Monday, 31 October 2011

Mo Records, Mo Problems

There's a theme to this post. A theme of things turning up that you didn't order. And not in the cool way where you get extra stuff. If this post sounds like a big old moan, it's because both of these 7" sized mistakes turned up on exactly the same day.

Breaking Point are a UK band, playing no frills hardcore. I'm really liking these, they don't push any boundaries but they do it with a passion and they do it well. This is their latest 7" Judgment, released on Purgatory. I ordered the black/white mix out of 100, but it seems that was listed even though it was sold out, because plain old black out of 300 turned up. 

My receipt says I ordered black/white, but there you go. I'm not going to bother with an e-mail about it as I hardly see a point seeing as black/white is now showing as sold out. Annoying though as it was the idea of grabbing a limited pressing along with a solid set of songs that appealed to me. Incorrect arrival #1.

I picked up the split with Wiretap while I was at it, on a yellow/green splatter mix that looks like something you see outside a pub on a Saturday morning.

 Despite the fuck up mentioned above, these 2 turned up from Purgatory super quick, dispatched on the same day.

And finally, I ordered Abandon Ship's last ever 7" from Carry The Weight Records some time ago. I had to send an e-mail to them last week to remind them to send it me as I was pretty sure it was suppose to be out by now. Sure enough, they all shipped out weeks ago and they'd forgot to send mine out. Hey, that happens. No big deal. A week later, this turned up:

A different CTW release, Wardogs.

Never heard them, probably was never going to and they don't really float my boat now that I have.  Incorrect arrival #2. Another e-mail and the 7" I did order will be sent out sometime this week apparently.  Ahh well. These things can't work out perfectly every time I guess...

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

''Have you seen your mother, baby, standing in the shadows?"

A recent release on Holy Terror Records, Sutekh Hexen's 7" 'Shadows'. Pressed on one sided black vinyl limited to 200. I dragged my heels a bit on this as there is always a million other things coming out and missed the orange pressing. Oh well.  The sleeve is a slip of fold-over card:

when opened up reveals some suitably apocalyptic artwork:

On the B-side is a laser etch of the bands spidery logo.

The one track here is a nightmarish drone/noise build up that seems gentle in comparison to the harrowing black metal onslaught it flowers into towards the end. It reminded me of a guy I used to listen to a lot, Kevin Drumm, who specialises in this kind of 'death-ambient' music that sounds influenced by but never actually is black metal. This does both. Its hard to recommend in a sense as listening to it is one hell of an uncomfortable experience. But music that has such a jarring effect is always worth a listen in my book. It also came with a huge patch.

Can't see me using it, but there you go.

While I was shopping, I thought it was time for a bit of catch up on a couple of other records HT had to offer.
The Blind To Faith LP 'The Seven Fat Years Are Over' has been playing on my iPod steadily since I swiped it from the free downloads section on the website. Long missing out on the clear pressings, I got the black pressing which is apparently out of 666. The artwork is a collage of a whole bunch of vile stuff that humanity has coughed up in the 20th century and reveals the band's logo in embossed glossy-ness when titled towards the light.

Same for the track list on the back.

Is that braille?!
This 12" is reverse mastered, which means that it plays from the center outwards. A neat little trick.

Finally, a band I knowingly slept on for a while - Roses Never Fade and their LP Fade To Black. I've been content for a few months just knowing about these and what they sound like, safe in the knowledge that I'll eventually get round to doing something about it. The push finally came when I heard Goodbye To You which turns out is a cover song anyway and sits slightly at odds with how they usually sound but somehow works perfectly in its creepiness. This caught my attention properly so I finally ordered it, and on the 'band copies' pressing of 100 on yellow vinyl. I love how bold and striking everything everything about this package is.

This was actually put out by A389 but the HT store had the rarest (so obviously better) pressing so I got it from there. Also, after purchasing, its no longer listed so looks like I probably got the last one. Cue evil laugh.

Without any idea of what RNF sounded like, you'd probably be surprised with the outcome considering its made up of a who's who of Holy Terror bands (Dwid from Integrity, T from Vegas, Matt Shack and Nick Fiction from Pale Creation) who usually bring the noise.The music here is made up largely of acoustic guitar and percussion to create a dark, ambient soundscape. If you're a fan of Vegas and Integrity's occasional quiet interludes or any of the neo-folk bands/musicians  then this will be right up your street.
Dwid's voice on this album is a raspy, dust caked instrument in itself and special mention must go the last track where Stephanie Van Houtte narrates an increasingly disturbing story over a weird ambient backing track. Listen in the dark if you dare.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Oh yeah, I also ordered ...

Lots of posts in quick succession lately, I'm working through a backlog! This post is in a way the second part to my Pulling Teeth post from the other day, as I ordered a couple of 7"s from A389 at the same time. I felt like PT deserved a post all to themselves for Funerary, so here's what else was in the box all the way from Baltimore. Now, to me the record mailer seemed to be bursting at the seams for a 12" and two 7"s, but more on that later...First out the box, Pulling Teeth split with Shin To Shin.

