Posts Tagged ‘I Am The Avalanche’


Vinnie Caruana’s debut solo album, Survivor’s Guilt, was released by Equal Vision Records in the U.S. and distributed by Big Scary Monsters in the UK. The album was pressed on a handful of variants. There are a whopping six variants in total, three for the U.S. and three for the UK.

The three U.S. variants are baby blue limited to 300 copies, opaque light yellow limited to 500 copies and grey with white splatter limited to 700 copies. The baby blue is a tour exclusive and the pressing info is per a sign at his merch table, so that number may or may not be accurate. The yellow is a retail exclusive and the grey with white splatter is exclusive to Equal Vision web store hosted by MerchNow.

The UK variants are pink limited to 100 copies, grey with white splatter limited to 300 copies and black limited to 300 copies. The pink is a UK tour exclusive, but Vinnie only did five UK shows the pink variant was available at. It’s more of a baby pink that a hot pink. The grey with white splatter is only available from big Scary Monsters online as far as I can tell, and the black is available online from Big Scary Monsters and UK indie record stores like Banquet Records. I’m also not sure if there are any difference between the UK splatter and U.S. splatter, but the mock ups for each look completely different. The UK splatter mock up looks like an actual picture of the completed record while the U.S. splatter mock up still looks like a computer rendering, even after the record was released.

All the U.S. variants come with a hype sticker indicating the color of the record. All U.S. copies come with a download card for high quality 320 kbps MP3s. An insert ins included with U.S. copies as well, which has the lyrics printed on both sides along with the liner notes taking up a portion of one side as well. I can’t speak to any details like this for the UK pressing as I don’t own a copy.

Prices for the U.S. pressing range from $20 before shipping from MerchNow, between $19 to $23 at indie record stores to around $20 at online distros. But if you shop around and be patient you can get a great deal on this record. I bought it for $14 shipped taking advantage of coupon codes and already lower prices at one distro. Odds are though that this record will sit around for a while and it will get marked down. If it hasn’t sold out at this point it likely won’t for a long time, and considering his earlier EP, A City By The Sea hasn’t sold out after almost two years, Survivor’s Guilt will likely fall into the same boat.


To date I Am The Avalanche has released all three of their albums on vinyl, on three different labels. An interesting fact that you can drop on your music snob friends. It should be pointed out that I Surrender Records, who released this, the band’s latest album, also released their last album as well, they did not release it on vinyl however.

Wolverines received quite a few variants, and before it was even released was on its “second pressing.” I say “second pressing” because it’s not like the album went OOP and the label decided to press more copies. They decided to press as many copies to meet demand, and there are a two different ways to look at that. You could be happy the album won’t be hard to find and is available for all the band’s fans to buy and support them, or you could be upset that your “rare” record is no longer as rare as it originally was. I can see arguments for both sides, but the later makes you look like a selfish prick. I’ve been known to voice my displeasure at labels/bands who do shady things like press up more records than advertised, release more variants after pre-orders start or sell out, lie about pressing info to drive up sales, and false advertise or lie in general. The case with Wolverines somewhat falls into the category where I voice my displeasure, but it’s not egregious enough to worry about. In reality there is nothing to complain about because the label never said the magic words “limited pressing,” “one and only pressing” or “one time pressing.”

Anyway, back to more pertinent info, the pressing info. For the “first press,” there were 200 copies on black/white swirl (I Surrender exclusive), 500 on translucent red, 300 on non metallic gold (hand-numbered, tour exclusive), 300 on white (euro exclusive), 200 as a picture disc (Banquet Records UK exclusive). There are also 300 copies on pink, which was announced and put up for sale about one week after the black/white swirl and red copies sold out through I Surrender. This was not announced as part of the first or second pressing, they just appeared one day.

More confusion lies with yet more variants I Surrender put up for sale without any major fanfare. You had to follow their social media platforms to find out about it, I think they actually only posted about it on their instagram account. Otherwise you would’ve just stumbled across them in their webstore. Two new colors were added to the “first” and/or “second pressing” (I throw quotes on it because it’s not a true second pressing since the album was not even released yet), clear limited to 200 copies and green limited to 500 copies. I consider it part of the “first pressing” and not the first pressing because the label added copies willy-nilly to meet demand. Again not something I agree with, adding more copies to a pressing after it sells out, but not something to get too worked up about or complain about since they’re keeping a record readily available. The “second pressing”, formally labeled such by I Surrender (I throw quotes on it because it’s not a true second pressing since the album was not even released yet), has two variants; highlighter yellow limited to 544 copies and “warm” red limited to 548 copies.

