Posts Tagged ‘Deathwish Inc’

Ever since this whole newgaze scene exploded, I got hooked as I’ve always been a big fan of the whole shoegaze and Brit-pop music from the ’90s that it has so influenced it. It’s a resurgence of noisy shoegaze and dream pop. Some bands have taken a more aggressive and inventive approach and of course two of those bands are Whirr and Nothing. I could easily post at length at how much I’m into both and have sought out everything they’ve put out. As an ardent fanboy, of course I’ve also looked into other side band any member have been in or are currently doing.

Most notably in recent months is Death Of Lovers. They came about  in a collaboration of members of Whirr and Nothing after the two bands tour together last year. Two already-great bands coming together? I was giddy as a schoolgirl to say the least. After a few months of speculation and teasing, their debut EP, Buried Under A World Of Roses,  was release by Deathwish Inc. To say that it’s a slice of noisy shoegaze heaven would be an understatement. It’s a solid EP, although short in just four songs, and it’s so complex and layered that each listen yields something new.

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Death Of Lover is comprised of Nick Bassett  of Whirr, Domenic Palermo, Brandon Setta, and Kyle Kimball, all of Nothing, and keyboardist Cecilia Liu. All together have created something unique and simply beautiful. I am floored at how much I love this EP and band. Call it a new obsession. Then again isn’t all music that you love basically an obsession?

One thing I have to say about the vinyl colors and overall package design is that they’re all unique. In a way simple and ornate but I feel that they overall point is just that: simplicity and a sense of minimalism to allow the music to speak for itself. And boy, does it. Ever listened to music so intense and emotionally heavy that it makes your heart ache and you shed a tear or two? That’s what I get from Death Of Lovers.

Further down the rabbit hole I also came across Night Sins, which is the other band that Nothing drummer Kyle Kimball is in. In Night Sins, Kimball is the vocalist mainly but also the principal songwriter. So it basically it’s his project. They have a sound that is akin to Sisters Of Mercy and solidly 80’s Goth. Insanely layered as well and a lot going on to take it. In 2012 they release their debut LP, New Grave, on Italian label Avant!

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And now most recently this year, Night Sins put out their second LP, To London or The Lake. Again, another example of post-goth music executed flawlessly.

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If you keep following me down the rabbit hole still, we now find Swan Dive. This is the other band from Nothing guitarist Brandon Setta. Swan Dive are still  within the newgaze genre and style but a little more noisy and punk. There is a faster pace to their music that puts them on another level and goes beyond what the other bands are doing. They just put our their debut 7″ EP, Fly Toward The Sun. A few colors available for this one in a very limited run.

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Any fan and lover of music will agree that it’s always fun to track down and listen to any and all related bands of a band you love. I know I do. It expands the sound palette and exposes you to new music. Isn’t that the point at times of listening to music?

I always stress out that I will never have enough time in my life to listen to all the music and records and bands that are out there which appeal to me. I guess obsessing over certain bands and their roots and off-shoots are a good way to remedy that stress. Right?

I recently reviewed the Death Of LoversBuried Under A World Of Roses EP over at the music site I write for. Feel free to peep that review here.

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As much as I’ve been trying, I can’t keep myself from chuckling at that 7-Eleven jingle about “Oh, thank heaven…” and weirdly enough applying it to Deafheaven. Silly, yes.

BUT.

With Deafheaven’s new record, Sunbather, the sheer brilliance and genius of the band can’t be denied. Surely some haters will try, but they will fail miserably. And if you’ve listened to, and love, Roads to Judah, then you will not only be pleased but completely blown away by the new one.

As soon as Sunbather was announced, the anticipation built up like crazy. Especially for the vinyl release. The album is scheduled to be widely released on June 11th, and as with all things Deathwish Inc., pre-orders went up earlier. This past Tuesday as a matter of fact. And without a hitch. No system crashes. No oversells. No immediate selling out. Although the one particular color did sell out in about an hour as it was limited to one per customer, so presumably the most limited.

And it started arriving at people’s homes and blowing minds away all over again.

