Archive for February, 2014


A few months after releasing a 7” box set containing most of their b-sides, The Gaslight Anthem released an LP containing all the b-sides featured in said box set. Many people who criticized the box set as unnecessary, was too expensive, or that it could have been released as an LP were thrilled when this b-sides album was announced. The aptly named The B-Sides received a U.S. and Euro pressing, which is typical for most if not all of Gaslight Anthem releases.

While the U.S. pressing was done on two variants, the Euro pressing was only done on one. For the U.S. pressing there were 500 copies on black and white starburst, which sold out in a few days, and either 1000 or 2000 copies on black. There is a bit of discrepancy in my book about the pressing info for this album, particularly the black variant. The order page for the album in Side One’s store says 1000 copies, but on their multiple social media outlets the says it’s limited to 2000 copies. The Euro variant is on white vinyl limited to 1,000 copies, which is evenly split at 500 copies a piece to the UK and Germany. Banquet Records was the exclusive retailer in the UK.

Instead of an insert a full color photo dust sleeve is include. The dust sleeve is somewhat one side however, as the liner notes/credits are printed on one side with a mirror image on the opposite side without any text. A download card is also included. The track listing is:

1. She Loves You

2. The ‘59 Sound (Acoustic)

3. State of Love and Trust (Live)

4. Tumbling Dice

5. The Queen of Lower Chelsea (Acoustic)

6. Songs for Teenagers

7. Great Expectations (Acoustic)

8. Antonia Jane (Acoustic)

9. American Slang (Acoustic)

10. Boxer (Acoustic)

11. Once Upon a Time

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Third Eye Blind – Box Set

Posted: February 24, 2014 in Vinyl
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A long rumored re-pressing finally came to fruition in late 2013 as Third Eye Blind re-pressed their debut, self-titled album and sophomore effort Blue, with one catch though. In order to get either of the highly sought after records, you had to buy an expensive box set that included the band’s entire discography, with another catch. That second catch was at first you had to buy the box set. Once the box set sold out, the band made individual copies of everything available in the box set, except for two things, which will be discussed in-depth later. The release of this box set did not go off without a hitch though, something I will also go into later.

The box set is limited to 500 copies, cost $200 before shipping (tack on another $19 for FedEx shipping) and sold out in about a week. Each box set was hand numbered in gold felt pen on the back of the box. The box itself does not have a traditional lid, the sleeve that holds the records slides out from the side. Said sleeve is like what libraries use to store magazines; if you still don’t know what I’m talking about there will be a picture to show what the sleeve looks like. The front of the box set features Third Eye Blind’s logo, which embossed into the set. Also included is a “place holder” for the band’s upcoming sixth studio album, which is autographed by the band’s only two founding members left, Stephan Jenkins and Brad Hargreaves. As stated earlier the box set includes all of the band’s releases up to this point, which includes four full length albums and one EP. Before I get comments saying “you left out the Symphony Of Decay EP,” I’m aware of that EP, but it was never officially released so it should be obvious it’s not included in the box set.

The self-titled album was pressed on black vinyl, Blue was pressed on blue vinyl, Out Of The Vein was pressed on green vinyl, Ursa Major was pressed on “speckled” (black with white starburst/splatter) vinyl and the Red Star EP was pressed as a 10” on red vinyl. All of the albums were pressed on 180 gram vinyl, with the EP getting 140 gram, which is the typical weight used. The self-titled album, Blue and Out Of The Vein are all double LP’s while Ursa Major remains a single LP and is the only one that comes in a gatefold jacket. The three other albums come in cheap, very thin single pocket jackets, which is something I can’t stand. I’d much rather have a double LP in a gatefold jacket than a single LP in a gatefold jacket.

