Archive for September, 2012

Cassino’s Kingprince is the third release on Collective Confusion Records. The label went all out with the pressing, giving the double LP a silk screened jacket, a lyric insert on the same heavyweight paper the jackets were printed on, adding on a few bonus track to the record that were taken from Cassino’s The Weight Of Bother and a digital download of the entire album plus the bonus tracks taken from the vinyl master. The bonus tracks in order of appearance were “The Man’s Throne (Full Band),” “Cannonball (acoustic),” “Maddie Brown (alternate)” and “Cannonscore.” They were placed at the end of the Kingprince album.  Fans of Cassino and Northstar were very excited about the release and snatched up copies pretty quickly, as the pressing sold out in just a few days.

There were 250 total copies pressed spread across four colors (which goes by color of the jacket); 100 copies on black vinyl with white jackets and 100 copies on clear blue vinyl in blue jackets. There was also a secret variant that went into random orders, which was on black vinyl housed in a black jacket, which has glow in the dark ink that appears grey when under light. The insert for the secret variant was printed with the same glow in the dark ink as well.

The secret variant was limited to 25 copies and was given out in place of one of the regular variants (black and clear with blue ink) for those who ordered a bundle. People who bought the bundles were able to opt out of the running for a secret variant; I opted to leave my name in the hat and was lucky enough to receive a copy of the secret variant. All copies were hand numbered on the back of the jacket. The way the numbering was done for the regular variants (white and blue jackets) had every copy be /200, with the white copies getting the even numbers and the blue copies getting the odd numbers. The secret variant was numbered /25.

Collective Confusion did an interesting thing with the few overrun copies of the record, printing up new jackets for them, which were green. These green jackets were limited to 25 copies and were also hand numbered like the rest of the pressing. Another oddball variant was a result of overruns and any issues at the hands of the USPS customers had after receiving their orders. There are only two copies with a blue jacket and one black LP and one clear with blue ink LP, which I was fortunate enough to get my hands on. Since these were overrun copies they did not come with inserts. These two variants went up for sale in August. The entire pressing of Kingprince is now OOP with no plans to re-press it as of writing this.

When people started receiving their orders for the record, someone made it known that he felt the blue jackets were not blue, or not blue enough for his liking. As I have all the variants for this record I can assure everyone that the blue jackets are in fact blue and you can see the difference between the white and blue jackets. Especially when side by side, which you can see in the pictures below as I am purposely placing the white and blue jackets next to each other. To make a long story short, Mike from Collective Confusion addressed the concerns about the blue jacket, stating the blue chosen for the jackets turned out to be lighter than expected. Another important thing to note with this release is how it was handled. Other labels can look at Collective Confusion and take notes on how to operate. Throughout the entire process of releasing this record, Collective Confusion openly communicated with the vinyl community, which was a much welcomed breath of fresh air as countless labels both big and small ignore people. Mike, who runs the label, did not shy away from answering everyone’s questions and concerns regarding the release, he gave full details about the pressing as soon as he confirmed them and was also up front with the timelines of the release.

In early February 2013 Collective Confusion announced Kingprince would receive a re-pressing. The second pressing was done as a double LP and was limited to 300 copies spread across three colors, once again with color matching silk screened jackets. There are 100 copies each on black, green and cream. Collective Confusion had some help with the release from three other small indie labels; Workingman Records, Thunderbeard Records and Boshkung Records. The three variants were therefore named after those respective labels. The cream was the Collective Confusion Records varaint, black the Thunderbeard Records variant and green was the Working Man Records variant. Collective Confusion offered a bundle with all three colors available along with some copies of each color individually.

Like with the first pressing there was a secret variant of sorts that went out into random bundle orders in place of one of the regular variants. This “special jacket” was autographed by the band and I beleive was printed on a different color paper than the main variants. I also beleive the color of the records with the special jacket was random but was one of the three regular variants (black, green or cream). There were test pressings for the second pressing.

There are some subtle differences between the two pressings. The center labels are different between them, which you can see in the pics below. The artwork is also slightly different, which you can compare in the pics below as well. The second pressing does not come with an insert; rather the lyrics are printed inside the sleeve. As for sound, I did not notice one pressing being superior over the other. They both sound great.


