"Generation" EP

''In this arid wilderness of steel and stone, I raise up my voice that you may hear. To the East and to the West I beckon. To the North and to the South I show a sign proclaiming: Death to the weaklings, wealth to the strong!'' (Message on reverse of sleeve)

Sleeve -Front: First Press
Sleeve - Back: First Press - 100 of the first press have a Slasher Records'
stamp in the bottom right-hand corner
'Regular' Insert: The inserts for the early presses also had an image on the reverse;
later presses had no image on the reverse.


Stats:

General:
Tracks: Generation B/W Ban Violins / Magic Kingdom
Year: 2005 (1)
Label: Slasher Records - SRC MR-003 (Red- text sleeves), MURDER 003 (Black-text sleeves)
Matrix A (1st-3rd press): MURDER-003-A   GWCZAMTNVWBWVOZWCVL
Matrix B (1st-3rd press): MURDER-003-B   8+L

Matrix A (4th & later presses): MURDER-003-A
Matrix B (4th & later presses): MURDER-003-B   



Pressing Info (Figures kindly confirmed by Slasher Records):

Old Matrix - Pressed at Pickering Pressing Plant, Canada:
1st Press: 500 Feb 2005 (125 with 'Slasher' stamp on reverse of sleeve) (9 Test Pressings)
2nd: 1600 Late Feb 2005
3rd: 30 with white labels, 40 with black labels

New Matrix - Pressed at Pickering Pressing Plant, Canada:
4th: 460 (new sleeves) (1 with small hole) (6 Test Pressings)

New Matrix - Pressed at American Plant due to closure of Pickering:
5th: 1000 (500 in new sleeves + 500 awaiting sleeves) (20 Test Pressings)

Inserts:
1st & 2nd Press (Red-text sleeves) - Double-sided insert (There are at least 5 different inserts, see images below)
3rd Press - Variable

4th & later presses (Black-text sleeves) - Single-sided 'regular' insert



Variants:
  • Two sleeve variants, some of which are stamped. 
  • Actually there's a third sleeve: 5 or 6 prototype UK style covers with the statue image from the 12" and a 'different' eagle on the back, made in 2005. See picture at end of post.
  • Six (main) vinyl variants 
  • Five insert variants



Sleeve Variants:
'Red Text' Sleeve - front and back
'Black-text' sleeve- front and back






















Vinyl Variants:

First & Second Press:
These have 'Red Text' sleeves. They also have an image on the reverse of the lyric sheet / insert. There are five different images.
First: There were 500 copies of the first press, 100 of which had a 'Slasher Records' stamp in the bottom left hand corner on the reverse of the sleeve, as shown at the top of this page. There are spelling errors on the first press labels and inserts
Second: There were 1600 copies of the second press. The spelling mistakes on the labels were corrected for this one, but not on the inserts.

1st Press - Red-text sleeve, small hole vinyl, silver labels with white stripe
2nd Press - Red-text sleeve, big hole vinyl, silver label with black stripe

Third 'Press'
The third press (seemingly) comprises a total of 70 records; 30 white-label 'test presses' and 40 with the new black Slasher labels. Presumably, it would have been intended to press more than 40 on the black labels, but the pressing plate broke, so these 70 records were the last to have the old matrix etched into the run-out on the vinyl. It's not clear exactly why 30 test presses were made; probably simply to provide the label with a stock of 'limited' vinyl; a lot of these were given to subscribers of the Slasher 'singles club'.

A random approach seems to have been taken to the packaging, stamping and distribution of these two records: The white labels were mostly stamped (the stamps vary, some are stamped with the Slasher address, others are stamped 'Third Press') some were marked in biro as test presses. The black labels mostly came with a stamped insert and / or sleeve and / or jacket. According to Sarah Milibrand's discography, at least one black-label copy had a new 'Generation Banner & Eagle' insert - presumably the same image as appears on the back of the sleeve.  Distribution was similarly random; some subscribers to the Slasher singles club got them, others didn't, some went to friends etc.

3rd 'Press' Variant 1 - Mix of red and black-text sleeves, white labels, old matrix
3rd 'Press' Variant 2 -  Mix of red and black-text sleeves, black labels, old matrix, some of these had stamps on the sleeve and / or insert (and maybe the dust sleeve?)
This one has the same vinyl / matrix and labels as the white label one above, but it has different stamps and a stamped / dust cover with a message to a 'singles club' subscriber from Matt Bickle, the owner of Slasher Records

Fourth & Fifth Press
These have 'Black Text' sleeves,  the lyric sheet / insert is single sided; the reverse is blank. The vinyl is pressed with the new matrix code.
Fourth: There were 500 copies of the fourth press (According to discogs).
Fifth: Based on the assumption that there were no further black label pressings, the silver label version shown below is the fifth press.

