Vegas – Never To Wake 12″

24 Sep

Its only been about ten minutes since I posted about some Holy Terror. Time for some more right? Vegas’s ‘Never To Wake’ 12″. This was a one time only pressing of 300, released on Hellfish.

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One of the core Holy Terror bands, Vegas (or sometimes VVegas) play a sinister take on the Integ-inspired metal/hardcore crossover but with occasional atmospheric, ghostly acoustic sections. Backwards guitar, whispered & hoarse spoken vocals, clean guitar picking over faint walls of noise and distant metal solos. Its Holy Terror folk. They compliment the chaos of the other tracks perfectly, and if you dig that stuff at all, Vegas are for you.

Never To Wake is kind of a Vegas discography with the tracks from the ‘Never’ and ‘Wake’ albums (see what they did with the title?) almost all here. Although the ‘Never’ CD was a re-release of the ‘Wake’ CD anyway. Theres a few differences on this vinyl pressing though. The tracks from those two CD’s are rearranged into a different order and the titles translated into German.

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Given that the tracklisting between the Never and Wake CD’s was also different (tracks seemingly titled wrong, but who’s to say which one is correct?) I genuinely have no idea anymore what some of these songs are called. Mis-information and mystery are staples of the Holy Terror thing though so I’m into it. That sort of thing would normally slowly drive me insane. There’s extra tracks too, a creepy (and totally brilliant) Depeche Mode (!) cover and a few tracks recorded live from a show in Japan. These sound incredible, raw and nasty as hell.

This vinyl edition has new artwork too. We get a certain California Girl in a clip from one of her videos, but made to look partially decomposed.

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It’s printed on a sort of silver card, looks great. There’s a space for hand numbering (it’s out of 250 as the first 50 had a special screen-printed sleeve I think) but it’s been left blank. If you assumed that this would bother me, you are correct.

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So all in all this is an awesome record, with tracklisting, content and cover art all exclusive to this release. Only 300 ever made, never to be repressed. Essential I’d say. There’s still a few knocking around in various hardcore web-stores. Hunt them down.

 



An early 2000’s gem: Some Girls – The Rains 7″

22 Sep

Before recently going on to sing in gloom-core 80’s esque synth band Cold Cave, Wes Eisold was in 2 bands during the golden early 2000’s era of US hardcore. One of them was called (pre-legal dispute) American Nightmare and you might have heard of them. Ah, sarcasm…. The other one was this band, Some Girls.

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Got this The Rains 7″ as a surprise bargain on Ebay. Stuck a low bid on to spice up that 99p 1st bid and ended up winning it for a few quid. Released on Deathwish forever ago, this is from the first press on grey out of 497.

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Or is it? The Deathwish pressing info lists that there was 497 on grey with light & dark variations. But 3 (yes, three) pressed on a white and grey marble. Now I don’t know about you, but that looks white and grey marble-y.

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I guess I’ll never know for sure, and i highly doubt it is. But that’s pretty cool if I got one out of only three made. This EP and The Blues EP went together along with some other tracks to form the All My Friends Are Going Death collection.

This record still sound immense too. No matter what band he’s fronting nowadays, Wes will always be the guy standing in my parents kitchen in his underwear when American Nightmare slept over during their first tour. Showing me his Pulp tattoos while his clothes were in the washing machine and the rest of the band watched Hellfest videos in the front room. They probably don’t remember, but as a youth, that pretty much made the year.

The Cult Of The Seven Crowns – Gehenna & Penetration Panthers

17 Sep

I picked up these two records separately over the last couple weeks but seeing as they’re both part of The Cult Of The Seven Crowns it made sense to put them together. TCOTSC is a pretty large collective of bands that seem to stem from Gehenna, as members of Gehenna seem to crop up a lot throughout the releases. The other thing they share in common is that all the bands will fuck you up one way or another. Usually by being lo-fi, nasty and very heavy. One of the two records here though are an exception to The Cult that will just party all up in your face until you die. First up though, Gehenna’s ‘Upon The Gravehill’ 12″.

