Archive for August, 2015


Senses Fail’s new album, Pull The Thorns From Your Heart, is the band’s first release on Pure Noise Records. The label journeymen completed their transformation into a full fledged hardcore band with their previous album, Renacer, but this latest effort sees them take a slight step back towards their earlier sound. Pull The Thorns From Your Heart is a mixture of in your face, aggressive hardcore tunes and more mellow, post hardcore esque songs.

Pull The Thorns From Your Heart was pressed on three different colors; purple in pink with white splatter limited to 500 copies, blue/grey smash with magenta splatter limited to 500 copies and half translucent purple/half baby pink limited 1500 copies. The purple in pink with white splatter was exclusive to Pure Noise Records, and to add a kicker, it was only available in bundles with CD copies of the album. The Pure Noise exclusive sold out, but it took months. Surprisingly longer than I expected because Senses Fail stuff is usually a fast mover. The blue/grey smash with magenta splatter is a Hot Topic exclusive and cost $2.50 more than the two other variants available. The half translucent purple/half baby pink is available everywhere except Hot Topic, so that will be the color you’ll get if you buy this at your local record store, or anywhere online that is not Hot Topic.

The record went up for pre-order in late April 2015 and was released at the end of June 2015. As far as I know there were no delays with the vinyl version of the album. A few days before the album was released a merch company (Merch Limited) I’ve never heard of before launched an exclusive pre-order for copies of the album with an exclusive screen printed cover featuring alternate artwork. Apparently this is something Pure Noise has been doing with a few of their releases lately, and something I was not aware of. This exclusive alternate screened cover was only available with a t-shirt, which also featured an exclusive design that was a spin on the original album art. These limited bundles were only available for one week, which is something the merch company (Merch Limited) routinely does. I forgot to follow the stock level of the bundle so I’m not sure if they sold out or they were just pulled from the site because one week had gone by. Either way they are no longer available.

These alternate screened covers are limited to 100 copies, and they’re all hand numbered. They’re half fold sleeves that are designed to slide over the regular album jacket. Some people are complaining about the sleeves not fitting over the jacket properly, but my copy has no issues. It’s cut and folded almost perfectly actually. What I think is happening is that people are getting copies of the alternate screened cover that aren’t folded properly, and as a result don’t cover the jacket completely. Either that or people are whining about the sleeves being a half-fold, something that was obvious based on the pre-order page and from past Pure Noise alternate screened covers.

All the variants come in a gatefold jacket, which has a matte finish. The record itself comes in a full color, glossy dust sleeve. The lyrics are printed inside the gatefold. A download code is included as well. There is a hype sticker on the cover of all variants, but it doesn’t denote color, it simply states “limited edition colored vinyl.” However, as previously stated, unless you ordered the bundle with the CD for the rarest variant directly from Pure Noise or bought it at Hot Topic, you’ll get the /1500 half translucent purple/half baby pink variant.

If anyone wants to buy the t-shirt from me let me know by leaving a comment (your contact info and name will be kept private as I won’t make your comment public). It’s size Medium and I haven’t even tried it on let alone wear it or wash it.

Apparently Hot Topic had “just a little overage” with their exclusive of Pull The Thorns From Your Heart, as Merchnow randomly started selling roughly 30 copies of the Hot Topic exclusive variant at the very end of July 2015. Seeing as it has happened now with a handful of Pure Noise Records releases, and overruns are a common thing when pressing records, I find the Hot Topic rep’s “reason” for Merchnow selling copies of the “Hot Topic” exclusive fishy. Even more so when he only responded to the chatter once someone said “They probably got them because Hot Topic has a hard time selling most of their exclusive variants.” My feeling is the Hot Topic rep used it as a sales tactic to cause hype for Hot Topic exclusives, trying to cleverly point out that they do in fact sell well without saying those exact words. To top things off Pure Noise sold the “Hot Topic” exclusive for $5.50 less than Hot Topic, further proving Hot Topic marks things up just because.

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Senses Fail released a split 7″ with Man Overboard in March 2015. Each band contributes a new song along with a cover of one of each other’s songs. Senses Fail covers “Real Talk” and Man Overboard covers “You’re Cute When You Scream.” The new Senses Fail song on this 7″, entitled “All You Need Is Already Within You,” is exclusive to this 7″. The same goes for the new Man Overboard song, “One Fixed Point.” The Man Overboard song is actually an old, untitled and unreleased b-side that the band re-worked for this split 7″. The new Senses Fail song is actually a b-side from the band’s latest album, Pull The Thorns From Your Heart, which was yet to be released at the time this split 7″ was released.

The 7″ was pressed on three different colors; half black/half clear w/ blue splatter on the clear side limited to 500 copies, black/baby blue/white tri-color limited 1,250 copies and black/aqua blue smash limited to 1,250 copies. All copies come with a download code and a single sided insert with lyrics printed on it. I also want to point out that personally, I like the Brady Bunch inspired cover art. Initially the half black/half clear w/ blue splatter was only available in bundle options, three to be exact. There were two different bundles with a t-shirt (a design for each band) and one with a hoodie. Eventually, like with all bundle deals that don’t sell out, this variant was put up for sale individually outside of the bundles.

