Friday, 30 December 2011

Pale Creation - Twilight Haunt

Well, Christmas seems to be well and truly winding down now. The boxes of chocolates are down to the ones that nobody eats and the tree is starting to really display the fact that it was murdered over 2 weeks ago now and would like to be placed outside to rot with dignity.

Christmas is a big thing in our house and across our whole family, we love it. We cooked Christmas dinner at our house this year ('we' being subjective, my partner did the majority) for her side of the family in the day, then had my side over at night for dinner-aftermath-coma drinks and snacks. Then a party at her mums on Boxing day. And then a party at my Dads the day after that. So now the post-Christmas blues are really setting in. A melancholy mood calls for a melancholy record, so it's fitting that just before the festivities kicked off, this turned up - the recent vinyl pressing of Pale Creation's Twilight Haunt LP. Only available on CD up until now (or free download courtesy of A389 have put this out and it looks great.

Original artwork blown up to fit the sleeve and it's pressed on a black and blue splatter (again, looking so good) or 'Blue Storm' as it was called officially. Only 250 pressed, and it's one of those 'never to be repressed' deals.

This album came out first in 1999 and is still their only full length release. If you listen to their output before this LP, they had kind of a cheesy thrash sound so it's pretty amazing how different they sound on this. Mid-paced, sorrowful and extremely dark, there's a metallic crispness and crunch to the rhythm section but with the vocals and lead guitars drenched in reverb it lends the whole affair and desolate and hollow vibe, with an incredible atmosphere. A very interesting addition to the Holy Terror collective.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Pulling Teeth - Lightning Strikes Twice #129 / 250

Hardcore's current love affair with the flexi continues with this Pulling Teeth one-off release.
'Lightning Strikes Twice' is a cover of the Rorschach track by the same name and was pressed to go on tour with PT when they recently came over to Europe. Europe seemed to not include England on this tour so I grabbed this from the A389 store when they had a few leftover. 250 of these in total, 125 on clear.

I'm a big fan of Pulling Teeth and would have bought this whatever was pressed on it, but it just so happens that this cover is really fucking good. Hammers home the sad news that PT have just announced that after the A389 bash in January they're calling it a day.

Hand numbered sleeves, cunningly written in black ink on black print, making it damn near impossible for us blog nerds to get a photo. But this is number 129. Or 124.

Sunday, 18 December 2011


Returning briefly to the theme of the post a while ago about those 2 Cro-Mags records, here's something else I bought from Endless Quest. Just after paying for the Cro-Mags I noticed there was a copy of the Those Who Fear Tomorrow 2010 repress for sale, one of the rarer 1st pressings on a sort of smoky clear vinyl with a numbered Kasner outer sleeve. I'd not bothered with any of the Integrity represses that Organized Crime put out last year, and always wished that I had once the 1st press was long gone. So I snapped this up, and sent some more pennies down the magical PayPay chute. Sleeping on this worked out eventually.

The sleeve you see above, as you may know, isn't the standard TWFT sleeve, this is the specially drawn sleeve for this version by Cleveland artist Stephen Kasner. It continues onto the back, but I forgot to take a picture of that.

As you can see, this run with the Kasner sleeve and vinyl colour was limited to 320 and the sleeves hand numbered.

Slide that off and the regular sleeve is underneath. The dust jackets are stamped, and the vinyl is a dark clear color, held up to the light, its kinda smoky.

Glossy clear ink used to hide the Integrity skull printed over the lyrics, which when revealed shows that the lyrics are printed to match the shape. Pretty cool. Same for the track listing on the back. And Dwid here looks a little like Kurt Cobain. Originally released in 1992, and pound for pound, one of the best hardcore albums ever recorded in my opinion.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Some Girls - Heaven's Pregnant Teens

There I was a few months back, driving around in my car at work and listening to Some Girls' LP 'Heaven's Pregnant Teens', smashing the crap out of my steering wheel with my air drumming, probably pretending I was Wes on stage in some shitty club raging on the mic. In no uncertain terms, I was having a good time.

When this album came out in 2006, I could in no way be classed as someone who collected vinyl (I think I owned 2 records - XcanaanX / TSUA split 7" and Misfits Collection 1 if you were interested) so I was quite content with just owning this on CD, and the ripped mp3's have sat happily on my iPod since then. Having as much fun as I was in my car, I was again reminded of the fact that I don't own this incredible album on vinyl. In fact, I didn't know anything about its vinyl release. This, as it has before, saddened and sickened me in equal measure, and it was time to put it right. So I sidled up to eBay (2nd press seems to be available from the label Three One G but I wanted a 1st)  and asked of it "Some Girls Heaven's Pregnant Teens" and was greeted with the following prices.

Ok then. Maybe I won't be putting this right just now. I saved the search and waited to see what came my way. And other than a few re-listings at these astronomical prices, not a lot happened. Until recently, when someone who lives right here in England decided to sell his copy, a 1st press on White (like the ones above) with a starting bid of £5. Someone matched that bid, so I upped it to £5.50. And then..... AND THEN..... I won it. For £5.50. Just like that.

The pregnant corpse-paint nun artwork might not be to everyone's taste, but I think it's fucking brilliant. This is Some Girls' only true full length they did and it's rough, punk, heavy-as-balls noisy and I love it.

