This article is part three of three. The first talks about why I don’t love Record Store Day. This next will talks about the best of the Official RSD 2019 releases. And this final one bigs up some cool independent ska and punk releases you can also get this month…
Let’s do this a bit differently
I’ve already pointed out that Record Store Day is maybe not that great, not for the properly indie labels and bands. Plus, its totally reasonable to not be very excited, even by our selections for the best of the exclusive releases this year.
So… I thought I’d reach out and ask some of the awesome people who are part of the UK scene for their ideas. If I wanna support local record stores, and big up UK bands and labels, what should I hunt out instead?
John from Disconnect Disconnect Records
A Time To Stand have joinedus for their long awaited debut LP ‘Light Years’. It came came out on 5th April, and it’s a blast of 14 tracks of melodic punk rock / pop punk / hardcore which fans of bands like No Trigger, Set Your Goals and Handguns are gonna love. Not only is this a great album, we’ve gone all out on the physical product side, with 3 vinyl variants (in a full colour, inside out cover) and a nice digipack CD with 8 page booklet to show off, along with some hidden bonuses like different versions of the tracks across different formats. Grab it at our store!
DIsconnect Disconnect Records are a UK punk rock label focusing on independent punk rock bands from the UK and further afield. Visit our official site at: disconnectdisconnect.co.uk
Colin from Colin’s Punk Rock World
A disclaimer before I start: I don’t own Save Us All by Be Like Max on vinyl yet. I’m hoping to grab a copy off them next time they’re in the UK or that a UK based distro will stock it.
Produced by David McWane of Big D & The Kids Table, Save Us All is the Las Vegas based band’s third full length album. It is their best yet and I would go as far as saying it’s the best ska punk album from a US based band for a very long time. The album contains eleven tracks packed into just twenty minutes. But what a twenty minutes it is! If it was any longer I think I might just collapse as Save Us All will leave you breathless with its high energy horn lines and rapid fire vocal delivery.
If you’re not looking for your skanking shoes within the first 30 seconds of starting the LP then you probably need to take a good hard look in the mirror. It’s not just a fun time party album though. Content wise Be Like Max show a politically and socially aware side with songs with subjects such as putting up with a job you hate, the #metoo movement, looking after your mental health, the media telling lies and the shocking state of the United States government. If you love your ska punk – and if you’re reading this blog post then I imagine that you do – then Save Us All by Be Like Max is essential listening.
Colin’s Punk Rock World is a music blog dedicated to all things punk rock. We live and breathe punk rock so if you have music to share send it our way! Read an endless pile of amazing content at colinspunkrockworld.co.uk
David from Engineer Records
Our newest releases are ‘Eulogy’ by Son of the Mourning and ‘Bigger than Words’ by Steve Hewitt and there’s more info on them on our label website. Both of these, and any of the releases listed below too, will be available for just two pounds each, post paid, on Record Store Day as part of the celebrations! Most of our vinyl sells out fast, so most of these are CDs, but we do have some copies left of the Elemae – Sleeping with Adrenaline 7” here, so they can be £2 specials too for RSD.
A UK based alternative record label with a great online distro/Webstore. Engineer Records specialises in hardcore punk and emo music from UK, Europe and beyond. Visit EngineerRecords.com to support these guys!
Lewis & Dean from Side Mission Records
Lewis: Dead Neck! #DeadGood, best EP since 2014
Dean: Darko – Bonsai Mammoth, it is the nicest looking vinyl I’ve seen, and I fully feel after this comment should be a picture of it.. and a minute’s silence for it too.
[Please respect Dean’s wishes and maintain a minute’s silence at this moment, just to appreciate the prettiness of this record]
Side Mission Records is an Independent Punk Rock Record Label & Online Record Store established late 2018. Our ‘side mission’ is donating 10% of our annual profit to Music Minds Matter. Spend too much money on amazing records at SideMissionRecords.com
Andy from Bad Granola Records
The latest vinyl from Bitter Grounds is great – they are a really good Dutch Ska/Punk band I have put out both of their releases so far. Buy it at Bandcamp…
Bad Granola Records started as a way to put on gigs with bands we really liked. Since then, we have grown in to a platform to take bands to the next level and give them advice regarding their music, production, image, business and endorsements, releasing new and exciting music, and continuing to promote live performances. Find out more at badgranola.co.uk
Mr T from Lights Go Out zine
I love records me. I admit I actually probably have too many records. I know this is a fact but I still obviously want more. Back in my teens I worked on a market stall selling music and most weeks took my modest wages in records instead of cash. I was getting them at cost price, rather than the shop price, so it made sense. It did however mean I amassed a LOT of records. Mostly indie stuff from the 90’s. So you’d think that the whole Record Store Day was a calendar essential for me. I admit I ignored it for a few years and then three years ago I decided to do the wake up early and queue up at stupid o’clock to try and pick up a few slabs of wax I felt like I needed. The last couple of years have been much more arrive in the afternoon to see what’s left, each time getting what I wanted without the cold morning queue. But enough is enough!
