Archive for December, 2012

Awwwwww yeah!!! Here I am back to regain some of my hardcore punk street cred.

The almighty Converge returned with a new album, All We Love We Leave Behind. To say that this is album is a beast is an understatement. This is Converge at their meanest and rawest and most intense. In the band’s already ongoing 20+ years career, this album is a summation of all things Converge and then some. They have taken everything from before, beaten it into the current sound and style, and come up with a mish-mash that encompasses all the  best they have to give. And it’s fuckin’ glorious!

If you’ve listened to the album by now, then there is no need to “review” or retread what AWLWLB is all about. If you feel inclined though, just mozy on over to the proper review of the album I did on T1F. No, this is more and all about the vinyl. Vinyls. Records. Rekkidz. Yeah.

Waaaaaaaay back in late August, pre-orders for this bad boy dropped on and went live on Deathwish Inc. As expected fanboys and girls clamored for this and ordered with the quickness. Myself included of course. I don’t even remember what the expected release date was at the time. That’s a bit irrelevant by now. All that is widely known is that this pre-order was fraught with delays all thanks to The Beatles. Yes. The Beatles. I have no beef with the Liverpool foursome and their music. I enjoy what they’ve done and I’m cognizant of their influence and contributions to pop and rock music. (If you’re one of those narrow-minded assholes that kept saying “Fuck The Beatles” and bitching and moaning about their music when tied in with the delays faced by a lot of labels and record manufacturing plants, please do me a favor and get fucked. You’re an idiot and more than likely some young 20-something who doesn’t know his/her head from your own ass).

So yeah. The Beatles…or rather, whomever is holding the rights to their music nowadays, decided to release a massive box set of all of their records. Being that it’s a massive catalog and undertaking, this tied up at least two of the major record manufacturing plants in producing it. Which of course affected every other customer/label/band who had records to be made. Including Deathwish Inc. and all the Converge AWLWLB 2xLP.

But all the waiting and inherent bitching and moaning by the aforementioned narrow-minded assholes, was well worth the wait. The 2xLP release of AWLWLB is incredible. How can you beat a foil-stamped gatefold jacket and full-art in the centerfold as well as the insert?!?! You can’t!

DSCN3636

DSCN3632     DSCN3634

The foil-stamping made it fun to photograph properly with and without the camera flash and even natural light. So shiny!

DSCN3637

DSCN3649

DSCN3650

And of course as expected, it was off to the races to figured out what colors would be pressed and how limited they’d each be. Speculation ran rampant as soon as the first few orders started being received by all the clamoring fanboys and girls. Right out of the gate, Deathwish Inc. announced that there’d be a three-colorway as usual with their releases. Plus a 180gram Black and also an exclusive Yellow for their Kings Road Merch & Epitaph webstore.

At the time of posting this, the only pressing numbers known are the 180gram Black (1,000) and the KRM Yellow (1,000).

DSCN3644     DSCN3652
DSCN3640     DSCN3642

DSCN3648    DSCN3646

And there is also yet another color, a Red/Orange Swirl that the band currently has on tour in Europe. The exact pressing on that is still up for debate after much discussion and arguments over it. We will know in due time.

So. That’s a total of seven variants including the Black 180gram. And surely if you haven’t kept up the dominant record nerds message boards discussing this release, you’re wondering where that Clear variant came from and what’s it all about. So far it is being speculated that it’s a “friends & family” pressing much like Relapse Records does with their releases (coincidently also on clear vinyl). But if you’ve been a long Converge and Deathwish Inc. fan and supporter, then you know this along the same lines as the Axe to Fall “shards” and the Jane Doe reissue “peach” variants which were  randomly inserted to the first few orders and also given to long-time friends and supporters of the band and label. And are ridiculously rare and limited.

DSCN0146     DSCN0821

So there you have it.

Converge‘s All We Love We Leave Behind 2xLP. I’m sure that all pressing info will be released soon. And then people can start going nuts over what colors they have and how limited they are and inflate their senses of entitlement even more. Ha! Just kidding.

By this point it’s no secret that I have an unhealthy obsession with Taylor Swift and her music. It’s a bit inexplicable since I am not a 14-year old girl. Instead, I’m an old and jaded hardcore punk rock metalhead. Weird huh?

So Swift put out a new album this year, Red, and as expected, it decimated all in sales and release week records. Sold a gazillion records already out of the gate and when tour dates were announced and tickets went on sale for next year, those sold out with the quickness as well. And yes, I will be hitting up one of the tour dates here in FloriDUH!

DSCN3614

The vinyl version of Red was released a few months after the regular edition. The 16-song tracklisting requires this to be a 2xLP. Nicely done gatefold jacket with the lyrics and images printed on the inside. The vinyl itself is a solid heavyweight. It continues the trend of quality in the release as the Speak Now 2xLP. Only difference is that this sound a lot better.

DSCN3616

DSCN3617

DSCN3618

DSCN3619

A great opportunity was completely missed by the label and even Swift herself. This record begged to be pressed on red vinyl. Why wasn’t it? With the amount of importance that Swift made of the color red and how it fits into the theme of the album and its songs, red vinyl would have been a no-brainer for the release.

As for the music itself. Red is further moving along in Swift’s effort to expand her sound and veer away from any trappings of the pop-country she had a foothold on. The new songs are still all pop but a few flirt with indie rock and some more experimentation. There is even a hint of dubstep in there!

Recently, someone asked me why I am so hooked on Swift and her music. It was an easy question to answer: the fact that she writes her own music and lyrics (yes, she has some co-writing credit on some songs), is impressive enough and gets mad respect from me. Her music is catchy as all hell and I’m ok with it being mainstream and Top 40. I may have been weaned on hardcore, punk, and metal, but I still can appreciate and get hooked into a good pop song.

And don’t worry, I’ll regain some of my hardcore punk street cred when I get my hands on the new ConvergeAll We Love We Leave Behind 2xLp and post about it.