Posts Tagged ‘Yellowcard’

Yellowcard – s/t

Posted: November 22, 2016 in Vinyl
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2016 saw the release of Yellowcard’s final album. After 19 years (will be 20 after their final tour concludes), 15 releases (12 albums, 3 EPs) and one hiatus they eventually reunited from, it seems the band will be calling it quits for good. It’s a bittersweet moment for many, including myself. I remember seeing Yellowcard at Skate & Surf back in 2004, and being one of the last people in Convention Hall before the fire marshal shut down entry under a strict in/out head count. Boy does that make me feel old.

The more I think about Yellowcard’s music over the years, I’ m actually somewhat indifferent to their break up. To be perfectly honest, their later albums were drastically worse than their earlier ones. I’m not one of those people who swear by a band’s debut album or consensus best album and say “it’s not as good as *insert name of debut album here*” or “nothing will top/be better than *insert name of best album here*” whenever said band releases a new album. It’s just you saw Yellowcard build up to Ocean Avenue, and you had high expectations for them going forward. But it seems they peaked with Ocean Avenue and never really made another standout album after that, and not only that, the quality went steadily downhill with each successive album. So I’m not overly bummed they’re calling it a day.

Yellowcard’s final album is self-titeld, and the opening track is “Rest In Peace.” It would only be more fitting if the song was the final track. Yellowcard is a solid album, but again, nothing stands out about it. Parts of it are boring with a begrudging pace while other parts stand out despite that because they’re great lyrically. The flow of the album is a bit off too, which really turns you off from the entire thing. It makes you lose patience with it as you try to find any redeeming value.

Hopeless Records released Yellowcard, and while they didn’t milk the album for all its worth like they did with Taking Back Sunday’s Tidal Wave, especially considering this is Yellowcard’s final album, they came pretty close to matching it. There are only six variants for Yellowcard. I say only six because Tidal Wave has seven. Once again though, Hopeless opted to go with a handful of colors that, while matching the album art, make for a convoluted mess of variants. They literally took the same three or even four colors and just put them in a different configuration. And of course there are discrepancies between what Hopeless calls the variant and what retailers call that same variant. You’ll see what I mean when I delve into explaining the pressing info below, which is exclusive to this blog and hasn’t been posted in its entirety anywhere else:

300 copies on grey in clear / cloudy clear in grey. It’s a (UK/Banquet Records exclusive. Banquet calls the color grey in clear while Hopeless calls is cloudy clear in grey.

600 copies on cloudy clear w/ opaque grey, black & cream heavy splatter, which is a Hopeless web store (Merchnow) exclusive. Important note about this variant, it was originally stated/slated to be limited to 300 copies. But apparently Merchnow oversold the variant. They sent out emails to everyone who bought/pre-ordered this variant explaining the situation, saying Hopeless was having more copies of this variant pressed, but it would be delayed till after the release date. They offered to either let the customer keep their original order for this variant, or switch to an opaque grey variant. And if the customer switched to the opaque grey their pre-order would ship on time with hopes of being received on or close to release date.

So after getting in touch with my contact at Hopeless about the pressing info for Yellowcard, I discovered they actually doubled up the pressing amount for this variant. Going from the original 300 up to 600 copies because of the oversell. Whether or not you believe the oversold story or not is up to you, some people do, some don’t. I’m not taking sides in it because I have no dog in the fight. But I will say pre-orders for this album and this specific variant sold very well, so well that it sold out pretty quickly, which lends credence to the money grab “oversold” theory.

700 copies on opaque grey w/ cloudy clear, black & cream heavy splatter, which is a Hopeless web store (Merchnow) exclusive.

1,000 copies on opaque grey & black / grey in black, which is a F.Y.E. exclusive. F.Y.E. calls it opaque grey in black, Hopeless calls it grey in black. There really isn’t that big of a difference between the two though, I’m just laying out all the details I have to try to make things as clear as possible for everyone. The band actually posted the pressing info for the F.Y.E. variant on their instagram, and it’s refreshing for a band to not only do this, but be right about it too.

1,000 copies on clear & grey half & half w/ black, cream & silver splatter, which is a tour eclusive variant, being sold on Yellowcard’s final tour.

