Thursday, June 21, 2012

Boston Strangler - Primitive

I consider myself an educated man. A person who is intelligent and savvy enough not to get caught up in trends or hype. To see things the way they really are, and not what others tell me it is supposed to be.
Yeah, that's pretty much all bullshit as I got caught up along side everyone else in the collecting world with the hype band and record of the year, Boston Strangler's Primitive lp.

Everyone is pretty much caught up with the story on this one, but here is a skewed, bitter recap.

Super buzz on a relatively new band featuring members of every Boston band since 2000 (well DFJ anyway). The band plays old school Boston hardcore in the vein of SSD, Negative FX and Slapshot. They have the 80's hc revival sound down and do it very, very well. The demo tape makes it's rounds and everyone is stoked for the album to come sometime in the next year. Cool. That's when things get screwy. The album is put out by Fun With Smack initially at a record release show and they disappear immediately. The remaining copies are released to the rest of the world, but only to select distros. No one has one after 5 fucking minutes. There are rumors of some online distros having a couple, but are sold out or unavailable the minute anyone went to the site. Of course, copies show up on ebay with ridiculous Buy It Now prices and on Discogs for even higher prices. People are pissed. Punk and hardcore purists ruin auctions by bidding the price up into the hundreds of dollars and then purposefully don't pay as protest to the rampant flipping. Things die down in time and some copies show up on ebay with low starting bids. People end up getting them for around $40. Still high for a new lp, but better than the shit that was happening. A second press is planned for release and everyone is happy once again as people will be able to get the album without resorting to the second hand market.
All is good in the world. Well, except for the European economy and the imminent fall of the western world's financial system, but that is a story for another time...

I'm sure I fucked up the story up somewhere along the line, but that is pretty much what I went through to get a copy. Through all the hype and shenanigans, I am still super happy with it. This album shreds. Period.

There are different numbers out there for pressing info. I have seen 500, 750 and even 1400 for the first press. The identical second press is rumored to be in the 600 pressed range. That's a lot of records! All are on black vinyl.

The album also comes with a very cool insert/lyric sheet with the only bit of color in the whole package.

 Wait, is that Choke?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ceremony - Zoo

This post is a long time coming. I really should have been on top of this months ago considering that pre-orders went up early in the new year. I guess I was just waiting for all the pieces to fall in place. It took a while but I'm just glad I got there.
I am not going to review the album or try to describe the new sound Ceremony have gone in. I did that already with the posts I did on the Hysteria 7" and Adult 7"s.

Pre-orders for the new album went up while I was on vacation in January. I would break away from the family once a day to use the hotel business computer where people would check flights or make bookings and I would check message boards and label sites. I caught more than a couple dirty looks for my frivolous browsing. Well fuck them, I got records to buy!
Once pre-orders went up, the only information on the Matador site was that there would be a limited color version, first come first serve. As it turned out, the pre-order color was clear red. There were 300 pressed.

For a while it seemed that there would just be the one color and standard black vinyl. Then on some message board everyone found out there would be more color vinyl coming.

The next rarest color was clear blue. This was the record release/tour version that was rumored to have sold all 300 out on the first night. As it turned out that was not true at all as Mike was able to grab me a copy when he saw them in Boston a month or so ago. What is so impressive is that he gave me the color version and kept the black for himself. That my friends is one swell guy. Thanks again Mike!

Clear green was the next color available and this was only available at independent record stores. I was a little worried that since there were only 500 pressed, not many if any would end up in Canada. My worries were unfounded as I can still find the green ones around town.

Finally is good old black vinyl or I like to call it, the play copy. I'm not sure where I heard it but there might be as many as 1900 on black. I found this one in a local indie record store that I guess wasn't cool enough to make the cut for green vinyl. Funny enough, this was the last one for me to get and hardest to track down.

All the versions come with this huge 24" x 24" foldout insert/lyric sheet. Very cool and complete overkill.

