Monday, April 24, 2017

Rise Above Test Press

I found a test press of the second Rise Above 7 inch. The record was pressed in France and the test is dated in January 1991. The label who released this is called Stand As One Records and hasn't pressed so much releases. The test has printed MPO labels and comes with a regular sleeve, straight from the producer. I asked him how much copies were made and he says he remembers there were only 4 to 5 copies of this test press made. Seems wild, since I know two other people who also have one.

Rise Above "B Is For Boston" test pressing

Rise Above "B Is For Boston" test pressing

I already did a review of this title. Including an interview with Edward on B Is For Boston. At that moment I did not know that there was a test press. Keeps me surprised. The regular version is on olive green vinyl and they are all that way. Cool thing is that there are only 350 copies pressed.

I have also seen on Instagram that the first 7 inch of Rise Above has got another limited sleeve on purple paper, so that might be the last Rise Above 7 inch I need to complete that collection.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A.W.O.L Deep Thoughts About The End

This 7 inch from a French Hardcore band befriended with the Belgian scene and H8000 scene, holds a special place in my heart. I acquired a copy on black way back in 1998. I don't even remember how or where I got it. But what I do remember is that I bought it for the huge cave on the cover. I was immediately drawn into the atmosphere of being in that cave. Maybe I got it at a show in Brugge, I am not sure any more. Or maybe I've seen them perform with Vitality at the old Casino in Koksijde. My memory is blurred. I was only six- or seventeen, so I can forgive myself not remembering. The fact that I merely bought it for the cover art doesn't mean that I was disappointed in the music. I listened to this 7 inch in my bedroom numerous times.
Although I was a lot more positive than the lyrics might presume, they were a precursor for a later moment in time. I could get the meaning objectively by just reading the lyrics. But later the pain became my reality. I danced in my bedroom on the music and my parents did not fully understand what was going on. They said they just tolerated my music taste but they didn't support it or liked it.

The record is called "Deep Thoughts About The End" and is a 45rpm with two songs. The A-side has the song "The Last Scream" and the B-side has the song "Psychopathia". The songs did a lot for me both for the inner and outer self, although nowadays it lessened.

As always back then, in pre-internet times, there were no download or streaming services in order to be sure you liked the music. The only thing you had was a thanks list from the band members. There you could find out to what scene they belonged and to what bands they were befriended with. Then you assumed that the mentioned band from the thanks list were equally as good and then you mail ordered those bands. This thanks list is one of those list I have read so many times, I learned about other bands, their crews and so on... You can see that Bob and Vitality is almost on top of the list.

It's super cool to find a copy on blue vinyl almost 20 years after getting my initial copy. The label who released this is called Braveheart Records and is from the H8000 area. All of their limited coloured editions are on the same clear blue vinyl. At least those I know of. You have the Instinct 7 inch on blue and the split between One Last Sin and Withdrawn on blue vinyl. The guy of this label also did a zine which wasn't that good in my opinion, H8Zine and Yoda for example were better. I have one issue in my collection by the way.

A.W.O.L "Deep Thoughts About The End" 7 inch blue vinyl

A.W.O.L "Deep Thoughts About The End" 7 inch blue vinyl


thanks list
The Braveheart zine #4:

Braveheart Zine #4

Maybe I should review this one also one day...

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Beyond "No Longer At Ease" LP

I was planning on buying this record since I saw the awesome vinyl and cover pictures of this release appearing online. The grey coloured version was fitting the cover perfectly I noticed, so I was going to go for that one. And the price was approximately 10 euro less than the rarest colour, at least in the European distro's I visit. I was kind of shocked when I had seen that they make the rarer colour more expensive from the start.

Although I do understand the mechanism behind it; distro's just seem to adapt to the resell mechanism that has ruled the past decades. While people who just want a copy of each colour to hold on to, are affected now also.

So I let this rest for a few months and moved on. But then when I was browsing through the online Good Life distro I saw the record for sale again, added it to the basket and checked out. Despite my earlier doubt about the higher price.

