Sunday, October 22, 2017

Saves the Day Ups and Downs Stay What You Are Under the Boards

SAVES THE DAY
"Ups and Downs: Early Recordings and B-Sides"
"Stay What You Are" (originally released in 2001)
"Under the Boards" (originally released in 2007)
Vagrant Records / BMG


Vagrant records is celebrating their 20 year anniversary by reissuing some real classics on vinyl. The Get Up Kids, Rocket From the Crypt, Senses Fail, Alkaline Trio, Hot Rod Circuit and The Anniversary have all received much warranted treatment already from Vagrant. I need to get the Senses Fail and Alkaline Trio records myself. 

The Saves the Day reissues represent the sixth phase of Vagrant20. The three Saves The Day are now available on high-quality black 180 gram vinyl. This is the first time "Ups And Downs: Early Recordings & B-Sides" has been issued on vinyl.


"Ups and Downs" is awesome as it shows the development of this Princeton NJ band from their influences, most notably New Brunswick NJ's Lifetime. Saves the Day grew from the band Selfer (established in 1994).  Amazing to hear these demos, early tracks and B-sides. I've listened to this LP pretty much non-stop since the vinyl was introduced to my turntable. 

Saves the Day does it right with an album insert that provides a glimpse into the history of the songs. I love it when bands and artists give that peak into the background on these types of releases. This captures the energy of a young band in their beginnings. 

They cover Descendents "Cheer" and Clash "Clash City Rockers". Whomever typed up the liner notes let the spell check over rule the spelling of "Descendants". See, I really do read and love these liner notes!



"Stay What You Are" is Saves the Day's third studio album and demonstrates the bands prowess at writing melodic, emo, driven pop punk. Videos for "At Your Funeral" and "Freakish" are embedded below. The album was the first of the band's discography to be released on Vagrant (first two were on Equal Vision). The album was hugely successful even with critics. If you missed it, give it a chance.  

I previously only had the digital version of this, so I am glad to finally add this to my vinyl collection. 





The track "As Your Ghost Takes Flight" from "Stay What You Are" is one of my favorites and has been said to be inspired by a friend's heroin addiction. 


"As Your Ghost Takes Flight"

The last time that I saw you, August of '99,
I should've had my hammer and a few rusty spikes
to nail you on a wall and use bottles to catch your blood
and display you for the neighbors so they know your time had come.

And I'd drink your blood and feel it dripping down my throat
as it heads for my heart.

And as your body sags and the stench rises in vain,
the people on the street are collecting in dismay.
Before your eyes your head lifts towards the sky
and that's the last thing they'll remember of you.

And I'd drink your blood and feel it dripping down my throat
as it heads for my heart.

You've become a ghost.
You're floating somewhere in between
the waking world and a landscape of dreams.
Well it's nothing but dying.
You've got a grenade stuck in your teeth and you're pulling at the pin.
You're an illusion, just a shadow flickering underneath the sun.

And I'd drink your blood and feel it dripping down my throat
as it heads for my heart.



Skip forward a few years and "Under the Boards" is Saves the Day's sixth studio album. The middle album of a three-part concept: "Sound the Alarm", "Under the Boards" and "Daybreak" demonstrates the continual evolution of the song writing. The layers in the music express a mature sound that still is able to focus on honesty and have a real feel.

My favorite track (though it is difficult to pick a favorite) is "Get F*cked Up".

 "Get F*cked Up"

Watching the moon moving to the ocean floor
Standing on the neighbor's lawn
It's four am on Friday 
All night long I'm dreaming of your loving arms
I'm staring at the fading stars
And waiting for your call

But every time I think about you
I get f*cked up
I feel like all the stars are falling
Inside my heart
Inside my heart

Gone are the days
Staring through the window pane
To watch the world wash away
Down rain soaked gutter drains
No now we're alone
Two lights along a distant shore
Our love the light that leads us home
Away from wasted days

But every time I think about you
I get f*cked up
I feel like all the stars are falling
Inside my heart
Inside my heart

No more waiting for the days
To end so we can run away
To hide the pain beneath the drink
No now we're moving on

And every time I think about you
I get f*cked up
I feel like all the stars are falling
Inside my heart
Inside my heart
Inside my heart
Inside my heart 




So glad Vagrant is taking the time and energy to release these great records by Saves the Day. 

