75 W Main Street
Ever since I saw the Heavy Metal Records guys at the Buffalo Record Show in April I've been jonesin' to check out the store, so with fresh new passport in hand I headed down Rochester way. Thankfully the shop does not disappoint - it's tiny, but absolutely packed to the rafters with Metal! There's a veritable fuckload of CDs, DVDs, LPs, and t-shirts... and good shit too, not yer run-of-the-mill crap. Vinyl prices are more than reasonable, with most used records coming in at $5 and new releases at $20 (with a few up to $25). I could have easily spent all the cash I had at Heavy Metal Records, but while I was in Rochester I had a few other places to check out, so I had to restrain myself... next time I won't be so frugal (or I'll bring more money). Yeah this place rules! Here's what I picked up:
• METAL INQUISITOR "Doomsday For The Heretic" LP: Heard a song on Ian Christie's Bloody Roots radio show and loved it.
• SAVATAGE "Sirens" LP: Fuck yeah! The original Par pressing! This made the whole trip worthwhile.
• CAULDRON "Chained To The Nite" LP: I didn't love what I heard from this, but that album cover is so goddamn great that I figured it deserved a chance.
• HERETIC "Breaking Point" LP: I think the selling point on this one was that Kurdt Vanderhoof produced it... and if that ain't weird, I don't know what is.
• RAVEN "Life's A Bitch" LP: Lately I've been having a hard time remembering just how bad RAVEN's post-All For One records were... so I picked this one up as a reminder.
• HOLOCAUST "The Nightcomers" LP: No need to explain I'm sure.
• OVERDRIVE "Metal Attack" LP: I haven't heard Swords & Axes in years, but I remember digging it, and I'm sure I'll dig this one too.
There was a ton of other great records that I had to pass on, but I will be back. In fact, I'll be back soon because Bob, the owner, is having a series of huge blow-out sales. Every Saturday starting Sept. 12 'til the end of the year, he moves piles of CDs, records, DVDs, and t-shirts into the hallway and everything is $5!!!!! So yeah, you can bet I'll be back for that.
Next up was the infamous House Of Guitars. It had been about 18 years since I was last at HOG, and evidently very little has changed. The place is still jam packed with guitars and amps, and what an impressive selection it is. The thing that bugs me about HOG is the way they just kinda pile the guitars upon each other inside the display cases. When buying a guitar, I prefer if it hasn't been crushed by 12 others guitars for past 24 months... I guess I'm just anal like that. Right, so in the basement of House Of Guitars is a warehouse sized room full of CDs, t-shirts, and a few remnants of their formerly glorious vinyl collection. It's such a fucking mess that I got fed up after 5 minutes and left cuz there's absolutely no rhyme or reason to the records they've got left
I whipped by The Bop Shop for a quick boo at their Metal section (which is decent) but was more intent on getting to The Record Archive before they closed. My whole interest in Rochester record shopping was piqued by Seriah Azkath, who mentioned that The Record Archive was tits... and he was right. There's a load of Metal records, and it's not the kinda stuff you'd normally come across. Again I could have blown a shitload of money, but the realization of how much this trip was costing me began to sink in, so I showed some restraint and only bought:
• LADY KILLER "Lady Killer" LP: Another awesome score! This one alone woulda made the trip worthwhile, but SAVATAGE trumps it.
• RAVEN "Stay Hard" LP: More research material for my How Hard Did RAVEN Really Suck? project. I have a feeling it's not quite as hard as I thought when I was kid.
• ROCK GODDESS "Rock Goddess" LP: Never seen this one before (always the Hell Hath No Fury album), but it's produced by Vic Maile which usually indicates quality.
• SATAN JOKERS "Trop Fou Pour Toi" LP: French Metal en français! Digez vous?
If yer on the hunt for Metal records, Rochester, and Heavy Metal Records in particular, is a sure bet!