Monday, November 28, 2016

VA H8000 Compilation Volume One LP

This is the coloured vinyl version of a legendary compilation. The first H8000 compilation made by Sober Mind Recordings and Genet Records in the year 1998. It features many bands that played at the moment in time. It starts of with a demo track of Spineless, that was previously unreleased. Is followed by Congress, Lifecycle, Vitality, ODK Crew, Liar, Sektor, Blindfold, Deformity, Spirit Of Youth, Instinct, Firestone, Fake, Hitch and Regression.

As you can see at the links above, I already featured many of these band here on this site. Maybe time to elaborate those other three bands who weren't already featured; Instinct, Fake and Regression in some future posts...

Various H8000 Hardcore "The Compilation volume one" 
coloured vinyl H8000 SOber Mind Genet Records
B-side of the LP cover with band listing

As you see, the compilation has a very beautiful layout. There is a mosh pit photo on the front cover and on the back cover as well. I already elaborated the artwork of the front cover in another post. There is an insert that has a foreword by Hans from Liar and Sober Mind. Telling us that the scene was big at the moment and that they could have only wished for that in the beginning of the 90's.

numbered limited mint green vinyl
mint green vinyl, stamp numbered out of 118

The vinyl is mint green coloured and has a stamp numbering on the A-side label, this copy is number 60. They are numbered out of 118 copies. Which makes them pretty rare. But so are almost all titles from the Belgian Hardcore scene. When you have a coloured version or otherwise limited record, you must really realize what you have and how rare these are.

The VA H8000 compilation volume 1 has been on my wants list for a long time. Can you believe that I've only had two opportunities to buy one since I started collecting music intensely? The first opportunity I had was a second chance offer on eBay. The seller had another copy but was in a lesser condition than the one sold, so I skipped it. This one fell in my lap more or less. It was someone contacting me to ask if I wanted it. So I needed to formulate an offer and it was accepted. Glad to own this baby!

There is currently a test pressing for sale on Discogs, time to wake up and take action!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Spirit Of Youth demo cassette

I never thought I would find another version of the Spirit Of Youth demo. But here it is. This copy is an original one sold by the band and not the remake on Warehouse Records. The difference is in the cassette itself. It says "Thanks to our bloodbrother Nick Royles" and there's no mentioning of a record label. See the photo's:

Nick Royles is person who was in a band called No Way Out in 1990, according to the Vortn Vis in the 90's blog. So this is the credit. Later on he played in Ironside, there was a show of Ironside with him during the first Ieperfest (organized by Edward Good Life). He continued forming bands like the Vegan Straight-Edge band Unborn and also Cracked Cop Skulls and Sore Throat (source: Edward Good Life).

The music of this demo was the blueprint for the Love, Truth & Honesty 7 inch. Although the last two songs ('Our Way' and 'From DC') weren't rerecorded for it and are only on this demo cassette.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Hitch "Triggered Backwards" CD

Hitch was a band from the Lauwe area (a village near Kortrijk). They started out with a 7 inch on Machination Records. And also have a CD on both Good Life Recordings and Machination Records. That must have been released around 1997 (source: Must have been one of the final releases on Jeroen's Machination label. As I collected the vinyl records of Good Life, this CD stayed hidden from my radar. When I did discover it, bought it and heard it, I already knew three songs, as they are also on the 7 inch. As you might already know, there are many non-vinyl releases made during the the late 90's and after. I am not a vinyl purist so I buy those CD's also, for completion's sake. I collect music on all formats.

Hitch "Triggered Backwards" CD cover

The music is far more emotional than you would expect from the band related to the H8000 scene. Vocals aren't screaming and the instruments play softer rock. It's actually very surprising and hard to capture in written language. I would define it as post-H8000 Hardcore, although chronologically that is not correct. But there are elements such as certain riffs and gang vocals that remind me of Hardcore. The release was recorded at Midas, as many other H8000 bands of the moment also did. The songs "Too Much Pressure" has really agonizing screams in it, combined with the moaning guitars, it really gets to your inner self. Surprisingly there's only one lyrics text mentioned in the booklet.

The song "Mind Pollution" is featured on the H8000 compilation volume one CD/LP. They seem to have survived the test of time and kept playing under the name Hitch and recorded music up until 2009. There is also a split 7 inch with Ghent's  legends Amenra. Music did evolve quite a lot.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Morning Again / 25 Ta Life split 7 inch

The Morning Again and 25 Ta Life split release is an awkward one. Besides the fact that in 1998 both bands were on Good Life Recordings and the fact that they are both American Hardcore bands, they have nothing in common. But because they were on tour together in 1998, this release does makes sense. Many kids saw the bands play in that year as Hardcore was at the peak of expansion (in Belgium) and they wanted to have a souvenir of the show, so this sold pretty good.

