Archive for October, 2012

Weezer – The Lion And The Witch

Posted: October 24, 2012 in Vinyl
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The Lion And The Witch was initially only released as a limited edition CD limited to 25,000 copies back in 2002. Ten years later it received the vinyl treatment through Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MoFi). The record was sourced and mastered from the original master tapes. There were 3500 copies pressed on 180 gram black vinyl. Each copy is individually numbered in gold stamping on the back of the gatefold jacket.

Having never purchased a MoFi release I’ve only heard about the quality until now. This record, along with Weezer’s Blue Album are stunning. Everything about this release, from the sound to the jacket is great. The MoFi Weezer pressings are a bit pricey, but well worth the money. Even this six track live EP.


For a band that tends to release everything on vinyl and appreciates the format, The Majestic Majesty took about 3 years to get pressed. There were 1500 copies of the record pressed on black vinyl. The record has no center labels but has “Majestic” etched on the a-side and “Majesty” etched on the b-side. There is also no insert to speak of really, only a CD booklet size piece of paper that has the liner notes printed on one side while the other side is blank.

The stripped down acoustic version of Portugal. The Man’s 2009 album The Satanic Satanist, The Majestic Majesty was never physically released prior to this. Some people attribute that fact to a very big issue with this record, sound quality.

Usually when I hear rumblings about poor sound or records skipping I brush it off as people’s poor set ups, either using cheap/horrible turntables, speakers, pre-amps or any combination of those. Usually there are only a few people who whine about the sound quality and the majority quickly squash their gripes. But the general consensus with this record is that it sounds terrible, while others have no complaints. And after listening to my copy I tend to agree with them.

When I first heard the complaints I expected the worst. People made it out to be not worth picking it up, even for free. When I listened to it I was not pleased with the sound quality, but the people grabbing their pitchforks and torches are way off base. Yes the record does not sound great but it does not sound terrible either, at least my copy. Which stacks up with other people’s opinions of this record, some think it’s unlistenable and some think it’s fine. This seems to be a pressing with more bad apples than good, which is unusual.  The glaring issue is the mastering, as it’s quite obvious this was not mastered for vinyl. The levels are way off which results in distortions in some places along with some fuzziness on both sides. It’s like the person behind the board decided to randomly adjust everything up and down with no discretion.

The band eventually caught wind of these complaints and looked into the situation. The band listened to their personal copies and had the same result, a mixture of terrible copies and good copies. They are in the process of trying to figure out a solution to the problem and have yet to announce anything regarding it.

In March 2013 the issue was finally addressed as Equal Vision pressed more copies of the record. They offered replacements to anyone who bought copies from the first pressing and were not satisfied. This new pressing, which is the second overal, has center labels but is still pressed on black vinyl. From what a few people who went for a replacement have sad, the sound quality issues have been fixed.

Northstar – Is This Things Loaded?

Posted: October 24, 2012 in Vinyl
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Northstar’s first album, Is This Thing Loaded? was pressed well after their second album, Pollyanna. It was pressed on three colors, with two being exclusive to certain retailers. There were 350 copies on half green/half white, which was exclusive to Triple Crown Records’ webstore hosted by Merchdirect. There were 600 copies on green, which was a Hot Topic exclusive. Lastly, there were 350 copies pressed on black vinyl, which were available through all other retailers. The record comes in a printed dust sleeve with the lyrics printed on one side and the liner notes on the other. The jacket also appears to be made of possibly brown chipboard, so instead of the white border around the cover art it is brown.

For those inclined to buy the rarest variant you could shop around to find the best price with this record. Not only does Merchdirect charge more for the record itself, their shipping price is also on the high side as well. They also seem to charge sales tax for completely random states when they ship out of New York. Not even sure how they legally get away with that. So depending on what state you live in you could save yourself about $5 by buying a copy on black from Interpunk.