Senses Fail – Still Searching (1t Press)

Posted: September 18, 2012 in Vinyl

The vinyl pressing of Still Searching is one of if not the first releases on Staple Records, which I believe is run by Buddy Nielsen of Senses Fail and is part of the Workhorse Music Group. There were 1,000 copies pressed of the record split across two variants; red/black swirl limited to 200 copies and 800 copies on clear coke bottle. The red/black swirl copies were exclusive to Senses Fail’s webstore and the clear coke bottle copies are a Hot Topic exclusive that has yet to go on sale. The red/black swirl copies are already sold out, which happened the first day pre-orders for it went live.

While this record has been out for a while, due to extenuating circumstances I just got my copy in last week. While I got in on a group buy for the German release of the LP that included an exclusive 7″ featuring the album’s bonus tracks from the deluxe version, the initial copies sent from Germany were actually the U.S. pressing of the record. Eventually a true Euro pressing was released, which had subtle difference like no anti-piracy warning slapped on the jacket, different Mercury logos, slightly different printed dust sleeve, slightly different shade of blue vinyl, slightly different sticker on the cover, no download code, slightly different band logo and slightly different center labels. I think it also goes without saying that the Euro pressing was done at a different plan than the U.S. pressing, but from time to time I get disgruntled comments blasting me for my omission of that fact.

Initially there were supposed to be 500 copies of the aforementioned bonus 7″, but due to high demand there were 750 copies pressed. The additional copies became available and were announced a few weeks after the album first went up for pre-order. The pre-order with the exclusive bonus 7″ was only available through two German distros, Greenhell and Flight13. After all was said and done it come out to about $30 to get my copy imported from Germany, but this was with a group buy. If you were to buy a copy on your own your cost would have been a decent amount higher.

As for pressing info, nothing official has been stated other than the german bonus 7″, which is limited to 750 copies on blue vinyl. The U.S. and Euro pressings are both on blue 180 gram vinyl. There have been rumblings that the U.S. pressing is limited to 10,000 copies and the Euro pressing limited to 500 copies, but they are only rumors that have, and probably never will be substantiated. It’s important to note the the bonus 7″ does have “promo” printed on the center label.  For the U.S. pressing there is an image of Ian Perkins of The Horrible Crowes printed inside the jacket opening.

When Minus The Bear’s latest album went up for pre-order there were a few options in terms of bundles or package deals available through Minus The Bear’s official webstore. There was the choice to buy just the album on CD or as a digital download. At the time the record could not be purchased on its own, however the record did become available for pre-order through other distros. There was the option that included a choice between two different types of t-shirts (crew neck or v-neck) that featured the same design and a CD or vinyl LP, but with the vinyl option also came an exclusive slip mat. Then there was the pricey, “ultimate book” package, which included a 16 page hardbound book, the CD and vinyl version (exclusive 180 gram black copy) of the album, an autographed lithograph and the aforementioned slip mat and t-shirt. There was also the incentive that 10 random people who ordered the “ultimate book” package would receive a hand written lyric sheet to one of the 10 songs on Infinity Overhead, which was also autographed by Jake. This was one sheet for each song with one going out to each randomly drawn person, not 10 sheets for the same song. All bundles included a high quality digital download delivered via e-mail on release day. The shirt and CD/LP bundle cost $40 and the “ultimate book” package cost $85. Lastly, there were also UK exclusive bundles being sold by Big Scary Monsters (BSM), a UK label. Through the UK route the record was available on its own, or you could buy the two color variants together in a bundle as well. All pre-orders through BSM included a three pin set as well.

At the time pre-orders went up I debated whether or not to pull the trigger on the “ultimate book” package due to the price. After hearing some of the songs off the album and confirming the record would be housed inside the book I decided go for it. After receiving the book earlier this week I do not regret splurging on it. Though advertised as 16 pages, the book is actually 20 pages long. The record  and autographed lithograph each slide into their own page in the book, towards the back of it. The CD is also housed in the book itself as well, resting in one of the pages. It’s held into the book like it would be in a typical jewel case or digipack, only without the actual case. Each book is individually numbered in silver foil stamping on the last page of the book. Since the record is housed inside one of the pages, it does not come with the jacket that it would come with had it been purchased on its own in a store or online. When my package arrived there was a sticker on top of the box indicating it was the  “special edition deluxe set” even though none of the packages were actually called that. I’m assuming all orders for the “ultimate book” bundle had the same sticker on the package. Unfortunately I was not one of the lucky ones to receive a hand written lyrics sheet. Below you will find pictures of every included with the “ultimate book” bundle except the t-shirt, and this may be the first place to post pictures of every page of the book.

