Thursday, November 29, 2012

My 2012 Top 10 list just got BENT (Life)

So this is a record that I've had for months and I'm upset with myself that it wasn't until recently that I pulled it out and gave it a few spins. Holy shit, what an incredible fucking record! Definitely going in the top 10 for the year.... well, shit. My top 10 list is starting to get pretty long. This is one of those records I knew I would love right away after the first track. Great vocals and music, bringing a kind of metal style hardcore like Terror but with a much fresher sound. Angry as fuck and totally awesome. 6131 Records really has it going on right now between this release and Ill Intent's "No Masters".

I pre ordered this from 6131 after taking one look at the incredible Spoiler art on the cover. If you didn't know by now, I'm kind of a fan of anything that Spoiler does for hardcore bands record covers. Here it is on a very nice purple but I'm not sure how many were pressed. I would assume this is the most limited version since it was a pre order. Apparently these guys are from Nebraska, sweet. I love seeing bands killing that aren't from big cities. 

This won't take my "#1" spot for 2012, because that is going to go to Sydney Ducks or Shipwrecked most likely, but this does take my #1 spot for cover art for 2012. I can not think of a record that has a better cover than this released this year, Spoiler strikes again! Check out "The Hard Way" from this release below and get ready to throw some shit around your house:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Slow REACTshun

I have to be the last person to post these. I think my Mom already blogged about this shit before me. What can you do? React! Released these two records a while back, and I think I ordered them with that Mindset Collections pre order. First is Growing Stronger's "Toxic Fumes" on gold out of /200. This is a high quality release right here, real angry straight edge hardcore that is super similar to No Tolerance. If you like No Tolerance then check these guys out. The last track is easily my favorite, and the longest on the record coming in at a minute and a half. It's called "My Last Regret" and reminds me of Floorpunch with a fast first half and a nice sing along breakdown at the end, BRUTAL.

I picked up the Tranzmitors latest release on a whim, not really knowing shit about them. But damn I'm really glad I checked this out because now I love the Tranzmitors. That kind of poppy, catchy '77 garage punk and roll similar to the Real Kids. I guess they're from Vancouver, but they totally sing with  (fake?) British accents. Whatever, it adds to the flavor I say. They also remind me of one of my favorite all time bands, The Last Chordz (also with a "z"). This release is on clear blue out of /200, and worth checking out. If you plan on checking them out though, give them a listen first below because I think this is the kind of band you are either going to love or hate, and there is not much wiggle room in between. I love this shit, though.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Blackest of Fridays

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. I'm wondering how many of you went shopping on black Friday, or took advantage of all the great sales that a bunch of record labels were having. Unfortunately, I couldn't really afford any because Friday morning I went out and bought another new gun and all kinds of ammo because it is the best day of the year to buy ammo and guns. For those of you that don't know, the little money I have left over after I pay my rent, bills, and vinyl is probably getting spent on something involving firearms. So every year when Black friday comes, I am always heading down to the different sporting goods stores to stock up for the rest of the year. Unfortunately, after spending almost $700 dollars in less than an hour on Friday morning, I had to miss out on all the vinyl sales since I had spent all my money. Bummer. 

Looking through my pictures, I wanted to find something that seemed fitting for black Friday. For some reason I picked these latest Hoax releases up. Some dark ass hardcore that is very strange, but quite enjoyable. All of there releases come with huge posters with strange artwork. Above is their "3rd ep", or their latest release. 

I love the cover art on this release, but the insert is just way too bizarre. I'm looking forward to seeing these guys when they come to the Gilman soon. This is their "1st EP", so I'm still missing the 2nd EP. I hope to get it soon, once I have some money again that is!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Backtracking to the '08 Demo

Here are my copies of Backtrack's "The 08 Demo". This is an EXCELLENT demo, BUT it is probably the weakest stuff that Backtrack has put out yet. I have read before that some people think this is their best stuff. I definitely listen to this regularly because I love Backtrack, but I feel like they've grown with every release. From this to "Deal with the Devil", to finally "Darker Half" which is one of the best hardcore albums to come out in the last decade. This band keeps getting better and better and I hope they stick to their winning formula and keep growing. The clear orange is a first press out of /350 (with /50 being on pre order covers) and the black copy is a 2nd press out of /400. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Whoa Oh! Just Another (out) Crowd!

