July 11, 2011

New releases from PG.99 and THOU + shirt and vinyl sales, new items and more!!

Sometimes it can be difficult to write about dudes you've spent important formative years with, witnessing them grow from teenage punx into skilled musicians and incredible songwriters. Our longtime brothers from Sterling, Virginia are just that though... so with a nostalgic heart we present the latest Robotic Empire update.

PG.99 is the first band we ever did a release with, back in the very beginning Robodog days at the end of the last century. Its pretty crazy that over 12 years later, here we are again still talking about the same band... but they seemed incredible to us back then and still remain so today. From their first demo material to the final recordings five years later, it was amazing to watch this band evolve into the formidable force they became. Its appropriate then that Robotic Empire presents the long-overdue vinyl issuing of PAGENINETYNINE's Singles collection album.

Eighteen tracks spanning their existence have been pressed into one stellar LP. Originally released on CD by (the now-defunct?) Reptilian Records, this collection compiles PG.99's widespread non-album material. It includes the stuff from their splits with CIRCLE TAKES THE SQUARE, CITY OF CATERPILLAR, ENEMY SOIL, PROCESS IS DEAD and REACTOR NO. 7 along with other short-run compilation, EP and demo tracks.

Most PAGENINETYNINE fans have a favorite album, but in some ways Singles may be a better overall representation of the band. Each of their three full-lengths (and split longplayer with MAJORITY RULE) are excellent individual documents in their progression, but Singles manages to show it all: their humble beginnings to furious midpoint and experimental end. From the original demo tape to final split EP release, the wild ride of PG.99's various creations are clearly displayed on Singles, showing a band that evolved more in their prolific five years than one could really deem reasonable.

Finely mastered by James Plotkin for a much warmer and fuller sound not heard on the original releases, this 12" has been packaged in a printed innersleeve (with an excellent eulogy by JR Hayes of PIG DESTROYER) and a silk-screened fold-over cover (printed by Broken Press, ala document #8 - click here for a bigger version of the above photospread). 1000 copies have been pressed: 200 on green, 200 on blue and 600 on black vinyl.

** THIS IS TECHNICALLY A PRE-ORDER as it officially has an August 2nd "street date", although we've been given the go-ahead to start shipping out pre-orders within a week or two from now. However, everything for this release is now finished and in house already.. so you can order this NOW in the Robotic Empire - Online Store and we will ship out all orders as promptly as possible! **

Closely related is the latest pressing of PG.99's landmark document #8 album. Considered by many to be their definitive album, its easily the one with the most vision. Originally recorded throughout one hectic weekend in the winter of 2001, document #8 was re-mixed a few years later by band members and engineer Kurt Ballou. Since this recording those guys have forged a relationship that continues throughout each PYGMY LUSH recording (also accomplished at Kurt's Godcity studios) and the results speak for themselves. Blistering songs dripping with spirit and passion, document #8 is arguably PG.99's magnum opus. Also housed in a silkscreen jacket, this one comes with a large 16-page booklet of lyrics/artwork/photos/etc (click here for a bigger version of the above photospread). 1000 more copies of this LP have been pressed: 200 on red, 200 on white and 600 on black vinyl.

Both of these releases are timed to correspond with PAGENINETYNINE's reunion at this year's Best Friends Day festival in Richmond, Virginia. Friday, August 19th will see them play alongside CONVERGE, STRIKE ANYWHERE, CAPSULE and more at the Canal Club in RVA. Their plan is to perform the document #8 album in full, along with other material spanning their history. Its definitely not something to miss, as PG.99 hasn't played live in over eight years. More information on the (massively fun) Best Friends Day event can be found here: http://www.bestfriendsdayrva.com

In a new addition to the Best Friends Day performance, PAGENINETYNINE will also play a bit closer to home at the Black Cat in Washington, DC the following weekend on Saturday, August 27th. Appropriately, THOU will be opening up that show... PG.99 + THOU for $10 = pretty hard to beat! More info on that over at the Black Cat website.

