Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fucked Up - David Comes to Life lp + Bonus 7"s

I was pretty surprised yesterday to see I actually received a package in the mail. It's been pretty dry these days.
As 99.99% of you probably don't know (or care), Canada is in the middle of a postal strike. The carrier union started by having rotating strikes through the major cities and then Canada Post shut them out all together when they realized how much the rotating strike was costing them.
The federal government has now gotten involved by introducing back to work legislation but it might not pass before their summer vacation starts. It's a mess. This could be the last post for a long time.
Most Canadians couldn't care less about this strike as they consider the entire mail system outdated. People hate junk mail, pay their bills online, and no one sends letters anymore. But for me - this sucks. I want my fucking records!

So it was very cool to see a package waiting for me on the front step when I got home. Ahhh UPS. Thank you private international parcel delivery!

On to the matter at hand. The fact that Fucked Up released their new indulgent, long, over the top musical, show tune or whatever, double lp is not news. Hell, four local record stores in town all have them in stock.

What I was really excited about was the online offer to get four bonus 7"s if you ordered the album through Matador with that Buy Early Get Now deal.

Now, I already have 27 different Fucked Up 7"s. I guess you could call it a collection. In the time it has taken me to collect them all, not one was the same experience. Some were dead easy to buy and some were an absolute pain in the ass. You never know with this band whether each release will be limited to a record release show or if you can find them in your local store 10 deep.

So when the opportunity to get these came up with an expensive online deal, I took it. I will let you know if it was a good idea in a couple months if I find them in Walmart.

"Remember Me" b/w "What They Didn't Know"

"Do All Words Can Do" b/w "What Would You Do"

"Octavio Made The Bomb" This is a one sided 7".

Lastly, "Byrdsdale Garden City" b/w "Into The Light"

As with the songs on the album, these 7" tunes exist to fill out or move the whole "David" story along. I think that is what kind of bugs me about this whole Fucked Up "musical" in general. The music seems like background noise to Damian's vocals which solely move the story along, They don't really compliment the music at all.
Oh, and it's long. Really, really long. It takes everything I have to make it from beginning to end. I still don't really know what it's about either...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Iron Age - Saga Demos

I wish I could get a better handle on Iron Age. I really do. No other band in the last 10 years has had me scratching my head more about changes in sound, look, and direction than Iron Age.
You thought Bold and Uniform Choice made some direction changes? Whoa baby, check out the "new" Iron Age!

To be honest, I guess this move to metal has been coming for some time. When I saw them at Sound and Fury in 2007, I thought they were a stand out alongside Bitter End with their brand of slower paced almost groove type hardcore. Over the years you could see more metal creeping into their sound, from their 7"s "Burden of Empire" and "The Way Is Narrow", leading up to their last full length, "The Sleeping Eye". Metal influence in hardcore is nothing new. At all.

However, nothing could have prepared me for this. The Saga Demos.
The only thing I can equate it with is dropping the needle on The Cro-Mags and King Diamond comes out the speakers. It is jarring! Alternating Black metal/Death metal screeching vocals, high pitched screams, solos everywhere, 8 minute long songs, the works.
When my buddy Al forwarded me the songs last winter, I honestly thought it was a joke. Where the hell is "The Violator"?

The back story on this release is that essentially the band broke up before finishing their latest album. They released two completed songs on cassette through Cyclopean and also made them available online as mp3s.

BSVLV out of Canada decided along with the band to release these songs as a double flexi with a 14 page zine.

Each flexi disc holds one song each, "Riddle of the Skies" and "Join The Wind".

Perfect. Heavy Metal and Conan the Barbarian inspired songs! We are just missing a song or two about CROM!!!

The zine itself is pretty cool and I decided to take pictures of each page to share with you the power and majesty of The Saga Demos.

Quick, go check out the back cover of your "Constant Struggle" album and compare the pictures of the band. Wow.

For $10 and domestic shipping this was too good to pass up, even though I refuse to actually listen to flexi discs. I like my record player needle too much.
That won't stop me from downloading the songs though. Fucking A.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Converge / Drop Dead split 7"

Even though I am old as dirt, I still love me some hardcore festivals. Seeing that time, money, work and family commitments pretty much eliminate the ability to go to as many as I would like, I was still able to hit up Chaos In Tejas 2011 a couple weeks ago with my buddy Al from the awesome Hardcore Shirt website.

This festival was really appealing to us because of the wide range of hardcore bands that were playing. Converge, Touche Amore, Trap Them, Ceremony, Free Spirit, The Rival Mob, Unbroken, Tragedy, Burning Love, Omegas, Mind Eraser, Rampage and Title Fight. Old, new, crusty, straight edge, reunions, etc. You get it all.
In the end though, the real reason we were going was to see Youth of Today.
At the time the lineups were released back in the winter, this was the only show Youth Of Today were booked for. We figured we may never get another chance to see them. Little did we know they would be playing 1000 times this summer!

We ended up spending three great days and nights in Austin, Texas eating too much food, drinking water from a communal thermos and catching some great bands.

