Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Reprisal "Mail Order Knife Set"

The last record I got in my Good Life Recordings order is a sweet one of a kind Reprisal LP. As you might see, a transitional version between the clear and the black version. It's mainly clear with traces of black vinyl in it. Backside of the sleeve tells us that there are 500 copies of this one. Is that of both colors or is 500 the total of both colors together? We might never know. But then again if you're uncertain about pressing info you must better remain silent. Speak the truth or say nothing.

Musically we notice a transition also. The music becomes less punishing as compared to their first LP and CD. Reprisal felt like one of the most punishing acts in Vegan Metalcore to me. That is up to this release I feel. Because they get a more accessible sound on this record. Hard to describe in words because it's a sound. Somehow they got more popular also by sounding like this probably. If you are a die hard 90's Hardcore fanatic like me, it's less cool to listen to. It reminds me of how bands like Congress and Vitality also had this transition. They make a characteristic release, that sounds of their own completely. They create a sound concept, very unique. But then in a later stage they add water to the wine to stay or become even more popular. Or to be able to keep playing and writing songs.

So yes, you've got it right when you think I find this a lesser record than "Boundless Human Stupidity". And above are the reasons why.
The minimalistic approach of the cover art is awesome though. Look how simple but effective cover art can be. Black background, white lettering above and a monochrome gray live shot of a guitarist underneath. All of this finished with the two tone blue Good Life Recordings logo beneath. It doesn't happen much that a label put it's logo on the front of the cover.

Reprisal "Mail Order Knife Set" LP clear vinyl with black smoke

Reprisal "Mail Order Knife Set" back side cover

I'm grateful that Good Life Recordings inserted this in the package, when I only bought a clear version. To close this post, a vinyl close up:

Clear with black smoke transition vinyl

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Sheer Terror "Spite" on black vinyl

Took me a while to find a copy of the "Spite" 7 inch on black vinyl. And here it finally is. It's actually the third time that I'm "buying" this one. The first time it was listed wrongly on Discogs, turned out the vinyl was green. Second time on eBay also the wrong color turned up. The history behind it is that Reaper Record pressed only 200 copies of this one. They sold out pretty fast because they had only the half of them available for pre-orders and the other half were inserted randomly in wholesale orders for distribution.

The above facts explain two things. Firstly it explains why I missed out on pre-orders and had to find a copy elsewhere. Hundred copies is not much for a Sheer Terror record. Especially since this record kinda was a comeback release. The second thing it explains is that - since I knew that there were another 100 copies available at random distro's - I had two wrongly delivered records. Although this wasn't completely my mistake. Usually distro's and Discogs mention when it's colored vinyl and this wasn't the case with the two records I bought. So I assumed that they were black, since otherwise color was not mentioned. But it didn't really hurt me because I wouldn't pay high prices when not being completely sure it's the correct version.

Anyway this one was correctly listed and here it is finally, Sheer Terror "Spite" on black vinyl:

Sheer Terror "Spite" 7 inch on black vinyl

Sheer Terror poster insert for the "Spite" 7 inch

Lyrics poster insert with Paul Bearer in live action

Monday, December 7, 2015

We Used To Speak Of Justice

This post is about a big contester for my favorite release of the year. Repentance "The Sickness Of Eden" is a crusher from beginning to end. Listening to it gives me hope that nowadays Hardcore records can still be as awesome as when I listened to them almost 20 years ago. There was a phase when I actually started loosing faith in current bands, this faith is restored by listening to this, thankfully.

As you might derive from the title "The Sickness Of Eden" is a pure blood Vegan Straight-Edge record. They carry the flag that was raised by America's Hardline Records and Earth Crisis in the beginning of the 90's with pride and decisiveness. The record starts with the sentence "We used to speak of justice!". This is definitely a nod to the generations that came before.

Musically this opus has the intensity of earlier 90's vegan straight-edge bands, definitely equally great in delivery. More leaning toward the typical European Vegan Straight-Edge sound, like Arkangel and Reprisal. But here and there they added a aspect of their own creativity that perfectly fits the global picture. Sometimes I wonder why it hasn't been done earlier.

xRepentancex "The Sickness Of Eden" LP red and white vinyl

The packaging is top notch, a slick gatefold cover that has different artwork than the CD artwork. Quality vinyl and I've bought two colors from the second pressing. Good Life Recordings did the CD version together with Carry The Weight Records from the United Kingdom. The vinyl version is released by Carry The Weight Records only.