Both of those LPs, along with some celebratory-discounted PG.99 t-shirts (and the many members' other bands' records) can be found in the Robotic Empire - Online Store.

Related in core fundamentals is a lengthy new release from Louisiana's THOU. Longtime friends of the aforementioned Virginians, THOU is cut from a very similar cloth wherein a DIY mentality is the backbone to extreme(ly) heavy music. The sonic results may vary from PG.99, but THOU's rock-solid work ethic, relentless touring and absurdly prolific release schedule now rivals (and possibly exceeds) their Sterling, VA contemporaries. Its also been a great pleasure to work with these maniacs in the past, thus we're honored to present their new 12" to you today.

Recorded throughout the turn of the decade, THOU deliver another potent 40 minutes of triumphant doom-laden sludge fury on The Archer & The Owle. Atypical heavyness to say the least, the ultra-crushing sound THOU has become known for is subtly enhanced by unique elements ala piano, atmospheric noise, horns, double bass and several re-envisioned cover songs for keen ears to decipher. Along with otherwise unreleased Summit-era material, this lengthy "megaEP" also (appropriately) contains THOU's original half of the now postponed co-release with PYGMY LUSH, oddly inspiring the band to then cover two tracks by their collaborators' latest work.

Its all spice added to the overall stunning effect of a truly visionary band; intelligent commentary atop six massive tracks of absolutely bludgeoning music. Presented on color vinyl housed in a beautiful spot-glossed "tip-on" classic style heavyweight gatefold LP jacket, this is yet another brick in THOU's ever-strengthening wall of spite and menace. All mailorder copies of The Archer & The Owle vinyl include a canvas patch exclusive to the label and band copies. 2000 copies of this "megaEP" have been pressed: 500 on opaque gray (mailorder/band only) and 1500 on translucent clear. This and much of THOU's vast back-catalog (plus a few t-shirt designs) can be found now in the Robotic Empire - Online Store.

** As above with PG.99's Singles 12", THIS IS TECHNICALLY A PRE-ORDER as it officially has an August 2nd "street date", although we've been given the go-ahead to start shipping out pre-orders within a week or two from now. However, everything for this release is en route to us... so you can order this NOW in the Robotic Empire - Online Store and we will ship out all orders as promptly as possible! **

In addition to the vinyl version of this behemoth, we've teamed up with our brothers at Sweat Lodge Guru (who are also responsible for the awesome OMGvinyl) to unleash the cassette version of this "megaEP".

300 copies of the pro-tape version have been made, which comes in an unreal two-color letterpress double-sided, mulit-panel j-card (click here for a bigger version of the above photospread). Pretty darn impressive for 6 bucks, this is available NOW in the Robotic Empire - Online Store as well as from Sweat Lodge Guru.

In addition to these new releases (and re-press) we've got a fairly significant RoboSale going on at the moment. Hot on the heels of our insane "fire sale" discounts throughout May and June, we're now offering a slew of Robotic Empire released vinyl and t-shirts at some stupid discounts... only until the end of July though. The vinyl is a widespread slew of Robo (and related) releases, and the shirts are mostly discounted in related celebration of PG.99's burst of activity! Here's the list:

VINYL: (this sale applies to all colors we have in stock)
* Cannabis Corpse - Tube Of The Resinated 12" = $9.99
* Capsule - Blue 12+CD = $8.99
* Employer, Employee - Discography 12" = $9.99
* Floor - Below & Beyond (Deluxe 10xLP, 1x7", 8xCD, 32-page booklet) = $239.99
* Ghastly City Sleep - Self-Titled 12" = $7.99
* Gods & Queens - Untitled (debut) 12"+CD = $11.99
* Inter Arma - Sundown 12" (Mirror Universe release) = $7.99
* Isis - Oceanic 2xLP (vinyl+printed sleeves only, no gatefold jacket) = $9.99
* Pygmy Lush - Bitter River 12" = $8.99
* Red Sparowes - At The Soundless Dawn 2x12" = $15.99
* Red Sparowes - Every Red Heart... 2x12" = $15.99
* Ultra Dolphins - Mar 12" = $7.99
* Ultra Dolphins - Why Are You Laugh 12" = $7.99
* Verse En Coma - Self-Titled 10"+CD = $9.99
* Young Widows - Live 12" (180g) = $9.99

