A sporadically-updated music collection blog. Send questions to twitter or email me.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

50 not out

I was going to put up a new post today, but as I went to do so I realised I'd made 49 posts in the history of this blog, and so whatever came up next would be the 50th since its beginnings way back in December 09. I think that's pretty good for something I decided to do basically for my own amusement, so forgive me while I reflect a little.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Biffy Clyro - The Vertigo Of Bliss repress

A couple of months later and we're back again. The Biffy represses have continued and this time we have the band's second album, The Vertigo Of Bliss. Another record for which the first pressing fetches a rather high price on ebay, another instant-buy for me. I got this from Banquet Records again, and I have absolutely no complaints with their service. Packing was top-notch as always.

Right. So we have Milo Manara's somewhat controversial cover. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of it. It's well drawn and that but I dunno, I just don't like it that much. Glad that Beggars didn't wuss out and censor the nipple though (there was a bit of a palava when it was covered up as the artwork was being shown on big screens on their last tour). It also came in a nice thick plastic sleeve, just like Blackened Sky.

The inside of the gatefold is, again, the same as the two sides of the inner sleeve of the first pressing. Lovely touch. Old photos of Biffy always amuse me loads as well, look at James all ridiculous on the far left. Aw. The other side contains various lyrics, I think one from each song on the album. It includes some of my absolute favourite Biffy lines ("kill your bizarre mindset fuckhead", "infinity lies, save yourself" and "you can't help being warm" are all great), so that's awesome.

Pretty plain back cover, really. Still, as you can see we've again got the album plus B-sides spread over 4 sides. I'm happy about that.

Oh yes. Orange. The shade roughly matches the colour of the band's name on the cover of the album and it's lovely. The colour is, as with the Blackened Sky repress, also slightly marbled. Yet again, it was pretty hard to take a picture of it, but in holding it up to the light I think you can sort of get an idea of what it's like:

Cool, huh?

I can't properly describe The Vertigo Of Bliss as an album to you. I just can't. It's the most experimental of the Biffy albums, constantly feeling as though it's on the verge of a total breakdown. It starts with Bodies In Flight crashing into your ears, finishes with the chaotic noise of Now The Action Is On Fire! (complete with maybe the best angry string section ever recorded) and has a million different tempos in between. If I go into any more detail, this post will go on forever so just hear this: I fucking love this album. The B-sides are also excellent. The side featuring them is bookended by my personal two favourites, the first being ...And With The Scissorkick Is Victorious and the last being I Hope You're Done. Both outstanding loud Biffy songs.

I'm pretty stoked with the way these Beggars represses are going. There seems to be a lot of effort getting put into them, and I think they're probably worthwhile purchases even for those who own the originals. Good work, chaps.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Sky Larkin - Still Windmills

In doing this blog, I've realised just how many records I've received as gifts from people. This one was bought for me as a gift by Alex last summer, although he didn't know at the time that I already had a copy from when it was super-cheap somewhere or other. Still a lovely thought and this one is signed, unlike my other copy, which makes it a little more special. I probably owe him something in return, and should work out what to do with my other copy. If anyone is interested in it, let me know.

Right. A cover! It's pretty snazzy, although the pedant in me wants to point out that they are weathervanes not windmills. I could definitely get behind a cover with loads of windmills on it. This one will do, though. There's the three scrawlings on it, including from Doug who recently left the band. Guess that makes it a little more special.

This is possibly the nicest-coloured record I own. It's an absolutely gorgeous deep red, and it's slightly see-through (as you can see in this picture). Lovely plain labels too, with the letters in various shades of red. Absolutely top notch.

Somehow I managed to not mention Still Windmills way back when I wrote about Kaleide (which you can find here). It's the first track on the album, and sets the tone for the album very well. It's loud and catchy and great fun. The B-side, We'll Be Detectives, is a bit of an odd one though. There's a lot of piano on it and Katie's vocals seem to have been recorded strangely or have some kind of effect on them. The song's pretty atmospheric I suppose, but I just can't get into it. No bother, when it's this pretty it's not too big of an issue.

N.B. in finding We'll Be Detectives to listen to on Spotify, I found that the top search result for Sky Larkin is a remix Katie did for the Bloc Party Intimacy remix album and this makes me massively sad. I'd argue both Sky Larkin albums are better than Intimacy (an album I really disliked, for the record), let alone remixes of it. Shame on you, Spotify users.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Meet Me In St Louis/Secondsmile Split 7"

The final item from my BSM sale order is a rather special one. A split 7" from two bands I love and only got into after they'd split up. Way back in 2007, BSM released this split between Meet Me In St Louis and Secondsmile. A mere 5 years on, I'm now the proud owner of it.

The record itself is inside a sweet shop bag with a badge pinned to the outside of it. It's pretty cool, and something I've not seen anywhere else before. There's apparently a blue and white version too, which I'd like to see.

The actual 7" is pretty plain, but I can forgive it in light of the sweet shop bag (and the sweet BSM logo stamped onto the back of it).

Right, the songs. On one side we have I've Got Knives In My Eyes, I'm Going Home Sick by Meet Me In St. Louis. Long-time readers of this blog may recall that the first record I ever posted about was MMISL's only album, and this song is indeed taken from that album, and it's a pretty typical MMISL song. It's stop-start, it's quiet-loud, and there's some lovely angular guitar alongside great lyrics from Toby. All of these things are good qualities to have. On the flipside, we have Aspen Fears by Secondsmile. Sonically, Secondsmile aren't a million miles away from MMISL but they're a fair amount less aggressive. This is one of my favourite Secondsmile songs. So all in all, a great single. Sweet!