Victory Records continues to milk their back catalog and former artists, as they released Thursday’s compilation album Kill The House Lights on vinyl in the summer of 2016. The album features demos, live takes and alternate versions of previously released material, along with three brand new songs.
Kill The House Lights was pressed as a double LP, and comes in a gatefold jacket. Also included is the booklet from the original CD/DVD release from 2007. Which further illustrates how Victory milks things for all their worth. Rather than making a new insert that is scaled up according to the format size, they opted to reuse the CD/DVD booklet. Not an unheard of move, but still cheap. The DVD from the original 2007 release is included as well, along with a download card, which surprisingly yields high quality 320 kbps MP3s. Typically the download cards Victory includes are for awful 192 kbps MP3s.
There are four variants for this record, with the typical odd, random numbers Victory puts out. There are 231 copies on pink/white, 488 copies on clear red and an unknown amount of copies on black. However, black is being advertised as “limited” for whatever that’s worth. There is also a white variant, which is a $hit Topic exclusive. The white variant was never mentioned anywhere I monitor, and became available well after the three other variants shipped. I just happened to come across it while browsing $hit Topic’s website. And like with 99% of all $hit Topic exclusives, pressing info was never released for it, and don’t ever expect it to be. One thing I will say though, I was shocked to see $hit Topic actually charge less than another retailer. The white variant is $20.90 from $hit Topic, while Victory is charging $22.98 for all 3 variants. The color vinyl (other than white, obviously) is exclusively available from Victory Records, with black being available everywhere else (except $hit Topic, obviously). But black is also available from Victory’s web store.
The records and download card contain, as advertised, five bonus tracks which appear at the end of the compilation; “Cross Out The Eyes (Live At The Grove),” “Steps Ascending (Live At The Grove),” “How Long Is The Night (Live At The Grove)”, “Concealer (Demo)” and “Telegraph Avenue Kiss (Demo).” These bonus tracks are all on the second record of the double LP set, spread across the C and D sides. The bonus tracks are the only tracks on the second disc. But it’s important to note that Victory advertises these songs as “bonus” tracks but majority were included on the initial release of Kill The House Lights from 2007. So it’s a bit misleading and blatant false advertising on their part. The only true bonus tracks. Aside for those bonus tracks the track listing for the vinyl version is the same as the CD version.
Some more shady business ethics, shocking I know seeing as Victory is one of the most upstanding labels around (I hope you can appreciate the sarcasm), as when the vinyl version of Kill The House Lights was first put up for pre-order it cost $20. But sometime between then and writing this (wrote this on September 1, 2016, just never got around to posting it till November 2016) Victory raised the price to $23. I know this because I took a screen shot of the item page in Victory’s web store for the clear red variant to note the price when I finally got around to buying the record and doing the write up for it. It’s something I do for every record I buy, mainly to know how much I paid for a record and for the purposes of this blog as well. Nobody other than me seemed to have noticed, which is surprising because certain message boards out there love to stir up controversy and complain about everything.
Victory charges $7 for shipping as the cheapest method, so unless you really want this record on color vinyl or one of the rarer variants there is absolutely no reason to buy this directly from them. There is no reason to spend $30 on this when you can buy it for under $15 if you shop smartly. There are a handful of online distros out there who offer free shipping and frequent sales/coupon codes you can utilize to maximize the amount of money you save on records. I don’t think this release is worth anywhere close to $30. $20 is a fair price. But like I said, you can buy this for less than that is you shop around.