Thursday, January 31, 2013

Flop - Anne 7" - Clear Vinyl

Frontier / Insipid (1993)

Finally, the last Flop 7" that i needed to complete my collection. Been looking for this for a while, but only ever seemed to see it selling for $25+. Seemed a bit much to me. Wouldn't you know that of all the places I ended up finding it, I wound up grabbing it directly from Frontier records, who still had copies all these years later. Crazy.

Flop play stellar early 90's pop music. Huge hooks, huge melodies, just a great band. I won't say too much about them here, I'll just provide a song link below. I'll save the warm praise for the band's collection picture which I will be posting in the next few weeks. Always an amazing feeling to wrap up a band's discography.

Flop - Anne:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Cold Warps - Slimer 7" - Green Slime Vinyl

Fundog (2012)

The is the last Cold Warps record that I know of, following me writing about the bands Demo LP & prior 7". Slimer sees the band once again dipping into the treasure trove of treble heavy power pop. Cold Warps are in heavy rotation these past few months as a band that has this much skill writing a hook will always find favor with me.

I believe this record is sold out and I wasn't able to find any pressing information other than the fact that the cover comes in different colors other than what is pictured above. I just bought this pretty recently however, so if you are interested you should probably start scouring distros now before it gets really scarce. Hopefully Cold Warps will have something else new for me to listen to soon.

Cold Warps - Slimer 7":

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mil Mascaras - Fuzz 7" - Gold Vinyl (/200)

HoZac (2012)

I don't actually have a lot to say about this record. I was very excited to hear it based on the fact that I typically like the bulk of the records HoZac puts out, plus the band was named after a pro wrestler. A sure sign for success. Sadly, not for me. Mil Mascaras play an aggressive, 80's sounding style of punk with very powerful lead vocals. Though they do it well, it's not really the kind of thing that gets me going. I need more hooks. For those that like this sort of thing, you could do worse than Mil Mascaras, that's for sure.

Mil Mascaras - Fuzz:

Monday, January 28, 2013

Masked Intruder - S/T LP - Green Vinyl

Fat Wreck / Red Scare (2013)

This album actually came out as a CD only in 2012, which is why I counted it on my year end list for 2012 and won't be counting it this year. Masked Intruder play straight up pop punk, perhaps a bit too saccharine for the tastes of some, but right now, along with the Capitalist Kids, Masked Intruder are one of the best pure pop punk bands around.

They are tackling a similar subject matter as a slew of other bands have, love, heartbreak, etc.; but they are adding a petty thief gimmick to the proceedings. At times, it colors up the songs nicely; at times it doesn't really add or take away from the music. All in it's a very good record. It takes a lot for plain old pop punk to impress me these days and Masked Intruder are one of the few bands that can actually do it.

As far as the record itself goes, what I have on display is the Green Vinyl version. It's come to light that Fat Wreck also pressed this on Blue, Red & Yellow vinyl as well. Quantities haven't been released yet, but it's created a real scramble with people trying to get all 4 variants. As I sold my 4x7" Masked Intruder box set, I'm out of the variant game for this band, as long as I have 1 of the colored versions I'm happy. But if you want to have your mind blown, go check out what this LP is doing on eBay right now. Crazy times.

Masked Intruder - S/T (3 Tracks):

Friday, January 25, 2013

Broccoli - Found & Crocodile God Split - Double 7" Pack (/50)

Speedowax (2012)

There are few bands in this world that I love as much as I love the band Broccoli. Their album Home is one of my top 5 favorite records of all time. One of the most prized records in my entire collection is the Broccoli / Muppet Mule Split 7". The affection I have for this band's music can only be rivaled by the likes of Rocket From The Crypt, Snuff or Leatherface. So yeah, what I'm saying is I really like this band.

Speedowax put out 2 (sort of) new Broccoli 7"s last year. The first was called Found and included some of the band's original demos. The 2nd was a split 7" with Crocodile God, though these songs were also previously released. To be totally honest, I'm not entirely sure where these songs came from, the Found 7" isn't a straight up vinyl release of the band's first demo tape because the track listing is different, but then again so was the Broccoli Demo 7" that Speedowax put out back in the 90's. I think that the songs from the Croc split are the same versions of the songs that came out on a 7" that Friendly Fire Records put out in the 90's, but again, I'm not entirely positive.