The only thing I'm not sure of is the pressing amount. There's a thread on the labels forum here where some guy asks about pressing for Three One G vinyl and gets an answer from the label themselves. 2000 pressed apparently, which must be true. But 2000 is a relatively big number for a 'rare' pressing, and doesn't really explain why all the ones listed on eBay are set at about a million pounds. I obviously understand that sellers will set whatever price they want in the hope that someone will buy it for that price, but for 5 or 6 separate listings all within the same high price range? That value must of come from somewhere. I either got a lucky bargain, or the seller didn't really know what he had and failed to set a reserve, or those other guys are lunatics. Either way, I've got one. On a side note, I did a genuine LOL reading that thread, how the guy posted a question and then complained "Jesus this place is dead" when he didn't get an answer quick enough. "You've really contributed with your 3 posts" is a brilliant reply from some other dude. "I didn't realise I was stumbling into a wasteland" shoots back angry pressing info man. So much hostility in forums, never a dull moment.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

For Those I Love I Will Re-issue

15 months ago, Grant who runs the DIY label Bitter Melody took it upon himself to reissue Indecision's seminal 1996 LP 'Unorthodox'. If that wasn't enough, when he learnt that the album was never actually mastered, he set about putting that right and having it remastered from the original DAT tapes of the recordings. All of that sounds to me like it would probably be difficult enough, let alone the fact that he started to discover that no DAT tapes could be found, and that not even an original file of the artwork could be located to work from. But, eventually he pulled all the pieces together so here it is, and it's brilliant.

There were three pressings, I grabbed the most limited two (and yes, now I wish I'd have just got all three). Firstly, a small run of 150 on 180g black vinyl. These come with an alternate screen printed outer sleeve, hand numbered. I got a nice low number, 32.

The standard cover is the same as the original, but with a 'Remastered' badge at the top.
The A4 insert inside tells how, without any original art files to go off, Grant had a photographer take pictures of his original LP, and then edit and touch them up to be reproduced for this re-issue. That, I genuinely find amazing. 

There is an etching on the vinyl of the famous "For those I love..." lyric, but my camera couldn't handle the obviously mammoth task of producing a decent photo of that, so I gave up.
Bizarrely / unexpectedly / brilliantly , the Screenprinted covers are printed on the back of an opened up sleeve for Most Precious Blood's 'Merciless' LP. If you didn't know already, MPB were formed from the ashes of Indecision. It really doesn't get much more DIY than that. 

I also picked up the pressing on a kinda of clear red / black smoky mix. Limited to 248 copies.

The remaster (master) sounds great. This came with a download code so I spent the next day while driving to site with this raging in my car. The original has a cool, sort of tinny, scratchy quality which was never really an issue but this has been subtly beefed up in all the right ways. I'm not enough of an audiophile to use proper words to describe it, but I'd say 'heavy as fuck'. There's a quote.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Cro-Mags post-Age Of Quarrel 2fer

For the first time since my humble beginnings with this blog back when I used to host it at Posterous, I'm all caught up. I have no backlog of new records to write about. Which is, in a way, quite depressing. But there's always something new on the way, and I received this Cro-Mags double whammy last week.

Who knew that after Age Of Quarrel the Cro-Mags went all thrash crossover and awesome?! Probably a lot of people did. Like, thousands of people. I didn't though. I must have read the phrase 'sounds like Best Wishes-era Cro Mags' a dozen times and always thought that it must have a different sound to Quarrel and that I ought to check that out. Well I finally did, loved it and started to look around for a copy of the album. eBay had some on the boil for varying prices but it seems that record collecting roads lead to Endless Quest, as I found that Marcus had Best Wishes and follow up Alpha Omega in his For Sale list. I inquired and was sent a couple of pictures of the 2 records on offer. The sleeve for Best Wishes wasn't in the greatest condition due to a previous owner before Marcus got hold of it, so I considered it for a bit but decided I'd just take Alpha Omega for now, as the dinged up sleeve of Best Wishes would probably bug me and I'd end up buying a mint condition one in the end anyway. So here's Alpha Omega:

Alpha Omega came out 3 years after Best Wishes on the Century Media label in 1992 and is even more late 80's metal & thrash influenced than that album. In fact, it's almost a straight up metal album. Sure some of it sounds a little cheesy now and there's even a bit of rapping going on in Eyes Of Tomorrow but that was acceptable in 1992. I love this album, cheese and all. In fact that might be why I love it even more. The riffs are massive, that's all that matters. The last 2 minutes in the track Apocalypse Now are a masterclass on hardcore breakdowns.
When this was released, I was 8 years old and far more interested in collecting these:


Just as I was about to send some e-money over though, Marcus got back in touch and said that if I added a bit of extra in for postage, he'd send me Best Wishes anyway. Fo' free! So I did. Thanks dude.

Released on Profile in 1989, the reverb on the drums and guitars leading into the first track Death Camps spell one thing and it begins with a 'T' and ends in 'hrash'. I was instantly into this album as soon as it started, very much a 'where has this album been all my life' moment. I love that hardcore can still do this to me after 10 plus years of following it. Not counting my wilderness years.

Hard as nails right? Sure the sleeve has seen better days but all I have to do is listen to the 3 part solo on Death Camps and I genuinely don't care about anything. Stoked to have snatched these on vinyl fairly quickly after getting into them.