Manchester Orchestra/Minus The Bear – Continental Obscura Split 7″ (Ryan Russell Photobook – Continental Obscura)

Posted: June 20, 2014 in Vinyl
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No Sleep Records released a book of all things. Guess it fits with all the other random crap they slap their logo on and try to sell. At least the book somewhat fits with music, as it’s a photobook from Ryan Russell, who shoots a ton of bands at shows and does some other photography work in the music world. He’s also responsible for the Nervous Energies Sessions as well. But the book is a travel log of sorts with random photos documenting his trip across the country, no live shots of bands and it’s not really music related at all. The book, entitled Continental Obscura: From Birmingham To Bellingham also comes with an exclusive split 7” featuring Manchester Orchestra and Minus The Bear (two of my favorite bands).

The 7” has one exclusive song, the Manchester Orchestra song “Sure Shot.” The Minus The Bear song, “Surf-n-Turf” has been released before, on another 7”, the UK single for “Steel And Blood.” A download code is included with the 7”, and it’s important to mention you also get a pdf file of the Ryan Russell photobook too if you order from No Sleep. The 7” comes in a half fold glossy paper sleeve, which has one of the photos from the book printed on the inside (one is also used for the cover).

The book is limited to 1,000 total copes for the first edition. No Sleep made hints that there would be multiple editions of the book as they mentioned the first edition is almost OOP, which implies there would be another run made. Obviously since the 7” accompanies the book there are 1,000 copies of that as well, which is split amongst three color variants, with some being exclusive to certain outlets. First there is the regular variant (available everywhere) limited to 800 copies on sonic blue/white haze. Next is “Beastmode Blue,” which is exclusive to Minus The Bear. The “Beastmode” portion of the color name comes from the nick name of Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, as Minus The Bear are big Seahawk fans being from the Seattle area. Lastly there are 100 copies on white, which is a Manchester Orchestra exclusive.

The two band exclusive variants have yet to materialize anywhere. They were supposed to be sold on tour with each of the bands, but so far nothing yet. Ryan Russell stated that Manchester Orchestra had copies of the book with them on the latest spring tour supporting their album Cope, but people in attendance said the band did not have copies of the book with them.

This book/7” set is on the pricey side, with the cheapest retailer (No Sleep’s webstore) selling it for $35 before shipping. I was smart and bought the book during one of No Sleep sales and got it for under $30 shipped. The entire package comes shrink-wrapped together, with the 7” along the back of the book. The book is 176 pages long, but sadly it’s not that good. It’s not really anything special, there was nothing that impressed me about it. To be perfectly honest I bought it just for the 7”, which I’m sure is the reason for a good chunk of the sales of this book. I’m not including photos of the book because frankly it’s took much work; the book is 176 pages long. Plus copyright issues will come into play too.


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