With the resurgence in popularity of the vinyl record, many have come forward to question the trend towards a format that is inherently expensive and inconvenient. Unfortunately, common justifications like “warmer sounds”, “bigger, more aesthetically pleasing album art” and “I want to own physical copies of my music, but fuck CDs” suddenly seem futile when confronted with the confused sneer of a non-music-addled friend after you’ve told them you just spent 80 dollars on physical versions of albums you already own and can now only listen to in one room of your house. Similarly, unlike the inexpensive to mass-produce and “in the cloud forever” aspects that come standard with digital media, record reissues are a problem that exists exclusively to the vinyl community (if you’ve ever woken up in a cold sweat, in the middle of the night, thinking “where will I find a copy of the essential Mr. T’s Commandments?” you know what I mean). And this problem exists on both ends of the market, as labels and distributors run the risk of being burdened with (at times) hundreds of copies of a reissued record that not enough people wanted to purchase.
Asbestos Records seems to have a solution to this particular dilemma, as they have recently announced the third edition of the label’s 3rd Wave Ska Preservation Society Vinyl Kickstarter. The crowdfunding campaign series aims to reissue notable ska related albums that are currently out of print. This round of reissues focus on ska-punk and ska-core albums from bands reigning from the Northeast United States.
The Flaming Tsunamis – Fear Everything: The most well-known release of the now-defunct New Haven, CT skacore band, Fear Everything is an oddball mix of punk, ska, hardcore and jazz that turned heads back when it was put out in 2006. If there was ever a “keep ska weird” campaign, this album would be at the heart of it, as it went on to influence a generation of ska musicians that further pushed the boundaries of how to mix ska with other genres compellingly. Earlier this year, the Tsunamis released this album’s long-awaited follow-up Externalities, which you can read about here.
Thumper – No One Left The Disco Alive: Hailing from here in Boston, metal/skacore band Thumper were most active during the vibrant ’90s ska scene. During that time, they pioneered the metal/ska sound and influenced a host of bands that came after them. Notably, this reissue is just in time for the album’s 20th anniversary! Thumper’s last Boston appearance was a reunion show with Spring Heeled Jack USA and Obi Fernandez at the Middle East back in 2013.
High School Football Heroes – Close Only Counts in Horseshoes And Hand Grenades: Notable for being Asbestos Record’s best selling release, Close Only Counts is the most easygoing of the four reissues by a wide margin. Nonetheless, the album has a signature sound that is what many people hear when they think of the mixture of pop-punk and ska. Additionally, HSFH put out a new EP titled 2K15 just a few weeks ago (you can hear it via their Bandcamp).
The Suicide Machines – On The Eve of Destruction: If you’re reading this, you know who the Suicide Machines are, so I won’t even waste the precious, precious keystrokes. At a length of 28 songs, this 2xLP features early demos, EPs and compilation tracks that is ironically the last record the band put out (so far) before calling it quits in 2006. What makes this album special is that these collected tracks are a precursor to the band’s seminal album Destruction by Definition, which the Suicide Machines played in full when they stopped by the Brighton Music Hall back in April as part of a reunion tour.
The records can be purchased individually or all together as a bundle package, with estimated delivery around December of this year. In fact, pressing delays seem to be the only unavoidably negative aspect of this deal, as there are a wealth of sources available that address the recent vinyl boom’s pressure on record manufacturing plants worldwide. Nevertheless, paying as little as $15 for an out-of-print album is a sure steal for fans of any of these bands. Further rewards include test presses of any or all of the albums, and a chance to have your own label’s logo printed on the reissues. As of right now, the project is about a fifth of the way to total funding, and there is a little under a month left to contribute. Check out the official Kickstarter page for more info.