Thursday, July 30, 2009

Beyond Possession - Tell Tale Heart 7"

This one is for Citrus, Al and Ross. Looking forward to my final daze.

Growing up in Calgary, Canada in the 1980's, one can easily get an inferiority complex. We didn't have much going for us back then. No one famous comes from here. No popular Calgary bands had ever made it at that point, not even nationally where our government force feeds Canadian artists down our throats (30% minimum Canadian content on radio and tv ).
Everything cool came from somewhere else. Period.

That is why to this day I still have a soft spot for Beyond Possession.

They were the first hardcore punk band I had ever seen live, and they were local!
1985. I was 15 years old. The Westward Club downtown. Local music scene legend Wes Hegg working the door. Ninth Configuration opening. BP hits the stage and singer Ron Hadley had his shirt off 5 seconds into the first song, tattoos everywhere. Dude scared the crap out of me. I loved it.
That show literally changed my life. I went from 18,000 seat metal concerts to all ages shows, from metal to hardcore.

Anyways, getting back to the inferiority thing, Beyond Possession were ours and it actually looked like they were going somewhere. Now we were going somewhere too.
First, they started popping up in Thrasher Magazine as they embraced, and were embraced by, the underground skate culture. There were no X-Games or ESPN coverage back then! Next, you would read how James Hetfield saw them and even bought a shirt. Then they were signed to Death/Metal Blade Records! I mean damn, they ended up on a comp with D.R.I and Dr. Know! Then the pinnacle of the "...Is Beyond Possession" album. You have to understand, we cared about these achievements. It was more than just liking the band, It was kind of liking ourselves.

I see yourslf asking, "Where is all this leading?" Well my friends, I present the Tell Tale Heart 7". This was their first record and definitely their "punkiest", everything after this got pretty metal. "Skater's Life" is still revered around these parts as one of the best skate rock songs ever written.
The first press was on Rooter Records. You can tell the first press from the red and black lettering in the title and pictures of the band on the back. It also has different labels and a two sided lyric sheet.

The second press was on Fango Records. It had black and white lettering on the front and a white back cover. It also dropped one song, "Dying Fast". The lyric sheet was scaled down too.

Of course you could find the second press a lot easier, but the first press is the one for my money.
Both presses were only available on black vinyl. I can't tell you how many were pressed, but if you ever run across one, pick it up! There was also a discography cd that came out on Calgary label Melodiya Records which is about as hard to find as the records.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bridge Nine Warehouse Editions

Last month, Bridge Nine quietly posted a pre-order for something they called "Warehouse Editions" of five of their older releases. They were:

Champion - Promises Kept lp
No Warning - Ill Blood lp
Have Heart - You Can't Go Home Again 7"
Outbreak - You Make Us Sick 7"
Death By Dishonor/Black Friday '29 split 7"

Basically this was leftover vinyl and some inserts without covers found in the warehouse. They made up special covers for the releases and voila, instant collectors items. The cool part was they were sold for regular prices.I guess it was intended for people who didn't have them the first time around. Sorry about that.

The pre-order came and went really fast for the first three titles. A few hours and that was it. The Outbreak and DBD/BF 29 hung around for close to a week and then were gone too. If I wasn't on the Vinyl Collective message board at the right time (during work hours of course), I would have missed out. As it is, I got lucky (or I should have a better work ethic) and was able to pick up the three titles I wanted right away. Looking back, I probably should have picked up the other two as they were $5 a piece.
Oh well. Still stoked!

Champion - Promises Kept. Out of 205. I got the final show press vinyl. Way darker "yellow" than my other original copy.

No Warning - Ill Blood. Out of 141. Black vinyl originally out of 600. No insert with this one.

Have Heart - You Can't Go Home Again. Out of 95. Yellow vinyl originally out of 1000. No insert.

Cave In - Beyond Hypothermia

With word of Cave In getting back together after a short "break" and releasing a new 12" called Planets of Old on Hydra Head, feelings of hope wash over me that we are finally going to hear the crushing Cave In of old.
...and just like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football Lucy keeps pulling away, I get let down once again.

Literally since Until Your Heart Stops came out 100 years ago, I get my hopes up and then I get them dashed! Release after release, Jupiter, Tides of Tomorrow, Antenna, and ever Perfect Pitch Black. If I want to hear Pink Floyd, I will put on Animals or Wish You Were Here.
Where was Crossbearer? Capsize? Flypaper?
Hey I understand, bands change and "progress", I just had a hard time changing with Cave In. Maybe it's better to say goodbye.

But I'm keeping this!

The first and only press was a total of 320. 22 on purple and 298 on grey. There were also different screened cover colors. There was blue, yellow, green and blue on clear vellum.

There were some pretty cool inserts including the cd insert, a Hydra Head pressing info sheet for all the releases to that point, and also an info sheet on the release and why it was pressed, etc.
This was one on my first real "collector" records and still gets pulled out quite often for a spin along with the original 7"s and Until Your Heart Stops.
Ah, Cave In...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Negative Approach - s/t 7"

Ah, the record that had eluded me for a decade. The Negative Approach 7" on Touch and Go.

It seemed to take a very long time for me to get this. I had their "Tied Down" album for quite some time but of course this one is a little older, scarcer and in my opinion a whole lot better.

