Monday, 9 May 2016

Anniversary of Hope

There are still quite a few posts from RSD that I haven't got around to; but I figured this one can just jump the queue as I couldn't find it on the day and only just got around to getting a copy. 

Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope - Sire Records - 1st Press - /3000 (10th Anniversary Double LP - RSD '16) 

Begin To Hope is definitely a strange album for me. A classic case of you fall in love with an album, you buy the album for the girl you're in love with, girl loves album, girl breaks up with you, and then you can't listen to the album. Before buying this copy and spinning if for the first time (today) I haven't touched this record in maybe 5 years or more. 

So this album originally came out in 2006, with a vinyl release not seeing the light of day until 2009. The first LP is the record, and the second LP is a bunch of great bonus stuff that's definitely worth owning. That 2009 copy also included most of what is on this 2nd LP as it was also a double LP release. The exclusive material on this anniversary edition is the song 'Baby Jesus' as stated on the shrink below. 

Yes I'm a creep who cuts the stickers out from the shrink, waits for more polysleeves to arrive and then carefully peels the stickers off and reapplies them. No shame. 

Here is the track-listing from the back cover. The artwork from this LP always made me smile, it looks pretty accurate for how it sounds. It's been really great hearing these songs again. 

More of this great artwork takes up the gatefold. The sleeve is this oddly textured glossy stuff that's pretty awkward to photograph so I hope I've managed to give you a rough idea. It really should be seen in person though. 

A close up of the centre label. I like how it isn't labelled as sides A-D, it goes Disc 1 Side A through to Disc 2 Side B. And the tiny heart is sweet. 

The insert comes with the LP lyrics on one side, the bonus disc lyrics on the other. Sometimes with bonus stuff, the lyrics never get printed so it's a nice change of pace. But a 12''x12'' white insert with small black text never makes for a good photograph so here's a small excerpt. 

This has been fun to write about, and really fun to hear again. Never stop listening to great records for dumb reasons right? 

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Desolate Beige

Sometimes I like to take a quick dive into my collection, looking for something to post about that I may have overlooked or just not bothered to photograph. In the case of this record I may not have even ran this blog when it came out. 

State Faults - Desolate Peaks - Tiny Engines - 1st Press - Beige Marble - /275 

The first reason for posting this record, is that it's a great record from an incredible band that might not get the attention they deserve. Another reason is this variant is lovely. It looks a little more lavender than beige in this light, and I'm a sucker for a marble record. With the amount of No Idea Records releases I own, you kind of have to learn to love marbled records! 

Another great thing about this LP is the letter-pressed cover. The art in itself is beautiful, but the lettering just makes the packaging a little more lush. 

Back Cover 

I accidentally cut the back cover photo out, but if you head to the Discogs release page for this LP you can see it. 

The insert comes with this woodcut style illustration that I'm a big fan of. 

The other side of the insert houses all of the lyrics. All thanks and credits are printed on the back of the jacket. 

A couple of years ago there was a mad rush for people to get this record, and there still should be. 

Thursday, 28 April 2016

The End Is Near Pt. 1

So fairly soon Black Sabbath are calling it a day, and for some reason this time I really do believe that this will be it. No more Sabbath. So to commemorate this, they are releasing the first 6 albums (the good stuff) along with a compilation (I think) as deluxe 180gm double LP's with bonus material. The first 3 and the compilation are already out, but I went with what I could get my hands on first. 

These were made for the American market, and so they have the Warner Brother's label up top. As is the way with most records Black Sabbath release - there is no clue on pressing information. These are the most recent pressing, with this one having come out in 2016. 

Close up of the sticker on the shrink. The colour of the font is different on all of the reissues so far which is pretty neat right? 

The other sticker on the sleeve. And truly, this record sounds incredible. I've always had a lust for the first 4 Sabbath LP's on Vertigo due to everyone raving about their superior sound. When these came out however, quite a few people were mentioning that these are the closest you're going to get to that original press sound. Take the fact that you're looking at £120 minimum for a decent first press copy of Paranoid, and take away that a Vertigo press doesn't come with the bonus 12'', and at this stage in the game it was a definite no brainer for me. 