The Red Star EP is only available inside this box set, at least for now. Another exclusive to the box set is the self-titled album with the original, cream artwork. Later pressings of the album on CD had a red cover. As mentioned above all the albums, except for Ursa Major, became available to buy individually at some point after the box set sold out, with the obvious exception of the Red Star EP. The s/t album was only available with the red artwork outside of the box set though. The copies of the s/t album were the first time it was available on vinyl with the original cream jacket. The band charged $35 before shipping for all the albums that were made available individually, and so far they haven’t been available from any distributors. The price is not surprising considering the price point of the box set, but it’s still not a fair price. After seeing the price tag on the albums individually, $35×3, adding on the $25 the band charged for the first pressing of Ursa Major, figuring at least $15 for the Red Star EP, that leaves $55 for the box itself and the autographed “place holder.” A bit of a rip off, but what else can you expect from a band that sells their set lists and charges more for copies of albums that they autograph.

Aside from the obvious color choices for the vinyl (regarding Blue) there are some other changes between the different pressings of the records. The insert that is included with this latest pressing of s/t and Blue are different from the first pressing. There is also no sticker on the front of Blue for this latest pressing. No insert is included with Out Of The Vein, Ursa Major or the Red Star EP. But Ursa Major does have a gatefold jacket, which makes up for the lack of an insert.

An interesting development is people receiving a copy of Ursa Major on clear with red and grey splatter in their box set. This is obviously not what the color is supposed to be, and could be a hint that the album will become available for purchase on its own like the rest of the albums. So far I have only seen this color variant switcheroo happen to people in Europe, but whether or not it’s restricted to overseas folk is impossible to say.

The aforementioned problems ranged in severity. Some people never received what they ordered from Third Eye Blind, whether it is the box set or a record(s) individually. Some people had partially filled orders, others didn’t receive all the albums that were supposed to be in the box set. Some people received a “place holder” that was missing a signature. Having received my box set, I know Third Eye Blind did not fulfill orders themselves, but it was confusing because the Paypal payments went directly into Third Eye Blind’s pockets. I’m not making excuses, but there could have been mix ups in relaying the information between the two parties or processing orders. However, there is no excuse for customers going ignored, which is what happened in many circumstances. There are still people out there who haven’t received what they ordered, and it’s approaching a month since everything started shipping. They haven’t even heard back from anyone involved with selling the stuff.

Another issue was tracking information never being updated. The age-old, and I stress old, tactic of printing out shipping labels without actually shipping the package was widely used with the box sets in particular. In my case, I received shipping notification December 18 with an expected delivery date of December 21. My box set did not actually ship until December 24. And in the item description when the box set first went up it stated, “box sets will ship week of December 16, 2013 to ensure Christmas delivery.” It has since been changed to only say “box sets will ship week of December 16, 2013,” which still wasn’t true in many cases.


Schematic is the new band of Dave Elkins, formerly of Mae. If you liked Mae you will like Schematic. Dave started his own label, Schematic Records, which has released a few Schematic release plus some stuff from other bands. Schematic’s debut full length, Color (n.) Inside The Lines was picked up by Spartan Records to release on vinyl. And in typical Spartan fashion they charged way too much for the record, even if it’s a double LP. There is no need to charge $25 for a double LP when other labels can do it for $16. Not even mentioning they charge $5 for shipping via media mail, which is a bit high too. Fortunately I took advantage of a flash sale and got it for a fairer price, since I know Spartan will never lower the price on this album at any point down the road. It took a while, but flash sales have now swept into the music/vinyl/indie label marketplace.

There are four variants for this record with 1250 total copies pressed. There are three variants limited to 250 copies each; half & half (A/B half blue/half red, C/D half yellow/half green), A/B on red and C/D on Yellow, and both records on blue. There is one variant limited to 500 copies that is an indie record store exclusive, which is both records on red. This indie store variant was not announced when the album first went up for pre-order, it was announced to coincide with 2013 Black Friday Record Store Day. On RSD I asked my local store if they had it or would be getting it in, and the owner told me the wholesale price on it was too much and they would never be able to sell them in store due to how much they would have to charge for them.

