Friday, 30 July 2010

Converge - On My Shield

I'm no Converge fan, it seems to me that most people who are into hardcore and metal right now regard this band as the best band in the world, I've tried to get into them countless times over the years but something about their music just doesn't sit right with me.  Last night they played the Underworld and I was lucky enough to get a cheeky guestlist for the show.  My band were playing down the road at the final UK Ruiner gig and I wanted to check out Rot In Hell more than any other band playing at either end of the street.  Fortunately enough I was able to check out the RIH set, jib over to the Purple Turtle, bust out our set (which was a banger by the way, new songs and setlist flow smooth as snake shit), then have enough time to hang around outside the Underworld waiting for Converge to strart.  Might I add that standing outside of shows is what I do best, the prime example of this was in '04, Mental played London at The Verge. That place is now a trendy wine bar, formerly home to an almost weekly hardcore alldayer on a sunday, anyways, I had made the trip up with no intention of paying in, I just chilled to the max outside, got some food and had than if I had actually watched the bands.  I saw Mental the day before in CT, that could have been the last Jube show, I'm not sure, but I know I saw at least some of their set, I can't confirm or deny if I spent most of that evening chilling out of The Break In van.

Back to Converge, I'm willing to give them another go, seeing as anything they put out on vinyl instantly becomes internet gold dust, I'm not about to purchase a $60 copy of one of their LP's only to not like it.  So I did the next best thing, bought a £5 7" with one track on it.  This thing is limited to 1000 copies for their Euro tour, only to be sold on the tour and I am informed that they strictly took 50 copies of the record into each gig so as to not sell out of them too early.  It's not the worst song I've heard, but I still don't get it, for me I prefer this kind of stuff when it's played by band like Botch or Cave In.  The B-side has this cool etching on it, which is weird as I receive my Integrity VVe Are The End 7" the morning I bought the Converge record.  So that's my first two laser etched 7"s both received on the same day, what are the chances of that happening eh?  I'm going to go on record as saying this is one of my favourite pieces of wax, on a purely visual level.  The way the etching shows through from the front makes it look really special and not in the kind of way where you had a special kid in year 3 of school who used to eat chalk.

The other cool thing is the label is actually part of the front cover as the front of the record cover has a circle cut out of it.  Converge: better looking records than they sound?  For me, yes.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Integrity - VVe Are The End [Magic Bullet]

I was waiting to get this for a little while now, by that I mean it has been about 3 weeks since I ordered it, which is nothing really.  This is the new 2 track 7" from Integrity (I say 2 track, it's more of a duo of songs melded to one, or one song with two names, take your pick), I don't know much about where the songs are from, I'm assuming they were recorded on or around the same time frame they recorded The Blackest Curse, or possibly after, I'm no expert.  I picked this up from the Holy Terror store after I got wind that there was going to be 30 copies of the pink vinyl going on there which are kept aside because the other 70 were being sold at the Integrity show in Anaheim on 7.17.  These are all individually numbered and have a wax seal, also Dwid signed the back of the cover.  It's one of those records that are just a 7x7" sheet of card, no fold or anything, artwork has pretty much everything you could expect from a pastiche Integ cover: process logo x about 50, Robert DeGrimston, Anton LaVey, a few Manson girls, Charlie Manson, the goat of Mendes, some arabic(?) text and a bunch of other symbols.  I fucking love it, I've been sitting here checking out all of the pictures in the background while spinning the record and had to play it twice before I'd studied the whole thing.  Did I mention it was super detailed?
The wax seal has Dwid's face drawing on it, the one from, I got #9.
The pink record has a few tiny specks of grey spotted around it, probably only 5 or 6, I'm guessing this is left overs on the plates from the run of 100 grey records that Magic Bullet were selling on pre-orders with a limited shirt.  I didn't order one, stupidly I opted out because they didn't have my size shirt left, what I should've done was order it anyway and flog off the shirt, silly me.
This is the icing on the cake right here though, the b-side is blank, both tracks fit on the a-side, so on the back there is the Integ skull laser etched instead.  I've seen b-sides have scratched designs, Hope Con's File .03 has the skull bomb scratched on it.  This is very clean and more like what the apple logo looks like on the back of an iPhone.
Yeah those are Jack Skellington coasters from the Disney store, what of it?