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Deathwish have gotten smart with their last few releases in that instead of the usual pre-order mayhem and uncertainty of colorways, they have put up the records already on hand and allowing customers to choose which colors they prefer. Some more limited than the others of course.

Sunbather was no exception to this new approach. Colors were already known and it was clear that the Clear with Splatter would be the most limited as it was “one per customer”. The other two colors are Hot Pink & Beer and Red & Gold.

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In the pics is hard to discern much difference between the Hot Pink and the Red, but in person it’s evident what each is. Although the Hot Pink looks like a more muted red when you look at it.

The packaging and design of the sleeve and jacket were done by Nick Steinhardt of Touché Amoré. He has done a few record art designs before and this one for Sunbather is top-notch. It’s simple and understated but also bold. The diecut detail in both front and back of the jacket are a nice touch. Adds a little punch to the overall image and design.

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There is some “criticism” on why put in a 2xLP in a single record jacket. Especially when Roads to Judah was a single LP in a gatefold jacket. Missed opportunity? Band and/or label decision? Not sure we may find out. But myself personally can go either way with it. Yes, it would have been cool to have been in a gatefold jacket, but it also works as a single jacket given how the diecuts are. That’s just me. Other record nerds will still bitch and moan about something or other on this release.

(Edit: I got in touch with Steinhardt about the art and design of the release and he shared this with me about the  packaging: “The non gatefold was a conscious decision to aid the design and dictate the way certain details revealed while opening it”)

Hell, I’ve heard some complaining about the colors for the vinyl, even the splatter, which I think looks great as all hell.

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Deafheaven’s Sunbather is a great record through and through. There is no doubt about that. It takes a new step in the band’s evolution with their music and songwriting but also with how it’s presented musically and visually with the record itself. This is already making its way to plenty of people’s Top Lists for 2013, mine included.

And to be completely lazy with my closing statement, I’ll just copy the proper review I wrote for Sunbather.

If there is such a thing as a sophomore record slump in music, then Deafheavenmust not have gotten that memo. And even if they did, they tore it to shreds and burnt it in a funeral pyre, as clearly evidenced in the brilliance of Sunbather. In this eagerly anticipated second record, the Bay area black metal shoegaze amalgamists have created a document in music and beautiful noise. It’s not easy to mix disparate and unlikely genres, but Deafheaven have done it so well that it looks and sounds easy.

Sunbather opens easily enough with “Dreamhouse” which is a standard showcase in the band’s sound. But as the song evolves and is followed by the later tracks, it’s apparent that Deafheaven have expanded their sound and style in the two years since Roads to Judah. Where Roads was a much darker and heavy album, Sunbather is more expansive, faster, and yet still heavier nonetheless. The best example of this new approach and heaviness is in the songs “Please Remember” and “Vertigo.” The former track builds up the noise and nuances, then bleeds into the latter and explodes in a chaotic wall of noise. And therein lies Deafheaven’s true essence as a band and as musicians. It’s the perfect harmony and balance of subdued and serene with the ugliness of heavy and dark.

Two things are clear listening to Sunbather. First, this album is a start-to-end record that has to be taken in as a whole. Each and every song compliments the one preceding and following it. The ambience and feel throughout is harmonious in that all the tracks work together to create a mood. Second, is that mood itself. This is an emotional record. It may be heavy and dark and fast at times, but it is rife with emotion. Sunbather gives you the sense of seeking a light in a world full of darkness. It is almost the musical question of the conundrum that plagues each of us since birth: why am I here? But better yet, it is the soundtrack to our search for equilibrium in this world where stability in shaky ground is ever-so elusive.

Sunbather is the album where Deafheaven expands not only their sound, but also breaks free of any and all preconceived notions anyone may have had of what they are supposed to sound like. This album is relentless with enough moments to reflect and breathe in all that we’re hearing. And hopefully closely listening to.

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And oh yeah. No pressing info as of yet.

It’s being assumed that it may be the “typical” Deathwish Inc. run of 300/700/1,000. We shall see soon enough.

I was initially going to post some long-winded entry about how lazy I’ve been in posting about new records. And I have been beyond lazy. Maybe even uninspired. I’ve had some great records come in and re-discovered a few in my collection, but nothing to get me off my ass to write. So this will be a somewhat conscious effort to do something.

