Friday, February 26, 2010

Modern Life Is War - s/t 7" Japanese Tour

I have been on the hunt for this one for a very long time. My quest for the MLIW self titled 7" complete collection has been ongoing for years. This was quite an elusive one to track down.

I had my buddy Shawn asking Joe from Lifeline if he had any extra, I had not one but two private B9 board deals fall through as the sellers wanted upwards of $100 for it. Uh, no thanks. I even tried convincing Shawn that he really didn't need his and that he should just give it up. Yeah, that didn't work either.
As it turns out I won it off ebay a couple weeks ago. Four bidders total, and I got it for $26. Sometimes it pays to be patient. But not often.

Other than the friends press of the 1st press on Modern Life Is War Records, I think I have them all now. As it stands this is my 10th version of this record.
I guess I saved the best for next to last because this is simply beautiful.

This is part of the 5th pressing of this record. 150 pressed on yellow exclusively for the Japanese tour.

They also made an obi strip listing the dates and locations of the shows. It's the little things, the attention to detail, that matters. Obi strips rule. Very metal.

The cover also has the translations of the songs into Japanese which is hella cool!

This was a very nice way to (almost) end this one off. I do hope this is it. 10-11 should be enough. Right?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Have Heart - Demo 7" 2004 Summer Tour

Somewhere along the line this last month, I mistakenly thought I was rich and kept buying really expensive records to make a serious dent in my want list. Silly me, I forgot that actually don't have endless supplies of cash. Sorry to say the post-Christmas spending spree has ended.

Still, I couldn't resist picking this record up. My 15th copy of Have Heart's demo 7". Excluding the /8 and /15 transitional color variations or ones with a spec of color on them that are called a separate "press", I am closing in on an acceptable conclusion to this collecting nightmare. One at a time I guess...

This is the 2004 Summer Tour edition with an alternate cover that was made by the band as the regular covers weren't ready yet. The vinyl is taken from the first press of 400 on black with the red labels. 45 covers were made up for the tour. The cover is of course a Gorilla Biscuits rip off of their first 7" cover with the lion replacing the gorilla. I find it pretty well done actually.

Each of the 45 were numbered which is a nice touch.

Next up is to tackle the ridiculous 4th pressing. Seven different colors with no one color being pressed in more than numbers of 180. Great.
If anyone wants to spare me the grief of trying buy a clear/45 or a red/20 and just sell me their entire 4th press collection, I'd be grateful!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Carry On - The Line Is Drawn 7"

In light of the Carry On semi-discography "It's All Our Blood" being released on vinyl by React! and Youngblood a month or so back, I decided to pull out my original 7" of "The Line Is Drawn" for a listen. Carry On were the blueprint for the new wave of west coast straight edge hardcore back in the early part of the 2000s (wow is it ever weird to think nostalgically about something that seems like yesterday).
This was a pretty early Youngblood release and dare I say, the hardest to track down out there. I mean I always figured it would be easy to track down three records to cover this off, but it ended up taking me literally years to find the missing piece and actually secure it.
For whatever reason, I just couldn't get the copy on black. It kept eluding me until just a couple months ago. Sometimes things just happen like that. Just glad to have all the colors now.

The first press was on two colors.

Gold vinyl out of 250 pressed.

Black vinyl out of 638

Second press was on red out of 500

The second press also had some changes made to the cover and insert.
First press back cover.

Second press back cover with the inclusion of Todd Jones, even though he was on the insert of the first press. Dude would end up in about 4000 high profile bands before and after including Terror, Betrayed, Snake Eyes and Nails. He was also in Internal Affairs with Corey Williams who is on this record as well.

First press insert

Second press insert

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gorilla Biscuits - Start Today

For reasons unknown, it has taken me forever to finally get this record. I have been actively chasing it for years and it has always eluded me on ebay or in a private sale. I always either get outbid at the last second, I forget that the auction is ending, or someone wants way too much money for it.
So as part of the three record Sammy Seigler deal I made, I finally picked up Start Today on purple.
It's not like it is rare, as there are 1000 of these on purple vinyl as part of the first press. There were also 4977 black vinyl copies made in the first press. All the first press come with embossed covers.
Many more large pressings followed, all on black vinyl and without the embossed covers. There is also the small "final press" from 2002 on red, but let's save that for later.

Come to think of it, that is a hell of a lot of records for one hardcore band. Of course, this is one of the best albums of the era and still holds up.

One thing that struck me when I finally got it was how much white streaking there is in the vinyl. The only other purple copy I have ever seen was, well - purple.
I asked the always reliable Marcus Andrews from The Endless Quest blog on what he knew about it. It turns out just about all of them have some white in them to differing degrees. Of course, he had to bust my balls asking if I was going all "transitional press" on him. For an English guy, dude is pretty funny. Must be a Commonwealth thing.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Agnostic Front - United Blood 7"

I always wanted to hold off on posting on this, one of my favorite 7"s, until I had the real deal. Luckily, I can do that now.
This is the second of the three records I bought off Sammy Seigler, drummer from YOT and a dozen other NYHC 80's bands.

I already had the 1989 kind of legit repress of United Blood that was done for Roger Miret's benefit show released by No Justice, Just Us Legal Defence Fund. I was pretty happy with it. It was even autographed by Roger, Vinnie Stigma, and Will Shepler. I figured that would be good enough.
Of course, I also bought the reissue of United Blood that Bridge Nine just did as well. It is a really well put together package that made me want the original even more.

Happy to say I finally got one.

