Posts Tagged ‘The Early November’

The Early November – Imbue

Posted: August 24, 2015 in Vinyl
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The Early November’s latest album and second release on Rise Records, Imbue, was pressed on four different colors. A few of them are exclusive to certain retailers, with some of those exclusive eventually being sold outside of the exclusivity. First, there are 300 copies on transparent blue, which was initially exclusive to a handful of bundles that included things like t-shirts (two different designs), hoodies, not one but two different posters, stickers, coffee mugs, a CD and cassette copy of the album and a 7″ record. There were various bundle options, some that included less stuff, with other bundles increasingly adding items to you eventually hit the mega bundle that included all of the aforementioned items. This mega bundle cost $85, with the cheapest option to get the blue variant costing $55. This cheaper bundle had everything mentioned above except for the hoodie and included only one of the two t-shirts.

Eventually the blue variant was sold individually outside of the bundles, which happened before the album was even released, angering some people, and rightfully so. Typically when Rise/Merchnow split up bundles it only after the album has been released. The aforementioned 7″ was also initially only available in the more expensive bundles, the $55 one and the $85, but it too was eventually sold alone outside of the bundles, just like the blue variant.

The remaining variants are translucent red limited to 500 copies, translucent yellow limited to 700 copies and translucent purple limited to 1500 copies. Red is a tour exclusive, yellow a Merchnow exclusive and purple is a retail exclusive. One thing of note though, which can’t be verified because the person making the claim never posted pictures as proof when prompted and is someone who insists on posting things on message boards without any sort of proof (he’s turns out to be right about 45% of the time), is that he bought a copy at his local store and it was red instead of purple. This same person also claimed that red was going to be a Hot Topic exclusive color, which obviously turned out not to be true.

The record comes in a gatefold jacket, which has a matte finish. Also included is an insert a CD copy of the album instead of a download code. The gatefold artwork is rather bland and frankly, lame. The insert has the lyrics printed on one side and yet another boring photograph on the reverse side. One thing of note is that I think only the retail copies of the album, the purple variant, come with a hype sticker on the cover. I saw it in my local record store before I bought a yellow copy online and assumed every copy would come with the same hype sticker, but no. My yellow copy does not have a hype sticker but rather a price tag type sticker denoting the vinyl color. Which makes sense given the purpose of hype stickers and every copy except for the purple ones would never see a store. Said hype sticker didn’t mention anything other than “new album!” and “colored vinyl!” however.

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When pre-orders for The Early November’s latest album, Imbue, were launched there were a handful of bundle options available. Two of them had what at the time was an exclusive 7″, which was single sided and featured a newly recorded version of the song “Digital Age.” “Digital Age” was a song off the band’s previous album In Currents, which was mostly acoustic. This new version is mostly electric and is also longer, almost double the length actually.

The 7″ was only available in the two most expensive bundles; an $85 option that included everything possible, with the likes of a coffee mug, two different t-shirts (designs different), a hoodie, two different posters (1 screen print and 1 on glossy paper), stickers and last but not least not only a vinyl copy of the album but also a CD and cassette copy as well. The cheaper ($55) of the two bundles containing the 7″ had all of those items except the hoodie and only one t-shirt design. Eventually the 7″ was made available for purchase outside of the bundles, which happened well after Imbue was released at some point in early July 2015.

The 7″, The Early November’s first solo 7″ release, is limited to 500 copies o translucent green and it’s single sided. The b-side is etched however, which was never mentioned anywhere. So it was a very nice surprise and made the 7″ a little more worthwhile. It cost $6 before shipping, but I made a huge order with Merchnow for seven records I held off on ordering because of waiting for bundles to be broken up and the fact there was no rush because they were not selling out fast.

These bundle exclusive records, whether exclusive color or records themselves are ridiculous at this point. Rise couldn’t even sell 300 of them. I know this because in the bundle was an exclusive blue variant of Imbue limited to 300 copies, and combined with the fact there were about 250 copies if this 7″ left when Merchnow sold them on their own outside of the bundles. For good measure, there were about 40 copies of the blue LP variant left over when those were sold outside of the bundles.

 


In late spring 2014 TDR Records announced that they would be pressing The Early November epic triple album The Mother, The Mechanic, And The Path on vinyl. Getting this album pressed on vinyl was a long time coming but was a huge undertaking that most labels didn’t want to touch with a 10 foot pole given the length of it; 47 tracks clocking in at a whopping 2 hours, 11 minutes and 55 seconds. Because of the length the album had to be pressed as a triple LP, which obviously added to the manufacturing costs and as thus would add on to the cost of the consumer.