It’s no secret that I am big supporter of certain labels and whatever music they release. Regardless if I have never heard of the band, if they’re on a particular favorite label, I will more than likely end up buying it. And surely enjoying it to no end. The case was always 100% for certain with Initial Records. I’ve shed plenty of tears over them when the label closed its doors. But their discography was and still is unbeatable. It helped that I lived in Louisville, KY when they were in operation and I was able to get plenty of all that they put out. But I also missed a few things in the dark years when I was more concerned with partying and being in college than buying and listening to records.

So because of that I have been searching to fill in some of the gaps in my Initial Records collection. But I’ve been a bit passive aggressive about it. Not really making it a priority but when the opportunity does cross my path, then I go for it. And it happened this past week with Coliseum announcing that they’d be putting a vault sale of rare and out of print records from not only themselves but also any bands they’re associated with, past and present. So going down then list we had a few Coliseum test presses and out of print early releases. OK. A couple of Lords and Young Widows rarities. Cool. And then we had some Breather Resist. Interested. Even better, they had the Breather Resist 7″ done by Initial Records. Both colors and a test press. Easy no-brainer purchase.

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So luckily I was able to secure the Breather Resist The Second Half 7″ on green, clear, and the test press.

The entire run was limited to 1,000 on the two colors. I am not 100% sure on what the breakdown between the two colors within the 1,000 is. The green is numbered #4 out of 1,000.

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The clear is numbered 666 of 1,000.

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And the test press is 1 of 6. Simple test press of course.

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This is very much-welcomed addition to the Initial Records collection. Not to mention that it’s a killer 7″ with two great tracks.

And added enticement for the vault sale, which is still going on by the way (click here), is that 25% of the sales from all Coliseum Vault items will go to benefit the ongoing care and medical bills of Callum Robbins, the son of Coliseum producer and friend J. Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines, Office Of Future Plans) who was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). So that is also an enticement and reason to help out and also get some great records.

And oh yeah. They threw in a rejected test press of the Coliseum True Quiet 7″ that was released on Deathwish Inc. That was  nice touch.

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Now I can say that I have a Deathwish Inc. test press in my collection. Hurrah!

If you’re a record nerd with any Initial Records releases I may not have and you’re willing to sell or trade, hit me up. We can work something out. Hollah!

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!

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

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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).

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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.

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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.

Not gonna lie. I am not a fan of doing these lists. It feels forced and obligatory for anyone who writes for a music site and blog. My cynicism is so out of control that I feel silly listing out what records and music I thought were awesome in 2011…or any given year…because, really, who the hell am I to preach and boast? All it really does is make me come across as an even bigger music snob than I already am. At least that’s what my friends will tell me.

But I guess I have to, don’t I?

2011 was an intense year for music and records. A lot of great releases from plenty of bands and labels. A few hot reissues. A great deal of new bands I got hooked into. A few others that surprised me at how good they are although going contrary to the usual hardcore and metal and punk I listen to. As usual, this list is in no particular order. Just because a record is #1 or at the bottom of the list, doesn’t mean anything. They’re all equally great in my jaded opinion and their “ranking” is meaningless. These are the records that caught my attention, blew me away, and I thoroughly enjoyed so much that I am now putting down on internet ink as must-hear and also an effort to waste your time reading my ramblings. Ha!

Top LP & 12” Releases of 2011

DeafheavenRoads to Judah (Deathwish Inc.) – This one piece of Black Metal / Shoegaze / Post-Metal awesomeness made every damn top list out there. A few to probably suck at the band’s teat. I refuse to kiss their ass. Yeah, they’re at the top of my list but solely because it’s a great record. DFHVN have crafted an unexpected sound and combined genres that initially were thought to be dissimilar. What more can be said? Everyone liked it. It’s pretty great.