Cheers,
Frank FOE


http://savestheday.com

https://www.facebook.com/savesthedayband

https://twitter.com/savestheday

https://www.instagram.com/savestheday

https://soundcloud.com/savestheday

http://vagrant.com

https://www.facebook.com/vagrantrecords

https://twitter.com/vagrantrecords

https://www.instagram.com/vagrantrecords

Saturday, October 21, 2017

RSD Black Friday 2017 MY TOP 5

RECORD STORE DAY
BLACK FRIDAY 2017
November 24, 2017

Click here for the pdf version of the complete list

Click here for the webpage version of the complete list

Below is a list and brief summary of my personal TOP 5 releases from the list. 

Richard Hell and the Voidoids "Blank Generation" 40th Anniversary Edition 2xlp Limited to 2,500 copies



Yes every punk rocker has Richard Hell and the Voidoids’ "Blank Generation". Many non-punks also love this classic LP. 

So why buy it again? Remastered original LP also includes a second LP, with previously unreleased, alternate studio versions, out-of-print singles, and rare bootleg live tracks from the band’s first appearance in 1976 at CBGB. The booklet also contains many previously unpublished photos of the band by Roberta Bayley (the renowned CBGB photographer who shot the LP’s original cover), a revealing essay by Hell along with compelling images from his notebooks and private papers, and an extensive new interview with Ivan Julian by Hell. 

Cheap Trick "Christmas Christmas" LP Limited to 2,000 copies
I'm a huge fan of Christmas records. Cheap Trick is one of my favorite bands plus they include covers of the Kinks and Ramones. 



1. Merry Christmas Darlings (3:44) 
2. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day (3:35) 
3. I Wish It Was Christmas Today (3:14) 
4. Merry Xmas Everybody (3:17) 
5. Please Come Home For Christmas (3:29) 
6. Remember Christmas (3:01) 
7. Run Rudolph Run (3:59) 
8. Father Christmas (3:55)  (KINKS)
9. Silent Night (3:57) 
10. Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight) (2:07)  (RAMONES)
11. Our Father Of Life (3:20)  
12. Christmas Christmas (2:16)

Danny Elfman and the Knights of the Oingo Boingo "The Forbidden Zone Soundtrack" Limited to 1,350 copies

I am a fan of Danny Elfman's soundtrack work.

The cult classic film The Forbidden Zone was the first to be scored by legendary composer Danny Elfman. It was also the first major recording for the 80s new wave sensations Oingo Boingo, (Then known as The Knights of the Oingo Boingo). The soundtrack for The Forbidden Zone was originally released in 1980, and perfectly captures the band's transition from a Cabaret-style group of performers to the influential new wave band they would become. The original soundtrack is long out of print, but is being re-released for RSD Black Friday on translucent lime green vinyl! 

Willie Nelson "Spirit" LP Limited to 2,200 copies



I love Willie Nelson. I especially love the stripped down material he produces. I don't have this on vinyl. I hope to soon. 

Modern Classics is re-releasing Spirit, Willie Nelson's forty-ninth studio album, originally released in 1996. The album differs from Nelson's other work because his band used fewer instruments on the recording (two guitars, piano, fiddle) and it has a more classical/Spanish influence. Spirit reached the US Country top 20 when it was released, and David Fricke from Rolling Stone describes it as "low-key, acoustic, stripped to the rugged fundamentals of a good song and a superior voice." Spirit is an emotional concept album illustrating the forlorn tale of a man abandoned by the great love of his life. We follow him down the path of loss as he confronts grief, gets back on his feet, and eventually finds solace in acceptance. 