4th Press - Black-text sleeve, black labels
5th Press - Black-text sleeve, silver labels with 'Slasher' text




Inserts: 
There are a few different inserts, the seemingly random images might (or might not) be connected by themes of western empire reincarnating ideologies and symbolism from the past. See lyrics of ''Ban Violins'' & ''Magic Kingdom'' for more info.

The front of the inserts have the lyrics to the three songs and credits illustrated with a sword and eagle. The inserts that came with the 1st and 2nd press 'Red Text' sleeves have an image on the reverse; there are five different images - see below. The inserts that came with the later 'Black-Text' presses are blank on the reverse. 
Unidentified image: Barbarians at the gates?
Nike, Greek Goddess of Victory. Remnant of the Greek Empire; according to mythology, Nike flew around battlefields rewarding the victors with glory and fame. Here she's looking slightly less victorious minus head / arms.
Unidentified image: Soldiers with spades - digging up the past?
Unidentified image: The New Order? According to a German Helmet expert contacted as part of research: ''That's a Prussian State shield on an M1918 German helmet.  This would have been used in Prussia from 1923 to 1933''.  See also Teutonic Knights
Unidentified Image: Born again? Neo-classical statue - woman with sword and shield and bay leaves. Eagle & 13 stars on shield. Liberty / Freedom?




Notes:
  • Earlier presses have fourth part of coded message etched into vinyl (see matrix info above).
  • Insert includes credits for 'Back Ups' on ''Generation'' to: B. NetanyahuS. Peres & Y. Arafat
  • Recording date shown on insert believed to be incorrect - see footnotes
  • ''Death to the weaklings, wealth to the strong'' quote on reverse of sleeve comes from 'Might is Right' by Ragnar Redbeard

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From ''Couple Tracks'' LP Insert 2010:
Generation: Much has been written about how this song was written as a joke. Not a Joke so much as a reference... Fucked Up is too self aware to ever write a song with any specific politic or intention - this song would serve as to such a song, or even a parody. The lyrics are simple and anthemic, but also meaningless - we always hoped/ joked that it would become the theme song to a sports team. 
Ban Violins: OK, the lyrics on this song have nothing to do with the title. The lyrics are about Nazis or God, or whatever, or both. The title is a funny story. (See ''Couple Tracks'' for funny story).
Magic Kingdom: In the notes to the track ''Generation'' I talked about noble intentions. It was our intention with ''Magic Kingdom'' to write a song like Discharge, the great early 80's UK hardcore band. What I'm realising now is that, while we did include  the dirty sounding one note bass solo, replete with superfluous but that we forgot to use a d-beat, the most fabled drum beat in punk. Also the lyrics contain the line ''You can't defend against magic'', which would never appear on any Discharge song, or any self-respecting punk song for that matter. The Song is about Dungeons and Dragons.

From HeartattaCk Zine interview 2006: 
We wrote "Generation" as a tribute to that - we tried to write the most anthemic sounding song we could, and inject it with the most insipid lyrical content imaginable, just utterly devoid of any meaning. That way, we knew that people would be able to find the most meaning within the song. (2)

From Mixtape 2 Side A - (DA Speaking - conversation about Nazi song themes (not) reflecting ideals of band)
The song ''Ban Violins'', there's a lot about Christianity in there. I can tell you one thing I'm definitely not a Christian.

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Previous Generation 

An earlier version of ''Generation'' appears on the ''Epics in Minutes'' CD compilation. According to the CD inlay  it was recorded on 16th February 2002, during the same session as ''No Pasaran''. The song ''Red'' was also recorded at the same time and is coupled on the CD with ''Generation''.
Artwork from 'Epics in Minutes' CD compilation.
The 'new' version of ''Generation'' that appears on the EP, was recorded around 3 years later and this may explain the difference in lyrical styles between the simple anthemic chant of the title track and the 'Dungeons & Dragons' lyrics of ''Ban Violins'' & ''Magic Kingdom'' - the latter two were written after ''Looking For Gold''. However, all three songs on the EP (appear to) share common themes and these are (maybe) complimented by the sleeve and insert artwork.


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Rebirth and (Re)Generation: (Meaningless #1)


The Red  text on the first and second press covers might reference some of the following. (From Wikipedia):

Red in History: In Ancient Rome, red had an important religious symbolism, it was used to colour statues, it was the colour associated with army; Roman soldiers wore red tunics. In Roman mythology red is associated with the god of war, Mars. The vexilloid of the Roman Empire had a red background with the letters SPQR in gold. A Roman general receiving a triumph had his entire body painted red in honour of his achievement.[30]

Roman Empire vexilloid
In the Middle Ages, red was the colour of the banner of the Byzantine emperors  after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

Byzantine Empire

The princes of Europe and the Roman Catholic Church adapted red as a colour of majesty and authority. It also played an important part in the rituals of the Catholic Church - it symbolized the blood of Christ and the Christian martyrs - and it associated the power of the kings with the sacred rituals of the Church.

