Thursday, December 31, 2009

ON - Double Vision

I realize that others in the record collecting blog world have touched on this record (Hey Mike!), but I figured I took all these damn pictures, I might as well post them.

Everyone is well aware of the band and the record by now. Seattle "supergroup" (lame tag-this ain't Steely Dan) made up of members of Champion, Go It Alone and Blue Monday. They self released two amazing 7 inches, "Vital Times" and "Control". Both go out of print immediately and are highly sought after collectors items, especially as their buzz grows.
A couple months later they have two of the more prolific hardcore labels out there, React! and Reaper Records, jointly re-release the two records as a single full length called "Double Vision". I think that is it in a nutshell.

Of course, this blog is about the vinyl, and this package is again of a top notch quality that we have come to expect with Aram and React! Records. It's the little things, you know?

Here we go:
250 pressed on white as the React! exclusive color. Sold out almost immediately through pre-orders.

250 pressed on grey as the Reaper exclusive color. Also long gone and was only available through web pre-orders. I remeber it was supposed to be a different color (clear maybe?) but this is what we got.

Both labels had the "regular" issue black vinyl available as well. This was out of 350. 100 pressed more than the exclusive colors is not much, and it is sold out now too.

Of course, there were plenty of goodies included with the records as well. As a staple with React releases, there was a very cool screened cardboard mailer insert, stickers, 90's Ebullition-esque flyer, and the always important download card.

As is usually the case these days, you also have to have some cool limited tour vinyl as well.

150 clear blue were pressed and was available at the 2009 Sound and Fury festival.

As you can see in the picture, there is a noticeable black streak through the vinyl.

Now before we get all excited for a "transition" press, Aram told me directly that this will not be the case. There may be as few as 10 out there, but they were not caught early, nor were they identified or stamped like the Right Idea - "Our World" transition press. Good for you if you have one, but that is about it. Saying all that, I'm glad I have one!

ON were also preparing for a Euro tour this summer and the records were not ready. So what to do? Why make an "Emergency Edition" of course! Black vinyl out of 130.

Powered Records also did a press for the before mentioned European tour. Pre-orders went up in June for a July release. Plenty of time right? Well, obviously there is an "Emergency Edition", so no. After many delays, these came out last month. Turned out great anyway.

150 stamped pre-orders were made on red vinyl.

In addition, Powered also pressed red vinyl out of 50 (I'm guessing 200 red were pressed and this is the leftover from the 150 pre-order), 200 on white and 600 on black. I have them coming, but I think I have posted enough pictures of this record!

Powered also had a couple cool inserts including a glossy promo band shot (?) and a small apology card explaining the delays.

All in all, a very well put together record from three separate labels. That is a hell of a lot of output!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Champion - Promises Kept : Warehouse Edition

Boy oh boy, do I like the holidays!

My buddy Aram from Champion, Betrayed, The First Step and React! Records was back in Calgary for Christmas and we were able to meet up for coffee last night before he had to head back to Vancouver. Anyone who knows Aram, knows him as a generous guy and he was like freaking Santa Claus when he sold this little gem to me. Hand delivered and everything. The only thing missing were reindeer!

Promises Kept - Warehouse Edition of the reject press/record release white vinyl. Out of 12. Yeah that's right - 12!

With the exception of the blank label misprint on Come Out Swinging, this is by far the rarest Champion record. I didn't even know it existed until Aram told me about it last week. Needless to say I am psyched!

Oh, how I love the holidays!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Unity - Blood Days lp

If you look around at the various hardcore blogs and message boards there is a definite split in the opinion of the Pat Dubar/Pat Longrie bands and their second records. Namely, Uniform Choice - "Staring Into The Sun" and this one, Unity - "Blood Days".

I can see back in 1988/89 with the amount of legendary straight edge releases like Bold - Speak Out, Youth of Today - We're Not In This Alone and the first Gorilla Biscuits 7" that Unity - Blood Days would have been a shock, especially considering the previous records both Uniform Choice and Unity released, Screaming for Change and You Are One respectively.

I mean, wow - just look at that back cover!

The change in look and also music, heading towards a more "modern" sound soured a lot of people to the band. The drastic change from straight up fast positive youth crew hardcore to slower, surf tinged, reverb heavy rock was too much for a lot of people.

As far as I am concerned I just look at it as an extension of what was going on at the time. To me the biggest influence in popular music from 1988 to 1990 was Jane's Addiction. No one lives in a bubble, and that band ruled alternative music and influenced as many bands as Nirvana. The release of "Nothing Shocking" in 1988 was as groundbreaking as "Nevermind" a couple of years later, especially to musicians.

Blood Days was released on Powerhouse Records, yet another Pat Dubar label. Not sure why it wasn't just put out on Wishingwell since he owned that with Pat Longrie. It wasn't like they were trying to bury their past as the back cover is littered with strategically placed UC and Unity records. Regardless, this album contains re-recordings of all the songs off "You Are One" as well as six new songs. The recording has a lot of effects on the music, I guess going for a more timely or modern sound.

Since UC's Region of Ice is one of my favorite song, and I am a fan of Apology and "Change Today?" era TSOL, I'm more than fine with this lp.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Blacklisted - No One Deserves To Be Here More Than Me

In this day of 4 month in advance pre-orders, delays, pressing plant errors and general mailorder frustration, it was quite amazing when Deathwish posted the new Blacklisted album for immediate sale and immediate delivery.
This just doesn't happen anymore. Good on Tre, Jake and the rest of the Deathwish team for having the resources to do it.