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Apocalyptic cover art. Gehenna preach the apocalypse and the desolation of the human race so it serves the music perfectly. Released by King Of The Monsters records, pressed on blue and limited to 550. This is actually a re-press, the first press was on black I think.

 

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The lyrics come on a big fold out sheet with the cover art on the back.
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And the place where the credits and thanks list usually go see Gehenna on typically gracious form:

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If you like your metal / hardcore raw and nasty, Gehenna are pretty much essential. As it says on the back cover ‘the music of Gehenna isn’t made to make people feel good.’

And secondly, the debut 7″ by Penetration Panthers.

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Released on A389 (have I ever mentioned how much I love A389? Seriosuly, the BEST hardcore label out there right now) on a ‘clear and pink swirl’ but is more of a clear with pink explosion. Looks great though. Limited to 300 copies. I forgot to add this on to an order I’m waiting on from A389 but turns out some dude in the UK was selling one on Ebay cause he didn’t like it (that was pretty much his description on the listing). I missed the auction but Google showed me his ended listing, so i e-mailed him, offered him £3 and 2 days later it arrived.

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Penetration Panthers have got DC from Gehenna in them. They play a dirty, old school 70’s punk, high on the sleaze factor with a dash of pyschadelia and they’re awesome. The demo of Lipstick & Leather was what I heard first, and its better than the version on here to be fair, its got female vocals and much more of a trippy buzz to it. But thats no complaint, this 7″ has got a cool lo-fi sound, harsh and like everything is red-lining which makes my speakers wish they were playing something else. 

 

 

Crom – The Cocaine Wars 1974-1989

14 Sep

Crom are all about 2 things – Conan The Barbarian and drugs. Lots of drugs.

Essentially they’re a grind/powerviolence band and this is their first 12″ – The Cocaine Wars 1974-1989. Originally released on CD by Pessimiser (the label ran by Despise You’s vocalist I think) in 2001 and later pressed onto vinyl and re-released by Forest Moon Special Products (Endor, surely?) on a limited run of 250.

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Yes that’s a warrior woman riding on a polar bear.
The bands influences are no secret:

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I said they were ‘essentially’ a grind/pv band, but this gets nowhere near to describe what it’s like to listen to Crom. The best I could do to let you in on it, would be a track by track for the first few minutes of this album. Ok, here we go:

We start with howling winds, an operatic war march tune fades in, all choirs and violins. It lasts for a few seconds and fades out again. Winds still howling. Slow, crusty metal starts playing that sounds like it’s building to something which then … stops. A sample of Venom on stage in (presumably) the 80’s asking the crowd if they like “SPEEEEED METAL?! BLAAAACK METAL?”. A quick 40 second burst of Crom actually playing some fast/slow powerviolence. A tiny Arnie Conan sample. Another 30 second burst of Crom. More howling winds for 40 seconds. Pounding drums come in, another Conan sample appears behind it. Stops. Crom play screaming, deranged grindcore for 20 seconds. Howling winds fade in…. then Crom actually play for around 4 minutes, a song with an actual beginning and ending. Pan pipes and howling winds fade in and close the track….

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Thats all in the first 8 tracks. No pauses, no gaps. There’s another 23 tracks to come. Listening to Crom is like having someone channel hopping between 3 TV channels rapidly – one showing Conan, one playing old 80’s metal videos and one playing some really well put together grindcore. It’s like nothing else.

Please listen to Crom, bang your head and laugh your face off.

Rot In Hell / Hordes split 7″

11 Sep

The fact of the matter is I probably spend more time than a sensible person should do pursuing rare Rot In Hell vinyl. Another fact of the matter is that rare Rot In Hell vinyl seems to be fetching crazy money lately. A test press of the Sins Of Malice demo recently went for £85. Which makes the £24 I spent on this seem small in comparison. Still, £24 for a 7″ that only came out around 3 years ago is a lot I guess. Yes, it makes me a very silly boy but it also makes me happy. This is the split with Hordes, released on the deceased Rat Patrol Records. Only 100 of these pressed on red/black.

