Archive for June, 2013


One of the nicest releases of the year, and one of the nicest releases in my collections is this Gaslight Anthem box set comprised of all their Side One Dummy era singles, nine in total, officially titled Singles Collections 2008-2011. Each single features a true b-side, some of which have been released on vinyl on another record at some point prior to the release of this box set however. The exclusive, or at least first time on vinyl b-sides in this set are found on the Great Expectations, American Slang, Boxer, The Diamond Church Street Choir, Stay Lucky, The Spirit Of Jazz, B-sides singles. The artwork is also the same as some of the previously released singles, namely for Old White Lincoln, The ’59 Sound and Great Expectations singles. The artwork for The ’59 Sound single found in this box set is the same as the artwork used for the second pressing of the stand alone 7″ that was pressed on clear vinyl. Singles four through nine are brand new singles that have never been released before.  The track listing for the entire box set can be found at the end of this post.

The pressing info is as follows; 500 copies on blood red, which was only available directly through Side One Dummy’s web store and sold out through pre-orders, and 2,500 copies on black which is widely available. An important note is that the blood red copies cost $5 more than black copies in Side One’s store.

Included in the box set is a wooden box to store all the records and a 45 rpm adaptor exclusive to this box set. A download card for high quality 320 kbps MP3’s of the entire box set is also included. Side One did a great job with this release. The wooden box comes inside a cardboard box with a hype sticker on the front and the same title printed on the cover of the cardboard that is found on the wooden box. The wooden box is stained and lacquered and features an ornate metal clasp to keep it closed. Unlike the recent Akaline Trio wooden box set, the lid on this box set remains open when you open it and does not completely fold over to lay flat.

There is a big difference between the Gaslight singles that are included in this box set that were released prior to it.  Each record in the set is a large hole jukebox single and as such needs to be played with a 45 adaptor. All the Gaslight singles that are included in this box set and were released prior to it are a small hole 7″. The only downside of this release is that the jackets for all the records are extremely small and none of them come with dust sleeves, just the records stuffed into the jacket. Because the jackets are so small/tight (depending on how you look at it), if you put your own paper dust sleeve on each record the record will no longer fit inside its jacket.

#1 – The ’59 Sound
Side A: “The ’59 Sound”
Side B: “State Of Love And Trust” Live at Webster Hall

#2 – Old White Lincoln
Side A: “Old White Lincoln”
Side B: “The ’59 Sound” Acoustic on KEXP

#3 – Great Expectations
Side A: “Great Expectations”
Side B: “Great Expectations” Acoustic on KEXP

#4 – American Slang
Side A: “American Slang”
Side B: “American Slang” Acoustic

#5 – Boxer
Side A: “Boxer”
Side B: “Boxer” Acoustic

#6 – The Diamond Church Street Choir
Side A: “The Diamond Church Street Choir”
Side B: “Antonia Jane” Acoustic on KEXP

#7 – Stay Lucky
Side A: “Stay Lucky”
Side B: “Tumbling Dice”

#8 – The Spirit Of Jazz
Side A: “The Spirit Of Jazz”
Side B: “The Queen Of Lower Chelsea” Acoustic

#9 – B-Sides
Side A: “Once Upon A Time”
Side B: “She Loves You”


Modern Vampires Of The City is the first Vampire Weekend record to get pressed on colored vinyl and to have any sort of variant. It was pressed on white vinyl and black vinyl. The white was exclusive to the band’s web store and indie record stores. At first I thought it was limited considering it sold out online, and it very well still might be, but there are tons of copies on white sitting in record stores across the country. So either most of the copies went out to stores and the web store only had a small amount to sell, white is not limited at all or white is not limited to under 1,000 copies. All copies come with a huge fold out poster and a download code.

 


Vinnie Caruana’s debut solo release, an EP entitled City By The Sea was released by a handful of labels. I Surrender Records handled the digital and CD versions and Run For Cover Records (RFC) handled the vinyl version in the U.S. while Xtra Mile handled all European aspects of the release. As expected there was a delay with the records from RFC, which has become something you can set your watch to. The length of the delay this go around was almost 3 months.