An important note is that this record does not come with a download code. You only get a digital download of the album if you order directly from I Surrender Records, who emails you a download code after purchase.

 

 


In late 2013 Enjoy The Ride Records announced one their releases, which was a joint effort with Fadeaway Records, a not defunct, but dormant label. It was a compilation on a grand scale. It wound up being a triple LP featuring unreleased songs from many popular indie scene bands. Profits from the comp went towards cancer research. Some of the bands on this comp included Brand New, Saves The Day, Motion City Soundtrack, Hot Rod Circuit, Nightmare Of You, Far , Fred Mascherino of Taking Back Sunday and Terrible Things fame, The Honorary Title, Vinnie Caruana of The Movielife and I Am The Avalanche fame, Andy Hull of Manchester Orchestra fame, Matt Pryor, Reggie And The Full Effect, Head Automatica, Frank Iero of My Chemical Romance fame, and Kevin Devine. It was comprised mostly of bands producer and head of Fadeaway Records, Michael Dubin, worked with or had some connection to over the years. The comp was simply entitled Friends.

The record is housed in a triple panel gatefold jacket and comes with an insert to boot. Each copy is also hand numbered out of the variant total, not the total amount of copies pressed. All copies were also pressed on colored vinyl, some sort of splatter was used for the several variants this comp has. There were some, what I feel were shady goings-on with the variants.

There is a “1st press” and a “2nd press” of this record. I use the quotes because they really are one combined pressing. The “1st press” sold out, rather slower than expected, and right on the heels of it selling out, before the “1st press” even shipped, a “2nd” pressing was announced and put up for pre-order. Anyone with common sense would say how can there be a second pressing when the records from the first pressing were not even done and pressed yet.

The nonsense with the variants continued even after all the “pressings” were announced, as the “1st press” had a friends press, limited to 100 copies. When the comp was first announced there was no mention that there would be a friends press, only that the comp would be limited to 500 copies. Since it took so long to sell out the actual 400 copies of the pressing that were available to the public didn’t matter. It continued still with the“2nd pressing, as it had a friends press of sorts, which was called an “extra special variant.” I’m not making that up for giggles, the two labels responsible for this comp actually called it that; “extra special variant.” This “extra special variant” was split into two groups; 50 copies were randomly given out in orders for the “2nd pressing” and 50 copies could only be pre-ordered at the compilations’ record release show. Yes, a compilation album comprised of unreleased songs had a release show, where I should point out none of the bands featured on the comp played.

So the pressing info for this comp is as follows: “1st press” – 400 copies on red/white/black splatter and 100 copies on red/clear/white splatter (friends press). “2nd press” – 500 copies on milky clear/red/blue/yellow splatter and 100 copies on black/blue/white splatter (“extra special variant”). Again, a triple panel gatefold jacket houses the records. An insert is also include.

The biggest issue I have with this comp is the price gouging and downright ripping off of people. The comp cost $40 before shipping, a bit outrageous but since it was a triple LP and came in a nice jacket with an insert it became a bit easier to swallow. My justifiable pricing, a price which I consider acceptable for multi-disc releases is $10 per LP. So in that train of thought this should be closer to $30 than $40. Again, the finer points of the release somewhat justify the price tag. After hearing how much it cost to produce this comp, which was stated publicly by the head of Fadeaway Records on a public message board (and which I took a screen shot of for posterity), each copy cost at most $20 to produce. I understand the business model of doubling your money or don’t bother, but in this case that markup is a bit drastic.

The shipping charges are where I have a major problem; I find them unacceptable. Fadeaway Records charged $9 for shipping, and they wound up shipping it media mail, which as well all known is the cheapest shipping method available for records. The actual cost on my mailer said $3.65; factor in material costs (guy who runs the labels packaged orders himself so no employee costs) and shipping shouldn’t have been more than $6, and that’s being generous.Fadeaway Records justified the price points as, direct quote; “The proceeds are going to charity. Any overages on shipping will be donated to charity.”

I have no problems with charitable donations, but customers, anyone really, shouldn’t be forced to pay more money so someone else can make a bigger donation to charity. If I wanted to donate more of my money to charity I would donate the money directly to the charity of my choosing myself. That decision shouldn’t be made by someone else and it definitely shouldn’t be made by a bias third party.


