Thursday 28 February 2013

No Doubt About Mindset

It's Mindset vinyl so of course I was late to the party, it's just the way it is. I was going to pre-order this, in fact I think I got as far as adding it to my cart and nearly checking out at one point and then promptly didn't purchase it. I think the issue is that although I like Mindset and have liked their previous releases I've never completely been gripped by them. I don't know why but its the truth. That all changes now though because I love this record, it's fucking great in fact.

I'm actually pretty bummed out that I didn't pre-order this record now as I have only got the Black vinyl version out of 1000. I'm sure I'll pick up a colour version at some point though.

I know this record technically came out in 2012 but this is my favourite record of 2013 thus far, and it's up against a couple of heavy hitters already. I just like everything about it. It's a great collection of short sharp songs played with urgency and by a band who I feel have really found their sound and 'place' in the genre with this record. In fact I'd go as far as saying that once upon a time I think this record might have taken on classic status. Can records ever be classic anymore? Are enough people buying records? I don't think so, I don't know if the majority of people will hold records dear enough to their hearts anymore...but hey that's a debate for another day.

The presentation of this is great too. The colour scheme and layout just work and look really striking. Another great release from React! and me finally completely sold on Mindset. Can't ask for more really.

Sunday 24 February 2013

Cherry Cola Champions

I've been listening to some 90's emo recently (you know back when emo meant emotional-hardcore) and I know Speedowax are reissuing the debut Spy vs Spy EP on vinyl soon which I'm pretty excited about as I loved that first time round. Anyway, in my quest to find something modern similar to those 90's emo bands I stumbled across this record. Cherry Cola Champions.

I bought this record off the description alone without bothering to listen to the band, which I suppose is quite risky but as it turns out I think this is great, so it's all worked out well. It's off-kilter, angular, jazzy, emo and has that great lo-fi sound that alot of emo albums had at that time too. Throw in some Indiana Jones references and you bet your ass I'm in.
The album actually came out in early to mid 2012. I picked it up at the beginning of this year from what I believe is the only UK distro to have it Close To Home Records. On a side note they also threw in some cd freebies, which was mighty generous of them.

I got the 'cherry cola' version of the vinyl mainly because it seemed the most apt but also because It looked the best. The record also comes on coke bottle clear (of course) and a nice looking 2-Toned Quad Split too though. I haven't seen any pressing numbers anywhere so no idea which is rarest or what number mine is out of.

If anyone knows the pressing numbers for this let me know as I'd be interested to find out. I'm really hoping theres more to come from the two guys that make up Cherry Cola Champions. Bands of this ilk always seem to be quite short lived and gone in a flash, hopefully these guys will stick around for a bit.

* thanks to the band themselves I now know the pressing details are as follows
( 200 cherry cola, 200 empty bottle, 100 4/quadrant gold, red, and magenta)

Monday 18 February 2013

Born Annoying

Do you ever hear a band and feel like you've heard them before even when you haven't? It's usually not a great sign. This is how I felt on giving this latest release from Reaper Records a spin. This is the debut 7" from Born Annoying - Living How You're Not

I actually wasn't going to bother with this release as I knew nothing about them but when I saw it in a UK distro I was making an order from anyway I decided to pick it up.
It's not that Born Annoying are bad, far from it, in fact if I saw them live supporting someone I'd probably be quite into them, it's just that I've heard so many bands do this style that they just sound a bit 'samey' to me, I knew where every song was going before they did it. For the record they sound a bit like Bane and maybe even Black Flag in places. If you like those bands you might love these but it just doesn't have enough of its own personality for me. I doubt I'll be spinning this again anytime soon. I may however check out a future release to see if they develop.

On a plus side I quite like the cover of this record. I think it suits the title of the record really well.

Saturday 16 February 2013

Left Hand Path

I'm not the biggest death metal fan in the world by any stretch of the imagination. In fact there's more death metal bands I detest than ones I like, but one I most certainly do like is Entombed. So when Earache Records announced they would be re-issuing the bands debut 1990 effort Left Hand Path I had to get involved.

To give you a little story about how I discovered Entombed we have to travel back to the early 90's. I had a friend at school at that time who was into some right shit. Benediction, Kreator, Celtic Frost, Suffocation and other such bands. Being into punk rock and hardcore mainly I found all these bands ridiculous at the time and used to make fun of him mercilessly. One day though he played Clandestine by Entombed and I actually thought it was pretty good, hell I maybe even liked it. Haha, kid used Entombed to justify his music taste to me for years after that. Was pretty funny. But yeah, ever since then I was always into Entombed and the follow up to Clandestine the awesome Wolverine Blues helped cement that. I actually seemed to see them every other month for about 2 years in the late 90's as they seemed to support loads of bands. Great live band and nice guys too.

I got the Morbid Devourment Red version of the record out of 300. Whilst the super limited out of 100 Festering Slime Green sold out in minutes I was actually in time to get the second most rare version of the record (Bitter Loss Blue) but Earache seem to want an extra £2.50 for the privilege and I kinda object to that. But I'll give points back to them because this record hasn't even had it's official release yet but Earache always get pre-orders out early if they can.

