Thursday, 30 June 2011

Converge / Dropdead split 7"

Converge are a 4 piece hardcore band from Boston, Massachusetts who have played a hugely influential role in ..... 
Wait a minuite. You know this right? Course you know this. Silly me.

This split with Dropdead was self released a few weeks ago to celebrate 20 years of Converge messing your shit right up.

It looks black right? It's actually the darkest red known to man. It's listed as a red/black swirl, but you can't really tell until you hold it up to the light, where it becomes a thing of beauty.


The artwork a classy affair and is handled by Jacob Bannon as per usual, similar in style to some Trap Them and New Lows cover art he's done recently.


2000 of this colour pressed.

While we're on about pressings, aside from this version sold by Deathwish and a green/black swirl sold by independent US record shop Armageddon there were a collectors nightmare of variants. 
On the run up to the 20th Anniversary Converge tour starting, a picture was posted by Deathwish showing the split in no less that 42 colours and with no word that these were even the full amount. It was reported that no 2 are the same, and these will only be available on tour. So right there and then every Converge vinyl completist died inside, and all the EBay flippers out there slept better that night than ever before.

The Converge track is standard Converge excellence, reminding me of You Fail Me era. Dropdead on the other side, I had never heard before, and considering that this is to celebrate their 20 year anniversary too, I guess thats a bit of an oversight on my part. Their track is excellent, balls out fast punk rock. I'll be checking out some more of their stuff, better late than never and all that. 

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Adding tapes to my vinyl blog with FINAL RAGE - TOMBSTONE

From time to time I'll be posting up tapes that I'm into aswell. There's some cool releases and demos out there. Some on limited runs with a fair bit of effort put into them and too good to ignore. The first - Final Rage's 'Tombstone'. Released on Hemlock 13, (the label ran by recently-divorced-from Rot In Hell vocalist Nate) the line up of Final Rage on the H13 website reads like a South UKHC supergroup. Dudes from Wayfarer, On Thin Ice etc. You know it's gonna be good.
The tape itself looks cool as balls, white casing limited to 150, and a red H13 sticker. Artwork is great too, no nonsense stuff.


Hand numbered, I got number 55.


Final Rage play it loud and fast as fuck. Straight up no messing about hardcore, the songs are crisp and smash you in the head. Also inside the H13 stamped jiffy bag, stickers and a hand written thanks. I've got it on good authority that there's some great stuff coming up on H13. End Reign are releasing a 7" next, I've heard a couple of tracks off it and if you like having your soul sucked out, you're in for a treat. Get into it.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Grown Ups - Hand Holder EP

A couple months back, a pre-order popped up out of nowhere for this 7". I had been introduced to Grown Ups by a friend in the middle of last summer, the perfect time of year for a band like this.
I'm not sure I can do a good job of describing them, but if i throw Algernon Cadwallader esque melodic punk with anthemic sing-a-longs and gang vocals at you and you DON'T want to listen, then we gots problems.
Their debut LP 'More Songs' was one of my favourites from last year. The experience of dealing with my delivery of that 12" from the label BSM was not. This record had to make the whopping 1 hours trip from Oxford up the motorway to where i live and that somehow took nearly a month. But that's another story. Lazy sods.
Anyway, look - pretty picture!


This is the 1st pressing of only 100, pressed on glow in the dark vinyl and released on Doghouse Records.

These disappeared pretty fast so I'm pleased I grabbed one, despite shipping from the US on one 7" being ridiculous. 
These first 100 also came with an 8 page zine by the band.

There's lyrics, live shots and strange pictures, also a curious picture of an Algernon Cadwallader business card. It's a nice extra to give out with the first run of pressings.

There's a 2nd press already up at MerchNow ( these guys seem to be handling the sale and shipping of the EP, and doing a great job of it too) on green or black vinyl. But no zine. You can't get the zine. And you won't be able to find your record in the pitch black either. So there.

The Wonder Years 'Suburbia...' 12" - The most bendy release of the year

And so the arrival of The Most Anticipated Pop-Punk Album Since The Wonder Years' Last One was met with a heavy rumble of disgruntlement. Not the ACTUAL album, the music itself is incredible, and shoved TWY even more heads and even more shoulders above their contemporaries. But it seems that a fair few people around the world are receiving this vinyl in unplayable condition.
'Suburbia I Have Given You All And Now I'm Nothing' dropped through my door yesterday, and after checking it was what I thought it was, I sent a message to a few mates who I knew were waiting on the same record to let them know it had started arriving.
I opened it up, and basked in the loveliness of the Orange/Grey split. A pressing of 500.


