Welcome to month 6 of the HMO Challenge 2013. I had a relatively generous £60 to play with this month and after spending just £34 in May I was feeling remarkably confident about coming well in under budget this month. Unfortunately, there were quite a few high profile new releases hitting the shelves in June and many tempting albums still to consider from previous months. So let’s see how I got on.
Megadeth – Super Collider (Ltd. Edition with bonus tracks) (£13 – HMV in Ayr)
This was my real must-buy of the month despite its mixed reception. It’s a tough one to talk about. As a listener and fan I enjoyed it a lot, it’s got a spark and freshness to it that (previous album) Th1rt3en lacked. There are some great hooks and riffs and some excellent tracks (highlights are Blackest Crow, Kingmaker and the excellent cover of Thin Lizzy’s Cold Sweat). If I listen with my critic’s hat on though, there is some irritatingly lazy songwriting and a couple of filler tracks mid-album. On the whole it reminds me of Youthanasia but without the depth. I listened to this constantly for a couple of weeks but I’m not convinced this is going to have the enduring appeal of albums like Endgame.
KISS – Monster (International Tour Edition) (£10 HMV in Glasgow)
An expensive purchase for 1 bonus track (the previously iTunes-only Right Here, Right Now) but I wanted a CD copy of this because I was a bit disappointed with the spartan packaging of the vinyl edition I bought last year. Unfortunately, this digipak CD edition is much the same (no lyrics or booklet – just a shite poster), but I enjoyed listening to it all the same and the bonus track is a worthy addition.
Anathema – Falling Deeper (£6 HMV in Manchester)
Found this in the HMV clearance sale while down in Manchester for Danzig. This is one of the few Anathema albums that I’m missing and, although I’ve only had one listen so far, it sounds fantastic.
Ulver – Shadows of the Sun (£4 Monorail Glasgow)
Found this pristine copy in the second-hand bins in Monorail. Again, I’ve only had one listen which is totally insufficient for comment but it’s got a cool cover and CD label!
The Meads of Asphodel – Exhuming the Grave of Yeshua (£6 Amazon Marketplace)
The Meads’ Jihad (purchased last month) is one of the best things I’ve heard in ages so another Meads album was on the cards. This is more of the same but not quite as convincing. It’s a fun mash-up of styles but the actual Metal is fairly stock in a sub-Venom kind of way. The highlight of the album is the ambiguous, repeated mantra: “God is fucking with you.”
Cheap Trick – The Complete Epic Albums Collection (£8 Love Music Glasgow)
I’ve been after this for a while (it only just received a UK release in May but had already been available as an import since 2012). Unlike the BÖC set I purchased in February, this one has little in the way of extras and nothing I don’t have already. I’m a massive Cheap Trick fan, however, and I wanted a couple of the remastered CDs here to add to my vinyl copies. Not wanting to spend more than I had to, I was delighted to find a copy for just £33 in Glasgow’s Love Music. This price was cheaper than most online sellers and I had the extra advantage of being able to take in some old CDs and exchange them. So, in the end, this only cost me £8 and cleared a bit of cupboard space into the bargain!
And that’s the lot! £47 spent which brings me in £13 under my monthly budget. No Black Sabbath, Alice in Chains (or either of the Queensryche’s!) made it in this month so feel free to leave a comment and let me know what I’m missing out on. I spent more than I had intended to this month but I still came in safely under budget and there’s a wealth of great music to be getting on with here.
JUNE 2013 TOTALS
Amount spent on purchases: £47
Amount budgeted: £60
Amount over/under budget: £13 Under!
HMO CHALLENGE 2013 TOTALS
Amount spent on purchases: £386
Amount budgeted: £360
Amount over/under budget: £26 Over