Archive for October, 2016

Jimmy Eat World – Integrity Blues

Posted: October 24, 2016 in Vinyl
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Jimmy Eat World’s eighth studio album, Integrity Blues, was released on October 21, 2016, with the band doing a ton of promotion for it. The band played a couple in-stores in the weeks leading up to the album’s release, gradually released songs from the album to drive up anticipation and released what has become their usual free promo 7″. This album is the band’s heaviest sounding to date. It’s still has its Bleed American influences/sound in sparing instances, but it’s a heavier album all around. It’s not a bad thing, but this album is definitely a grower rather than an instant favorite.

The album was put up for pre-order in early September, and something very unusual for Jimmy Eat World; there are variants for this album. It’s the first time the band has had variants for their album on initial offering. Before people jump down my throat feeling that “first time variant” statement is incorrect, realize I meant for the first pressing of an album and an album that wasn’t licensed out by some “label” to capitalize on the vinyl craze by re-pressing an album on fancy colors to make more money. To date there is only one variant however, so the band and label (RCA) didn’t go overboard trying to milk the album with four or five variants.

That one variant is turquoise limited to a whopping 3,000 copies. That might not seem like a lot for a band like Jimmy Eat World, but when you think about it most variants released are typically limited to 1,000 copies max.  Turquoise was exclusively available from the band’s web store hosted by Kings Road Merch (KRM). And from the few photos I’ve seen so far, I’m not sure turquoise is the most apt color to call the variant. I’ve seen one copy that looks blue and others that look translucent green; close to turquoise, but still not turquoise. Turquoise is a very unique and recognizable color to most people, it’s not straight blue nor green, but a mixture of both.

In all likelihood turquoise is the only variant, but Bull Moose listed their pre-order as “tar colored black vinyl.” What they meant by that is anyone’s guess, but I’m sure they suckered some people into buying/pre-ordering the album from them thinking it was another variant. Think about it people, what color is tar… But whatever their intent, I’m losing more and more faith in Bull Moose of late, as this is not the first stunt they pulled with misinformation. Turquoise is the only color with pressing info released. There are an unknown amount of black copies out there, but if RCA pressed 3,000 copies of turquoise then it’s safe to assume they pressed far more black copies.

The album is pressed as a single LP, and comes housed in a gatefold jacket with a full color insert. In another change of pace from past Jimmy Eat World releases, the record has a stock company center label, in this case RCA Records. This is the first time one of the band’s record has stock center labels since their debut album, Static Prevails. A download code is included with the record, but there is no separate card. The code is printed on the insert itself. This is the first record I’ve come across that has the download code printed on the insert, and it’s a move I can see many labels making to cut costs while not passing it on to the consumer.

This record is on the cheap side, costing $19 (before shipping) from KRM and Bull Moose, $18 (before shipping or any applicable taxes) from Amazon and around $20 from most indie record stores. If you shop around online you can find some distros that have it cheaper by a dollar or two. I can’t believe I’m saying that $20 is “cheap” for a single LP, but that is the harsh reality of record prices today.

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In advance of Jimmy Eat World’s eighth studio album, Integrity Blues, a 7″ single was released, or at least it was anticipated to be released. The 7″, entitled Sure And Certain, was announced back in late August 2016 on the band’s official website, which also listed a pre-order link through Amazon with a release date of October 14, one week before the album’s release. I’m sure quite a few people pre-ordered the 7″ through Amazon as it was the only place to buy/pre-order it. But as time went on the 7″ was pulled from Amazon with no explanation.

As time wore on people forgot about the 7″ until Amazon pulled it and started cancelling orders on the 7″‘s release date of October 14. That move sent people scrambling on how to get the 7″. Lots of incorrect info was being spread from various sources; including the band themselves, their merch guys on tour, indie record stores, message boards, etc. Most of the incorrect info came from people who were misinformed, while others purposely lied to drive up business. Here is all the incorrect info out there. It was reported that the only way to get the 7″ was at a show on the band’s Integrity Blues tour if you pre-ordered the album (CD or vinyl) from an indie record store, but no mention of how to prove you pre-ordered it was made. Same people also said they bought a copy of the 7″ at a show. I contacted some indie record stores and was told it was a tour exclusive 7″. An indie record store owner (not one of the stores I contacted) said during an in-store the band played there that the 7″ was exclusive to them, no not an indie store exclusive promo like most of these free bonus items are, exclusive to his specific store.

All that was despite the fact that people at the Northeast in-stores the band played leading up to the album’s release were either given the 7″ at the in-store or would get it when they went back to pick up the copy of the album they had to buy in order to gain entry into the in-store. And that I got this 7″ on the album’s release day (October 21) for free from my local indie store with purchase of Integrity Blues, which also coincidentally held one of the pre-release in-stores earlier in October. So supplies of this 7″ seem to be not even close to exhausted, as my local store got more copies of it well after the in-store they held with about a 100 peeople capacity. So the only definitive way to get this 7″ that I am aware of is/was from an indie record store after buying the album Integrity Blues.

The 7″ features “Sure And Certain” on the a-side and has an exclusive b-side from Integrity Blues on the b-side; “My Enemy.” The 7″ comes in a regular 7″ jacket, but it’s made out of very thin card stock. No download card/code is included with the 7″, so the only way to get an MP3 of the exclusive b-side is to have a USB turntable or wait for somebody to rip it and post it online (which already happened, but the guy deleted the file after a few days and not many people took notice, but I did). It’s clear why “My Enemy” was left off the album, as it doesn’t really fit the vibe of Integrity Blues. But it’s still a good song regardless, it’s more reminiscent of older Jimmy Eat World albums.
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