Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Answer - Seven Inch Collection

Just when I thought I had at least one band I wouldn't have to collect anymore, Excursion Records goes and releases another Answer record!

This fancy pants looking set was put together by Excursion for this year's Rain Fest.
The label has been around a very long time and has released a lot of cool NW hardcore music. (If Dave ever reads this; Stovebolt discography on vinyl please - Thanks)

There were a total of 100 of these sets made up containing all three of The Answer's 7"s.

The three records are the self titled 7", the "You Had Your Chance" 7" and the "Getting Even" 7". What is very interesting and cool about this is that all three records were originally released by different labels; Excursion, Anchor and Endwell respectively.

The outer cover is made up of a leather-ish material stitched together at the sides just like my Motorhead "No Remorse" lp. Well, kind of like that.

Included is an insert that lays out what records in what colors and numbers were used to put the set together. There are some pretty rare records used to put this together, but you wouldn't know unless you cracked it open.

That is where things kind of get interesting. No doubt there would be some people who would keep the set intact and not undo the top stitching that closed the set up. To get access to the records one had to unstitch the top seam.
There wasn't much of a question whether I would leave mine intact as the top seam was pretty much coming apart when I got it. The side seams are stitched a lot heavier and are actually pretty sturdy.

Picking this up was kind of an automatic for me as this is my 22nd The Answer record. Yeah, 22 copies of three records. Maybe just a little excessive...

I really appreciated that the set was available for $10 US ($12 to Canada) plus a very reasonable shipping cost. This has the potential to be an ebay priced collector set right off the hop. Like I said, Excursion is a very cool label.
The last time I checked a very small amount were still available at the Excursion webstore. I don't know for how long though. Check it!

Monday, June 21, 2010

D.R.I. - Dirty Rotten ep 7"

I have been hesitant to post this record for almost a year now. It's not because I don't love it, but because I'm not 100% sure of what I have.
If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know my downright phobia of bootlegs. The older, rarer, and more independent or DIY the record is, the better the chance it was bootlegged.

Case in point, I have no Misfits 7"s. It's not because I can't afford them, it's that I just can't stomach the idea of buying a high priced, very "well done" bootleg over the internet. Who can you trust on ebay? I guess I'd be ok buying them off Jerry Only and Danzig - or Jeff Lasich.

With that in mind, here is the DRI - Dirty Rotten ep 7".

Recorded in two days back in 1982, DRI attempted and somewhat successfully jammed 22 songs on a 33 1/3 speed seven inch record. These songs are pretty much classics. I don't think I have to describe "Who Am I?" or "I Don't Need Society" to anyone.

Unfortunately, fitting 18 minutes worth of music onto one record seriously reduced the overall sound quality. There is an almost under water or muddy sound to the recording and the volume is really low.

The original press of this was self released on their own label, Dirty Rotten Records. For years, the word was there were only 500 pressed. Prices on ebay reflected that big time. Now it is accepted that there were in fact 1000 pressed, and you can pick one up when they pop up for just under $200.

You have to be careful though. The dreaded bootlegs are out there.

For reference, the original record's matrix reads on side 1, "DRI-183-A" and on side 2, "DRI-183-B". The dead wax matrix numbers in combination with the written label style shown here is the only way to know you have an original press.

There is a European bootleg out there with black on white DRI "running man" logo labels. That is your bootleg. Also, the matrix numbers are scratched out. I only mention it because someone paid over $200 for one on ebay in 2007. That just sucks.

Now comes the hard part. The cover.

Well, the cover is a two sided photocopy. The accepted original cover is said to have very little or no white on the top and a large stripe or band of excess white paper on the right side. The bottom folds up to hide some lyrics and thank yous.

Going through the 26 or so accepted originals pictured on popsike, they all look different. The bottom folds are at slightly different spots. (They were hand assembled afterall) The contrast is radically different on each cover. There are different vertical photocopy lines on the front going through the "R" of Rotten EP.

From the accepted online description, I do not have an original cover. I have a thin line of white on the top and not enough on the side. I have avoided posting this record for that fact.
Plus, it would be an admission that I got taken. I paid close to top dollar, in cash, at an out of town record store where I could only recall the reference info for the vinyl. It's been bugging me for years.

I guess in the end though, - ITS A FUCKING PHOTOCOPY. All of them are! As long as I have the original vinyl with the crazy sound, I'm good.