The prices for the RSD stock is insane, really over the top. Yes you can argue it supports the shops but it’s becoming a rip off. This year I once again cast my eye over the releases, ok a Wonk Unit record, thinking they’ll probably have it via Wonk Unit later in the year. And the only one that caught my eye was a 7” by Swedish rockers, Europe. Look, you may have just scoffed at that and had a little chuckle, but I am a massive Europe fan. Have been for over thirty years now, I have every album and love them! Some might say it’s a guilty pleasure, but I show no guilt over this, just the pleasure part. In fact it was Europe that made me brave the queues for my first RSD to pick up the exclusive 30th anniversary edition of “The Final Countdown” (which is now in your head…). But even I have limits…
So the Europe release for RSD is a two track 7” single with “Walk The Earth” as the lead off track, with “Turn To Dust” as the b-side. Both tracks are on the latest album already. So it’s a clear vinyl and comes in a specially made pouch… ok you have my interest. Well, that was until I saw on one store’s RSD listing it’s going to be £22.99! You what? For two already released tracks? That’s a f*****g rip off right there. Now I don’t know who makes the pricing but that’s really an utter p**s take for me. I might have been in at around a tenner, I think I paid £9 for my Descendents 7” last year, which was an exclusive only for it to get released a few months later anyways.
So what’s the best situation? Wait for the inevitable half price RSD stock sale that always seems to happen in various stores? Or support the DIY scene instead? There’s so many bands and labels out there doing amazing work who are much better off supporting. Get yourself a couple of records from these than one on RSD. Labels like TNS, Speedowax, Lockjaw, Little Rocket for example would love to supply you some goodies I’m sure. Charlie’s Big Ray Gun, Smegma, Deadlamb, Dirty Old Man, Bad Granola, Rip Roaring Shit Storm, Pumpkin, Dirty Sushi, Autonomonster, Hoods Up, Headcheck – all labels you’d be wise supporting. All of these are doing fine work to keep the scene thriving and I’d like to think that I’m doing some good work myself.
I run a label called Back From The Dead. We’ve released some amazing artists! Yes all on CD, which isn’t in the whole spirit of RSD, but yeah we’d love you to check out bands out, pick up some releases and help us be able to afford more releases in the future. We’ve released bands like Rash Decision, 2 Sick Monkeys, Second In Line, Wood, Eye Licker, F Emasculata and more from the UK and overseas bands like The Thingz, The MSGS, Dirty Work for example. We mix punk and hardcore and have a real DIY ethos. The plan was to try and see music that could be lost to the archives of time see a new lease of life.
Every single sale really does help these independent labels. I know every sale helps the independent record store too. Maybe visit them more than just one weekend a year…
Lights Go Out zine is a proper grand little zine, check it out at lightsgoout.co.uk – plus they sell badges [Edit: like the ones we sell in the Warrington Ska Punk merch store…] . Back From The Dead are currently running a pretty amazing deal – buy one CD, get another one free! Check it out at backfromthedead.co.uk!
Matt Ingham from Cherry Red Records
I’ll have a think about anything punky / ska that’s out on RSD. You’re right it’s usually pretty slim pickings for bands like that! Outside of that though, I would have to say The Fall – Imperial Wax Solvent from this year – it’s a Cherry Red release I know that’s probably cheating!! It’s an incredible album!
Alan from Different Kitchen Records
Well, its not ska at all, but at all, but if I had to plug a release I put out this year, it would be this Abolitionist – A New Militance. Buy it here, its on pretty pink vinyl. You can actually download it for free at that link, or on vinyl from my store (UK exclusive seller, although I have given a few copies to All Ages in Camden).
But the best thing, I think, that’s come out recently (although actually came out about a year ago….) is this: Bleakness – Frozen Refuge also a free download at that link, or you can buy it in our store on 12″ clear vinyl…
Different Kitchen Records actually have a slightly staggering range of incredible offers on UK and International punk band bundles. Just check out their facebook for some of these, or visit their main store for the full range.
Done! Don’t like Record Store Day? Fair enough, but you have some truly free-range organic home grown options, so get on that wagon instead…! Check out the article on why Record Store Day is a bit sucky, and our pick on the best of the exclusive releases this year…