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.