Beyond "No Longer At Ease" LP red vinyl, 330 copies

The intro and way of singing is what I like about it. The vinyl is nice and thick, colour looks great also. Good addition to the collection.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Catharsis "Samsara" cassette

This cassette came sealed when I bought it, couldn't resist to slice it open. It's the cassette version of the first Catharsis LP. This came out on Youth Culture, a label from Poland. A couple of years later than the recording of it, 1999 to be exact. The cover is actually a booklet with the lyrics and the last page is a flap for the back cover. Inside that booklet are the lyrics and the explanation of what Catharsis stands for. Unfortunately it's in Polish so I understand nothing of it. Although I did read the lyrics. The titles of the songs make you think the lyrics are of rich content, but actually they don't say that much. It's mostly imagery in which they describe their anarchist convictions and jagged visions. Submission to versus rebellion against the system and against religion also. I basically comes down to that, nothing more in eyes. Prove me wrong if you do not agree.

Catharsis "Samsara" cassette version

Catharsis "Samsara" cassette version

The music on the other hand is great and rich in variety, that's most likely the main reason why this became such a classic. Nonetheless I am happy to add this to my collection, It was on Discogs for ages, nobody bought it until I did.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Statement "Prepared For Battle" LP

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it; the Statement 7 inch became an LP. That's amazing to say at least. The release "Prepare For Battle" has been officially released as an LP with two additional tracks and is called "Prepared For Battle". It's a collaboration between a Spanish label and the label of Rat (John Thomas).

Look in the back catalogue of this blog under the label 'Hardline' for more info about what this is all about ideologically. 

Statement "Prepared For Battle" LP

Statement "Prepared For Battle" LP back cover

One additional track was from the same recording session of the other songs but previously unreleased. The other was taken from the"Ceremony Of Fire" LP on Uprising Records.

I think this looks great on green by the way.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Titan & Witness The Fall split 7 Inch

This split 7 inch came out on Bound By Modern Age Records. It's a split between Titan, a band from Belgium and Witness The Fall, a band from The Netherlands.
Titan was the new band for me to check out. Their musical style at first reminded me of late-Kindred to Enemy Of The Sun. Although their style can not only be compared to this band. I hear some later Poison The Well as well, the newer band this reminds me of is The Setup. So nothing that new to me.

As a matter of fact I like Witness The Fall more. As their sound is more divers and aggressive. An addictive sound that brings my mind and soul into shelter. A consoling delivery that is hard to be separated from when you stop listening. I have always secretly been a fan of that Witness The Fall cassette on Bound by Modern Age, so I am happy to have some songs on vinyl.

The cover is amazingly cool, it's hand screen printed in red, black or blue ink. The vinyl is in accordance with the cover. I chose the red cover, so my copy is the red smoky vinyl.

Titan & Witness The Fall split 7 inch

red vinyl with red cover that is out of 70 copies

If you want to check this out, go to the Bound By Modern Age bandcamp page.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Hands Upon Salvation "To Celebrate The Newborn" cassette

Do you remember the posts I did about Indonesian Hardcore? I am starting to appreciate the band Hands Upon Salvation more and more. I already did a review about "To Celebrate The Newborn" earlier, when I got a CD version. Now I acquired a recently pressed cassette version. The Indonesian label who made them is called "Forget The Pain Inc.".

Hands Upon Salvation "To Celebrate The Newborn" cassette

As you can see, it's hand numbered out of 50 copies. My copy is number 30. Glad to hear this again, reminds my of the H8000 band Deformity but with even more speed. Honoured to hear the H8000 influence in their music. And always a pleasure chatting with the HUS vocalist Agus, he is a great person and I consider him a friend.