The aforementioned consumer costs wound up being $35 before shipping. In the end the cost in my mind was well worth it. This release turned out amazing. The triple LP record comes housed in a triple gatefold jacket, which has a matte finish. The records were pressed on 180 gram vinyl and an insert for each album within the triple album is included. All of the inserts are full color as well. Overall this release was done with quality and every detail in mind.

For the first pressing there were four variants, with three of those being available to the general public. The three colors available to the public were 104 or 100 copies on transparent coke bottle green, orange crush, swamp green. 177 or 200 copies on a-side oxblood/b-side mustard yellow and 212 copies on clear with olive, orange crush and swamp green splatter. There was also a Drive-Thru Records exclusive variant limited to 29 copies on transparent coke bottle green, orange crush and swamp green with black splatter. Those Drive-Thru exclusives for the first pressing will never be made available to the public, except maybe for a copy or two that winds up on ebay because the person connected to DTR who got one decided to sell it for whatever reason. I listed two sets of numbers for each of the general public variants because the label listed the first number (the not rounded off number ) and the band posted their own pressing info on social media which is the second number (numbers rounded off evenly). So it all depends on who you believe. Both numbers make sense in their own right. The number listed by the label is most likely the actual number up for sale to the public, while the number listed by the band is most likely the amount ordered. I was able to order the a-side/b-side split variant, which is picture below.

Once again I was screwed out of the rarest variant for an Early November record. I initially missed out on the box set released by Enjoy The Ride Records for the band’s two EP’s and I missed out on the /100 variant for this album. I refreshed my page at 2:59 (I’m in the Eastern Time Zone) and the record wasn’t live yet, I refresh literally five seconds later and the /100 variant was already sold out. Pretty ridiculous that something sold out in literally five seconds because of A) jerks holding all the copies in their cart and/or B) overzealous nut job fans who constantly hitF5 to refresh their pages. For once flippers weren’t really a factor because the only copies I’ve see up onebay are the variant I bought, the one limited to 177 or 200 copies depending on who you believe.


To commemorate their 200th release, Rise Records released a vinyl box set (a CD version was also released) featuring songs spanning their entire history. A song from every album in their entire catalog is not featured however, as only 50 songs are on the compilation. The 5-LP box set comes in a slip lid box, with each record being housed in a card stock dust sleeve. All of the dust sleeves are exactly the same and feature the logo artwork used on the box set lid on both side of the sleeve. An insert is included as well, which also features the Rise Records logo on one side with the compilation’s track listing on the other side.

There were two variants for this, clear vinyl limited to 200 copies and black vinyl limited to 800 copies. Rise was charging $50 before shipping, (shipping was expensive) for the box set, but you could get it for as little as $35 from other outlets if you were smart and bought it during holiday (Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, etc.) sales or used a coupon code. All in all this was an all around cheap and lazily put together release. If it wasn’t for the completist in me I would have skipped over it. At the time of release it was also the only way to get Anatomy Of A Ghost music on vinyl, even if it was only one song. Compared to Rise’s Dance Gavin Dance box set, this Rise 200 box set looks like utter crap.


I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody’s Business’ latest album, Enola was released by Rise Records. The same label The Early November is signed to, so it wouldn’t surprise me if anything Ace Enders releases is under contract by Rise too. The album has not even officially been released yet (as of writing this) and I can already tell Rise pressed way too many copies of this record. Enola was pressed on three different colors totaling 1500 copies. If The Early November haven’t sold through 500 copies of a single variant from their latest album in almost a year I highly doubt I Can Make A Mess will move 1500 copies. Rise also did their typical rarest variant only available in bundles that nobody wants full of stuff nobody needs. Rise will most likely break up the bundles once they realize nobody is buying them and they are sitting on hundreds of copies of unsold merch. The pressing info is 200 copies on dark blue, which so far is only available in bundles, 300 copies on white, which is only available through Rise’s web store and 1,000 copies on clear and pink starburst, which is available through all retailers. The pink is not an Amazon exclusive, despite the assumptions of a few people who think they know what they are talking about.

I chose not to order through Rise as it was much cheaper to order elsewhere. As expected I received the “clear and pink starburst” which is actually white instead of clear and is what most people call swirl rather than “starburst.” A CD copy of the album is also included with the record. The record comes with what is arguably the most pointless insert of all time, as it’s just two photos; one of a house on a tropical coast and one of a sea plane. The credits are printed at the very bottom of one said, but it mostly reads “Ace Enders” as if no one buying this didn’t know it is mostly his hand involved with this album. I would be better had the record not come with an insert at all as it would’ve cost less money, at least in he theoretical world. To my amazement this album did not leak either, an impressive feat in this day and age.