Let it speak for itself by looking at some pictures:

xRepentancex "The Sickness Of Eden" LP (both second press colors)

xRepentancex "The Sickness Of Eden" red vinyl

xRepentancex "The Sickness Of Eden" white vinyl and inside of gatefold jacket

As in the 90's they picture atrocities against animals, nature and humans on the record's cover. Shocking pictures aren't avoided, this part of human behavior isn't pretty so it must not be pictured pretty also. And must be shown to reveal it's sadness and misbehavior. These themes become more and more relevant as nature is still in decline by human malfunctioning on earth. So I am glad that the forefathers brought this into the topics of Hardcore and that this band still does it with even more urgency than ever!

Listen over here:

xRepentancex Bandcamp

Buy over here:
LP versions: Carry The Weight Records website
CD version: Good Life Recordings website

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Better Than A Thousand LP on gray

Better Than A Thousand were a positive Hardcore band during the late-nineties, with Ray Cappo on vocals. They were a welcome breath of positivity between all the metalcore bands that had a darker mindset. I never checked them out when they were playing. But by reading through the Good  Life mailorder lists at the end of the nineties I already got to know the band name and the short description of the band. I always wanted to check them, but had other priorities in buying. And now all these years later I finally bought their LP.

They sound like a melodic version of Youth Of Today. The LP was released in 1997 by Revelation Records on black and clear vinyl. This year it got repressed for Record Store Day on opaque red vinyl and now repressed again on gray vinyl. There were only 328 copies pressed on this interesting gray vinyl. Which makes it cool.

Better Than A Thousand Revelation Records repress
Better Than A Thousand "Just One" LP on gray vinyl

Better Than A Thousand "Just One" LP

Better Than A Thousand "Just One" LP opaque gray vinyl close up

Friday, December 4, 2015

I'm Into Another

Indeed it happens now and then. I catch myself being too much into another so that I get confused at times as to who I really am. This admiration of or interest in other persons is quite human, I know. But collecting and listening to music can trigger this human asset. Maybe this explains why I collect two labels loyally and dedicated. And this happened also with buying this record. I saw a lot of internet posts on Blogger and Instagram when it came out. Or short after Rev sent these out. I saw a copy at the Good Life distro so I picked it up. This is a band that has Richie Birkenhead from Underdog, a famous New York Hardcore band, in the line up.

I first listened to Into Another when the first LP of the band was repressed by Revelation Records in 2012. I didn't buy it but got it for free by entering a contest on Vinyl Noize blog. From which I became one of the winners. That was very cool.

So here is Omens, their new release in 2015. I kinda like it but not that much. I can only compare it to the self-titled LP from 1991 and can say they didn't changed that much, might be fooled also. Because it is likely the vocals that make the band so recognizable.

Ghost Ship Records Revelation Records
Into Another "Omens" LP on purple vinyl

The cover is good also, I didn't notice it at first but the light source behind those dark and creepy trees is not a moon, it's actually the Into Another logo.

I have a few other records that I bought. These are for other posts.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Trapped Under Ice "Stay Cold" 6th pressings

It's been since March 2008 that I am loyally collecting all versions of the Stay Cold 7 inch on Reaper Records. I can say that this collection is exemplary to me in how I can collect a certain record. It's actually quite simple. All regular store versions were bought straight from the Reaper Bigcartel store. But there are a slew of versions that were sold on United Blood, This Is Hardcore and Sound And Fury Festivals. Those I needed to get second handed, preferably from people who went to one of those shows. I wanted this because of the condition of the records. The test press also came from the label.

A few years back I wrote that I wanted it to stop all those pressing because I was saturated chasing after these. And the storm actually quieted down. Until all of a sudden Reaper Records put new pre orders for new pressings online. This record seems to be still wanted by people and didn't sink into oblivion. I realize that many records that I collected lost the frenzy of the period and did sink into oblivion and that I couldn't have foreseen that.

The new pressings got new cover art and new vinyl labels also. The mock ups that are pictured in the store actually looked very ugly. But actually they came out quite good physically. Maybe later I will do a more technical post pointing out the differences between all the pressings and their variations.

