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.