Friday, 26 August 2016

Friend Or Pho

I recently got my copy of Downpour Fanzine #4 (https://www.facebook.com/downpourpunks/?fref=nf), and with this issue there was a 7" compilation included. The bands are not really up my alley, but I really dig the fanzine and I'm not saying no to a free 7". The artwork is pretty cool though.


Thursday, 25 August 2016

Leave It All Behind

Another trip to Berlin, another visit to Bis Aufs Messer. High up on my shopping list was the new Praise record. I didn't pre-order it because I was too late for the rarest colour and I didn't want to pay the rather high shipping cost for a copy on another colour or even just black. So I had to wait and take my chances. In the end I was able to snag only a copy on black, but for listening purposes that's fine with me. The record is as good as I'd expected it to be. There could have been a few more songs on it, but that's really my only point of criticism. 


Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Affenmesserkampf

A few weeks ago I went to this tiny DIY venue where some friends of mine set up shows regularly. It was more a "I'm going to meet some friends there" thing rather than "I have to see those bands". However, I was surprised in a very positive way, because both bands playing that night were really good live. Affenmesserkampf, who are kind of a  follow up band for Tackleberry from northern Germany, play hardcore/punk with German lyrics.  The lyrics and the general presence on stage are very humorous and made for a very entertaining set. The element of humour doesn't transfer to the record that well though, but I can still thoroughly enjoy this record. Plus, it looks really awesome.


Tuesday, 23 August 2016

True Identity?

Last part of the trade with my man Paulo. I really liked the demo True Identity had released last year. So when it was announced that there would be a vinyl version of the demo I was pretty excited. I wasn't in a hurry to get a copy though, seeing that I already had the tape version I could listen to. Paulo and I worked out a deal, including the True ID demo 7", and I was more than happy with my end of the trade. Then, while the record was already in the mail, that whole story about Jim Hesketh being a sexual predator and rapist broke - and I was devastated.

Let me say this real quick here: I didn't say 'alleged' here intentionally. Nothing has been proven officially and I'm always in favour of the rule 'innocent until proven guilty'. It's an important rule, no doubt about it. But here's the thing with sexual violence towards women. In way too many cases women's accusations of men being sexual predators or rapists are dismissed by society and, even worse, the judicial system for bullshit reasons. This is a disgraceful thing to think about in 2016. However, if women in the hardcore scene in this day and age can't be sure that this is a safe space in such situations and have to doubt if they're being taken seriously when accusing someone of such actions, what good is this scene anyway? Having said that, from what I've read the support for the women coming forward with their stories has been great, and if this helps to create more awareness within the scene, then maybe something good came out of this after all.

I loved Champion and I had really high hopes for True Identity. But listening to Jim Hesketh singing about the importance of the decisions you make and about the importance of integrity felt like such a travesty to me after everything I'd read and heard. So I decided to do what I usually do at the end of a relationship gone sour: Get rid of everything that reminds of the person, or in this case band, that used to mean a lot to me. That may sound childish and immature, but that's how I deal with a situation like this. I've started to sell my Champion records and merch over the last few weeks. I don't condemn people who still listen to Champion, On, or True ID. I've actually had some good conversations with friends and people who bought Champion stuff from me about their reasons for despising Jim Hesketh, but still liking the bands he was involved in. This 7" here is no longer with me either. I remembered that one of the people buying Champion stuff from me was also looking for a copy of the True ID 7" on orange, so I just threw it in as a bonus.


Thursday, 18 August 2016

Last Great Sea II

Another copy of Burn's Last Great Sea. Paulo and I had agreed on this being part of the trade before I picked up the tour copy of this 7", as I was just looking for a copy to listen to. Now that I have two, I'm not sure if I actually need two copies. We'll see. Having said that, a blue copy would be pretty cool...


Monday, 15 August 2016

Indecision Splits

One of the cool things about collecting records is trading and thus getting to know people from all over the world. I'm not sure if people not involved in 'the scene' get the concept of trading in this day and age. Specifically people working at the customs office come to mind. "What do you mean you don't have an invoice? Someone just sent you these?" are statements I've heard all too often. I really like being able to trust people I've never met. It somehow restores my faith in humanity to some degree. Of course it sucks if someone rips you off, but so far I've been lucky for the most part in that respect.
One of the great people I've met through trading is Paulo from Singapore. He is an avid collector himself and also runs a distro, called Dangerous Goods. There aren't any record stores close to where I live, so a few months ago I hit him up to see if he could help me out with a few Record Store Day releases I was looking for.
Indecision released a 2xLP with the split releases they have done so far. I have had only some of those splits, so it was a cool addition for me. The reason why I mainly wanted this release though is that there's a previously unreleased Bane song on it. Technically, it's just a cover, but I still wanted to have it on vinyl.


Sunday, 14 August 2016

Spirits - Die Faster

I apologize in advance because this is going to be another lengthy post about Spirits. At this point it might be justified to call me a fanboy, but I don't really care.

This split is supposed to be a one time press of 500 copies. All copies come on orange vinyl. The differences lie in the covers/prints. Spirits' guitarist Charles is positively crazy, because he hand-folded all 500 sleeves by himself. I included a close-up of the back of the sleeve a little further down. It must have taken forever to do this. The band then had three different wood stamps made and stamped all 500 covers individually. Talk about a DIY work ethic... They really came out great though. The songs are the same as on the split with Tomar Control, so this is basically the US pressing of these songs.

First up is the most common version. Red print out of 300 copies.



The purple print is out of 100.



The dark blue cover is the State Of Mind Records pre-order cover. 50 of these exist.



The orange cover was used by Coin Toss Records for their pre-order sleeve. There are also 50 copies. 