Infinity Overhead was pressed on two colors in the U.S. and possibly two colors in the UK. For the U.S. pressing there is black 180 gram limited to 1,000 copies, which is exclusive to the “ultimate book package” and clear, which is appears to be unlimited at this point and will be kept in print on for the time being. For the UK there is blue limited to 200 copies and clear limited to 300 copies. The UK blue was exclusive to BSM. The UK clear is more opaque and the U.S. clear is more of a traditional clear. Both pressings came in the same gatefold jacket with the same  full color printed dust sleeve. I am pretty positive that the deluxe book is now OOP, since the band is no longer selling it. There are a few places taking preorders for a 50 page book edition, but I have emailed Dangerbird and they confirmed to me that there is only one book version, the 16 page one they offered for pre-order. So do not order from anywhere stating they are selling a 50 page book of Infinity Overhead, as that product does not and will not ever exist.

Minus The Bear – Steel And Blood 7″

Posted: September 10, 2012 in Vinyl

The latest 7″ from Minus The Bear is a UK exclusive released by Big Scary Monsters. There were 300 copies pressed on red vinyl, with each copy being hand numbered on the back of the jacket. The jacket is also die cut, which you see in the pictures below. The dust sleeve is also full color, which shows through the die cut portion of the jacket. There is also an exclusive b-side found on this 7″ entitled “Surf n Turf.” This 7″ is now OOP and sold out in a few days after being put up for pre-order.

Harvard’s aka HRVRD’s debut album released by Enjoy The Ride Records. This will be the only pressing of the album that features the band’s name original name, Harvard, before changing it to HRVRD. For those needlessly hating on Enjoy The Ride for being one of those labels that only license albums to press on vinyl, here you go; an album from a band signed to ETR.

As mentioned above, this first pressing will be the only one that will have ‘Harvard’ printed on the cover. All subsequent pressings will have the band’s new name, ‘HRVRD’ printed on the cover and anywhere else it applies. This first pressing also features spot gloss printing on the gatefold jacket and is accompanied by an exclusive DVD featuring a documentary and live footage.  there were 500 total copies pressed split across three colors; black 180 gram limited to 100 copies, sea green with blood splatter limited to 200 copies and ocean blue swirl limited to 200 copies. Some refer to the sea green with blood splatter as “peacock” after seeing how the finished records look. You can see a picture of that color on ETR’s website. The black 180 gram copies were a tour exclusive and some copies could also be bought at indie record store Lunchbox Records in North Carolina, the band’s home state. At some point ETR started selling a handful of copies of the black 180 gram in their web store.

Enjoy The Ride broke up the pressing to try an accommodate a bundle deal that included the band’s second album, but that kind of fell through after the band signed with Equal Vision Records, who seem to want to wait and release HRVRD’s sophomore album in 2013. ETR started selling some of the 200 copies of the ocean blue copies in their web store sometime during the Summer of 2012 (the CD version of the album was released in April 2012). The first pressing is completely sold out.

In early 2013 the second pressing of The Inevitabl And I was released, which underwent some changes from the first press. Most noticeable is the name change on the cover from ‘Harvard’ to ‘HRVRD.’ Secondly the jacket is no longer a gatefold and the printing of the jacket is different as well, as there is no spot glossing. Also gone is the insert, which is not included with the second pressing. The spine is also different in color with the second pressing, it’s now purple instead of a tan or light brown color. While most of Enjoy The Ride’s releases to date have been top-notch quality, this re-press of Harvard/HRVRD’s debut album seems cheap. Granted I’m only saying that based on the quality of all their other releases, and had this second pressing come out on another label it would pass for great. I know they went above and beyond, sparing no expense with the first pressing, so the cheapness quality of this re-press just stands out more. It’s not terrible by any means, just sub par based on Enjoy The Ride’s previous release.

There were three variants for the second pressing. There 200 copies pressed on clear with blue, oxblood red and yellow splatter, 100 copies on solid blue/clear swirl with oblood splatter and 300 copies on solid blue. The solid blue was a Hot Topic exclusive and the sold blue/clear swirl with oxblood splatter was only available in a bundle deal from Enjoy The Ride with the first pressing of HRVD’s sophomore album From The Bird’s Cage.

One of the few records Far released, and this is the only one that is not a split. I do not know how many copies were pressed, but this 7″ was released by Pazzafist Records. When these pop up for sale, which they rarely do, they tend to go for around $30.