Black poly-lined inner sleeves, sturdy gatefold jacket and those lush looking gold Warner labels. This is definitely a well put together package. Also, did anyone else think that the cover art was a pig years ago? With the original album title being 'War Pigs' I wonder if it was even an intentional move at the time. Who knows. 

Back Cover and B/D sides. Although it has nothing on the debut, this album art still has a somewhat creepy overtone to it.

Here's a nice blurry close up of the back cover so you can see what the Bonus Tracks LP has to offer. Instrumentals don't appeal to a lot of people, and in a way I understand that. But it's Sabbath so all rules out the window right? And I can fuck heavily with an instrumental mix of War Pigs. 

On to the gatefold. Nothing better than old Sabbath imagery, from album art to promo photos they always managed to stick out.

This panel contains all the credits. And Ozzy. I love how he's wearing a Crucifix in this photo; which was most likely a miserable attempt at trying to calm the rumours that they were Satanists. An inverted cross on the inside of your album cover will probably convey that kind of message sadly. I remember reading an interview with Fenriz from Darkthrone where he mentions how he wished Black Sabbath would just go all out on the Satanist thing; and how he found it funny that they would push it to a point but never quite over the edge after that debut record cause such a rift. 

Alongside the poly-lined inners, you also got printed ones. I'll never use them as they'll most likely split; and the ones they're currently in seem to be doing a grand job of keeping them clean and dust free. The inner to the right tells quite a great story on the making of this record and I came away knowing some stuff I didn't before. Hopefully the rest of these reissues follow a similar pattern. 

The other side of the inners. 

Finally, the inside of the jackets are all on black, which just looks a little nicer than standard card stock. 
I have at least one copy of each of the first 6 Sabbath full lengths, though they all seem to be different presses. From Vertigo Swirl Vol. 4 to UFO Vertigo label self titled, to a 2015 colour repress of Master of Reality and this press of Paranoid. For now I'll be quite happy chasing these reissues down as they come out. I hit it quite lucky on the price of this one, and over the next month or two I'll track down self titled and Master Of Reality. I just can't say no to that bonus LP each time! 
I'll most likely never travel far past Sabotage, except maybe to pick up 13. I remember hearing Technical Ecstasy and Never Say Die and being underwhelmed; and as much as I love Dio - his era of Sabbath is just not for me. And we won't even talk about Born Again; aside from pointing out that the cover is probably the biggest abuse of technology. Photo negative demon baby pish. 

Sunday, 24 April 2016


One of the most anticipated releases this year for me is the new Nothing full length 'Tired Of Tomorrow'; so the opportunity to jump at hearing a new song before the album drops was one I was happy to take. And I know the album has leaked, but fuck that. 

Nothing - A.C.D. - Relapse Records - 1st Press - White /2000 With Screened B-Side from RSD 2016

There's also the Relapse Clear /100 but I'm not sure if they were made available to the public. Maybe a few slipped out randomly, but I haven't seen one online yet. I have no issues, the White looks great with the art. Even the centre labels look great alongside the cover. 

The screen print looks great, and the Nothing logo is perfect. I really regret not getting the deluxe version of the LP at pre-order now.
The other track is the 3rd rendition of Suns and Lovers; not that it's a bad thing at all, and this may be my favourite of the bunch. It originally appeared on the Suns and Lovers EP, then the redux of Downward Years To Come and now here. 

Stickered sleeve

Inside the sleeve was this ToT sticker that as always, will never get used. 

The backing of the sticker shows some reviews for the new LP. 


Friday, 22 April 2016

The Width Of A Circle

So another high priority release for this years RSD was the repress of The Man Who Sold The World by David Bowie on picture disc, handled by the Parlophone label. 5000 copies worldwide, and only 5 or so in my local store. I already have a vinyl copy of this record that I rifled out of my Dad's collection in my early teens; but to call it well loved would be an understatement. Also, I'd be lying to you if I didn't feel the somewhat gratification of hearing the sighs coming from people in the back of the queue when they heard them all get snapped up. Surely you know you have to be there early to get what you want by now right? 

So off the bat this record looks pretty great. Obviously, it's a Picture Disc and it definitely sounds like one too. There is a little bit of surface noise between tracks, but otherwise this sounds far better than my 40 some odd year old copy does. It's funny to think that it's getting on for May and I'm still battling with dodgy lighting in my home. 

