Archive for September, 2014

Anberlin – Lowborn

Posted: September 11, 2014 in Vinyl

Anberlin’s final album, Lowborn, was released in July of 2014. The album has many different covers, but all feature the hand with two crossed fingers. There are nine covers in total, with some being exclusive to certain retailers, time of purchase (pre-order or not) and formats, but it is mostly random in where you find them. A nice touch with these coves is that you know what you are buying should you purchase this in store rather than online The vinyl version of the album has its own cover, which is the only one which doesn’t have the wrist pictured and has the album title centered on the cover. The vinyl cover has been dubbed by some as the floating hand cover. It’s important to note that the vinyl version of the album has only one cover. The other eight covers are for either the CD or digital versions

All variants of this album come in a gatefold jacket with a printed dust sleeve. Unfortunately a download code/card is not included and neither is a CD, which is inexcusable in this day and age. The pressing info for this record has not been released in full. The one bit confirmed is that there is a Hot Topic exclusive variant, which is on gold vinyl limited to 600 copies. There seems to be some confusion and false information being spread around though.

People are falsely spreading pressing info online, citing sources that can’t be verified. The only known and confirmed numbers on this is for the Hot Topic exclusive variant. The numbers and info that can’t be confirmed are a first pressing on black vinyl limited to 2,000 copies and that there are multiple pressings of this, especially a third. Again, that 2,000 number has no source, unless you count a post on a message board that is no longer there. In my book there is also some discrepancy as to whether or not there are truly multiple pressings of this. When the album first went up for pre-order Anberlin’s merch store was the only place to order it. However, Amazon briefly had up pre-orders along with other places like Interpunk and Bull Moose. Amazon and Interpunk eventually took down the items, but Bull Moose left it up for the duration despite apparently not being allotted copies initially and through the delays.

The delays stemmed from the album’s release being pushed back a month. As pre-orders went up more than a month before the original release date, this added some confusion as there was a delay with the vinyl version of the album. I’m thinking the band/label wanted to be the only place to pre-order the record from, as it was no coincidence that the “first pressing” sold out about a week before the album’s release. And by no coincidence, a few days later the Hot Topic exclusive variant was announced.

Combine all that with the fact there are no differences between the supposed two black vinyl pressings; the matrix numbers are the same, the bar code on the back of the jacket is the same, etc, and I feel there is only one true pressing of this album. It was only sale tactics and marketing that made it seem like there were multiple pressings. The band saying it “sold out” would drive up future sales with more people clamoring to buy a copy. The drastic price drop on Amazon also leads to an increase in sales for a record, one that may have thousands of copies pressed. The aforementioned price drop happened out of the blue, as the supposed re-stock/re-press of the album happened without notice and just appeared on Amazon. The album was marked down to $10, which is cheap even by standards from 10 years ago before the vinyl craze price gouging.

The strongest case for there only being one pressing if the definition of ‘pressing.’ A new pressing means the plant  presses more copies after pressing a previous run was made. Separate pressings are not distinguished solely by different colors of vinyl. Think about it, it would be a world record pace for any plant in today’s world to churn out a first pressing, regardless of amount, press another 600 copies in a few weeks, and then churn out another pressing in another few weeks. It’s not feasible. All other projects would have to go on the back burner for one album to go through three separate pressings in that short of a span.

So in short, in my informed opinion, there is only one pressing of this album, with an unknown amount on black vinyl and 600 copies on gold vinyl. By informed opinion I am taking into account personal research into other people’s claims on message boards (which have so far been unsubstantiated) and emails from reputable sources (the label and band). You can’t believe everything you read on places like Discogs, Vinyl Collective and fan site message boards. It’s amazing what you can find out by simply asking someone who should know. And yes my opinion is just that, an opinon. But I am not presenting it as fact, as people on message boards love to do.


Moral Mazes in yet another band in the long line of Jonah Matranga projects. This one harkens back to his Far days. The band also features Jeff Dean of All Eyes West and Dead Ending fame, Darren Zentek of Office Of Future Plans fame and J. Robbins of Jawbox and Government Issue fame.

The band’s debut release, a 7”, is entitled Magic Tommy Jackson, and features two songs. Bridge 9 Records released the 7”, pressing it on different colors; white limited to 200 copies and blue limited to 300 copies. The jacket, yes jacket, as it’s not a fold over sleeve for this 7”, is screen printed rather than going for a glossy or straight up matte finish. It’s a nice touch for this release that B9 doesn’t advertise, and they still charge a very reasonable $5 for it. The cover art is a collage type drawing of the faces of Magic Johnson, Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson, adding in a bit of hilarity to this 7”. If you don’t get it then nobody can help you.

