Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cursed - The Last Session 7"

Cursed is the band that made me one of "those guys". Let me explain.
Back in 2005 my friend Todd was able to get me on the guest list to the Cursed show at a small Calgary club called the Hi-Fi Club. One of his 400 bands was playing and I wanted to go see what instrument and what flavor of music he was playing that week. (Very eclectic musician I tell you).
I had known of Cursed for a couple of years at that point and had the Cursed "I" album on Deathwish, but it wasn't until I saw them live that I was truely converted. They sounded so damn amazing in that small club setting. I was blown away.
So of course after the show, I talked with Chris and gushed profusely about the show. I bought two t-shirts, a hooded sweatshirt, and of course a copy of Cursed II on vinyl.
I kept up religiously with Cursed for the rest of their time as a band. I saw them open for Converge and convinced my friends they were the best band ever. That night, the sound in the room sucked balls. Still, I kept the faith and I bought all their available shirts. In the end, I wound up looking like a walking billboard for Cursed. See? I am that guy.

When I heard there would be a final live record a year after their disasterous European tour and subsequent breakup, I was very excited.

"The Last Session" was released as a split release between High Anxiety Records, Chris Colohan's own label, and No Idea. Listening to it, I still can't believe this is recorded "live". The recording is just awesome and for the most part the songs are changed up a little for a new take. It also includes a couple of my favorite Cursed tunes, "Into The Hive" and "Antihero Resesitator".

Where the problem is as a collector, is trying to figure out the colors of this release. This has No Idea written all over it.

The pressing info is as follows:
Black mix/100
Purple mix/250
Grey/Salmon mix/650

I ordered three copies the day it went up at the No Idea webstore. I think I got in on it pretty quick so I was hoping for all three colors. Here's what showed up in the mail:

Well, I know which one the black mix is:

The other two I got, well that's up for debate,
Here is the purple mix for sure,

Now this one is lighter and has grey and pink in it, but compared to the purple one, there really isn't that much difference.

So either I have the grey/salmon one or two purples.

Here's my two cents worth on the deal.
Obviously the pressing numbers show a total press of 1000. 100 are on black with some grey or white mix. The other 900 are a gradual transition from purple to grey, some with more purple than others. Those obvious purple mixes were counted off as 250.
The rest are a various mix of grey/pink shades. I'm guessing no two are exactly alike. The VC messageboards are all up in arms at this as no one seems to know what color they have.

All I know is that I'm not hunting down any more grey mix colors. I'm more than happy with what I have.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Integrity - To Die For

When news that Integrity's "To Die For" lp would finally be released on vinyl after 7 long years, I was stoked! Back when "To Die For" was released in 2003 on Deathwish, I just assumed there would be a vinyl release coming any day after the cd.
Well, here it is seven years later and thanks to A389 Recordings, we have vinyl!

I always felt that this record was a serious return to form after the disappointing "Integ 2000" and "Closure" albums. The Holy Terror sound was back in a big way!
To tell the truth, I had pretty much stopped listening to Integrity after "Seasons In the Size of Days". I was a huge fan of their mid 90's Victory era records such as "Humanity is the Devil" and "System Overload".
As my interest waned with Victory Records and 80% of their bands and the rise of thug/tough guy hardcore, Integrity unfortunately got swept up with all that crap, however unfairly. Ah, the 90's.

Back to the matter at hand. "To Die For" on vinyl.

The first thing you notice about the record is the radically different cover art. The Deathwish cd looked like this:
What we have on this new 10" is a pretty radical change. Uh, yeah - its Sandra Good.

Now who you ask is Sandra Good? Well, she is one of the girls from the Manson Family. Yeah, as in the 1969 hippie cult, Spahn Ranch, Helter Skelter, Tate/LaBianca killings, Manson Family.
Her nickname in The Family was "Blue", given to her by Charles Manson for her blue eyes. Hence the color of the cover and vinyl.

There is a total of 500 pressed on blue.

The B side label shows a picture of Good and fellow Manson Family member Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme. She loved trees and protecting the environment when she wasn't sleeping with an 80 year old man so the Family could hang out on his deserted movie set. She later became famous for trying to shoot US President Gerald Ford with an unloaded gun. Love those feisty redheads!

The insert is just a picture of Good and Fromme topless. That's it. No credits, no lyrics, no recording information. The only information about the record at all is on the A side label.

This has Dwid written all over it!

As part of the pre-order package, there is an exclusive Integrity 7" with two songs off their first album For Those Who Fear Tomorrow, "Darkness" and "March of the Damned". This was a major selling point for me. I like exclusives! This was limited to 300. All on black vinyl.

