Monday, August 31, 2009

XClaim! Records 1 - 6

My record collection is basically swiss cheese. Holes everywhere.

I would love to be able to post even just one complete Bridge Nine, Revelation or Deathwish release, but I can't. I am always missing something. These days with tour covers, fest pressings, friends presses, and up to three different pre-order colors, it is increasingly difficult to get it all.

Because of that, I am really happy with my XClaim! collection. Six releases all on beautiful black vinyl. I don't know the pressing numbers, I have only heard rumors of variations. Let's just call it blissfully unaware.

I won't get too into what each record sounds like, who was in what band, or how the label was run, that information is in the history books (well, Blush's American Hardcore book anyways) and wikipedia.

All I can say that this label represented 80's Boston hardcore as well as, or better than, larger labels like Modern Method and Taang. Almost all of these records were reissued through other labels later on, but to me, the originals are where it is at.

XClaim! #1 - SS Decontrol - The Kids Will Have Their Say. Split release with Dischord. Two sided lyric sheet included.

XClaim! #2 - FU's - Kill For Christ. Some talk of two presses with slighly different labels (height of lettering, etc.). Two sided lyric sheet included.

XClaim! #3 - SS Decontrol - Get It Away. One sided lyric sheet included. Considered their best material. I won't disagree.

XClaim! #4 - DYS - Brotherhood. Two sided lyric sheet included. Repressed on the Wolfpack lp.

XClaim! #5 - FU's - My America. Same deal on the pressing numbers. Really large one sided folded lyric sheet. Repressed on Classy Records that looks close to the original cover. Kind of.

XClaim! #6 - Jerry's Kids - Is This My World? First press with printed inner sleeve. By far the most underappreciated XClaim! release. This record is amazing and would spawn the return of Gang Green. It doesn't get cooler that that!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Modern Life Is War - s/t 7" Lottery press

I have never won anything in my life.
I don't play the lottery, I don't win at scratch offs, and I suck at betting on the ponies at the track. That shit just doesn't work for me.

When Lifeline Records re-released "My Love, My Way" on vinyl, they also put on a lottery for a special press of the first 7". You could simply add one, or many, tickets to your pre-order and you were entered to win a draw for the super limited pressing.

It was a buck and there was no way I was going to be able to get this record anyways else, so I figured what the hell. I bought one raffle "ticket". At least I had a shot.
I was just happy that "My Love, My Way" was getting reissued. It is a great album and for my money better than "Witness". I just didn't have the drive to try to get all the pressings from Martyr Records, especially the friends press.

I was happy to see the mailer from Lifeline in the mail a couple months later, finally it was time to rock out to a little "Breaking the Cycle". I couldn't believe my eyes when I opened the box and the 7" was sitting right on top. God damn, I actually won!

As you can see, the cover is starkly different for this press as it is white backed as opposed to the standard black backing of the other presses.

There were 50 pressed in total and the vinyl is white with black streaks.

There is also a Lifeline stamp on the inside of the cover.

It now sits proudly with the other 7 versions of the record I have. Still on the lookout for the Japanese one with the obi strip on yellow vinyl. I keep hoping that my buddy Shawn will give me his someday. He is really good friends with Joe Lifeline and I'm sure he could get another, right Citrus?
A guy can get lucky twice can't he?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cold World - Boom Bye Bye 7"

"Six million ways to die, but you can't choose one - It chooses you."

Talking with my buddy Geoff at the Have Heart show on Sunday we pretty much agreed that Cold World's "Dedicated to Babies That Came Feet First" was THE best album of 2008. Cold World are able to incorporate hip hop beats and samples into their music without it being jokey or offensive like Anthrax or Limp Bizkit. I think it helps they have a clue what hip hop is. I don't know how to explain it but it just works.

The first song on the album after the intro is "Boom Bye Bye". That also happens to be the song released as a 7" that Deathwish released months, if not a year, before the album release.

There were 300 of them pressed in total with a special plastic cover and a promo sticker for the new Cold World album coming soon.

Where things got tricky was that you couldn't buy it. At all.
It was a random throw in for people who placed Deathwish orders around the same time as the This Is Hell - Sundowning lp and Shipwreck 7" releases. Don't quote me on the time though. It was a while ago.
I ordered every record and every color variant Deathwish released (and still do). No luck, I didn't get one.
Next, I looked on ebay but no luck there either. A few were floating around but it was going for some pretty crazy prices. I kind of wrote it off as one that just wouldn't happen any time soon.

At Sound and Fury last year, Deathwish were one of the first merch tables ready to go when the doors opened. They had a box of random Deathwish 7"s to flip through at the end of the table. Unbelieveably, a few records in, there it was.

Boom Bye Bye!