1 Matador 
2 She Is Gone 
3 Your Memory Won't Die In My Grave 
4 I'm Not Trying To Forget You Anymore 
5 Too Sick To Pray 
6 Mariachi 
7 I'm Waiting Forever 
8 We Don't Run 
9 I Guess I've Come To Live Here In Your Eyes 
10 It's A Dream Come True 
11 I Thought About You, Lord 
12 Spirit Of E9 
13 Matador

Steel Panther "Lower The Bar (Bitchin' Picture Disc Edition)" LP, limited to 1,400

Just got to witness Steel Panther live. They were quite profanely entertaining.

"Lower The Bar" is Steel Panther's fourth release, which includes the Cheap Trick cover "She's Tight," featuring Robin Zander on guest vocals. Steel Panther's Bitchin' Edition Picture Disc also includes one bonus track, and a download card which includes an additional bonus track.

Cheers,
Frank FOE

The Complicators 7 debut

The Complicators
"Wake Up" 7"
Pirates Press Records
Released: October 6, 2017



When your debut 7" is released on Pirates Press Records in 2017, there is logically something special going on.

Give a listen to the A-side track "Wake Up" on Pirates Press Records YouTube channel here:





The band members consider themselves "street punk from San Francisco"
Matt Garcia - Guitar
Radu Poliac - Drums
Sean Smith - Bass
Quincy Atkinson - Vox

Listening to their gruff punk rock meets mid tempo old school hardcore, one gathers from their lyrics that The Complicators are about picking yourself up, reflecting and  making changes. Kinda posi for a street punk band. I love it. Seems like The Complicators are about taking the complicated and getting at the core of the issues.



I have a feeling you will want to move on getting a copy of this debut 7" before it goes out of print. I look forward to more from The Complicators.


PRESSING INFO:

  • 200 pcs. - 7" White Vinyl (PPR Mailorder Version)
  • 300 pcs. - 7" Black Vinyl (REV Version)





Cheers,
Frank FOE

Pirates Press Records - The Complicators Order Page

The Templars Deus Vult God Willing

THE TEMPLARS
"DEUS VULT (God Willing)"
Pirates Press Records
Released: October 13, 2017


The Templars are a Long Island NY band that draws on punk, skinhead, oi and low-fi influences (compliments of Acre Studios). They've been around since 1991 and have a hefty LP, CD, 7" and compilation output. I know, I have spent a lot of time attempting to find all of their vinyl during the 1990s.


"Deus Vult" was recorded between 2010 and 2016. The Templars have not released an album since 2005's "Outremer" on GMM Records (Randale/Rebellion reissued). Their records tend to be reissued on other labels and singles and compilation tracks combined into year to year discographies, such as "Dans Les Catacombs Du Studio De L'Acre 1993-1995". I think I would recommend anything you'd find by the Templars. Their music goes out of print really quickly, thus the need for the represses and interest from other labels. The move to Pirates Press will surely make the demand for the older material skyrocket as "Deus Vult" will undoubtedly be a success.


Check The Templars "Deus Vult" on the Pirates Press YouTube channel (embedded below). The album is completely solid and highly recommended. 

My three favorites tracks are:

  • "Kicking Down Your Door" (which reminds me of local Lehigh Valley defunct  band Maddog Surrender - though to be honest, Maddog Surrender started after the Templars, so as I know, the Templars were an obvious influence on Maddog Surrender.
  • "Misspent Youth" - classic tough song, reminds me of everything ever released on Headache Records.
  • "Propaganda" reminds me of early Exploited, especially in the chorus, combined with classic Templars guitar lead.




The sound is pretty polished by Templars standards, but raw for what punk seems to be churning out in 2017, making this feel fresh yet vintage and even though I have been a fan for decades now - the songs would make even the newest punk immediately understand the Templars are the real deal.

PIRATES PRESS RECORDS PRESSING INFO:
  • 1,000pcs. - 12" Blood Red & Oxblood with Bone & Black Splatter Vinyl w/ Faux-leather Casewrapped Sleeve (Deluxe Version)
  • 1,000pcs. - 12" Blood Red Vinyl (Standard Version)
Also available in Europe through Randale Records with this cover:



Sunday, October 15, 2017

BDM at One Centre Square Easton PA


This was the first show I've attended at the new Lehigh Valley PA venue, One Centre Square. Great place. It is the perfect size venue that was needed in our area. Sound system is awesome. My ears were still feeling it Sunday from the Friday night show. And I wasn't even planted in front of the speakers like I used to do at City Gardens when I was a youngster. Love this One Centre Square.  I recommend it. 