 Wolves In The Throne RoomCelestial Lineage (Southern Lord) – Typically, Black Metal is not an easy genre to get into. It can be downright a bit jarring and cacophony. Even for someone like myself who is into some aggressive metal bands, I never got into BM. Maybe it was because what little I know of it, I thought it was silly. I found that some BM bands took themselves way too seriously with their image and message. Not to that it isn’t. Whatever makes those guys happy. Wolves In The Throne Room were different though. They take Black Metal and push it forward on their own terms and refuse to follow any of the “rules” of the genre. Their sound is punishing and layered over a terrifying sense of melody and atmosphere. And Aaron Turner collaborated with them on Celestial Lineage! How awesome is that?!?!

Touché Amoré – Parting The Sea Between Brightness and Me (Deathwish Inc.) – I heard plenty of this band but didn’t really check them out until they landed on Deathwish’s doorstep. Since I tend to be a sucker for and check all things DW, I gave TA a shot. Boy, was I glad I did. Their sound and music and lyrics struck me as teen angst for the 30something in me. Urgent and desperate. Emotionally-charged. All things that make music great. Regardless of what genre it is. Even more so when it’s a post-hardcore band like Touché Amoré.

Helms Alee – Weatherhead (Hydra Head) – This is a rollercoast of a record. Back and forth between styles and genres and just loud. Listening to the record is one thing…but Helms Alee is one of those bands that have to be experienced live. The music is as precise and intense as on record…but louder! I think they follow the “these go to 11” rule. Weatherhead has it all for anyone into aggressive and heavy music. With added creepy cats all over.

Meg & DiaCocoon (Self-Released) – Last year I had Taylor Swift‘s Speak Now on my list. So why would this year be any different and not have a non-hardcore/metal/punk record? Meg & Dia are Indie Pop at its finest. Sugary melodies so sweet it makes your teeth ache. But they still retain an indie sensibility that grounds them and makes them relatable. With Cocoon they stripped their sound down and there’s a sense of melancholy that meanders through the music.

(The) MelvinsThe Bride Screamed Murder (Amphetamine Reptile) – I said once and I will say it again: being a Melvins fan is a pain in the ass. Or is the band the pain in the ass? Either way, they don’t make it easy being a completist collector asshole. A gazillion variants and über-limited versions. This was no different. The music itself is a throwback to Houdini and (A) Senile Animal…but the record itself was a pain to get. Especially given the limited fashion of it (1,000 total pressed but 100 different covers by 10 different artists) and its individual cost ($50 a pop), made it tough for some fans. Not to mention the randomness of sale drops and how quickly it sold out. Time and time again. 

Harmony – Harmony (Self-released) – The U.S. has Americana and Folk as music styles. If Australia has those styles also, then Harmony are the epitome and flag-bearers for them. Complete surprise of a record. My good friend Craigos recommended them and I was hooked. This record is great…albeit a bit pricey since it came from Australia…but still a fantastic experience.

MamifferHirror Enniffer Tour Edition (Sige) – This is one of those records that is not only a treat to listen given its ambience and style, but it’s great when a band does something different and special after its already been released. Mamiffer went on tour. They had leftover copies without jackets. So they made something special for people who attended the shows to pick up. Unfortunately, the band did not have any dates close to where I live. Luckily though, I have a such good relationship with the band as Fanboy Numero Uno, that I was saved a copy. Thanks Mamiffer!

WhirlDistressor (Sweet Sounds of Nothing) – 2011 was the year of Neo-Shoegaze. The genre that was a big deal, to those into Brit-pop and Alternative music (back when it was REALLY alternative) in the 90’s, 2011 felt like a resurgence in a big way. Whirl joined bands like Asobi Seksu and Silversun Pickups in pushing the Shoegaze style forward and adding their own touches. What made Whirl, and Distressor, stand out, was that it was deeply-rooted in the genre and sounded genuine. 

Cave InWhite Silence (Hydra Head) – They’re baaaaaaaack!!! Whoever said Cave In were done for was so wrong. Cave In returned in a big way with White Silence: a combination of all things that make this band so great. Take the heaviness, combine it with the spacey melodies, and add some quirky and unexpected songs and you get White Silence. Great record showing a band that still has the chops to prove they’re still kings.

MamifferMare Decendrii (Conspiracy) – Another great outing from Mamiffer. It’s no secret that this has become one of my favorite bands. And every release they put out is a surprise. Very much like that proverbial Forrest Gump box of chocolates, you never know what you’re getting with each Mamiffer record. But one thing is for certain, it’s always a great experience in music and ambience and sounds unlike any other.

