Thrice – Sea Change 7″ (RSD 2017)

Posted: May 15, 2017 in Vinyl
Tags: , ,

Once again I decided to camp out for Record Store Day (RSD), getting to my store 8 ½ hours ahead of opening. I know I said on Twitter that I likely wouldn’t bother with RSD this year, but things changed obviously. That thing was adding more and more things to my list, which ending the debate of do I want to go out for the one thing I know I won’t be able to find online for retail price. I’d rather not spend $30 on something if it means the only thing being sacrificed is a good night’s sleep. If you think I’m crazy for waiting that line and getting to a store that early, keep reading. But I do sleep for at least 2-3 hours of that wait time. If you want to skip this column-esque story, skip ahead four paragraphs for the start of the write up on this particular RSD release.

To lay the ground work for RSD this year, I actually had fun the past two years (2016 & 2017) waiting in line, which makes the time go by faster. That was not the case every other year, and I’ve been attending RSD since its inception in 2008. I had some cool people to talk to these past two years, which rarely, if ever happened every other year for RSD. I’m talkative person, it’s the other people who either can’t or refuse to hold a conversation for whatever reason. The past two years I was next to the same group of people actually. You see, at my local store, the same groups of people show up around the same time every year, especially the diehards. I’m talking about the real early birds, the people who get there 7+ hours ahead of opening. And at my store you have to show up by 4 am (for an 8 am opening) in order to have a serious chance of getting what you want. Otherwise you’re like 150+ in line and will spend around 2 hours (after opening) just waiting to get in and get checked out. It’s a popular store in a highly populated area.

For those curious about what store I go to, I never mention it because I want to maintain some privacy for myself. I don’t want people knowing where I live. It’s not a matter of turning people onto the store and having more people show up. Trust me, this store is well know and one of the most popular stores in the region. It draws people from four different states for RSD, and there are no shortages of record stores in the area either.

The only thing that changed in the 10 years RSD has been happening is how early I have to line up in order to get everything I want, or at the very least the few things I would have a hard time tracking down for a decent price online. I used to get to my store around 5 am, and got everything I wanted with no problem. But ever since 2015 the line has gotten out of control. I used to be no more than 20th in line with a 5 am arrival from 2009-2014, but I learned my lesson in 2015 after getting there at 2 am (thinking that additional 3 hours would be enough to compensate for the Deja Entendu release) and being like 50th in line, resulting in missing out on stuff I wanted for the first time ever. And I mean for the first time ever. Prior to that year I never missed out on a single thing on my list.

Ever since then my goal was to get there by midnight, and it’s worked. And I’ve had more fun in line than ever. People bring beer, people are more talkative, offer to get food and coffee for people and are just more helpful and nicer in general. I think a lot people are immediately grumpy when they get there later in the morning and come to the dreaded realization of how long the line actually is. The line can be a bit deceiving because it wraps around the building/strip mall. Lots of people see what they think is the end of the line at the end of the building/strip mall, only to walk over and discover it keeps going. I’ve heard plenty of obscenities being yelled at 5 and 6 am, some from like a hundred feet away.

That one thing mentioned above was the Thrice 7”. I have a complete Thrice collection going and didn’t want to ruin that or have to pay upwards of $30 for a 7” if it was somewhat easily avoided. This 7” features two songs, one b-side from the To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere and a live version of a song of that album as well. I don’t consider a song recorded live at a radio station to be a b-side, even though this 7” was marketed as having “2 b-sides”

The one b-side is entitled  “Sea Change” and is apparently about sea levels rising and climate change based on Twitter posts Dustin Kensrue made the day of RSD, which coincidentally was also Earth Day. I didn’t get that meaning after listening to the song though. I got more of a song about general struggle and adversity vibe, not as specific as rising sea levels and/or climate change. The live track, “Black Honey,” was recorded at Sirius XM. There is one track per side.

The 7” was limited to 2,500 copies, and is pressed on translucent blue vinyl. The Fact that this 7” is pressed on colored vinyl was never mentioned anywhere. It wasn’t on the official RSD list, no store made mention of it, the hype stickers didn’t nor did the band or any band members. It came as a complete shock to me, and probably everyone else who bought a copy too. But given the apparent meaning behind the song, the choice of blue vinyl is very fitting.

As aforementioned, there is not one but two hype stickers on the cover of this 7”. The obligatory Record Store Day sticker (though not one of those square silver foil RSD stickers) and another one indicating that a portion of the proceeds from this release got to Climate Central. Which I’m assuming is a non-profit  aimed at working towards environmental issues. Again, that Climate Central hype sticker is in line with the apparent them of the lead song, “Sea Change.”

A download card/code is included, which yields WAV files. There is no insert, and the jacket is extremely thin and cheap. It’s a shame, but that is becoming a trend with RSD releases; making them as cheap as possible while still charging top dollar for them. Of course there are always the super nice releases sprinkled in, but for the most part I’ve never been impressed with the bulk of the RSD releases I get, especially for the price charged for them. This 7” cost around $8 depending on the store, when it should have cost no more than $6 given what it turned out being. Because it’s an RSD release the powers at be feel like they can get away with tacking on an additional $2-3 to every release. I’m actually surprised this 7” came with a download card, many times RSD releases don’t. This 7” was one of two RSD releases I bought this year that actually came with a download card, and I wound up buying 10 releases this year.

Thrice - Sea Change - Copy

 

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