TUI Reaper Records Stay Cold 7 inch
clear blue with grey splatter (6th press, 600 copies)

TUI Reaper Records Stay Cold 7 inch
solid blue and white with red and yellow splatter (6th press, 400 copies)

TUI Reaper Records Stay Cold 7 inch
solid blue and white with red and yellow splatter (B-side label pictured)

TUI Reaper Records Stay Cold 7 inch
black vinyl (6th press, 200 copies)

Also the Big Kiss Goodnight LP was repressed. I noticed that the mock ups for that LP were mixed up with those for the 7 inch in the Bigcartel Store. I see that they noticed it now also and corrected them.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Morning Again "Hand Of Hope" LPs

What needs to be said about Morning Again? They were one of the most successful 90's bands from the USA. They are still doing tours nowadays and still mean heaps to lots of people. Recently two partial discographies are being pressed but frankly I have no interest in these since I have the originals and do not need to be introduced to their music. I listened to the band since their first release on Good Life Recordings. Somewhere in 1996/1997 that must have been. Logically since I'm from Belgium and Good Life distributed in Belgium, this compilation release and not the two separate releases. As a kid I did not even know the existence of them. It was this release on Compact Disc and I was aware of noting else. I remember the friend whom I borrowed it from. I was immediately into it. They had some kind of energy combined with critical and intelligent lyrics as well on larger society as on aspects of individual human beings.
I'm still into this music actually although 'Martyr' stands out for me personally. No arguing of musical tastes please. As I was saying this release is actually a compilation the 'The Cleanest War' 12 inch on Conquer The World and the self-titled 7 inch on Intention Records.

Morning Again "Hand Of Hope" LP vinyl Good Life Recordings
Morning Again "Hand Of Hope" LP white and gray vinyl

As bad habits die hard I acquired another color of the Hand Of Hope LP on Good Life Recordings. I actually already had a gray marbled version which is pretty rare, never saw one of these except my own copy. But since I had the opportunity to buy a clean white copy, I did it. Yes, it gets dangerous to be into that kind of collecting, be warned!

So I needed to make a collection shot also:

Morning Again "Hand Of Hope" LP Good Life Recordings
Morning Again "Hand Of Hope" colors collection

I don't have the faintest idea of what is first press and the exact numbers made, if there are several presses. But through the years of watchfully surfing the web I come to the conclusion that the clear is most common, then the blue one and those opaque colors, white and gray are pretty hard to come by.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Congress "Euridium" 7 inch reflections

The 'Euridium' release of Congress was groundbreaking. There was no school in K-Town (Kortrijk) where there were school kids that weren't into Congress. Every K-town school had kids that were into Congress at that time. At least that is what someone of my age and from the area told me during an interview. It spread further over the years with the 'Blackened Persistance' release and peaked internationally with 'Angry With The Sun'. There was no popular press, radio or television that helped spread the word. So almost everything was passed over on shows, verbally under friends, zines and distribution of records. That has always been the case with Hardcore before the internet era was here.

I picked in on the spread during the 'Blackened Persistance' phase. So this release was silently waiting to be discovered later. There is so much global truth in the lyrics although they might seem personal at first. With the music they had taken the first steps into the Metal and Hardcore blend. Edge-Metal was born with this release, after the embryonic phase Edge-Metal had in Wheel Of Progress.

Congress 'Euridium' 7 inch on Warehouse Records

Congress 'Euridium' 7 inch on black vinyl (first press)

There's still a lot of work to do concerning the documentation of the band and their discography. General consensus is that this black version is the first press, of which copies were used to make a record release version. And that there is a solid red also as limited color. The masses say that the purple was second press out of 1000 copies and brown was third press out of 1000 copies also. As a critical side reflection I need to say that it's nearly impossible in Belgium to press and sell all of these copies (summation 2500 - 3000 copies) in one year. That is impossible despite how popular the band was at the moment. Add to this that there were also CD versions pressed and sold out. So I argue Discogs.com and everybody who says this. And we need to know in what year these three pressings were done exactly.

I am well on track in upgrading my collection with some essential H8000 Hardcore records. To find a first press of the Euridium might not be that hard at all, but to find perfect condition copies is quite another task. Depends on what you have for standards in mind for sure. I found this copy on Discogs.com but I need to say that using this site as a reliable source is stupid. The database is far from completely reliable and who can blame people for not making it reliable. There are years and years of research and then you just put your work on someone else site. Where you can't control it anymore. If one day Discogs.com pulls the plug it's all gone. So if we succeed to publish things in a book that would be a great achievement.