 


II is as you guessed it, the second album from Bad Books. There are a few variants and version of this record. There is a deluxe version and a regular version. The regular version is housed in a gatefold jacket with the standard album artwork. It also comes with an insert as well, which is unusual for records coming in gatefold jackets lately. Usually it’s either a gatefold jacket or an insert, not both. The regular version was pressed on two colors, red and clear. Red is a tour exclusive and limited to 300 copies. Copies could only be pre-ordered when purchasing tickets for the band’s current (as of writing this) tour. I’m pretty sure the red copies all sold out through the pre-order/ticket phase. These red tour copies also came signed (the jacket) by the band, which some people either didn’t realize or forgot as they are surprised by it. Since tickets went on sale well ahead of the record’s release date, those who opted to pre-ordered the record had to pick up their copies of the record at their respective show. So far i have not heard of any issues with this process, but the tour is only a few days old. Hopefully no major issues arise.

There are also clear copies of the regular version of the record, which is widely available through all other outlets carrying the album on vinyl. While I got 2/3 of the pressing info by emailing Triple Crown for it, they pretty much refuse to tell me how many copies were pressed on clear.

The deluxe version of the album comes in different packaging than the regular version. It comes in an embossed hard cover jacket with alternate artwork. Also included with the deluxe version is a 24-page booklet. The deluxe version is limited to 1,000 copies and comes with a black 180 gram vinyl LP. Although the regular version has already been released and fortunately was not delayed at all, the deluxe version does not have a release date till October 30. Once my copy comes in I will add photos of everything included with it to this post. The deluxe version also did not get put up for pre-order till well after other distros put the regular version up for pre-order.  Why Triple Crown waited so long to put up pre-orders is a bit puzzling, but not a bad thing. These other distros I mention are also selling it for cheaper than Triple Crown and have cheaper shipping options.


There was some speculation about The Killers latest album when it came down to variants. The band’s official pre-order for Battle Born advertised it as “limited edition red vinyl,” which led some people to believe the 180 gram red copies to be exclusive to The Killers’ webstore or that red copies would be insanely limited. Mentions of a 20-page booklet and poster also got people’s wheels turning wondering if those items would be exclusive to the band’s pre-order.  That use of “limited edition” was a marketing gimmick and it clearly had its desired effect on some potential consumers and fans as many people bought copies after reading it. It turned out all copies, no matter where purchased in the U.S. for this first pressing (should there be multiple pressings done), are on 180 gram solid red vinyl and come with the 20-page booklet and poster.  Some places also have the record listed as a single LP and some as a double LP. Since the album won’t fit on a single LP all those places labeling it as a single LP are wrong, including The Killer’s official store. There is also a UK pressing, with the only difference being that the records are pressed on translucent red instead of solid red. Pressing info for both pressings was never announced and most likely will never be announced.

The price point for this record is also very skewed. Some places have it for $35 with others have it for less than half that at $16. Interpunk is the cheapest place that is selling this right now, and for those still concerned about what they will get I ordered from them and received a double LP on 180 gram red vinyl with the poster and 20-page booklet. So if the high price is holding you back from buying this do some shopping around to find a place selling this for a realistic price. As with all Killers records this will go OOP eventually and will fetch big bucks on ebay.

While the booklet and poster are such hot topics with this record, they’re nothing fancy. The booklet is the same size as a typical LP insert and is probably just a scaled up version of the booklet included with the CD version of Battle Born. There are no lyrics printed anywhere in it, it’s just credits, promo photos of the band and some bland artwork. The poster is double-sided, with the album artwork on one side and a promo shot of the band on the other. Is it on the large side, 24″x36″. Obviously it’s a fold out poster. The record comes housed in a gatefold jacket, with each LP sliding into glossy, full color dust sleeve that has the lyrics printed on one side. Unfortunately the record does not come with a download code.

Brandon Flowers – Flamingo

Posted: October 10, 2012 in Vinyl
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Flamingo is Brandon Flowers, lead singer of The Killers, debut solo album. It was very hyped as it was coming out and at first I did not like it. It eventually grew on me and I decided to pick up a copy when the price was marked down to $10. Although it was not advertised as such, this record was pressed on 180 gram black vinyl. I don’t know how many copies were pressed and that info will likely never be released.


The only single off of Brandon Flowers debut solo album to be pressed on vinyl, “Crossfire” was pressed as a 10″ picture disc. It does come in a picture disc sleeve, but also comes with an insert as well. I do not know how many copies were pressed, but I have a feeling this 10″ is going OOP as many places I tried ordering it from no longer have copies in stock and their distributor is no longer carrying it.