Hello and welcome to another edition of the Sorry State Records newsletter! We took last week off because there was so much to do around here. The store was busy with holiday traffic, and we had a few hot releases come in that y’all gobbled up with a quickness. A few of them, including the Chisel LP, the Tower 7 LP, and the new Boss single, sold out before we could feature them in the newsletter. However, from what I understand, all three records have represses in the works and we have been promised an ample supply of each. In the meantime, there’s still plenty of great new stuff in! As always, you can learn about it by simply continuing to do what you’re doing right now.
December 30 2021
Karma Sutra: Be Cruel With Your Past And All Who Seek To Keep You There 12” (Sealed Records) Karma Sutra was an anarcho-punk band from Luton, England that formed in the early 80s (their first cassette, compiled here, came out in 1983) and dissolved somewhere around 1988. I’d seen the band’s name before and never heard their music, but this collection LP on Sealed Records reveals them to be a buried treasure of the anarcho scene. With a long tenure as a band and a lot of lineup changes, Karma Sutra’s sound covers a lot of ground on Be Cruel With Your Past, which takes in everything from the band’s earliest work, which has a heavier sound akin to Amebix’s early singles, to their final recordings, which remind me of post-punk-informed anarcho bands like Zounds, Hagar the Womb, and Chumbawumba. Despite the stylistic shifts, these tracks are marked by strong songwriting, with catchy choruses (particularly on “Intelligent Life” and “It’s Our World Too”), nimble and energetic playing, and more adventurous moments like the flute-infused “Poll Tax.” The more I listen to this collection, the more I’m astounded that something this good has remained under the radar for so long. Perhaps that’s because the band’s best-distributed release was their LP, which isn’t included here, presumably because the members feel it was rushed and was their weakest work. I can’t speak to that, but Be Cruel With Your Past hangs together remarkably well as an album, and if you’re a fan of that old anarcho sound—particularly the more melodic end of the spectrum—you’ll love it. Even better, it comes with a massive booklet that compiles what seems like every scrap of ephemera relating to the band, including photos, flyers, fanzine interviews, the many informational pamphlets, booklets, and inserts that were de rigeur in the anarcho scene, and Lance Hahn’s excellent article from his series of anarcho punk histories that appeared in Maximumrocknroll. With excellent music you almost certainly haven’t heard before, eye-catching packaging, and a booklet that fills out the record’s history and context, Be Cruel with Your Past has everything I want from a punk reissue.
Since we were off last week, we have two Hardcore Knockouts to share with you. There was a glitch in Instagram and the results of the AOA / Anti-system poll didn’t get saved, but Usman says he’s pretty sure Anti-System won by a good amount. I mentioned this in my playlist in our Instagram stories the other day, but I think AOA smokes Anti-System. Dirt versus the System is a tougher call… I voted for Dirt but I could have gone either way.
Cast your vote in the next edition of Hardcore Knockouts on our Instagram stories next Tuesday!
Our featured release from Sorry State’s Discogs listings this week is this self-titled CD by Mission of Burma. Collecting various non-album tracks and “radio tapes” (a peculiar Boston phenomenon where bands recorded sessions just to be broadcast on the radio rather than commercially released), this collection features some of Mission of Burma’s best songs. It’s an essential piece of the discography for a totally essential band.
Remember, you can always combine your order from Sorry State’s Discogs site with your order from our webstore and save on shipping!
- Vivisected Numbskulls: Swine in Chains 7” (Chaotic Uprising Productions)
- The Chisel: Retaliation 12” (La Vida Es Un Mus)
- Tower 7: Peace on Earth 12” (Roach Leg)
- Asylum: Is This the Price? 7” (Demo Tapes)
- Home Front: Think of the Lie 12” (La Vida Es Un Mus)
- Pyhakoulu: In Retrospect 12” (Svart)
- Karma Sutra: Be Cruel with Your Past… 12” (Sealed)
- Scalple: Skillful Butchers 12” (Sorry State)
- Boss: Cash ‘em In 7” (Static Shock)
- Game: Legerdemain 12” (Quality Control HQ)
There’s been a lot of shake-up in our chart of best-selling releases at Sorry State since our last update. Of course the sold out releases from the Chisel, Tower 7, and Boss all appear, but our previous Record of the Week, the debut vinyl from Vivisected Numbskulls, comes out on top.
This week we have two new releases from one of the best newer labels out there, Virginia’s Not for the Weak Records. We have the new 7” from Crucial Response and the 12” from Reckoning Force, which is indeed a force to be reckoned with. This record knocked me on my ass, and I’m sure I’ll be telling you more about it next week. We also restocked the entire NFTW back catalog, so check that in case you missed any of their previous releases.
We’ve had a couple of killer cassettes come in over the past 24 hours. We have a limited number of copies of the Nisemono tape on Toxic State, which you can read about in Jeff’s staff pick. We also have a killer new one from Jailer, which is a new project brought to us by members of one of our favorites from last year, Sirkka. And speaking of Sirkka, we restocked a few copies of their tape in case you missed that last time.
Speaking of 80s Canadian metal, Urbain Grandier Records is a reissue label dedicated to exploring that scene, and we have three new releases in stock from them. Metallic Assault compiles obscure 80s metal from Toronto and we also have vinyl reissues of two cult tape-only releases from Necromancy and SFH.
Finally, we have two cassette releases from Denmark’s Troop Transport. Troop Transport has a snotty sound influenced by 70s European punk, and they rip!