Lotus EatersWurmwulv 2xLP (Taiga) – Aaron Turner + Stephen O’Malley + James Plotkin = an experiment in electroacoustic noise. Not much can really be said about this record that hasn’t already been said. It’s great. Taiga Records always outdo themselves with every release.

 

Most Precious BloodDo Not Resuscitate (Morse Recordings) – The undisputed kings of NYHC returned with their heaviest and most experimental record. This thing had it all: aggressive hardcore, electronic sampling, orchestrated sounds, and even an acoustic song! All in all it is a great record and further proof that MPB can’t be messed with.

 

Kayo DotStained Glass (Antithetic) – More experimental sounds from Toby Driver. How awesome is that? It took me a while to get into Kayo Dot, but when it finally clicked and made sense, it is a great experience. Stained Glass is an experiment in creating a darkness with the ambience and within the environment. Each and every Kayo Dot record is an experiment in what can be done musically.

 

WIFEPipe Candy (Dios Mio Music) – Instrumental Shoegaze and Ambient music. Can’t get any better than that. This record and music is all about creating a mood. The music creates more of a mood and feel to just let yourself go in. You can either let it play in the background or listen intently and pay close attention. The packaging and presentation…not to mention the music itself…are all well worth the price tag.

 

Best 7” Releases of 2011

WhirrJune 7” EP (TeePee) – So Whirl goes and changes their name due to legal tangling. They sign to TeePee and release this new slab of wax to tease us on what’s to come. More Shoegaze wonderfulness. This time the songs are a bit slicker and more polished. May be due to the production but in the end they’re great. The only drawback is that it ends too quickly.

Converge / Dropdead 7” (Deathwish Inc.) – Two bands celebrating a 20-year career of aggressive music. They go on tour together and what better way to celebrate than put out a split 7″ of new music. Both songs are punishing and heavy. Converge does what they do best and do does Dropdead. As expected, this release had fanboy collectors scrambling as there were multiple variants. So many pretty pretty colors.

By The Grace Of GodThree Steps To A Better Democracy 7” (Cobra) – This is not new music per se. This was originally released back in 1998 on CD only. Being that the band reunited for a string of European shows and Krazy Fest, a vinyl version was finally done for these recordings. The songs still sound as urgent as ever. It feels as though BTGOG never broke up.

Black Gods/t 7” (No Idea) – That Rob Pennington is a busy man. Not only did he reunite with By The Grace Of God, but he also kept going with the new band,  Black God. BG essentially picks up where Black Cross left off. Still playing with Ryan Patterson, this is a smooth transition and continuation of that noisy and chaotic hardcore they both know how to make.

Incendiary / Unrestrained – split 7″ (Trip Machine Labs) – Hardcore from the opposing coasts. Incendiary hailing from Long Island, NY and Unrestrained from Portland, OR. Both bands doing hardcore by their own terms but still retaining a respect for the youth crew and scenes of the early 90’s.

 

Best Reissues/Represses of 2011

BotchWe Are The Romans (Hydra Head) – This reissue was a long time coming. Fans were tired of paying buku money for original pressings on eBay. Then Hydra Head one day stumbles upon leftover jackets in some warehouse and figures to repress the release. Why not? All was well until internet servers crashed, stores didn’t get any copies, and people were left empty-handed. But those who did get it, know that this repress of We Are The Romans was well-done and the colors are perfect for the artwork. A great reissue of a great release from a great band. 

 

Old Man GloomChristmas Eve I + II + 6 + Live in NYC (Hydra Head) – Another great and interesting reissue. Originally available as a “test press” run of 50, it was hard to come by anywhere after it sold out back in 2003. Thankfully HH reissued in larger quantities. These songs need to be heard. Post-whatever doom sludge metal…if you want to call it that. The packaging is simple but well-done. In a post-ISIS world, we can all use more Aaron Turner.

