Saturday, March 26, 2011

S.N.F.U - ...And No One Else Wanted To Play lp

"Hey man, you guys S.N.F.U?"
"Very much so..."

In my never ending effort to bring you the finest in Canadian punk and hardcore, today let's talk S.N.F.U. Of course you know them already. They are freaking punk rock legends, not just for Canada, but the world.

I was digging around a local used record store last weekend and came across a sealed, brand new copy of the "Open Your Mouth and Say Mr Chi Pig" documentary. I have been wanting to see this for some time so I bought it right away and headed home to watch.

Wow. I have never been so bummed in my life. Two hours of watching one of the most energetic and best front men ever to hit a stage slowly lose grip of his mental and physical health, age about 60 years, and end up homeless, toothless and drugged out in the grimy streets of East Vancouver. Depressing.
Enough of this - come on let's get happy!

"...And No One Else Wanted To Play" was S.N.F.U's first full length album released back in 1984 on BYO Records.

My copy of this record is the second press. The picture on the cover is a drawn version of the Dianne Arbus photo, "Child With Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park". The first press used the actual photo, but that got pulled because the band used the picture without permission from the artist's estate.
I guess they thought drawing it would be ok, but that second press also got pulled and they had to go with a completely different cover for all the subsequent pressings that pretty much sucks. The tour cover is pretty awesome, but I digress.

Musically this album is perfect. Stunningly good. Every song is permanently etched in the DNA of every western Canadian punk over the age of 30. Shaun, am I right?

A lot of people pretty much think the band was at its best at this stage. Pretty hard to argue with that, but I love all their stuff. As long as Chi Pig, Marc and Brent Belke were playing - it was magic.

Time to listen to Misfortune. I'm out.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Rival Schools - Pedals lp

You know, I could get used to this patience thing. It seems to be working out financially for me.

When the pre-order went up for the first new Rival Schools album in 10 years (has it really been that long?), I was blown away and somewhat intimidated by the number of packages, options, merch designs and shoes. Yeah shoes.
Of course the most important thing for me is the vinyl so when I saw that the variations for vinyl were really different picture discs, I decided to wait it out and see if the good old black vinyl would hit Calgary at a reasonable price and I wouldn't have to pay for shipping.


Glorious 180 gram black vinyl out of 2000.

There are also two different picture discs out of 500 each if picture discs are your thing. Personally the only picture discs I willingly buy are the Iron Maiden lps since Brave New World. That's only because there are no other options.

Musically, this is firmly planted in indie/alternative rock. As much as I would love another Gorilla Biscuits or even Quicksand album, it ain't happening. You aren't even going to get a "United By Fate".
On the other hand, taken for what it is - it is good. Like really good. I was speechless listening to the first track "Wring It Out". Walter's voice and vocal melodies are once again amazing.
As spring limps it's way here, I can see myself listening to this a lot. Cool.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Miles Away - Memory Embraced 7"

I have been to Australia twice in my life, and so far those were two of the best trips I have even been on. The culture, food, people and attitude were similar to what I experience here in Canada. Well, Vancouver anyway. Maybe its a Commonwealth thing.

One thing that I didn't experience was Australian hardcore. I went to a few shows in Sydney and Melbourne (Sick of It All, NOFX) and what I got for local opening bands was Toe to Toe and Bodyjar. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It is what it is.

However, after hearing the latest Miles Away lp on Six Feet Under Records and this self released 7", I have to ask, where the hell were these guys back then? Probably in grade school, but that is beside the point.

Miles Away have really been coming on the last couple years. They went from some unknown band with cd only releases (not cool) and a B9 Bonus 7" (very cool) to a relatively major player in the hardcore scene with their release by SFU.

This four song 7" has two songs appearing on the "Endless Roads" lp and the other two are exclusive to this release. Always a winning formula in my book.

There are two colors in this first pressing.

Black and green mix. HYE? search has it as 400 pressed on this color.

I was able to surprisingly pick up this 7" at a local shop a couple days after seeing that it was sold out at RevHq. That a local Calgary record store would get any non-standard color in stock is a freaking miracle.

There is also a regular black vinyl press of what is generally numbered at 600 for a total pressing of 1000. That makes sense.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Charred Walls Of The Damned

I fully realize that this record is outside the normal scope of this blog. It's not hardcore and it sure as hell isn't punk. What it is, is pure heavy metal. I can't call it Death, Black, Grind, Power or Thrash. It's just METAL.

To tell you the truth the only reason I am posting this, or bought the record in the first place, is because of Richard Christy.