4,000 copies on grey, which is a mass retail exclusive. Places like Amazon, various other online distros (except Merchnow) and indie record stores all sell this variant.

No matter what color you opt for, all variants have an etched d-side of band’s logo. All copies also come with a hype sticker indicating the color of the vinyl. The album was pressed as a double LP, if that wasn’t clear enough based on the etched d-side just mentioned. The records come housed in a gatefold jacket, with each record coming in a printed dust sleeve. Each sleeve has the lyrics for the corresponding record on one side, with a photo on the reverse side. The artwork inside the gatefold is poorly chosen in my opinion. I would have went with the train tracks found on dust sleeve 1 (see photos below). It would have been more symbolic laid out like that.

Retail price on this record is around $25. Unless you care about vinyl color or rarity, you definitely should wait to buy this record. Especially considering there are a whopping 4,000 copies of the opaque grey variant. It will inevitably go on sale. I opted to buy it now instead of waiting for a price reduction because I was able to get it on sale for $15 shipped after taking advantage of a ridiculous sale an online distro (which already has prices $2-$3 cheaper than retail) was having, and I don’t see it going below that price even on clearance. Say it did eventually become $10 on clearance, you would still likely have to pay shipping on it, which would likely drive the price up to at least $14.

 

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Record Store Day (RSD) 2015 was my worst yet. Typically I arrive about three hours before my local store opens and I’m usually no more than 20 people back, having no problems getting everything I want. This year, because of the Brand New – Deja Entendu re-press I decided to get to the store even earlier, anticipating a clusterf*ck because of the Deja release. Boy was I wrong in how early I should have gotten there. Even though I lined up five hours before opening, two hours earlier than I usually do, I was the 55th person in line, more than double where I usually am in line. How do I know where I was in line you ask? Simple; my local store is insanely organized when it comes to RSD. They keep all the RSD releases alphabetized and categorized by format (7″, 10″, LP, CD, tape, box set) behind a counter they set up just for RSD, have it set up menu style where you tell them what you want and they get it for you, only let a handful of people in the store (RSD area) at a time and they hand out numbered pieces of paper like a deli in a supermarket based on line order to make sure nobody further back in line gets RSD releases ahead of anyone because they have four or five different employees getting releases.

So to sum up, I got to the store earlier than ever before, was further back in line than ever before for my effort and didn’t get three releases that I wanted. Considering in the six previous RSD’s I’ve attended I only didn’t get one release over that entire span, not getting three in one year is a horrible swing. To be fair though, I bought one of the releases I missed online from Bull Moose. I found out from talking to people in the store and some employees that people started lining up at 5 pm on the day before (Friday) RSD, with the bulk of people getting the Deja RSD exclusive lining up by 11:30 pm the day before. No way will I ever line up that early for anything non-life essential.

Yellowcard had a RSD release this year, a 10″ comprised of all unreleased alternate versions of songs off their latest album, Lift A Sail. There are three songs in total; “MSK (Neal Avron remix),” “One Bedroom (acoustic Daytrotter Session)” and “California (Neal Avron Strings Mix).” The record comes in a full color dust sleeve, and that is likely why an insert is not included. No download code is included, unless my copy didn’t come with one. I find that hard to believe though, as all copies were sealed, so it couldn’t have fallen out or being swiped by someone before it reached my hands.

There were 1,000 copies pressed, all on black vinyl. This cost $16 from most places, unless your record store was one of the countless to mark upRSD releases. In hindsight, this it’s one of the fewRSD releases I regret buying, as it’s seems like every store in the country has some copies leftover. I’m thinking I could have saved some money on it by buying it down the road.

Yellowcard – Lift A Sail

Posted: December 29, 2014 in Vinyl
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Yellowcard, a band that has dropped members like flies over the years, released the newest album, Lift A Sail, on October 7, 2014. It’s the band’s ninth studio album and first without one their founding members, drummer LP (Longineu Parsons). Lift A Sail also marks the band’s stint on a new label, Razor & Tie.