Monday, October 26, 2015

25 Ta Life "s/t" 7 Inch

Another NYHC band from the 90's is 25 Ta Life. Back then they delivered a breed of Hardcore that was popular here in Belgium, but also in France. They had a good live reputation, I was at one of their shows. People were moshing, stage-diving, singing along on the stage and were in short all over the stage instead of in front of it. Good Life Recordings did two LP releases in collaboration with Triple Crown Records from the USA.
Rick Ta Life (the vocalist) is known for his lyrics about unity and other clichés. Nowadays many people hate him and make fun of him on the internet. Obviously he might not be a cool guy because otherwise all this would not have a reason to happen. But I do think that he and 25 Ta Life made NYHC popular for the 90's kids over here and prevented it from sinking into oblivion to a certain extent also in that way.

This record is from 1994 and is their debut 7 inch. Back then they didn't yet break through in Europe but still I wanted the record. It's released on Striving For Togetherness Records. I bought a great condition copy since my previous was in bad condition and it was a good price.

Striving For Togetherness
25 Ta Life 7 inch: front cover

Strving For Togetherness Records
25 ta Life 7 inch: back cover

25 years to lifelong imprisonment is the sentence for the crime of murder, that is why on the front cover a prison is pictured.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Maximum Penalty "East Side Story" 7 inch

Since I posted the Breakdown 7inch I came up with posting this one, to continue a series of posts on NYHC records. This one has been silently sitting in the collection for more than 7 years. I don't know why I never came to post about it. There are more records that I buy but don't post. Can't exactly determine why I do it this way. I remember that I bought it from Edward Good Life who was selling some records from his private collection back then. I got into their music through the Where The Wild Things Are compilation.

Maximum Penalty Lower East Side story 7 inch: front cover

I like the cover since the title 'East Side Story' is elaborated with a picture of the Lower East Side New York. You get sucked into the neighborhood's atmosphere. They are originally from the 80's wave of New York Hardcore but one of the last bands from that wave that created relevant music and releases. NYHC was not so alive, let stand relevant during the 90's decade in my eyes. Except for some good Madball, Merauder, Stigmata releases, this and maybe some more, the scene was dead.

Maximum Penalty Lower East Side story 7 inch: back cover

They had a demo tape released at the end of the 80's, according to Discogs.com but their first records seem to be from the mid nineties. So there is quite a hiatus between them releasing a demo and having their first proper releases. Which raises questions. I only know the demo from the combo release with this release on CD. That 1989 demo is damn good and exists on a 7 inch to. I begin to feel a slight urge to hunt one down...

It feels weird to go back to that phase of learning about collecting records and Hardcore's history. I probably did some useless and stupid purchases also. Records that are not so collectible and relevant. There are historical factors, musical and aesthetic tastes and collectors factors like rarity or exclusivity. All determine the fact that something slips into oblivion or remains fancied. Not everything collectors fancy is relevant to. This one can be acquired for 5 to 10 euro. But despite that I feel it to be relevant.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Breakdown The '87 Demo

In continuation of posting records from my backlog, here's one that is really good although not that hard to get. The Breakdown 1987 demo on yellow vinyl. According to Discogs.com there are more yellow copies than black. Although that needs to be nuanced since there are several yellow versions in circulation. Pale yellow, more warmer yellow but also clear yellow and copies with a greenish accent seem to exist. My copy has a more warmer yellow to it.

Breakdown the '87 demo 7 inch yellow vinyl

Noiseville and Blackout! Records

There are a lot of references to this record in history. Everybody knows the song 'Sick People' from the NYC Hardcore compilation from Revelation. That everybody now must have on vinyl thanks to all the represses made. Also the Parisian band Kickback most likely got their name from the song 'Kickback'. Also on the French Hardcore compilation 2CD from the 90's Kickback covers that track so that is giving their influence away. Also Belgium's Powered Records uses the Blackout! Records logo to make a variation of their own logo. There are probably more references like rip off sleeves, it only tells us how classic this one is.

Breakdown has the most stereotypical NYHC sound, why listen to anything else if you want the get into that stuff?

Monday, October 19, 2015

Turnstile Summary

Here is a post with some photo's I posted earlier on Instagram. But since that social medium has got little informative value but a more entertainment and networking value, I'm posting it again for archival reasons. To anyone out there who might be wanting to hunt down some Turnstile records and needs a photo. And is using Google to find one. Also have the opportunity to write larger texts and post several pictures of the same record without having to edit them or something.

