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.