There are several variants for the record, three colors for the U.S. pressing and one color for the European pressing. RFC pressed 300 copies on gold vinyl, 300 copies on black featuring hand numbering and blank center labels, 500 copies on silver/black marble and 700 on green/white marble. The silver/black marble is the only opaque color with the gold and “green/white marble” are translucent. he “green/white marble” turned out to be a translucent solid green. The black copies were only sold on Viinie’s acoustic basement tour and come autographed on top of the hand numbering, which are both done on the blank white center labels. Xtra Mile had 300 copies on clear vinyl. The U.S. pressing features an etched b-side while the Euro pressing  does not.

So far the only color to sell out is the gold from the U.S. pressing. All remaining colors from the U.S. pressing are available from RFC but if you order via another source I am not sure what color you will get. Most of the time if you order outside the label directly you get the least rare color, but with this record that is not the case as I ordered from Interpunk and received the silver/black marble.


I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody’s Business’ latest album, Enola was released by Rise Records. The same label The Early November is signed to, so it wouldn’t surprise me if anything Ace Enders releases is under contract by Rise too. The album has not even officially been released yet (as of writing this) and I can already tell Rise pressed way too many copies of this record. Enola was pressed on three different colors totaling 1500 copies. If The Early November haven’t sold through 500 copies of a single variant from their latest album in almost a year I highly doubt I Can Make A Mess will move 1500 copies. Rise also did their typical rarest variant only available in bundles that nobody wants full of stuff nobody needs. Rise will most likely break up the bundles once they realize nobody is buying them and they are sitting on hundreds of copies of unsold merch. The pressing info is 200 copies on dark blue, which so far is only available in bundles, 300 copies on white, which is only available through Rise’s web store and 1,000 copies on clear and pink starburst, which is available through all retailers. The pink is not an Amazon exclusive, despite the assumptions of a few people who think they know what they are talking about.

I chose not to order through Rise as it was much cheaper to order elsewhere. As expected I received the “clear and pink starburst” which is actually white instead of clear and is what most people call swirl rather than “starburst.” A CD copy of the album is also included with the record. The record comes with what is arguably the most pointless insert of all time, as it’s just two photos; one of a house on a tropical coast and one of a sea plane. The credits are printed at the very bottom of one said, but it mostly reads “Ace Enders” as if no one buying this didn’t know it is mostly his hand involved with this album. I would be better had the record not come with an insert at all as it would’ve cost less money, at least in he theoretical world. To my amazement this album did not leak either, an impressive feat in this day and age.


Once again everyone’s favorite label, Victory Records, is involved with yet another despicable handling of one of their bands. Streetlight Manifesto, who have bore the brunt of Victory’s wrath for what seems like forever now, dealt a damning blow to the band with their latest album and final album on released on Victory Records which fulfilled their (I actually believe it’s solely Thomas Kalnocky’s) contract with the label. After quite a long delay with just releasing the album due to legal battles, Victory had one last sucker punch to deliver before Streetlight walked out the door; withholding the band’s own album from the band themselves, especially vinyl copies, preventing the band from selling their own music via any method. Victory also flat-out cancelled the companion album to The Hand That Thieves, Tomas Kalnocky’s solo acoustic rendition of the album under the moniker Toh Kay entitled The Hands That Thieve.

As a result of Victory withholding the album from the band, they were unable to fulfill almost every pre-order of the took through their webstore. To further muddy the waters, the band was eventually afforded copies of the album on CD, but would never be able to get copies on vinyl. Since the band would not be betting any copies of the album on vinyl, and the Toh Kay release was cancelled all together, the band was forced to automatically cancel or partially refund all orders containing vinyl and/or the Toh Kay album. My initial order fell into the flat-out cancel portion as I ordered the vinyl bundle with both the Streetlight and Toh Kay versions of the album. Yet another problem arose as The Risc Store, who handled Streetlight’s online merch orders, dragged their feet with refunds. A month later and most people are still waiting on refunds for vinyl orders of any sort. It took a bit of unorthodox persistence on my part to get a refund but I finally did.