T-SHIRTS: (this sale applies to all sizes we have in stock)
* Pageninetynine - Cow = $9.99
* Pageninetynine - Family = $9.99
* Pageninetynine - Girl With Heart = $11.99
* Pageninetynine - Goth Girl = $9.99
* Pageninetynine - Owl = $11.99
* Pygmy Lush - Man on the Moon = $10.99
* Pygmy Lush - Donkey = $10.99
* Pygmy Lush - Cold World = $10.99
* Pygmy Lush - Mount Hope (black) = $10.99
* Pygmy Lush - Mount Hope (white) = $10.99

All of the above discounted stuff can be found now in the Robotic Empire - Online Store. This is all in an effort to clear some space, as along with the new releases above we also recently re-pressed some essential TORCHE albums (highlighted in the last update). What this all amounts to is a real premium for space at the lil' ol' RoboHQ so thus, the sales continue. However, this is likely to be our last large-scale discounting for a while, but nonetheless there's some good deals to be had. Along with the above items, over 275+ others have various sales attached to them as well.

Beyond all the new Robo label activity, we've actually gotten in very few new stuff/restocks lately (for a change), only a couple items really... so we're posting those along with the last update's stuff.

NEW ITEMS: (from this update)
* Obliteration - Nekropsalms 12" (Forcefield) - $9.99
* Pageninetynine - Singles - BLACK VINYL 12" (Robotic Empire) - $11.99
* Pageninetynine - Singles - BLUE COLORED VINYL 12" (Robotic Empire) - $11.99
* Pageninetynine - Singles - GREEN COLORED VINYL 12" (Robotic Empire) - $11.99
* Thou - The Archer & The Owle - GREY COLORED VINYL 12" (Robotic Empire) - $14.99
* Thou - The Archer & The Owle - RED COLORED VINYL 12" (Robotic Empire) - $14.99
* Thou - The Archer & The Owle Cassette (Robotic Empire / Sweat Lodge Guru) - $5.99
* Thou / Moloch - Tears That Soak A Callous Heart Cassette (Perpetual Motion Machine) - $4.99

RESTOCKS: (from this update)
* Cannabis Corpse - Blunted At Birth CD (Forcefield) - $9.99
* Cannabis Corpse - Tube of the Resinated CD (Forcefield) - $9.99
* Cough - Sigillum Luciferi CD (Forcefield) - $9.99
* Cough / The Wounded Kings - An Introduction To The Black Arts 12" VINYL (Forcefield) - $9.99
* Pageninetynine - Document #8 - BLACK VINYL 12" (Robotic Empire) - $11.99
* Pageninetynine - Document #8 - RED COLORED VINYL 12" (Robotic Empire) - $11.99
* Pageninetynine - Document #8 - WHITE COLORED VINYL 12"(Robotic Empire) - $11.99