Then I received a message back from one of the before-mentioned mates saying how there'd been reports of a shit load of people receiving their records in a varying degree of a warped condition. Checked mine, and yup, warped. 
It was slight, but no where near as bad as some of the reports on the VC Boards, which had lit up with people reporting the condition in which their LP was arriving, despite no damage to the sleeve or mailer. I stuck it on, and was greeted by it turning on the deck like a wobbling spinning plate and 3 skips in the first track. 

On closer inspection, it's the thinnest vinyl I have ever touched, its like a fucking flexi-disc. This can't have helped. The package overall has a pretty cheap feel. My picture of the back cover almost makes the slightly blurred picture look alright.

The insert is cool, big fold out poster, which has the lyrics and some pictures of band mascot Hank The Pigeon at various spots around what I guess is TWY's home town. Lyrics are printed with an individual dedication for each one.

Luckily, despite the slight warping, on repeated plays I get no skips anywhere. So it plays ok, which means no complaints to No Sleep Records from me. With some higher quality sleeve production, I would have zero problems. But still, shouldn't moan. Some people's records turned up looking like a piece of modern art, and No Sleep are going to have a pretty full Inbox to start wading through.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Wayfarer - Letumus Cathari 7"

You might remember an early post where I moaned about this happening


A 0.67p loss in full effect.
Retail therapy was required and I did something I've been forgetting to do for far too long and went to Carry The Weight Records and bought Wayfarer's latest 7" - 'Letumus Cathari'.


300 of this pressed in total : 100 for CTW Records with this cover and a further 200 were available from 2 different labels Green Menace and Worship. 100 each with 2 different covers. Not usually too fussed with picture discs but this thing looks stunning.

I've mentioned Wayfarer on here before when they did a split with RIH, and if you have the slightest interest in hardcore, especially UK hardcore you need to get into it. Simple as that.

Epic songs, heavy as fuck. Really crisp and punchy sound. They use some pacing changes on these songs that make you need to floorpunch somebody's grandma. Seriously, do yourself a favour.
and buy one. I bet there ain't many left, and there ain't many other ways to spend £4.50 and get two 6 minute hardcore songs about the Albigensian Crusade is there? No, there isn't.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Pig Destroyer - Terrifyer 2x12"

Sometimes my job takes me into the centre of Birmingham, and being starved of a decent place that sells punk & hardcore vinyl any closer to home I try and make the effort to go to a small outlet there that specialises in just that.
Its a great little store, but It can be hit & miss what's on the shelves. So I was pretty overjoyed when I got chatting to the owner and upon mentioning Pig Destroyer he pulls this bad boy out of the rack - their 2nd LP 'Terrifyer'.

From checking the release history it seems that this is from the 1st press of 600 on Relapse. It's also on super tasty 180g. There are rarer pressings, 400 white and 100 clear, but I was pretty stoked to come across this so was more than happy. The store owner told me that he had to import it from Italy, which took him forever and cost a fortune. I'm sure there's more to that story, but that's all I got.
Great, bold, striking red and black business.

The band, decomposing inside the gateold.


If you're unaware and want to know, Pig Destroyer is Scott 'Agoraphobic Nosebleed' Hull's other band. Not content with putting metal guitarists in their place with one extreme grind band, he has another just in case you forgot he's better than you.


Sides A & B are the Terrifyer album, but interestingly, sides D & C is 'Natasha', which is one long 40 minute experimental song, which veers between heavy sludge and weird ambient shenanigans. I had heard of Natasha but had no idea it was included in this vinyl package until I opened it up! Pretty cool.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Part 2 of ROT IN HELL - 7"s.

As promised, the 2nd part of my Rot In Hell vinyl, the 7"s. This will be the last post of stuff already in my collection. New arrivals from here on out!
Some of the 7"s here are not on the most limited runs. I imagine this is like looking at your girlfriend knowing you only went with her cause you wanted to shag her mate. You still love her and all that, but secretly you know she was your second choice. Such is the nature of this vinyl beast, sometimes you just miss out. But they're out there, and one day some silly sod will sell them to me.
A good place to start - the Sins Of Malice demo. A really impressive package this one. Even better is the fact that a good friend of mine up North sent me this for free. He may be grooming me for sexual favours at a later date, and I don't mind that.