I have a funny anecdote concerning the job I did of providing photo's to the world wide web. One day I was discussing a trade with someone, he wanted a picture of my record to feel sure about the trade. I couldn't be hassled by taking it out the boxes again. So I sent him a photo I took earlier for this website. The reaction was obviously that he thought I was lying, he said; "that's only a google picture you downloaded" and meaning "you don't have the record". I was like WTF, while I could only realize that I really took the picture and had the record but had no means of proving it. A few days later the dude obviously chickened out even after I did new photo for him and all. He was obviously lacking faith and for some reason faint of heart also. Weird trade and obviously it didn't work out at all...

Anyway, just for informative reasons and to get back to the haters I will post every version I have of every Turnstile title on Reaper Records beneath here:

Nonstop Feeling

Step 2 Rhythm

Pressure To Succeed

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Dying Fetus "Destroy The Opposition" LP

Most of you know that I collect Good Life Recordings releases on vinyl. And most of you probably relate that label to Edge-Metal and Metalcore in general. Hardcore message with a strong metal influence in the music. Those are the genres I grew up with in the 90's. Oddly people like me love the mix of Hardcore and Metal but aren't really listening to 'pure' Metal especially not in those days.
Also the more outspoken Hardcore bands like Youth Of Today, Agnostic Front, Minor Threat, etc. were unknown for me back then. Only later I started to dig in the earlier history of Hardcore. But never I was really into all those Metal bands or genres.

Dying Fetus "Destroy The Opposition" LP Good Life Recordings
Dying Fetus "Destroy The Opposition" LP

Dying Fetus "Destroy The Opposition" LP good life recordings
Back cover tells us Good Life Recordings once cooperated with Relapse Records

Today for the first time I gave this record a good attentive listen and yes, it worked for me. I appreciate the technical skills, the vocal precision and brutality. But hell yeah, such a good album overall. These songs are catchy, yet more difficult than the average Hardcore song. The intro alone is pure genius. I don't specialize in Metal and all the sub-genres but I can safely say this is Death Metal greatness! Must be the first time I can enjoy a Metal masterpiece.
I remember a colleague telling me he saw Dying Fetus in the youth house of my birth town and that he found it really good. So now I can relate finally.

Dying Fetus "Destroy The Opposition" LP collection Good Life Recordings
clear and solid blue vinyl, both colors versions of this LP

In my quest to build up a decent Good Life label collection I am still surprised by the musical quality the bands from their roster deliver. Especially with this Dying Fetus LP from the year 2000. I never really thought I would find a copy of this album on blue vinyl. I was actually searching eBay for other titles, but somehow I got distracted and started looking into a random Belgian seller's items. I saw some Nirvana records but was actually not so interested. But suddenly I realized that this one was up there.
I don't know the pressing numbers but there's a few of the clear one on Discogs, while a blue version is never sold up there. So the blue versions seems a lot rarer. I guess we will never know...

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Reaper Records United Blood 2015 Limited Editions

A couple of months ago there was United Blood Fest in the USA. As per annual tradition Reaper Records makes a few limited cover editions for some of the vinyl they have available from the bands that play the fest. This year they had three 7 inch titles made with a special cover. Obviously they didn't look too far this year, they altered three classical and iconic covers into a limited cover.

First up is the limited sleeve for the Malfunction "Finding My Peace" 7 inch. They took the holy grail of NYHC as their template and altered it to cover for the band. As to why they chose this cover in particular for Malfunction I don't really know. Whether they did it at random or if there is a story behind it I wouldn't know. The designers did their best to alter the Agnostic Front flag into a flag with the release title and too make it realistic. Although one sees the sharper lines of the text compared to the blur of the original Agnostic Front "United Blood" cover.

Malfunction Finding My peace Reaper Records
Malfunction 7 inch with the AF United Blood rip off cover

I remember that there were plans made for an LP of Malfunction on Bridge Nine Records but obviously that sank into oblivion or got delayed.

Second 7 inch they produced is the Down To Nothing "All My Sons" with a Minor Threat rip off cover. They used the second press sleeve of the legendary and classical Minor Threat first 7 inch. They altered the band name and the Dischord Record logo. A well succeeded one. The Straight-Edge might be the main reason why they got this record used as a template. Also an honor for Down To Nothing to be compared to the first-ever Straight-Edge band.

Down To Nothing All My Sons Reaper Records
Down To Nothing 7 inch with the Minor Threat rip off cover

There is however a third 7 inch made for the No Values 7 inch from their catalog but I have not succeeded in obtaining a copy. This one got the Life's Blood "Defiance" cover that was released on Combined Effort Records originally. Unfortunately I am not able to picture it here.

