I was hanging out in my record room and organizing stuff and I came across my copy of the Kodan Armada/Pretty Faces 7” put out by We Are Not Wizards in 2004 and i’ve never seen anyone talk about this split, probably because very very few people have it. the deal was that there were 500 of these supposed to be made but only a few got finished and I can really see why. this release is absolutely insane. here’s what it consists of:
- screenprinted manilla envelope
- photo print of one of the bands playing live, each one unique, held together by the envelope with some crazy fine cutting
- polysleeve glued inside for holding zines
- 3 zines: one for each band (Kodan Armada and Pretty Faces) and one from the label
- a huge screenprinted, customized booklet (more later)
- the record itself
starting on the envelope itself, it’s held together by 2 velcro tabs and is printed /500. it’s also #’d in silver sharpie in the top left flap for pre-order editions, mine is #61. there’s an elephant cartoon cut out and glued on the inside. inside the package, there’s half a polysleeve (like for 7”s) pouch glued to keep the 3 zines seperate from the record and booklet, a totally unnecessary but cool addition.
the band zines are both around 16 pages each and have band photos, tour experiences, comments on the recording process, personal stories, misc pictures and lyrics. the Kodan one doesn’t have lyrics, instead having a blank page that says “have them fill this in when you see them” which would be cool if they hadn’t been broken up for almost a decade now. the smaller zine is also 16 pages and serves as the We Are Not Wizards part. there’s a story about the people he’s met working at a telecom service company and a couple of comics too. I might scan it later.
the big draw here is the sprawling 60+ page booklet. the cover is screened and painted with stars cut out with those little machines that you probably had in elementary school. this contains no less than 3 foldout sections and is a straight on personal zine with sections about graffiti, games, personal anecdotes, seeing The Kodan Armada on tour and befriending them and a whole load of picture collages. one particularly nice piece is an interview with someone from the hardcore community who became a High School teacher. real cool. in the back of the booklet there’s a little usps envelope cut in half to serve as a pouch (common theme here) that holds a We Are Not Wizards pin, patch, sticker, a cardboard animal card that you can pop sections out of and make a cheetah and some confetti.
the record itself is super plain, with slightly thin vinyl and blank yellow labels. i’ve seen some with a sticker on the label but mine came without it. the Kodan Armada song(s) on this is are called Kodan Armada Gave Me The Clap, which, if you have their discog cd, is also known as One… or the song that they break out into Carry On My Wayward Son by Kansas into mid-song. it also has The Butterfly Effect, but the only song listed is that one on every website which I think is funny. the Kodan zine has stories behind both One and The Butterfly Effect, listed by name. i’m not going to pretend like i’ve ever listened to the Pretty Faces side but I bet it’s chill.
this release is HUGE and is one of my favorite things that I own. it’s also notoriously difficult to find for sale. I got lucky and got mine at the same time as my Kodan/Gospel 10” split with the Fuck Ebay cover for around 20 bucks iirc, but i’m not sure if that was a fluke or if they just really sell for that low. it’s really hard to gauge their worth considering very few have been sold since its release. I know for sure there must be less than 500 of these out, maybe even less than 100. who knows. I just felt like I needed to document this b/c the Kodan Armada are one of the best screamo bands to come out of the early 2000s post-Orchid vacuum and all of their other releases are fairly easy to find, or at least prove that they exist. if anyone else has this, get in touch.