This split 7″ was a joint release with each band’s respective label; so Rise Records (Man Overboard) and Pure Noise Records (Senses Fail). As such, the two variants that are /1,250 are exclusive to one of the labels (even though you could buy both through the same Merchnow page that wasn’t associated with either label). The black/baby blue/white tri-color is the Rise exclusive and the black/aqua blue smash is the Pure Noise exclusive.

When these records started shipping some people were complaining about damaged jackets, oddly in the form of stains on it. People were also complaining about shipping damage, but that is not the necessarily the fault of the label/distro. The staining however, is another story. I would write it off as some kid on a message board having no idea what he was talking about, but since more than one person came forward with the same complaints, it lends a bit more veracity to the claims. None of the people making the complaints posted a picture of the damage however. These people bought the /1,250 variant. I can report my copy has no damage, either staining or from shipping.  So it’s possible only a few copies of the /1,250 variant had the staining.


New Found Glory released a 7″ for the second single off their latest album Resurrection in June 2015. The single “One More Round” has a somewhat exclusive b-side in the form of an acoustic version of “Living Hell.” I say somewhat exclusive because this is the only domestic release that acoustic song appears on (also appears on the Japanese import version of Resurrection) and the only vinyl release for the song to date (it will later appear on the re-release of Resurrection entitled Resurrection: Ascension).

The 7″ was released by Hopeless Records and pressed on two variants; clear with heavy red splatter and black with heavy red splatter, both limited to 500 copies a piece. “Heavy” splatter simply means more splatter than normal. The clear with red splatter was advertised simply as clear with red splatter, but the copy I received has a hype sticker that says “cloudy clear.” Not that it matters, but the copy I received has what I think is a normal amount of splatter. So I’m not sure if the “heavy” part of the variant name was a sales tactic, hoping more people would buy it because people are color vinyl obsessed. A more important thing though, is that the “black with heavy red splatter” actually turned out red with black splatter.

A download card is included with all copies, and all copies also come sealed. The cover art and variants are inspired by the music video (yes, those are still things apparently) for “One More Round.” When pre-orders of this 7″ went up a bundle for both color variants along with a copy of Resurrection on clear with black vinyl was available for purchase, at a measly $2 discount from what you would spend if you bought all three items individually.

This 7″ did not and has not sold well. It did not sell out during through pre-orders when NFG used to a hot commodity when it came to vinyl. Their buzz has fizzled over the years, which is sad to see as they’re one of my favorite bands. As of writing this they are over 200 copies of the “black with heavy red splatter” and over 180 copies of the clear with heavy red splatter. The announcement of Resurrection: Ascension has no doubt hurt sales, as you can get both songs on this 7″ on that re-release of the full length album. But sales were slow before that announcement. When I bought my copy there were over 210 copies of the clear with heavy red splatter, and that was three weeks ago. I monitored the stock level of both variants since it was put up for pre-order back in April to see if when I needed to buy one so it wouldn’t sell out on me, and it took more than three months for them to sell less than half of the pressing.

New Found Glory - One More Round - Copy


2015 was a big year for Hidden In Plain View. The band, who was defunct for seven years, embarked on a 10 Year Anniversary Tour for their album Life In Dreaming and also released their first physical release in eight years in the form of a 7″ featuring three songs. Two of the songs are brand new while one was first released back in 2014 but never saw a physical release until now. The two new songs are “Hunting The Hunter” on the A-side and “Self Inflicted” on the B-side. The previously released song, “No Way Out” is the second track on the A-side. The 7″, entitled Animal, was released by Rise Records and was pressed on two different colors; royal blue and grimace purple limited to 250 copies and clear limited to 750 copies.

All copies come with a double-sided insert, which is a nice touch for a 7″. But one big knock against this release is that a download code/card is not included. MP3 downloads or including a CD copy of an album has become common practice for most labels and bands releasing material on vinyl. It’s a slap to the face of everyone already bought a copy of a release in the physical form to have to buy yet another copy (regardless of how cheap the songs are on iTunes) in order to listen the songs anywhere other than via a turntable.

Initially the royal blue and grimace purple was only available in a bundle deal with a t-shirt, but sometime in late July 2015 the bundles were finally broken up the this variant was made available for purchase by itself. These bundles sold very poorly, and it’s more evidence that making records or certain variants only available in bundles does not work for the most part. Of the 250 available only about 100 were sold. I know this because when I discovered Merchnow broke up the bundle there were 143 copies of the 7″ left. In the case of the ridiculous Early November bundles for their latest album (also released by Rise), they couldn’t even sell 300 of them, and they’re a more popular band than Hidden In Plain View.