This album has a much heavier sound and deeper lyrics than any of Yellowcard’s previous efforts, which is a good and bad thing. It shows the band progressing and maturing a bit, but in my mind the closer they stay to the sound heard on Ocean Avenue and releases prior to that the better. With the amount of member changes it’s also difficult to tell if that impacts the band’s sound, or led to members wanting to leave the band. I also get the impression Yellowcard is simply keeping up with the times and trying to play whatever is the flavor of the month in terms of pop punk; you can definitely see their sound shift over the years to imitate whatever is popular at the time. Overall Lift A Sail is a very forgettable album that has yet to grow on me.

Lift A Sail has a ton of variants, with more regional exclusive than any release I’ve ever seen. First off there are 6,000 total copies of this record pressed, spread across six different variants. First there is a U.S. exclusive, which the label lists as a retail exclusive, meaning not available online (aside from record store websites). The U.S. exclusive is pressed on white vinyl limited to 2,000 copies. It’s the least limited variant. There is a Merchnow (through Yellowcard’s store) exclusive pressed on purple with multi color swirl vinyl limited to 1,000 copies. This variant could be bought by anyone worldwide. Next is a tour/Merchnow exclusive pressed on blue with multi color swirl vinyl limited to 1,000 copies. This started out as a tour exclusive, but once the tour was over the remaining copies were put up or sale online through Yellowcard’s Merchnow store and quickly sold out. Europe hs their own exclusive color which is clear limited to 1,000 copies. One thing of note about the Euro and U.S. exclusive variants are that the sticker on the cover of it lists the color as clear and white respectively with multi color swirl. When the label released the pressing info for Lift A Sail they simply listed it as clear and white respectively.

Hot Topic, which seems to get exclusive variants on almost everything these days, has an exclusive color of Lift A Sail, which is yellow supposedly limited to 750 copies. There may some issues with the legitimacy of the pressing info for the Hot Topic exclusive however, as there is also an Australian exclusive variant that is pressed on yellow vinyl, which is supposedly limited to 250 copies. I have seen pictures of both the Hot Topic yellow and Australian yellow, and they appear identical. What I’m guessing happened is that the label pressed 1,000 copies of yellow and gave Hot Topic 750 copies while giving Australia 250 copies. No confirmation on that from the label though, and if that is the truth behind the yellow variant I doubt the label will ever own up to it seeing as it’s pretty shady on their part. It’s great for Aussies as they don’t have to pay a ton for shipping, but it’s blatant false advertising in the U.S. The sticker on the cover also lists yellow with multi color swirl when the label simply listed the color as yellow.

All copies of the record come with a sticker on the cover noting what color the record is. Each variant has their own color coordinated sticker. Purple has a purple/pinkish sticker, blue has a blue sticker, clear has a grey sticker, white has a white sticker and yellow has a yellow sticker. Instead of an insert a full color printed dust sleeve is inside the single pocket jacket. A download card is included, but it only yields low quality 192kbps MP3’s. Prices on this are on the high side, $18 before shipping is the lowest you can buy this for online, which is the price of the Purple variant. Hot Topic, being their typical screw the consumer selves, is charging the most; $20.50 for their variant. You can’t count Merchnow/Razor & Tie selling the Euro variant in the U.S. for $25 because it’s an import, and if you were you buy it directly from overseas you would wind up paying more than that for it.

V/A – Punk Goes 90s Vol. 2

Posted: December 29, 2014 in Vinyl
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Fearless Records released another album in their series of Punk Goes compilations on vinyl, this time Punk Goes 90s Vol. 2. The track list/bands on this is wretched, to the point where I wish there wasn’t a band I’m a fan of on it so I wouldn’t have to buy it. It’s not often I refuse to buy something based on the bands on an album/compilation, but with horrid bands like Ice Nine Kills, Falling In Reverse, Motionless In White, The Ghost Inside, Chunk! No Captain Chunk! and Memphis May Fire it’s hard for anyone to argue. I bought this comp because there is a Yellowcard song on it, and a good cover at that.

When this comp first came out Fearless wanted $18 before shipping for it, which is a bit high if you ask me. During Black Friday 2014 weekend, Fearless ran a sale where everything in their web store was 15%, o top of any sales. This comp was already marked down, maybe even by accident, because the day after I bought it the price jumped back up to $18. I paid $14 shipped for this comp, which I feel is an acceptable price.

