Emery – You Were Never Alone

Posted: February 10, 2016 in Vinyl
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After a four year hiatus Emery finally released a new album in of 2015 on their own label; BadChristian Records. The new album, You Were Never Alone, is the band’s seventh album. The vinyl release of the album was wrought with delays and other issues, leaving quite a few people unhappy to say the least. The first thing many people took issue with is the band’s use of crowd funding to help release the album; a controversial means of funding regardless of a band’s status or popularity and/or success.

Regardless of your opinion on crowd funding, the band seemed greedy based on the price points of some of the rewards. There were $200 test presses (limited to around 5 packages), and the cheapest option to get an “exclusive” color of the new record with “exclusive alternate artwork” cost $100. I’ll get into why I say “exclusive” and not exclusive later on. Later on, after the band suckered people into giving them $100 for a copy of the album on vinyl, they added a vinyl only reward for $30. It was also at that time they added more test presses, because the first batch they put up sold out within minutes despite the ridiculously hefty price tag. The band raised over $110,000, far more than their goal. I will add that these bundles/reward packages did have other stuff apart from the test press and/or regular copy of the record, things like hand written lyrics, autographed jackets, hand numbering, having your picture in the artwork and your name in the credits.

The aforementioned delays, this album was originally scheduled to come out in the Summer of 2014, but was pushed back multiple times until it finally came out in May 2015. In fact, they didn’t even finish recording it until sometime in late 2014. Then because the album took so long to produce and the band was supposed to send the album to crowd funding backers a few weeks earlier than the street date, they compromised somewhat. Rather than send out digital files of the album the band sent out what amounts to a podcast with the album playing softly in the background. Members of the band sat and talked about random things and answered fans’ questions, they never really delved into the album, the songs or the recording process. They talked over the album playing so you could barely hear it. The equivalent of a commentary track on a DVD or like I already said, a podcast. The band claimed they did this to prevent pirating, but all it did was irritate most people.

Regular, non crowd funding pre-order/buying options were finally made available in late April 2015. But even then it seems Emery didn’t get it, or if they did they simply didn’t care. They were charging $30 for the record on limited colored vinyl (“orange”). The band was charging more for the colored vinyl than you could buy a copy on black vinyl from places like Amazon or indie record stores like Bull Moose. They weren’t charging a couple dollars more or $5 more, they were charging almost double. You could even have the record (same colored variant) imported from Europe and have it be cheaper after overseas shipping than it would cost had you bought it domestically from Emery. To this day, as of posting this, Emery is still charging an absurd price for the orange variant. Only now they are charging even more now that the record came out. Instead of $30 they’re charging $40 before shipping for a single LP on limited colored vinyl, all when you can get the standard black vinyl for under $20 shipped if you shop smartly. I actually bought this for get this; $12 shipped.

Once the record finally came out, Emery was extremely slow in shipping out the record to people who backed their crowd funding campaign. Many backers didn’t get their copies till after people who bought copies of the record outside of the crowd funding. It took months for some people to get their records with little to no communication from the band about it let alone an apology. Anyone responsible with shipping, the band or the label was tough to get in contact with. But it turned out someone associated with the label was posting on a message board answering people’s questions and providing updates, which is nice considering not everyone is a member nor reads said message board. So plenty of people were out of the loop. This person also claimed that crowd funding backers would be getting a “deluxe” version that would come in a gatefold jacket rather than a single pocket jacket the regular copies would come in.

The band continued to throw more curveballs at people, as they conveniently didn’t tell people they had to rearrange the track listing in order to get the album to fit onto a single LP. It’s not an uncommon practice, but 99.99% of the time this information is well placed and advertised, so that people know those facts before they buy a record. Emery dropped this bombshell on people who already bought the record over one year in some cases after it was pre-ordered.

Here is the track listing for the record:

Side A

  1. Rock, Pebble, Stone
  2. The Beginning
  3. The Less You Say
  4. To The Deep
  5. Taken For A Bath
  6. Pink Slip

 

Side B

  1. Thrash
  2. Hard Times
  3. What’s Stopping You
  4. Go Wrong Young Man
  5. Salvatore Wryhta
  6. Alone Once copies started reaching people’s hands, mainly crowd funding backers hands, is when all the lies came to lie. The crowd funding backers were supposed to get an “exclusive” color variant; what they got was the same clear with black vinyl anyone could buy from Rude Records (Euro store mentioned above). The entire band didn’t even sign the records, only three out of the five members did. There is no alternate artwork for the backers, every copy of the record has the same artwork. The aforementioned gatefold jackets that label rep talked about on a message board also did not materialize. The only thing followed through on was the hand numbering.

There were three variants pressed for You Were Never Alone. There are 250 copies on orange in white, 250 copies on clear with black splatter and an unlimited amount on black vinyl. I was told the record would be kept in print on black vinyl should the need arise to press more copies. The aforementioned ‘names in the credits’ appears on the insert included with the record. One entire side of the insert is a giant list of names of every single person who supported the crowd funding campaign. The other side of the insert is your typical liner notes along with more pictures of fans who supported the crowd funding campaign (similar pictures appear on the cover art as well). No download codes are included with any copies of the record, however if you bought a copy from BadChristian at any point along the tedious journey that was this album’s release you were emailed a download code.

Some more notes about the colored variants; the clear with black splatter was tabbed as the crowd funding exclusive, but obviously the exclusive nature of that variant went out the window when Rude Records (Euro based label mentioned above) received and sold the leftover copies to sell. Rude Records originally called this variant white with black splatter, but that turned out to not be accurate as well. The orange in white variant is a Euro exclusive through Rude Records, but the band held on to some copies to sell themselves. This orange in white is also billed as “being hand laid” so no two copies will look alike. The “hand laid” aspect is a sham. They’re trying to make it seem special but that is how these type of variants, really all records, are pressed. Same with “hand laid” bricks as if there is any other way to lay bricks.

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