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Ive been looking out for this or a while and haven’t seen it up for sale for a long time. But now it’s all mine. To put on my shelf.

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RIH have 2 songs on here, one of their own and an Integrity cover, both of which I already own anyway (see? Silly…) but if you open the insert up looking for lyrics to their Integrity cover:

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you’ll find some good advice instead –

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Hordes on the flip side I was really impressed by. I hadn’t heard them before, they do an Entombed cover for their 2nd track so a lazy thing for me to do would be to say they reminded me of Entombed but they did. Solid, sort of sludgy, downtuned riffing. I liked it a lot. Apparently they’ve got an album out but I couldn’t find it anywhere.

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This marks the last RIH split that I didn’t own any version of whatsoever. So now I can stop endlessly searching for more. Yeah right.

An unlikely threesome – Dillinger Escape Plan, Integrity, End Of A Year

8 Sep

While in the same shop that I bought the blast from the past record featured in my last post, I also found a few other gems among the racks. First up, a Dillinger Escape Plan 7″ – Cursed, Unshaven & Misbehavin’.

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This is a live EP recorded around the time of their first album in 2000 while, according to sleeve notes, on tour with (of all bands) the Misfits. That would be an interesting evening. Now I’m a big Dillinger fan…. in a way. That first album, Calculating Infinity came out out in 1999 and is pretty incredible but original vocalist Dimitri Minakakis left after that, they shoved a load of melody in among the chaos and recruited a dude who sounds like he’s doing a Mike Patton impersonation. Which wouldn’t be so bad if Dillinger didn’t record an EP with Patton on vocals while looking for a replacement that shows how good that would be as a permanent thing. Other albums haven’t been as good. I’ve bought them all anyway, some bands just have that hold over me. Anyway, this is the original line up so I’m all in. The most interesting thing is that this 7″ comes with a warning –

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and instructions –

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No chance of sitting back just listening. Side A is a gamble which track will actually play, while side B starts one track as normal, but then one track from the inside out. Pretty cool. 2000 of these pressed on black (there were colour variants) on Relapse Records.
Next, what other band would have a picture of this happy camper as their sleeve insert?

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That’s right. Integrity.

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Their To Die For 10″ on A389 Records. Deathwish put this out on CD years before A389 put out the vinyl. This is the 4th pressing, just on plain old black. Earlier pressings had a different picture for the insert. Blue sleeve on one side, red sleeve on the other.

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And last, an End Of A Year 7″.

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EOAY are sort of post hardcore, post grunge, post emo. They bring to mind stuff like At The Drive In, Braid and The Pixies all at once. Their lastest album from last year was a slow burner for me, took me a while to get it but I’m pretty into these now. This was released before that on Disposable Cultures, 500 pressed. This 7″ has the snappy title of The Sorrowful & Immaculate Heart Of Emanuela Orlandi. A good little find. 3 good finds in fact, and that’s it.

Deftones – Adrenaline

6 Sep

Deftones’ first album is a stone cold classic from my younger days in a time when when Kerrang! magazine was the Bible and my biggest problem was making sure my dear old Mum didn’t see the Parental Advisory sticker on the front of The Great Southern Trendkill. Originally released 16 years ago (fucking hell) on Maverick, this is the 180g repress released earlier this year.

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I think I may have got into this album retrospectively after their second album Around The Fur came out in ’97, but I can’t remember. Too long ago. What I do know however is that now I’m thinking about it, it seems crazy to me that Deftones were lumped in with the whole nu-metal (shudder) and rap-metal (bigger shudder) lot. While Korn cried their eyes out, while Limp Bizkit had Method Man as a guest vocalist and while Coal Chamber dressed up like wankers, Deftones just got on with being subtle, cool as you like and writing one solid album after another. Long after all their ‘contemporaries’ fell off. They’re a different class entirely. I guess I can see why, they were all part of a new breed of metal, but I can’t listen to any of that toss anymore except Deftones. After their sixth album last year, they still feel and sound essential. Just like this record