Tuesday, 29 May 2012

VVEGAS / ABRAXIS split 7" GOTU edition #42 of 59

Every once in a while a package containing a record will arrive that causes me to emit an actual, audible noise. Such was the case this evening when I walked in and saw this resting on the kitchen worktop:

Upon spotting the Australian post mark & the Process Cross, I made a sound that can be best described as "AwooooOOOOO!!". My girlfriend looked up from what she was doing with raised eyebrows. And looked away again. The eagery awaited VVegas / Abraxis split had arrived.
Before I go any further, there is something quite special about this version that sets it apart from the remaining copies still available in Midnight Funeral's webstore. This is the Grace Of The Unholy edition, and was only available for a limited time in a secret pre-order announced only to those who know what shadowy internet corners to dwell in. I, being one of those types, saw this announcement and was on it in a flash. Only 59 of this GOTU edition were made to order, it comes in a red stamped & numbered dust jacket and pressed on an exclusive color.

The VVegas side

The Abraxis side
The rest of the package, the inner and outer sleeve, are no different from the regular version. But no less awesome. Beginning with the VVegas side, the artwork was handled by Dwid and features an incredibly detailed Sgt Pepper worship piece. Lots to find on here, it's like a VVegas 'Where's Wally'. Really cool artwork, pretty different from what you'd expect. 

The Abraxis art is also handled by Dwid

And to round it off, a sweet set of patches and a slip of paper telling the conspiratorial saga of Nifi / Neefee, Shack & Lucy. Funny as fuck.

 I wrote here about the 2 bands and the music on this release back when the downloads were sent out, so click away if you want to check that out. Also, as I say on that piece, it has to be said that Midnight Funeral Records in Australia (ran by fellow record nut, former vinyl collecting blogger and general top dude Craigos) did an excellent job in the handling of pre-orders, keeping us informed, sending out downloads and ultimately shipping these out. Amazing stuff all round.

Friday, 25 May 2012

My Own Personal Record Store Day

Fellow vinyl bloggers' RSD posts have come and gone weeks ago, which is fitting, as mine features no actual RSD exclusive vinyl. Ha! (although the trip did somehow end up with me securing a RSD release, but that's still in the post) Last Saturday was the first time since Record Store day that I've actually had chance to get out of the postal code I live in and get to a real life record store. The closest one to me that I know for sure sells a good selection of hardcore and metal is in Birmingham where you'll find Ignite Records. A small but well stocked independent ran by Rich Tandy who keeps a solid selection of predominantly punk, metal, emo and hardcore on the shelves. Ignite is located in a place called The Oasis Centre, a rabbit warren of small alt clothing shops and tattooists, that sort of thing. It's worth trekking through the maze to find Ignite, tucked away on the bottom floor. Rich (who also runs a label, more on that later) is a top dude and will usually hook you up with something solid. Ignite Records' full address is Level 2, Oasis Centre, 110-112 Corporation Street, Birmingham, B4 6SX (that's UK by the way). Get down there if you're from round the way, or passing through. Anyway, here's what I found:

Firstly, Dead End Path's debut LP 'Blind Faith'. This was released last year by Triple B and was something I nearly picked up when I ordered the Bane repress. I never did though, and always thought when I listened to it on my ipod how much of an idiot that made me. So I snapped it up when I saw it on the shelf. From the now out of print 1st press too, happy days! Pressed on a blue/black swirl out of 330.

Iron Chic 'Shitty Rambo' 7". These guys do pop-punk right, featuring (among others) ex members of Latterman, who were also brilliant. Jaded, mature pop-punk, it sounds totally golden. Released on Dead Broke Rekerds in 2009 and this is also from a now out of print 1st press, on a mixed gray swirl out of 500.

Rot In Hell / Vegas split 6", from the 2nd press, or what I call the 'commonly available' press. The 1st press of this was inside the surprise mystery secret Organized Crime Records Halloween 2011 package which I got and wrote about here. So I'm an idiot for buying this again, but there we go. The 1st press was black, this is on yellow out of 300. There's similarities between the 2 pressings, the label art & insert are exactly the same and the outer pocket style sleeve is foil embossed with the band logo's which is a bit like the original wrap around sleeve. Same stuff, less detail basically. And no hand numbered wolf/flower art this time.

Douglas P worship.

