Angela's Staff Pick: March 16, 2023

Hi Sorry State fam! How’s it going? Hope all is well on your end. I’m gonna just jump into it!

This week’s pick is the sophomore album from The Whiffs, called Scratch N’ Sniff. The Kansas City power pop band released an album full of really well-done, cool and catchy songs. I gotta get this out of the way first. It comes adorned with a banana scented scratch and sniff sticker! I very lightly “scratched” mine with the side of my finger to preserve the smell because I’m just a nerd like that.

Anyway, on to the music.

This album is so damn likable. It’s so damn listenable and so damn wholesome. But it’s not at all lame. It’s not the style of music I typically reach for, but it’s very hard to not like it. Don’t get me wrong, it rocks, but in a very easy going, feel-good, retro, pop sort of way. It’s one of those albums that I didn’t know I needed.

It’s Not Over is a great opener for what’s to come. The chorus is perfect, and the song is just so damn lovely. I don’t know why this record is provoking me to say damn so many times. I tend to lean on cuss words for emphasis, and this is just not a fuck type of record. Let’s talk about the second track called Shot Thru. Holy Rick Springfield. The intro is giving Jessie’s Girl, which I’m definitely here for. I’m not saying the song sounds like Jessie’s Girl, but it feels like they’re going for that vibe.

The first few songs on the record really pulled me in, but the rest of the album does not disappoint. It’s a cohesive album from top to bottom. Plenty of big choruses and smooth and clean guitar work throughout. The whole album is very hooky and chorus-driven.

The song Won’t Go Away is the perfect example of the retro meets contemporary style of this record. I like that they seem to borrow certain stylistic elements from the 50s through the 80s. It’s very carefully done, as it projects just the right amount of nostalgia without dating themselves.

Overall, Scratch N’ Sniff sounds very polished and thoughtful. It’s a shining example of masterful power pop.

And the sticker! I’m a sucker for the details. Thanks so much for reading!

Until next time.



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