Flip it over to reveal foldy cardboard Process Cross


Open it up - Spray painted picture of Robert DeGrimston on the flip-side, lyric sheet, spray painted dust jacket with hand numbering. I got 028/219.

Not bad for a demo! The tracks on here (one of which ended up re-recorded on the APBS lp ) are raw as bollocks and sound incredible.
Next, RIH split with Brain Dead - Millennial Psychosis'. The RIH track on here is my favourite thing they've done. Its listed as 2 tracks but it never actually stops, it's one long awesome beast.


Curious plastic dust jacket. Joint release by Rumour Control & Feast Of Tentacles records. Brain Dead on the other side are a UK Powerviolence band from Leicester. I like these a lot from what I've heard here and on a Rumour Control compilation 7" I've got. Well worth checking out if you like it fast as fuck one minute then slow and crusty the next. All good.
Next, RIH & The Process split - 'The Works Of Fate'
Great artwork by Scrawled Design.
Really detailed. The devil cradling a baby goat? Just what you need.

The RIH track features guest whispering by Dwid.


The Process are a UK metallic hardcore band. From the spoken part at the end of their song it sounds like they're actually from somewhere in Scotland. Hadn't heard them before this but I was impressed. Not as fast as RIH but channeling the same spirit. They've got a full length out now called Rosenkreutz, but it's only on CD for the time being, vinyl to follow. I can wait...
This 7" released by Feast Of Tentacles and limited to 500.
RIH & Wayfarer split. Amazing artwork on this one, again by Scrawled Design.


Thick gatefold, pressed on Grey 180g and limited to 200. Astonishing amount of effort put into a 7". Released by Carry The Weight records.


Wayfarer are another UK hardcore band, who again I hadn't heard of. After hearing this I got more of their releases, a full length and a 7" both on CTW records. They're pounding, crunchy metallic hardcore, in the vein of New Lows or Thirty Seconds Until Armageddon. If that sounds good to you then check them out, you will not be disappointed. They seem to use a lot of Norse mythology for their subject matter, which to a guy like me who knows fuck all about Norse mythology, somehow makes it even cooler.
Finally, RIH & Horders split - 'The Omega Suite'

If you didn't look at the sleeve and just stuck this on, you'd have no idea this was RIH. It's not Nate on vocals, it's one of the guitarists. Instead of dark raging hardcore, it's dark acoustic pagan folk. I have not much experience of pagan folk on which to base that link but still that's what springs to mind. Haunting acoustic guitar and clean sung mantra-like vocals repeating 'god is man, man is god'. I can imagine the residents of Summerisle dancing around to this while they burn Edward Woodward. Despite being the polar opposite musically of what they normally sound like, it works perfectly. The art is awesome, all done by Give Up.


Horders are the musical side project of designer Give Up, and provide 2 tracks of dark instrumentals. Clean, slightly out of tune guitar picks out a tune over faint distorted chords. It's creepy stuff, really good accompaniment to the Rot side.
Released on Feast Of Tentacles, a run of 400.

That's about the size of it.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Part 1 of ROT IN HELL - 12"s.

The eventual aim of this blog is to post only about new records that the postal service doth deliver unto me. Im going to avoid posting about all the vinyl I've collected up until now for the most part but, like with the ANB stuff, there's a couple of bands in my collection that I'm going to add here anyway. Mainly because I aim to add to what I've already got and I want it all up here. So there. Breaking my own rules. 

Anyway. Onwards. The first part of my Rot In Hell collection. RIH are one of my favourite hardcore bands currently together and releasing music. I'm talking top 3. They might be number 1. They're also from the UK, which makes it double brilliant. They play a ferocious breed of Holy Terror, with all the right nods to Integ and Gehenna. And if that doesn't sound good, then you done goofed.  First up, my 12"s.

This is the Hallways Of The Always LP, released on A389 Records. A collection of tracks from the demo 7" and the split 7"s they did up to a point. Any RIH fan will know that they release a split 7" about once a week so it's far from complete, but nice to have some early stuff all in one place.

Front cover art. I love this. Badass forest/Process Cross combo.


It's a gatefold deal. Photo of the band. 


