Faith No More ‘Angel Dust’ T-Shirt & Hoodie


In light of the good response to our guest post from contributor, Ben from the music blog Ben Likes Music we have just added a sweet looking Faith No More ‘Angel Dust’ T-Shirt & Hoodie to the store.

So if you read the initial post and still don’t own the shirt or hoody then be sure to head over and bag one now! If you didn’t read the initial post then do so HERE….. then go bag a T-Shirt, hoodie or both!

Plus its now officially winter and freezing cold out, so the hoody is a great idea.

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Audio Technology; Where next? Back to 1900! (When quality really matters)


Recorded music involving a needle following a groove started in 1877 with Edison’s phonograph. A development of that was a circular disc, recognisable now as a record, which appeared in 1900. 112 years on and many of us still like to put circular pieces of vinyl on a turntable and listen to the amplified vibrations of the needle, which follows the groove.

There have been a few distractions along the way. The early 1970’s marked the battle between two tape formats, the 8-track cartridge and the Philips compact cassette. Philips won. The idea of record and playback and the small size swung things in their favor. Then in the late 80’s Compact Disc became available. Vinyl was dead. CD sales eclipsed all other formats. The digital format vanquished all other contenders. Analogue was written off. The digital format contained the seeds of its own destruction, however. As home computing power increased CDs could be ripped to the mp3 file format. The music files could be stored, catalogued, distributed, rewritten to other storage means without loss of quality. CD sales are now falling off a cliff!

Loss of quality is what it’s all about though; the analogue sound of a vinyl disc played on a good quality Hi-Fi has a much warmer and fuller sound than a digitised CD recording or a highly compressed mp3 recording. In the past few years vinyl has really been making a comeback. There just seems to be something more appealing about the vinyl experience than the digital format. Maybe its the interaction with the media. It’s hands on. You have to place it on the player and turn it over when the side is done. Sure you need to worry about scratching or warping your discs. Sure they take up space but without them we’d never have the great artwork designs that adorn the 12 inch that we can then sit and immerse ourselves in while taking in the music, along with detailed sleeve notes and lyrics that can be consumed as we enjoy our purchase. Plus the album artwork will usually be transposed to the artists’ T-Shirt and merchandise ranges giving the fan another physical article to buy and enjoy.

Eyesore Merch are all about the T-Shirt and Merch ranges so we are always happy to see bands still investing time and energy into creating the coolest and most striking sleeve artwork possible so that we will end up with the best album themed merch designs possible. Of course you can still have great artwork that can be downloaded with a digital album purchase but there is just something more impressive and emotional about holding a hi-def printed sleeve.

So 112 years on and the market for vinyl, the format that’s outlasted all others is still very much with us. Get yourself a turntable, amplifier and a nice pair of speakers and check the results out against listening to your favorite music on a mobile phone! You’ll hear aspects of the music you never heard before.

Recommended Hi-Fi retailer for best service and prices: http://www.richersounds.com

Live Review: Napalm Death – The Well, Leeds, UK – 4th Oct 2012


It’s been five years since I last caught a Napalm Death headline gig, at the sadly now defunct Leeds Rios. So the prospect of catching them at an even more intimate venue, thankfully recently saved from closure, was more than welcome.

As with their Rios gig they have opted to have local acts opening for them, which lead to a low key feel, certainly in contrast to the first time I saw Napalm in 1996 with Crowbar and Face Down in tow. In fact I don’t think I’ve seen Napalm given a run for their money by their supports since The Haunted left them looking somewhat pedestrian in 1998.The blackened riffs and vocals of Diascorum do little for me, whilst Hawk Eyes burgeoning reputation is still something of a surprise. Certainly an interesting band, there’s an off-kilter edge to their music, which brings to mind Helmet on more than one occasion, I just feel other Leeds bands such as Black Moth and Gentlemans Pistols currently edge them in the live arena.

It’s gone 10pm by the time the strains of ‘Circumspect’ finally herald Napalm’s arrival, but no-one seems to be escaping for the last train to wherever. Anyone who did have to leave early would have been kicking themselves as this was a classic performance by the boys from Brum.