There were 500 copies of Punk Goes 90s Vol. 2 on white vinyl. White is the only variant. A full color, double-sided insert is included, but no download or CD is included, which is inexcusable these days, especially if a label wants $18 for it. Here is the track listing:

Side A:

  1. Get Scared – My Own Worst Enemy (Lit cover)
  2. Memphis May Fire – Interstate Love Song (Stone Temple Pilots cover)
  3. Asking Alexandria – Closer (Nine Inch Nails cover)
  4. The Color Morale – Everlong (Foo Fighters cover)
  5. Chunk! No Captain Chunk – Allstar (Smash Mouth cover)
  6. Mayday Parade – Comedown (Bush cover)

 

Side B:

  1. Motionless In White – Du Hast (Rammstein cover)
  2. Yellowcard – Today (Smashing Pumpkins cover)
  3. Hands Like Houses – Torn (Natalie Imbruglia over)
  4. The Ghost Inside – Southtown (P.O.D. cover)
  5. Falling In Reverse – Gangsta’s Paradise (Coolio cover)
  6. Ice Nine Kills – Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)   (Green Day cover)

 


Punk Goes Christmas is the first in the series of Punk Goes comps that received the vinyl treatment. It went up for pre-order a few months before Christmas, was delayed, and still started shipping a few weeks before Christmas. As you would assume, the comp features “punk” bands performing Christmas songs/carols. I bought the comp for the New Found Glory, Yellowcard and William Becket (former The Academy Is.. front man). The comp also features Man Overboard, All Time Low, Real Friends, The Summer Set, Crown The Empire, Issues, Jason Lancaster of Mayday Parade and Go Radio, The Ready Set and Set It Off

When it was first put up for pre-order it was advertised as being limited to 1,000 copies. At some point after that it was reduced to 500 copies without notice. I’m guessing Fearless lost their shirt on this release and pre-orders were not what they expected, so they cut the pressing amount because they couldn’t sell that many copies. The $18 price tag didn’t help anything either, which many people feel is way more than any record should cost. Had the record been cheaper obviously more people would have bought it. I had a coupon code so I opted to use it on purchasing this as it made the record significantly cheaper.

So the record is limited to 500 copies and is pressed on half red/half green vinyl. It comes with an insert and also included are gift tags, with one tag for every band on the comp plus two more Punk Goes Christmas logo tags.


This is a charity comp with all profits going to the Tony Sly Memorial Fund. A charity album is one of the few times when it’s acceptable for a label to go the cheap as possible route when pressing a record, but Fat Wreck Chords opted to put out a top notch release that includes a gatefold jacket, fold out poster, sticker and colored vinyl (even though clear is technically not a color). The comp has no variants and will be kept in print to meet demand, which again, is great fior a charity album. There should be no one complaining that the record is not rare.

Bands on the comp include over 30 songs from huge bands like The Gaslight Anthem, Alkaline Trio, Pennywise, Yellowcard, Simple Plan, NOFX, Rise Against and Bad Religion. Every band on the album contributes a cover of No Use For A Name  (Tony Sly’s band) song or one of Tony Sly solo songs. One of the bands I was surprised not to see on this comp was the Foo Fighters, since Chris Shiflett played in No Use For A Name before joining Foo Fighters. Chris Shiflett should have contributed something, either with Foo Fighters or with his solo/side project Chris Shiflett And The Dead Peasants.


Once again Hopeless Records released a 7” single as a pre-order incentive/bonus for people opting to pre-order Yellowcard’s acoustic version of their album Ocean Avenue, simply titled Ocean Avenue Acoustic. Instead of a traditional 7” single however, this one is only single sided and features the title track of the album “Ocean Avenue (Acoustic).” There were 1,000 copies pressed on light gray/gray vinyl. My contact at Hopeless listed it simply as gray even though the webstore had it as light gray.

As was the case with the Southern Air pre-order 7” that was made available for purchase by itself after the album’s release, this pre-order bonus 7” was made available for purchase by itself after the album’s release. But in reality the pre-order 7” was not a free bonus as Hopeless marked up the record tremendously in their webstore, charging $20 for it before shipping, when other retailers were charging as little as $13 for it. The $8 price tag for this “bonus” 7” on its own that Hopeless is charging is par for the course in terms of how much money you would spend on getting the full album and this accompanying 7” in one of the bundles.

Yellowcard - Ocean Avenue Acoustic 7'' - Copy