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

xDisciplex A.D. - Heaven And Hell [Facedown]

I'm still catching up with the records I've been receiving over the past month or so, this one I got in a nice little trade for a Danzig drug free shirt that I haven't been able to fit into since 2005, cheers for this Boardy.  This record came from the same press as the white LP I picked up from a guy on ebay for less than three quid earlier in the year, according to this is out of 400, the most common, but only by 50.  I was fine just owning one copy of this, I can stomach that, I have one copy of the No Blood, No Altar Now LP and I haven't got a sick compulsion to collect every variant of that, but now I have two out of the three colours of Heaven And Hell I'm going to have to find the missing one from the set now aren't I. 

Total pressing info:
250 x white vinyl
350 x clear vinyl
400 x red vinyl

I've already got a Shockwave obsession, I've always been a big fan of Disciple but never really had much of their stuff on vinyl, I feel another collection brewing in me.  "To the bitter end I will survive."

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Cold Snap - Bad Moon Rising [Dead & Gone/CTW]

Dead and Gone, what a label. They've been around for ten years, put out records by Justice, On Thin Ice, Iron Age, Betrayed, Deal With It and the best one being The Break In, obviously. This is D&G #39 which is also their swan song, I'm pleased to say it's a band from my neck of the woods.  Cold Snap have put out a few records now, if memory serves they did a demo CDR, then the Glacies Incarnate 10" on Southern Rise and the split 7" with Cornered on CTW.  I've got all of those so far, but I didn't pick up all the variants until now. They've impressed me more and more each time I see them, more so since Jamie joined, that kid seems to make any band step up their game when he steps in, just look at how much On Thin Ice improved. The 4 tracks on this 7" are definitely the best they've done so far, word is a full length is being worked on now, you won't be able to believe that. This record came on 3 colour variants, the pressing info on the D&G store conflicts with the CTW one (they co-released this), so I'm going with the D&G numbers. The name of the 7" is "Bad Moon Rising," now looking over the lyrics, which aren't typical hardcore fare and bloody good, I can see why the name was picked but I still think it is both weak and Creedence-esque. Every time I hear those three words out loud I get the Creedence song in my head for an hour, which is good because I get a sweet song in my head and bad because this is Cold Snap and I should be humming crushing breakdown riffs.

The colour records are out of 150, I'm sticking by this view at the moment of me not being much of a fan of the splatter records, this one is a little different, it's three different colour splats on clear vinyl, which is kinda cool but I'd much prefer to see one of the variants as a good old single colour. UK bands take note, this is what I want.
The other colour variant is described by the band as black with a yellow centre, this I can stomach, looks kind of cool, almost like it's the first record to be pressed after the yellow run has finished and they haven't cleaned the plates.  The yellow is actually alot brighter than the photo, without the flash on it looks washed out. Would have liked for one of these to be rarer than the other, as it stands I'm sitting on a collection where each one is equal in number, how do I know which one is cooler to have?
Black is out of 200, so only 50 more than each of the colour records, I don't know if they made any tour covers for their euro/UK tour, if they did I'll kick myself for going to see Stewart Lee live last night instead of standing at the front and not moshing (I only mosh to Integrity, covers of old UK bands that no-one knows anymore and Shockwave).

Breaking Point / Wiretap! - Split [Purgatory]

Purgatory are making a name for themselves, they've put out a few records this year, I've got a couple of them, this is the newest addition. Breaking Point are from the south of England, Wiretap are from South Wales. I've not heard much of Wiretap before, I have the demo which was available for free to download and I caught them in Birmingham when Santa Karla hopped on a show last summer, but they've always kind of passed me by as a band that isn't really aimed at me. Listening to these tracks they're tightening up their sound a lot more, I suck at comparing bands to other bands so I'm not going to bother, it's not at all bad though. Breaking Point's side was a surprise, Louis is going for the kind of Cro Mags gruff melodic vocals these days, peppering a bit of that here and there throughout the two tracks (intro, doesn't count as a track) and The Mayes does a guest spot, his voice really stands out and adds to the track, normally guest spots kind of blend in or don't work at all. Nice one.