I have purchased this item a long with other things at Bound By Modern Age, the label of another friend called Rule. Will be making some other posts about it soon.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Crawlspace "Don't Get Mad, Get Even" 10 Inch

Knives Out Records from Paris is back again with an awesome looking vinyl edition. This time they reissued the 1998 Crawlspace release called "Don't Get Mad, Get Even". This was originally a CD only release on Released Power Productions. And has now got proper vinyl treatment.
As usual Knives Out Records used the picture disc medium to display the glorious artwork. I think it works great, especially with the die cut three panel fold open sleeve, that gives a glance at the picture disc in the opening.

picture disc in die cut cover
three panel die cut cover
backside of cover with track listing

There are again two different versions made, this is the OG edition that is out of 100 copies. The differences lay in the inside of the covers and the B-sides of the discs. 

A side of picture disc

B side of picture disc with numbering near centre hole

As with every record I got from Knives Out Records, it's the number 10. I would like to say thank you to TonR (label manager and artwork department) for this consistency, I like that.

number 010/100
The early copies also got a book with the flyers as with the Arkangel release. Only now it's even thicker.

flyer and info book

flyer and info book
wood Crawlspace logo piece

As you can see, everything very detailed and top notch quality again. I'd say get the other version while they are still available at the label at the Knives Out Records webstore.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Unity "You Are One" 7 inch

I wanted to buy this 7 inch when it came out in 2015 for Record Store Day. I was not convinced enough to get it back then. But now the record reappeared in European distro's like Coretex Berlin and Good Life Recordings. That's weird since it are the exact same colors, clear and green as for record store day 2015. I am sure that it is not a new pressing, probably some leftover copies that were send to a distributor for Europe.
You can't hear me complain, I am glad to buy it. I wanted to hear the songs eagerly since this was the band before Uniform Choice with members like Patrick Dubar and Patrick Longrie. Also the artwork of this record is done by Gavin Oglesby, like the first Uniform Choice LP.

Unity "You Are One" 7 inch on clear vinyl
If you like Uniform Choice, you absolutely need this also. With songs named "Positive Mental Attitude" and "Straight On View", you can get what the mindset of this band is.

Monday, February 20, 2017

I Will Always Stay Cold

Trapped Under Ice "Stay Cold" collection photo. What an endless well of creativity and productivity Reaper Records have. Always surprising when a version of this record is made, not only a different colour of vinyl but also altered sleeves, inserts and vinyl labels.

There are a few really rare and hard to find ones, like the third row for example. These five covers were made by the five band members themselves, each their personalized cover, numbered out of 19 copies. The version on the end of the second row is one of those nearly impossible to get stamped versions for United Blood festival 2011. First three are respectively the test pressing, record release and pre-order version. That's where the abstract Dan Higgs artwork comes in. I also like the This Is Hardcore cover with "YOLO" hand painted on the cover. There is also an earlier This Is Hardcore cover, it's located first of the fourth row. And dirty white copy - not visible on this picture - first of the fifth row is probably the rarest, I got it as gift from a fellow American collector who found it accidentally in his distro stock. 

This is TUI's first release after a demo on Flatspot Records. It's a great release, that I still listen to now and then.

tui angel dust turnstile du$t

Proud and lucky to have a collection like this sitting on my shelf in a box.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Trapped Under Ice "Big Kiss Goodnight" collection

It's with great pleasure and joy that I have made this collection photo of the Trapped Under Ice second LP, called "Big Kiss Goodnight". Trapped Under Ice was the band before Turnstile and Angel Du$t came to existence. They have just a perfect Hardcore delivery filled with breakdowns, riffs and all the other ingredients that make it raw and mean.  

I already posted the collection of their first 7 inch called "Stay Cold". The first LP "Secrets Of The World" is in my opinion their best and has been a great effort also. But hasn't been pressed on that many colours, although that's relative in this case.

They are from the streets of Baltimore in Maryland and you can check out their records, both this LP and the first 7 inch are still in press at Reaper Records or available at your local distro for sure...

