Posts Tagged ‘My Chemical Romance’


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 five 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”. That is what drew me out for RSD, but I also picked up a bunch of other things rather than deal with paying for shipping and the potential for damage during shipping. The Gerard Way 12” was one of those other things I wanted, but felt wouldn’t be hard to find online for retail price. Especially considering it is one of those RSD first releases, meaning it would see a wider release after RSD.

I decided to pick this 12” picture disc up on RSD rather than waiting because I was a bit worried that the non-RSD release wouldn’t have the poster and comic that came with the RSD version/variant. I felt the price wouldn’t be much lower after RSD than on RSD as well, so if the non-RSD version didn’t have the poster and/or comic it would be a giant rip-off.

There seems to not be a consensus as to what the official title of this release is. The official RSD list has the title listed as “Into The Cave We Wander,” which is the lead track on the release. But places like Discogs, which I never trust or rely on for any info, has the title listed as “DC’s Young Animal.” To further illustrate why I don’t trust Discogs, they have the pressing info listed as 5,000 copies while the official RSD list has it listed as 4,800 copies. To muddy the waters a bit more on the title confusion, the hype sticker on the bottom left corner of the sleeve says “DC’s Young Animal” as well.

Personally, I’m sticking with the title being “Into The Cave We Wander” for several reasons. And not just because I don’t like Discogs. Here’s why. “DC’s Young Animal” is a comic/graphic novel series Gerard Way is curating. And this RSD 12” picture disc release was concocted solely to promote that comic series. A textbook example of the problems with RSD, but that is for another day. But that is why “DC’s Young Animal” is plastered all over this record. Not just the hype sticker, but the most glaringly obvious part being the comic this record comes with along with the poster. Another obvious aspect of this record being a promotional vehicle for the comic series is the artwork on the picture disc itself, which is straight from one of the comics in the Young Animal series.

All that is aside from the fact that 12” singles, or any singles for that matter, don’t have proper titles. They go by whatever the single’s name is or whatever songs appear on the single; the infamous “b/w” moniker. Anyway, this 12” single has two songs on it, the aforementioned “Into The Cave We Wander” on the a-side and “Film Excerpt – Poggy’s Cavern” on the b-side. An interesting note about the music, it’s not just Gerard Way, his old My Chemical Romance band mate Ray Toro is credited as writer and performer as well.

I mentioned it above, but the pressing info for this may be a bit misleading if you take Discogs into account. Discogs has this 12” single being limited to 5,000 copies. Of course, that is a nice round number, but the official RSD list has the pressing info as 4,800 copies. I will take the word of the official RSD list over Discogs any day, but even with that said the RSD list has mysteriously been changed/updated in past years. The RSD folks like to re-release the official .pdf list with minor tweaks, amendments, corrections; whatever you’d like to call them, and sometimes the .pdpf list doesn’t match up with the viewable list on the official website too. It’s why I download the .pdf the first day the official list is released and download another copy the day before RSD, to catch any discrepancies. However, none of that affected this Gerard Way 12”, the 4,800 number held strong to this day.

The comic that comes with the record is likely exclusive to this record. I know comic collectors can be as nuts as record collectors, and comics can go through variants and exclusives just like records. The Young Animal comic that comes with this records is a sampler, with short excerpts from each of the four separate titles in the series;  “Doom Patrol,” “Shade The Changing Girl,” Cave Carson Has A Magnetic Eye” and “Mother Panic.” The official title of the comic that comes with the “Into The Cave We Wander” 12” picture disc is “DC’s Young Animal Mixtape.” For copyright concerns I’m not posting photos of the entire comic, only a handful of pages, of which don’t reveal any major plot lines.

If you are into comics/graphic novels you’re probably aware that this 12” picture disc is technically not the first release of this single. It was released on cassette for New York Comic Con, and given to attendees of the Young Animal panel. That cassette is a promo release and not meant for sale, and guess what the title is; “Into The Cave We Wander.”

