Monday, 17 December 2018

6 Inches of Orchid

Here's a bit of an odd one for any Screamo collectors out there. 

Orchid / Combatwoundedveteran - Split 6'' - Clean Plate Records - 2nd Press - Purple Marble /1000 w/ 2018 cover. 

So I'm a bit foggy on the details here, but try and keep up with this loose retelling. 

Some of the records from this second press never had covers, and kinda sat in a box for the best part of two decades. Clean Plate Records (who put this release out) goes fairly quiet for the last couple of years. Said box of records without covers ends up with Var from No Idea who are also a little bit quiet at the moment. He makes up some covers for these records, and they slowly start making their way out in to the world. 

This cover (unlike the second press) doesn't comes with a die cut cover and also doesn't come with an insert. There's also no trace of anyone from No Idea having anything to do with this release either. It's just this weird thing that's happened. The cover is definitely different in colour scheme, but the record itself is definitely from the 2nd press. Why they never had covers for these copies in the first place I'll never know. The labels are great though; especially the CWV side. 

There's no information on Discogs for this release, but the No Idea website states that there were 100 records left to put in new sleeves. There are also two different sleeve variants to choose from (Blue font w/ Pink Robot // Pink Font w/ Blue Robot) and I'm assuming these are a 50/50 split (quite literally)! 


Sunday, 9 December 2018

Come Over When You're Sober 1&2

Posthumous releases are a weird thing right? I never quite know where I stand on them. So I came to a bit of a weird moment when this Lil Peep preorder came up. On the one hand, I was super on the fence about owning or even listening to COWYS Part 2. The whole thing seems a bit shrouded in controversy and opinion. There's also a couple of 'leaked' posthumous tracks under the moniker Goth Angel Sinner EP that I really enjoyed compared to a lot of the pre release material on COWYS pt. 2. However, no option came up for just owning part 1 as a single LP, and it was probably the most listened to EP of 2017 for me. So I pre-ordered via Amazon and played the waiting game. 

Lil Peep - Come Over When You're Sober Pt. 1 & Pt. 2 - Sony / Columbia - 1st Press (Deluxe) - Pink & Black Vinyl (Euro Pressing) 

Through everything I have posted on this blog, this is probably the most 'out there' in terms of my regular posting and probably one of the more divisive. People either loved this guy or hated him. Personally, I couldn't stop looking at or listening to Lil Peep and found his death truly sad. The public tension between GBC and Smokeasac & the weird posthumous XXXTentacion collaboration track only added to the mystery surrounding this really. I definitely came in with some preconceived idea of Pt.2 prior to buying. But I've settled in to these songs and found some really enjoyable material here and tried to put a positive spin on things. 

Hype sticker that was carefully removed and placed on a poly sleeve. 

This logo was designed by Duong Nguyen who has also done design work for Lil Uzi Vert and Kendrick Lamar. 

The printed inner sleeves are a mixture of Lil Peep's tattoos (right sleeve) and some childhood(?) drawings (left). 

To this day, the tattoos that stickup most to me are the EXIT LIFE across the top of his back and the Old English DADDY across his chest. It's a nice addition to the overall artwork, and makes as good reference for anyone who wanted a memorial tattoo for him. 

The track listing for Pt. 1 sits in the left panel of the gatefold, although the listing is actually wrong. U Said sits on the first track of side B as opposed to the last track on side A. Under the track listing is producer credits. 

The right side of the inside gate fold has the Pt. 2 track listing too with producer credits underneath. 

Finally, the back cover is the cover of COWYS pt. 1 

One of the differences in the EU/US pressings is the lack of a Sony Music logo on the US copies. Despite that small difference, the resale of the US copies seem to have shot up over the last month or so. You can still pick up a EU copy for around £25 posted; but I'm not entirely sure how long these will hang around for. 

If you never gave Lil Peep a try, I can almost see why you didn't. The pink grills, unmissable face tattoos and open dialogue of drug use can be a hard combination love. However, you can't avoid the fact that the death of 21 year old who really resonated with a large audience is profoundly sad and I am glad that his music was given some kind of physical celebration. 

Thank you for reading. 

