Monday, 12 March 2018

Ten Spot

When people ask who your favourite Dischord band is, I would guess that most people would opt for Fugazi or Minor Threat. Next in line would, I am sure, be the likes of Dag Nasty, Embrace and Rites of Spring. Maybe also Scream, Ignition, Jawbox or even Nation Of Ulysees. For me though, the answer is undoubtedly Shudder To Think. So I was pretty fucking stoked to pick up another test press, this time of their second LP, 'Ten Spot'.

This was from an era when test pressings were issued as promotional items. I don't know this for a fact, but I think there were actually quite a few test pressings of Dischord releases as they doubled up as promos for radio stations or music journalist types.

this one includes this (minimal) press sheet, which contains pretty much no information whatsoever other than the song titles.

This LP came out in 1990. If you live in the UK, what you would notice immediately is the old phone code for London on the label and press sheet. The code '01' for London was discontinued in May 1990, so that little piece fo information helps to date this record.

Interestingly, this album has just this year been reissued on vinyl for the first time in a long time, with revised cover art and remastered, so I'll probably have to pick that up at some point.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Architects Of The End

I first heard of Longest War back in October 2014 when I picked up their debut 7". Featuring ex-members of Despair, Chokehold and Union, this was a band that I quickly got interested in... and then forgot about. But when it was announced that their debut LP was to be released last year, I was keen to re-visit them.

'Architects Of The End' came out in the latter half of last year on Irish Voodoo Records. There were only 113 copies on a bright orange vinyl, which has proven to be one of THE most difficult records for me to get an acceptable photo of ever. I think I must have photographed this record on at least ten different days, and each time the photos looked ok on the phone screen but then awfully washed out on the computer screen. Today's attempt just about scrapes a pass.

For various reasons, I only got around to listening to this properly in the last couple of weeks. It's some good old fashioned metallic hardcore, with riffs reminiscent of Slayer in places. In short, it's pretty damn good if you're into that kind of thing.

Oh yeah, and I also picked up a test press. Irish Voodoo are pretty much the only label who sell their test pressings for a really reasonable price as soon as their records are put up for pre-order, so I couldn't resist.

Number 16 of 25 copies.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Militant Misanthrope

I never heard Broken Cross before, but I decided to buy the new LP after seeing a post on instagram. There were 50 pre-order copies, and anyone who bought one would be entered into a draw to win one of two test pressings that were being given away. I listened to a couple of songs online and liked what I heard, and with the added 1 in 25 chance to win a test press, I figured it was worth a punt.

There were 50 pre-order copies, all on this really nice purple vinyl and numbered on the inner sleeve. I managed to get the last one. All pre-order copies also came with a pin of the label art, which is pretty cool and which I placed on the dust sleeve for this photo:

Broken Cross plays some pretty heavy music. Descriptions generally seem to refer to it as thrash metal, but to me it sounds more like Japanese hardcore punk. Remember the band Hellchild who once had a split 12" with Converge? Well this reminds me of them a lot.

I should also mention that Broken Cross is a one man operation. The whole record is the work of one man (Niklas Holm), a fellow / rival Integrity collector who resides in Sweden. Dude has one of the two best Integrity collections in the world. It's probably not surprising then that the artwork for this LP was done by Dwid from Integrity.

It's probably also worth mentioning that this is probably the greatest shade of purple vinyl that I have ever seen. I think all copies of this release come on purple, so even though the pre-order copies are sold out you can still get yourself a copy that looks as nice as the one in the picture here. If you are interested, check out the Apocalyptic Visions store.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018


Precisely ten years ago, I was sat around indoors wondering what to do with my evening, when I had the idea of starting a blog about records. The rest is history.

I'm actually surprised that I have managed to keep this thing going for this long. But given that I have, I figured I should mark the occasion in some way. So here for you amusement is a re-post, in picture form, of my first ever post from way back on 28 February 2008.


As I have said before, the passing of time never ceases to amaze me. It's kinda funny that I mentioned in my first post that 'It's hard to believe it's been over ten years since I first heard this band'... and now here we are in 2018 and it's over TWENTY years of Rain On The Parade, and ten years of this blog.