Enough about the music, I'm doing that too much, I'm writing about the records. We've got two variants here, I don't think there was a black record so it's this gaudy puke colour splatter effect first, it makes me feel ill to look at it which I think is amazing, good work on making it look rank Saker.  The photo doesn't show how ghastly it looks, the yellow is quite vibrant while the green is akin to the paint colour putrid green you used to be able to get from Games Workshop.

I'm taking an educated guess that each band chose a colour to go with, fair's fair and that. This one is a grey and white mix, this is more tasteful than the splatter effect and I think if bands decide to go with something other than the one colour, this is my preference. It goes with the artwork, which is both a blessing and a curse. It looks nice and fits with the tone, but lacks the balls to be a different colour completely, but I guess the sutrid eye rape of a splatter record covers that. Good work.

I hear there is a record release cover being worked on for the Bitter End show in CT on August 13th, I'll be there, my band is playing actually, so that'll be another copy of the record for the collection. I'm hoping for a rip of a classic HC record, I'll probably get a quick photoshop knock up they did the night before and photocopied up the corner shop, prove me wrong.

Lovewolves - A True Discourse & Ark Of The Covenant - S/T [TDON]

A month or two back TDON put up a duo of pre-orders, now seeing as I own every piece of vinyl they've put out bar the Azriel 12" and the Last Witness 7" (I'll pick up the LW one at some point), I thought I'd spring for the x3 deals of both. It helps that I like both the bands too. There was 500 copies of each bands record pressed, 100 on black, limited to the x3 package and two sets of 200 on different colours. It's good to see Lonewolves getting a vinyl release, I think Carcaroth would have been great on wax too, shame it wasn't released on it at the time. Ark Of The Covenant is pure 90's Goodlife metal, definitely the best band Darke's been involved with, the music suits his vocal style to the ground, good riffs, good breakdowns. Both of these records look like they could have benefitted from having a big hole on them, I think Lonewolves even had the artwork take that into account as the labels have a large white circle on them, maybe it cost too much, maybe I'm mistaken.

No catalogue number again, I'm pretty sure Jamie has sworn off these now, shame as I like knowing which records came out before others. On a related note I've noticed the last few Purgatory and CTW releases have omitted the catalogue number, maybe I've got too much love for them, maybe I'm old fashioned. I mean I still think you shouldn't wear the shirt of a band that's paying a show and you should wait two years after a band splits up before covering one of their songs.

Black vinyl, out of 100 each

Colour vinyl, out of 200 each:

This next one is pretty special, it's black with clear red splatter, now since clear red is a weak colour, 40k painters will know what I mean, it doesn't show up when put over or in darker colours.
Here's a picture of it up against the light, I've got a Rot In Hell 12" with white splatter on black but this is the first one I've seen with a clear colour used with the black.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Age Of Kali - Demo '06 [Rat Patrol]

Just a quick one, picked this up from Jesse Bad Aids when he was offloading his entire hardcore collection after dropping out, I didn't do a pre-order for the record due to me being on minimum wage and living with a retard.  I only had the standard black version (with insert).  Something always niggled at me to pick up the clear version but I never really looked out for it, so when it became available to me literally on a plate I had to take advantage.  Such a shame this band didn't finish recording their next record, but as they never released anything else I guess the riffs were fair game, Cold Snap can do what they want with them eh?  The spontaneity of the song writing for this is admirable, the whole thing was written and recorded in one evening, bar the vocals, I'd love to do that, maybe my next band we'll do something on the fly like that, one day, one day.  There is some choice lines in the lyrics about annoying trends which are still relevant today, but I'll let you seek it out for yourself, it's worth it, maybe someone has the mp3's they could upload and I'll put them here.

Anyway, enough of the music, on to the record itself, this is the pre order sleeve, Ugly Kid Joe homage with UKJ lyrics on the back.  Clear vinyl, number 62/100 (damn this was '06? Seems like yesterday it came out).  I love how the labels have nothing to do with the standard artwork, they say Thamthon monster of cats, I always meant to ask one of them about this but always forget, maybe now I've put it on here it'll remind me to ask.  The black should be easy enough to pick up on ebay, treat yourself, oh I forgot to mention, members of this band went on to be in Cold Snap and Rot In Hell, well the recording members did, they had a different drummer for a few shows, I think Jason Frye even busted out the drums to a Cold World cover once.  Great dane.

