Initially this was going to be a pretty upbeat and positive post about the reissue of Chamberlain‘s The Moon My Saddle 2xLP. It’s a great a record and showed a severe departure from the band’s original emotional hardcore sound into a more alt-country indie style. It polarized their fanbase for sure. Fans who had known the band while they still went by Split Lip and loved their For The Love of the Wounded and Fate’s Got A Driver records were somewhat turned off by The Moon My Saddle. It was a different sound from a more grown-up and weary band.
The original record was released by Doghouse Records and it went out of print fairly quick. The label probably lost interest in repressing it as they started to focus on more indie bands that eventually broke into the mainstream (All-American Rejects). So it went without repressing until now with Topshelf Records. It seems that Topshelf licensed to have it not only reissued, but as a 2xLP with additional tracks.
The reissue comes in three colors: Marble Pink out of 100, White out of 125, and Translucent Gold out of 275.
The artwork and labels were kept close if not identical to the original Doghouse pressings. (I’m too lazy to go digging for my OG copy to take pictures and compare). They even included the same poster that came with the original as well.
Overall it’s a nice reissue. The colors are well done and it sounds pretty great.
But as I said opening this post…this was going to be a completely upbeat post and here’s where it goes off the rails and becomes a trainwreck.
I have always had major issues and criticism when 2xLP releases get housed in a single-record jacket. And exactly just that happened here. It wouldn’t have been so bad though if the jackets were not flimsy as they are here. And due to this flimsiness, all three jackets I received had split seams and crimped/bent corners. Big shame, as this had the potential to be a very great reissue.
And don’t get me started on the A/B disc of the marble pink being warped.
Sturdier, gatefold jackets would have been a better approach. And shipping the records themselves outside the jackets would have prevented the split seams. Not much you can do about crimped/bent corners when shipped via Medial Mail…that’s all on the USPS right there.
I’m not going to get cheesy and give this release a grade or numbered scale score. None of that nonsense. It’s a good release right out of the gate…but fell short reaching the finish line due to receiving all three jackets damaged as such.
But in all fairness I will say this…the guy who runs Topshelf contacted me upon hearing about my dissatisfaction with the records received. He was very gracious about my “plight” and offered to replace the damaged jackets. As for the bent record itself…we will see if it can be flattened a bit. I’m sure that replacing the vinyl itself is a bit more costly than jackets. Especially given the limited run of that particular color. Not to mention Topshelf being a smaller label than say, Revelation, who recently offered to replace the Mouthpiece LP that was bent to shit. Worse than this Chamberlain.
I have learned that labels don’t have to be obligated to replace damaged records received by their customers. A while back, I received a very stern email from a good friend who runs a solid label in which he “scolded” me on my bitching and moaning about holding another label responsible for a damaged record I received. And posted about it here on this very blog. I felt bad, I gotta admit for being so bitchy about it. But what drove me over the edge with the Chamberlain 2xLP is that all three jackets were damaged and one record was bent. Add to that the last few records I have received fucked up from other labels and a few trades done, it was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.
But I will admit that I am happy to see that Topshelf Records care about their releases and the people who buy them. They care to the point that they want to make sure that the buyer is completely satisfied and happy with the records. And they have shown just that in their gesture and offer to fix the problem. And that is truly appreciated.
So I guess this post wasn’t all doom and gloom as I initially set it out to be.
“Improperly centering pictures since 1995”