Nick Mango

Feb 18, 2014

Modern Baseball - Don't Miss This Album

Modern Baseball is sort of like an emo/punk revival type band, with some alt country tossed in there just to confuse you a little. They just released their second full length, this one is on Run For Cover and it's called "You're Gonna Miss It All". Their previous album "Sports", was released by Lame-O, and I think it was a split with RFC, but I'm not completely sure about that. It might just be the second press that's with RFC. The members are fairly young, but they got some skills. This album has definitely been a frequent spinner, since I got it in the mail a couple weeks ago.

This is the 180 gram version, which I believe is the rarest variant. It doesn't look like they have the release on their discography page yet, but I usually always get the rarest variant, and since I'm not a huge fan of black, this must be it. I think that's where I'm at now a days. I want a copy of the album, but I don't need a million versions. Ideally I'd like the one that's the rarest, but when it comes down to it, just give it to me on vinyl, and I'll buy it.

Feb 15, 2014

The Hiatus is Over

It's time to bring this baby back to life. Next week I'm going to start posting again. I don't think I'll be doing more than 1 a week, but I do want to get back into it. Mostly newer records, but I might be able to toss in a few oldies. Resurrecting my saved searches and starting to scour tradelists. Let's do this.

Feb 22, 2013


Hey everyone, as you can see I haven't posted in a while. I think I'm going to put this blog on hiatus for a bit. I don't have much I want or need other than Test Presses from Long Island bands and Wreck-age/Exit releases. Obviously if I find and acquire one, I will write about it, but since I own so much stuff already, it's difficult. I'm also planning an extremely long vacation that I'm probably leaving for in April of this year. I'm pretty burnt out. I don't talk a lot about myself on this blog, cause it's really just suppose to be about records, but the last few years have definitely been tough on me. Starting and managing a bunch of companies, all while doing design and architecture, has taken it's toll. Luckily these companies I've built with my brother over the past 4 years have turned out to be successful and are getting bigger every day. And since running them only takes a good internet connection, I've started to realize that I can go and do whatever the hell I want. I'll probably be starting a new blog about travel and life outside the office, and when I do, I'll update this one and let you know. Thanks everyone.

Jul 26, 2012

The Ultimate Package - Part 3

Well here it is. The culmination of nearly a year of conversations with a man on the other side of the planet. This is part 3, and I've saved the best for last.

The year was 1992 and Mind Over Matter was still trying to find their sound. They hadn't moved into that progressive music genre that you'd later hear on Automanipulation. They were still in that melodic hardcore world. They hooked up with a small unknown label called Wreck-age, and they released a 7". Here's two songs from that 7". Note the difference in sound between these 2 songs.

So how many copies of this 7" came out? 200 on gold and 3100 on black. An absurd pressing for a little unknown band out of Long Island. Yet to this day, the gold variation is one of the hardest Wreck-age releases to find. There's 2 other variations of this record. Here's the lesser rare of the two.

Quickly after the ST release, Mind Over Matter released another 7" on Wreck-age called Hectic Thinking. Their sound was evolving. It was a little more chaotic, but they started to turn chaotic into a structure.

So how many copies of this 7" came out? 250 on pink and 2750 on black. And I guess however many were made of this version!

