another dimension and bringing forth all kinds of beasties.
Dwid saw fit to sign each of these copies which is a nice touch, makes the band only part of the press that little bit special.  Don’t expect to see any of my bands doing this though though, I think the record buying public would frown upon receiving their copies with my name scribbled all over it in wax crayon like the scratchings of a 30 year old man child.  We’d have our money requested back via paypal with a note saying “thanks a lot Duggan, you ruined hardcore.”

In all seriousness, it’s good to see this thing released and in the hands of the fans hands, the Rot tracks on here are tidy as usual, I’ve had the songs for a little while on the down low but you didn’t read that here.  Oh and pick one of these up if you’re a Colohan completist, just saying.  Integrity released the songs on here on their Detonate Worlds Plague 12" which I guess is technically an EP, this split was scheduled to come out ages before that record but it didn't so quit you're bitching.

Ringworm Shiz

Just before christmas last month it got dead cold but didn't snow, it just stuck in the -2 to -10 zone and forced me to dig out the ultra warm North Face coat I was forced to buy as a result (not a bad thing in my book).  So I was checking twitter around the 10th of December and noticed one of my favourite groups of all time, Ringworm, were playing in a weeks time in Buffallo which is about an hour or so's drive from me.  As luck would have it I wasn't working so I jumped in the motor with the missus and strolled up to the show, they were playing with a few bands who I wasn't interested in and Every Time I Die who also come under that header for me.  As I walked in the band before Ringworm were just finishing up their final song so I didn't have to wait and ETID were on after them so it looked like I was in for an early night.  $12 in and I didn't have to sit through anyone I didn't like, perfect show for me then.
Let's get this post on track then, Ringworm had just released a split 7" on A389 with Australia's Mindsnare, seeing as I'd just moved to another country I didn't have the funds to order one of these online during the preorders so it was a perfect time to pick up both the colour and black versions.  I don't know the numbers or anything but I'm assuming the purple is the rarer colour, it's a cool kind of semi translucent record which goes perfectly with the artwork courtesy of the Human Furnace.  The record is housed within a 7" sized comic book which includes a cool little dig at Victory records which I always welcome in 2012. 
This is the standard black, kids these days tend to not buzz over black records and prefer to gush over a clear 12" with three alternating splatters mixed in to resemble something an student would cough/spew up after 48 hours of solid drinking on freshers week.  I can understand not buzzing on a black record due to the fact it's not the rarest colour but I've noticed a bunch of labels recently using black as the more limited variant and making the main press colour so you never know kids, your black could be super rare.  In this case, it's not.
 Something I'm sure a lot of people know about and that I find a nice touch is that most of a389's releases use the same template on the A and most of the time B sides which I think adds a continuity to the records. It's normally a black background but sometimes it's changed to match the colour of the artwork like here on the Integrity To Die For 10 inches. 
At the same show the band had the Madness Of War demo 7" which was also released on a389, originally released on cassette in  the late 90's after the band came out of hiatus, the songs made their way onto Birth Is Pain albeit rerecorded.  This baby is pressed on a flexi, now I've seen a couple people perplexed by this format on a number of blogs saying they've never seen one.  Now I'm not old enough to remember when these were on the front of the NME but I do remember owning a bunch of Thunderbird flexi's that came on the front of the Frosties boxes.  They were pretty much my only records until I bought the Partners In Kryme classic "Turtle Power" single in 1990.  Ninja Turtles started by vinyl addiction...
Here's a picture of them both together:
The band copies I think were out of 50 on clear and the black was out of 200, I could be wrong so correct me with your knowledge in the comments.  What's cool about these is the fact that the silver ink used on the label makes the clear version look inverted or non-inverted depending on the background behind it. 
I received a couple of copies of both the Scars LP and the Birth Is Pain LP repress from Victory the day before I left for Canada, I did't take any pictures of them so if I remember once I'm home, I'll do a post about them.  I'm pleased Ringworm are done with their Victory contract, it's a shame they hooked up with them just before the label turned to absolute shit and started putting out A Day To Remember and other such rubbish.