A download code is not included with the record if you buy it from Spartan, but they do email you  a download link. The record is housed in a gatefold jacket and features different artwork than what is used for the CD version of the album released by Schematic Records.

Piebald – Accidental Gentlemen

Posted: February 24, 2014 in Vinyl
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More Piebald on vinyl is a good thing, but the bad thing about it is that Shit Radio Cast released it. If you read this blog enough you know my opinion on SRC. Piebald’s last album before breaking up, Accidental Gentlemen, was released by SRC on their “label” SRCvinyl. There were 500 copies pressed on gold vinyl. It comes housed in a standard jacket with a glossy finish. Also included is an insert that has the lyrics printed on one side with the liner notes/credits printed on the opposite. At this point every single Piebald album and EP has been released on vinyl,

Accidental Gentlemen was released at the same time as All Ears, All Eyes, All The Time. Both were licensed from Side One Dummy Records. I would have much rather preferred they pressed these two Piebald albums themselves instead of licensing them out to SRCvinyl. Or at the very least license them out to any other label/”label.” Side One would have charged far less these two albums than SRC and would still manage to keep the same quality in the releases.

Given the problems with the last batch of SRCvinyl releases (Far albums) they did a better job with these two Piebald albums. There are no mastering issues and no problems relating to the color/shade of vinyl nor the weight of the records. The only drawback is the cost, which was mentioned earlier. SRC charged $18 for Accidental Gentlemen, a single LP on regular weight vinyl. Considering a lot of double LP’s released these days cost around $20, charging $18 for a single LP regardless of whether it’s licensed or not, is inexcusable. Luckly I found a distro that carried this record, and had a sale going on to boot, so it was a win win for me. I didn’t have to give my money directly to Shit Radio Cast and I was able to pick up a record by one of my favorite bands for cheaper than what it cost from SRC.

 

Piebald – All Ears All Eyes All The Time

Posted: February 24, 2014 in Vinyl
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More Piebald on vinyl is a good thing, but the bad thing about it is that Shit Radio Cast released it. If you read this blog enough you know my opinion on SRC. Piebald’s second to last album before breaking up, All Ears, All Eyes, All The Time, was released by SRC on their “label” SRCvinyl. There were 500 copies pressed on coke bottle clear vinyl. It comes housed in a standard jacket with a matte finish. Also included is an insert that has the lyrics printed on one side with the liner notes/credits printed on the opposite.

All Ears, All Eyes, All The Time  was released at the same time as Accidental Gentlemen. Both were licensed from Side One Dummy Records. I would have much rather preferred they pressed these two Piebald albums themselves instead of licensing them out to SRCvinyl. Or at the very least license them out to any other label/”label.” Side One would have charged far less these two albums than SRC and would still manage to keep the same quality in the releases.

Given the problems with the last batch of SRCvinyl releases (Far albums) they did a better job with these two Piebald albums. There are no mastering issues and no problems relating to the color/shade of vinyl nor the weight of the records. The only drawback is the cost, which was mentioned earlier. SRC charged $18 for All Ears, All Eyes, All The Time, a single LP on regular weight vinyl. Considering a lot of double LP’s released these days cost around $20, charging $18 for a single LP regardless of whether it’s licensed or not, is inexcusable. Luckly I found a distro that carried this record, and had a sale going on to boot, so it was a win win for me. I didn’t have to give my money directly to Shit Radio Cast and I was able to pick up a record by one of my favorite bands for cheaper than what it cost from SRC.

 

Far – Water & Solutions

Posted: February 24, 2014 in Vinyl
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Far’s classic album, Water & Solutions was pressed on vinyl by Sh!t Radio Cast’s ($RC) “label” srcvinyl and released at the same time of Far’s earlier album Tin Cans With Strings To You. Unlike a lot of vinyl releases these days, the album was re-mastered for vinyl using the original master analog tape rather than using a digital master. This vinyl mastering was down by Stan Ricker, who works on many Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab releases. That fact is a giant step in the right direction, but, unfortunately, since $RC was involved with releasing this, there were some problems.

