This record is the third and final installment in a series of 7" singles that will culminate in the release of a full length record in May of 2013. Like the others in the series, it was mostly recorded in Chicago in February of 2012 with longtime Astro-cohort Steve Albini. It features original members Star Crunch (Brian Causey), Coco the Electronic Monkey Wizard (Rob Del Bueno) and Birdstuff (Brian Teasley). Rounding out the band is Athens-based guitarist and space nurse in training Avona Nova (Samantha Paulsen).
The a-side is the song "Disintegrate" with guest vocals by Liz Durrett. It was recorded by Daniel Farris at Ole Elegante, Birmingham, Alabama. The B-side features two tracks that are exclusive to this release: "Baby's First Spacewalk" and "Defcon 0." Both of these were taken from the February session with Albini. As they are being touted as exclusives, they will not appear on the full-length.
The record itself is packaged in a custom chipboard, die-cut cover (the same sleeve used for the first two in the series). This time it will feature a purple and silver sticker seal, identifying the release as Chunklet Industries catalog number CHK7-004:
Here is an early design mock up of what the record would look like. The center is meant to look like the color made from seeing the blue center label through the red acetate window. This color seems to be meant to correspond with the color of the foil sticker and one of the color vinyl options:
The records arrived at Chunklet headquarters on April 25th. As promised, the vinyl colors were black, clear and purple. The purple looks to be at least partially translucent. Purple also corresponds with the foil sticker that seals the packaging. The center labels are turquoise blue with yellow text. Owings posted this picture to social media:
And here is a photo of the red vinyl repress, also courtesy of Owings:
When I ordered my copies of the single I asked Owings to not seal one, so I could scan it for the blog without having to defile one. He did one better; he sent me this:
That's correct, a customized/ruined nerd copy of the single! Here are both sides of the record. Note that the copy was taken from the few junk 45s that were stamped out between the clear and black vinyl pressings. The result is a clear vinyl record with multiple black streaks:
In lieu of a proper picture sleeve, I was given a couple of cardboard stiffeners with extra stickers from all three singles and the yellow and red acetate windows from volume 1 and volume 3:
Quirky? Yes. Awesome? Double yes. This curious package/graffiti probably has its roots in a story Owings told me years ago about the time he visited Tom Hazelmyer at Amphetamine Reptile Records HQ. I interviewed Owings about a book he was putting out. We started talking about record collecting and he told me that he had once asked Hazelmyer if he had any red vinyl copies of the first "Dope, Guns and Fucking in the Streets" compilation singles left. Hazelmyer took one from a filing cabinet, pulled it out of the sleeve and scraped it over the floor a few times before giving it to him. A single that was worth several hundred dollars on the collector market had just gone from mint to shitty at the hands of the label owner.
Fast forward many years and I ask Owings to not seal a record I'm buying from him so I can photograph it first for my blog. He proceeds to send me a copy without a picture sleeve, with a dozen extra foil seal stickers, in a color that wasn't even commercially available (clear with black streaks was not one of the three vinyl color options), but first he scribbles on the center label with a sharpie and calls me a record nerd. Insulting, sure, but the story makes the record special even if it is difficult to resell.
Owings also recently posted a picture of the test pressings for the release. According to the label stamp, there are 15 of these out there. Here it is:
Here also are a few scans of my test pressing--front and back, and in and out of the sleeve:
Of the three singles in this 7-inch series, this one is the best. The truly awesome part is that the full-record is even better.