24 copies with the purple sleeve shown above were used for the record release edition, as you can see by the stamp on the back cover. This picture is also a good close-up of Charles' origami skills. 1550 feet of paper were used for the sleeves. Goddamn.


I was also lucky enough to receive a test press with the order I'd put in. I really dig the special sleeve and the message written on the front cover. The sleeve might not look that impressive, but it's a special sleeve nonetheless, which always scores bonus points with me. I like the haptic aspect of the paper that was chosen for this sleeve.


On the back you get a red hand print. I don't know if this is a Turning Point reference, but I sort of want it to be. You can see the texture of the paper a little bit better in this picture.


Wednesday, 3 August 2016

No End In Sight

Apologies in advance, because this post is going to be a little bit longer. The ever productive Spirits are keeping me on my toes collecting-wise, so despite taking sort of a break from collecting, I felt compelled to keep up with this band. And what do you know, they released more records with another gazillion variants these last few months. And I still love it. For this release they teamed up with Zero One Eight, a straight edge band from Naples, Italy.  The cover is part of a four records series that laid out tell the story of an animal rights activist freeing the ape. I don't have any of the other records of this series, but I might buy these at some point. For once I lucked out, because Goodwill Records is now located in Germany, so I could save a lot on shipping. And I lucked out even more with managing to acquire all the variants there are.


The first variant is on this dirty purple, which looks awesome in person. There are 106 copies of this colour. This is #24. The numbering is kind of interesting with this record. You'll see in a minute.




Next up is black vinyl out of 114. It's numbered '#182', which seemed a little weird at first. Here's what the label did. Rather than numbering all the different colours separately, the label numbered all the purple ones, then the black ones and then the yellow ones consecutively. Similar to what First Strike did for Chain Of Strength's What Holds Us Apart. So you get 400 copies in total for this first press. The numbers for each colour still seem weird if you ask me.



Last one of the regular first press is this copy on yellow vinyl. 180 copies, and it's numbered '#383'.



I also managed to snag a test press for this split. I love it when labels put in an effort and make the test presses special.



I love it even more when labels put in even more effort to make mispresses more special. While at it, I managed to get a hold of the two mispress variants of this release. The clear vinyl shows some very faint purple-ish streaks. Goodwill made a special sleeve for this one as well. The inspiration for this one was the Code Of Honor / Sick Pleasure split. #9/9.


The picture doesn't really show it, but this is yellow is rather a 'dirty yellow'. Again, the label came up with something special and made a Faith/Void rip-off sleeve. #11/12. The nice people at Goodwill really went out of their way with this release. Great job all around.


Monday, 1 August 2016

Schweinfurt

This is one of my favourite rip-off covers out there. Evenworse made this cool sleeve poking fun at Ceremony's Rohnert Park LP for the final show edition of their last 7". Classic Mr Wilson. I didn't get to go to said show, so it took me quite a while to get a hold of this version. I really like the insert as well. You don't get the lyrics, instead the band put in pictures from the whole time of the band's existence. Quite funny to see how the people changed, especially if you know them in person. You also get random facts on the band and its members. This is #11/50.


Sunday, 31 July 2016

Never Quit

This may be my summer record 2016. Five youth crew kids who play melodic hardcore in the vein of Lifetime, Kid Dynamite, Shook Ones etc. The songs are so catchy, goddamn. Summer's finally here sunshine sunshine sunshine I need to go skateboarding right now is there anything better than hanging out with good friends I wish I was 15 years younger again.


Saturday, 30 July 2016

Judge

I'm pretty sure that 99% of people regularly buying records from the Revelation catalogue will agree that the first press of the Judge discography ranks very highly on the This Is Absolutely The Ugliest Colour Scheme For A Record EVER list. I bought it when it came out and as many others was stuck with it for quite some time. I enjoyed the music mind you, but the records weren't a pretty sight to behold. Then Rev decided to repress it on black, black, and more black vinyl. When they repressed it on this awesome looking grey swirl/smoke vinyl, I thought it was time for an upgrade, and a mere three years later, here we are.


Friday, 29 July 2016

One, Two, One, Two, This Is Just A Test

For the original release of Spirits' Discontent LP on State Of Mind Records, there have never been any test pressings. For the European release on Useless Pride, however, there are tests. The label on the sleeve actually says "Discontents", which is obviously wrong. The label also says QTY: 5, but I'm pretty sure there are more than five tests in total. The label sold these at a very reasonable price, too.


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Yet Another Fan Boy Posting I Guess

A few months ago, Spirits announced that there was going to be a European press of their debut LP Discontent. Useless Pride from France were going to handle everything. Now, a few posts ago, I explained that I'd decided to take things a little bit slower as far as records go, but some things I just couldn't pass up. So, I picked up another copy of this awesome LP. Definitely a good choice.

FYI Spirits are on tour right now in Europe. Catch them live and you'll see how good they are.


Monday, 25 July 2016

When Dead&Gone Is Dead And Gone

When Dead&Gone, the label Death Is Not Glamorous had released a bunch of their records on, came to an end, label and band decided to do something to commemorate their collaboration, so they came up with this Farewell sleeve for DING's Soft Clicks LP. The vinyl itself is part of the 2nd press on clear yellow vinyl. 65 copies total, I have #11. Thanks again for the trade, Marcus.


Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Death Is Not Glamorous Split

More Death Is Not Glamorous records. The split with Down And Outs comes on two colours, clear purple (which looks way redder than it is in reality) and clear yellow. Both variants are out of 500. The DING side is as good as anything else they recorded. I'd never heard Down And Outs before and I have to say it's not like I'd missed out on anything. The voice in particular is not for me.