A release that came completely out of left field, Weezer did a split 7″ with Wavves in 2016, which was released on Wavves on label, Ghost Ramp. The split has a previously unreleased (on physical format) Weezer song on the a-side and a cover of a Weezer song, “You Gave Your Love To Me Softly” by Wavves on the b-side. The artwork is also inspired by past Weezer releases, and each side of the split gets its own artwork. The Weezer side is inspired by Pinkerton and the Wavves side is inspired by The Blue Album. The Weezer song, “Fake Smiles And Nervous Laughter,” is a b-side from The White Album that was released as a Japanese bonus track on the initial digital release of the album and subsequent deluxe edition worldwide digital release.
The 7″ was put up for pre-order mid September 2016 with no release date given. These days I usually refrain from pre-ordering anything, especially something that doesn’t have a release date given, which is based off past nightmare pre-orders that were delayed several times and didn’t ship in some instances till almost one year after the pre-order. Another red flag for me was a label I never heard of before. But in the case of this split 7″ I’m glad I put my reservations aside because it sold out in six hours.
The 7″ was pressed on two colors, each limited to 1,000 copies for a total run of 2,000 copies. But that fact didn’t stop people from spending more money on the colored variant. The colors were blue and black. Ghost Ramp decided to charge $2 more for the blue variant, which drove the price tag up to $10 before shipping for a two song 7″, with one of the songs recorded by the band owning the label. The black variant cost $8. Shipping was $4.85, and the label decided to ship 7″s in cheap LP mailers. Which led to major problems.
Once the split started shipping in late November 2016, quite a few people reported that the package arrived with absolutely nothing inside. It wasn’t a widespread problem, but it was enough people so that it wasn’t just a fluke incident. Some people said their mailer wasn’t taped down properly, with enough room in the ends so the 7″ could have easily slid out or been stolen out of the package somewhere along the way. While other people said the mailer was taped properly but there still wasn’t anything inside the mailer. Ghost Ramp did send replacements to those affected. However, the shipping issues may or may not have been rectified by the label (red below). But it seems to have only affected the blue variant.
From my personal experience with this 7″, the mailer used, an LP mailer, was still cheap and thin. When it was delivered the tape on one end of the mailer was completely undone. So my worst fears were bubbling up. The tape was only stuck to one side of the mailer, the other half sticking up in the air and completely dry. As if it came unstuck very early in the delivery process, likely almost immediately. It wasn’t shipped in the summer either, so it’s not like the heat loosened the adhesive on the tape. It just wasn’t applied properly to the mailer. Thankfully the 7″ was inside. But there was not support to speak of inside the oversized LP mailer used for a 7″, just a hastily cut piece of bubble wrap that didn’t even completely cover one side of the 7″ let alone wrap around it or be cut to fit the mailer.
Ghost Ramp did include freebies in most if not all of the packages, but that doesn’t make up for lapses in rudimentary packaging methods, like making sure the tape is actually stuck to the box before mailing it. I received an enamel pin and a CD of a Ghost Ramp release, while other people said they only received a pin.
On top of those issues, Ghost Ramp also started shipping out the 7″ in batches. They shipped out the color variants first because apparently the pressing plant had a delay pressing the black variant. So rather than wait for the entire pressing to be in hand before shipping orders, they opted to ship what they had in hand first. The black variant did not start shipping till a few weeks after the blue variant. It’s not a huge problem, it wasn’t like they never shipped them, it’s just a slight annoyance. This type of delay is not unheard of, but it is odd and despite that has happened with more frequency lately. Labels rarely shipped certain variants earlier than others, so you never heard of these types of delays with specific colors being backlogged at the plant. But more and more labels are starting to ship out releases in batches because of these types of delays with certain variants out of the whole pressing.
If those problems and issues weren’t enough, Ghost Ramp opted to use their stock label dust sleeve for this 7″, which is way too big for the jacket used for the 7″. I’m sure Ghost Ramp uses the same stock label dust sleeve for all their releases (obviously scaled accordingly for a 7″, 10″ 12′), but for this specific release it backfired. Because this black Ghost Ramp dust sleeve is too big, and makes it next to impossible to get the record out of the jacket. Combine that with how cheap and thin the jacket itself is, you may actually tear the jacket trying to get the record out. I know I was very afraid I was going to not just put a small tear in the jacket, but completely destroy it.
It got to the point of trying to get the record out that I was violently shaking the jacket in an attempt to jar it loose. This shaking was also done out of frustration. I’ve never had this much trouble getting a record out of a jacket or sleeve. It also doesn’t help that this 7″ is shrink wrapped, and if you’re like me and want to keep the shrink on the jacket, the slipperiness caused by the shrink makes it even tougher to get the record out. When you pull on the dust sleeve the shrink wrap starts sliding off the jacket instead. That is how tight of a fit the dust sleeve is inside the jacket.
My advice on how to get this record out of the jacket is to hold the top and bottom of the jacket, holding it so the opening is facing down, then gently squeeze it make the opening a bit larger. But be careful doing this because if you apply too much pressure/force you may tear the jacket. That is how thin it is. Once you have the opening a bit larger, it should look like someone making a slight ‘o’ face, start jiggling the jacket. I know that sounds dirty, but get your minds out of the gutter. Essentially what you need to do it shake the dust sleeve out of the jacket, you need to jostle it free with the help of gravity. Eventually it will come out enough to where you can pull it the rest of the way. If it wasn’t obvious enough, DO NOT put the record back in the jacket. Leave it outside the jacket inside a protective poly sleeve. And if you are foolish enough to try let alone get the record back in the jacket, may you be judged kindly in the next life.