Sunday, 22 April 2012

rVeVV - MMXI Tape

I know I've said before that I'm not really into noise tracks, but over the past little while it has been growing on me. Bands like Vermapyre and Thee High Priestess have opened me up to a genre a little, and I think I'm starting to appreciate "the point".  So in the spirit of this enlightenment, I decided this release would be worth purchasing. 
Even if I wasn't that into the tracks, the packaging alone is enough to make this a satisfactory expenditure; it is my favourite tape packaging so far. The artwork is really minimal, just the 4P design on a black background, but it works really well.
The whole thing is held together by a string, which once removed reveals the plethora of bonuses stashed inside. 
The tape itself is as DIY as it gets; a completely blank cassette with nothing written on it at all. Along in the picture is a menacing photo of some barbed wire above the band logo (which I'm sad to say I'm not sure how to pronounce). What you can't see is on the reverse of the picture; a camouflage pattern which fits well with the whole theme of the release.
Next is 2 1" buttons and 2 additional cards. These have some sort of obscure picture on the reverse and information and track listings on the side you can see,
Inside the packing slip was this wee booklet direct from Give Up. There was also an A3 copy of some artwork slipped along side this, but sadly this got ripped and badly creased in the mail. It's a bit of a bummer, but I suppose these things happen when mail travels these vast distances.
I'd really like to thank Give Up and Sisster SSounds for this one, I really love it when there is just an abundance of stuff that comes along with music.
Only 60 of these were produced, and the first 20 had even more special packaging. I believe fellow Rvevv enthusiast James has one of these specialer copies over on Studies In Magnetism. And if you're keen to have a listen to this, as well as other Rvevv material, it has been supplied via bandcamp.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Ancient VVisdom / Charles Manson - Inner Earth Inferno 12"

Ancient VVisdom play two songs on this split, and these songs were actually what got me into them in the first place. I remember I was listening to somewhat of a mix-tape released by Black Knot, when there was a rather unexpected break in the audial barrage of metallic hardcore. To go from VVegas' "Rhythm Of Decline " to "Severed Ways" was certainly a change of pace, but I liked what I heard. In fact, I liked what I heard so much that I tracked down all the information I could about the mysterious band and eventually bought their first album (and then again later on). 
The recording quality of the AVV songs is pretty poor on this one, but it really does fit with the contribution on the other half of the split. I imagine Charles does not have access to state of the art recording facilities in California State. 
As I am most of the time, I am late on picking up this record. From memory this was released in 2010, so I was surprised when I visited Withdrawal Records to see that many copies were still available. Even more surprising was the fact that copies of the limited colour version were still available; only 151 of these were pressed on red.
According to the website, the artwork for this was designed by one of Charles' friends, Star. I don't know much about this individual, but I do love this artwork.
The reverse side of the cover looks very messy. At first glance I couldn't really make out anything. But when you look at it properly, it actually contains the track-listings for this split. This is only a one sided 12", so the reverse contains no songs. It does still have an elemental centre label though.
The record also came along with a download card. I usually don't bother looking at these much because I just rip the vinyl myself. This one is something a little special though. Most of these are just printed on a piece of scrap paper, or perhaps weak cardboard. This one however, is a proper plastic card with a snippet of the album cover on the front. You've just got to love touches like that.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Integrity / Kids Of Widney High split 7"

Originally this 7" came free with the 5th issue of the Blood Book zine. If all were fair this would the second Blood Book I'd own, but whoever sold me the record must have lost issue #3. Luckily this time around the zine had been kept along with the record, in great condition too.
 My magazine is quite a dark green colour which differs from what I've seen around the place. Generally they seem a lighter greenish colour, but there is one copy I've seen that looks just like mine. Perhaps slightly different colour copies were printed or something.
I can't speak about the quality of other issues of this zine, but I must say that this one is pretty incredible. There are some fantastic interviews, including ones with Boyd Rice and Francis Bacon! How Dwid got that interview I'll never know.
 Towards the back of the book is a catalogue of various records from 90's Holy Terror and bands of similar essence. Things were certainly cheap compared to how they cost these days.
 This split record is somewhat of a strange one. Yes this is same Integrity we all know and love, the very same band that I've posted about so many times before. They even play two songs that you're probably already familiar with; ATF Assault and Jagged Visions. But that is not what makes this record special, it is who they are teaming up with; The Kids of Widney High. 
 The record is just plain black, and if I'm right this is the only colour lurking out there. Although if the different coloured zine is in fact a different version I suppose that counts as a variant doesn't it?
KOWH are a group of disabled children singing songs very dissimilar to Integrity. In fact, the songs probably couldn't get further away in style and they aren't really for me. But you know, that doesn't really matter. The fact that Integrity worked with a band like this is just plain awesome.
And if you've made it this far through the post, you can download the entire split courtesy of HT

