What’s up Sorry Staters, I hope you are doing okay out there? Another week and another newsletter. Thank you for joining us. With so much going on around us in the world of news, it is often hard to think straight these days. Here in the United States particularly there just seems to be bad story after bad story. We just have to find ways to keep going and not let all this negative shit get us down. Finding things that bring us joy and fuel our passions is so important. Thank goodness here at Sorry State we have all this great music to enjoy and share with you all. Records really are the best, and we have a ton of good ones here and plenty more on their way. Let’s talk about a couple that I have been enjoying this week that maybe you’ll dig too.
Firstly, a fun compilation that we got in called Good Times Rock N Roll Comp Vol.3.
I’m a sucker for a good compilation and especially dig a great cover version. This one although slightly out of my own personal wheelhouse was making me smile as I was playing it yesterday. It’s a double LP made up of all covers done by a truly worldwide array of punk bands. Some songs are old classics and some are more recent songs. The songs chosen range from Abba’s On And On to ZZ Top’s Sharp Dressed Man, making stops at Judas Priest, Poison Idea and even the Fab Four along the way. The band Snooper do an interesting job on Come Together and the Abba song On And On is handled by Prison Affair particularly well. There are over forty tracks across the two slabs of wax and too many songs to go into here, but some you’ll really like and some you might think are just okay, but I don’t think there were any misses. Granted I have only had a couple of listens, but the tunes I did like made it for a fun party kind of record and worthy of picking up. My only gripe would be the lack of any kind of information other than the track listing and the fuzzy blown out type face used which my old man eyes have a hard time reading. But that’s just me being picky.
Often with these types of affairs you’ll hear something from a band that either confirms your feelings that they suck or makes you think, oh that was good, these guys aren’t bad. Lol. There are a few of these here. Don’t make any judgment before you listen is what I say. There also might be bands you don’t know and that can be interesting hearing someone for the first time doing someone else’s songs. Possibly, right? I think so. I also like that some bands just can’t quite pull off the musicianship on their interpretations. The slightly wonky amateurish recordings add charm, and what is lacking in musical chops is made up for with enthusiasm and good vibes. That’s not meant to belittle anyone involved here. On the contrary. Everyone puts in a spirited performance. Nice job all involved.
Moving along to something slightly different now and a quick point in the direction of a record I just discovered last week whilst going through our bins here at the store. A record by a band named Metz from Texas who recorded an album in 1974 that has been barely heard. Reason being the record was a private pressing of just a handful of copies and has not been officially reissued. The copy we had was a grey area reissue, but for $8 it will do just fine. Particularly as originals if ever seen go for big bucks. Which surprised me why the price for even an unofficial pressing is so low. We didn’t screw up either. I double checked online and you can pick up the same reissue I snagged for under $20. Why should you? Why indeed?
There’s not too much information out there on the record and the story behind it, but reviewers of these types of things have described it as Glam sounding with a sound far more at home in London than Texas. The comparisons to Mott The Hoople, Cockney Rebel and Alex Harvey et al are fair, as too are the observations that the vocals sound somewhere between Marc Bolan and Johhny Rotten. It’s all of that and then just a good rock ‘n’ roll band getting down. What sets the sound apart here is the addition of female vocals. They provide great back up and take lead on songs also, providing a bit more street swagger. They kinda remind me of the girls singing on the GG Allin album Always Was Is And Shall Be. It has that sort of vibe. Slinky and sexy 1970s style.
The glam tag I can see, though. Along with the vocals, there’s also plenty of tap tapping keyboard action and art rocky style song structure. Several songs have stretched out repeated codas, and it has been hypothesized that this may have been to please the audiences in the Texas clubs back then who would have been enjoying legal MDMA at the time. It’s an interesting theory. It could also be that they hadn’t written proper endings to songs and just went with the groove and feel of the recording and mimicked the live set. Who knows?
I read also that the main man behind the album is a Richard Metzler, which would explain the name. He apparently was linked with Houston’s Moving Sidewalks, the psych band that had future ZZ Top members, and did the photography for their album.
Probably the best thing for you to do is hit the link here and give it a listen and see what you think. Hopefully you’ll dig it and have fun listening. I know I have.
Okay, time for me to get out of here and let you go. I’ll see you next time friends.
Cheers - Dom