Pressing info is 50 copies of both limited editions. Also can be concluded that Reaper Records respects the classics and passes over tradition to the kids. Many kids, even American, most likely don't know these classical covers...

Sunday, August 30, 2015

No One Rules

Yesterday I featured some words about one of the most modern Hardcore outfits, today brings us back to the roots of New York Hardcore. The No One Rules LP focuses on the New York part of the American Hardcore Punk scene with Agnostic Front as one of the pioneers. There were Black Flag, 7 Seconds, Minor Threat, SSD, Negative Approach and others that constituted the perception of the American Hardcore Punk scene as a whole. But this focuses on one band of that movement in particular, Agnostic Front.

The 1983 and 1984 Don Fury demos of Agnostic Front are finally done justice by giving it a proper and official release on vinyl. The release comes with a thick picture book filled with photos, flyers and other artwork. But also excerpts of zines which make it very interesting. And testimonies of people involved in the scene. It was Radio Raheem who released this. They really succeeded in creating the effect and let you breed the atmosphere of Agnostic Front's begin years. Every text snippet very to the point, how the band members met each other and how the scene needed to be comprehended but also about how misunderstood they were by some others.

Radio Raheem early demos Agnostic Front NYHC
Agnostic Front "No One Rules" LP compilation

The cover shows us a Punk and a Skin united, in a no one rules atmosphere. There is also a letter from Agnostics Front's drummer Raybeez, that deals with girls in the scene and how all bands should be united instead of talking behind each others backs.

Finally the back cover shows us Agnostic Front playing a show in NYC from a spectator point of view. It draws you right in the atmosphere of these magical times that nobody seems to have forgotten thanks to Agnostic Front still playing and making music, but also thanks to vinyl records and cassettes for the musical remembrance and also thanks to people who made zines and documented all of this by taking pictures, saving flyers, etc...

Radio Raheem early Agnstic Front demos LP
Back cover with live picture and track list

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Nasty "Shokka" LP

I'm way late in buying this record. That's also the reason why I got a second pressing copy. A while ago I was reading Tino's blog post about this record. He was enthusiastic about it. I checked out their new music also by following a link on his blog to a player. And honestly yeah, I liked it also. But it seemed that this wasn't convincing enough to spend my money on it then.

Nasty is both a Belgian and German band, I already featured two reviews of them actually. You can read the Nasty 'Aggression' and the Nasty 'Give A Shit' reviews. I'm sure many people will ask themselves why I put them here on this blog. Well, I try to be objective as a collector, but since all I collect is music I can't always stay or be objective. Musical tastes can't be argued or be fully rational or objective and remain personal at any time. The case is that I actually like this record and love the fact that it even has a proper vinyl release.

beatdown hardware Nasty Shokka LP green vinyl second press
Nasty "Shokka" LP second pressing of 400 handnumbered copies

Because Nasty is one of those bands that initially were too modern or too sensational to be released on vinyl. Their ultra hard and reckless music didn't seem to be fit for vinyl freaks in the beginning of the band. Good Life Recordings only produced CD's. Well, I think their music definitely deserves to be pressed on vinyl if you look at it from another point of view. Nowadays they play an even more abstract and minimalistic type of music. And they keep hitting hard without loosing their highly energetic an intense delivery also. Double drum pedal rhythms with aggressive hits on the guitar snares just seem to all fall into place naturally with these guys.

I actually feel that it's their best release so far. And although the genre is not so fit for old guys and vinyl crate diggers it's just this fact that makes it cool on vinyl... Released by Beatdown Hardware and also in the United States by Good Fight music.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Maximum Penalty "Life And Times" test pressing

Maximum Penalty just finished a European tour including a show at Ieperfest in Belgium, as I write this. I can't believe that almost all these collectors I follow here on Blogger don't love or featured this record on their site or page before. But it seems to be a larger trend than only locally in my blogging circles. As Reaper Records pressed only 1000 copies, no repress and it's still available. I for one was breathless when the pre-order of this record came in. I had a raised heart beat for sure. And I still remember that moment.

This came out in 2009 and was the come back release of them after more than a decade of silence. Maximum Penalty were featured on one of those classic compilations documenting the scene in New York. The "Where The Wild Things Are" compilation to be precise. Although this one is a bit rarer it is together with the "The Way It Is" compilation almost everybody's introduction to NYHC. These compilations were released towards the end of the 80's. Although every reader most likely knows this already.

