Angela's SSR Pick: September 1, 2022

Hey Sorry State fam. How are ya? I’ve been a bit under the weather this week, but on the mend. So yeah, enough about me. Let’s just get into the music. Which I guess is also about me because it’s my pick. Whatever.

This week’s pick is Chubby and the Gang’s Labour of Love EP, the three-track “Valentine’s Day” release that I’m just hearing now. Also to preface, I haven’t heard anything from this band prior to this, so I have the opportunity to form an objective opinion with no comparison biases lurking in the back of my brain.

Personally I don’t think there’s much here not to like. It’s three songs with three pretty different styles, which feels like the right approach when your EP only has three songs. I’m gonna take a wild guess that the opening track, Who Loves Ya? (Coup d’ état), is probably not a totally accurate representation of the band’s previous sound. It’s purposely bubble-gummy, but the kind you’d find on the floor of the garage. Garage-gum, if you will. It’s structured like a 70s rock love song that’s punk enough to lack commercial appeal. I hate how much I use this word, but dammit it’s catchy. Not gonna lie, I first thought the simple, lovey, anthemic chorus made the song a little bit karaoke-ish. But all in all I think the singer’s raspy, growly voice and the abrasive guitar legitimizes the song. You get what they’re doing, so I think it works.

The next two tracks will probably be more welcomed by a hardcore/punk audience. Twice Shy is more in your face, less sing-songy, but sticks to the theme. The singer’s voice gets a bit more throaty, the sound is more distorted, and the drums are heavier. I really like the closing song, Ain’t There No One? It’s kind of a nice combination of the first two tracks. It’s melodic and even a bit bluesy, but it’s got the punkier sound of the second track. That all said, I like that that the band changes up their style from song to song but still maintains cohesiveness across the record.

I would be remiss not to comment on the packaging. I admit it’s what drew me in. It’s fucking cute, alright? But also perfectly fitting for this concept-style EP. And it’s just corny enough to know it’s done that way on purpose. Yeah it’s a picture disc, but it sounds totally fine. I typically don’t love picture discs just because they are heavy and I hate records that take up too much space. I don’t even like double LPs. However, the craft of making a picture disc sound good has improved drastically in the last few years.

Anyways, take a listen and thanks for reading!


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