Morning Again / 25 Ta Life split 7 inch on white vinyl

Morning Again / 25 Ta Life split 7 inch on white vinyl

On this 45 rpm single, Morning Again brings us a song called "Dictation Of Beauty", not the version of the LP on Revelation Records but a version recorded in Belgium at Midas Studio. So it sounds different, less cleanly produced also.

insert Morning Again side

25 Ta Life played a very good show on this tour in 1998, I was there, action packed, people all over the stage. They bring on this 7 inch a previously unreleased track called "Where It Begins". It begins with friendship and other values like sincerity, trust, loyalty and commitment.

insert 25 Ta Life side
There seem to be different pressings also. The first press was blue with small centre hole and photo's on both sides of the label. There was also another pressing which was meant to have a large spindle hole and different artwork on the labels but obviously the pressing plant made a mistake and pressed them also with small spindle hole. That is why the blank dot in the middle is there.

Here is a collection of the three colours to end with:

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Joy Division "Unknown Pleasures" LP

Joy Division again, but this time their other LP, called "Unknown Pleasures". I told you I am on a Joy Division trip. I was actually buying these in reverse order, I mean, this one comes before "Closer". In the sound you can definitely hear that they evolved out of the Punk scene even more on this LP than the second. I don't know which one I like best, but to me the consolation of listening to the B-side "Closer", never fades. So with that being said the choice is made. Although "Unknown Pleasures" is more well known and has more classics. It's a close call.

The cover is made in textured cardboard, I didn't make a picture because I want to keep it in the shrink wrap and it's impossible to capture the relief with that shrink wrap. It comes in a white printed inner. The vinyl is also 180 grams and feels real good holding it in your hands.

Joy Division "Unknown Pleasures" LP reissue

Joy Division "Unknown Pleasure" LP package
This record was originally recorded and released in 1979. Has a keyboard involved so this is Post-Punk and New Wave combined together to create an atmospheric sound with varying rhythm and Punk basslines.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Madball "Set It Off" LP

Madball's debut LP is reissued on a German label called Backbite Records. Previously Music On Vinyl also reissued the Demonstrating My Style LP. I wanted to buy only one of both, so I had to choose. I thought the earlier the better, so I ended up ordering this one.

This is a piece of though and raw Hardcore, straight from the streets of New York. Many bands followed, inspired by this sound. The darker side of New York Hardcore, pretty far away from the well-known Youth Crew Hardcore style and way of living but still originated in the same scene. For both it's the music that keeps them on track.

Madball "Set It Off" LP reissue
back cover of the LP sleeve
As you can see at the graffiti on the top of the picture sleeve: "DMS 94 Madball", the release year of the original pressing.

I only own one LP of the band, this one. I think it's quite representative for the genre so I guess I will stick to this one alone also.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Angel Du$t "A.D." colours

Angel Du$t is one of the recent bands that still play around and that I can dig. I bought the last colour I needed from Reaper Records. I'm still missing a tour sleeve, record release and a test press, but those can wait and the test press seems impossible and very hard to get. As you all know this was a collaborative release between Reaper Records and React! Records.
There have been three pressings already, four colours for first press and later blue and gold as subsequent pressings. Here is a collection picture of all colours pressed.

First press
black vinyl 1000 copies
white vinyl 400 copies
clear vinyl 400 copies
pink vinyl 200 copies
Second press
blue vinyl 1000 copies
Third press
gold vinyl 1000 copies

Shelter "Mantra" reissue

This is the era of represses and reissues. A whole slew of releases that got out of press for years now get reprinted or reissued. Shouldn't labels be focussing on releasing new stuff and supporting new bands? It also looks like that bringing a message in Hardcore is totally gone and that nowadays it is very hard to still bring content. All that bands now need to do is create a feeling with their music.
The fact that all these represses are done and that not many new bands get released, makes me think that the message is that real Hardcore is only a memory that needs to be awoken by represses.

Lured into it by an Instagram post, I bought the Shelter "Mantra" reissue on Roadrunner and Music On Vinyl. I always wanted a vinyl version and since these didn't come on coloured vinyl in the past, I gladly took a copy on tomato red with orange swirls.

Shelter "Mantra" reissue on red vinyl

 numbered back cover of the Shelter "Mantra" LP

God, I love the vibe on this record. Not that I listen to a lot of Punkrock but this record gets me stoked every time I listen. The year of release was 1995, probably featured on MTV and such also. Ray Cappo and band made the perfect feel good record. He even starts off with rapping on the beginning of the B-side. 'Letter To A Friend' is such a universal theme of friendships that end. I don't surrender to my TV, but I do surrender to looking for and buying records on the internet at night.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Mizery "Absolute Light" LP

New from Reality Records comes the Mizery LP on pink vinyl. Mizery is a band from San Diego, California that plays Crossover in vein of Leeway, Cro-Mags. Trash Metal and New York Hardcore are two great genres and sound equally good as combined here. But they seem to add a modern twist to it also; down tempo parts an some abstraction here and there.

Mizery "Absolute Light " LP

gatefold cover and pink vinyl

So it's nothing new created here but still a good record, sleeve looks slick and is of great quality. The dualistic feel created by depicting themes referring to death in the soft pastel colours, is the best twist to it I think. No lyrics included. And under exclusive license of Flatspot Records.