The Pulling Teeth side is an earlier recording of a track that would end up on Funerary. Slightly more rough round the edges but all the better for it, the Slayer channeling solo sounds even better. Pressed on a sort of camo green. This and everything else listed here I have not much clue on pressing amounts. Dom seems to keep this pretty secret most of the time.

Shin To Shin are probably better know as 'Aaron Melnick who used to play guitar in Integrity's new band'. Their song on here isn't exactly ground breaking but pretty good nonetheless. It doesn't sound 'Clevo' at all really which I suppose is what I was expecting. I was into it, the vocals have a ton of reverb on them which sound pretty cool.

Next up, Canadian Holy Terror band Withdrawal. I've had the download of this on my iPod for a while and it's steadily grown on me more and more so figured it was time to own something real. Pressed on grey. The artwork on this by Give Up.

That was all I ordered. With most orders from most labels, this is where the post would end. Regular readers might remember when I ordered 2 of the new 7"s from A389 a month or so ago that Dom threw in an extra free 7"? Well this time he went nuts.

Gray Ghost 7" 'Succubus' pressed on red.

 Never heard of these and I was blown away. Chaotic and incredibly heavy, guitar tone is so thick it sounds like its struggling to  get out of my speakers. The artwork ties in great with the vinyl colour and looks real nice.

Die Young 7" 'Loss' pressed on a kind of clear gold. Musically, these reminded me of Shai Hulud in a way. A serious, fairly technical metallic hardcore. The unexpected female backing vocals on the first track sounded amazing.

Curiously, Oak's latest 12" 'ii', sent without a sleeve.

No idea why, maybe there are some leftovers that arrived without a sleeve or something? Who knows. Oak play doom metal. It's so doom, and so slow, that in between drum hits and guitar strums you wonder if the song has actually stopped. Look at the song lengths -

I actually really liked this, you can phase out to it, and in its savage, bleak way its almost relaxing.

And finally, something called a CD. These are a new signing to A389, Full Of Hell and this was released a few weeks ago. It's really good. Frantic, caustic, really abrasive stuff.

Technology eh?

That's a ton of extra records, and I was blown away. I was already considering making sure that I get round to ordering everything A389 released from now. It always sounds brilliant, it always looks brilliant and it just seems like such a great label, one you can rely on and whose releases always float my boat. The fact that I really enjoyed all of these randomly picked bands from the label confirmed that decision.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Unholy Majesty - the new kids on the block

A short break from vinyl to quickly draw attention to another new tape and another solid UK band introduced to the world courtesy of Nate's Hemlock 13 label.

Unholy Majesty play a ferocious metal hardcore crossover with a liberal dose of Holy Terror intent, Ringworm and To Die For type Integrity. The riffs are massive, the solos will make you weep and Duggan's (ex- The Break In, Santa Karla) vocals sound like he wants to kill something. From the popularity of certain posts I do, I'm pretty sure these will hit the spot with some readers.

This turned up a couple of weeks ago and were on a limited run of 70. They sold out in a few days and are gone forever but there was a link posted on the H13 Tumblr to download it for free if you fancy scrolling down a bit to find it or know the right words to put into Google.

And if you don't have any luck there, and have gotten a little excited about (in my opinion) one of this years best new bands then fear not as the big news is that A389 have picked this up for a vinyl release sometime this Winter. Which is obviously fantastic news for everyone involved and proof of something I've been banging on about since the Final Rage tape - Hemlock 13 gots the goods yo, and it's worth getting on board.

A sew-on patch was thrown in too. Might stick this on the kid's school uniform. See what cracks off...

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Pulling Teeth - Funerary 2x12" version.

This album, Funerary by Pulling Teeth, is in my humble opinion the best album released in 2011. I was toying with the idea of throwing in with a lot of other websites and doing a 'Best of 2011' list but seeing as it's so late in the year that I'm able to feature this album and seeing as this would be at the top anyway I'm ditching that idea. I've had this on a pretty heavy rotation since it came out at the start of the year and it never fails to blow me away. The first half of the record storms out of the gate in traditional PT style, but then makes some pretty progressive moves towards the final few songs. But it's never jarring, and it all gels together to make one overall fantastic experience listening to it.

This one time pressing of a 2x12" gatefold version of Funerary sold out at the pre-order stage back in May and I missed it. Released by A389 and limited to 250 on black.

Rather than order the standard version I thought I'd wait it out with the digital copy for company. It paid off, because recently A389 put some leftovers up in the rarities section of their store. The cover artwork (which is no different than the regular version) is brilliant and sticks to the theme and style laid down in past PT artwork, including that good old red tentacle / snake thing that appears on every one of their albums.

Good use of a gate-fold, more brilliant art. A nice touch is the center labels on the flip sides of both 12"s. Various members of the band lost family members during making the album and I'm assuming that these are old family photos. The album has a big dedication to the people who passed away and a lot of the subject matter focuses on it. It's a cool personal touch.