To have these test presses means so much to me. Mind Over Matter was one of the first influential bands from Long Island. In fact, I would call them the most influential Long Island band from the 90s, that influenced the 90s. I think Silent Majority influenced a lot of bands in the 2000s, but Mind Over Matter was the definitive early 90s band. They were loved by so many bands, that I grew up listening to. One of the main reasons was Eddie Reyes. He started MOM with 4 others, but went on to start or play in so many other bands that shaped Long Island like, The Movielife, Clockwise, Taking Back Sunday, Inside, and others. He's probably the most underrated Long Islander in the scene. Most non vocalists never get their due. What's interesting is, MOM had another extremely underrated member as well. Arthur Shephard. You might remember a post I did a while back about meeting up with him at his work to buy some records from him. My girlfriend at the time was like, so who is this guy again? I'm like this is freaking Arthur Shephard god damnit! Are you serious?! Mind Over Matter? Errortype 11? He produced Life of a Spectator? He sang backup vocals on Famous Monsters for christ sakes. Your wifi password is WeAre138. Come on! But there's really nothing I could do to make it click. These are unknowns. In my world though, they shaped what I grew up listening too. Before Hardcore and Punk, I didn't love music. I wasn't really interested in it. I didn't understand it. You know the easiest way to tell if someone doesn't understand music? They buy singles. 2 songs on a tape, that's what I bought back when I was 11 and 12. I didn't buy albums. When you only buy the hits from an album, you don't understand music, and you don't understand how an artist wants you to listen to their music. But when I first heard Green Day Kerplunk, Dead Kennedys Fresh Fruit, Quicksand Slip, etc, I just got it. And once I got it, I never looked back. Almost 20 years later and look at me. I built companies to help bands and labels sell independent music. I still listen to the bands I grew up on. I'm still discovering new bands. I'm still buying vinyl. I still get pissed when I don't win an auction. I still get pissed when someone has a record that I want, and they won't trade or sell it to me. I still get excited when I buy a record that I've always wanted. I still love coming on here and writing about them. And I still have that drive to go on searching.

So you all might be wondering why I said that there were 2 other variations of the self titled 7", and the test press was only the second rarest. Well sit back and let me explain how I found out about the rarest Mind Over Matter record of all time.

When I got this box from Pavlos, I was really freaking excited (Obv.). It felt heavy, which made me even more excited (Obv.). When I opened it, the first thing that caught my eye was there were two 12"s and three 7"s. The three 7"s were in the original sleeves, as you can see from the above pictures, and from yesterday's part 2 post. But the 12"s, weren't. The first one I looked at was the Necracedia test, which I recognized right away cause of the matrix inscribed with war-002. Then I started to look at the other 12". It was ridiculously heavy, which confused me at first. I pulled it out of the sleeve and realized it wasn't a test press at all, it was a plate. If you don't know what a plate is, it's a piece of aluminum, dipped in lacquer, which the grooves get cut into. Pressing plants use this to press records. You can watch this 10 minute below to understand the full process.

Now here's where the story gets interesting. When I looked for the matrix, there was none. Then I looked at how the songs were laid out on the plate. It wasn't a full length album. It was an EP. So I immediately thought this was the Die 116 ep plate. But I wasn't sure. And one of the reasons I wasn't sure was because there was a Mind Over Matter sticker on the sleeve. This confused me, but since I was fairly certain it was the Die 116 ep, it really didn't register. So I decided to just make sure, and drop it on the turntable. Something that you really shouldn't do. Lacquer is not meant to be played very often. This is why they make test presses. So when I dropped it on there, I heard that clip from Full Metal Jacket. Tom is like, "That's Full Metal Jacket." I'm like, yeah, which means it's not Die 116. Now remember, my brain is spinning right now. I've literally had this box open for less than 3 minutes. I've had a gigantic smile on my face since I opened the mailbox. My mind is completely frozen and I have no idea what I'm listening to. Then before the clip is even over, I flip to the B side. For the next 30 seconds I'm baffled. Then it hits me. This song is God Hates Me. This is a plate for the Mind Over Matter ST 7". Then I pause and say, "But that got pressed on a 7"." Apparently, it wasn't allows suppose to be a 7", because here's a 12" lacquer of Mind Over Matter's Self Titled ep.

This might be the most amazing record I've ever owned, that isn't even a record. My first lacquer too. This thing is so god damn heavy. Look at the 2 holes. They must have drilled it wrong the first time. Or maybe their machine needed two holes, but I doubt it. They also didn't put the matrix on yet. Pavlos must have called it off before they had a chance. What an incredible piece of Long Island history. This band started it all. This band made all the bands I grew up on want to make music. I have to do something with this. I'm not sure what, but I need to figure something out. Maybe I can get it framed with the 7" test below it. I'll look into it.