An important note about this 7”; a download card/code is not included with the actual 7”. But all is not lost. Instead of the traditional slip of paper included with the actual 7”, B9 has it set up so you can redeem a download for the release on your order confirmation page after checking out in the B9 store. So don’t delete your order confirmation email, otherwise it will take some awkward emails where you come out looking stupid in order to gain access to the MP3’s.Moral Mazes - Magic Tommy Jackson - Copy

Geoff Rickley is keeping busy post Thursday, as he created his own label, reignited the flames of United Nations with a new album and created another new band; No Devotion. The band also features ex Lost Prophets members.No Devotion is a huge departure from Rickley’s MO, it’s the poppiest thing he has ever done. But even so, it still has a heavier and darker side. Think The Cure meets Depeche Mode.

The Stay b/w Eyeshadow 12” single is the band’s first release, and first release of Rickley’s label, Collect Records. There are several variants for it, which is over doing it in my opinion. There is no reason why a single should have variants, with the exception of overseas pressings/variants. There are 3000 total copies for Stay b/w Eyeshadow, which are split amongst four variants. First there are 400 copies pressed on black and white vinyl, which is exclusive to Collect Records. There are 700 copies on “blush” vinyl, which is a UK exclusive color. There are 900 copies on white, which is a U.S. exclusive and lastly there are 1,000 copies on black vinyl, with no word on where you can buy them. I haven’t even seen anyone claiming to have a copy on black vinyl or pictures of it. Maybe it will become available after the colored variants sell out.

I bought my copy from Amazon with no idea what color I would get. I received it on white, which was a bit of a surprise as I expected it to be on black vinyl, the least limited variant. Since some of the variants are a vague description rather than a straight up color, here is what each one actually looks like. The “blush” UK exclusive is light pink vinyl and the black and white Collect records exclusive is half black/half white.

The record comes in a die cut sleeve, like many singles from the early 90’s on back. But rather than the die cut circle being on the front of the jacket, or front and back, on the Stay b/w Eyeshadow single thediecut is solely on the back. Rather than a paper dust sleeve, a printed dust sleeve on thick card stock is included. The dust sleeve is a stock Collect Records sleeve.

The second volume is what could turn out to be a long series of releases featuring Toh Kay and another artist covering each other’s songs, was released in mid August 2014. You By Me Vol. 2 features Toh Kay along with Sycamore Smith, with each contributing three songs. This volume was pressed on black vinyl, with an unknown amount pressed. All copies come with a download card and rather than an insert, a printed dust sleeve is included.

All the volumes in this series have been released on Tomas Kalnocky’s label, Pentimento Music Group. I can’t see any reason why future volumes, should they materialize, would not be released by Pentimento. Volume 2 has Toh Kay covering, in order; “Shantanilly Town,” “The Man With The Skeleton Arms” and “Hokum All Ye Faithful. Sycamore Smith covers “The Hand That Thieves,” “Would You Be Impressed?” and “A Better Place, A Better Time.”

Vol. 1 of this series is also on vinyl, but so far it’s only available fromPentimento. Vol. 2 however, seems to be widely available, with places the likes of Amazon selling copies. I would have picked up Vol. 1, but after shipping it’s just too expensive, especially when you compare it to Vol. 2.

Shortly before the death of Phil Everly, Billie Joe Armstong of Green Day fame and Norah Jones released a collaborative album entitled foreverly, which is a remaining of The Everly Brothers album Songs Our Daddy Taught Us.

The vinyl version of the album is pressed on standard weight black vinyl and comes housed in a gatefold jacket. A download code is not included, nor is a CD of the album, so if you want to legitimately listen to MP3’s of this album you will have to buy the same album twice. In this day and age it’s a slap to the face when a record released by the original rights holders do not include either a download code or CD. Considering the price tag for this record when it first came out, around $25 shipped, it’s an especially hard slap to the face.

No word on pressing info for this record, and since it’s released by a major label I doubt the amount of copies pressed will ever come out, if it’s even known. Prices on this record are starting to drop, most likely due to a of low sales, which is likely a direct result of the high price tag. As stated earlier, this record cost around $25 shipped initially, but you can get this for around $17 shipped now. Unless distros get extremely anxious and what to just get rid of every copy they have left of this thing, don’t hold your breath for this to go any cheaper. Major label records (not licensed ones released by a “label”) rarely get marked down to half price or lower.