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Green Monster

Purists will probably shit on me from a great height over this one; and I'll definitely be kicked out of 7th House; but I love Graves era Misfits. The first thing I heard from Misfits was the Scream video on P-Rock TV when I was about 8 or 9 years old. A couple days later I had Famous Monsters on CD and I absolutely worshipped it. I didn't even know who Danzig was until a couple of months later when I bought Earth AD. 
Famous Monsters has been pretty high on my want list for some time, and I've nearly pulled the trigger on it a couple of times. However I was never going to take an apparently hideous sounding picture disc for big money, so I played the waiting game. Fast forward about 18 years and here we finally are! 

Music On Vinyl really came out on top with this one. It sounds incredible and looks just as good as it sounds. Stickered outer sleeve as is normal on MoV releases on the right hand side with some information on the release; with an added Roadrunner sticker on the left side. Not normal procedure but a nice little addition. Between this and the Frou Frou release earlier in 2018, I'm really impressed with recent output from Music On Vinyl. Really consistent and dynamic sounding records, with some real nice aesthetic features. 

This pressing is /2500 on Green Marbled or Green/ Yellow Marble depending on where you get your information from. I can tell you from holding this one and inspecting it pretty closely; if there's any yellow in there it's hiding pretty well! 180 Gram and a nice anti static inner sleeve to get the ball rolling. 

I ended up with 000679 out of a total of 2500. I was obviously hoping for 000138 or 000666 but never mind; I'm just happy to finally own this album. I'm assuming a larger 180 Gram Black pressing will follow this one. 

Now we get to the real reason why I wanted this. It comes with a dang sticker sheet! I'd be completely lying if I didn't mention that I think this is way cooler than it probably is. The illustrations are kinda cute, and that logo in the middle is just iconic. These will 100% just stay in the sleeve and be preserved for all of eternity. But I have it, that's the important thing. 

Finally, there is a four page booklet containing all of the lyrics. Either side of the booklet is the illustration that was found on the CD back in the day of the Crimson Ghost. 

Listening to this again has got me really feeling these songs once more, and I'll happily defend this bunch of songs for sure. 

Release Your Soul

Forced downtime is sometimes a cool thing. At the minute I've got a pretty nasty chest infection which has rendered me pretty much useless; so it's given me a quick minute to do a post here. 

This is a record that I've owned for probably around a year, maybe a little more. However, I've only just got around to writing about it. I can still recall all the details around it though; and over a year on this album still rages super hard. 
As some of you reading might know, this is a record release copy of Soul Structure by Higher Power. There were 35 up for grabs on the night and they all went. I couldn't attend the show, but thankfully a friend managed to get me a copy and brought it all the way back home to me when she was back visiting from University. 

I ended up with number 27/35. The record release cover is a quarter fold type deal across the back of the jacket. The quarter fold is screened and hand numbered, with the artwork tackled by Jimmy Wizard who sings in Higher Power. He also played bass in Fade; and makes tattoos at a great studio in Leeds called Sacred Electric. The design for the release cover was used on a hoodie that was also available on the night. Around December/ January time they threw some leftovers of that hoodie on their big cartel and I picked up one of those too. 

The variant used for the night was from the Flatspot Records 1st press: 375 Transparent Red & Orange W/ Black Splatter. Seems a little odd that they used this press and not the UK press; but I have no complaints because it works with the cover art really well and sounds great. The Orange isn't super obvious unless you hold the record up to the light.

As opposed to an insert there's a pretty nice four page booklet in the sleeve of this. I'm not sure if the UK Pressing has the same thing. 

Inside the booklet are all the lyrics and a couple of photos, and overall it's a greatly packaged LP. It also sounds fantastic; I'm sure there aren't many people into the UKHC scene that haven't heard of them. But if you haven't i'd urge you to check it out; kinda old school borderline crossover sound that makes me think a little of Leeway or Merauder. Regardless, it hits heavy and still gets a pretty regular spin from me. I still need to grab the Space to Breathe 7'', or the Control Records 12'' promo.

This record release copy still isn't listed on Discogs. I'd love to add it, but that process seems like more of a hassle than it's really worth right?