Here is another recent pick up from Reaper. The record and layout on this looks fantastic, as with most Reaper releases. This is another one of those releases that I really like at times and at times it's "Meh". It is a solid release, but at times the vocals annoy me (like on "Clockwork"). However, the music itself is so good that I power through it and still rock out. It's definitely not a "regular listen" for me, I have to use it sparingly. However, I'll be looking forward to their next release to see how this band grows. There is definitely a great deal of potential on these 8 tracks. This comes on red vinyl /400 or Green vinyl /1600.

Friday, November 16, 2012

BEWARE, It's another top record of the year.

As the year goes on my list of top releases for the year just keeps getting murkier and murkier. I'm probably the last person to actually get on this record, late the to the party again. For me it's usually very simple, I base alot of my opinion on the vocals alone. If I like the vocals in the first 10 seconds, then I usually can tell I'm going to like the record, or atleast at that point the actual music has to be pretty shitty to ruin it for me. I had been hearing about this record for a while, and totally slept at the wheel as the first press came and went. When the 2nd press came around, I was all over the pre orders at Back to Back to get one of the limited copies. This band brings it all together to be one of the best hardcore releases of 2012. I don't know if this tops Peace's 7" or Ill Intent's "No Masters", some of my other hardcore heavy weights so far this year, but it is definitely right up there with both of them. If you haven't score a copy of this yet then quit playing and go get it. The Sea Foam Green /100 looks fantastic, I really love this type of green because it always reminds me of this.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Waste Management

There's been a ton of hype surrounding this release from Boston hardcore shredders; "Waste Management". To me, this album flirts between "record of the year" and "generic" if that makes any sense. Much like my review of Hounds of Hate, there are times when this 7" shows signs of brilliance, but some of the fast parts just sound very sloppy. What a shame, if this band can just find their strengths and play to that, these guys will be a powerhouse. One thing these guys have going for them is since I wrote my Hounds of Hate review, that 7" has grown on me a little bit. This 7" may also end up growing on me more. Now, if it comes to cover art, this may be some of the best cover art I've seen in years, (next to some of the Spoiler stuff of course!) Looks an awful lot like that World War 4 demo though, wouldn't you agree?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Turnstile Green Cover

Jake gave me a heads up a while back about this Turnstile with the alternative green cover that reaper put up out of /132. Apparently they had extra vinyls so they had to make more covers. I also have it with the regular blue cover on black vinyl that I thought I had taken pictures of, but I can't seem to find. Oh well maybe I'll update it later. I really love this 7", it's grown on me in a huge way. It has a similar feel to Madball and Cold World, with that kind of thug HC, hip hop influenced feel which is right up my alley. I'm glad I jumped on this when I did, because this alternative cover is already OOP.

For your listening pleasure, check out this Vinnie Paz video with him wearing a Turnstile hoodie. Sick!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Labels behaving badly! (Pt. 2)

My last "Labels behaving badly" post turned out to be a huge success. When I compared shady labels to local Bay Area news segment "People Behaving Badly" with Stanley Roberts, I was shocked to see Mr. Stanley Roberts himself stop by and leave a comment on my page! Well Stanley, I'm going to pay homage to you yet again by exposing another shady record label that's been fucking people over.

All the way back in April, yes over 6 months ago, I pre ordered the Extermination comp and a few other releases from Flatspot Records. Knowing it was a pre order, I knew I would have to wait a while for my order to come, no big deal. Time passes, and I see all over facebook that the comp is out and orders are shipping. Ok, cool, it should be coming any week now? A month or so goes by and nothing comes, so I decide to send them an email to see what's going on. I got a response in June "Yeah, I'll send it tomorrow" or something like that. A week or two goes by and nothing ever shows up, so I ask again what's up with it. No response. After over 10 emails over the course of 5 months, I finally begged the guy to just send me my records. This was after I even tried to deal with a refund through paypal, but surprise surprise; too much time had passed for a refund. What's a shame is this is an excellent compilation, and this record label has put out some great stuff, but this guy is shady as all hell.