 

 


In 2016 Reprise Records re-released The Black Parade in a 10th Anniversary set with a slightly tweaked title; The Black Parade / Living With Ghosts. The newly released version of the album was pressed as a triple LP in a tri-fold jacket. It was pressed on two different variants; black and clear with white. The clear w white is a F.Y.E. exclusive, and some sites are calling it “clear w/ white swirl” despite the hype sticker (which said site has a picture of) only stating “clear with white.” Pressing info has not been released for either variant, and never expect it to be because it’s a major label release.

The Black Parade / Living With Ghosts features 11 exclusive bonus tracks, which are all demo versions of songs recorded during The Black Parade sessions. Some of these songs wound up as album tracks on the final version of The Black Parade, while others are making their first appearance out in the world. These never before heard tracks are (in order of appearance) “The Five Of Us Are Dying,” “Kill All Your Friends,” Party At The End Of The World,” “Not That Kind Of Girl,” “Emily,” “Disenchanted” and “All The Angels.”

Initially the only variant available was the black, posted for pre-order in the band’s web store in a bundle with a flag that cost $50 before shipping. Of course a few suckers fell for this bundle thinking it was the only way to get the vinyl version of the release. That bundle is still the only option for the vinyl version on MCR’s web store, but it did become available separately from various online distros, Amazon and indie record stores, which honestly shouldn’t surprise anyone. For a release as big as this, from a band as big as My Chemical Romance, you should expect a wide release. If The Black Parade / Living With Ghosts was going to be limited, or a specific variant was going to limited to a small amount, you better believe a major label would make that information as visible as possible to drive up sales. Plus, major labels rarely, if ever, limit an entire release to any quantities less than thousands.

The tri-fold jacket for The Black Parade / Living With Ghosts is inspired by the original release of The Black Parade, but there is an obvious twist to it. You can see the inner panels of the tri-fold in the photos below. An insert is also included, which has the lyrics printed on both sides of it. As aforementioned, every copy has a white square hype sticker affixed to the top left corner. The hype sticker only indicates color of the F.Y.E. exclusive color, the black copies do not mention vinyl color. No download card/code is included with the release nor a CD copy, which is inexcusable these days. If small indie labels can afford it a major label better not cheap out on a release they’re charging over $30 for (F.Y.E. exclusive costs $33). But as an incentive to buy it directly from Reprise via the MCR web store, a digital download is included with every purchase. But you’re no doubt paying for the digital download “included” with the bundle as it’s likely factored into the total price. But I bought this for $22.50 shipped via an online distro whose prices are already $4-5 cheaper than retail, and on top of that used a 25% off coupon.

You can read about the original release first pressing of The Black Parade here and you can read about the special edition box set released during the original run of The Black Parade here.

 

 


Frank Iero is back with another solo album, only this time under a different moniker. The new release is done under the name of Frank Iero And The Patience. His new album, Parachutes, was released on October 28, 2016, with the vinyl version being a delayed by about a week. The album is in line with previous solo releases.

Pressing info for Parachutes is a but unclear. The official pre-order for the record has a white variant limited to 2,000 copies. There is also a blue variant that may be either a Banquet Records (UK indie record store) or a UK/Euro exclusive. The copy I bought from a U.S. based distro (because I was able to snag it for $14 shipped instead of $19 plus shipping from the official pre-order) arrived on black vinyl. I have no idea how many copies were pressed on black vinyl, and considering I had no idea it existed, it’s not too surprising pressing info isn’t out there. Vagrant Records hasn’t been too helpful after contacting them about it, not even so much as a reply back with a simply “sorry we can’t/don’t want to divulge that info.” At this point I’m wondering if there are any other colors on top of the white, blue and black floating around out there.