Nothing special there you say? What's that? You say there should be a Process Cross embossed on each band members face that only shows up when you hold it towards the light? Well look again...


Pressed on black with white splatter, limited to 800.

Next is the bands latest and first full length release, As Pearls Before Swine. Needless to say it's balls out and one of the best things I'll hear all year.The cover art is a piece by Jacob Bannon, and it's some fucked up rat skeleton just so you know what time it is.

The gatefold cover folded out, double rat skeleton.


Inside the gatefold, which has the tracklist and a dead animal. I suppose it could be sleeping. It's not. 


This is on the back of the lyric sheet. I don't know what that is.

The vinyl itself is brilliant. I've never seen such a cool mix of colour used to better effect. It's listed as Orange/Gold mix on the Deathwish release list.

It matches the artwork perfectly, and the rotting rust effect it gives suits the corrosive sound to the music.
Released by Deathwish, only 300 pressed.

Lastly, the Nui live LP. it's not an LP i guess, clocking in at just over 20 mins with 5 tracks but it rips anyway. I had no idea this had been released. I spotted it browsing A389's webstore looking for Weekend Nachos vinyl to buy and ordered it instantly. Originally released to raise cash for the bands flight over to Baltimore to play at the A389 Birthday Bash i believe. 
Awesome silk-screened cover.


Black vinyl and the insert. The insert gives details of when it was recorded and it reads like it was performed in front of a selected, invited audience. Lots of other stuff too like how 'the prescence of the Barghest' was in their midst and how 'some doors should never be opened'. I just wish I was there. It's a pretty stark package but works really well.


Best of all is the flip, which is blank vinyl. 


This looks like the shiniest, smoothest, blackest thing know to man. I love seeing a blank vinyl flip-side. Process Cross in the centre. Released on A389. One time only press of 300. Done deal.

Part 2 of this will be all my RIH 7"s, which I'll get up here soon.

Monday, 13 June 2011

The worst 0.67p I never spent & some Agoraphobic Nosebleed

I was hoping my next post would be about Agorapocalypse by Agoraphobic Nosebleed. It's not.
That LP is, for the moment, at the very top of my want list but keeps slipping through my fingers.
Last week I lost out on one by $1, otherwise known as 0.67p for all you exchange rate nerds.
These seem to surface irregularly with months in between so it's back to waiting. I'm informed that life does indeed go on. I'll do something I intended to do eventually anyway and put some of my other ANB stuff up here. This is an ANB/ANS split, released in 2010 on the always-awesome Tankcrimes label. Both bands do a cover of a Gang Green song, who i have never heard of and don't know if i should admit that. It's a 5" record and it's the smallest thing known to science. Pressed on what was called 'coke white'. Those guys.


ANB split with Crom. A similar production sound to what they're churning out now. With some phenomenal vocals by Kat Katz who is without a doubt the most incredible female metal vocalist I have ever heard.


Crom on the flip side are straight up bat shit crazy no messin'. Seemingly obsessed with Conan and cocaine, it's hard to tell where the film and 80's metal samples stop and Crom start. It's a weird patchwork set of tracks but, in all honesty, it's fucking brilliant. Cool biro-vandalism cover art too.


ANB & Total Fucking Destruction spit. Great artwork by Florian. Pretty rough inside cover pictures of skating accidents that would make your mum worry about you and that I won't show. Pressed on red on the Bones Brigade label out of 1000. 
Not remarkable work by either band but pretty cool either way.


ANB split with Kill The Client. Awful production on the ANB stuff. It's before Scott Hull really found his feet and made ANB sound like the end of the world so it sounds like it's coming out of a tin can and not in the good way. It's a shame because the tracks are pretty good, with cool Randall vocals. Ah well. Purple wax out of 500 on Relapse. Got it cheap too so I won't moan.


Lastly, the split 12" with Despise You - 'And on and on...' Released this year on Relapse and its incredible. I pre-ordered this harder than I've ever pre-ordered anything before. Both bands do their best stuff in my opinion, Despise You especially sound ultra focused, straight up and totally crushing. Pressed on a marble mix of a run of 335 on Relapse.

The only disappointing thing is that the booklet is only CD cover sized, which I thought was a fault but looking around the internetz it seems that's the way it is. Poor, but it does have a pic of a skater bloke with a skull for a head and some backwardy writing. So all is not lost.