The record it's self sounds really good as do the other releases I've heard as part of Earaches' Full Dynamic Range' of Re-issues. I'm really hoping Clandestine and Wolverine Blues get similar treatment some where down the line.

Hah, handsome chaps. I'll leave you with a video of Converge playing Wolverine Blues with LG of Entombed. Epic!

Tuesday 12 February 2013

Americas Hardcore

Following on from my last post. Here's another record that I had no intention of buying till seeing another blog fiend write about it. Marcus is to blame this time. Honestly, I wonder how many record sales Marcus is responsible for because it wouldn't be the first time I've bought something after reading about it on his blog and I'm sure I'm not alone.

This is the Americas Hardcore Volume 2 Comp from Triple B Records. As I say, I wasn't going to get this but after seeing what Marcus had to say on it and seeing the way the comp had been treated by BBB with it's superb packaging and inlay booklet with every band getting a page like the great comps of old I couldn't help but feel like I wanted it.

This appeared with the Backtrack record in the GoTheDistance distro a couple of days later so it seemed almost written in the stars that I should pick it up and at a good price. Really glad I did now, this thing looks superb and as I've already mentioned I love the booklet that comes with it. All compilations should have something similar, it should be the law.

This is the blue version of the vinyl which although out of 1015 and the most common version actually looks really spot on so I'm all good with that.

This is a really good compilation. I was familiar with most of the bands but there's a few that I wasn't which is always the point of a good compilation to turn you on to new bands you may have overlooked.

Monday 11 February 2013

The Darker Half Again

I love this Backtrack record. It's probably my favourite hardcore record of the last 10 years. A bold statement I know but I just think this band are fantastic. Anyway, as much as I like this record I had no real intention to buy what seemed like a pretty standard second pressing of the record. That is until I saw Willems post about it. I'm not gonna go into all the differences between the two records here as he already does a stand up job of covering them and you can read his post here to check them out. But needless to say there's enough to make me think a purchase of the second press was more than warranted.

Luckily for me with the way shipping prices are these days I was able to pick this up from a really good UK distro too gothedistance. Which is well worth a look.
This second press is on what Reaper Records seem to be calling Purple and Silver vinyl. I have a couple of records that have similar colouring to this and I always think it looks great. I really like how the record completely changes when held up to the light too.

This second press copy joins my 'yellow piss' version of the first press. The first press colour is limited to 600. I'm not sure how many of this second press have been made though.

Saturday 9 February 2013

Ray & Porcell

Another addition to my slowly growing Revelation Records collection here. Despite the fact that this is kinda viewed as a ginger step child by many collectors, this was actually something of a grail for me.
Rev #23 The Ray & Porcell 7"
It wasn't a grail because I think it's fantastic musically or anything, it simply became a bit of a grail because I missed out on one maybe a year or so ago and ever since it just hasn't appeared on the Bay. So when a seller put up a load of Rev colour vinyl for sale recently I had my eyes in just one.

If you've never heard this it sounds like an echoey Shelter playing with a drum machine. The tracks aren't that bad though, if they'd have had a real drummer like say Sammy, I reckon this would have sounded heaps better.

This is the purple vinyl version limited to 1000.

Sunday 3 February 2013

All We Love We Weeded Out

When Converge's new album All We Love We Leave Behind was first announced I didn't buy it. I love Converge but I was really put off with the price that coupled with the shipping costs from Deathwish made this thing pretty expensive. So I sat back and waited, and I'm fairly pleased I did, mainly because although the the album came out in October the vinyl copies of this where put back until around the end of 2012. This had something to do with the pressing plant working on a Beatles box set as priority or something like that. So now I've finally picked one up from Banquet Records I don't feel too bad about not ordering straight away.

As always with Converge and their packaging and artwork this thing is top notch, the pictures don't do justice to how nice this looks. On heavy thick matte black card with what is like an almost embossed silver print of that familiar looking Jacob Bannon artwork.

The only thing I missed out on really was a more limited pressing. But this transparent double red 45 rpm vinyl looks nice regardless. I'm not sure of numbers but I suspect this is the most common of the first press so I dare say there are a shed load on this colour.

The record it's self is a natural progression from Axe To Fall and is excellent as always. Converge just don't do bad records in my eyes. Don't get me wrong I prefer the sound of Jane Doe to this and Axe To Fall (who doesn't) but the progression through You Fail Me and No Heroes has at least been a natural one. I can't help but feel though that tracks like opener Aimless Arrow, as good as it is, do miss a bit of that old Converge venom with this more shouted Jacob Bannon vocal style. This album has a couple of bluesy style riffs introduced to the Converge sound too which I suspect may play a bigger part in the bands future sound.

Whilst I'm posting this up i figure I might as well get another Converge record up that I purchased the other day too. On that record store shop I talked about in that Orange Goblin post, I also bought Unloved and Weeded out as I didn't have it on vinyl previously and it was fairly cheap. I got the Opaque Green version which is 'limited' to 2057.