Featured Releases: June 24 2021
Predator: Spiral Unfolds 12" (Total Punk Records) Mere months after issuing the incredible new GG King album (note: back in stock at Sorry State if you missed out the first time), Total Punk Records returns to Atlanta’s punk scene for the latest album from the long-running band Predator. Predator’s first 7” came out in 2009 and their first LP all the way back in 2011; they’ve been at this for a while, and Spiral Unfolds feels like the culmination of everything they’ve done up to this point. If you asked me to describe Atlanta’s garage-punk scene I would almost certainly mention that the bands have a power-pop edge to their sound. This is true of well-known bands like the Carbonas, GG King, Gentlemen Jesse, and Beat Beat Beat (all of whom, if I’m not mistaken, have shared members with Predator), but despite not having that classic power-pop element to their sound (at least in this current iteration), Predator is instantly identifiable as an Atlanta band. Their angular rhythms, thick guitar sound, catchy riffs, and sung vocals (albeit in a robotic monotone) remind me of Atlanta bands like Wymyn’s Prysyn and Uniform, but Predator is just Predator. In a lot of ways they’re like the ultimate Atlanta garage-punk band, jettisoning the easy to like aspects of those bigger bands and leaning into the idiosyncrasies. Spiral Unfolds… fuck, man. Just like GG King’s last LP, Remain Intact, this latest record sounds like the band is throwing off any reservations or limitations and attempting to make the record of their fucking lives. And they nail it. This is a great punk album, likely one of the best of the year, and essential if you follow whatever you call this strain of nervy, catchy punk.
Mundo Primitivo: Paisaje Interior cassette (Static Shock Records) Paisaje Interior is the debut release from this new band on Static Shock, one of our favorite labels here at Sorry State. While Mundo Primitivo is based in Australia, their singer is from Colombia and sang for the band Abuso, and to my ears Mundo Primitivo has more in common with the raw and urgent punk that’s been coming out of Colombia for the past several years than the more considered and cosmopolitan Australian hardcore scene. What’s it sound like? Raw fucking hardcore punk with elements from catchier punk and a little goth. The tape starts with an instrumental track whose riff sounds suspiciously like Fucked Up’s song “Generation” (it’s a great fucking riff, why not?) then segues into several tracks of killer, catchy punk. It’s hardcore, but with a sense of drive and bounce rather than an emphasis on heaviness or brutality. The songs feel unique from one another, not just iterating the same ideas and motifs again and again. This culminates on the tape’s last track, “Medium,” which has a spookier, more spacious goth sound that reminds me of Kurraka. The songs are superb and I love the gritty recording, killer artwork, and that there’s a solid 12” EP worth of music here. One of the strongest demos we’ve seen in 2021 so far.
HHH: Solidhardcore 12” (Discos Enfermos) Spain’s Discos Enfermos brings us this Spanish hardcore band’s 1985 cassette-only release on a great-looking new vinyl version. I’m going to give it to you straight on this one and list some of my observations about this record:
- It sounds like shit.
- The band plays really sloppy.
- This recording has perhaps the worst bass tone I’ve ever heard in my life.
- The influences are obvious (Discharge and G.B.H.).
- I mean it really sounds like shit. The drums and bass are super muffled and the guitar tone is so biting it hurts your teeth.
- There appear to be problems with the source material as there are occasional drop-outs.
If these are pros to you, buy this record. If they are cons, consider one of the thousands of other records we carry here at Sorry State. But I should tell you that you also miss out on a pretty cool poster insert.
Self-Inflict: demo cassette (Not for the Weak Records) Virginia’s Not for the Weak Records brings us the demo tape from this new Virginia band, and it’s of a piece with that state’s long line of tough-sounding, traditionalist hardcore bands. Self-Inflict has the driving, locked-in sound I associate with Negative Approach’s Tied Down LP or later bands that took cues from that record, like Dead Stop or Punch in the Face. It’s no-nonsense stuff that alternates between fist-pumping rhythms and heavier grooves that make you want to hurt someone. The recording is clear, bright, and heavy without sounding too slick or modern, and if you are a fan of this strain of tough, 80s-inspired hardcore, you’re gonna love it.
Deficit: Staggering Toward False Light cassette (Not for the Weak Records) Not for the Weak Records brings us another tape from a new Virginia band; this time it’s Virginia Beach’s Deficit, a one-person project helmed by Ben Kohler, the drummer for Street Weapon. While the Self-Inflict tape that Not for the Weak put out at the same time has a brawny, driving sound, Deficit is rawer, noisier, and more unhinged. I’d place Deficit in the tradition of bands like YDI, Urban Waste, and United Blood era Agnostic Front. While these bands were heavy and tough-sounding, there was a streak of added danger, like they would not only want to fight you, but there’s a distinct possibility that during that fight they would stab you with a shiv hidden in their boot. If you like it nasty, this one’s for you.
Mini Skirt: Casino 12” (Erste Theke Tonträger) This Australian band has been kicking around for a few years now, releasing a few EPs, and Germany’s Erste Theke Tonträger has brought us their much-anticipated debut album. Well, it wasn’t anticipated by me in particular since I hadn’t heard Mini Skirt before I checked out Casino, but man this is a killer record. When I first listened to it, the thing that jumped out was how much it sounds like Eddy Current Suppression Ring. ECSR is one of my favorite bands of the last couple of decades, and they have this distinct way of playing… upbeat, but with a nonchalant, behind the beat groove that sounds like the Stooges’ Fun House if they never discovered heroin and instead just smoked weed and hung out on the beach. Well, at least that way of playing was unique to ECSR before I heard Mini Skirt, because Mini Skirt does pretty much the same thing and it sounds just as great. Mini Skirt’s vocal approach differs from ECSR, though. Mini Skirt’s singer has a gruff bellow that’s more like the Cosmic Psychos. (Sorry for another Australian band comparison… it’s kind of unavoidable since the singer has such a heavy accent.) The lyrics are politically aware and thought-provoking, which is important because Mini Skirt’s spacious sound gives a lot of room for the singer to do his thing. If anything I’ve mentioned above piques your interest, give Casino a peek… it’s won me over.