Symbolism of Red:  In western countries red is a symbol of martyrs and sacrifice, particularly because of its association with blood. Beginning in the Middle Ages, the Pope and Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church wore red to symbolize the blood of Christ and the Christian martyrs. The banner of the Christian soldiers in the First Crusade was a red cross on a white field, the St. George's Cross. According to Christian tradition, Saint George was a Roman soldier who was a member of the guards of the Emperor Diocletian, who refused to renounce his Christian faith and was martyred. The Saint George's Cross became the Flag of England in the 16th century, and now is part of the Union Flag of the United Kingdom.

Red in  Christian Religion: In Roman Catholicism, red represents wrath, one of the Seven Deadly Sins.
In the Christianity, red is associated with the blood of Christ and the sacrifice of martyrs. Since 1295, it is the colour worn by Cardinals, the senior clergy of the Roman Catholic Church. Red is the liturgical colour for the feasts of martyrs, representing the blood of those who suffered death for their faith.

Red on Flags: Red is one of the most common colours used on national flags. The use of red has similar connotations from country to country: the blood, sacrifice, and courage of those who defended their country; the sun and the hope and warmth it brings; and the sacrifice of Christ's blood (in some historically Christian nations) are a few examples.

Red is the colour of the flags of several countries that once belonged to the former British Empire. The British flag bears the colours red, white, and blue; it includes the red cross of Saint George


The flag of the United States bears the colours of Britain.

Red, white, and black were the colours of the German Empire from 1870 to 1918, and as such they came to be associated with German nationalism. In the 1920s they were adopted as the colours of the Nazi flag. In Mein Kampf, Hitler explained that they were "revered colours expressive of our homage to the glorious past." The red part of the flag was also chosen to attract attention - Hitler wrote: "the new flag ... should prove effective as a large poster" because "in hundreds of thousands of cases a really striking emblem may be the first cause of awakening interest in a movement."

Nazis with red vexilloids, march across an unidentified Greek island in 1936
(On their way to open the Ark of the Covenant)



The Sword may be symbolic of liberty and strength. In the Middle Ages, it was used as a symbol of the word of God.

The Eagle can symbolise courage, strength and immortality, it is also considered "king of the skies" and messenger of the highest Gods. With these attributed qualities the eagle became a symbol of power and strength in Ancient Rome. Mythologically, it has been connected by the Greeks with the God Zeus, by the Romans with Jupiter, by the Germanic tribes with Odin, by the Judeo-Christian scriptures with those who hope in God.




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'Freedom Or Death' (Meaningless #2) From Wikipedia: Modern Greece traces its roots to the civilization of Ancient Greece, which is considered the cradle of all Western civilization The cultural and technological achievements of Greece greatly influenced the world, with many aspects of Greek civilization being imparted to the East through Alexander the Great's campaigns, and to the West through the Roman Empire The modern Greek state, which comprises much of the historical core of Greek civilization, was established in 1830 following the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire. Eleftheria i thanatos (GreekΕλευθερία ή θάνατος, "Freedom or Death") is the motto of Greece.It arose during the Greek War of Independence in the 1820s, where it was a war cry for the Greeks who rebelled against Ottoman rule.[3] It was adopted after the Greek War of Independence. It is still in use today, and is a popular theory regarding the use of 9 stripes (for the nine syllables of the motto) in the Greek flag. The motto symbolized and still symbolizes the resolve of the people of Greece against tyranny and oppression.


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Commodity Fetishism:
Test for first press with blank labels
Test for first press with hand-written labels
Top L-R: First Press Test / First Press / Second Press / Third Press White Labels / Third Press Black Labels
Bottom L-R: Fourth Press Test / Fourth Press Big Hole / Fourth Press Small Hole / Fifth Press Test / Fifth Press
Back: Prototype Sleeve, Artwork for Epics in Minutes comp.

All the top row of records were pressed with the old matrix, all the bottom were pressed with the new.  The two test pressings on the LHS were from the now defunct Pickering Plant in Canada, the other test pressing (bottom row, 2nd from right) was pressed  in America and has generic United labels.
Fourth Press Small Hole: 
Only one exists. Note the extra big 'Pickering Dot' - i.e. the black dot on the label showing this came from the Pickering Pressing Plant - see also the test presses above, the first press and the small hole ''Baiting The Public''







(1) From email correspondence regarding date of recording: Also, you may already know, but the recording date on the insert is wrong. It says "12/28/05" but it should be "12/28/04" because the record came out early 2005. I haven't checked this date against other sources (e.g. Singles Collection CD on HG:Fact or Couple Tracks CD/2xLP on Matador) but I remember when I got it that the date was in the future so it was obviously wrong.

Subsequently, from Matt Bickle: Recorded December 2004 came out Feb 2005 5 weeks later for California tour. 5 weeks only from recording to completion hence the spelling mistakes! 
 (2) HeartattaCk Zine interview appears on LFG blog post

 (3) This page is too long. It's a rambling lot of old bollocks.