The opening salvo of ‘Errors in The Signals’ and ‘Everyday Pox’ (Complete with grindcore sax attack sample!) from this year’s ‘Utilitarian’ underlines Napalm’s continued relevance, with said album easily maintaining the standards of the band’s 21st century output. Live they are noticeably tighter since slimming down to a quartet, although seeing them turn in such a life affirming display inevitably brings to mind the late Jesse Pintado. His one time partner in crime, Mitch Harris, is for me something of an unsung hero. Until tonight I’d assumed that Barney provided the Burton C Bell-esque vocal on new track ‘The Wolf I Feed’, but it’s Mitch who steps up to the microphone for that section, proving a much more convincing clean vocalist in the live arena than Fear Factory’s frontman.

Alongside the cuts from ‘Utilitarian’ in the first half of the set are a number of modern Napalm classics, including ‘Silence Is Deafening’ and ‘Fatalist’, the breakdown at the end of the former never failing to bring a smile to my face. They also delve into their often overlooked late nineties album, ‘Words From The Exit Wound’, with a run through ‘Next Of Kin To Chaos’.

With such an extensive back catalogue to plunder there were inevitably some omissions (Sadly no room for ‘Mass Appeal Madness’), but in general this was as well balanced a set as you’re likely to hear, with the second half taking in material from their first two Earache albums, whilst still throwing in refreshing reminders of the band’s ability to pen a tune as catchy as ‘Breed To Breathe’. The only cover of the night, ‘Nazi Punks Fuck Off’, is a staple of the band’s set that frankly would be a glaring omission if they didn’t play it.

Following the encore of ‘Scum/Human Garbage/You Suffer/Instinct Of Survival’, I speak with a few long term friends who rate this as highly as any previous encounter with the band. The majority of us, all in our thirties, have seen the band countless times, thankfully as we hung back around the middle of the venue a new generation of fans has taken over from us at the front, ensuring that the chaotic pits I would once have thrown myself into live on. Near the end one skirmish led to Barney acting as a lost property attendant, trying to locate the owner of a mobile phone and a single shoe, speaking into said ‘Shoe phone!’ he played the joker for a moment that reminded me why I so love this band. For all their intensity there is a human side to proceedings, and I would like to think that people take to heart some of Greenway’s words, as they continue to be a relevant, raging, force for good.

Andrew Whittaker

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T-Shirt Of The Month


This months selection for the T-Shirt of the month spot comes from British metalcore band Asking Alexandria. These guys have seen phenomonal success in the past few years and rose to critical acclaim with the release of their 2011 album ‘Reckless & Relentless’. Suffice to say, sales of Asking Alexandria merch and T-Shirts is brisk and none more so than this very cool “Coffin Girl” design. Sick artwork with very eye-catching dayglow colour scheme always seems to sell well in this scene, so if you are a fan then don’t miss out on this little beauty.

We are also stocking a nice range of shirts from Asking Alexandria founder Ben Bruce’s own clothing range; Ben Bruce Clothing. Check them out HERE

My Favourite Band T-Shirt


Do you have a favourite band T-Shirt? What shirts in your collection hold fond memories and an interesting back story? Tell us about your most cherished shirts and send in a photo for everyone to admire.

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Metallica ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ T-Shirt (1993)

Metallica were the first heavy metal band that I got into at the age of 14. The day I discovered Metallica, I never looked back. They were the beginning of a very long journey into rock and heavy metal music that resulted in me basing my entire working career thus far within music and the music industry. The T-Shirt that I decided to write about is the first band T-Shirt that I ever owned. The T-Shirt holds so many exciting and dear memories that it is a pleasure to put it online with a bit of a back-story.

So where did it come from? Well, I remember walking into town from school as often as possible on lunch breaks and after school to visit the record stores; Our Price, HMV and Andy’s Records who all held a decent range of music and band T-Shirts at the time. This Metallica ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ T-Shirt with the awesome Pus Head artwork was the T-Shirt that had me fixated. It was simply a must have item for me at the time so I relentlessly pestered my mum week after week to buy it for me. After a few weeks of constant badgering, she eventually bought me the shirt! I was so chuffed with it! Wearing the T-Shirt and showing an allegiance to the band made me feel part of something, and it was exciting.

I’m sure most people of my age (32) will remember that back in the day, when you bought a music T-Shirt you were pretty much never able to get a range of sizes. Usually all you could obtain would be a size large or extra large. Manufactures and rights holders didn’t seem to think that there was much of a market in the smaller sizes so kids and people of a slight build usually ended up wearing dress style T-Shirts. I was one of those people. The shirt is an extra large and I was a scrawny 14-year-old kid! Manufactures gained a much better understanding of the market over the past 10 years or so, finally printing and supplying small and medium sizes, so now anyone of any age or build can get kitted out in their fave bands merch and not look as ridiculous as me, my brother and some of our mates did.