I Surrender Records has been quiet for quite some time, but in November they released a four-way split featuring lead singers of well-known bands going solo. The split, entitled I Surrender Records Presents Our Voices features Adam Lazzara of Taking Back Sunday, Anthony Raneri of Bayside, Chris Conley of Saves The Day and Vinnie Caruana of I Am The Avalanche. The record is single sided, with the b-side featuring an etching of a diamond pattern, which can be found on the cover art. According to the folks at I Surrender, this split will hopefully become a series.

The record was pressed on four different colors, each representing an artist based on the background color from the cover art. There were 500 copies of each color pressed, and they are green, red, blue and grey. Since there are 2000 copies of this split it should be around for quite a while. My local record store has between 10-20 copies of this. No insert is included. One thing of note is that if you buy this record from a brick and mortar store you won’t get a download card/code, only if you buy it online straight from I Surrender Records.


Vinnie Caruana’s debut solo release, an EP entitled City By The Sea was released by a handful of labels. I Surrender Records handled the digital and CD versions and Run For Cover Records (RFC) handled the vinyl version in the U.S. while Xtra Mile handled all European aspects of the release. As expected there was a delay with the records from RFC, which has become something you can set your watch to. The length of the delay this go around was almost 3 months.

There are several variants for the record, three colors for the U.S. pressing and one color for the European pressing. RFC pressed 300 copies on gold vinyl, 300 copies on black featuring hand numbering and blank center labels, 500 copies on silver/black marble and 700 on green/white marble. The silver/black marble is the only opaque color with the gold and “green/white marble” are translucent. he “green/white marble” turned out to be a translucent solid green. The black copies were only sold on Viinie’s acoustic basement tour and come autographed on top of the hand numbering, which are both done on the blank white center labels. Xtra Mile had 300 copies on clear vinyl. The U.S. pressing features an etched b-side while the Euro pressing  does not.

So far the only color to sell out is the gold from the U.S. pressing. All remaining colors from the U.S. pressing are available from RFC but if you order via another source I am not sure what color you will get. Most of the time if you order outside the label directly you get the least rare color, but with this record that is not the case as I ordered from Interpunk and received the silver/black marble.


Peace’d Out is a side project of sorts featuring Vinnie Caruana (I Am The Avalanche & The Movielife) on vocals Steve Choi (RX Bandits) on guitar, Roger Camero (No Motiv) on bass and Casey Deitz (The Velvet Teen) on drums. The sound of the band is much, much harder than the type of music most people associate with these guys.  Many would call Peace’d Out a hardcore band, but I usually don’t slap labels on bands.

The band’s first release is this self-titled EP, which came out in late 2012. It’s only being sold on vinyl and digitally, however a CD version of the EP does come with the black variant of the 10″ and only the black version. The EP was pressed on four colors, with most being exclusive to certain retailers or only obtainable by chance after buying a certain color. There were 200 copies pressed on pink, which was exclusive to the band/label (Sound The Siren) webstore. The pink copies were being sold for $3 more than the other color, black, being sold in their store. Pink copies cost $15 while black copies cost only $12. Pink copies are completely sold out and is the other color to sell out as of writing this. There were 500 copies pressed on blue, which is a Hot Topic exclusive. There were 1000 copies pressed on black, which are widely available and is the color every place is selling other than Hot Topic. Lastly there are 100 copies pressed on oxblood red, which are randomly inserted in place of black copies. I’m not 100% sure if the only way to get a chance to get an oxblood red was by ordering from the band/label webstore. One unique thing about this record is the a-side is etched, so the entire EP is pressed onto the b-side.


I Am the Avalanche’s debut album finally saw the light of day on vinyl. Enjoy The Ride Records licensed the rights to the album from Drive-Thru Records and pressed the record on three different colors, red limited to 100 copies, white limited to 200 copies and black limited to 200 copies.

When the pre-order was launched the red variant sold out in a matter of minutes, followed quickly by the white copies which sold out a few days later. As of writing this there are about 100 black copies left in Enjoy The Ride’s webstore, but a few copies went out to their local record store, Looney Tunes in Long Island. The records are housed in a gatefold jacket, with the lyrics and liner notes printed inside the gatefold rather than having an insert. Unfortuantely it seems like a good amount of people bought this with the sole intention of flipping or as trade bait with lofty intentions, seeing as the more copies trickle out to people the more copies pop up on ebay or on message boards.

I will throw this in, Enjoy The Ride did NOT take pre-orders for this release. When the records were in hand only then were the records made available for purchase online. The records went live on a Friday, and by Monday of the following week orders started shipping. This is how all labels should conduct business, rather than taking pre-orders two, sometime even more months before the records are slated to ship/release.