The songs from the 7" were eventually re-released the next year as a 12" called the "Dirty Rotten lp". The songs were remixed and some say even the guitar parts were re-recorded (even more reason to own the original).

Roadrunner Records later combined the "Dirty Rotten LP" and the "Violent Pacification" ep for another repress. All are worth tracking down if you are a DRI fan or collector.

Beer City, who have been repressing DRI stuff for some time now, are re-releasing the 7" with the original mix and master. To tell you the truth, that kind of bugs me. The reason this record ended up sounding and looking as it did was from a combination of factors, at a time and place with a young struggling band that was organic, honest and innocent. To replicate it for widespread public consumption almost 30 years later just feels wrong, even if it is with the band's blessing.

But hey, I'm the loser who frets over how wide a white strip on a piece of paper is...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Verbal Assault - Trial

I thought I would do something a little different for my 100th post (!) and talk about a record that's worth for me is based strictly on the love of the music and not the collecting aspect.

Every once in a while I have a crisis of conscious. I question the money I have spent over the years as I stare at a wall of 3000 records that I am rarely able to listen to anymore. Even more than that, I hold records in my hand that I wonder if I will even remotely like in 5, 3 or even 1 year. Hellnation, A.C., and Capitalist Casualties have all gone through the stress test and failed miserably as I ended up selling them off to the local used record store after only 30 seconds on the turntable.

Then there is the one record that brings it all back and makes it all worth it. For me that record is Verbal Assault - Trial. Verbal Assault are not the first, or even the tenth, band most people think of when it comes to late 80's hardcore, but to me they were sheer perfection and "Trial" is my go to record when I question my music listening future.
All it takes is the first song on the album, "Trial" and I am swinging my fists in the air. This band was way ahead of its time. Not many bands sounded like them at the time, but a whole lot did after. Lots of melody, thought provoking lyrics and one hell of a singer. Christopher Jones had the best scream in hardcore!

The vinyl is nothing to write home about as far as collecting goes. The first press was released on Giant Records back in 1987. The label is home to some of the less popular albums by Dag Nasty, Uniform Choice and Government Issue.

All the vinyl for this release is on black.

Cool simple lyric sheet with a great illustration that they used as a logo and backdrop.

The record was later repressed on Konkurrel Records with a slightly different front cover design.

"ON", "Tiny Giants" and "Exit" don't quite hold up as well over time especially with all the experimental stuff they were doing with reggae and a whole lot of "modern" guitar effects. I guess that is no different than a lot of hardcore bands at the time.

Old school purists look to their first record "Learn" as the definitive VA record based on the time period and who produced it. No doubt, "When I Think" is an amazing song! For my money though, "Trial" is it.

Do me a favor and flip through your collection and pull Trial out for a listen...or go download it I guess. It is well worth it.

"For that day, I stood trial. For my lies and denials. For my lack of discipline and responsibility."

Friday, June 4, 2010

Youngblood Showcase 2009 vinyl

Not much to say on this one. I love special presses. I especially love when they press low numbers of limited vinyl especially for a record release/fest/Showcase.
I am also totally down with labels that make their leftovers available to the rest of us who can't make it half way around the globe to make it to a show.

Case in point, the Youngblood Records Showcase. This is the second time I have jumped at the Showcase vinyl package Sean has put up. I also bought the 10 year Anniversary press a couple years ago. I think its funny that one of the same records was offered at that time too!

First up, Iron Age - Constant Struggle. This press is on clear blue out of 150. This is my 5th version of this record. I think we can stop now.

Next is the Lion of Judah - Number-ology 7". I actually already have one of these that I picked up during the big pre-order Sean did a while back with the Fired Up and Carry On records. Let me know if anyone needs this. It is on clear with a lot of black streaking and is out of 125.

Lastly, we have the Fired Up - Doomed to Repeat 7" on gold out of 100. This was the main reason I jumped at this package offer. I already have the other two colors and wanted to finish this off without having to resort to ebay. Fired Up rule. Well, ruled. Just like the rest of you, I also have 8 copies of "When the Lights Go Out".

As part of the deal, I also got a very cool Youngblood Showcase t-shirt. It will come in handy tomorrow when I jet off with the family down to Mexico. Oh yeah, I'm not posting anything for the next couple weeks. Hola bitches!

Maybe some of the 17 preorders and ebay wins will come in while I am gone and I will have some stuff to post. In the meantime, peace out.