So, fast-forward 10 years. I had been through school, college and university. I had picked up on a huge number of new bands and music styles as well as hugely expanding my T-Shirt collection. After university I ended up working at a UK based extreme metal record label where I worked for 8 years before moving on from there to start my own company last September. That company is Eyesore Merch and this is our blog. We are an online music and entertainment retailer selling all manner of indie, rock and metal T-Shirts, hoodies and merchandise as well as loads of film, TV and comic style items.

Its weird to think that from discovering rock and metal music, then buying that first Metallica T-Shirt all those years ago that the passion would eventually lead me into the music industry and then on to start my own company where I actually sell music merch. Funnily enough we don’t actually stock the ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ T-Shirt right now but I know that it is still being printed to this day and is still available to buy. A cool, classic T-Shirt design will stand the test of time. I will definitely be tracking it down through a supplier very soon so that I can include it within our full Metallica range, which can be found in our store here: http://eyesoremerch.com/band-tshirts/m/metallica-tshirts. I think it makes total sense to take this full circle and start selling the T-Shirt that lead me to this point in the first place.

* Side note: Not sure what my mum actually did when washing the shirt one time as it now has a weird striped pattern. You can see it more pronounced on the sleeves. Something happened during one wash and it never went away. I was a bit gutted but pretended that it was a limited edition.

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Bands Vs. The Music Biz: An insiders perspective


Hello friends with sore eyes

My name is Jason.  I have spent the majority of my life playing music and the last 6 years with it as my profession.  I am currently the VP of Digital Marketing and Strategy for the Eleven Seven Music group.  The fine folks who run this excellent online retailer are not only friends but also respected colleges and supporters of my current musical endeavor IKILLYA.  They’ve asked me to write a few pieces based on my experience and I’m happy to do so.  So without further adieu, here’s my first.

If I tell you that the music industry has changed significantly over the past decade I’m sure you’d say you’re tired of hearing that from everyone, everywhere.  I don’t believe that anyone who has even a passing interest in music is not painfully aware of this fact.  What surprises me is how many musicians either do not understand the implication of these changes or choose to act as if they don’t apply to them.  In simple math, the music industry earns a mere percentage of what it did 10 years ago and like anything or anyone else, when you have less money coming in, you have less money to send out.  This means that the industry is less interested in taking risks on new acts or investing in the development of a band.  Artists in this age simply have to do the work themselves.  All the work.  No longer can you start a band, play 11 shows and sign a multi-million dollar record deal.

The good side of this is that in laying all of the ground work it takes to develop a band, you will build a fan base that you own and have direct connection to.  A fan base that if you continue to nurture will stay with you no matter what happens.  That means, if done right, you can have a career in music with or without a record label.  You’ve all heard the stories of Pearl Jam and Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead giving away their music or self-releasing and I’m sure you’ve heard those who say it’s the future of the music industry.  It’s important to note that their fan bases were built by the promotion of huge record labels, but their actions now can be a great guide for building your own base.

All of those bands have a very strong, direct relationship with their fans.  They deliver constant contact and perks to those who invest in the band.  Their band business is their life.  Look closely and you’ll see that creating and releasing an album have become almost footnotes to the other work they do.  They create custom content and immersive experiences for those willing to support the band.  This is a full time job – exactly the same way building a new band is.  Every person who raises their hand and says “I like this band” needs to be super-served.  And since there is no advertising being done by a label, it’s all up to you.  I am shocked by how few artists even take the time to hand out fliers after other shows or do more than just have a facebook page.  If this is your dream, live it.

Of course, I understand the investment that takes and I understand the time commitment, but there are many tools to help you.  Sites like ReverbNation.com provide a tool box that helps you effectively and efficiently market, advertise and simply communicate with your supporters.  Sites like Pledgemusic.com help you fund-raise for your project while offering real value for the supporter in return.  Regardless of what platform you use, this is a dedication to a lifestyle.  You must be a business and a musician.  This is a second job, and like any job, the amount you work directly effects the return you receive.

If this doesn’t sound appealing to you and you just want to make music, there is no crime in that.  Just be realistic about the likelihood of your music alone becoming a profession.  See ya on the sidewalks and in the clubs.

Jason Lekberg
www.IKILLYA.com
http://www.facebook.com/IKILLYAofficial

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