Hardcore album, metal album, progressive, psychedelic and daring. Hard to really define what it is accurately. But it's definitely not going to be beaten this year. Unless there's another album that's got a breakdown as good as the one in From Birth. Or another album with a ten minute epic sludge-doom track that features electronic walls of noise, ghostly choirs, sombre violin and vocal contributions from Dwid, Mike Apocalypse from Gehenna and Nick Fiction from Pale Creation. Doubt it...

Friday, 14 October 2011

Integrity - In Contrast Of Sin. Way back from 1990.

The 7" that started it all.

Released on Victory (it was Victory #3) in 1990, 1000 of these on gold vinyl for the second press. I was 6 years old when this came out. Now, obviously I wasn't listening to Integrity back when I was 6 (would be pretty cool if I had of been) and it wouldn't be until quite a few years later when I first heard of them and of Victory Records when I got hold of the Victory Style 3 compilation. I remember from the bands on offer how at the time Victory seemed more badass than I could get my head around. How things change.

Dwid rocking a lot of Straight Edge imagery back then.

Feels good to get a copy of this into my collection and for a price that should see my family go without food for only a couple of days at the end of the month.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Hope Defeated - Demo 2010 7" - blog nerd pressing /60

Blogging about vinyl can sometimes feel like a fairly silly way to spend time. As you stand on a chair to get a decent overhead picture of a poster insert, or re-take a picture for the 7th time to avoid a lighting glare on the corner of a sleeve that obstructs the hand numbering I can hear myself think ".... what the fuck am I doing?".

But, it is fun. And in my short time in posting my new purchases, I've found it's a good outlet. And here on the feral plains of the world wide web, there's a decent vinyl blog community. It's from this community that today's post originates from.Hope Defeated are a band from Canada, whose vocalist is Doug from the We Will Bury You blog and it's released on Endless Quest Records, which is ran by Marcus who does The Endless Quest blog. Recorded last year and just put out. Read this post for the history on this, it's pretty cool. And that's a lot of links.

The rarest pressing is on red wax out of 60 and was intended just for people who read the blogs mentioned above. It's called the 'blog nerd pressing' comes with a special outer sleeve and has a stamp numbered jacket. This limited cover has a cool, classic hardcore vibe about it, and is on a great quality thick card.

This is the sleeve that all the other pressings on white and black vinyl will have.

 A little history of Endless Quest is on a slip of card and it came with a download code, which was a nice surprise.

Musically, put simply if you like hardcore you'll like Hope Defeated. They've got a solid, classic early Rev Records buzz to them without sounding retro. Fast, slick, straight edge and pissed off. The store draws a comparison to Striking Distance, and that's pretty spot on. Get to the store and pick one up, it's cheap yo. Plus, I know Marcus only has a handful left of the red blog nerd pressing. A great quality little package and a huge amount of detail and effort has been put in. And for such an independent release that is something that will always seriously impress me.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

A389 Order - Kill Life flexi, Hatewaves 5" & Triac 7"

A few weeks ago A389 put up a load of new releases for pre-order. I (upsettingly) couldn't afford the full package deal for everything, so I picked the 2 that I could not miss out on. First up, Kill Life featuring Mike Williams on vocals. Now, any band featuring Mike Williams from Eyehategod on vocals will be pretty special. Factor in that Kill Life are rumoured to feature members of Pulling Teeth, Integrity and Fucked Up and it becomes something unbelievably cool. A super short blast of dirty hardcore with Mike's pained yelling. A full length would go down nicely. Only 125 of these made on red, and available only as a flexi-disc.

The flexi (a thin, bendy sheet of vinyl) seems to be having a revival within hardcore lately. Organized Crime pressed some flexi's of Integrity's original demo Harder They Fall earlier in the year and A389 have also pressed some for Pulling Teeth and Gehenna rarities. I assume the main reason is because it's cheap, but also probably as it's a bit different and makes for a cool collectible. Although I have no idea how to store it, it's got the sturdiness of a piece of paper.

Secondly, Hatewaves new release - another EP, this time on a 5". Called 'The Tombs' it continues the theme of using Pulling Teeth drummer Alex Henderson as a sort of muse, with songs inspired by the stuff that pisses him off. Like the last one,  it somehow manages to sound massively heavy yet quite funny at the same time. 'Pride' vents anger at gay pride marches only because he struggles to park his car - "DON'T PARK IN MY SPACE, I GET IT. YOU'RE GAY". 7 songs in around 3 minutes, they also manage to pack in a hypnotic instrumental so that the final 2 second blast of 'NY Cops' slaps you in the face for not paying attention.  Packaged in a gate fold sleeve which is surely a first for a 5"  (500 of these done I think) and with a business card for Henderson.

And as a nice surprise and because Dom at A389 is a generous dude, he threw in the new Triac 7" for free. One of the pre-orders I didn't order. It's basically ear splitting grindcore, played at a speed and with a violent frenzy that is surely dangerous for the band and anybody listening. Its pretty awesome. 

Scott Hull is credited for mastering the 4 tracks here, and if that's THE Scott Hull, it goes some way to explaining the sheer carnage on offer.