4 for 4

I've got a stack of new records sitting next to the couch at the moment, the past 6 weeks I've spent way too much of my money on vinyl and it's started to be drip fed to me by the lovely mailman who comes to my office, not the retard who does the rounds to my house, records don't get delivered there anymore after he left my Wayfarer LP out in the rain.  Anyway, A389 being the brilliant label they are, did a pre-order package a few months back which I ordered to get Integrity's To Die For 10" on red as I slept on the blue press, but I'll get to that in a moment.  The package included 4 records, 2 7"s, a 10" and this 12" from Caulfield:
I'd never heard the band before but seeing as you get a more limited variant of one record and a bonus 7" I thought it'd be rude not to.  Boy was I right to order the whole package, the first thing I noticed was that the LP sleeve was hand made, we're talking black marker on the folds to mark out where to cut and screen printed front/back too.  My copy has a little white ink smudged on the front, I don't think this is intentional but it adds to the DIY feel of the package.  The insert is also pretty cool, photocopied with thick card on the outside and biblical demon images inside along with the lyrics.  I've been listening to this quite a bit on vinyl and mp3 due to the download card included and I'm really into it, it's crusty, doomy and right up my street, can't wait to see what they come up with next.

One thing I dig with A389 releases is that the label artwork is more often than not always the same template, the colours change and the bands logo is always different but other than that it never often differs.  Brings to mind memories of looking through my Mum's 7" box when I was growing up, all her records had the holes punched out as she'd inhereted them from the jukebox in my Grandad's pub, most of those always had a generic label.  More hardcore labels should do this, too many bands are trying to put labels on the vinyl that goes with the main artwork, but fuck it, have a generic template for the record label and fall in line with the rest of the roster, into it.
Next is the record which swayed me to go all out for the package rather than order To Die For separately, this Pale Creation 7" is only available on red vinyl in the deal.  Pale Creation are kind of underrated in the genre right now, their full length Twilight Haunt is up there with Integrity's Those Who Fear Tomorrow and shows all the signs of being a hardcore masterpiece.  The tracks on this 7" are new if I recall, VVake Of Temptation has Nick Fiction busting out some clean vocals which normally I would cringe at if any other band of this genre would do, but it works, the tracks here could easily have come from the full length, I hope they put out another record soon.
Let's get on to the record shall we?  Artwork comes courtesy of Stephen Kasner, a legend in himself, would certainly love to have him do some artwork for my band, if we ever put out more than one record every 18 months.  The vinyl is red, but opaque, I think every red record I own is clear so this is refreshing, almost a maroon colour when seen in the flesh, notice the generic label again.  Standard.
The next record is a bonus for the deal, split 7" from Integrity and Pale Creation.  I didn't own any PC wax until this package arrived, now I own 2, brilliant.  No generic labels here, but I'm assuming as it's a bonus record it can be let off, also there is no text on the sleeve to tell you what bands it is so the labels are your only info here.
Now this record I could have got on the original press when they did a run on blue vinyl with alternate blue artwork but I'm not one to chase buzz records on ebay.  So when it was announced it would gt a second press on a different colour with new artwork I was very interested.  This time we have Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme on the cover, another one of the Manson girls (the blue version had Sandra Good on it, I think I preferred that one actually, a little more sinister).  No text on the front or back, the same image is reversed on the back too.  The only text on the artwork is on the spine.  
The insert shows both the girls, the blue version showed them with their jugs out, this one they look like a chipmunk and Linda Blair from the Exorcist.

The only infor about the record is on the label, you can just about see it in this photo, the B-side has the skull in the same colours.  To Die For was the first Integrity record I got back in '03, I hadn't heard them before this other than the Only The Strong comp 7", I honestly think it's a banger, everything just gelled really well on this record, they weren't experimenting with the Sam Hain/Danzig vibe or anything nu metal, it was jus pure old school Integrity.  I later found out it was put together form old In Cold Blood riffs which kinda sucks, but I still love it.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It

Saw Predators the other night, enjoyed it, took away the bad taste of AVP 1 & 2 for sure.  Two words: Danny Trejo.  This dude is a 23%er, any film he appears in is instantly made better by 23%.  That is all.