ABORTION DISTORTION
Nazareth Pennsylvania's Abortion Distortion started things off. Nice that the tour and venue gave a young, local band a chance to warm things up on this STACKED bill.  This photo is from Abortion Distortion's FB page


I was trying to figure out my camera as I was talking to the drummer's grandmother. The balcony was full of relatives of the band. Gotta love it when the whole family comes out to support what the kids are doing. Especially when it is shirtless, sleeveless leather vested thrash and death metal being played on a flying V!  

Abortion Distortion photo by Frank FOE

I enjoyed Abortion Distortion's set almost as much as Grandma did. Hope to hear more from these hometown thrashers. I had to take a serious look to make sure that wasn't Chuck from Weston wailing on that guitar.

WORMWITCH
Next up was Wormwitch from Vancouver, BC. They have a new album, "Strike Mortal Soil" on Prosthetic Records. Loved their set. Influences range from vintage Celtic Frost, d-beat, Motorhead and black metal. The diversity did not hamper their set. All the influences meshed with crushing power. Glad I got to check them out. Check their video of "Everlasting Lie" below:



Wormwitch, photo by Frank FOE

Wormwitch, photo by Frank FOE

Wormwitch, photo by Frank FOE

NECROT
Necrot, from Oakland California were the first band of the night I actually know. Love their LP "Blood Offerings" which came out earlier this year on Tankcrimes Records. Talking with Chad (drummer) before their set I found out they have released an LP that contains their three demos prior to "Blood Offerings". "The Labyrinth" was available on vinyl at the show and I purchased it from singer Luca, to accompany the "Blood Offerings" LP. Necrot play old school death metal the way I love it. Grooves, blasts, song structures I can follow, melodies rather than a blizzard of notes. I even hear a bit of vintage Bolt Thrower coming through.

Check out their LP "Blood Offerings": 


You can tell Necrot love playing their music and interacting with the death metal fanatics! Pure love of what they do.

 
Necrot photo by Frank FOE

Necrot photo by Frank FOE

Necrot photo by Frank FOE

You know, part of writing about music is learning the tools. I know I'm not a good photographer. I'm learning. Slowly. Tonight I learned how to deal with EXIF data that was having the above photo of Drummer Chad Necrot playing on his side. It's called a learning curve.

DECREPIT BIRTH
Decrepit Birth are technical death metal from Santa Cruz California. Singer has an "Everything Went Black" Black Flag t-shirt on, so all is good in my book. New album "Axis Mundi" out on Nuclear Blast. By now, the attendees of this gig know we are covering a lot of bases in metal, making this a pretty diverse and  spectacular show. Decrepit Birth's drummer plays so fast and so effortlessly. I was inspired. I need to up my game behind the kit. Impressed and inspired.

Decrepit Birth photo by Frank FOE

Decrepit Birth photo by Frank FOE

Decrepit Birth photo by Frank FOE

Decrepit Birth photo by Frank FOE

SUFFOCATION
I have seen Suffocation before. They've been around since 1990. This was without a doubt the best I have seen Suffocation. One of the very cool things about One Centre Square is the balcony. The second floor provides an amazing viewpoint for anyone getting there early and planting themselves in the front, along the railing. Amazing to see the insane pit that Suffocation generated from a story above the chaos. Suffocation's brutality on stage is replicated in the pit. So much fun. Great live band. Drummer has 8 cymbals plus the high-hat, which would make for a total of 10. Nice. Lots of sore necks and circle pit bruises were induced by Suffocation's set. 

Suffocation photo by Frank FOE

Suffocation photo by Frank FOE

Suffocation photo by Frank FOE

Suffocation photo by Frank FOE

BLACK DAHLIA MURDER

Exhausted as I was, Black Dahlia Murder thrashed for well over an hour and delivered as expected. The kids in the pit were non-stop. I was done man. Wow. I just wrote up their new LP "Nightbringers". BDM are as advertised. Veterans that love to have fun and bring the relentless thrash. Punishing good fun. 

