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.