The package also includes the s/t 7" from Seraphim. 500 pressed on grey marble.

Overall, A389 keeps delivering the goods. Between this and The Ringworm deluxe package, they are right there at the top for overall quality of releases and a feeling that their releases are "special". This package and the Integrity vinyl is completely sold out. Amazing!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Converge - Jane Doe

I have been wanting to do a post on this album for a long time.
I was always hesitant to do it because I was missing a big piece of the puzzle and I wanted to have pictures of all different color variations. Well, after a nice little cash deal with Aram for him to part with some of his gems, I can now happily post one of my favorite albums.

Converge - Jane Doe.

Damn, this record is near perfect. The aggression, speed, heaviness, and mood is unequaled. Everything Converge has done since draws comparisons back to Jane Doe. What I find cool is that metal dudes think it is metal, hardcore kids consider it hardcore or metal influenced hardcore (I refuse to call it metalcore). Everyone embraces it.

Of course, collectors also freak over it, as the repress Deathwish is planning is talked about on a regular basis for two years now over at the Vinyl Collective message board. The day that sucker goes up, plan on the internet crashing.

Seperate from the music, Jane Doe is considered the very best of Jake Bannon's artwork by many. What I find criminal is the underappreciated art work on the inside of the gatefold.

On a side note, prints of Jane Doe sell in the $400 range these days. Very hot commodity that even went through its own counterfeit scandal. A handful were illegally reproduced and sold on ebay with a relatively low "But It Now" price. Guess who got scammed? Yup. Of course it would be me. After a big stink over at the expressobeans message board, almost everyone got their money back. Well, except me.

On to the vinyl. The original press was on Equal Vision Records. Double album gatefold.There were four seperate color pressings each one pressed in pretty small numbers when considering to the demand.

Red Orange split. 150 pressed. This was sold by the band on tour. By far the hardest to come by and is the most expensive when it pops up.

Clear vinyl. 300 pressed.

Brown/White mix. 550 pressed. While pressed in quantities almost double that of the clear, it regularly sells for more. It does look pretty awesome.

Black. The number floating out there is 2000 pressed. While it is the most common color, it still sells in the $85 - $100 range, showing the strength of the demand.

I realize there have been quite a few Converge posts lately, but you will have to bear with me for at least one more in the near future. Axe to Fall. The missing piece. I am happy.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Trash Talk - s/t album

I'm not really one for gossip, but this album was all the talk at the 2008 Sound and Fury fest a couple of years ago, and not for the music.
It also arguably happened to be the hottest item at the merch tables as there was an actual push and shove crush to get at it.

For those who can't read that small, I will transcribe the front sticker that was affixed to the cover.

"Some of your favorite record labels are in the business of exploiting some of your favorite artists. lacking the creative concepts and materials to entertain on their own, they rely on starving artists to do so. Ideally these artists will no longer have to starve in order for their music to be heard. THAT IS NOT THE CASE and (label name here) is no exception to this horrible standard. Once raped of their product, these artists are charged for copies of their own material, incurring debt to these labels. This is just one of the many ways record labels are able to continue profiting on their artist's hard work without fairly compensating the artists. Without the artists there would be no record label. Ideally the independent music scene should be free of these industry horrors. It is not in addition to perpetuating the grief and hardship of their artists by incurring these fees (label name here) also makes profit through online merchandise sales. bands only see a small portion of the proceeds from these sales and often do not recieve them as the money owed to them is put towards erasing the debt they have accrued with the label. It is virtually impossible to come out ahead. Support the bands and not these labels. Buy directly from the band."

Ok then. Someone is not very happy with their label!

They purposefully remove the name of the label in question, leaving it ambiguous as to who they could be talking about.
However this was the talk of the town in the cattle barn in Santa Barbara that weekend.

a. Trash Talk "Plagues" 7" was their previous release to this album.
b. It has just been repressed by Malfunction/Deathwish (1000 on seafoam green)
c. They form Trash Talk Collective to self release all their future recordings and even repressed Plagues themselves.

Like I said, I don't gossip, but it doesn't take much to leap to the conclusion they are talking about themselves as the wronged band in their statement. It also doesn't take much to guess who the label is.

Whatever, the only thing I know for sure is there were 100 of the S&F editions available. They sold out really damn fast. They used the most common color, green, to use for the press.
It was going for insane bucks on ebay following Sound and Fury, but has tailed off quite a bit since.

Maybe I'm way off on this one, if anyone knows the real deal - leave a comment!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Uniform Choice - Region of Ice 7"

I know I could probably get kicked out of the club for saying this, but when it comes right down to it, I probably pull this single out to listen to more than any other Uniform Choice record - including "Screaming For Change".

