Wednesday, November 26, 2014

411 - The Side that you Cannot See Complete Discography 1990-1992

At a time when reunions are announced on a daily basis and every record ever recorded is being repressed, repackaged and reissued at ridiculous prices. It's good to see a lesser known, yet well deserved band get the Complete Discography treatment.  

411, a band that featured Dan O'Mahony (No For An Answer, Carry Nation, Speak 714)
Kevin Murphy (Farside, Headfirst), Josh Stanton (Farside) and Mario Rubalcaba
(Rocket From The Crypt, OFF!, Earthless,The Black Heart Procession), were, too say the least, a Post Hardcore powerhouse.
Musically, the band was ahead of their time. 411 grabbed the attention of the ever changing Hardcore scene with a melodic style that perfectly meshed the classic Southern California Hardcore sound with that of Washington D.C.'s
Revolution Summer melodies, emotion and musicality.

 The band backed it's sound with smart, thought provoking lyrics that questioned and explored topics such as spirituality, religion and nationalism amongst others.
"Those Homophobic" a song that, at the time, seemed light years ahead of it's time, addressed the topic of Homophobia head on. One that took on a the machismo culture of Hardcore and turned it on it's side.  Along with some of the great 411 songs such as 
Carnal Knowledge, Face the Flag and This Isn'tMe. There are covers of
Mad at Myself (Government Issue) and State Violence, State Control (Discharge)
The Side You Cannot See features 16 songs, including both the EP and LP versions of the bands aforementioned classic Those Homophobic.

Limited edition of 500 copies of color vinyl. Features a two sided fold out which features lyrics and images provided by noteworthy photographers Dave Sine and Chrissy Piper.
Aside from the absence of a digital download code. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing these songs for the first time in years. Melodic, energetic and thoughtful stuff that holds up well more than twenty years later. James Damion

Rev HQ  Get it Here

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Token Entry - From Beneath the Streets Reissue

Mad at the World records is currently taking preorders for the December reissue of 
Token Entry's From Beneath the Streets. Originally released in 1987 on Kevin Seconds 
(7 Seconds) Positive Force Records. As is with most reissues, several color versions will be made available. The reissue is a long time coming and has seen it's share of delays. However, if all goes well. It should ship within weeks. James Damion

Dust & Grooves - Adventures in Record Collecting

For close to a month now, I've been going back and fourth about ordering a copy of 
Dust & Grooves "Adventures in Record Collecting". The debate, if you want to call it that,
is more of a "When will I?" than a "Should or shouldn't I?" As much as I've become an avid collector again in recent years. I tend to be more interested in what other collectors have in their bins, boxes and monumental structures. Being that I've yet to see a copy in any book or record store. The video below went a long way to further my need to have it. 
After viewing this, I felt the need to share it. If not to provoke more interest. 
To further position myself to order my own copy.  So after a lot of hard work and due diligence. I give you Dust & Grooves. Enjoy. James Damion

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Bedhead 1992-1998: Unboxing

Earlier today I ordered the complete studio recordings of the lesser known 90's band Bedhead.  The Dallas, Texas pioneers of what became known as Slow Core released 
five LP's during their lifespan. Inspired by my purchases of Numero's earlier reissues of Unwound's Kid is Gone, Rat Conspiracy and Kid is Gone. I became fixated on what 
The Numero Group would come up with next. However, it wasn't until seeing this video that 
I decided to pull the trigger on the purchase. Check out the unboxing video posted below before ordering your copy. Happy shopping. James Damion

"The complete studio recordings by the Dallas, Texas, slow­core pioneers, every cymbal crash, guitar brush, and whisper, across five LPs or four compact discs. Deluxe box includesWhatFunLifeWas, Beheaded,Transaction De Novo, and an additional CD or double LP overflowing with singles, EPs, and outtakes, alongside a perfect-bound book dissecting the quintet’s nervous slouch through the ’90s. The enclosed 40-page book includes 25,000 word essay, previously unseen photographs, poster reproductions, visual discography, and complete lyrics. Deluxe 5LP box is only available here and limited to 2000 copies."

