One of the best packages of the year goes to Enjoy The Ride Records with their collector’s edition wooden box set of The Early November’s two EPs, The Acoustic EP and For All Of This.
Each EP had 500 total copies pressed as a 10″ spread across three colors, with a special collector’s edition package that included both EP’s in a screen-printed wood box. This box set was limited to 100 copies, each being hand numbered on the back, and had an exclusive color that could only be found with this special edition set. The box set also included two inserts, one with the liner notes, lyrics and old press photos, and the other featuring a special note from both Ace Enders and Jeff Kumer. These inserts could also only be found with this box set. The lid slides off of the box and slides back into grooves notched for it. The reverse side of the lid is also printed with some production credits. The entire box is stained, which adds a nice touch. It’s not just bare wood and the color of stain is just right; it’s not too dark and overpowering or too light and appears like a simple lacquer. From that you might tell I have a decent amount of woodworking experience.
The pressing info for The Acoustic EP is as follows: 100 copies on ultra clear, which was the collector’s edition box set color, 200 copies on blue/bronze swirl with bone splatter and 200 copies on tri-color blue/bronze/bone. There is also a special variant for The Acoustic EP, which Enjoy The Ride calls a “bizarro” pressing. I’m not sure how it came about, but it was not available to the public. I was lucky enough to get one after talking back and forth with Ross (Enjoy The Ride owner) about some things and buying a complete set of variants for these releases(only way I could get the wooden box set), including test presses (which I have since sold off). This “bizarro” pressing is pressed on half bone/half clear vinyl and comes in special screen printed sleeve with alternate artwork of sorts (colors switched around). It’s limited to 50 copies. The pressing info for For All Of This is as follows; 100 copies on ultra clear, which was the collector’s edition color, 200 copies on ultra clear with aqua and baby pink splatter and 200 copies on aqua/bronze swirl with baby pink splatter. Probably the longest and most complicated color schemes to spit out, but they turned out great in my opinion.
*** 1/8/15 Update – I’ve noticed a huge surge in views of this entry after it was linked to on a message board, in a thread calling out Ross from Enjoy The Ride for shady business practices. To be perfectly honest since there is a ton of dirty laundry airing going on, Ross did tell me not to publicize the “bizarro” variant, but it did not come with a note saying such. He told me directly via email when I made the deal for the box set after it sold out. He sold me the wooden box set (plus complete set of variants & test pressings for both EP’s), after it sold out, for cost (minus test press cost. But I later sold them and made up the difference) only because I write this blog and it would get him publicity. So it was a mutual deal, I get something sold out that I wanted without paying ebay prices to flippers, and Ross/Enjoy The Ride gets some free press of sorts. He told me, without exact quoting, simply paraphrasing; don’t post pics or anything about the half bone/half clear record because I want to keep it a secret, so I could sell them later on and keep it a surprise. I may have the email exchange saved in my account, but I would have to do some digging. He also didn’t charge me for the half bone/half clear /50 variant, he included it as a bonus without telling me, but hinted at it in email exchanges that the package would have a nice surprise. I only got the pressing info and more info in general about that variant after emailing Ross about it, which is when he emphasized don’t post it on your blog, mention it anywhere or post pics anywhere. I complied with the request, but later, at least three years (February 2014) after initially writing the entry for these Early November EP’s, I went ahead and posted all the pics and info I had about the half/bone/half clear /50 secret variant. So the secret “bizarro” variant addition to this entry fell under the radar for the most part, until the link was posted on a message board. I did not post about the secret half/bone/half clear variant today, yesterday or any day this week. It has been sitting here quietly for almost a year, until today ( Jan. 8, 2015). This may seem long winded to some, but I wanted to completely spell out how I came into this specific variant to leave nothing open to interpretation. I’m not trying to cover my ass, protect or defend Ross/Enjoy The Ride in any way, hide anything or prove anyone wrong. ***
The Early November has a much more rabid fan base than I ever imagined and the label’s webstore host, Storenvy, crapped out with the volume of traffic. Lots of people added copies to their cart, but in the short amount of time it took for the checkout process to complete, the collector’s edition sold out. In well under 10 minutes. The remaining copies of the pressing sold out in a few weeks.
Overall the sound quality of both EP’s is pretty good. Not great but far from garbage. I typically don’t go into sound quality on my blog because it varies so much depending on your set up and equipment you are running, but in this case I felt the need to since sound is one of the knocking points on ETR. So fear not, these sound just fine with no glaring flaws or issues on a modest set up.