NEW ITEMS: (from last update)
* Annihilation Time - II - BLUE COLORED VINYL 12"+7" (Tank Crimes) - $11.99
* ANS / Ramming Speed - Split 12" (Tank Crimes) - $9.99
* Austrasian Goat, The / Hollow Sunshine - Split 12" (Vendetta) - $14.99
* Big Eyes - Self-Titled Cassette (Tank Crimes) - $4.99
* Black Tusk - The Fallen Kingdom - BLACK VINYL 12" (Hyperrealist) - $14.99
* Black Tusk - The Fallen Kingdom - YELLOW COLORED VINYL 12" (Hyperrealist) - $14.99
* Capsule - No Ghost - GREY COLORED VINYL 12" (Rorschach) - $12.99
* Church Of Misery - Volume 1 12"+7" (Emetic) - $19.99
* Danse Macabre - Einerseits Andererseits 10" (React With Protest) - $9.99
* Dead To A Dying World - Self-Titled - GREEN COLORED VINYL 2x12" (Tofu Carnage) - $26.99
* Dolcim - We Carry The Fire 12" (React With Protest) - $10.99
* Electro Quarterstaff - Aykroyd 12" (War On Music) - $11.99
* Eyehategod - Dopesick - BLACK COVER VERSION VINYL 2x12" (Emetic) - $19.99
* Eyehategod - Dopesick - WHITE COVER VERSION VINYL 2x12" (Emetic) - $19.99
* Eyehategod - In The Name Of Suffering 2x12" (Emetic) - $19.99
* Eyehategod - Take As Needed For Pain 2x12" (Emetic) - $19.99
* Fell Voices - Untitled 12" (Gilead Media) - $13.99
* Fleshpress - Rebuild / Crumble 12" (Throne) - $14.99
* Fleshpress - No Return 12" (Throne) - $14.99
* For Want Of - Self-Titled 7" (Resuscitate) - $4.99
* Gehenna - Malice - RED ORANGE COLORED VINYL 3x12" (Dark Symphonies) - $54.99
* Her Breath On Glass - We Aimed Straight Down - RED BLACK COLORED VINYL 12" (IFB) - $9.99
* Kicking Spit - Psychrockbullsh!t - WHITE COLORED VINYL 12" (Tank Crimes) - $9.99
* Ludicra - The Tenant 2x12" (Throne) - $29.99
* Pygmy Lush - Old Friends - BLACK IMPORT VINYL 12" (Adagio830) - $14.99
* Pygmy Lush - Old Friends - RED COLORED IMPORT VINYL 12" (Adagio830) - $14.99
* Resurrectionists / Battle Of Wolf 359 - Split 10" (React With Protest) - $10.99
* Suma / Unearthly Trance - Collaboration 12" (Throne) - $19.99
* Torche - Self-Titled Reissue - RASTA COLORED VINYL 12" (Robotic Empire) - $14.99
* Torche - Meanderthal - CUBAN FLAG COLORED VINYL 12" (Robotic Empire) - $11.99
* Torche - Meanderthal - ORANGE BLOB COLORED VINYL 12" (Robotic Empire) - $11.99
* Torche - Meanderthal - TAINTED SILVER COLORED VINYL 12" (Robotic Empire) - $11.99
* Torche - Meanderthal - YOLK COLORED VINYL 12" (Robotic Empire) - $11.99
* Velnias - Sovereign Nocturnal 12" (Vendetta) - $9.99

RESTOCKS: (from last update)
* Arktika - At Zero 2x12" - COLORED VINYL (Narsharda) - $19.99
* Arktika - Heartwrencher 12" - GREEN SPLATTER COLORED VINYL (Narshardaa) - $12.99
* Cannabis Corpse - The Weeding 12" - ORANGEL COLORED VINYL (Tank Crimes) - $9.99
* Comadre - Wolf Ticket 12" (Adagio 830) - $14.99
* Electric Wizard - Dopethrone T-Shirt - Size: EXTRA LARGE (Eat Death) - $11.99
* Electric Wizard - Dopethrone T-Shirt - Size: LARGE (Eat Death) - $11.99
* Electric Wizard - Dopethrone T-Shirt - Size: MEDIUM (Eat Death) - $11.99
* Electric Wizard - Dopethrone T-Shirt - Size: SMALL (Eat Death) - $11.99
* Giants - Old Stories 12" - SPLATTER COLORED VINYL (Cavity) - $9.99
* Mewithoutyou - AB Life 12" - BROWN COLORED VINYL (Gilead) - $14.99
* Mewithoutyou - Catch For Us the Foxes 12" - RED COLORED VINYL (Gilead) - $14.99
* Omega Massif / Mount Logan - Split 12" - CLOUD GREY VINYL (Vendetta) - $10.99
* Salome - Self-Titled 12" (Vendetta) - $12.99
* Stirling Says - Balboa 12" (Adagio) - $9.99
* Thou / Human Intruder - Split 7" (Dead Earth) - $5.99
* Titan - Colossus 12" (React With Protest) - $12.99
* Torche - Meanderthal - [DELUXE JACKET] BLACK VINYL 12" (Robotic Empire) - $19.99