This record in it's entirety deals with the serious hardships of life. The song texts are so recognizable and so clearly written that I can relate to. I won't go deeper into this as this would be too personal both for the lyric writer as for me. And privacy is important an should deeply be respected.

I was blessed to be able to add the most elusive version of this record, the test pressing, to my collection. Here is a picture of it and while I was at it, I took the regular versions out also to make some pictures again.

Maximum Penalty Life And Times Reaper Records vinyl
Maximum Penalty "Life And Times" test pressing

Maximum Penalty "Life And Times" cream and gold vinyl out of 800 copies

Maximum Penalty "Life And Times" clear red with black haze vinyl out of 200 copies

Thanks to Reaper Records for bringing this in the Hardcore community! Also be on the look out for a new release on Reaper Records by Maximum Penalty....

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Deconsecrate "Nothing Is Sacred" LP Review

I’ve read several reviews about this record, early and late reviews. I’ve concluded that "Nothing Is Sacred" appeals to people with a whole variety of backgrounds. That’s because they deliver with their first full length a mixture of a whole lot of elements from the harder musical landscape. In their music lay influences of Death Metal and Death Core mostly. Not avoiding to add more melodic and more emotional parts also. While I hear a hint of Beat Down now and then also. They mold all the music they love into their own creative sound. I needed a while to be able to place it all. And it's definitely a step further into the larger world than during their demo stage.

The vocalist duo is what makes it more than complete. In their vocals the brutality and message of Hardcore come to being. A scene like the H8000 Hardcore scene is more ethically superior and challenging the truth more than ever. It is not easy to still make a statement or still have something to say. But I am not disappointed. Being able to challenge the settled truth is what proves that nothing is sacred. And this is what Deconsecrate still does. Their lyrics hold a tad of that agonizing and bleak truth, the old scene was known for. Also the snippets from movies are adjust. Not to speak of the quote on the back of the cover, that summarizes it all. Challenging the political and economical leaders (Kings) on one side and the ideological and ethical leaders (Priests) on the other side.

"Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest" 

Some practical facts about this record, it’s recorded at Hearse Studio in Belgium, while mastered in the USA. What is cool is that John Gallagher (Dying Fetus) and Damien Moyal (Morning Again, Culture and As Friends Rust) support the act by laying down their guest vocals. So they picked someone from the Metal and someone from the Hardcore genre. The artwork is down by one of the vocalists, Andy and the band shots are also belonging to someone of the local scene also.

Good Life Recordings used their old logo (with the lightning flash) again and also etched “H8000 Will Never Die” into the vinyl’s matrix. That’s the spirit I like. While the label they didn’t press vinyl for years they did it again for this release. So that is awesome and a great honor for Deconsecrate also. Good Life Recordings stayed positive!

Good Life recordings color vinyl Deconsecrate Nothing Is Sacred
red, clear and black vinyl all three out of 100 copies

On the more personal interpretation side, listening to this record gives me a double feeling. The joy of beholding the spawn of the H8000, the sound of the current H8000 spirit. The effort to reawaken. But implicitly this means that there aren't so much bands left at the moment also. And that Hardcore isn’t considered so positive and appealing as in the 90's by the outside world anymore. 
Deconsecrate makes a modest effort that does not forces to open a box of Pandora or to claim the throne. It's this integrity is that I like. I hope it’s not just the continuation of the scene’s traditions but also the spark that may fuel the fire even more. 

Check out the Bandcamp page of Deconsecrate and if you like buy the record or CD at the Good Life webstore.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Take Offense Testpress Rescue

Someone stumbled across my site and asked me to sell a record he wanted. The answer was no because it's from the Reaper Records collection. It concerned the "Tables Will Turn" record release version. This event made me get the urge to make an updated collection shot of Take Offense's first LP. I made several before but none were featuring all I had. So I took them out and did it again.

reaper records test press release show vinyl color
Take Offense "Tables Will Turn" collection

There is a concern I wanted to share with you people. As you see the one above left has a screen printed sleeve. Well, I had bought some PVC protective sleeves and stored this record in one of them. What happened is that the PVC sleeve absorbed the ink from the screen print and now the protective sleeve and the cover have become one. And they can't be separated from each other anymore.
But luckily the screened cover was an extra cover and I could remove the white DJ sleeve and the vinyl. So what was left was that damned PVC sleeve with the cover sticking in it. Then I had the idea to cut away all that PVC stuff around the cover. And now the cover is sort of laminated with the transparent PVC.