Numero Group  Get it Here

Unboxing Unwound

I took some time to post several videos highlighting the unboxing of Numero Group's Unwound box sets. Earlier this year I purchased each of the three box sets Numero released. Each one a work of art in it's own right.  Whether you're familiar with the band Unwound or not. I highly recommend picking these up. Especially considering what a special band they really were. Take a look at these videos before ordering. James Damion

Numero Group Get them Here

Friday, November 14, 2014

NYC Mayhem - For Real!

I still remember first hearing the NYC Mayhem demo at my friend Richie's apartment on 92nd Street in Jackson Heights. At the time, I was trying to come up with a name for a new fanzine I was working on.
Just as Richie, who might have been high at the time, suggested the name "Arf it Up". He dropped a tape that featured a badly drawn figure called 'Speedy' on a green demo cover into the deck.

I can't help but recall my immediate disappointment as I listened to the first few tracks. Having been a die hard fan of the NYC band Straight Ahead and often referring to Tommy Carroll as NYHC's undisputed, best frontman. N.Y.C. Mayhem, a band that predated Straight Ahead by about a year, seemed like a let down at the time.

As I listened to N.Y.C. Mayhem's "For Real" all these years later with, perhaps, a lot more knowledge and appreciation for early 80's Thrash Core. I found as if I was righting some wrongs. And though N.Y.C. Mayhem and Straight Ahead were very different bands with similar roots. "For Real", though many years later, allows me to appreciate both bands on more of a leveled playing field. Though I can't say I really appreciated the March '85 and June '85 demos the A side offered. Side B's June '85 and "For Real" 7" sessions had me in a complete stranglehold.

The 26-track LP "For Real" contains all of NYC Mayhem's studio recordings: two demo tapes and their unreleased "For Real!" 7" that was to appear on Urinal Records. Also includes a 12-page full-color book containing extensive liner notes by Laurent Ramadier of Snakepit Magazine. "For Real" also includes many rare/unseen images. Limited to 500 copies.
This is a must have for Hardcore and Thrash fans alike. A perfect document and time capsule for what was being created at the time. Get yourself a copy before they're all gone.
James Damion

Radio Raheem Records  Get it Here

Street Smart Cyclist - Discography

"Discography" comes on a one sided 12' LP.  (Yes, I checked the other side of the record and there were no subliminal messages to be found.)
The first press: /1,080; 166 tan, 356 white, 558 light blue
(20 test presses)
The 12 inch record includes everything the band has recorded to date, which is a
7 inches, a tour CDR and two unreleased tracks.

Unfortunately for some, the bands output during their two years of existence was to say the very least sparse.
The records cover itself, only adds to the bands legacy, or in this case, lack of. And while the band finds it's roots and influences in greats like
Cap N' Jazz, Braid and
Boys Life. I don't feel as if they stuck around long enough to carve out an identity all their own.

Despite the bands lack of output. I really found myself enjoying the eight songs presented here and was overall pleased with the how these songs were remastered for vinyl.
Whether you were a fan of the band or any of the ones I mentioned here,
you'll be sure to enjoy this collection of SSC's work. I highly recommend giving it a shot.
James Damion

Top Shelf Records Get it Here

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Orchid - Totality

Orchid was an Amherst Massachusetts screamo band that existed from 1999 to somewhere around the year 2002. While some reference Orchid as pioneers of the screamo movement.
Many will argue that the style was created and well established long before the band ever picked up an instrument. All genre trappings aside. The bands sound was highly dissonant, fast-tempo and chaotic.

"Totality" features the bands complete singles collection,
24 remastered songs taken from the original recordings, including comp tracks and one unreleased track. All released by Amherst's Clean Plate records for the first time on LP with a 20 page, full color,
7" x 7" booklet and download code.

While I'll be the first to drop cash on a good discography or complete collection of even the most obscure bands.
This particular one was nearly impossible to sit through. Though there were a handful of bearable tracks here. 'Intelligable Audio', 'She had a cold, cold heart' and 'Stagnant' come to mind.
The high points are so few and far between. It makes the other 20 songs way past unlistenable. Orchid's "Totality" remind me of why I so quickly tired of an entire sub genre so many years ago. As far as 'Totality' goes. I can only recommend this to the most die hard Orchid fans or those who still cling to the sound they produced during their life span.
James Damion

Top Shelf Records  Get it Here.