WOW. Yeah, if we haven't been busy enough lately... lets keep the crazy going! Please hit up the Robotic Empire - Online Store and pick something up if you can. We've gone kinda nutzo on vinyl lately and could use some help getting it outta here. Big ups!

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July 2, 2011

"a cool offering of subterranean garage skuzz" (aka: lost/found BAD SECRETS review)

Well, our ballsoutcrazy June sale has come to an end, but we still have nearly 250 random items on sale at the moment, including this oft-overlooked weirdo record we dropped about two years ago... the sole release (thus far) from BAD SECRETS:

We're going out of our way to post about this oddball release (a 9"+CD) as we just found an old review of this wild slab. Longtime brethren Crucial Blast are almost like an east coast Aquarius, whereas they take (lots of) time to type up detailed description of each item they sell. Impressive to say the least, and here's what they had to say about the aforementioned BAD SECRETS jammer:

"Weird, cavernous, bloozy garage skum from this duo out of Louisville, kind of a surprise offering from Robotic Empire. It's been descibed as "shoegazey" by some, probably because of the copious amounts of reverb that soak into every nook and cranny of these seven songs, but Bad Secrets sound to my ears more like the kind of drug-n'-booze addled noise rock outfits that were slithering out of downtown New York City back in the mid to late 80's, the sort of thing that might have appeared on Rough Trade or Homestead. The guys behind this are drummer Dan Davis (also of Kodan Armada) and guitarist Evan Patterson, the latter known for his involvement in some fine contempo pigfuck/noise rock outfits like Breather Resist, Young Widows and Black Cross. In this configuration, though, Patterson goes for a more drugged and dissonant sort of clamor, the two musicians shambling through these creepy swamp-stained dirges, a vague industrial quality sticking to everything as the twangy, skronking guitar wigs out over a pounding, percussive oil-drum throb, the songs partially formed, and apparently partially improvised as well. The recording is suitably dank and dingy, the aforementioned reverb-heavy sound has it's murkiness amplified by the low fi four-track production. Haunted, stoned gothic noise rock riddled with slurred, drawling vocals and ghostly wails, subterranean metallic scrape and trippy stereo panning, clanking riffs and chaotic drum freak outs, and weird production fuckery that ranges from sped-up tape noise and sudden drop-outs to grainy needle pops and room noise. Imagine Pussy Galore on Quaaludes, or Nick Cave stalking some ancient crypt, and you're in the general vicinity. The guitars utilize some neat shimmery Morricone-esque twang on some of the tracks, too, and the band occasionally even goes off into something resembling a nocturnal version of surf rock at times. Things get pretty "out" and psychedelic throughout this little record, but the duo are still able to produce some seriously catchy noise rock jams like "Gimmee Sound" and "Go And Leave". It's a cool offering of subterranean garage skuzz, presented on an unusual 9" size vinyl record in a silk-screened sleeve, and includes a cd version of the record." © CRUCIAL BLAST

There ya go. We've got that joint discounted to $9.99 at the moment, and with both formats together (CD and vinyl) you get double trouble on this one.

* BAD SECRETS in the Robotic Empire - Online Store
* YOUNG WIDOWS (and related) in the Robotic Empire - Online Store