So there it is. The final part to the greatest package I've ever received. It was really a tough call on the best package because one time I received tests of Indecision Unorthodox, Indecision Most Precious Blood, Milhouse Obscenity, and Sons of Abraham Termites, in the same box. But I knew it was coming. Plus I paid a freaking fortune for them ahahah. This package was a gift from around the world, and I didn't know what was in it. And because of that, it means so much more to me. To thank Pavlos I sent him back the only unique piece of history I had from Wreck-age, before the plate. Something I figure will mean more to him than me. I gave him the promo sheet from the Gulag release. The one with his hand written note on it. This was the first record he put out, so I hope he enjoys it. Either way Gulag was a Greek punk band that a lot of people still love out there, so that's where it belongs. If you think about, that's what I'm doing with Exit and Wreck-age. I'm doing my best to bring these records back home. Maybe one day I'll be able to show off all my stuff in a LIHC exhibit. That would be a lot of fun.

Ok people, I'm wasted right now. 11 posts in 11 days. Actually 12 days cause I waited a day to post this one. I'm not caught up, but I'm caught up enough to slow down the pace a hair. Till next time.

Jul 24, 2012

The Ultimate Package - Part 2

About a year ago a Neglect - Pull The Plug test press popped up on eBay. I was obviously going to bid on it, because Neglect is a great band, and of course, because it came out on Wreck-age. I did however, email the seller and ask for the matrix. While I was waiting for an email back from the seller, Marcus dropped me an email to double check that I had seen the auction. In this email he asked if I recognized the label, which looked nothing like a US label. He made a good point, it didn't, but I've seen weird labels on Wreck-age tests before. Just look at the label on my Necracedia post from yesterday. So that wasn't a deal breaker for me, but it was something to consider. Then the seller emailed me back with the matrix. Marcus's instincts were correct. This was not a US test press of Pull The Plug. Once that became obvious, I started to doubt that this was even a foreign test of Pull The Plug. I didn't remember an overseas pressing of this record. So the seller and I went back and forth a little bit, and while we did that, the price of this auction kept going up. Marcus and I were also trying to figure out what the record actually was, if it wasn't a Pull The Plug test. He had this weird feeling it was a live 7", but he couldn't remember the name. Then I remembered a Neglect test press auction that was up 2 years earlier. I didn't bid on it, but I did save all the info. Let me explain. Sometimes when I see a record from a band I like, but aren't really interested in buying it, I save all the info just in case I decide I want to track it down in the future. And when I say I save all the info, I mean I save everything. Even the pictures. It's a weird habit that I don't usually talk about on here because it makes me sound a little mental. Annnnyyyywaayyyy, I went through all my stuff and found that auction info, and what do you know, the record looked exactly the same.

What's also cool about this is, I knew the name of the record too. Marcus was right again. This was in fact, the Hang In There live 7" test. So it looked like the seller bought this on eBay 2 years prior, and then decided he didn't want it anymore. Unfortunately though, by the time Marcus and I figured all this shit out, the auction was going for an absurd amount of dough. Needless to say, I was pissed. I didn't like that this seller might have been trying to scam bidders. I also didn't like the fact that I told the seller multiple times, that he needed to change the title or take the auction down, and he didn't. And I especially didn't like that this thing wasn't the Pull The Plug test! I was psyched for this auction. I was absolutely freaking out when I saw it. I wanted this damn thing sooooooooo bad. But it wasn't meant to be. So I decided to contact eBay and get them to take it down. Which they did. About a month later he put it up again. So I contacted eBay again, and they took it down, AGAIN. THHHHEEEENNNN another month went by, and this dude put it up a 3rd time. This time with the right name though. So I let it go and it sold for 20 bucks.

So if the picture above is what a Neglect - Pull The Plug test press, doesn't look like. Then what does an actual Pull The Plug test press look like? Well it just so happens that I have one right here!