The Flatspot guy did say he would throw in some free records to make up for the long ass wait. I was thinking well, maybe if he threw in a test press or something I could forget about writing this post. No such luck, it turns out he just threw in a couple of filler distro records he had lying around. I did also buy the Deal with It and New Morality Splits, as well as a black copy of the Backtrack 08 Demo. It's a shame that a label that is putting out such solid stuff is fucking it up for themselves by being so shady and on top of that straight lying to people in emails. My poor friend Jake at Screaming for Records is still dealing with them trying to get his order too, and he's been getting the same treatment. Apparently Flatspot gets more shipments "lost" in the mail then any other shipper in the history of the US Postal Service! Interesting! I will never order anything from Flatspot again, and I suggest that you don't either!

To make matters worse, just look at how this was shipped. Surprisingly none of my records were too damaged, but this has to be some of the worst packing I have ever seen, EVER. All of the records were  in the jackets of course (ringwear city) and it was just two flimsy pieces of card board wrapped with tape. I'm amazed that all the records weren't destroyed. I'm sorry Jake, but if he ever does send your records, there won't be much left of them if they are sent all the way to the UK in this manner.

And now for your viewing pleasure, another fine episode of people behaving badly. LOL @ the guy running around on the freeway selling knock off jerseys.

Friday, November 9, 2012

These are a sign of the times!

I'm sorry for all of you that clicked on this expecting a Cro-Mags "Age of Quarrel" post, but that will be coming soon. Wait, why am I lying? I'm not sorry at all, I did this intentionally to trick you into clicking on my rap post! Mwa ha ha... well now that you're here you might as well read about it, right?

Here is a single for "The World is Yours" off of Nas' debut "Illmatic". It can be argued that Illmatic is THE BEST hip hop album ever made. Yes, THE BEST hip hop album EVER made. The quality of production is just incredible as well as Nasty Nas' ruthless rhymes. With the production being split pretty much 50% between DJ Premier and Pete Rock, the two most prolific hip hop producers of all time, every single song is an absolute classic on this. "The World Is Yours" just happens to be one of my favorite tracks from this incredible album. What's funny is I had this as my ring tone on my phones all throughout high school. I used to have a little Nokia phone and they charged some silly price for ring tones, I think I bought this song for $5 and then it basically transferred onto all my other phones I bought after that. But the song was a little weird ring tone version with no lyrics, so it sounded like some weird computerized elevator music.

The reason I am talking about the sign of the times, is I'm referring to the price tag on this recent purchase. Even as little as a three or four years ago, a majority of the hip hop community was completely unconcerned with vinyl. For years I was able to find absolute classics at my local records stores in the dollar bin, and alot of classic singles (such as this) for 25 cents! Those days are long gone, and now I felt lucky enough to find this for $8.99. But yes, times have changed and my wallet is taking the brunt of it. Check out the music video below for amazing track, produced by Pete Rock:

"I'm the young city bandit, hold myself down single-handed
For murder raps, I kick my thoughts alone, get remanded
Born alone, die alone, no crew to keep my crown or throne
I'm deep by sound alone, caved inside a thousand miles from home
I need a new nigga, for this black cloud to follow
Cause while it's over me it's too dark to see tomorrow"

(Check out this link to the lyrics, if you click on every line of the lyrics the author breaks down all the meanings to every line. Pretty incredible. This stuff is straight poetry, there could be college courses studying this stuff!)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Biaus Seignors Freres?

Surely to get slim to none views on this blog, here is another Templars record. It seems that whenever I post Oi! or Rap vinyl, I hardely get any views or comments. The people want hardcore, and their message is loud and clear. But, I have to keep it real too. This is the music that I have the biggest spot for in my heart, and I can't neglect it regardless of whats popular in cyberspace.