Black Dahlia Murder photo by Frank FOE

Black Dahlia Murder photo by Frank FOE

Black Dahlia Murder photo by Frank FOE

Black Dahlia Murder photo by Frank FOE

Thank you to all the bands. Amazing show. 

Thank you to One Centre Square. Please keep the shows coming!

I think this will go down in Lehigh Valley metal history as a landmark show. 

Cheers,
Frank FOE

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Relapse Sampler 2017

VARIOUS
"Relapse Records Sampler 2017"
Relapse Records
Released: October 5, 2017



Relapse has long been one of my favorite record labels.

Every year Relapse Records releases a free sampler. Stream it or download it and then delete the tracks you hate and look for more material by the bands you dig.

This year they have given listeners the option to "pay-what-you-want" and 100% of that payment will be donated to Rock to the Future, a non-profit organization that provides music education for Philadelphia’s under-served youth at no cost to them or their families. "Using music, their programs ignite passion and creativity, support academic achievement, and improve self-esteem by empowering individuals and strengthening local communities".

My lucky favorite 13 tracks (in no particular order) this year are by: Obituary, Dying Fetus, Primitive Man, Exhumed, Iron Monkey, Iron Reagan, Integrity, Gruesome, Expulsion, Incantation, Death, The Obsessed and Black Anvil.

Cheers,
Frank FOE







Monday, October 9, 2017

Black Dahlia Murder "Nightbringers" LP

Black Dahlia Murder
"Nightbringers" LP
Metal Blade
Released: October 6, 2017



Disclaimer: I love Black Dahlia Murder.

If you love heavy, brutal death type metal that has a groove, I suspect you already love Black Dahlia Murder too.

When I love a band, I obtain their material in the preferred format, VINYL. Black Dahlia Murder are of that status for me. So you know, if you are reading this you should get the damn record. Comes with a sweet giant poster, lyrics and red vinyl (other varieties available). This is a picture of my record on my floor. F*c&ing love this record!


This is the seventh LP I have by Black Dahlia Murder. I should have 8. I am looking for a copy of the 2007 release "Nocturnal" on vinyl if you have a copy for sale... Sell it to me. I only have it on the substandard format of CD. Seriously. It is a hole in my record collection that is screaming to be filled. Why the hell I don't have it is suspect. Did someone swipe it? Did I leave it at the radio station? Help this vinyl junkie!

I suggest you obtain and listen to Black Dahlia Murder as well. Check out this video for the title track:



The thing that has had me since day one with Black Dahlia Murder is their fun. They just seem to be having a blast. Which means live they are such a great metal release. Plus Black Dahlia Murder knows how to throw together a ripper. Hit play on any of the tracks above and witness the perfect blend of chaos, precision and intensity. Plus I am a sucker for alternating styles of vocals, which they use a lot. 


When my son was a toddler certain music I played for him generated instant positive responses. Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, any bluegrass and BLACK DAHLIA MURDER. I kid you not. None of the other metal interested him. I dropped the needle on Black Dahlia Murder and he stopped doing what he was doing and was fixed on the sound. Moving to the ultra fast beat. Now I look at all of those examples and I understand what all those musicians and genres have in common. Fantastic that my son picked up on the common thread that most adults are too manipulated and jaded to comprehend. 

Of course at age 13 my son shuts down on all metal. Hates it. Why? He hates loud. Black Dahlia Murder is LOUD even at low volumes. But the louder the better. Full release gives increased results.


Black Dahlia Murder is playing an insane tour and it is stopping within a 40 minute drive of my house! Exhumed doesn't start the tour until 11/1 - they kill as well and their new lp "Death Revenege" is a must own. Suffocation is obviously also huge. If you don't know Necrot, you'll want to make sure you don't miss them.

The Easton PA show is at One Centre Square, 1 Centre Square, Easton, Pennsylvania 18042

Cheers,

Frank FOE

One Centre Square FB Event page
Black Dahlia Murder FB
Metal Blade