 

Coheed and CambriaSecond Stage Turbine Blade  Tour Edition (Equal Vision) – Yet another release that was a long time overdue for a reissue. When it was originally released by Defiance Records under license by Equal Vision, no one paid much attention. The band had not blown up yet. But when they did, OG copies were scarce and going for top dollars on eBay. To coincide with the album’s 10th anniversary, a repress was done on larger numbers in white, green and the tour-only black. The tour version was far more interesting as the cover was done in black and white and the label were changed. Something different that stands out.

IndecisionUnorthodox (Bitter Melody) – Remastered. Can’t get any better than that. The original version of the release is so sub par compared to this reissue, you may as well forget it exists. You can tell that Grant at Bitter Melody loves all things Indecision and Most Precious Blood. The amount of time, effort, and care put into this release shows throughout. From the overall remastered sound to the packaging and artwork, an even the screenprinted covers for the 180gram black, this is a top-notch reissue of a great record. 

ISISOceanic 2xLP (Robotic Empire) – Another ISIS repress?!?!…Aren’t there like a thousand of Oceanic already? That may and is very well the case. This time around for the this repress, the album has been remastered and re-cut. The jackets were also redone in a  heavyweight “tip-on” style gatefold. As usual, different vinyl colors available, of which the “Brine” was the more suitable and conducive with the artwork. This is still my all-time favorite ISIS record and I will never get tired of seeing it reissued time and time again. Have I mentioned that I am still looking for the “Seaweed” variant of this reissue?

So that about does it.

I was going to get a bit more extensive with additional lists like “Best Box Set” (MelvinsEndless Residency; DeftonesThe Vinyl Collection: 1995-2011; Type O NegativeNone More Negative; Pearl JamPJ20 Soundtrack), “Best Scores of the Year” (27Tour 7″ test press; Shai HuludHearts Once Nourished with Hope and Compassion LP test press; Ink & DaggerLove Is Dead 7″ repress test press; Ink & DaggerThe Experimentation in Nocturnal Sound & Energy 7″ test press)…and who knows what else. But I passed on that idea. Too obnoxious.

Here’s to 2012 surely bringing more awesome music and records. At least there is a new Narrows release (Painted) out in February, so I’m looking forward to that. Maybe some new Converge also? Hopefully new Nine Inch Nails and we already know the How To Destroy Angels full-length should be out.

Bring it on!

“Making useless lists to annoy people since 1995”

WIFE – Pipe Candy 12″ LP

Posted: November 3, 2011 by Juan D. in Record Nerds
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Whenever members of a band make the decision to stretch themselves out musically in side-projects or other bands, it can be either disastrous and turn off fans or it can be a new and exciting expression of their art. Thankfully with WIFE, we have the latter. WIFE is comprised of Nick Steinhardt (Touché Amoré) and Andrew Thomas. Just two guys. All sounds and music created with guitars and bass. That’s it. No drums. No vocals. Nothing else. Sounds intriguing doesn’t it?

It definitely is intriguing and very different than anything you’d expect from a member of Touché Amoré. WIFE‘s sound straddles the line between Shoegaze and Ambient. The music creates more of a mood and feel to just let yourself go in. You can either let it play in the background or listen intently and pay close attention. Either way, you will be enjoying this to no end. I know I am.

I had heard of the band a while back but didn’t really get on buying the record until earlier this week when Deathwish Inc. posted it on their distro. It’s a bit pricey for an LP ($20) but considering the quality of the release, it’s very well worth it:

The packaging features a Stoughton vintage style tip-on gatefold jacket, metallic/spot UV inks, and Wife embossing on the record sleeve. The vinyl itself is 180 gram clear / bubble gum, “Half N’ Half” virgin vinyl.

The LP seems to be the first elease by Dios Mio Music (judging by the #001 catalog number, maybe?), is according to their blogpost page, “an outlet for composer/musician/sound engineer Andrew Thomas to share his work with the world.” Thomas being the other half of WIFE of course.

And looking at it…it’s like a giant piece of bubblegum!

There are no center labels which adds to the aesthetic of the record. Nothing to break up the clear and bubblegum pink colors.

Oh yeah…it’s limited to 250. I know you only care about that sort of stuff anyways.