This specific record that you are looking at contains both of the 7"s, double packed with a new sleeve, limited to 50 copies. Although my copy is numbered out of 25, the Speedowax website says there are 50 and some are lettered a - z as opposed to numbered. I love Broccoli, I love the label Speedowax and I love Rich, the guy that runs the label. But, Speedowax has the most fucking confusing discography in the history of music. Make it easy on a fan, could you?

I can't really complain too much, Rich has always gone out of his way to make sure that I have a chance to pick up all of the weirdo variants, and for that I am very grateful. I just wish I could keep track of what was being pressed over there. I'm still convinced I somehow missed pink sleeved versions of both of the single 7" pressings of these records!

Broccoli - Neglect It (Sorry to send you to MySpace, but I can't find their songs streaming anywhere else. Trust me, it's worth the listen):

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Low Culture - Screens LP - Blue Vinyl (/200)

Dirtnap (2013)

I was pretty excited about the Low Culture 7" that came out last year. It was a solid record with a handful of great songs on it. I figured their full length would be a sure shot good record. I was incorrect, because I simply did not see a record this great coming. I'm blown away with how fantastic Screens is.

The band is channeling the same sort of super catchy, fast punked out pop that made me love The Marked Men (who incidentally share a member with Low Culture, who incidentally went to the same high school as my wife - wacky!). The guitar riffs are great, always taking the songs into unexpected places. The band has a real knack for a hook and the non-stop energy makes this a record that just begs to be played again when it's over.

Every year I make a list keeping track of my favorite records of the year and every year I wait for that first record to knock me on my ass. That's always the sign that it's time to start the best of the year list. I didn't have to wait long this year, the first record I have in my hands in 2013 worthy of the list is Low Culture.

Low Culture - Screens (Full Album Stream):

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fuzz - This Time I Got A Reason 7" - Blue Vinyl (/500)

Trouble In Mind (2012)

Fuzz is a band featuring Ty Segall & Charlie Moonheart. This 7" is part of the Trouble In Mind series and was limited to 500 copies initially. The 7" sold out immediately , the label scrambled to get a repress going and this 7", overnight, was selling for upwards of $80 on eBay. A crazy turn of events. As a dedicated follower of the Trouble In Mind 7"s, I was lucky and grabbed this right away. I have a complete collection of their 7"s on colored vinyl and I would have been supremely bummed to miss one. I also really like the new sleeves they're using for the series. Thicker stock & a nice design. All thumbs up.

Then you get to the music and I just cannot get into this record. It's a slab of sludgy, fuzzed out 70's sounding stoner rock. The song just plods through a fog of this distortion and it simply doesn't go anywhere. I know folks love Ty Segall, but I'm 0-3 with records of his I've checked out. It just might be one of those things I'll never get. Trouble In Mind is always hit and miss for me with their 7"s though the good far outweighs the bad. I'm still very happy to be able to keep the 7" collection complete, paying $80 for this record would have been a nightmare.

Fuzz - This Time I Got A Reason:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Toyboat - S/T LP

Toyboat - S/T LP by Tim PopKid
Toyboat - S/T LP, a photo by Tim PopKid on Flickr.

What Else (1996)

An online distro that I liked quite a bit called Vinyl Junkie closed up shop a few weeks back. During the last days they had a huge sale and pretty much gutted their entire inventory for next to nothing. I went through their gigantic list of new and used records and picked up quite a few things for next to nothing, price wise. One of the items picked up was this 1996 Toyboat LP.

Toyboat was a band formed from the ashes of the Wynona Riders, an upbeat pop punk band that called Lookout Records home. If for a moment you were expecting this to sound anything like Wynona Riders, you are in for a surprise. Toyboat is an all around much more dour affair. The songs are downtrodden, at times gloomy and just sound so old.

