How do I even begin this post? I can just dive in and discuss the RSD releases that Hydra Head put out. Or I can become venomous and express by now distaste for Record Store Day.
Let’s see how it can start.
For this year’s RSD, Hydra Head put out three new releases. Two being represses/reissues.
First and foremost, and to the adulation of fanboys everywhere, there’s the 12” reissue of Botch’s An Anthology of Dead Ends. Originally released as a 10” back in 2003, and much like the rest of Botch’s back catalog, it’s been out of print and fetching decently high prices in the aftermarket. So a reissue was needed. And HH stepped up and delivered. Although I don’t own an OG press, it is nice to see the release as a 12”…bigger is better. And it sounds just as amazing.
I snagged the clear online when a few copies were made available via Hydra Head’s webstore on BCD. Also available were Gold, Red, and Black.
Thank Cthulhu too. Because when I did roll in to my local record store on that Saturday for RSD, the damn thing was overpriced. I fail to comprehend why stores feel the need to gouge people and increase prices to the point where it basically turns away people from buying. It did to me. I left the store empty-handed.
Next up on the HH RSD list is Circle’s Manner 12”. Now…Circle are an interesting group. They’re from Finland and seem to have been around for ages. It’s really hard to categorize their music as it is all over the place. They don’t stick to one specific style on a consistent basis with any of their releases. I guess you could pin them down to Experimental Rock. And that they are indeed. And it’s a nice fit in the Hydra Head roster.
Manner is their first release with HH and so far it’s a solid effort. It’s a bit electro-rock a la Krautrock maybe? It’s good any way I try to describe it. For the release I had “Eye”, “Black Eye”, and “Red Eye” colors to choose from. I went with the “Red Eye”. The LP is housed in a DJ-style jacket but printed to go with the eyeball center labels. It’s pretty damn neat.
As an insert, a music scale sheet was included. I don’t know how to read music so hopefully someone who picked this up does and is able to play it. Maybe?
The third and last RSD release from HH was a reissue of Pelican’s Australasia 2xLP. I skipped on this. I may be a Hydra Head Diehard Fanatico Fantastico but not made of money. My store had this on hand but I can’t recall how much it was in order to bitch about it. Hopefully I’ll pick up at some point down the line.
And now this is where I get into my disdain for RSD.
Previous Record Store Days have been fun. The day is a great boost for independent record stores and also places a focus on releases and some special items just for the day to celebrate it. What has me turned off now form it, is what it has become. Not only are the amount of releases getting more and more but also the sheer limitedness factor has crossed into ridiculous and asinine.
People line up at their store even the night before just to get in first to secure that one release they really want and the store only got one of. This, along with other things I am surely forgetting, creates not only a bomb-rush mentality, but also increases the pretentiousness quotient among all these damn record nerds. Myself included sure.
I don’t really care that major labels jump in on the RSD wagon and peddle their releases to the nerd masses. What bothers me the most is…shit…I don’t even know anymore what bothers me about RSD.
This year I said “Fuck It!” to showing up at the local store early. I hung out with friends the night before and had a dangerous amount of beers. Saturday arrived and I was slammed into consciousness with a mondo hangover. I picked myself up and dragged my carcass over to the record store by 11am. Two whole hours after they had opened. I was met with a mob of people and I could barely walk through any of the aisles. I spent a few minutes chatting with the store owned and then forced my way over to where all the RSD released were at. Anything and everything I was looking for was surely long gone…if the store even got any of them. The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back for me was seeing the prices. Especially on the Botch 12”. As I said, I left the store empty-handed after 15 minutes or so of being there.
Thankfully…I have cemented a few friendships via message boards and Twitter and Facebook, so a couple of e-friends were able to hook me up with the RSD releases I wanted. Thanks guys…you know who you are. Wait…do you even read this blog to know I am thanking you?!?!
So at this point I no longer care about RSD. I’m not bothering to go to the local store on that day of madness and veiled greed. If I can’t get the release online or via anyone kind enough to hook me, I will be shit outta luck. Oh well. I’m not going to get bent out of shape if I don’t get that 7” of the two bands covering each other’s song in the uber-limited die-cut sleeve with the guitarist’s brother’s art designer blood mixed in with the ink. Fuck that. Too much hassle for a 7” that will end up sucking anyways. And go for a helluva lot less on eBay in a few months. Just like all previous RSD releases.