Angela's Staff Pick: September 22, 2022

Hey Sorry State fam! How are you? Hope all is well!

I’ve been super stoked on the Yambag Strength in Nightmares 7” record. We’ve got something quite exciting here. I was born and raised in Akron (near Cleveland Ohio) and I’m always excited to hear new music from the area. Historically, Cleveland’s hardcore scene isn’t that prominent in the grand scheme of things. But, it certainly has a reputation for being angry, chaotic, and nihilistic. Let me tell ya, Cleveland has a special way of breaking your spirit, and it’s only natural that their hardcore music would reflect that. Sounds nice, eh? Oh! There’s this super interesting documentary called Destroy Cleveland that captures the madness of the scene from the 80s to the early 2000s. But in true Cleveland fashion, you will likely never be able to watch it. Unless you have a bootleg of the rare screening from years ago. Basically, it’s just hard as hell to find.

With all that said, I haven’t been really hyped on a Cleveland release until now. Enter Yambag. Strength in Nightmares is one of my favorite releases of this year, period. Some of the fastest, most exhilarating shit I’ve heard in a long time. It’s seven tracks in a little over eight minutes, and that eight minutes flies by so fast.

This record is pure chaos. I could have summed up my staff pick with that sentence alone and felt pretty satisfied that I covered everything, but I will continue. Every track is rambunctious and noisy, but it’s also really well-done and even kind of fun at times. The second side is my favorite part of the EP. The extra snotty vocals, catchier beats, and the bass on their rendition of the song Lowlife is absolutely killer. It’s easily my top track and a great closer to the record. Capture the Flag is a close second. And what kind of Clevo style hardcore would it be without the singer’s random “blechhh” noises? That simple sound of disgust really put that Cleveland stamp on it.

Anyway, if you like your hardcore chaotic and fast as fuck, then this one is for you. It’s every bit as angry as early Clevo style hardcore but it has a catchier beat to it and not quite as soul crushing.

Now for the bad news. I’m sorry to report it sold out before I could get this up! (note from Daniel: a restock is on the way!) But I still really wanted to talk about it as it will surely make my list of top releases this year. I’ve linked the EP below so you can take a listen and hopefully snag you a copy!

Thanks for reading! See ya next week!


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