If you’re curious about the band and how they sound…which I’d be wondering why since you should’ve already ordered this record anyways…WIFE has a Soundcloud page with a few songs off the LP (“Terraines” and “Ecuador”) and a few non-LP ones. Check them out here.

There’s also this video from their record release performance at Vacation Vinyl in L.A. Enjoy.

CONVERGE‘s Jane Doe turns 10 today. Released just seven days before the 9/11 attacks, it can be argued that it was a bittersweet release. Not only did it mark a pinnacle in the aggressive music genre, but it’s closely remembered to the terrorist attacks solely due to the proximity of the release date.

Jane Doe has become a de facto benchmark and measuring gauge on what a band can do within the hardcore punk & metal scenes. With this album Converge veered away from the conventional hardcore of previous releases and created a sonically pummeling experiment. I’ll be the first one to admit that when I first listened to the record I didn’t know quite what to make of it. It was jarring, cacophonous, noisy, and terrifying. But there was something about it that kept me coming back to repeated listens until, in an unexpected moment, it clicked. I was able to understand it within the music and lyrics. And it was glorious!

No, there’s not a 10th anniversary reissue. No fancy reissue with bonus tracks and demos and all that nonsense. The 2xLP reissue from Deathwish Inc. already happened. That’s enough. Jane Doe is perfect the way it is. No need to take away from the mystery and wonder of it.

So go celebrate by listening to it cranked up to 11. And enjoy some pretty pretty pictures of it here:

Yes…I am fully aware that the Root Beer and Black versions of the O.G. pressing are not pictured…

Oh well.

Ask any vinyl nerd what aspect of the whole hobby/game/lifestyle/obsession of collecting they enjoy most and a few are more likely to answer that they like finding and getting rarer versions or pressings. Whether it’s a record-release pressing, or something limited to 10 copies, or even friends pressing given out to random people who  commit lewd acts in front of the band or send in nudes…ya know, crazy shit like that.

When it comes to fests and special shows, some bands and labels take the route of creating something special and unique to have for sale at their merch tables. This is awesome as it makes the release more special and specific for that event and performance. But sometimes it can be a downer since some fans can’t make it to the show or fest when they’re far and away from their hometown. But much thanks to the internet age, it’s gotten a bit easier for someone to get Band X’s first album repressed with special cover covered in the singer’s blood only sold at the band’s final show in their Podunk hometown. Again…some crazy shit like that. But yeah…now thanks to message boards, Twitter, and Facebook, Fan Numero Fanatico Fantastico can beg and plead to friends and people attending the show to hook them up with a copy of that one record they want. Some get lucky and do get hooked…while others who tend to be overzealous and annoying in their pleas go unnoticed and ignored.

I tend to fall somewhere in the middle of that mess. But sometimes waiting can also work out as if there are any leftover merch, including those rare pressings, they become available online via the band or the label’s webstores.

In the case of this year’s This Is Hardcore, I lucked out in both fronts: having someone who went help me secure a couple of releases and also waiting for some to be available online afterwards.

Thanks to a good lad over at Dead Format, I was hooked up with Strife‘s My Fire Burns On 7″ and Moutpiece‘s Can’t Kill What’s Inside LP.

Strife was one of the first sXe hardore bands I got into way back when. Even though I am far from sXe they still hit home with their message and the music was great to mosh to. Ha! For TIH they repressed their My Fire Burns On 7″ and did a special silkscreened cover that folds out into a mini-print of sorts. Limited to 50 hand-numbered copies it’s on a grey marble puke messy color.

Mouthpiece is another sXe band I got into early. I believe it was last year…or maybe in 2009…Revelation Records compiled all of their recordings and put out the Can’t Kill What’s Inside LP. The band reunited and has been playing shows. For TIH, they took the second pressing of the discography LP of green vinyl and made a special cover for it limited to just 50. They got creative with this one using the G.I. Joe figure from the early 1960s on the cover. If you know your Revelation Records history, then you know how the “connection” with G.I. Joe and how this cover is an homage to that.

And now we have Deathwish Inc. They took the leftovers from TIH and posted them on their webstore thus giving fans a chance to get their grubby hands on these.