The Early November – Imbue

Posted: August 24, 2015 in Vinyl
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The Early November’s latest album and second release on Rise Records, Imbue, was pressed on four different colors. A few of them are exclusive to certain retailers, with some of those exclusive eventually being sold outside of the exclusivity. First, there are 300 copies on transparent blue, which was initially exclusive to a handful of bundles that included things like t-shirts (two different designs), hoodies, not one but two different posters, stickers, coffee mugs, a CD and cassette copy of the album and a 7″ record. There were various bundle options, some that included less stuff, with other bundles increasingly adding items to you eventually hit the mega bundle that included all of the aforementioned items. This mega bundle cost $85, with the cheapest option to get the blue variant costing $55. This cheaper bundle had everything mentioned above except for the hoodie and included only one of the two t-shirts.

Eventually the blue variant was sold individually outside of the bundles, which happened before the album was even released, angering some people, and rightfully so. Typically when Rise/Merchnow split up bundles it only after the album has been released. The aforementioned 7″ was also initially only available in the more expensive bundles, the $55 one and the $85, but it too was eventually sold alone outside of the bundles, just like the blue variant.

The remaining variants are translucent red limited to 500 copies, translucent yellow limited to 700 copies and translucent purple limited to 1500 copies. Red is a tour exclusive, yellow a Merchnow exclusive and purple is a retail exclusive. One thing of note though, which can’t be verified because the person making the claim never posted pictures as proof when prompted and is someone who insists on posting things on message boards without any sort of proof (he’s turns out to be right about 45% of the time), is that he bought a copy at his local store and it was red instead of purple. This same person also claimed that red was going to be a Hot Topic exclusive color, which obviously turned out not to be true.

The record comes in a gatefold jacket, which has a matte finish. Also included is an insert a CD copy of the album instead of a download code. The gatefold artwork is rather bland and frankly, lame. The insert has the lyrics printed on one side and yet another boring photograph on the reverse side. One thing of note is that I think only the retail copies of the album, the purple variant, come with a hype sticker on the cover. I saw it in my local record store before I bought a yellow copy online and assumed every copy would come with the same hype sticker, but no. My yellow copy does not have a hype sticker but rather a price tag type sticker denoting the vinyl color. Which makes sense given the purpose of hype stickers and every copy except for the purple ones would never see a store. Said hype sticker didn’t mention anything other than “new album!” and “colored vinyl!” however.


When pre-orders for The Early November’s latest album, Imbue, were launched there were a handful of bundle options available. Two of them had what at the time was an exclusive 7″, which was single sided and featured a newly recorded version of the song “Digital Age.” “Digital Age” was a song off the band’s previous album In Currents, which was mostly acoustic. This new version is mostly electric and is also longer, almost double the length actually.

The 7″ was only available in the two most expensive bundles; an $85 option that included everything possible, with the likes of a coffee mug, two different t-shirts (designs different), a hoodie, two different posters (1 screen print and 1 on glossy paper), stickers and last but not least not only a vinyl copy of the album but also a CD and cassette copy as well. The cheaper ($55) of the two bundles containing the 7″ had all of those items except the hoodie and only one t-shirt design. Eventually the 7″ was made available for purchase outside of the bundles, which happened well after Imbue was released at some point in early July 2015.

The 7″, The Early November’s first solo 7″ release, is limited to 500 copies o translucent green and it’s single sided. The b-side is etched however, which was never mentioned anywhere. So it was a very nice surprise and made the 7″ a little more worthwhile. It cost $6 before shipping, but I made a huge order with Merchnow for seven records I held off on ordering because of waiting for bundles to be broken up and the fact there was no rush because they were not selling out fast.

These bundle exclusive records, whether exclusive color or records themselves are ridiculous at this point. Rise couldn’t even sell 300 of them. I know this because in the bundle was an exclusive blue variant of Imbue limited to 300 copies, and combined with the fact there were about 250 copies if this 7″ left when Merchnow sold them on their own outside of the bundles. For good measure, there were about 40 copies of the blue LP variant left over when those were sold outside of the bundles.

 


Saves The Day released two new songs on a 7″ in 2014. It’s the first time the band has released new material in two years. The two songs are as the title of the record implies (in order, one track per side) “The Tide Of Our Times” and “Everlasting Everything.” The b-side is a b-side from the band’s latest album, their self-titled release.

There were 1,000 copies of this 7″ pressed, all on white vinyl. All copies come with a download card. There is a hype sticker on the cover, with the cover art inspired by the cover of their self-titled album. The copy I received from Merchnow had the hype sticker placed wrong, as it was placed upside down along the bottom of the jacket rather than right side up along the top like 99.9% of hype stickers are.

For a 7″ this is also o the pricey side, coming in at $8. That is likely the reason why it didn’t sell well. That and it only features one new song. The 7″ was released in November 2014, and as of writing this still hasn’t sold out. The releases of this 7″ was also timed with a re-press of the self-titled album, which also hasn’t sold out. The first pressing hasn’t even sold out, the re-press was done because of quality issues with the first pressing. Even though this 7″ is far from selling out and going OOP, it’s not stopping morons from trying and failing to flip this on the second hand market, with most asking upwards of $20 for it. Fortunately there have not been any even bigger morons out there who have bought one.

Saves The Day - The Tide Of Our TImes-Everlasting Everything - Copy