The B-Side contains a lot of the same information as the insert, although the track lengths are nice to know I guess. It's a sharp contrast from the black and white of this side, and the surreal full colour A-Side. 

And here is the insert. The other side is plain as you can see from the first photograph in this post. 

So here is a few cool things I learned having bought this record. 
I have played this record a few times since buying it, and have learned to appreciate this album far more. Thinking about it, I got this record on the same day I got Hunky Dory, Rise and Fall..., Low and Scary Monsters.. That's five Bowie LP's that are all incredible and I just didn't know how to absorb them all. Having a few days wit just this one has really opened my eyes to it a little more. 

Secondly, if you want some amusement please direct your attention to the comments section of the Discogs release page for this album. It's mostly old dudes moaning about 'hipsters' ruining the fun and how RSD should be put to bed because of them snapping this record up before they did. What a statement to make right? If they were in the queue before you, and they got the record before you then the chances are they wanted it a little more than you did. Using your age as some kind of entitlement is pure bullshit. 

Finally, you can buy a copy of this for £26 in the UK on Discogs. That's less than what I paid on the day. Why people are paying double that on eBay is beyond me. However, to some degree it seems that the flipping has died down and that's super cool. 

Now if all of our great musicians could stop dying that would be great. 


Wednesday, 20 April 2016

RSD '16 Part One

Record Store Day continues to be a dividing factor for record buyers across the board. We all know the pros and cons, and I'm completely fine with someone not wanting to participate. That being said, I was queuing up bright and early at my local store. When I say bright and early, I mean it was April and snowing. I'm not going to do one long mammoth post on what I bought on the day; it would be way too long for a start. Also, I picked up stuff on the following Sunday and still need to track down a couple of items. 

First up I'll go with the most 'no frills' item of the bunch. My local only got one copy of this and the next record in this post, so that was justification enough to get in line early. Self Defense Family don't normally go for long titles, but 'The Power Doesn't Work In The Presence Of Nonbelievers' is great, and suits the somewhat moody feel of this EP. 
Released through Bad Paintings for RSD in both the UK and the US, I believe the initial run is all on black and /500.

The packaging is super sparse. No insert; just a plain dust sleeve. The track-listing can only be found on the A-Side label, and even then it doesn't list the B-Side song (according to Discogs it's called 'Deersong', which may explain the B-Side label and the art). Bad Paintings also released the Cassette Store Day Release for SDF last year too, so this was a good way to go.

Next up is La Dispute's release 'Tiny Dots' released through Big Scary Monsters. This comes on Clear W/ Blue Splatter and the pressing numbers switch between 1000 and 2000 for this one, nobody seems quite sure. 

The artwork follows a very similar direction to the documentary La Dispute put out last year under the same title and looks great. The sleeve has a weird texture to it that I quite dig too. The variant on this is pretty great, and I've always had a soft spot for a good splatter. 

The insert explains the layout of the LP, with the A-Side containing the musical passages from the documentary and the B-Side is a selection of live songs from All Saints Church in Kingston a couple of years ago. The annotations for the respective sides are a cool little read, and although a bit of me was always holding out for a live LP of the full All Saints show, the 6 Soundtrack passages on the A-Side stand out great in their own right. For a release I wasn't initially crazy over, I'm really glad I grabbed a copy. 

This will be the first in a bunch of RSD posts going on over the next week or two. 

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Bend The Truth

Some new music from Cold Cave will always be welcomed with open arms from me. The further Wes and Amy delve into the minimal Darkwave sound they do so well, the more I fall in love with what they've got going on. 
Around Valentines Day they dropped the new single 'Nothing Is True But You', and not long after that I pre-ordered the new single sold exclusively through Wes' label Heartworm Press. 

Around a week or so this dropped through my door in an all black mailer. 
It's a single sided square flexi disc, with the Cold Cave logo in the middle. It looks great, and sounds pretty great considering the format too. This press was limited to 500 copies and this was the only variant, which is now sold out. I'm not sure if there are any current plans for a repress.

This release also came with this pin badge. It's a neat addition to my badge collection but I'll likely never wear it through fear of losing it. 
I've been a big fan of the Singles series that Cold Cave have been doing since Cherish The Light Years dropped, but I really do hope to hear a little more news on that Sunflower LP this year. Here's to hoping right?