So I advise you to never put a screen printed record in such a PVC sleeve otherwise accidents will happen. Too bad for my test pressing but I could minimize the hurt. I won't sell it anyway so it's only me who can be bothered with it...

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Trapped Under Ice / Dirty Money Record Release

It has been a few years since I added a record of Trapped Under Ice to my collection. So I thought to write about it here again also. Like good old times. It's a 7 inch that was released in the time span between the 'Stay Cold' 7 inch and their first full length, called 'Secrets Of The World'. Puzzling enough it was A389 Records who released this record and not Reaper Records. While both of the above mentioned records are on Reaper. But since both Trapped Under Ice and A389 Records are based in Baltimore it is understandable a tad more. Also Trapped Under Ice was becoming big in that stage so they had several record deals offered to them most likely... Also what is puzzling me is how they ended up with Dirty Money from the United Kingdom all of a sudden. 

But anyway besides these questions, I'm glad to have it. Because this record has been sitting latent on my want list since it's release. I was not actively on the look out. But this copy came along on eBay so I bought it. Is has an extra front cover besides the regular cover, that is numbered on front out of 100 copies. Also cool is that the exact release date of the record is mentioned. Makes it a lot easier for collectors.

Trapped under ice record release a389 dirty money vinyl 7 inch
Trapped Under Ice / Dirty Money record release version

trapped under ice dirty money vinyl record a389
Crystal clear vinyl with the old A389 Records labels

As you noticed it comes on clear vinyl, there are also black and clear blue copies from the first press. And oddly there is also a more recent repress of this record.

As some might already know this record was also pressed in the United Kingdom because Dirty Money was on a UK based label called Dead And Gone. That label is now not releasing records anymore. I've got one of the Dead And Gone Records versions also.

For more information, check out my old posts about Trapped Under Ice.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Negate Demo 1997 Cassette

Negate were a band from the Charleroi area, that's in the French speaking part of Belgium. In this demo stage (1997), they played a more old-school sounding Hardcore, that had a tougher edge. Very outspoken and clear lyrics. The line up for this release were only three people. Arnaud played guitar and did vocals, Saïd played bass and did vocals also and the drums were played by Stef.

Negate 1997 demo cassette

They were more connected to the early scene in Brussels with bands like Wise Up and Out For Blood but also had connections with the French scene from Rennes aka the KDS Crew with bands like Right For Life and Stormcore. For those who don't know yet, KDS stands for Karate Dance Style...

These are their earliest recordings, after this they made a few releases together with Next Sentence Recordings. Their last release was with Good Life Recordings, a CD only release. They only did one release on vinyl; a split 7 inch. Compacts Discs were by far the most popular format in the 90's over here.

Thanks to Dimitri Heymans again for lending me his precious cassette to make this video for you people!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Spineless Demo Cassette

The demo of Spineless was recorded in the end of 1996. The first song starts with a religious chant which gets violently interrupted by distorted guitars. The lyrics are a quote from another author. In this text there is described how a devil appeared before a person. The devil is described in full detail what makes it realistic. All about the ethical struggles people had with religion back then. And the hardship they faced by following those catholic morals. And the distance they wanted to take away from it. Not outspoken satanic but still questioning the moral standards. "Enter The Devil" was later rerecorded for the H8000 Compilation Volume 1.
The second song "Demons Are Forever" is an unreleased track, you can't hear it elsewhere. I can't tell what it is about or what they meant with the text. It is rather cryptic.
Then comes "Mean". It is a more concrete song that is about drug free life. Straight-Edge was a huge topic back then.
Finally the song "Greed" that deals with poverty from all around the world. While in our regions people take everything for themselves.

Spineless demo cassette H8000 hardcore straight edge punk metal
Spineless demo cassette from 1996

CMD Records
As you can see, the "CMD" abbreviation already was used in the demo stage. It's the name of the crew they were in. Stands for "Courtrycke Mosh Division". With "Courtrycke" being the old Flemish for "from Kortrijk"...

The Spineless demo is a local highly desired music cassette. Don't know what's up with that abroad but here's a chance to get to know it by listening and reading the lyrics. Also the next generation who will probably never get a chance to own this now can hear it. Also not to mention the amount of copies that got lost and the highly limited amount made... Thanks to Dimitri Heymans again for the cooperation! Enjoy!