Now that the record is finally released, here is the pressing info; 218 copies on white, 314 copies on green and 1,000 copies on black. The album was pressed as a double LP housed in a gatefold jacket. I’m very surprised Victory sprung for a gatefold jacket, but even so they cheaped out as it’s just the lyrics in black ink printed inside the gatefold. A download code is included but it’s for terrible 192 kbps MP3’s. You could get better quality by driving next to someone playing the CD in their car. An old school mail order catalog is included as well. It’s important to note that the white copies were initially supposed to be and advertised as “clear with black smoke” but somewhere along the lines changed to white. The pressing info was also initially round numbers, so 200 and 300 respectively. So far the only color that is sold out is the white, which is appalling as people are actually directly giving their money to one of, if not the worst labels to ever exist.


There was a long delay with the deluxe box sets of Alkaline Trio’s latest album My Shame Is True and accompanying b-sides EP Broken Wing, which is why this entry is being posted over two months after the album’s release. The delays with the box sets seemed to be for a few different reasons, first being quality control. Apparently the screen printed box sets did not meet the standards Epitaph laid out, as the ink was not evenly applied. Epitaph/Kings Road Merch sent out a pic via email to illustrate the problems with the box sets. This was made apparent about one month before the album’s release date, which is much better than finding out why your order hasn’t shipped well after it was supposed to. The second delay was a customs issue, as apparently the wooden boxes were made outside the U.S., something no one was aware of. The deluxe box sets finally started shipping out in the final days of May.

The deluxe box sets came with a whole bunch of extra goodies on top of the album and EP on exclusive colored vinyl; a t-shirt, 46″x46″ flag featuring the band’s heartskull logo, a heartskull embroidered patch and an “Alkaline Trio spirit board game” aka a Ouija board with a solid wood heartskull game piece. The shirt and flag come sealed in plastic bags; the flag with a resealable flap bag and the shirt is vacuumed sealed in a bag. The deluxe box sets were limited to 500 copies/pieces and sold out in less than 24 hours. My Shame Is True came on dark green vinyl and the Broken Wing EP came on tan vinyl, both only available in the deluxe box set bundle and limited to 500 copies. The dark green vinyl actually come out a light green marble and the tan vinyl come out much darker than tan and could be considered straight up brown. My Shame Is True also comes with a CD copy of the album.

The wooden box sets are most likely made out of pine and are not stained. The covers/lids are screen printed in black ink and open from the top. The lid opens all the way and folds flat. It does not remain vertically open. If you can’t understand what I’m talking about the pics below will demonstrate what I mean by “opening all the way and folds flat.” The inside of the box is felt lined. The aforementioned  delay from quality control issues with the screen printing on the box sets seems to be fixed for the most part but is still evident on my copy. While not nearly as bad as the pic sent out via email by Kings Road Merch, my copy still has some ink issues, albeit minor ones. Another issue is that the records barely fit inside the wooden box.  They have to be forced slightly into the box, and if you are successful getting to fit inside there are next to impossible to get out. You have to turn the box upside down and bang on it a few times to get the record out. I was only able to get the album in the box and could not get the EP in the box as the jacket is slightly larger. It doesn’t matter if the box is empty or has all the extra goodies inside, the records still won’t fit without a struggle. I was told by Kings Road Merch the box was designed to have the records fit inside.

The full pressing info for My Shame Is True is as follows: 500 copies on dark green (only available in the deluxe box set bundles through Kings Road Merch), 1,000 copies on pink (only available online) and an unknown amount on black vinyl. The full pressing info for the Broken Wing EP is as follows: 500 copies on tan (only available in the deluxe box set bundles through Kings Road Merch) and 1500 copies on blue. I’m not sure if copies of the EP will be made available anywhere other than Epitaph’s web store hosted by Kings Road Merch, whether in brick and mortar stores or through other online distros. The EP is also the only limited pressing, as it appears it will not ke kept in print on black vinyl. however there are some error pressing of the Broken Wing EP, as an undetermined amount of copies were pressed on pink vinyl and sealed in pink copies of the My Shame Is True LP. I do not know how many copies of the Broken Wing EP are on pink vinyl as Epitaph and Kings Road Merch have not addressed it.

There were also some problems with pink copies of My Shame Is True, as people complained about a film residue on the record and various issues with sound quality and skipping. People said their copies had tons of background noise, with some calling it the noisiest record they own. Not everyone had these issues though. Kings Road Merch apparently sent out replacement copies to those who emailed them at not additional cost and without having to send back the claimed defective copies. i have not seen issues with the green copies of the album nor the tan copies of the EP, and have not heard complaints about anything other than the pink copies of the album.