Tuesday, 27 February 2018

A Bunch Of 7"s

I got a list from someone recently of stuff they were selling. There were literally hundreds of records on the list, and a few very rare or expensive items. But I mainly went after stuff that I was missing that was pretty cheap. In some ways, it was a good way to save some postage by picking up a bunch of things at the same time. So in the spirit of the older days of this blog, I figured I would present the entire haul in one go, rather than break it into separate posts. So here we go, in alphabetical order...

It's always good to start with an 'A' band. So here's an Amendment 18 (or A18) 7". 'Every Knife Has A Home' was their third 7", and this is a tour version that comes in a cool Antidote rip off sleeve:

Next, the Damage Control 'Can't keep us Down 7" on Crucial Response Records. This came out in 2002. I have about 4 copies of their full length, but literally never got around to picking up the 7" until now. This is the limited white vinyl pressing, out of 200 copies.

I also picked up this 'Raw Data Series' cover version of the same Damage Control 7". This one was out of 96 copies.

And the Damage Control 7" again, this time in a limited Camo cover. This one I like a lot. There were only 35 copies of this one made.

Next is a much more recent release. The Fall Silent 'Cart Return' 7" came out on Revelation last year. I used to like this band back in the day, so I was interested to see how this latest release sounds. Pretty similar to how they used to sound it would seem. Anyway, I picked this up on both colours - gold and red with black.

Next is the Insist 'Demo' 7". I saw this band last year and was really impressed. Their 7" on React! was a pretty good slab of straight edge hardcore, so it was good to grab this white copy of their debut recording.

And another recent(ish) release. Primal Rite have been making waves of late, and it seems that a lot of people are into what they are doing. 'Complex Life of Passion' is their first 7" which was put out by Grave Mistake records. This is the limited purple vinyl pressing, although you probably can't tell from these photos.

The second Primal Rite 7" came out on Revelation last year. Entitled 'Sensory Link To Pain', this one turns things up a notch from the previous 7".If you don't know what this band sounds like... well, you can probably figure that out from the cover art.

Next up is an older release. Remission 'Winds Of Promise' came out on React! around the time that I stopped buying everything the label put out due to a couple of questionable releases. I remember downloading this one on someone's recommendation and enjoying it, but the limited color pressings sold out pretty quick. So only about 8 years after it came out, I finally picked on up.

And finally, two copies of the Sportswear 'It Runs Deep' 7". The limited yellow vinyl copy, out of 220 copies.

And also this copy with the limited Nike cover:

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Low In High School

I have been a Morrissey fan for a few years now. But never before had the urge to buy any of it on vinyl. I guess partly because there weren't really any limited edition records. They're all just major label black vinyl options. That kind of stuff never really interested me, so I was happy enough with CDs (or, these days, mp3s). But recently I was in town and wandered into a record shop and found the new Morrissey LP on clear vinyl. So I couldn't resist buying it because, you know, clear vinyl is everyone's favourite.

'Low In High School' is his 400th album, and I have to say, at first it seemed disappointing. But the last two weeks it is literally all I have listened to. I think that it just needs a little more time than previous efforts. At least, it did with me.

The inner sleeve is really cool. A full colour photo on one side, then this disco sleeve effect on the other. I haven't seen many like this before.

I kinda wish I hadn't bought this in a way, as all I can now think about is whether I should chase the other 399 albums on vinyl. You know how it is - owning one just somehow doesn't seem quite right.

Sunday, 14 January 2018


It feels good to finally kick off 2018, and what better way than with a new(ish) release?

The hardcore world peed its pants with excitement when news of the band FREE broke. A new band that contains (I think) 4 of the 5 members of Have Heart, anticipation and expectations were high. A demo came out in 2015 and a 7" came out towards the back end of 2017. And then, in the last week of 2017, the band flew over for a short European jaunt and Control Records pressed up a limited 12" to mark the occasion.

This is a pretty low key affair, following the same layout as the Higher Power 12" that the same label also released about a year and a half ago. Black vinyl in a plain white DJ sleeve with a sticker in the top corner.