Anyway when it came to tracking this record down, if it wasn't beat to hell, it was an ebay feeding frenzy that got too rich for my blood. Luckily sometime last summer, or maybe it was two summers ago, Paul Colucci from Between the Wars posted on the boards that he was selling his entire record collection. You have to jump at those chances when they come.
I bought around 50 rare records off him including this one. The total cost was insane and the shipping and duty charges I had to pay were more than I usually spend on records in a month, but I figured it was better than dicking around one record at a time.
I hid all evidence of the transaction from my wife and waited impatiently for the packages to arrive. When they did, out of all the choices I had on what to play first, Negative Approach was the one.

This one is a second press out of 1000. You can tell from the red print on the labels the pressing. First press has black printing.

If there is one thing I have seen with early hardcore records it is the rarity of an insert in great shape. I got lucky with this one.

A lot of serious collectors dig for the colored face covers as only a handful were colored originally. To me that just opens the door for shady characters to color any copy and claim it is original. Hell, my kid can color with green crayons and stay in the lines and everything! Time to get paid!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Minor Threat - In My Eyes 7"

Here is the second of my one-two punch of original Minor Threat 7"s, "In My Eyes".

I wish I could show everyone a first press on red with yellow labels and the "Gary Cousins" misprint sleeve, but unfortunately, this is all I got.

This is the 3rd and final press according to the Threatbase website. Hey, I'm not complaining. This is a great record and I am pretty happy that I have one and it didn't require a second mortgage! One very big positive is the later presses used heavier stock for their covers. I have a SOA "No Policy" cover that will fall apart if I breathe on it too hard.

Oh yeah, by the way, this is arguably their best material and contain two certifiable straight edge anthems and one very misunderstood song. Slayer fucked it up big time as well which doesn't help. Guilty of being right. What dicks.

Minor Threat - s/t 7"

Some call it the self titled 7 inch, some call it the "Filler" 7 inch, I call it the record I grab when the house is burning down.

It's amazing to look through the How's Your Edge trade lists and find a few serious collectors that will have all four presses of this release. I shake my head in awe.
That is some serious coin, time and effort for four pieces of different colored paper. Push comes to shove, the differences in the pressings are the sleeves. The red sleeve was first and is worth twice as much as the others. Yellow came next, then green and finally blue. The first three pressings were out of 1000 with the last out of 2000.

When the opportunity arose to finally get one of my own, I had the option of the yellow, green and blue covers. Had to go with the yellow. I still think it is the best looking one. However if anyone has a red one kicking around that you want to unload, holla!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

ON - Vital Times ep

It looks like the hardcore world at large has finally caught up with the west coast's worst kept secret, ON.
This month Reaper and React! Records will be jointly releasing "Double Vision", a compilation of ON's first two self released 7"s. Powered Records is also releasing it for the European market as well. To steal a line from the movie Almost Famous, "It's all happening."

I first heard about ON through the Legitimate Bros webpage. Hey, I am only a 12 hour drive away from Vancouver, I figured I might as well keep with the west coast hc scene. I read that a new band was starting up with a member of Champion and...whoa, whoa, whoa!. That's was enough for me!
Champion were one of my favorite hardcore bands and anything Jim Hesketh was going to be singing on, I'm in.
I kept up with their myspace page and the Legitimate Bros site and the next thing you know, the Vital Times ep.

The white vinyl was out of 250 and was available only through the pre-order.

Black vinyl was out of 600. Still not that big a number for a "regular" press.

The record release was on green vinyl out of 75 and came with special covers.

The one I got has the regular insert and also a gig poster of the show the record was released at. Basically, a roll call of the Legitimate Bros roster. Very nice.

The tour press was also on green and out of 75. I have seen it listed as "heady nug green", whatever the fuck that means. Looks like regular green to me.

ON's second 7" record, "Control" came out recently and next up is the "Double Vision" lp I mentioned earlier. If anyone has an extra record release copy of Control, hit a brother up!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Infest - Machismo 7"

Where's the Unity?

This record single handedly changed the way I thought about hardcore. To me they are the first and last word on power violence/thrash/grind or whatever you want to call it. Aggressive, gruff vocals and super fast, especially for 1988. Between them and Siege, they started it all.

This was their first single. While it doesn't officially have a title, it is pretty much known as the "Machismo" single. The first press was originally self released by the band. There are a lot of bootlegs out there on this one. The most common is the "Easy Come, Easy Go" one. I got burned on that one as an original off ebay once!
Hopefully some of these pictures will help if you are so inclined on tracking one down.

They ended up re-releasing all the songs off this record as part of the Slave lp.
Try to track this or the Slave album down if you can.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Verse - From Anger and Rage "Friends press"

Have you ever seen a record on a trade list, message board or label discography and just needed to have it? For me, it was Verse's "From Anger and Rage" friends press. The brown and green contrasting with the red/white/black cover, red label and the other colors pressed just grabbed me.

At the time when I saw it on the Rivalry discography page, I never thought I would ever get one. Verse were very popular and Rivalry was the hot label of the day. It wasn't looking good.
In the end, I won it on an ebay auction off Danny Hesketh from Sinking Ships. It was a high profile, heavily advertised auction and I probably ended up spending a lot more than if I waited.
Still, pretty bad ass huh?

I have mixed feelings about collecting friends presses. 99.99% of the time I am not a friend of the band or the label. The people releasing this record never intended for me to have one, so who the hell do I think I am jockeying to score one? Lurking for friends presses and tests feels like crashing a house party and getting busted by the star quarterback and all his friends.

Maybe I'm watching too many John Hughes 80's teen movies.