Angela's Staff Pick: March 9, 2023

Hi Sorry State readers! Hope everyone is having a good week. Things are pretty good on my end. It’s been a really good couple of weeks for music listening, so it was hard to narrow it down to one record this week. I just realized I haven’t even written about the Koro release, which is absurd because I’ve played it a ton. So I’m going to honorably mention it because you absolutely need it. I’m convinced it will never sound better.

That said, I chose to go a different direction this week and write about the new release from Rough Kids. Rough Kids is a consistently good LA power pop/punk band that should probably be more widely known than they are. Their third LP, The Black and White and Gray, is on Dirt Cult Records, and it does not disappoint. I popped it on right when we got it, but it didn’t quite get its hooks in me until the second spin a few days later. And now I’m sold.

The album is very guitar-driven with some great guitar leads, and the rhythm section is really tight and focused. It’s very obvious that they mean business with this album. The songs are reminiscent of ‘77 punk, but I also hear a good amount of more modern sounding post-punk. I like the diversity in vocal styles throughout the album because it changes the feel of the songs and just makes the album more fun and unpredictable. It feels like Rough Kids get a little more intense and more focused with each album. While you're at it, check out their second LP on Sorry State Records.

From top to bottom, the energy of this album does not wane. Don’t Blow it Away and Breakdown are two standout tracks for me. Both are pretty straightforward, mid- to fast tempo tracks with razor sharp riffs and simple yet super catchy beats. She’s All Gray is another one of my favorites and a good example of the diverse styles on the album. This one has a more emotional tone and sense of urgency, with some killer guitar solos. The guitar work is really the star of the whole album.

This is just one of those albums you throw on when you just want something high energy and fun to listen to. It may help pull you through the last part of your shift, or keep you motivated while you clean your house. Or, more realistically, while you organize or re-sleeve your record collection. Give it a try!

Anyway, thanks for reading and have a great weekend!


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