Richard Christy was the drummer for such bands as Death and Iced Earth. More important though, he is a major contributor and writer for the greatest radio show in the world - The Howard Stern Show.

Confession time.

I am a Howard Stern Superfan. I listen every Monday to Thursday for 5 hours. I listen to the Best of the Week on the weekends. I listen to the Wrap Up Show, Celebrity Superfan Roundtable, The Intern Show, Geek Time and any and all specials on Howard 101. It gets to the point now where I don't listen to music, just Howard.

When it was announced on the show that Richard had started up a new band in which he would write all the songs as well as drum. I was excited. Not because of what the music might sound like, but because Richard would be playing music again and the end result would be material for the radio show.

The result is Charred Walls of the Damned. I couldn't tell you much about it. It sounds like metal with Tim "Ripper" Owens singing. He was the guy who replaced Rob Halford in Judas Priest a few years back. For a while, it was only available on cd. Bummer.

Luckily, Metal Blade released the album on vinyl late in 2010 and I was shocked to see it in my local record store a few weeks back. Thanks Todd for ordering it!!!

Black vinyl. No idea how many were pressed.

Like most metal albums it comes with a full color printed inner sleeve.

Richard Christy's thank you list is a mile long and literally names every single person associated with the Howard Stern Show, Howard TV, Howard 100 News and the Wack Pack. I never thought I would see the day Ronnie "The Limo Driver" Mund and Lisa G were thanked on a metal record!

A couple months ago Howard and Baba Booey were goofing on Richard for being in a band and not selling a million copies. They figured why be in a band if you can't make serious money. Richard's response was that he does it for the love of the music and friends he has made playing. He was dismissed.

If even one person buys this record or cd as a result of this post, and even 1/100 of 1% of the money went to Richard, it would be worth it.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ceremony - Rohnert Park lp

At the top of many "Best of 2010" lists, Ceremony's - Rohnert Park lp was one of the few breaths of fresh air in the punk/hardcore world last year. The instant the lead track "Sick" was released online as a teaser, people were stoked for this new direction the band was taking.

There were lots of online reviews and articles written about this record with many people thinking that the slowed down pace and doomed American Dream lyrical content had the band poised to be the next Black Flag.
I don't know about all that, I just want them to be Ceremony. I think they have carved their own place out in the scene and have earned the respect to be the band new groups are compared to.

More than anything else, I think that the band pushes the boundaries of what hardcore can be, and make no mistake - they are doing the pushing.

Bridge Nine has once again released a great record for collectors. We get a record release version, pre-order package color and multiple colors tying together the American themes of the album.

First up, the record release version.

This was released on blue vinyl which was the most common color, but limited to 99 with the special covers.

A quick word on getting this record. I have to give a special thanks to Mike from the One Thing That Still Holds True blog. The auction I won this on was for shipping in the US only. I got Mike to bid on the auction for me and then send it to me up in here in Canada once it was shipped to him. Above and beyond my man.
The funny thing is, this was the second time I won the damn thing. The first time the seller flaked on shipping it to me and I had to go through a whole ordeal with ebay and paypal to get my money back. I took my refund and put it towards getting it again. This second time I won the record for half the price. Sometimes shit works out. I think it has to do with US only auctions. Euros throw down hard for rare records, oh and I guess I do to.

The next color is the rare pre-order color that was only available in the package deal.
Red vinyl out of 300.
The pre-order package came with a poster and the vocalist Ross Farrar's book "Society Verse". This color disappeared pretty damn quick and the demand is such that it last sold on ebay back in January for over $110.

As luck would have it, I was sent two red copies in my pre-order package and then went and ordered the missing color separately. I'd say that worked out for me. If anyone is interested in the second copy, hit me up soon as I am planning on putting it up on ebay this weekend.

The next color is clear out of 700. The color was supposed to be white (USA theme again) but B9 got clear vinyl back from the pressing plant. They would rectify that problem on the second press.

Third and most common color of the first press is blue. There were a 1000 pressed. As discussed earlier, 99 were used for the record release.

A second press was released not long after on white vinyl out of 1000.

The two times I have seen Ceremony play at Sound and Fury, it was a highlight of the weekend. Now I am beyond excited to get a chance to see them again this summer at the Chaos in Tejas Festival in Austin.
Al from Hardcore Shirt fame and I are heading down in June for what will most likely be my final road trip to a festival. Come say hi if you are going.
I will be the 41 year old guy standing in the back yelling, "I've got problems, I'm a fucked up kid." I know. The irony isn't lost on me.