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Red Hare "Nites Of Midnite" LP

Three of my blogging colleagues posted about the Nites Of Midnite LP by Red Hare. Almost all of them about three years ago. I heard nothing but positive news coming from them. It wasn't enough to convince me buying one. But now when there is this awesome looking gold version of their 7 inch pressed and I saw them popping up again, I was triggered into checking out the band.

dischord records hellfire records swiz bluetip dag nasty
Red Hare "Nites Of Midnite" LP

dischord records hellfire records swiz bluetip dag nasty
Red Hare "Nites Of Midnite" LP

I nearly never buy digital, so I decided to order their LP on blue in a Belgian distro. That blue is a second press which I'm waiting on to be delivered. A few minutes after I ordered, I was thinking why not get the red first press, it looks better and matches the band's name, Red Hare. That seemed to be a very easy task when looking on Discogs. Eventually, I snagged one slightly cheaper than the blue.

On the introspective side this series of events tells us many things. Firstly that when I see a record I like, it sometimes takes several years to actually buy one. But also that once I come in temptation, I will eventually buy the record. Secondly it tells me that the satisfaction of buying records is temporarily and sometimes even very short. Because straight after ordering the blue version I decided to buy a red also, meaning that now I question myself shouldn't I have been glad with one version, etc. Thirdly it tells us that reading blogs and repressing records keeps them alive and besides writing books about it, it's the only way to prevent it from sinking into oblivion or slipping into obscurity. There are a few other lessons we might pull but that would take this too far.

Anyway, the band Red Hare features members of Fury, a band in many peoples top ten for 2016. Also members from DC Hardcore legends Dag Nasty and Swiz are present in the line up. See the hype sticker photo. There is also mentioning of Bluetip, a band I should be checking out once. And so this is indeed an endless quest. If anybody knows more about this and the other bands members play in, feel free to comment and contribute.

The vinyl comes on beautiful deep red, not a cheap looking red, it's very nice and full of quality. The cover is good and simple, a cover that is very recognisable and easy to remember. There are two labels involved in this, Dischord Records and Hellfire Records. I've been meaning to also get the 7 inch straight from Dischord but overseas shipping would ruin the party.

In the meanwhile the blue version arrived.

dischord records hellfire records swiz bluetip dag nasty
Red Hare LP blue vinyl second press

dischord records hellfire records swiz bluetip dag nasty
Red Hare LP blue vinyl second press

Monday, January 16, 2017

Uniform Choice "Screaming For Change" Reissue

Before last year's end Southern Lord unleashed the long awaited pre-orders in both the American and European online webstores. There were a lot of colours available. There was purple, blue, orange, clear, red and black. I chose the clear version. I associated clear with the clear message they bring. No way I would be buying all.

The record was delivered recently and the record comes in the best packaging. A very sturdy gatefold cover with yellow lettering. Inside of the gatefold there is glued a 12x12 inch booklet with never before released photo's. There are also two additional inserts, one with the lyrics and the liner notes. The other one with the Uniform Choice logo and the live picture the drawn cover is based upon.

clear vinyl Southern Lord
Uniform Choice "Screaming For Change" reissue

Uniform Choice "Screaming For Change" reissue
Clear vinyl, Southern Lord pressing

The music has been remastered. I was biased because I thought it wouldn't deliver. I think it sounds a lot different than the original version. The individual musical instruments sound more accentuated which creates a more diverse sound with more layers and diversity, which isn't bad. The sound also is warmer than before. The negative side is that the whole sounds less urgent than the original.
It's great to finally have a version that includes a lyrics sheet. I wanted to read these already a long time.

Although I am too young to have experienced the entire wave of American Hardcore Punk, even the early nineties after that, I like this record the most. It's my favourite West Coast Hardcore record and also of the entire 80's. My friends already know this. It's my secret mean of getting positive energy. No doubt I will get better when I listen to this.

Also read an excerpt of Tony Rettman's new book about how Uniform Choice made the Straight-Edge scene in Los Angeles safe on this site, it's great and features many people from the band and scene as well as some YouTube video's with their music.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Crime In Stereo "Is Dead"

Have I ever told you how good this record is? I have these records since they came out but never wrote about them on this blog before. Crime In Stereo plays what I call 'futuristic' Punk. Hard to define their style, although it's safe to say they don't play classical Hardcore per definition. It took a few listens to fully start enjoying the music because it is not the usual Hardcore, melodic Hardcore nor is it a Pop Punk record.

