Sunday, February 21, 2010
Bridge 9 has done it; making this available again for kids as well as adults on vinyl and cd. The record has been bootlegged so many times, but Bridge 9 has taken the responsibility of making this fair and legal again. By paying royalties for releasing this record. I'm glad that they did this because this has been filling the whole for me in my knowledge and understanding of Hardcore history.
I think this is the most hardcore defining album that I ever heard. Every collector should have it in his or her collection. I'm still discovering this and reading the lyrics several times again, so I will not venture a review of this. This post is just to say how much I respect this and how much you should listen to this if you want to understand hardcore.
What I can say is that B9 made the packaging amazing, it is a gatefold cover with embossed lettering and the vinyl comes on several colors. The original artwork is also included, you can see the holocaust scene underneath the transparent vinyl on the first picture. And the back of the original LP is the hanged person that you see on the picture beneath.
This shows how in a fast evolving environment like hardcore a certain record can still be relevant 25 years after it's conception...
Later on I ordered the Into Oblivion CD at ReflectionsHQ. This record made me realize that they were one of, if not the greatest band of Belgium. So I had to get this on wax! After a year of searching this record on ebay or tradeboards, I gathered my courage and contacted Reflections Records from the Netherlands. I made an offer and it was accepted! So I finally I got it and it is now safely in my collection.
Recently their newest record 'Our Circle Is Vicious' was to be released by their befriended Deathwish Inc CEO Jacob Bannon. I wanted to pre-order this record but thought that it wouldn't be worth the effort since they would sell out before I could order them. Another reason why I doubted was that the record would be damaged as many record coming from DW inc. are. So I skipped the pre-orders. But later I discovered that their were distro's in Europe also that had this record ready for pre-order. So I did eventually pre-ordered this. And to my pleasant surprise I got the second most limited version. One out of 300 pieces made. I never thought this would be possible because the US pre-orders were a lot earlier and direct from the label.
In the Deathwish pressing info and on the sleeve-sticker they cal this colorway white / bronze mix vinyl. But this is actually white / bronze SWIRL vinyl.
Deathwish also pressed a version of the 'Into Oblivion' LP. I'm rather confused because the DW site mentions that this is a second pressing. Although to my opinion this is a repress because it is on a different label, unless Reflections merges with DW or something, but this isn't the case.
There is one record that I'm badly missing, namely their first called 'HELLMOUTH'. I actually never heard it. I guess I will be trying to get it on CD. So that I can dig deeper in the roots of the band. And determinate their musical evolution.
In related news, Rise And Fall is playing the H8000 fest: check the flyer here!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
KINDRED isn't an easy band to comprehend and describe. Beholding their deliverance from a distant position is hard because it is very catchy and aggressive work. Kindred plays a metallic punk genre that is typical of the Good Life label in the nineties. The work of the band and the label are certainly pioneers work. Although pioneering the H8000 style was the main concern of Good Life this non-h8000 band is different but certainly in the same line of edge-metal or even metalcore. Thus also recorded in the legendary Midas Studio.
Both music and lyrics are very intelligent and well worked on. I'll give it a try to capture this in words since I know the band from their first record and never stopped listening to them throughout the years.
The lyrics are definitely derived and based on philosophic conversations that they had and are very profound. Combining psychological and metaphysical aspects along with ethics and emotions. Very poetical and yet still meaningful, targeting lyrics that are set out to make you reflect deeper than you already do. Of course dealing with animal rights and straight-edge, while making relations with personal development and the inner-self. Also cemented sociological and religious institutions are criticized.
Musically you can recognize KINDRED by their metallic riffage and sounds. They have found the perfect balance between sheer hardcore / punk harshness (breakdowns, fast mosh parts) and metallic smoothness and swing (technicality, slayer sounds, …).
Their songwriting is hard to equal and can be described as all of their own. So they pushed the boundaries of modern hardcore back in the 90's, although this still feels futuristic to this very day. I speak of technicality, but you may not expect something experimental. They haven't lost their hardcore / punk playfulness, that shines through also because of the lyrics and the gang vocals.
The result of these characteristic factors is that listening to KINDRED brings you to a unique hardcore universe that can't be found anywhere else in the landscape of metalcore. Nothing to be afraid of though they are a clean and pure set of people defending animal rights, straight-edge and free thinking.
Their first release (1996) was this LP/CD called 'File 01'. Only 600 came out on vinyl and were divided in 500 on black and 100 on white vinyl. I have never seen someone selling this LP probably because it is pressed in a small turnover but also because the ones who have this LP realize that it is pretty awesome.
The LP cover has got different artwork than de CD, here is a picture of the LP-cover (sorry about the condition of this one):
Later on (1997) they did a split with Florida's CULTURE, where each band delivers three songs exclusive to this release. Good Life pressed 500 pieces of this LP on clear wax. Also an exceptional run of colored test pressings was done. Namely an orange that was numbered out of 5, a brown numbered out of 6 and finally a yellow test pressing numbered out of 24.
Eventually members of KINDRED started a new project called ENEMY OF THE SUN on the label Malicious Men Records. It came out on midCD and also four songs of this release came out on a 500 made and numbered 7", called 'Eclipse'.
The band has a tribute myspace, were you can hear some of their songs and read further about them: http://www.myspace.com/xkindredx
Great and crucial band, not to be forgotten is the conclusion, but the most important thing is that me and my friends were totally into it back in the days!
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
True Colors is well-known in Europe but also in the US, that popular that there are even US pressings being made by the underground label SIX FEET UNDER records. About six months after POWERED released the second full-length of the band, called Rush Of Hope, on black and blue vinyl in a gatefold sleeve, Dave from SFU took it to the next level by pressing three colors of this album.
What I remarked immediately was the the artwork was the same but only the colors varied. Another thing that struck me was that it were the colors of the Belgian flag. Okay, that being thought I met Dave on the B9 and asked it to him. He said to me that he did it on purpose. And on top of that he even pressed an all Belgian tri-color version of the record. Yes, exactly with the Yellow/Red/Black colors of our flag.
I didn't get to buy this record but what I did buy was the ultra limited screened version of the album. The sleeve is screen printed and the vinyl comes on yellow vinyl and is limited to 79 compies.
This 'less is more' version comes with an insert and a download coupon.
But let's take a closer look at the download coupon. Yes it says "Deathwish" ! Initially I thought this was a mistake of mine, that I switched the coupon of a DW inc. record with a SFU record or something. But yes, then the explanation came to my mind. The office of SFU is located in the warehouse of Deathwish and the label probably gets help or uses the server from DW for the download coupons (or something like that).
But I'm somewhat drifting away... Now, what came with this record is yet another version of TRUE COLORS classic first album 'Focus On The Light'. Also screen printed and on white vinyl!! The labels are blank and the only sign of the A-B side are two stamped letters, namely T and C. This is totally sweet and on top of that only 78 copies exist of this record.
What a score !!!
PS: look at this website for more info on the TRUE COLORS records pressed by SIX FEET UNDER and to see this all Belgian tri-color version.