It may be a pretty plain design, but sometimes less is more. It's good to be served this aesthetically minimal records from time to time, rather than glossy gatefold sleeves full of splatter vinyl.

So I was pretty lucky to get this. There were only 135 copies made in total, and most sold out on the tour. The label kept a few copies back to sell online. About ten days ago, the label announced during the day that the remaining copies would be sold at a certain time in the evening, and I happened to be at my computer at the time they went on sale and, even more lucky, I remembered that they were going up for sale. When the witching hour came, I grabbed a copy immediately and a couple of minutes later they were sold out...

... and then, a little later, the label posted to say that somehow the webstore had oversold the record, and some people who thought that they had placed an order would be getting refunded and their order cancelled. Fortunately, my order got through. Must have been bad to be one of the people who thought that they had successfully placed an order only to then find out that they hadn't.

So what is FREE like? Well, I haven't listened to this much as I don't usually like to listen to stuff until I have the vinyl, and this is the first FREE record into my collection. So far I'd say that it sits somewhere between the two Have Heart LPs.It's better than the second, but not as good as the first. That's about as much as I can say. But I don't doubt for a second that this band is just finding their feet, and by the time a full length comes around (if) then I'm sure they will crank it up a gear.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

2017 Unravelled

Better late than never, as they say.

In preparation for putting together this traditional end of year post, I just re-read my year-end post from last year, and the final sentence I wrote was 'Hopefully 2017 will be kinder to me!'. Wow. The power of those words kinda knocked me for six. When I wrote it last year I was referring to record collecting, because last year I had terrible luck when a parcel of almost 100 records got lost in the mail. In 2017 I definitely DID have much better luck with records, but I had much worse luck in my personal life. I don't really want to say much, but the things that happened in 2017 really put things into perspective and made me realise that, if the worst thing in life is losing some plastic in the mail, then life is probably not so bad after all.

So I look back on 2017 as a pretty shitty year, defined by two big negative events, one at the start and one at the end. But there were some good moments too. I went on a plane for the first time in over 20 years in a bid to beat my phobia of flying, and I have to say, I enjoyed it. I also started skateboarding again, in a small way, and I really enjoyed that too. And after three long years of planning, work finally started on our house extension. So there was some good with the bad. But overall I'm glad 2017 is over and we can wipe the slate clean and start over.

Anyway, as is tradition on here, I'll now get to my run down of the year in terms of music & records. These end of year posts are always a bit of fun, but damn, every year I manage to forget how much work they involve.


I'm not going to attempt to rank my favourite releases of 2017, but these were the ones I spent most of my time listening to:

Precious 'Unravelings' 12" - members of Threadbare & Snapcase playing some 90s style hardcore which manages to sound fresh in 2017. This is really interesting stuff and I'm desperately in need of more.

Higher Power 'Soul Structure' LP - a great UK band playing groovy hardcore a bit like Turnstile, with a big 90s alternative vibe going on.

Miracle Drug 'How Much Is Enough?' 12" - another band made up from older dudes, this sounds different and interesting to me, and my only disappointment was that this record only contains 6 songs.

Damnation A.D. 'Pornography' LP - a long term project which finally saw the light of day in 2017, this is a really interesting and 'mature' hardcore record. Probably because it's a cover of an album by The Cure.

Integrity 'Howling, For The Nightmare Shall Consume' LP - any Integrity record is always going to get my attention. This one took a bit of getting into, but I got there in the end, and it's good to see them on a 'big' label and getting some really positive attention as a result.

Burn 'Do Or Die' LP - a Burn full length finally dropped in 2017. It seemed to me a lot of people weren't into it. My view is that you need to skip the first song and start at the second and it seems much better. Despite a high lievel of scepticism, I was into this and played it a lot.

Insist 'Here And Now' 7" - a UK straight edge band who got my attention when I saw & heard them for the first time at Outbreak fest in Leeds, which just happened to be the release show for their 7" on React! Records.

Search 'Between The Lines' 7" - a straight edge band featuring Tim from Mouthpiece on vocals, this is very much as you'd expect, and very welcome in the current day and age.

True Vision 'Against The Grain' 7" - another current UK band, this one features dudes from all the other NWOBHC bands of the last couple of years, playing straight up hardcore a la YOT or SOIA.