  1. I love the format of seeing a few different 4-5 band shows on consecutive days and nights instead of the war of attrition with one venue, 40 bands a day. I am too old for that crap.
  2. Headliners are headliners for a reason. Converge, Unbroken, Tragedy and Youth of Today were truly amazing.
  3. Talking with Dave Claibourne the singer from Unbroken. He asked us a lot of questions about getting older and staying involved with hardcore and also having a real job with money and responsibilities. He genuinely seemed happy and excited to be talking to a couple guys who had done it. Dave ended up giving us a shout out on stage. Cool.
  4. Powertrip. This Dallas band opened the second Mohawk night and just floored me. 80's thrash mixed with hardcore and a singer who didn't sing like cookie monster. They reminded me of Leeway. That's a good thing. Check them out on the BBB America's Hardcore comp.
  5. An unannounced, impromptu set from Step Forward. Since every Boston hardcore band was already there (Rampage, Mind Eraser, Rival Mob, Free Spirit) they jumped up and played four songs between the Rival Mob and Rampage sets.
  1. 300 crust punks and beardos in one small cramped venue in 100 degree fahrenheit heat and no air conditioning. The smell was enough to cripple your will to live.
  2. Having to move indoors at the Mohawk because of 11:00 PM noise curfews. The indoor shows were nowhere near as good.
  3. Zero Chaos In Tejas fest vinyl presses or covers. Nothing. Nada. Nil.

With that said, I was able to pick up one record. The Converge / Drop Dead split 7" celebrating each band's 20th anniversary.

The record is self released and is being distributed by Deathwish and Armageddon.

There are a total of three different versions available. One color from Deathwish, one color from Armageddon and then there is the tour version.
The best I can describe it is that the tour version is a mix of a lot of different colors. A lot.

Converge completionists are freaking out on the message boards because there is no way they can get them all. There may be as little as 42 or as many as 450 different colors!
Personally I love it. If you can't get them all, you just need one. But me being me, I asked for four. Luckily the four I got were all very different which shows you just the randomness of the
Good times.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Floorpunch - Division One Champs 7"

Floorpunch - Division One Champs 7" was the one record in my collection that was seriously coming up short. The record of course is considered a classic in hardcore; not only for the music and the time it was released, but in collecting circles as well. There were a ton of different presses, colors, and special tour/show covers. All of them rare, expensive and in high demand.

For years, maybe even a decade, I only had one copy. So what better time than the last couple years to start chipping away at this? What's the saying, "Buy low, sell high?". Yeah, I kind of fucked that up.

Thanks to ebay, trades and private deals with monster collectors (Seb, Aram, Kyle Whitlow, Dave Byrd, etc.) last month I finally finished it. Well, as far as I am going to go anyways.
There are a couple weird variations missing like one with a mosher stamp or one with no labels, but for the most part this is it.

First up, the crown jewel and by far the toughest and most expensive. Clear Gold out of 88. I wrote all about this one here.

Next, First press on black vinyl. 900 pressed in total. This is the one version I had for years.

Second press. Clear Red vinyl with white blank labels. 202 pressed. 200 of them have a single "In My Blood Records" sticker on one side and is hand numbered on the flip side.
The two extras have no labels. Dobek has one. Go check it out.

Second press. Blue vinyl. 800 pressed. You can see they changed the color of the lettering on the label to blue as well.

Third press. Black vinyl. 925 pressed. Lettering on the cover has been changed to green. The labels have also been changed to yellow with black type.

Now we start in with the Judge rip off New Jersey Crew cover that was used for the rest of the pressings.

Third press. Black vinyl. 75 "pressed" for a couple of east coast shows. Inside of the cover was stamped and numbered.

Fourth press. Black vinyl with white blank labels. 300 pressed for European tour. Stamped and numbered on the inside cover.

Fifth and final press. White vinyl. 100 pressed. Stamped and numbered on the inside cover.

Glad to say I am "done" this one. It was a rough go on the bank account!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bold - s/t 7"

The Bold self titled 7", also known by some as the Running Like Thieves 7", is nothing if not a headache.

Musically, it is one in a long line of records done by 1980's hardcore bands looking to "grow" or "expand" their musical creativity. As always, you end up with a polarizing record where the band alienate half their fan base. UC, SSD, DYS, Unity, Supertouch, Youth of Today, Bold and the list goes on.

Attempts at proper singing, melody, soft introspective passages, metal riffs, solos and way longer song lengths are the hallmark of hardcore "growth" - and this record has it all! Whether the record is good or not, I don't know. For me, the jury is out. I rarely listen to it anymore to even have an opinion.

As a vinyl collector, this record is the monster of all headaches.

The story is well known and way too complicated to explain here. I'm not sure I even fully understand it. You can go read about it at Dobek's blog or at the Revelation pressing page.

Long complicated story short, the pressing plant couldn't mix colors properly to make maroon so they ended up with pink. Revelation said screw it, make orange. The pressing plant did but without cleaning the presses first. Revelation were invoiced for 1000 orange and 60 pink. Of course, there are an unknown number of pink/orange mixes due to the transition from color to color.
Are the pink/orange mix copies included in the pink number? Are they in the orange number? Are the pink/orange mixes all unique as they transition from one color to another with each one pressed?

Does anyone with a life give a shit?

Anyway, I guess I can throw my hat in the ring and post some pictures.

Pink/Orange mix.

I got this from Kyle Whitlow a few weeks back. He had two. What nerve! I always wanted a pink or at least a pink-ish one. Compared to a lot of pink/orange mix pictures out there, this one is pretty pink. I'm happy.

Here it is compared to my orange. Which isn't very orange.

Like I said, here is my orange. I have seen a lot of pictures that are a darker orange than this one. In fact there is a pretty large pink blob on mine on the right side of the vinyl.

I am going to assume all orange ones are kind of different as they all have some swirls in them. White streaks, pink blobs, whatever.
This is way too hard to figure out or care about frankly. At this point I will stop as you already think I am a nerd for writing this much about it.

Black vinyl. 3900 pressed for the first pressing. At least we know what color this is.

There were at least three pressings of the black vinyl with maroon cover. The pressing numbers aren't listed but we can assume there are a lot out there.

For the 4th and subsequent final pressings until Revelation released "Looking Back" in 1993, they used a blue cover and labels with black vinyl. I never bothered to pick it up. I have spent enough time and money on this damn record!