HEYO! Pavlos comes through with a monster! That makes 9 Exit/Wreck-age test presses!! Or does it? Dum Dum Duummmmm.

Jul 23, 2012

The Ultimate Package - Part 1

No, unfortunately this is not part 1 of a new porn I will be starring in. It is, in fact, part 1 of a 3 part blog post I will be doing in celebration of my new blog layout, and a box that recently came in the mail from one, Pavlos Ioanidis, aka the owner of Wreck-age and Exit records. Here's a little background for you...

A while back I contacted Pavlos in order to beg him for the remaining records I needed to complete my color Wreck-age and Exit collection. We were both busy, so communication was slow at first. During that time, I actually started to pick up a few records that I needed. Then one day, I was done. I was still waiting to hear back from Pavlos about the list, but I figured when I did, I would just let him know that I thought I was good, and the color collection was complete. So about a month went by and I heard back from him. I let him know I found every color release, and I was preparing to put together a full post showing the entire collection off. Then he said that he still had some stuff that he wanted to send me. This stuff was test presses! Exit/Wreck-age records are hard enough to find as it is, but test presses are just impossible. I've been very lucky over the years to collect a whole bunch of them, but I'm not even relatively close to the entire test press collection. Pavlos did get me a few steps closer though. Let's look at one of those steps.

Necracedia was a Pittsburgh punk band from the late 80s to early 90s. Their LP Now I See Clearly was Wreck-age's 2nd release...or 3rd if you want to count Gulag. I obtained the color version of this record in the late 90s I think, so you wouldn't have seen it on my blog. You can read about it on Marcus's blog though. Here's my copy.

And here's my test press!

HEYO! So now I have 002 and 003. 003 being the SFA So What? full length I wrote about a while back. Now if you'll notice, Pavlos went to Aligned for this record as well. I wonder if he did Bad Trip Positively Bad their too.

Part 1 is complete and I'll be doing parts 2 and 3 this week too. It only gets better from here.

P.S. What do we think of the new layout? I wanted to combine it with my personal site cause having 2 blogs was pretty dumb. I still have 2, but now it seems like 1.

Jul 22, 2012

Incendiary Split With Xibalba

Here's a split Incendiary, one of my favorite bands to come out of Long Island in while, did with a band called Xibalba. I had never heard this band before, but they seem alright. I don't exactly know how to say their name though. Which is good and bad, at the same time. Let me explain. There's a lot of bands out there with names that are tough to find on the internet, but are extremely easy to spell and say. For instance, a band that I've loved for a long time "Inside", is impossible to find. But Xibalba is super simple to find. The problem is, it's hard to spell. Now I don't think a band like Xibalba, who has a song named "Fuck You Pelon", is really that concerned with SEO, but to me it's interesting. I've always wondered what's better: A band/label name that's unique and maybe hard to spell, but is easily searched for; or a name that's easily said, but hard to search. Another good example is a band called RVIVR. Said like the word, "Reviver". So when you tell people the name of the band, you say Reviver, but you need a little clause at the end, "And it's spelled RVIVR." Which is something someone could forget. Now I think Xibalba has it a lot better, because that's an actual word, but like I said, I'm not sure how to pronounce the name. So that could throw a wrench in all my theories. Well let's move on, because talking about the search engine optimization of hardcore bands, is not exactly what I would call exciting journalism. OK! The split pics.

I think these are the only 3 colors made for this 7". It seems like they did a Clear and a Black, and this wine swirl color was a biproduct of not cleaning the tank between presses. If so, that's a smart move. Save a couple of bucks, and get another variation.

I'm loving this cover too. That angel statue is definitely cool. Plus I like the matte finish. Not many people go with the matte finish, but it works here, for sure. I also love folded covers. This is another thing people need to go with more. They're cheaper, and cooler in my opinion. Plus, there's no glue, so it's very difficult to rip them. They would have to rip at the fold, and there's not much chance of that. So I think Closed Casket Activities, did a pretty good job on this baby. Gotta check out some more stuff by them.