What makes it hard to track down pressing info for this record is the fact that it’s a joint release with four different labels. Vagrant Records handled the U.S. release, Hassle Records handled the UK release and BMG Records is also involved as well as Frank’s own label B. Calm Press. BMG is a major label and it’s a 99.99% certainty they won’t respond to any sort of communication, and I just mentioned Vagrant’s lack of response above.

The record comes housed in a full color, printed dust sleeve. The lyrics are printed on one side of the dist sleeve, with an image of Frank’s parents on the reverse side where he thanks them. A download card is included, netting you high quality 320 kbps MP3s. There is a hype sticker affixed to the top right corner along with a parental advisory sticker in the bottom left corner. I hate those parental advisory warnings, but at least this is a sticker and it’s not actually printed on the album cover so it becomes an obtrusive part of the cover art.

About two weeks before the album’s release date Frank and his band were involved in a freak bus accident while on tour in Australia. I say freak because it’s not the typical bus/van crash you hear about with touring bands. The band was unloading their van on a public street in Sydney when a public transit bus (which wasn’t carrying any passengers) hit their van, which left Frank badly banged up and two other band members needing surgery. Everyone thankfully survived the accident. The accident forced the cancellation of the band’s tour dates for the foreseeable future.


Gerard Way released a 12″ single for “Zero Zero” off his debut solo album Hesitant Alien in 2015. This flew completely under the radar and got little to no press anywhere; message boards, blogs, zines, news sites, etc. Which is very surprising considering he was the front man of My Chemical Romance, a band with a huge fan base who buy up anything and everything related to them.

The single features two songs, one on each side. As I stated earlier the lead track is “Zero Zero” while the b-side is a true b-side left off Hesitant Alien; “Television All The Time.” This b-side was released prior to this single however, as it was a bonus track exclusive to the Japanese release of Hesitant Alien. This 12″ single marks the first time the song was released in the U.S. however.

There were 5,000 copies of this 12″ single pressed, all as a picture disc. It comes housed in a picture disc sleeve with a flap that has the bottom two corners reinforced. The sleeve also comes sealed with a clear sticker on the flap, but it’s easy to peel back and keep intact to remove the record. There is a pink hype sticker on the bottom left corner as well.

Some people/sites are misinformed about the origins of this 12″ single, thinking it’s a Record Store Day (RSD) Black Friday release for 2015. That is simply not true. This record is not on any official RSD release list(s). It was however, released on the same day as Black Friday RSD in 2015; November 27. That is because the music industry decided to change their release day from Tuesdays to Fridays. Otherwise there would be no confusion about this record’s origins.

Retail price on this records is around $15 depending on the store/distro. If it hasn’t gone OOP at this point considering it’s connection to My Chemical Romance, it likely won’t for a while. So the price may drop on this as stores and distros are stuck with unsold copies. I bought my copy from Bull Moose, utilizing my Bull Moose points to get it for half off.


After having the worst Record Store Day (RSD) ever last year, where I missed out on getting the most stuff on my list than ever before, I decided to head over to my store earlier than I ever have. Prior to last year the most I’ve ever missed out on getting from my local store was one thing, whereas I usually get everything on my list with ease after lining up 3 hours max before opening. But last year I missed out on 3, and I wasn’t sure if it was just because the line formed earlier at my store (I was out of state in 2014 and couldn’t see how the line formed) for some reason or simply because Deja Entendu was being re-pressed. It turned out to be the later as I could have gotten on line by 3 a.m. (which is still hours earlier than my norm) instead of midnight and been fine. But I wasn’t going to complain about being eighth in line, my best position to date, as I slept for those 3 hours anyway.

With that out of the way here is the Gerard Way 7″ entitled Pinkish / Don’t Try. Yes, you read that correctly, there is no b/w in the release’s title even though there should be. The two songs featured on this 7″ are implied by the title. Both songs are b-sides from Hesitant Alien, Gerard Way’s debut solo album released in 2015. There were 5,000 copies pressed on red, pink and purple splatter. The official RSD list simply said “colored vinyl” in regards to the color, but the hype sticker on the cover of the actual 7″ says what the color is.