I was going to wait and post this until I received the photo book with the 180 gram LP, but it’s delayed till the end of August EDIT –  make that mid November. So without further delay here is the entry for The Early November’s first album after their hiatus/break up, In Currents.

I’m a big fan of The Early November, and initially I was disappointed with this album. Maybe my expectations were too high, but I was a little let down after the first listen. After a few more listens the album started to grow on me, and it is still growing on me with every listen. But with that said I would still put The Room’s Too Cold ahead of this album in the typical ranking of a band’s discography. In Currents is about even with The Mother, The Mechanic, And The Path in my opinion, but as time goes on I can see In Currents overtaking the triple disc album.

As mentioned above, this is the band’s first album after reuniting from a five-year hiatus and subsequently first release on Rise Records. There were several variants for the record, with some being exclusive to certain retailers or packages. First there were 300 copies on red, which was only available in a bundle that included a t-shirt and poster. There is a Hot Topic exclusive color, which is white limited to 1000 copies. There is also the aforementioned photo book that is limited to 1000 copies and contains the record on 180 gram black vinyl. There are 500 copies on clear, which may or may not be a Rise exclusive. Finally there are 700 copies on green, which is widely available and not exclusive to any specific package or retailer.

After much delay, the photo books started shipping in mid November, oh so close to one of the best puns in history. In this day and age delays with records shipping are more common than the sun rising, but these photo books pushed the envelope very far. Pre-orders went up in April, and while lately I have held off on pre-ordering as long as I could or not pre-ordering at all in some instance, I made the decision to pre-order In Currents the day it went up for sale, which was in April 2012. The record did not have a release date till July so most would assume that time-table could easily be met, boy was everyone wrong. What made this even more laughable is that Minus The Bear and Bad Books released similar book packages, that went up for pre-order  and had a release date later than The Early November, but still managed to ship on or close to the street date. Granted the MTB and bad Books books were smaller in size, it’s still no excuse given how long the In Currents book was being planned, at least 7 months, probably longer.

But with all that said about the photo books, it was well worth the wait. While some are disappointed in it for various reasons, I am thrilled with it. The cover is made of cloth, which is a nice touch. The book itself is more of a retrospective of the band’s entire history, not just through the making of In Currents. There are photos from the band’s first few shows, photos of the band hanging out in their early days, little blurbs written by and about each member of the band, photos of back stage passes from festivals and shows the band played and various live shots of the band. Advertised as 100 pages, the book is actually longer than that by a few pages, not counting the blank pages at the end.


This record is a perfect example of what can go wrong when an upstart vinyl only “label” is established. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the effort it takes to release music, but with the upswing in the vinyl marketplace over the past few years and the licensing albums to press on vinyl trend, it has opened the door for people who have no business running a label doing so. Many of these upstart labels are run efficiently and smoothly, but in the mean time, others, like the label that released Gold Rush by I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody’s Business on vinyl, seem to go about everything the wrong way.

American Dream Records, a “label” run by two guys who frequent one of the most childish, ill-informed and argumentative  message boards/music news sites around (absoultepunk), released this album by The Early November frontman Ace Enders. Rather than spending my time summing up everything that went wrong in one fashion or another with this release, I will post a link to a thread devoted to this release. It’s well worth the read, and I strongly advise everyone to take the time to read the entire 13 page thread as you will not be disappointed in the sheer comic value found in it.

http://vinylcollective.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=63194&page=1

The pressing info for the record is as follows; 50 copies on 180 gram black vinyl with “hand written” lyric sheets, 75 copies on “Riverside Blue with gold swirl” (which turned out to be clear with blue and gold/yellow splatter), 100 copies on “Maroon clay with gold marble” (which turned out to b maroon with black marble) and 125 copies of “Gold Rush” yellow (which turned out to be orange). The 180 gram copies cost $30 before shipping, while all the other variants originally only cost $15. The 180 gram copies were also sort of a special edition in that it was more limited than all the other variants, was the only one pressed on 180 gram vinyl (all others were pressed on 140 gram) and included “hand written” lyrics, which turned out to be a sham. The lyrics sheets that were supposed to be hand written technically were, but customers who spent the extra $15 were disappointed to find a photo copied piece of paper for the lyrics to just one song off the album.

On a personal note, the way this release was handled and the behavior of one of the guys who runs American Dream Records (read the entire thread linked to above to get the full gist of everything that transpired over the course of this release) sat wrong with me since day one. So much so that I refused to give the label any of my money and never will. I was able to buy this record from someone on a message board for less than it would have cost me had I bought it from the label. Below is a photo of the “‘Riverside Blue’ with gold swirl” that somehow turned out to be clear with blue and gold/yellow splatter .