There are records from the 80's and 90's that still sound as exciting and vibrant as ever. Then there are bands (I'm looking at you Promise Ring) that were so much a product of their time that when you go back with 15-20 years of hindsight, they sound like they were recorded 1000 years ago. This Toyboat LP is one of those records. Perhaps I would have liked it a bit more back in the 90's, but in 2013, it's just not doing it for me.

Still, it was a very inexpensive risk, and there record isn't terrible, it's just not something I see myself spinning to often. I was unable to find any of these songs streaming online, so if you want to check it out, you'll have to take a chance as well.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dr. Frank / Kepi Ghoulie - Split 7" - Red Vinyl (/100)

Surfin Ki Records (2012)

I've always had an affinity for split 7"s. I think a lot of that is due to just how many were released back in the 90's and how that led me to discovering so many new bands. You buy the 7" because of the band you like, you end up with new songs from a band you never heard if. It was a cool way to take risks back before it was so easy to hear most things online. This split 7" pairs one of my all time favorites, Dr. Frank of the Mr. T Experience with the front man of a band I just never clicked with, The Groovie Ghoulies.

The Kepi Ghoulie side is a cover of the MTX classic Two Minute itch from their Milk Milk Lemonade record. It's primarily acoustic with Dr. Frank lending in some backing vocals. The Dr. Frank side is a also a mostly acoustic cover of a song called My Computer Said Kill, which I'd never heard before, so I can't compare it to the original. Supposedly both were recorded together in 1 sitting and it kind of sounds like that. Both seem rushed and the recording quality of the vocals is pretty rough. The record belongs in the collection due to having to keep the Dr. Frank/Mr. T Experience collection complete, but I was kind of disappointed with the actual songs on this guy.

Unfortunately, I just can't find either of these songs streaming online anywhere. So I guess ignore my earlier comment about being able to listen to most things online before you take a chance on them.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Games - S/T LP - Gold Vinyl (/200)

HoZac (2012)

The Games LP is one that I wish I had an opportunity to spend more time with before I made by best of 2012 list. That's always the risk that is run when an album comes out so late in the year, you're up against records that people have had the chance to get comfortable with. I'm just hopeful that folks don't overlook this Games LP, because it's a hell of a record.

Games play guitar pop not too dissimilar from Gentleman Jesse or bands like the Wrong Words. Glimmering guitar, heavy on hooks and a real 50's & 60's laid back vibe. The songs are catchy without sounding sappy and it's the sort of record that becomes more rewarding with repeated listens. I had high hopes going in as I loved the band's 7" that came out on Rob's House records and I was not let down. An excellent guitar pop record.

Games - Put Down That Gun:

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cold Warps - Don't Haunt Me, OK? 7"

Noyes (2012)

A wonderful 2 song 7" from Canada's Cold Warps. It's a slight departure from their Demos LP I wrote about a few weeks ago. The pace of these 2 being much more mid tempo than the blazing fast songs of the demos, but the band still maintains that energetic Yolks-esque sound that I'm just a sucker for. Treble heavy fuzzy guitar and heaps of harmonies. It's a great little record, and I'm anxious to hear what the band can string together for their first proper full length.

This was limited to 300 copies overall, but I missed out on getting the limited to 100 on white vinyl version. I'd love to get my hands on that at some point, but for now I'm content with being able to listen to these great tunes.

Cold Warps - Don't Haunt Me, OK?:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Trusty - The Fourth Wise Man LP

Dischord (1996)

Unlike a lot of records from the 90's you'll see me write something about these days, The Fourth Wise Man is not an album I overlooked back when it came out. In fact, I likely bought the CD of this the day it came out, having been such a huge fan of their prior record, Goodbye Dr. Fate. For one reason or another I just never grabbed this album on vinyl. When I recently picked up the 2 Burning Airlines reissues from Dischord, I figured it was time to add this LP to the fold, since it is still in print.

