The Juliana Theory – Deadbeat Sweetheartbeat

Posted: April 17, 2017 in Vinyl
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Where do I begin with this record. It’s one of the better releases in terms of packaging, and it seems no expense was spared with it either. Years in the making, Mind Over Matter Records (MOMR) finally released Deadbeat Sweetheartbeat by The Juliana Theory in 2016. In my opinion it’s one of the better Juliana Theory albums, which obviously makes the listening experience better. But the vinyl version released by MOMR is not just a nice package, a good deal of thought and energy went into the music found on the records.

Deadbeat Sweethearbeat was pressed as a double LP on one variant. Each record in the set is on a different color though, with disc 1 on clear with silver blob and blue splatter, and disc 2 on clear with gold blob and green splatter. The mock ups MOMR released were spot on for once. Not that MOMR has ever gone wrong with mock ups, but many times the mock ups labels release during pre-orders don’t always match what the finished product turns out to be. The record is limited to 524 copies, all hand numbered. The hand numbering is done on the back of the slip cover.

I just hinted at one of the finer details of the packaging for this record. The double LP comes in a quad gatefold jacket, with the jacket housed inside a screen printed slip cover. But don’t let the bland slip cover fool you. The jacket is above and beyond in terms of detail. It opens to over four feet in length, which made it rather difficult to get proper photos of. The record also weighs in at the heavyweight class, coming in at almost two pounds. The artwork inside the gatefold is what most people know the album artwork for Deadbeat Sweetheartbeat to be. But the vinyl version was modeled after the limited edition deluxe version of the original CD release from 2005. Which takes me to some of the finer details of the track listing of the vinyl version of the album.

The aforementioned deluxe version of the CD release came with an exclusive DVD, which had exclusive audio tracks on it. At the time these bonus tracks were tough to listen to, because you had to pop in the DVD in order to hear them. And because of the format, they were even tougher to get MP3’s of to export to your computer or iPod. MOMR did a lot of digging in order to find them, having to turn to the studio where the album was recorded, in order to gain access to proper files to press onto the vinyl release. MOMR didn’t stop there either. On top of those DVD exclusive bonus tracks, there was a more traditional bonus track that was all the rage with releases in the 90s to early 2000s; a hidden track.

For those unclear as to what a hidden track is, it’s a song that is literally hidden amongst the proper album. Typically it can be found either after a silence gap at the end of an album or before the lead track of an album. You can’t skip to the hidden bonus song because it’s not an actual track on the album. Sometimes these are joke song, other times they are legit songs. But bands like Green Day, New Found Glory, Nirvana and even The Beatles all have utilized this hidden track feature. MOMR also added these hidden track to their vinyl release of Deadbeat Sweetheartbeat.

To wrap up, all five bonus tracks from earlier releases of Deadbeat Sweetheartbeat are on the vinyl version of the album. All four of the DVD bonus tracks; “Over The Earth,” “Slowly Flying Solo,” “Opposite Parallel Poles” and “Can’t Suspend It” are tacked on to the end of the formal album, and appear in order at the start of side D. The DVD bonus tracks are the only track on side D. The hidden track bonus track, “Her Velvet Voice,” is found after a blank locked groove between tracks C2 and C3, obviously on side C of the album. If you have trouble figuring out how to get the hidden bonus track to play, it’s final track / song on side C. Just pick the needle up to get it out of the locked groove, your turntable won’t automatically change tracks as the record spins. The silent locked groove is meant to replicate the silent gap between the final album track on the original CD release of the album, “French Kiss-Off,” and the hidden track found after the silent gap, “Her Velvet Voice.”

Circling back to the packaging for this record, MOMR re-worked the liner notes to include the lyrics for all five bonus tracks. They are found on an insert, which is printed on thick card stock. The quality of this insert actually puts many jackets I’ve seen to shame, it’s far thicker. On top of adding on to the liner notes, MOMR also added a foreword by Juliana Theory guitarist Josh Fiedler. The foreword sheds some light on the writing and recording process, along with the state of the band at the time of recording. The band was transitioning to a new label, and Josh, understandably, seemed to not be thrilled with the situation that predicated the band leaving Epic Records, a major label. See, prior to signing with Epic The Juliana Theory were on renowned indie label Tooth & Nail Records.

As of posting this, there are still copies of this record available directly from Mind Over Matter Records. The price tag of $26 is well worth it, don’t let that scare you off. If you haven’t already, you should jump on it before the record sells out for good.

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