The song Region of Ice comes from the (kind of) controversial second album "Staring Into The Sun" put out on Giant Records, the same label that put out some cool albums by Verbal Assault, Government Issue and the Dag Nasty - "Field Day" record.
I just think it is a great song. Unbelievably catchy and I would consider it a "hit", no matter who recorded it. Just awesome!

The single also contains "I Am...You Are" one of the faster, more hardcore songs on the album and "Indian Eyes", the lead track from Staring.

Just like the Unity - Blood Days album, I love this era of Pat Dubar/Pat Longrie music. The California reverb heavy sound, the "growth" in their look and the rock star style. I'd be lying if I didn't say I had the same leather jacket/side part long hair look as Longrie in 1990!

Maybe it's just a nostalgic phase I am going through as I get older, but man I am waxing poetically about my early 20's.

It's just another...lost edge in the region of ice.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

D.R.I. - 4 of a Kind

At the request of my friend Geoff, I was asked to randomly pull a record out from the shelf and just talk about it. After all the color variation collections I have been doing lately, it sounded like a good idea. I closed my eyes, ran my finger across some record spines and pulled out this gem.

Dirty Rotten Imbeciles - 4 of a Kind.

Looking back to 1988, I wish I could tell you of stories of listening to Gorilla Biscuits and Youth of Today, skateboarding half pipes and discovering Krisha consciousness.
The truth is that I was still a banger into thrash metal, some crossover hardcore before I knew the label existed, and Living Color. Yeah, the band; not the TV show. The shame I feel.
I was also sporting a legendary mullet and driving a 1984 Toyota Corolla. I was the poster child for awkward, hot mess 19 year olds everywhere.

One thing I did right that year was pick up this album. To me it was the absolute perfect blend of the music I loved. The crunchy guitar sound Spike had was amazing and became the blueprint of what I wanted all guitars to sound like. The recording was so different than "Dealin' With It!" or "Crossover". It was so - loud.

This was also the last DRI album with the classic Kurt, Spike, Josh and Felix lineup. This was a band of longhair punks who loved metal and wore t-shirts and jeans. They became my role models for years to come. Well, maybe not sleeveless t's.

More than sound and image, this record still means a hell of a lot to me. "Suit and Tie Guy" was the very first song my first band ever played. I nearly blew my voice out singing it. I had a bottle of Chloraseptic spray I would use between verses. I had no idea what I was doing, but I loved every minute.

This was one album I bought and played the hell out of just for the love of it. Way before collecting. I'm glad it is on glorious black vinyl and was never repressed.

Excuse me now, I have some "Manifest Destiny" to listen to in the basement.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bane 7 Inch Series (Time:Place)

You know, for 6 songs, this seems a bit excessive.

As always, I am an idiot. More dollars than sense!
I swear, at the time it seemed like a good idea to order everything.

All joking aside, I really like how this turned out. All the labels with their individual releases were unique with their color choices and it was still all held together by the cover design and labels.

I'm just hoping the next Bane record is a little scaled back in scope. I got kids to feed!

Converge - Axe To Fall

I felt an update was in order as the last time I posted about this record, I had only recieved the exclusive Eptiaph color. Over the course of the last couple of months I have been able to put together 7 of the 8 color variations.
Some were easy to obtain through distros like RevHq or Dr. Strange, some came in with my Deathwish pre-order and a couple were kind of tough as I got involved in a damn bidding war on eBay. A couple of the rarer colors are still very hot on the 'bay.

Of course, I am still missing the rarest and most desired variation - clear with color shards. There were only 100 pressed and a few lucky people got them with their pre-orders. I am going to have to be patient with this one as it will probably be years before they loosen up. Those that have it, are keeping it and there are probably more than a few still in the hands of Tre and Deathwish to raise funds for future projects. That's the way it goes...

On to the vinyl!

300 pressed on Blue and Beer split with Yellow splatter

400 pressed on Beer with blue, white and yellow splatter

500 pressed on cream (This was the Epitaph mail order exclusive)

800 pressed on Beer, Coke Bottle Blue and Black tri-color

1000 pressed on Beer. This was a European exclusive color. I rolled the dice and got one through There was word on the internet that Amazon in Germany was shipping coke bottle blue. That would have sucked.

2000 pressed on Coke Bottle Blue

2000 pressed on Solid Light Blue

I should be happy with seven copies of the same record, but damn - that clear with color shards is going to haunt me! I am throwing it out there to the world wide web, hook a brother up!