Trusty is a band playing uptempo jangle heavy guitar pop. The high pitch vocals and background harmonies always made them stand out from the pack to me. I always thought they were a slightly odd pick for Dischord. Though geographically it made sense, I found the rest of their roster to be a bit more downtrodden, compared to the more upbeat songs Trusty was dishing out. Sadly, this album was to be the last for this great band, but The Fourth Wise Man and Goodbye Dr. Fate are absolutely essential records to have on hand.

Trusty - The Fourth Wise Man (I couldn't find any of these songs streaming anywhere aside from a page with snippets of each song):

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sedatives - Teenage Runaway 7" - Red Vinyl (/100)

P Trash (2012)

I believe what is contained on this 7" are the very last Sedatives songs that never saw the light of day. I cannot comprehend how these songs were held off until the last release. Just as strong as anything on the Sedatives LP, Teenage Runaway and the flip side Facists are 2 short and sweet pop songs, leaning heavily on the dark guitar tones and keyboards that are the Sedatives calling card. It would be sad if we never heard from Sedatives again, though it did spawn 2 seriously great bands in The White Wires and The Steve Adamyk band.

The copy I have is the Ptrash Club version from Germany, limited to 100 copies and pressed on red vinyl. There are other versions of the 7" released on Erste Theke Tonträger & Red Lounge records, but I'm content to stick with the coolest and most limited of the bunch.

Sedatives - Teenage Runaway:

Monday, January 14, 2013

Burning Airlines - Identikit LP - White w/ Gold Vinyl (/250)

Arctic Rodeo (2012)

The follow up to Friday's Mission Control LP, Identikit further cements my status as an idiot for taking so long to listen to this band. From the opening moments of the first song Outside The Aviary, it's apparent that I've made a huge mistake. Just like on Mission Control! Burning Airlines manage to weave the melodic side of punk rock with dynamic guitar work and songwriting in a way that I'm kicking myself for missing out on all these years. Great band, great record.

As far as this reissue goes, as I picked up a distro copy from Dischord, I wasn't able to choose the color of vinyl that I would receive and ended up with the White with Gold streaks version. I would have preferred the red vinyl personally, to better match the artwork, but this still looks pretty snazzy.

Arctic Rodeo has done a great job with the art, as the LP sleeve replicates the CD version with all of the folding panels. However, increasing the size of the artwork to fit an LP has made handling the sleeve a bit unruly. Be careful putting it in and taking it out of the plastic sleeve, one false move and you might be ripping one of those flaps clean off.

Burning Airlines - Outside The Aviary:

Burning Airlines - Earthbound:

Friday, January 11, 2013

Burning Airlines - Mission Control! LP - Orange Vinyl (/250)

Arctic Rodeo (2012)

So this is going to be one of those reviews were I disclose information that makes most folks cringe. I was never into Jawbox. When I was a kid, they just didn't do anything for me, so I never picked up any of their records. When Burning Airlines came around, I honestly never really even listened to them, content to assume they probably just sounded like Jawbox. My life went on.

Having gotten married and been more exposed to my wife's taste in music, in particular her love for Shiner, I've come to realize that my taste in music has expanded as I've gotten older. When Arctic Rodeo announced these records coming out on vinyl for the first time, I decided to give this band another shot. I'm really glad I did.

Burning Airlines creates passionate, driving rock with super crunchy guitars and strong vocals & lyrics. I guess in my head I thought they were more shouty and not as melodic as they actually are. I still can't speak for Jawbox, but I have every intention of giving them another shot.

Arctic Rodeo did a great job with the vinyl version of this, especially as far as the artwork goes. The cover is thick paper and the little airplane logo thing in the middle is actually die cut out of the record, with the blue color being from the insert. Such an amazingly high quality job. The collector geek in me is a little regretful for not buying all 3 versions of the record as each of the colors are pretty great, but luckily for me, I did get the color that I wanted most. Oh and a hint, those in the US can get this from Dischord and save $$$ on overseas postage.