If anyone knows if there was a special record release show cover or any other variation out there, let me know. I always like to try to collect everything I can from Ceremony. I should find a cheaper hobby.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Youth Of Today 2012 Revelation Represses

 To tell you the truth, I'm not sure how I feel about this recent re-release of the two Youth of Today albums from Revelation. For anyone just getting into the band, record collecting or just can't afford the originals, this is a great idea and will make tons of Youth Of Today fans very happy. For those of us who busted our asses tracking down the originals, it's still cool. Just maybe not as much.
As you can see, they decided to re-release both albums with artwork as close as possible to the originals. We also know, both were not originally released on Revelation.
I might as well do these one at a time, so age before beauty and first up is Break Down The Walls.
Now honestly, going for the original Wishingwell cover art looks great, but I would have preferred another direction. The first Revelation pressing of the album with the yellow and blue theme was just as iconic and awesome as this one in my opinion. If they would have released this with that artwork and the two tone color Rev labels, I would have been more stoked.

The other thing that makes me uneasy is the use of clear red vinyl. That is just too close to the original, iconic, legendary, search your whole life white whale, WW vinyl that thousands of hardcore kids would give their left nut for. I think I would have liked a different color completely.

 Revelation also used labels close to the original WW ones, making only the obvious name and logo changes of course.

 The insert is close to the same except for the band name in red and the removal of the Wishingwell logo (of course). Now it is a double sided 12"x12" insert instead of a one sided 12"x24" foldout.

 There are a lot of differences between the Revelation and Wishingwell versions so really, it's not like anyone is going to be confused by the two so I guess it's cool. It's not like I wasn't going to buy it!

Next up is one of my personal favorite albums of all time, We're Not In This Alone.

 Of course this album was originally released on Caroline Records and had at least two original mixes. Go check out Dobek's site if you want more info on all that. The dude is crazy meticulous when it comes to that stuff.
This repress was on white vinyl which looks great and is the first time white was used for this particular record. I think it looks amazing.

 Revelation also stay very close to the original Caroline labels, making only the necessary label name and address changes.

 The insert is a lot closer to the original than Break Down the Walls is, but they do include color in the text this time around.

Just a note on the music, they use the 1997 Revelation remix on both these releases so it is still worth hunting down the Wishingwell and Caroline versions to get the original sound and vibe from these two crucial and necessary albums. In the end, there was no way I wasn't going to pick these up. It's what I do. If there was ever a band that deserves to have their stuff in print forever with new twists to keep it fresh and exciting, it's Youth Of Today.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Moss Icon - Complete Discography

Since Moss Icon are playing their first and only one-off reunion show at Chaos in Tejas this weekend, it seems appropriate to post their recently released Complete Discography  triple lp. I held off pre-ordering or buying this for a while now. I was really hoping that some day I could get all the original first press records so I wouldn't need this.

Well, I saw this locally in my favorite record store and I decided to to pick it up. I guess this means I am giving up. As far as their 12"s or albums go, damn, you could find those anywhere back in the 90's. Every distro and indie record store had that Ebullition "It Disappears" 12" and the "Lyburnium" album on Verminform was pretty easy to find too. But gawd damn, those 7"s were impossible to find. It has only gotten worse with time and now they go for ridiculous amounts of money that I can't really justify or afford. My two decade wish of getting the 7"s is over. Unless someone has a line on them for cheap. Then I'm back baby!

Moss Icon was the band that basically laid out the blueprint for all the 90's emo/screamo that would follow. These guys are literally name dropped as an influence by every single emo band that has existed. The legend has grown way past their popularity they ever had while playing. Now Temporary Residence Records has put out this discography that only makes the legend grow.

The layout is very simple and sparse much like their original records, with all of it in black and white. The tri-fold cover folds out to show the pictures from their three 7"s. They are from left to right, Memorial, Mahpiua Luta, and finally the self titled first 7".
There were some small pressings of color vinyl released but I am more than happy with good old black vinyl. To tell you the truth anything else would throw off the whole aesthetic of the package anyway.

Some of the nicest elements of this album are the inner sleeves. Usually I am not a fan of printed inner sleeves, but this seems to work.I took pictures of a couple to give you an idea. For all I know these are what the 7" inserts look like. Not that I would know.

The third album's b-side is a blank etched picture of the memorial figure. I tried to get a picture of it, but it does look way better in person.

I have no idea about pressing numbers or have any idea about colors. For me, this one is just about the pure joy and the memories I have about those crazy 90's emo days. 19 songs to remind me I used to wear fake black rimmed glasses on stage. As always, I am an idiot.