Record Store Day 2018: Every Punk & Metal Release Ranked


I dunno if Record Store Day is getting worse or if I’ve just become impossibly jaded to the unending consumerist orgy atop piles of wasted resources. Probably a little column A, a little column B. Anyway, here are 26 metal and punk Record Store Day releases ranked from OK-ish to god-awful. My rankings are determined scientifically and, as such, not open to debate. This is my fourth year doing this. You can, if you so choose, read my rankings for Record Store Day 2015, 2016, and 2017.

1. SaxonPrincess of the Night 7″

This is a reissue of Saxon’s first 7″ single, a song about a train from Denim and Leather. The single has been out of print for 35 years, though obviously Denim and Leather has been reissued repeatedly. I guess that’s kinda neat if  you dig Saxon or you’re just really, really into trains.

2. Celtic FrostTragic Serenades

A pretty forgettable 1986 EP from Celtic Frost, reissued on P I C T U R E  D I S C because I just can’t get enough of that gorgeous artwork of one skull and two smudges.

3. KreatorBehind the Mirror

The reason you need to own a P I C T U R E  D I S C with a track from Terrible Certainty on one side and a Tygers of Pan Tang cover on the other side is between you and god. This is getting pressed into 2500 units.

4. QuicksandTriptych Continuum

Brand new material from a band that was way ahead of their time in the early 90s. You can pick up one of 1300 copies to see if it’s any good or you could wait half an hour after release to check it out the vinyl rip on YouTube.

5. MastodonEmperor of Sand

Relapse shipped about a billion of these on standard and limited edition vinyl last year but now you can get Mastodon’s latest on one of 4000 P I C T U R E  D I S C S.

6. Morbid AngelKingdoms Disdained

When Kingdoms Disdained was released last year we spent a fair amount of time making fun of its artwork. Some people said that it looks like generic computer art. Some people said that it looks unfinished. Some have said, for example, that Kingdoms Disdained looks like concept art for an aborted XBOX 360 game that Curt Schilling bankrupted a state to create. Looks like the jokes on us because this is getting the P I C T U R E  D I S C treatment.

7. Rage Against the Machine – Live at the Democratic National Convention 2000

There are nominally two political parties in the United States. In actuality, they are both the party of capital. I can think of no better coda for Rage Against the Machine than this live recording of the band performing a handful of their best tracks in protest of our corporatist two party system getting pressed onto 5000 chunks of wax and being sold for $20 each. #Resist!

8. Jungle RotWhat Horrors Await

Victory Records is pressing Jungle Rot’s 6th album on vinyl for the first time. This is great news if you like listening to analog formats of perfectly serviceable death metal recorded 100% digitally.

9. V/A – Boston Hardcore 89-91

Boston has a rich history of hardcore punk which is why it’s so puzzling that this compilation exists to document the most forgettable era of the genre in the region. Too late for SSD or Siege, too early for Ten Yard Fight, you’ll get completely forgettable material from Sam Black Church and Crossface. This Record Store Day release marks the first time this compilation is available on vinyl. But if you’re willing to slum it you can pick it up on other formats for between $2 and $5.

10. Insane Clown PosseThe Amazing Jekel Brothers

Insane Clown Posse’s fifth joker card isn’t punk nor metal nor is it a good ICP record, but it’s still better than everything remaining on this list.

11. HawkwindDark Matter
Sure, this is probably fine.

12. DescendentsWho We Are
To celebrate just over two minutes of unreleased Descendents material, this 7″ is getting pressed into 3800 copies. Are you a cool punk parent that named your precious child Milo and makes him wear cutesy Misfits onesies? How unique! Epitaph is gambling that there are at least 3799 more of you out there to buy this.

13. MotorheadHeroes
If you have a dead rockstar fetish you can purchase a 7″ of Lemmy covering David Bowie.

14. RamonesSundragon Sessions
If The Ramones are just too polished for you, you can always pick up this rough cut of their second album, Leave Home.

15. Merzbow, Mats Gustafsson, Thurston Moore, Balasz PandiCuts Up, Cuts Out
It’s like I always say, there just isn’t enough Merzbow material.

16. Touche AmoreDemo
Do you think Touche Amore just emerged fully formed as the lightest, fluffiest, most feathery soft band on earth! Hell no! Listen to the reissue of their demo and hear their somewhat rough around the edges origins.

17. The WipersLive at the Met
I’ve never met a Wipers fan but to be fair, I’m only 30.

18. Circle JerksGig
Every Record Store Day planning session can be accurately described as a circle jerk.

19. StoogesThe Stooges (Detroit Edition)
A special edition of their debut album, compiled by the masters of capitalizing on the work of elderly artists, Third Man Records.

20. Whitesnake1987
This record sold over 8 million copies in the United States alone. You can get a dozen used copies for a quarter at my local Half Price Books. But sure, let’s do a deluxe reissue of 6000 pressings. Your band couldn’t get vinyl printed for 9 months because David Coverdale needed to make alimony payments.

21. Sloppy SecondsKnock Yer Block Off!

22. Tim ArmstrongA Poet’s Life
The frontman of Rancid just has so much more to say, y’know.

23. DwarvesLucifer’s Crank
They’re good cuz they have naughty album covers and they sing swear words.

24. DisturbedThe Lost Children
A 2×12″ LP experience of Disturbed’s b-sides. Oh wha-ah-ah-ah-at a ripoff.

25. EvanescenceLost Whispers
This b-sides collection is just isolated vocals of that one guy rapping.

26. AC/DCBack in Black
Why pay $1.50 for a like-new cassette copy of Back in Black at literally any record store in the world when you could wait in line with hundreds of sweaty nerds for the chance to pay $15 for a brand new copy?

Record Store Day is April 21st. Stay home.

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