The best part was Nicole was selling everything for normal, not collector prices. $5. Yup, $5.

I also picked up a DW Limited: "Singles Collection ($5, yup $5 again) and about 4 color variations of the Blacklisted/First Blood split, but I will save that for another time.

Sometimes, things just work out.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Neanderthal - Fighting Music 7"

Alongside Infest, Crossed Out and No Comment, Neanderthal define everything I love about power violence. At times, they had the speed of other thrashcore/grindcore bands, but they also had the ultra-slow, sludgy aggression and power in their music that ended up redefining a genre, primarily due to their bass heavy sound.

In just over a year, the band would release a spilt 7" with Rorschach, get bootlegged a couple times and then morph into the almighty Man Is the Bastard and proceed to release about 5000 split 7"s and lps. Ah, the 90's.

"Fighting Music" was released by Slap a Ham Records in 1990. The first press was 1000 on black vinyl with black & white insert. The second press was a ridiculous 300 pressed, 100 of those on purple. I don't have one. Damn.
The entire second press is recognizable by the red print used on the insert.

If you are thinking of getting one, be aware of a bootleg out there called "Complete Fighting Music". There are 300 of them out there. It looks pretty damn close to the original "Fighting Music" cover if you are not paying attention. Of course, this is not to be confused with the actual "Complete Fighting Music" test press that Deep Six pressed, but never got past the test stage. So much for not being confusing.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Chain of Strength - What Holds Us Apart (Chain Crew)

Last month I was pretty bummed out that I was going to miss the Sound and Fury fest in Southern California. I had gone the last couple years and had an awesome time. It was like family summer vacation, only with tons of bands, records, In-n-Out Burger and no family.

The only reason I couldn't go this year was I had quite a few "dad" obligations I was on the hook for. Money, luckily, was not an issue.

I decided to take the cash I would have spent on the flight and motel and treat myself to tracking down some of my high priced want list items.

As luck would have it, a "Chain Crew" and a "Confusion" both popped up on ebay at the same time, from the same seller, both with a "Buy It Now" option lower than the last two sold on auctions. What's more, the records were from a reputable seller who happens to also be a record collector that frequents the Livewire board and HYE. Dude has a Bold 7" on pink and on pink/orange mix. Damn.

I didn't even think twice. I bought them both and then started the waiting game. Yesterday, jackpot.

The Chain Crew record held a special appeal to me because I have never heard the rejected mix of the WHUA 7". I have the Foundation 7" press with the accepted mix and the crazy reverb remix on "The One Thing That Still Holds True" lp, but I really wanted to hear the version the band rejected and hear why they did. Now at the very least, I can say I have all the mixes of a great record. I think it sounds alright, a little thin and distant, but still good.

For anyone who is thinking of getting one, the matrix numbers on the rejected press are as follows:
Side A (Alex): L-35261 FR-1-A
Side B (Pain): L-35261X FR-1-B

For comparison, the matrix numbers for the accepted press are;
Side A (Alex): L-35261 FR-1-A Re
Side B (Pain): L-35261Y FR-1-B Re

The story on this record is pretty well know. According to the Revelation: Final Word webpage, the Flex! Hardcore site, and the Chain Crew insert itself, 500 records were pressed of the rejected mix. Everyone in the band got 100. Chris Bratton took his and made covers and inserts and sold them as the Chain Crew press. They were done up for the first Dayton Hardcore Festival, but I am sure a few found their way out as well.

I still regret missing Sound and Fury, just not as much anymore.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Have Heart - Sink With Cali 2005 fest press

"The essence of Mortal Kombat is not about death, but life."

I am a sucker for tour/festival presses, special covers, record releases, whatever. From bands who number the cover with a sharpie for a record release to a label that presses special color vinyl and silk screened covers for a festival, I love it all.
Of course, the better the effort, the more I love it, want it, and become obsessed with it.

At the top of the list are the Have Heart 2005 Sink With Cali fest presses. Two separate releases, Bottled Up's 2003 Demo and Think Fast's What Counts, tied together by Mortal Kombat themed covers.
Have Heart are no strangers to the fest/tour press and covers, but this is hands down my personal favorite of theirs. Once I saw a picture of them online, they went straight to my want list. Love at first sight. It doesn't hurt that I'm a sucker for Mortal Kombat. I even liked the movie. That is a bold statement.
First up is the "2003 Demo" put out by Bottled Up with Sub Zero on the cover. According to the Bottled Up myspace page, 100 copies were pressed on black vinyl with stamped labels especially for this show. Bad ass.

Next is "What Counts" on Think Fast with Scorpion on the cover. They used black vinyl from a previous pressing for this. It is generally accepted as 100 copies were available as well, don't quote me on that though.