I’m sweaty and it’s not even Black Friday yet. My wallet is already begging for mercy, but my heart is ecstatic for this year’s Record Store Day rollout on 11/25/22. We’ve got releases from the Appleseed Cast, Shadows Fall, Vitamin String Quartet, and a shit ton of classics. Also included are Canadian post-hardcore / screamo veterans Silverstein, who are re-printing 5,000 copies of their 2007 album Arrivals & Departures. Upon its original release, Arrivals & Departures was well received by critics but divisive among the band’s core following. HOWEVER ::dramatic pause for effect:: like many of my other vinyl reviews, this will not be a review of the 15-year-old music, but instead the quality around the vinyl pressing itself.
Originally produced by the great Mark Trombino (Blink-182, Finch, Jimmy Eat World), this re-pressing was re-mixed by Sam Guaiana (Like Pacific, We Were Sharks) and re-mastered by Mike Kalajian (Faster Than Fashion, Meridian). I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about Sam or Mike’s work, but this variant does not disappoint. While Craft Recordings is building a reputation for quality reprints, RSD releases are still a crapshoot with various dependencies around time, money, and resources. Too often fans fall victim to bands and labels cutting quick re-presses, completely ignoring the medium in which the songs will be played back on. But to be honest… I sometimes get it. Who can blame struggling artists for slashing overhead when their message boards are littered with questions mostly around “which hot pink variant is going to look best on my wall?!” ::Sigh:: but I digress…
Back to this release. I could feel before even opening the sleeve that this was 180-gram. What I didn’t know was the existence of a complementary b-side 45 press featuring the tracks “Rain Will Fall” and “Falling Down” (both released on the limited edition of the original CD). While I don’t have a previous Victory vinyl release to compare, examples of all my other Victory pressings during that era (Thursday, Between The Buried and Me, etc) lead me to believe this a far superior cut. Seriously, I was waiting for distortion toward the end of each side. It never came. I was expecting some warp and wobble during playback. It had none. Bottom line: both of these prints felt and sounded great and will make a fantastic holiday gift for that swoony emo loved one.
I do want to point out one thing, though. Unlike the press photos shown above, the 33 RPM itself is a beautiful green marble print that pairs nicely with any Audio Technica needle in the same color while the 45 RPM is a translucent green. As much as I'm a “black vinyl homer,” these looked pretty dope spinning on my Audio-Technica LP-120!
For a full list of Record Store Day Black Friday releases, check out recordstoreday.com/PromotionalEvent/588.