Sunday, 17 June 2018

Pulse of the Maggots

Man, sometimes life gets in the way of doing stuff you really like doing. I barely have time to listen to records these days, let alone find the right lighting to photograph 'em and then write around the topic for a little while. But thankfully on this Sunday morning I've avoided sleeping in and found some time that isn't quite social enough to play records, but it's damn okay enough to write about them.

From this hype sticker I assume you know what you're in for here. This is the UK/Euro press of Slipknot's Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) on Clear 2XLP available on Record Store Day 2014. It also comes with a nice little RSD hype sticker too. 

Now this had been stuck on my want list for a little while now; but at the £80-100 going rate on Discogs currently, I was willing to push it to the background a little. Plus the fact that I bought both previous full lengths for a steal back in the day made this one a little harder to swallow. 

I'm not sure how common this is with this press but mine seems to have a black splodge or two mixed in with this clear wax. I quite like these little anomalies within pressings that just make for a marginally more interesting variant. All of the centre labels are different colours too which is pretty cool. 

Going from the harsh aesthetic or Iowa, it seemed like the band weren't quite as fucked this time around or at least quite as burned out. Although the record itself is a little less harsh on the ears, it seems to be the one I return to most often nowadays. Maybe it's just pretty fresh to my ears again for owning a copy on vinyl now, who knows? 

A lot of people also seemed to find a few issues with the sound quality on this pressing. To my ears it sounds fine; not spectacular or overly dynamic in any way, shape or form. But there are no huge popping or skipping issues? People on Discogs get on a rant about stuff sometimes right? 

Front and back cover. 

I've always preferred the reverse image here. The picture disc press has this as the C or D side and it fits well with the all black die cut sleeve too.

Insert photos are always a bonus as far as I'm concerned, and even more so here as they're super fun to look at. Almost nostalgic in a way. The inserts on Iowa are definitely something memorable too. 

The photo of the band together here is the most obvious image attached to this record. Up until this year, my only copy of this record was the deluxe 2XCD that comes with this image as a slipcase.

Oh, back to my original point on this point. I never wanted to pull the trigger on this while the price kept on going up and up. I actually found this copy in my local record store whilst having a little dig around behind the counter. It was offered up to me for less than the original asking price; and there's no way I wasn't walking out with it. 


Friday, 23 March 2018

Fastened to the Die Hard Points

The self titled (and only widely circulated) Lurker of Chalice release quickly fell into the 'I'll never want to drop that much money on a record' category, and although I'd put a few copies in my want list on Discogs, I never held my breath much on a reasonable copy coming by and half tried to forget about it. 

Fast forward a few long months from there, and Nuclear War Now Productions start dropping a hard hint or two that this record would soon be reissued under their label; alongside an even more faint rumbling that more Lurker recordings would resurface after and see a wider, more official release. 

Lurker Of Chalice - Lurker Of Chalice - Nuclear War Now! Productions - 1st Press - Bronze Vinyl - Die Hard Edition. 

Although I wasn't quick enough to grab the more limited Beer/ Black Marble variant /100; I kind of had my heart set on this copy for the extras anyway. Apparently a 'Die Hard' edition is something of a common occurrence with this label, but as it was my first direct order from NWN! I wasn't 100% sure on what to expect. 

The first thing I noticed about this record upon receiving it was how well shipped it was. Without any doubt the best packing job I have received from any label. A big old box, stuffed with packing peanuts, rolled up jiffy mailers on the corners and a bit of bubble wrap on the extras. NWN offer a really reasonable UK shipping rate too, which has me excited for future orders. 

The 'all out' packing spreads out into all out packaging too. The cover art has a bronze tinge to it, as opposed to the more stark black and stone cover that the Southern Lord press has. This bronze tinge is complemented by the foil pressed Lurker... logo in the top left. 

The record came in a polysleeve with a hype sticker. Wrest is the more associated name for Jef Whitehead when making music under the name of Lurker of Chalice or (the more widely known and prolific) Leviathan.