The cover has seen some miles (that is 27 year old scotch tape!), but the vinyl is surprisingly clean with no scratches, pops or hiss. That's what I like!

The record was self released in 1983 on their own AF Records. There were a total of 1000 pressed. 400 have the skin head B side label, while the remaining 600 have blank white labels. Word is that these were two seperate presses that the pressing plant screwed up on the second press and the skinhead labels ended up on a disco record. Actually, that sounds pretty cool.

For those who care, there are bootlegs of this out there with blank black labels and a large center hole. The bootleg matrix on the A side says "AF-001-A" and "BIOBH". Some ebay scum sell these as originals and have been stealing up to $300 from unsuspecting victims. Just looking out for you all.

A lot of the original copies did not come with inserts, luckily, this one did.

Now that I have five copies of this, plus another on the Last Warning lp, I think I'm good with this release. Damn, is it ever awesome though!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Project X - Straight Edge Revenge 7"

Now that I am 40 years old, it is crazy to think I have been record collecting for over 3/4 of my life. I now have over 3,200 records from all genres of music (hardcore, punk and metal mostly) . Through all of it, I really only had two rules:

1. Variations and represses are cool, but they are nothing compared to the first press. Never stop until you have the original first press.
2. Never collect bootlegs.

Abiding by these two rules got very tricky when it came to collecting really rare hardcore records from the 80's. The general rule is, if it is collectible and people are paying hundreds (if not thousands) for them, then it is probably has been bootlegged somewhere along the line.
With ebay, you are buying records sight unseen and sometimes for increasingly ridiculous amounts of money. Some sellers don't even know they are selling a bootleg and advertise as original. Some sellers even lift pictures from someone else and sell it as theirs.
It is all of these factors that have shied me away from getting some of the most prized records out there.

So I think I figured out a foolproof way to get the records I need and be assured of their authenticity - buy them from a guy who was in the band!
A couple weeks ago, I bought a few records off Sammy Seigler, drummer from such bands as Youth of Today, Judge, Side By Side and this one, Project X.

I have wanted an original Project X 7" for a very long time, but the thought of it ever actually happening in Calgary back in the 80s-90s was preposterous. My friend Todd and I used to talk about it years ago. The idea of tracking one down and buying it was something rich dudes in the US would do. Not us. No way.
As far as trade lists and boards, the Project X 7" was on everyone's want list and no one's have list. Not that I would have anything to trade with anyways. I left it as a pipe dream and moved on to the next record. There is always a next record.

Well, here we are a few years later. Finally the opportunity arose to get one of my main wants I could safely say was original, legitimate, and buy it without the fury of an auction watched by thousands.

A big smile crossed my face when I saw the hand written labels, showing the band, side and each with a unique message or statement. Mine is "We shaved Xs... In the back of our heads."

Everything is in near mint condition which is awesome considering the reputation the record has for notoriously thin vinyl and a weak paper sleeve.

I will post my next Sammy purchase in a bit. I am very excited about knowing another rare original is in my hands from just about the most reliable source out there.
Here's a hint for my buddy Geoff: Stigma!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Bane - It All Comes Down To This

"We'll come in low out of the rising sun, and about a mile out we'll put on the music."

... and with that short sound clip from the movie Apocalypse Now, we kick off one of the best hardcore albums ever recorded.

Released in 1999, Bane's "It All Comes Down To This" pretty much put the nail in the coffin of 90's screamo and emo for me.
Up until that point I was listening to Indian Summer, Still Life, Frail, Ordination of Aaron, Julia, etc. almost exclusively. While I don't regret listening to that sub-genre for five solid years, I can't say I miss it.
Bane was one of the bands that reopened my eyes to the hardcore I originally loved. The two 7"s came first, but this is what sold me for good.

Everyone has an "oh shit" moment where a record or song hits you like a ton of bricks and defines what it is you love about music. "Can We Start Again" is one of those songs/moments for me. To this day I still use it as a reference when trying to explain to people what kind of music I listen to. Let's just say it made on quite a few mix tapes/cds as side 1, song 1.

As a record collector, this has become one pretty difficult and high priced record to find. It took me years to finally finish this off collection and the only way was through a private deal to get that damn record release one.

Speaking of that, here is the record release show press. Pink out of 100.

US Tour press on red out of 150.

Orange out of 300.

Black. Unknown number pressed, let's just say lots.

Equal Vision took no shortcuts here with an awesome full color glossy insert/lyric sheet.

Once again, big thanks to Aram for parting with his pink vinyl copy to help me finish this sucker off. Awesome.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Chain of Strength Collection

Sorry for the lack of new material. These pre-orders are taking forever to show up. I finished up a private deal with Sammy Seigler last weekend and have some real beauties I will be posting soon.

I posted this picture of my Chain of Strength collection on both the React! and Vinyl Collective message boards. I don't mean to double dip (or triple dip as it were), but I wanted this picture on here as well. Damn I love this band.

True Till Death.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Converge - Axe To Fall Clear with Color Shards

"...and that's that." - Vinnie, Goodfellas (1990)

This is my third and last post on this album. I promise.
It took five months but I have finally finished off my "Axe to Fall" collection. I now have all 8 versions. The last was of course the rarest and hardest.

Clear with color shards out of 100.

I'm sure I could have been more patient and waited this out. I probably could have bought this for a lot less than I paid on ebay, but hell where is the spoiled brat instant gratification in that?

The funny thing is I won this on ebay off the same guy I bought my ridiculous Comeback Kid - Turn It Around collection and 3/4 of my Have Heart demo 7"s from.

I think I just put this guy through college.