Another awesome thing about this record is that it is a vinyl only release with a mp3 download card for computer and ipod heads. Best of both worlds.

If anyone wants a good laugh, check out this "review" by some moron at Philly Rock Blog.
This guy basically stands for everything I hate. itunes songs for 99 cents, digital download albums, the "trend" of vinyl, etc.
Someone caught wind of this article and posted at the B9 board. The shit storm that reigns down on him from hardcore kids is epic! Read through the comments and his replies. Epic fail.

If that wasn't enough, the guy just doesn't know when to quit while he is behind and "interviews" Jake Bannon to further his own agenda. Absolutely brutal. Jake shows infinite patience.

As far as the vinyl goes, there are four colors pressed, three that were available at the time of ordering;
319 Orange & Green mix

719 Green w/ Purple splatter

1929 Orange w/ Black splatter

There is also a black vinyl press out there that is reserved for the band and their tour. 109 pressed. A few got leaked during the mail order packing. Good for you if you got one. As a collector, I will be waiting on ebay for it as there is zero chance they are coming here on tour.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ringworm - The Promise

It never fails, I set my sights on a record, patiently wait out the lost ebay auctions, comb the trade boards and finally snag the record for a ungodly amount of money - only to read a year later that some label is re-issuing or repressing it.

Case in point, Ringworm - The Promise.

Here is the original press on Incision records released back in the 90's. It was pressed on orange vinyl, how many - I don't really know. I have seen numbers like 1000 floating out there. There were also some black vinyl copies pressed.

This was quite the score a few years ago. They don't show up that often, but when they do you can get it for around $70-$90.Sometimes it seems they go up if a lyric sheet is included. I guess they are kind of hard to come by. Believe me, it is no screaming hell.

Musically, the recording is a little thin and the timing seems off in parts. Still the songs are there and the intent is obvious. Heavy Clevo-sound hardcore/metal. You wouldn't be wrong comparing them to Integrity. Everyone else does. I also think the singer Human Furnace sounds like John Joseph from the Cro-Mags. That's a good thing!

In November, A389 Records re-released The Promise. Those quick on the pre-orders with deep wallets were able to pick up the limited deluxe package.

This package included the album on red/gold split out of 300

an eight page 12" x 12" booklet of old flyers and pictures;

Ringworm's 1991 Demo 7" that is only available as part of the package;

and finally the new Gluttons s/t 7". This is Human Furnace's new band that takes on a more punk sound. Nothing wrong here.

A389 also pressed an additional five colors for the first press of the record for regular issue; green marble, grey marble, red, orange and purple. Hunt them down at A389 webstore.

I'm content with my one copy because really, who am I kidding? I love first pressings of all records. I would have tracked down the Incision 1st press no matter what. To me it seems more historic, a document for what was happening at the time and place. It may not sound better, but to me it is more - real.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Deathwish Singles Collection Number 1

Continuing with my Deathwish collection catch-up, I was super excited to pick this up at the 2008 Sound and Fury fest. Tre at Deathwish sent out an email reminder about the fest and that they would have a table set up with some choice finds. That was an understatement. Flipping through the 7 inches, I found this for $5. I also picked up a few of the Dead Mans Hand splits I posted about earlier.

The Singles Collection Number One was made up of three separate releases, the Horror Show "Our Design", Some Girls "The Rains", and the first Dead Man's Hand split The Hope Conspiracy & The Suicide File 7".

According to the Deathwish discography page, the records were ready to go, but they didn't have covers yet and they wanted to get them out for the summer festival season. Sounds like a plan to me.

500 were pressed. Horror Show was on clear, Some Girls on white and the Hope Con/Suicide File had 438 on grey marble and 62 on black vinyl.
I have the grey marble for the Dead Mans Hard split, if anyone has a black and want to part with it, let me know!

All the white blank labels and inner sleeves were hand stamped and the sets were machine numbered as well. I picked up number 15. Sweet.

I love the thought and effort put into the whole package, especially the artwork. The cover was of course designed by Jake Bannon. The Deathwish site paints a picture that this release was rushed out and slapped together. That may be, but I think it looks amazing and was done exactly right. Awesome.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New York City Hardcore : The Way It Is comp

Some of my early exposure to hardcore was by way of metal. Growing up in Calgary, metal was the easy way to gravitate towards heavy or aggressive music. We had the Much Music Power Hour, Circus and Hit Parader magazine in corner stores, and we had big bands tour Canada quite often like Iron Maiden, Dio and Judas Priest.
Every once in a while something would sneak in that was just different enough to turn my head, one was the crossover scene and another was NYHC.

I picked up the cassette of "The Way It Is" at one of the Calgary's only import record stores. I had high hopes of hearing all these bands I had heard of , but rarely heard. I ripped the cellophane off, popped the tape into my yellow Sports Walkman.
I hated it.
The songs were under produced, way too raw with the worst production I had ever heard.
Hey, cut me some slack, my metal ears had a hard time adjusting. Damn 10 minutes earlier I was listening to Holy Diver!

Anyway, the tape stuck around and eventually I bought the lp. And yes, more and more exposure to hardcore led to me appreciating the sound too. Searching For The Light was and still is a monster.

This is the first press of the record. You can tell from the distinct two color labels they used early on. Later presses would have a different solid color label.

The best part of the record besides the all star lineup and songs was the awesome full size booklet that came with the first press. I decided to scan the whole thing and post it. So awesome.

Of course the bands on the comp would pretty much become the who's who of hardcore and spawn a million bands after them. Well except Youth Defense League. That Blue Pride shit always came across as white power to me.
This record still holds a lot of memories for me. I even still have the cassette.