Each side of this 7″ looks completely different from one another. The a-side has more red and pink in it while the b-side has a white base with pink, purple and red splatter. On top of the aforementioned hype sticker that indicates color and other info about this 7″, there is another hype sticker on the cover as well, the now typical silver ‘RSD exclusive’ sticker.

No download code is included, which sadly is a running trend with majority f RSD releases this year. Nothing I bought this year had a download card/code, no matter the label releasing it. The only thing that did was the Nirvana Tribute comp released by Robotic Empire, and that wasn’t an official RSD release.


Frank Iero has been busy with his new band, FrnkIero And The Cellabration. About a year after releasing their debut album the band released a split 7″ with Lonely The Brave in August 2015. The split 7″ was released by Hassle Records out of the UK and it’s a UK exclusive, so it cost a pretty penny to import it to the U.S., about $15. This split sold out through pre-orders for the most part, but Banquet Records, the only place to buy this 7″ from aside from the label itself, put up about eight copies after release date from what I’m guessing was cancelled orders or they got in more copies than initially thought. I snagged one of said eight copies, one of the few times an “notify by email when back in stock” alert actually paid off.

This split 7″ was limited to 500 copies and all copies were pressed on black vinyl. A download code is not included with the physical records, but if you ordered directly from Hassle Records they emailed you a download code on release day. If you bought the record anywhere else you’re SOL. However, it’s not a total loss as the only exclusive, unreleased (FrnkIero And The Cellabration) found on this split, “Give Me Liberty, But Give Me Depth” is a waste really as it clocks in at 1:40 in length. The other FrnkIero And The Cellabration song on this split is “Weighted,” which was released on the band’s debut full length Stomachaches.

One interesting note is that the cover art for this split 7″ was done by Dan Carter from the BBC Radio 1 Rock Show. Since this split 7″ came out he has been selling prints of the artwork in limited runs.

FrnkIero And The Cellabration - The Lonely Brave Split - Copy


There are usually zero UK Record Store Day (RSD) releases that I want during any given year, which is a good thing because importing them can get rather expensive. The international shipping costs combined with an exchange rate favoring the British Pound can turn 12″ EP’s into $25 ventures.

This year was the first time I wanted a UK RSD exclusive, the FrnkIero And The Cellabration 12″ titled Live At BBC Maida Vale. As he title suggest it’s a live EP recorded at Maida Vale for Daniel P. Carter’s Radio Show on BBC Radio 1, which was originally broadcast on November 30, 2014. The 12″ was released by Hassle Records. There are four songs in all, two on each side. I was fortunate to sneak in an order with Banquet Records before they sold out, and it wasn’t easy. I sat through error pages and forever loading times for nearly 45 minutes to get one of the last copies they had.

There were 500 copies pressed on mint pearl vinyl. It’s one of the oddest and unique variant colors I’ve heard in a long time, but that description fits the final product perfectly. The color of the vinyl is mint, and it has a pearl effect. A download code is included, and in another unique turn the code is placed on a sticker that is affixed to the full color printed dust sleeve. The record sounds good, not great.

Along with the mint pearl copies, there are also an unknown amount of copies pressed on black vinyl. I have heard that there were 1,000 total copies pressed, which would mean there are 500 copies on black vinyl. But I have not heard any official numbers for the black variant. The official UK RSD list says the colored copies are limited to 500, so I am going with that for the colored variant. However, the label’s website says there were “1,000 copies pressed for the entire world.” The official UK RSD list also said color to be determined, so until people started opening copies of this 12″ the color was unknown. So logic and simple math says there are 500 copies on mint pearl and 500 copies on black based on what has been officially announced.

Track listing:

A1 – Tragician

A2 – Smoke Rings

B1 – Joyriding

B2 – She’s The Prettiest Girl At The Party, And She Can Prove It With A Solid Right Hook