Before delving into the problems, here are some more details about the release. It comes in a glossy finish jacket with a fold out insert. Each copy comes in its own out poly sleeve with a silver sticker on it that reads “SRC HiFi Audiophile mastering.” The record was pressed on three colors, with only two apparently being limited. There are 500 copies on clear with blue smoke and 500 copies on coke bottle clear. The clear with blue smoke copies were exclusive to $RC and the coke bottle clear copies were “retail” exclusive. The “retail” exclusive is a bit of a lie as $RC sold a good chunk of the copies rather than sending them out to, you know… retail. An unlimited 180 gram black variant is also available.

The same controversy that surrounds Tin Cans With Strings To You also swirls around Water & Solutions. All copies were supposed to be pressed on 180 gram vinyl, but once the records started shipping out to people who pre-ordered them, it became quite evident that the records were not pressed on 180 gram vinyl. I should note though that my copy on coke bottle clear is on 180 gram, even though there were some people complaining that their copy was not on 180 gram. Given the complaints I used my postal scale to weigh my copies of these two Far records, finding out that my copy of Water & Solutions is on 176 gram vinyl while Tin Cans With Strings To You I didn’t even bother weighing because it was quite obvious it’s not on 180 gram vinyl. This marked the first time that I ever weighed any of my records, or even felt compelled to do so. I know there is at least one person out there so anal about things that he weighs every single one of his records and takes note of it somewhere.

$RC played dumb about it until someone brought it up on a message board they run, and in typical $RC fashion they passed the blame on to the plant. They claimed they didn’t know about the records not being on 180 gram vinyl and upon going back to inspect some copies they still had on hand discovered it to be true. They went on to claim the plant screwed them and it’s entirely their fault. While partly true, $RC could have refused the shipment since it wasn’t what they ordered and paid for. Rather than go that route, $RC opted to just send out records that weren’t as advertised without so much as a word; until someone publicly complained about it. I’m actually surprised the complaint wasn’t brushed under the rug since it was posted on a message board they have complete ownership and operation of. They censor their Facebook page anytime anyone posts anything negative by deleting comments and blocking the people who leave said comments from leaving future comments. They went as far as to remove the capability of posting on their wall all together as they removed the wall feature from their page. For whatever it means, $RC changed their pressing info to reflect that the two colored vinyl variants are not on 180 gram vinyl.

There of course is another school of thought on the matter if you don’t prescribe to the “it was a mistake and not our fault” reasoning. You could call it the conspiracy side of it, but given $RC’s track record of shadiness, it’s a likely scenario. This could have all been an intentional move by $RC, as they make more money in the end by charging for 180 gram vinyl and only ordering standard weight vinyl. $RC charged $22 before shipping for Water & Solutions, a single LP. An outrageous price, but not unexpected because $RC loves to overcharge for all their releases. They overcharge to the point where they have to put some of their releases on clearance for $5 long after they are released, and even at that price they still can’t sell out of them.

There was also an issue when $RC first received the clear with blue smoke batch of records from the plant, as they were the wrong color. $RC did not mention how badly the color was off from what they ordered, but far enough off that they rejected them. Really makes me wonder why they didn’t do the same with the “purple” variant for Tin Cans With Strings To You. Or reject the records because they weren’t pressed on 180 gram vinyl, you know, because they already rejected a batch of records for this album. The mastering is also off as well despite it being mastered specifically for vinyl. A few seconds of the first song, “Bury White” are missing. The opening chords are cut off. How that got past $RC is beyond me. They claim they didn’t notice any of these major/subtle (depending on how you value things) errors, but I’m willing to bet with already having a delay caused by initially receiving the wrong color for one variant, $RC no longer cared and just wanted to get the records out the door and off their books.