And lastly, Napalm Death / Coalesce split. I wasn't gonna get this originally, Rich said he'd come across a copy but it was a bit beaten up. Sure enough the sleeve was a little too dog eared for my tastes, but while hunting for and failing to find £2 change for me, Rich said I could just take this for the difference. Fair deal. Yeah it's a bit battered, but both sides are total fucking rippers, which comes as no surprise.

Has Shane Embury ever not looked 57 years old?
So that's all I bought, but as we were chatting I mentioned how I do this vinyl blog and it turns out Rich reads it, making me feel like some sort of minor celebrity. So he chucked in a couple of the records he's recently put out on his label Speedowax, free of charge. Nice one man. First, Douglas / Deathbed split. I fucking love Douglas. A Welsh, energetic pop-punk band. They have these burts of technicality and noodly bits that make me think of Kinsella-related stuff. I'm sure they've split now, but these are 2 new songs. Not sure what the deal is there. On the reverse, a polar opposite. Deathbed are straight edge hardcore from Atlanta in the vein of Earth Crisis, Snapcase etc... Both of their tracks are total fucking stompers. Real good. This is an orange pressing, out of (I think) 2 different variations.

And lastly, the Snake Road 7", a numbered pre-order copy no less.  These are from Philadelphia and play a really cool hybrid of D-beat, crusty Cursed-style hardcore with some of their own elements thrown in to, there's some nice little bluesy rock breaks that pop up. Feels pretty fresh, I'd expect big things.

You can listen to the Snake Road 7" and then download it for free here or buy both of these direct from Speedowax online here, or just go into Ignite and hit Rich up for a copy. His store is well worth a visit.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

The Love Below - Every Tongue Shall Caress

Once again A389 Records fail to disappoint with one of their most exciting releases so far this year. In fact, I have found this to be one of the most exciting releases this year so far in general. I'll be surprised (although happy) if another LP comes along this year that impresses me as much as this one.
The Love Below are a hardcore band, with lighting quick caustic punk sections interspersed with sludgy, slower Sabbath-like crawling. Yet they don't truly sound like anyone else (although a pretty good companion to this record would be Some Girls' excellent LP Heaven's Pregnant Teens) with their influences buried beneath waves of fresh ideas. Impressively named vocalist Jerry Wayne Woolbright Jr gives an incredible performance, his voice ranging from a man who sounds like a quivering wreck to red-lining, throat shredding howls. This album is amazing.

Pressed on a black/tan split which matches the artwork perfectly, and limited to 150.

The artwork on this LP plumbs a similar filthy depth as their 7" Reproductive Rights (also awesome) and is probably not for the easily offended.

Copies still available on this limited color, and regular black over at A389.
I'm calling it now, this will be my album of the year.

I'll embed the track below that was used to announce the LP release. Starting with an Eyehategod-worship riff, it slugs towards an explosion 40 seconds in that could strip paint. Amazing.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Kill Life / 33 7" freebie (thanks Kieran)

This one has been sitting in my stack of records waiting to be put on here for a long time now, other things keep overtaking it.

A few months ago, a conversation with a fiend somehow ended up turning to Kill Life, hardcore's favourite mystery supergroup. I mentioned how I had the new flexi with Mike from EyeHateGod on vocals. He asked if I had the 1st 7", a split with Welsh band 33. I said I didn't. He asked if I wanted it. I said yes.

A few days later he comes round to hang out, listen to records and eat biscuits with me...

photographic evidence
...and brings it with him. A lovely freebie.

I'd not heard anything by 33 nor did I have an idea what they'd sound like but they're a treat. Like a hardcore beat-down with a bluesy rock & roll swagger, and it really works. Loved it.

Kill Life on the other side rip through 3 tracks in under 2 minutes  and unless you've been living under a hardcore shaped rock for the last 20 years you'll recognise the vocalist a mile off for a start.

Their stuff here is brilliant, ultra fast hardcore punk. The undoubted highlight of this whole 7" though is their last track 'Chimpanzee Eats Friend". A recorded 911 call of a woman reporting in a frantic voice that her pet chimpanzee is .... yup ... eating her friend, while palm muted guitars throb and drums pound in the background. It's all at once hilarious and/or terrifying.

500 copies on purple, released by 2 labels - All The Way Alive and Chapters. Spend money.

My mate who gave me this is Kieran (xkieranx on Instagram if you're down with that) who has recently moved to Swansea to ply his tattoo trade at the newly opened Swansea Tattoo Company shop. If you're near there or fancy a road trip to get inked, I recommend it. Stuff there is looking amazing, and Kieran is a top dude.