The back cover has the NWN logo in the bottom left. The main illustration was used as the original cover for the CD release of the album way back in 2005. This illustration was also used by NWN as the test press covers; and was used on a long sleeve shirt design at preorder of the album. The rejected test was /20 copies and featured the design in black and white. The accepted test was /30 copies, with a Bronze cover colour way and White / Red vinyl. Those also appeared in the store if I remember right prior to the preorder of the LP. 

Inside the gatefold has the track listing and a couple more pieces of art, all in the same colour theme. The first track appears as untitled everywhere; but the little logo in place of a name looks like a small rune or maybe even a pitchfork or scythe? 

A quick look at the centre label. They don't differ over the four sides apart from the little logo towards the bottom of the label. The bronze really works well with the cover art and the variant has a bit of texture to it as you can see in the run out groove. 

Every variant of the LP (of which there are three) comes with this A2 poster of the back cover art. Again, it would be tempting to hang but I know I really won't. This isn't what makes up the die hard package, just a nice little extra. 

The extras are a nice high gloss sticker and the die cast metal pin. The sticker is a fun little extra, but the pin is what I was really after. With two pin backs to hold it in place, and one of the most intricate and well translated designs I've seen on a pin, I knew it was worth the extra few dollars. It's pretty hefty too, and sits on a denim jacket way more comfortably than anything else I tend to wear. A pin company called poser gear have also recently released a 'Howl Mockery at the Cross' pin that I'm pretty tempted by. 

There we have it; hopefully churning out only one post in the last few weeks is slightly made up by the fact that it's a pretty long one! 

Monday, 26 February 2018

To Wish Impossible Things

The thought of cracking out another blog post any time soon seemed almost as impossible as grabbing this record for a decent-ish price. Turns out a snowy morning makes for ideal time to dust off the old cobwebs and make a start on writing about wax. I've fallen behind not only on my own blog, but on reading others I tend to follow pretty closely. 

The Cure - Wish - Fiction Records - 1st Press (U.K) - 2 X LP

As far as 'White Whale Wants' go; this one was fairly high up on the list; and I'm not talking about this variant specifically. I would've settled for any copy; and after the 2016 Cure re-issues and the Record Store Day releases I was kind of hoping this / Mood Swings and Bloodflowers were all going to get a reissue. Sadly it doesn't seem to be the case, so I caved. 

This isn't in the greatest condition; but the price is reflecting that honestly. Actually, that's not strictly true. It was listed as VG/VG - and although the records are definitely VG +; but the cover has suffered over the years and it's missing the promo insert. Just your standard single sleeve housing 2 LP's causing edge rubbing etc. It's nothing that's making me want to send it back (especially as this cost around half of the Discogs median selling price) but it's probably not VG. The hype sticker has also been removed, which isn't really a big deal and it's cool that there's no ugly sticker residue on the cover. But more than anything I'm just glad to finally own it. 

The centre labels are great. The font is my favourite Cure typeface and all of the artwork here is pretty captivating; but you see more of that on the inserts. 

Back Cover 

The barcode sticks out like a sore thumb. Personally I would've kept it as far away from the art as possible, but again - what do I know? 

Both LP's come in full colour (well - red and black) inserts. The lyrics are housed on one side - as far as I can see the credits are on the reverse. The sparse illustrations dotted around are great; they remind me of the merch from the time (I wasn't around at the time to be clear - the album is about 6 months older than me) and I always keep an eye out for Wish era tour shirts. However, much the same as record collecting - older band shirts and particularly tour stuff has become a little trend in itself so prices are probably not worth chasing right now. I'm not paying over £100 for a one-size-fits-all super worn Cure shirt for sure. 

My favourite piece of art from this record is the hand print on the lift side insert; even more so than the cover. It suits the weird mood of the record and it makes me really happy to finally own it. 

If this ever gets a reissue along with Bloodflowers and WMS - I would probably let this copy go (depending on how the reissue looks and sounds of course); but as it's 25th anniversary passed last year I'm not really holding my breath. Weirdly enough I always keep an eye out for the coloured reissues of the first 4 Cure LP's too from RSD 2012 (but I'm not indulging The Top) a few years back. It doesn't really make sense to want multiple variants as I still have some massive gaps in my Cure collection. For now though this will definitely keep me going.