Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Corrosion of Conformity - s/t lp

I swore I wouldn't buy this record. I saw the pre-order up on Candlelight's webstore and I was stunned by how much the record was retailing for and just how much international postage would cost. $65 to mailorder a record to Canada that I would be buying for purely nostalgic reasons. I wisely passed.

Well damn if the record didn't show up in one of my local record stores. Just staring at the cover, looking at the back and then opening the gatefold to see the trio of Woody Weatherman, Mike Dean and Reed Mullin was just too much to put it back on the shelf. I decided that if there was even a spark, a hint, of what I loved about the band in 1987 then it would be ok. I grabbed a sealed copy and didn't look back.
I wasn't too optimistic about what I was going to hear as the Your Tomorrow 7" was a little underwhelming in the vocals department. I just want Mike Dean to sing like he did on "Animosity" and "Six Songs With Mike Singing". Dude was fierce!

One thing that can't be argued is this album looks pretty damn good. Really well put together in both vinyl and artwork.

It seems all regular vinyl sent to stores and distros is on this milky clear color. It must be 180 gram vinyl as it is pretty heavy.

As I was saying earlier, it comes on a gatefold sleeve with lyrics, thank you's and notes.

One very cool part of this album is that it comes with a bonus 7" to capture all the songs from the cd. I'll be damned if those aren't the two best songs on the album. The 7" comes on black vinyl.

I was really worried that this was going to be like C.O.C. of the 90's and be another southern fried rock lp. Luckily, with Pepper Keenan out of the band to concentrate on Down, this has more of a Sabbath or even late-Black Flag feel than Lynyrd Skynyrd. Surprisingly, they play uptempo stuff on just about every song which makes it a lot better than I ever thought it would be.
It's not Animosity or Technocracy, those days are gone. But for what it is I am seriously digging it. No regrets.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Antidote - Thou Shalt Not Kill 7"

Well, I guess I get to cross another record off my bucket list. I have been wanting this record for years, if not decades. I just never thought it would ever happen. It wasn't about the cost or the rarity that made me feel like I would never own it; It was always about condition.

The original, self released Antidote Records pressing is near impossible to find in good condition, let alone great. Punks back in 1983 were a little rough on their shit.

In general with this record, the cover does not age well. Most copies available over the last five to ten years look a little beat. The cover is prone to yellowing, the paper stock is pretty thin and tends to curl, crease or tear very easily. Also the dimension of the cover is a lot taller than wider, and that can lead to damage just in regular storage!

I was really happy to find a near perfect copy of the record up on ebay with a decent "Buy It Now" price. There are a couple shallow creases on the cover, but really that is about it.
I have been offered this record many times in the past where the condition was way worse for roughly the same amount I got this one for.

I get a kick out of the $1.99 price tag. I guess I could try to remove it as the paper is glossy and it should come off easy enough, but I am just not willing to damage the cover. It took me long enough to find one in this shape, I'm not going to screw it up.

Another huge bonus of this record is the original, unmarked insert.

Most of the copies out there have three red X's at the bottom right that cross out the t-shirt offer. That point alone makes this an earlier, rarer copy.

Musically, this may be one of the top 10, if not top 5, hardcore records ever recorded. It transcends New York hardcore, even though it is one of the earliest examples of the sound. If you can't get your hands on an original (and really, not many would even want to) you can still do yourself a favor and get the Bridge Nine repress.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ceremony - Adult 7"

This record came almost as an afterthought to the pre-order for Cermony's new full length album, "Zoo". "Adult" is the second of the singles available since the band's move to Matador. I'm not sure if I can call it the second single from the album though as there was a video made for the song "World Blue". Let's go with second record, third single. Or something. Whatever.

When the pre-order popped up for the album, there was an option to also buy the Adult single. It was treated no different than a t-shirt option with the different bundles available. I almost missed it.

Musically we are back with another of Ceremony's "new" 80's Cali-punk direction. I swear sometimes when I listen to them now, I think I am listening to the Repo Man soundtrack. That is a good thing. The b side contains a non-album song called "Start Over". It sounds like Ceremony.

200 were pressed on clear vinyl just like the Hysteria 7". I am glad to have got one as they are long sold out.

I can only assume there is a black vinyl version out there. There will no doubt be thousands available. This is Matador after all. I haven't run across one in town yet, but I am sure it will be coming.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

SSS - Burton 7"

I am literally ashamed of myself for missing out on SSS for all these years. I mean hell, I love hardcore, skate rock, metal, crossover and thrash. This UK band has all of those elements nailed down tight, yet for years - I missed the boat.

SSS, or Short Sharp Shock, play super catchy, mosh and groove orientated thrash, yet on this record I would still call them a hardcore band. Most of their songs don't last over a minute or two and the singer sounds just like Billy Milano from S.O.D or the dude from Wargasm. I literally can't tell where the metal ends or hardcore begins so I am just going to go with calling them crossover.
I mean, what other band can start out on the hardcore label Dead & Gone and by the next record be on Earache?

Once I finally tracked down some of their music online, it didn't take long for me to figure out that their self titled first 7" is their best. Generally just called "Burton" for really obvious reasons, this record is perfect.

The Burton 7" was a split release on Thrashgig and Dead & Gone Records. The first press was 100 on clear vinyl and 400 on black. There was also a record release package out of 50 that used the clear vinyl.
A second press of 500 on black was also pressed and that is the one I got here.

The big selling point of the record is their masterpiece, seven minute opus called "Black Night, White Light" which recounts the night Metallica's bassist Cliff Burton lost his life in a tour bus accident in Sweden. The song itself pays homage to the Metallica song, "To Live Is To Die" with a lot of guitar solos, soft instrumental passages, and even a spoken interlude like in the Metallica song. It really is cool and funny too.

The record also comes with a huge two sided lyric sheet/insert. The one side shows our bass god Cliff Burton again with lyrics, credits and thank yous.

The flip side has the lyrics for their amazing song, "Thrash With A Small Mustache" and plenty of mustachioed men like Charles Manson, Adolf Hitler, Charlie Chaplin and Burt Reynolds. Sweet.

There is also a second insert that has a comic strip starring the band called Adventures In Thrash With SSS. These guys have a sense of humor, that's for sure.

I am now on a mission to track down the rest of the versions of this record, I have some catching up to do.