Far – Tin Cans With Strings To You

Posted: February 24, 2014 in Vinyl
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Far’s third album, Tin Cans With String To You, was pressed on vinyl by Sh!t Radio Cast’s ($RC) “label” srcvinyl and was released at the same time as Far’s fourth album Water & Solutions. Unlike a lot of vinyl releases these days, the album was re-mastered for vinyl using the original master analog tape rather than using a digital master. This vinyl mastering was done by Stan Ricker, who works on many Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab releases. That fact is a giant step in the right direction, but, unfortunately, since $RC was involved with releasing this, there were some problems.

Before delving into the problems, here are some more details about the release. It comes in a matte finish jacket with a fold out insert. Each copy comes in an poly sleeve with a silver sticker on it that reads “SRC HiFi Audiophile mastering.” The record was pressed on three colors, with only two apparently being limited. There are 500 copies on yellow and 500 copies purple. The yellow copies were exclusive to $RC and the purple was “retail” exclusive. The “retail” exclusive is a bit of a lie as $RC sold a good chunk of the copies rather than sending them out to, you know… retail. An unlimited 180 gram black variant is also available.

The same controversy that surrounds Water & Solutions also swirls around Tin Cans With String To You. All copies were supposed to be pressed on 180 gram vinyl, but once the records started shipping out to people who pre-ordered them, it became quite evident that the records were not pressed on 180 gram vinyl. Given the complaints I used my postal scale to weigh my copies of these two Far records, finding out that my copy of Water & Solutions is on 176 gram vinyl while Tin Cans With Strings To You I didn’t even bother weighing because it was quite obvious it’s not on 180 gram vinyl. This marked the first time that I ever weighed any of my records, or even felt compelled to do so. I know there is at least one person out there so anal about things that he weighs every single one of his records and takes note of it somewhere.

The colors for Tin Cans With String To You are also way off from what was advertised. The “yellow” copies came out orange and the “purple” copies come out maroon and brown/orange/puke, as you can see by the photos of my copy below. The first disc is maroon and the second disc is brown/orange/puke, and both have marbling in them, something else that was not described or mentioned from $RC.

$RC played dumb about it until someone brought it up on a message board they run, and in typical $RC fashion they passed the blame on to someone else, this time the plant. They claimed they didn’t know about the records not being on 180 gram vinyl and upon going back to inspect some copies they still had on hand discovered it to be true. They went on to claim the plant screwed them and it’s entirely their fault. While partly true, $RC could have refused the shipment since it wasn’t what they ordered and paid for. Rather than go that route, $RC opted to just send out records that weren’t as advertised without so much as a word; until someone publicly complained about it. I’m actually surprised the complaint wasn’t brushed under the rug since it was posted on a message board they have complete ownership and operation of. They censor their Facebook page anytime anyone posts anything negative by deleting comments and blocking the people who leave said comments from leaving future comments. They went as far as to remove the capability of posting on their wall all together as they removed the wall feature from their page. For whatever it means, $RC changed their pressing info to reflect that the two colored vinyl variants are not on 180 gram vinyl.

There of course is another school of thought on the matter if you don’t prescribe to the “it was a mistake and not our fault” reasoning. You could call it the conspiracy side of it, but given $RC’s track record of shadiness, it’s a likely scenario. This could have all been an intentional move by $RC, as they make more money in the end by charging for 180 gram vinyl and only ordering standard weight vinyl.

There was also an issue when $RC first received some copies of Water & Solutions where they did not meet the expectations color wise from the plant, as they were the wrong color. $RC did not mention how badly the color was off from what they ordered, but far enough off that they rejected them. Really makes me wonder why they didn’t do the same with the “purple” and “yellow” variants for Tin Cans With Strings To You. Or reject the records because they weren’t pressed on 180 gram vinyl, you know, because they already rejected a batch of records for this album.