I don't have a complete Templars collection, far from it. The amount of vinyl they have put out over the past 20 years is incredible, and typically very expensive. However, I must say that I have a pretty impressive Templars collection at this point. This release is one I have had my sights set on for a while. A few years back I found this at a record store on black vinyl for $34.99 and I passed on it. I ended up kicking myself for it for a few years, as I saw black copies go upwards of a $100 dollars on ebay. Damn. I have seen a few of the limited gold copies float around too (out of /200) and those went for even more. As the prices and popularity of Oi! vinyl keeps falling and falling, I've been there to pick up the pieces where I can (That is, when Vinyl Noize doesn't sabotage me). I ended up scooping this one up for under $40, a record that once went way over $100 in this type of condition.

I kind of killed 2 birds with one stone on this one. Not only did I get a Templars record I've been wanting forever, but this is an early TKO Records release. Even more special, it's an early TKO Records color vinyl release. TKO Records never used to press more than 100 to 200 records on color vinyl, so old TKO on color is always nice to have. It has always been my goal to collect all the old TKO releases ever since I first heard "Punch Drunk Vol. 1" when I was 12 years old, and I've been working on it for years now. It will probably take me the rest of my damn life to get them all, but maybe one day! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Cock Sparrer is LIVE and LOUD

Recently I picked this up from Pirates Press Records with some other Cock Sparrer reissues. Pirates Press has pretty much been reissuing everything Cock Sparrer ever did on awesome vinyl offerings with lots of cool extras like 180 gram vinyl, obi strips, and embossed sleeves. This version is out of /500 and came packaged with "Runnin Riot in 84", both for $16. Not bad! 

Here it is next to my old copy on Knockout Records 1998. It was originally released on Link in 1989 as part of their "Live and Loud" series they did with a bunch of other bands like Cockney Rejects, Sham 69, The Business, Exploited, Anti Nowhere League, and all kinds of other well known British Oi! and punk groups. Maybe some day I'll make a run at getting a Live and Loud collection together. A quick search on Discogs shows they can be had for pretty cheap! As you can see the Knockout version is a little darker red, but it is also a little faded over time. Good job Pirates Press, keep those old Oi! reissues coming!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Way too much STEP ASIDE

As I've talked about in my previous post, I love Arizona's Youth Crew powerhouse STEP ASIDE and their seven inch "Reaching Out", and now I own 8 copies of it. Since I already had all 4 of the first press (including the test press), when I saw pre orders go up for a 2nd press and a package deal of all 4 colors, how could I resist? If you missed out on the first press of this, there is no reason you shouldn't be heading to Life to Live right now to pick up the 2nd press copy!

So you can get a better look. Red /75, Gold /100, White /125, Frost /200. My favorite is the gold and "frost". Now off to the Raiders game. GO RAIDERS!

Modelo X Edge?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The best album you can't understand and never heard of...

I am a bit embarrassed and upset with myself that I had never heard this before until lately. I have grown up on Oi! and have kind of steered away from alot of European Oi! (excluding the UK) for a long time. My friend Robbie has always loved that international Oi! flavor and has tried on several occasions to get me into different groups, and I think he showed me these guys years ago but since I couldn't understand them I lost interest very quickly.

Recently when I went to Sydney Town Records to buy that Sydney Ducks tour demo, this caught my eye. Sydney Town repressed this 1985 French Oi! release and called it a "classic"... Interesting. Figured I would throw it in my cart and go search for a free download while I was at it. Boy was I blown away. What an incredible album, I have no idea what they are saying, but the music is just so amazing and ahead of its time. These guys were light years ahead of most of the American and UK Oi! of the time, really having their whole on style and being far from cookie cutter. Sydney Ducks being one of my favorite bands right now, go figure that they sound super similar to these guys and that they re-released this album. It comes on a beautiful coke bottle clear (out of /500) and on 200 gram vinyl. This is a must own for all the Oi! boys out there. Go pick this and the Sydney Ducks demo up right here!

Just listen to how dark and awesome their title track is. It reminds me of "Disco Riot" by the Anti-Heros. Fuck yeah! There is no cheesy corn ball bullshit Oi! on this bad boy, only the realest. Now, if I only spoke French. Damn.