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Pale Creation / Abraxis Split 7"

About five or six weeks ago I placed an order from TDON for this split. About a week ago I was starting to think it may have been misplaced in the mail. That is probably quite unlikely, but it has happened with something once before so was not outside the realm of possibility. Anyway, when my mail came today I finally received a familiar looking 7" package coming all the way from the UK. It may have taken a while, but i'd say this was worth the wait. Plus a little something extra came with it, but I'll get onto that a bit later. 
From what I could see on the TDON store, two versions of this record were available; a yellow and red, and a white and grey (although a black version is lurking somewhere out there as well). I'd seen various photos of the red and yellow version before and really liked how it looked. Both were limited to a mere 120, so it was really just down to personal colour preference. Obviously, I went with the yellow and red version. 
Pictured in above photo is the Abraxis side of the record. You can see for yourself what sort of picture the centre label has so I don't need to explain it. This side of the cover features the artwork for the Abraxis side. 
 Invisible ink has been used, and this is about the best photo I could get. You can see the Abraxis logo down the bottom as well as a picture of Abraxas peeking out in the top right hand corner. 
You really have to appreciate the work of Abraxis. I'm pretty sure this isn't the case at the moment, but at the time of this record the band only consisted of one person. Andy Wounds must have some serious talent to be able to produce a record of this calibre all by himself.
 On the flip side is what Pale Creation brings to the record. The artwork is rather basic compared to the other side, but I actually prefer it. The water drop effect is outstanding and appears almost real. There seems to be a thing with the Creation of Pale birds, but I'm not really sure what it is. Just over the bird is some more invisible writing. I thought it would have turned out better in the photo, but you can just about make out the band name.
 Inside the cover was a wee insert with the lyrics to all three songs, as well as the usual thanks' from the bands.
 Now, onto the extra bonus I received with this. When I opened the packaging, I found they had sent me two copies of the record, even though I only ordered one! I'm not sure if that was a mistake or not, but I aint complaining. Luckily the second copy was was one of a different colour, the white and grey version. 
Musically the split is just great. This is the first Abraxis material I've owned to date, and I am definitely impressed. They (he) play classic Holy Terror hardcore a la Integrity. Pale Creation continue with their more alternative metal approach in the style of their self-titled 7". The whole thing is streaming on the TDON bandcamp if you fancy a listen.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Dead Kennedys - Frankenchrist 12"

Although I consider "In God We Trust" to pretty much be an album in itself, this is technically the third LP from the Dead Kennedys; Frankenchrist. For reasons I'm not entirely sure of, I hadn't heard anything from this album until it arrived on my doorstep (Well, technically when I went and got it from the mail place). I had heard this was a bit of a departure from the traditional DK sound into a more 'psychedelic' atmosphere, so I didn't know what to expect. Of course I wasn't disappointed, the album is just overall fantastic. 
I have no idea if any colour variations are available for this release, somehow I think those would be bootlegs. Anyway, I've just got a plain black version of the record off Ebay. For a second hand record that is over 26 years old, it has kept bloody well. Thanks to be Ebay seller for keeping it in such great condition all this time.
My record came inside a standard white dust sleeve, but this was also inside the case. This would have been the original dust sleeve, and it contains the pretty standard information about the recording and all that. On the reverse is the lyrics, and let me tell you, there are a lot of them. This album features much longer songs than previously seen by the band, and this is really evident by the quantity of lyrics.
The seller truly did a good job of keeping the included pieces in all their entirety. Alongside the original dust sleeve and poster (see below), was an original order sheet from Alternative Tentacles! I'm envious of how cheaply DK stuff could be bought at the time.
I considered for a while whether to include a photo of the included poster or not. As you've probably guessed, I thought I would include it for completeness. If you don't like what you see, just don't look at it. For those who don't know, this album stirred up quite a bit of controversy in its day, and the reason is this Giger penis landscape
Yes it is pretty grotesque, but that was the point of it really. If you take a look back at the sticker on the front cover, you'll notice a black warning sticker on it. It is too hard to read in the photo, but says " a work of art..that some people may find offensive, can be sometimes be that way". Sadly this actually got the band and label into quite a lot of trouble in '85. Consequently, the band faced a trial for for distributing harmful material to minors which almost brought Alternative Tentacles to bankruptcy. To be honest, I don't like looking at it much. Although I am glad it came along with the record, and is in such fantastic condition. 
This record certainly did come with a lot of extras, I'm glad they've survived the test of time.