Sound The Alarm marks the beginning of the utter mess that is Cobraside. Initially there were only supposed to be two limited color variants, white and red, with each color being limited to 300 copies each. Red as a Nerd Alert exclusive. Nerd Alert was a very short-lived online distro based out Washington State that did some great things and scored some great exclusive releases and exclusive colors. White was a vinyl collective exclusive. The album was also pressed on black, and it was kept in print on black for a decent amount of time, so there are no official numbers on how many copies were pressed on black.
But once it was announced that Sound The Alarm was getting pressed and went up for pre-order, Cobraside via dubmaverick starting selling their own exclusive colorways of the album on ebay. They sold two colors, half red/half white and half blue/half white, in an identical pattern to what was done with Under The Boards. The price tag was not out of earth’s orbit, but it was slightly higher than retail price. Since it was not too much more expensive, like a dollar or two more with free shipping, I decided to bite on a red/white copy on ebay. This was before anyone knew anything about Cobraside and what they were about to unleash.
Initially the half red/half white and half blue/half white copies were advertised as being limited to 35 copies each, ultimately the reason why I decided to pull the trigger with the buy it now on ebay even though I already ordered a red copy from Nerd Alert. Not too much surprise, all copies of the half red/half white and half blue/half white copies sold out after it was posted on the vinyl collective message board. But since there was som much attention being paid to them, someone noticed that way more than 35 copies of each color were sold after looking at the purchase history of the listings. This started a huge debate and left quite a few outraged customers, myself included.
I wasn’t upset so much that it was apparently not as rare, but that I was led to believe it was rarer than it actually was through blatant false advertising. So I sent dubmaverick a message on ebay questioning the claim of /35 when about 70 copies were sold, which was sternly worded but not an all out assault. Shortly after I received a message back which was full of lies saying “just because there were more than 35 purchases, it does not mean that everyone paid. some people did not pay.” Obvious BS because it was listed as a buy it now with immediate payment required. So I called dubmaverick/Cobraside on their BS and a few minutes later I received another message, but this time with a very angry tone, telling me I was refunded because “we don’t want to sell to people like you.”
I was not the only person they did this to as per discussions on message boards, and their ebay account was suddenly flooded with negative feedback. At the time no one knew that dubmaverick was an employee or possibly the owner/operator of Cobraside. So I rattled off an email to Cobraside alerting them to what was going, which was full of complaints and questions as to why such activities were going on with a record they pressed. I was not the only one to send emails or make phone calls either. Later that day I received one of the nastiest email correspondences I’ve ever received. I was surprised it was not littered with profanity.
Basically I was called a liar and a jerk, and was even threatened with legal action for defamation of character. Weightless threats that I laughed at. When I questioned whether or not each color was limited to 35 copies when they have sold far more than 35 copies, they responded like a typical whiny spoiled brat. Word for word this was their response, “It’s our pressing we can do whatever we want with it. We don’t have to answer to anyone.” Here’s the kicker to all of this.
Pressured by the influx of phone calls, emails, comments and complaints on message boards, emails to Vagrant (who contracted Cobraside out) ebay reports and BBB reports; dubmaverick/Cobraside finally admitted that there were actually 70 copies of each of the half red/half white and half blue/half white color variants. They amended their ebay listing, which was still not sold out because the had double the amount they originally advertised.
Sadly Vagrant could do nothing to stop Cobraside and continues to use them to this day.