Burning Airlines - Wheaton Calling:

Burning Airlines - Escape Engine:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Fountains Of Wayne - Utopia Parkway LP

Yep Roc (2012)

We had the S/T Fountains Of Wayne reissue yesterday, and today we have the follow up, Utopia Parkway. I'm not sure if I am in the minority or majority with this opinion, but I was even more excited to finally have the chance to own this record on vinyl than I was the first one. I have always preferred Utopia Parkway (not that I'm saying ANYTHING bad about S/T, I love that record too) and really think that it is Fountains Of Wayne's finest moment.

It's probably in part to the inclusion of the song Red Dragon Tattoo, which I think is simply outstanding. It could probably be counted as one of the all time greatest pop songs ever written. Utopia Parkway isn't a one trick pony, however. Hit after hit like Denise, Amity Gardens, Lost In Space, It Must Be Summer and the title track just elicit head nodding and toe tapping. A real masterpiece if you ask me.

Like S/T, the Yep Rock vinyl version sounds spectacular. This is the first time this album has ever been available on vinyl and it's release has been handle in fantastic fashion. I really can't say enough good things about this record, I'm just so thrilled to have the chance to walk into my living room, pop this guy on the turntable, lay down on the couch and just enjoy.

Fountains Of Wayne - Red Dragon Tattoo:

Fountains Of Wayne - Amity Gardens:

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Fountains Of Wayne - S/T LP

Fountains Of Wayne - S/T LP by Tim PopKid
Fountains Of Wayne - S/T LP, a photo by Tim PopKid on Flickr.
Yep Roc (2012)

Continuing on this week of nothing but reissues; we have the first Fountains Of Wayne album. Though this was actually pressed by Atlantic when the album originally came out, the vinyl version wasn't in my collection. I've been keeping my eye on this for a while as the original pressing tends to sell for a fairly absurd price.

I first heard rumblings about this reissue a few years ago when it popped up as a pre-order on Amazon. Of course, the date of the release came and went and news disappeared once again. Earlier this year, another pre-order went up. Then it popped up on a few other sites and finally it was found on Yep Roc's site (though kind of hidden). Even though it did get pushed back 3 more times this year, I did finally have a package that came in the mail.

It sounds really great. Yep Roc did a fantastic job with this reissue and the sound quality, vinyl & artwork are all top notch. The record has been one of my very favorites and despite the fact that they certainly don't blow me away live, I feel like I can always go back the this record and be completely impressed. Maybe to me, Fountains Of Wayne today aren't quite the band of their first 2 records, but man those first 2 records are still pretty wonderful.

Fountains Of Wayne - Radiation Vibe:

Fountains Of Wayne - Sink To The Bottom:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Weezer - The Blue Album - Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab LP

Mobile Fidelity (2012)

Another birthday gift, this one from @alanrappa. Not much to say about the album itself. It's fantastic. One of the best. The odds of you not having owned it at some point are probably pretty slim if you are of a certain age. I still think the songs sound as great as they did when I was in high school.

As far as this Mobile Fidelity version goes, I only have 1 This record has never sounded better. Heck, Weezer has never sounded better. Mobile Fidelity just crushed this release, everything sounds so warm, so rocking. It's really a hear it to believe it sort of thing and it really sounds so much better than the old pressing of The Blue Album that I have. If you were considering the upgrade, do it. If you don't have this on vinyl because that first pressing was always selling for $60 on eBay, now you can get a version twice as good for half the price.

Weezer - Say It Ain't So:

Weezer - No One Else:

Weezer - Holiday:

Monday, January 7, 2013

Beck - Sea Change - Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab 2xLP - Pink Vinyl (/1000)

Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (2012)

This was actually a birthday present from my wife, but I really wanted to spend some time with it before writing anything about it. Then the mad scramble at the end of the year made me bump it back a bit. But today I'm going to kick off a week of nothing but reissues, several of which I got over the holidays. First up is Beck.

Sea Change is one of my favorite Beck albums. I have always preferred his acoustic offerings more than anything else he's released. It also came at the perfect time, coming out three years after the simply terrible Midnight Vultures. Midnight Vultures made me question if I would ever like any Beck records ever again, but my faith was renewed with Sea Change. Gone was the stupidity and in its place were serious, well written songs. Truly great.

The Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab version of this sounds unreal. You can hear every tiny layered nuance of this record. The guitars sound crisp and clean. The orchestral elements just wash over the songs. Everything about it wounds perfect. This is how Sea Change was made to be listened to. Plus they did a limited run on 1000 on pink vinyl. Though that doesn't seem to be all that limited compared to most record pressings, for Beck, I guess it's pretty limited as they seem to have sold out at most online stores. I'm very lucky that my wife was able to grab me one when she did and am thrilled to have this record in the collection.

Beck - Little One:

Beck - Sunday Sun:

Friday, January 4, 2013

Dan Padilla - Sports Fan LP - Orange Vinyl

Dirt Cult (2012)

I first checked out Dan Padilla because Davey from Tiltwheel was in the band. I have several of their records and they always deliver a good album. Sports Fan is the best of the bunch. It's the strongest set of songs they've released so far mixing a gruff Leatherface style punk with a more rootsy rock, perhaps somewhat similar to Social Distortion (but the handful of good Social Distortion songs, not the endless pile of crap ones). While it didn't make the top 30 in my list of top records of the year, Sports Fan is a really good album that has been in frequent rotation since the MP3s were sent my way.

Speaking of the MP3s, that's where the Orange vinyl version originates. If you bought the digital version of the album on Bandcamp a few months ago, that was also ordering you the limited colored vinyl version of the record. Turned out to be a great deal. I'm not entirely positive how many were pressed on orange (I want to say 100), but as always, I need that limited version!

Dan Padilla - Sports Fan (Full Album Stream):

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Hospital Job - Downer Downer Downer LP - Orange Vinyl & Purple VinylTest Pressing (/50)

Insubordination (2012)

I'm a pretty crazy record collector, but even I'm not crazy enough to actively collect test pressings. Sure I have a handful of them, but that's mostly PopKid ones (and a few Snuff ones). The need to try to hunt down a test pressing to consider a collection complete is one of those things that I never quite understood. However, in the case of this Hospital Job LP; with 50 test pressings made and the fact that they were sold to the general public as the first press when the record was pre-ordered...I'm going to count that as a totally separate variant. And that's what we have here. I pre-ordered this record and in addition to getting a copy of the "test pressing" version, the label also sent along the regular edition vinyl. So that's pretty cool for a $10 pre-order.

As far as the tunes go, Hospital Job play a somewhat 90's style alternative pop. There's hints of great bands like Superdrag and Fig Dish and the record really feel like it belongs on one of those sham indie labels that major labels used to set up in the 90's when they were trying to pretend they had street cred. There's a couple of minor instances where the record strays a bit too close to a Blink 182-ish straight up pop punk, but the band really shines when they'ye layering melodies and building up a huge downstroke heavy chorus.

Even though I am only now getting a chance to write up this album for the website, Downer Downer Downer was one of the better releases on 2012, and I did have them on my Absolute Best Records of 2012 list. Definitely worth a purchase, test pressing included or not.

Hospital Job - Downer Downer Downer (2 Songs):

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Toys That Kill - Fambly 42 LP

Recess (2012)

Merry New Year. Hope everyone had a good holiday season this year. I had a long break from work and am feeling pretty relaxed about things. As far as this website goes, I'm going to be spending most of January trying to catch up on records that I got at the end of 2012. I have quite a few, some of which appeared on my Absolute Best Records of 2012 list. We'll start 2013 off with Toys That Kill.

Fambly 42 is a record that I really had to grow into. Honestly, I didn't really have much experience with the band prior to this album and the only reason I gave it a whirl was because so many people whose musical taste I trust had been raving about the record. Turns out they were right and Toys That Kill are way better than I had figured. Fambly 42 is, at its core, a record full of pop songs. Some are obvious, some are hidden, but you can always feel that hook coming through.

Since I delayed picking up this record for so long, it actually ended up being a Christmas gift from my wife, which was a real treat finding under the tree. I did get a few albums for Christmas, so they will probably be featured next, it's always nice when your loved ones help to stoke the fire of your hobby,

Toys That Kill - Fambly 42 (full album stream):