For TIH, DW took three records that they had vinyl for but no jackets and made special silkscreened covers. As it tends to surely happen, labels probably get an overrun of vinyl or jackets for some of their releases and these just sit in their warehouse or storage as they can’t really be released. So with these three, Deathwish went ahead and made something special for TIH.

Cold WorldDedicated To Babies Who Came Feet First. Black vinyl…unknown number on this pressing. Maybe a “reissue” for sorts to keep it in print. It feels weightier so 180gram perhaps? The TIH silkscreened cover is out of 110.

Killing The DreamFractures. Transparent Ice Blue (Coke Bottle) w/ White Splatter. The vinyl itself is the second pressing out of 200. With the silkscreened cover out of 150. So does that mean that only 50 copies of the second pressing had real jackets? Hmmmmm… This is probably my favorite of the TIH releases DW did. The cover is like a mini print of J. Bannon’s artwork and design. Which is also an actual art print he did a year or so back. And it goes perfect with the vinyl color.

Blacklisted…And The Beat Goes On. Black vinyl. No pressing info that known. I do get the sneaking suspicion that this the vinyl from a recent repress on 180gram. I say that because over at Six Feet Under Records’ webstore (and email newsletter) they mention a 180gram black vinyl reissue. Yet another Hmmmm. But this is out of 180 with the silkscreened cover. And it sold like hot cakes! Understandibly so as it is a great record.

Deathwish did a bang-up job on these for sure. Much like the ConvergeYou Fail Me leftover vinyl w/ silkscreened covers from a couple of years back, these are special and pretty overall awesome.

Pretty cool isn’t it?

And by the way…if anyone has an extra or willing to trade/sell a copy of the YFM red w/ black stripe w/ the silkscreened cover get at me. I’m down for a trade or purchase. juantspv@gmail.com

So that basically wraps up the TIH releases I got my hands on.

Surely there will be plenty of more fests and shows with special releases and pressings and variants that I will want to get my hands on. But only those bands I’m into. And labels I continually support and consistently put out great music. Like Deathwish Inc.

“Shamelessly brown-nosing since 1995”

While at the Converge show I scored a couple things other than the 7″s. Here are the other records. I’m not going to talk too much about them because they’ve been covered here in the past. As far as pressing is concerned, I’d be interest in knowing about the No Heroes and Darker Handcraft. Both of these bands were brilliant live and were also fantastic people cept for Nate Newton who appeared to be stoned on some kind of aerosol…..okay, not really but he really looked like there was something wrong with him. He was cracking me up all night.

Trap Them – Seance Prime: The Complete Recordings (1st print on white)

Trap Them – Darker Handcraft (Tour edition limited to 250 – 180 gram silver)

Converge – No Heroes (clear red)

Converge – Jane Doe (Black 2nd pressing)

Last night I saw Converge in my hometown of Morgantown, WV. While I was at the show I picked up the new Converge/Dropdead split 7″. This was a bit of a problem for me because Juan wanted four, Josh wanted one and I wanted two. I was a little sketched out cause I didn’t wanted to be identified as a eBay flipper (which I’m not) and told to fuck off. I had a game plan but it quickly turned to shit when met by the Converge merch guy.

The game plan was to name drop Vinyl Collective and mention that several people on the forum needed records. A goofy plan I know, but it was true and it was the best I could come up with. So I approach the merch guy, name drop VC and the dude looks at me like I’m a fucking alien. At this point I was fucked. I quickly got my records and took them to the car to formulate plan B.

Plan B never materialized. I knew I was just going to have to grow some nuts and ask for the remaining five records. At one point Jake B. was standing next to the merch guy for a while but I didn’t have the balls to go up to him with the same Vinyl Collective plan cause I wasn’t ready to deal with the same rejection the merch dude served me. In the end I just waited for the show to end, knowing there would be a huge crowd and maybe asking for five 7″s wouldn’t seem so strange amongst the chaos. Guy did give me a strange look but sold me the records without a problem. I still felt like a dick, but I’m a sensitive guy.

Anyway, if what the merch guy told me is true, they used a ton of colored vinyl in making these and the variations are limitless. He seemed to really enjoy the fact that these things were so varied.