This record was released in 2007, it was a period when I bought every Bridge 9 Records release that came out. I started to collect them, that is why I have two but never finished the collection. I rather listened to the music...

Check out the Crime In Stereo "Is Dead" discography page to see the other colours and to check out the music digitally.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Gorilla Biscuits & Conne Island

Gorilla Biscuits and Revelation Records made this special 7 inch to donate the benefits to the Conne Island project in Leipzig, Germany. The club is described in the liner notes as their second home. Now that New York's CBGB's died, their favourite club to play. They immediately felt the spark with the public and club when they played there for the first time.

The pressing has got a cover based on the classic gorilla cover, so it's still very recognisable but unique for the release and themed Conne Island. The back has got a photo of the public and singer in live action instead of the only band in live action. The mentioning of the version 'Conne Island exclusive' is adopted in the Revelation logo on the backside. 
The inside is printed, there you'll find the full story of the pressing. There is also numbering, my copy is numbered 117/350, that is presumably the Revelation Press numbering. Along with this version comes the Coretex exclusive numbering on the inner sleeve, consistently it's number 17/100. There is also a Conne Island stamp on that dustsleeve. On top of that, the double sided insert also has a new layout with new photo's and lyrics included.

It's the first time that they pressed this on gold vinyl but it is according to the Sick Of It All Conne Island 25th anniversary edition, that is also on gold vinyl. This colour is a perfect choice for this release, it looks great. 17 is a top 20 number, so it's early enough for me. Thanks to Marc (@circlestorm69) from Instagram for the heads up about the pre-orders at Coretex Records...

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Backtrack "Darker Half" collection

Thanks to Backtrack and Reaper Records for creating these records together starting from 2011. Four presses were done, first row are all first press colours. Second row are second, third and fourth press. Especially the latest version comes out nice. The last row are limited cover versions.

These records were just sitting in my collection without a picture of the collection made. So I did the small job of getting these all out and figure out a composition for them, snag a few shots, select the best photos and file them away again. I put them in order of release, except for the three limited sleeves that didn't fit in the rows, so these were put beneath.

I think all of these together look awesome and intense. The picture came out nice, considering the hour of day and the darkness of this season. If I had owned the test press it would have been a perfect three rows of four versions.

Check out the Reaper Records discography page for more pressing info. While getting these out I found four unused download cards, so I am doing them away for a quick and interested person:

Monday, January 2, 2017

Humanity Is The Devil Remix LP

I had a very strong feeling about past year's Halloween surprise package of Organized Crime Records. The hint was "for those who liked the 2012 package". This hint combined with the fact that "Humanity is The Devil" was recently reissued on the label and combined with the fact that there already was a digital version of a remix in existence, made me get this strong feeling.
Some peeps from USA, who got it early, posted about it on Instagram, so I actually was more or less confirmed about it. Last week between Christmas and New Year the package arrived and I was still not completely sure until I listened to it.
The remix sounds far less produced than the mix for the original Victory pressing, which gives it a more natural sound. The remixed sound takes a while to adapt to, as the original is such a classic that already sounds perfect nonetheless. It's always difficult in a way to accept the new sound, certainly for classics. I think this works but looses it's destructive nature in a way.

Integrity "Humanity Is The Devil" Halloween 2016

The package is similar to the package of the "System Overload" remix, which David reviewed very well back in the beginning of 2013. The cover is a double sided poster and the record comes on red marbled vinyl. All packaged into a space bag, with mentioning of the year and Halloween. There is also an insert that has a text written by Dwid Hellion himself on the inside. There is also numbering, my copy is 86 out of 213.

Insert with tracklisting and numbering with text on the inside

Stamped black dust sleeve

Halloween MMXVI (2016)

There was also a shirt included, if somebody wants it, contact me and I'll give it to you...It's and XL. I don't hoard shirts. It's a black shirt with a gold print.