Rot In Hell 'A Thick Rope And A Strong Branch' LP - I listened to this one a lot, but in compiling this post realised that I somehow never posted it on the blog. Not sure what happened there. Sloppy work.

So basically I spent 2017 listening to either current UK bands, or records from American dudes in their late 40s.


2017 was pretty good to me. So much so that I've struggled to narrow this list of my favourite pickups down to only ten records. But these are the ones that stand out:

Shown in the photo:

Sensefield 'Killed For Less' test press - I never ever thought I would own this. One of my favourite records of all time, and there are only 4 test presses on the planet.

Cold World 'How The Gods Chill' LP test press - one of my favourite albums of the last few years.

Ressurection 7" with pre-release cover - so stoked to pick this up after 20 years of wanting one.

Reinforce 'One Life, Thug Free' 7" with Sporty Spice cover - another 7" that had been on my want list for 20 years or so. Such an awesome cover too.

The Damage Done 'City Of Hope' 7" Test press - a great record from a good friend.

Union 'You Fell For It' 7" on purple vinyl - one of those obscure & forgotten 7"s which I always loved, and picking up this rare and cool colour was very satisfying.

Right Brigade 7" with Clevo Sucks sleeve - had been on my want list for probably 15 years or so, and was god to get it for a good price.

Release 'No Longer' 7" in Wolverine sleeve - I was SO happy to pick this up after years and years of wanting, and this copy is brand new, which made it even sweeter.

Ashes 'S/T' 7" test press - one of my favourite bands of the 90s, I've never heard of anyone having this test before, so I was happy when it fell into my hands.

Dwarves 'Drug Store' 7" with 'Fuck You Up And get High' pin - another one that had been languishing on my want list for over 20 years. So good to finally have one.


Another traditional category for the end of year posts, this is stuff I listened to a lot that, for one reason or another, I didn't feature on the blog. It's either stuff I didn't get around to buying yet, or stuff that I'm not too fussed about buying on vinyl for one reason or another. But it feels good to document it as I spent a lot of time with these in 2017.

Foo Fighters - everything. One night in late June I put the TV on and came across Foo Fighters playing live at Glastonbury. I've never really been into them before (I actually saw them live in 2002 and walked out after 3 songs), but for some reason I was really into it, and then ended up downloading all of their albums and listened to them constantly for the second half of the year. That's 9 albums I got through in less than 6 months. I think I listened to Foo Fighters without fail every single day for four months straight. Crazy.

Sex Pistols 'The Great Rock N Roll Swindle' - I used to own this one on cassette when I was 16 and then forgot about it for 26 years. This year I remembered it and enjoyed listening to the songs again. I even found the time to re-watch the film. Good stuff.

Renee Heartfelt 'Death Of The Ghost' - I never got this album when it came out as it was CD only. But when their 7" came onto my ipod a few months ago I decided I needed to hear more of their songs, so downloaded this missing piece and couldn't get enough. Shame it was CD only.

Walleye 'Familiar Forgotten' - following on from Mike's post about this album, I decided to listen to it for the first time since it came out 22 years ago. I don't know why I missed it originally, as it's right up my street and is exactly the kind of thing I was most into in the 90s.

Fairweather 'S/T' - similar to the Renee Heartfelt record, a Fairweather song came on my ipod at some point and made me want to hear more from this band. I figured I wouldn't enjoy this album, but I was wrong. Apparently it's just been repressed on blue vinyl too, so I'll probably pick one up at some point.

Nuisance 'Confusion Hill' - not sure what brought this one to my attention exactly, as this is an old band from the early 90s that I have heard a couple of songs from on old compilation albums. But for some reason I can't remember, I downloaded this album from 1991 and it's great. Bits of it sound exactly like Nirvana.


And finally... kind of a dumb category, but I seemed to pick up a few records this year that 'completed' collections for me, and each time I posted an updated collection photo. It felt that there were a lot of these collection photos posted in 2017, so I thought I would put some of them up here. Because, as you know, there's little more interesting than photos of coloured records...

Thanks for the support from the few of you who still ready this. See you in 2018...