January 6 2022- 2021 Year in Review

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Hello and welcome to another edition of the Sorry State Records newsletter! This week’s newsletter is twice as long as usual because, besides the stuff we always do, for this issue’s staff picks we’re running down our favorites of 2021. Between the killer new stuff that has arrived this week (Reckoning Force!) and our (very different) year-end lists, you should definitely find a few cool pieces of music you didn’t know about until now.

Reckoning Force: Broken State 12” (Not for the Weak Records) A lot of bands make their way by catering to a micro-scene or a clique, but every so often a record appears that tramples all over those quibbling divisions, tapping into deeper, more primal wells of energy and power. The Slant LP Iron Lung released in 2021 was one of those records, and Broken State, the debut 12” from Virginia’s Reckoning Force, strikes me as another. Reckoning Force pulls elements from several corners of hardcore history. I hear some straight edge hardcore in the vocals and build-ups, but most songs are built around quick-fingered riffing from the Totalitär school, and several tracks have catchy, early 80s SoCal punk-style guitar leads (see “Foul Company” and “Last Stand”). I get the impression Reckoning Force isn’t working from anyone else’s template, though, just grabbing whatever tools are most appropriate in their pursuit of total rippage. And boy, does Broken State rip! After a brief ten-second buildup, Reckoning Force slams the gas pedal to the floor and doesn’t let up. Like their fellow Virginians Wasted Time, Reckoning Force’s songs are intricate but not labored over, expertly crafted yet brimming with spontaneous energy, and performed with a jaw-dropping precision that, rather than zapping hardcore’s trademark in-the-moment intensity, ratchets it up to impossibly high levels. If you’re after a pure jolt of energy, I can think of few records that deliver it as effectively as Broken State.

Sorry State’s 2021 Releases

Here are the 9 physical releases Sorry State put out in 2021, which was quite a feat thanks to the omnipresent production backlogs everyone saw this year. Six of these have already sold out, and a seventh is down to fewer than 10 copies. Thanks everyone for a great 2021! If any of these appear in your Best of 2021 lists, please remember to tag us! We have a LOT more in store for 2022, so stay tuned.

This week’s edition of Hardcore Knockouts comes to us from the Netherlands. Both are rippers… as you can see in my year-end roundup, I scored the Mornington Crescent EP this year, but I would love to get the Agent Orange records too. Maybe one day… in the meantime my trusty Jezus and the Gospelfuckers / Agent Orange split 12” will have to do.

Since this is the 2021 Year in Review edition of the newsletter, I thought we’d give you a few extra charts. First, here are the top sellers at Sorry State for the entirety of 2021 (excluding releases on the Sorry State label):

  1. Rudimentary Peni: Great War 12” (Sealed Records)
  2. Nightmare: Give Notice of Nightmare 12” (Farewell Records)
  3. Horrendous 3d: The Gov. And Corps. Are Using Psycho​-​Electronic Weaponry To Manipulate You And Me​... 7” (Whisper in Darkness)
  4. Taqbir: Victory Belongs to Those Who Fight for a Right Cause 7” (La Vida Es Un Mus)
  5. Electric Chair: Social Capital 7” (Iron Lung Records)
  6. Violent Christians: New Blood for a Dead City 7” (Roach Leg Records)
  7. Quarantine: Agony 12” (Damage United)
  8. The Partisans: Anarchy in Alkatraz / No Future Demos 80 82 12” (Sealed Records)
  9. Nog Watt: Fear 7” (Final Doomsday Records)
  10. Nervous SS / Ratcage: Skopje Vs Sheffield 12” (La Vida Es Un Mus)

Curious about what sells in our brick and mortar shop versus online? While our shop has a big selection of punk, we also cater to more mainstream tastes, since we’re a neighborhood record store here in Raleigh. The top sellers for the year in the shop reflect that:

  1. J Cole: 2014 Forest Hills Drive
  2. Bob Marley: Legend
  3. Kanye West: College Dropout
  4. Wu-Tang Clan: Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
  5. Mac Miller: Swimming
  6. Mumford & Sons: Sigh No More
  7. Childish Gambino: Awaken, My Love
  8. N.W.A.: Straight Outta Compton
  9. Lizzo: Cuz I Love You
  10. Nirvana: In Utero

And now here are the most expensive collectibles we sold in 2021:

  1. John Coltrane: A Love Supreme (mono, white label promo)
  2. Ron Henderson & Choice of Colour: S/T
  3. Deep Wound: S/T 7”
  4. Jackie McLean: Swing, Swang, Swinging
  5. AFI: Sing the Sorrow
  6. Led Zeppelin: II (Mobile Fidelity pressing)
  7. Negative Approach: Tied Down (first press)
  8. My Chemical Romance: The Black Parade box set
  9. Hottest: Bust / Backseat Lover 12”
  10. Mercyful Fate: S/T 12” (first press)

First up this week, the new Tempter 12” on Quality Control HQ just dropped TODAY! Tempter is a new Richmond metal / hardcore band featuring members of Nosebleed and Candy, among many others. We have the regular black vinyl on the Sorry State shop, but there’s also a limited clear vinyl version available at qualitycontrolhqusa.com. Sorry State does the shipping for the Quality Control US site, so you can order the clear version and get the usual great service you expect from SSR.

Desolate Records just dropped a big ass stack of new stuff on us. At the top of the heap is the new LP from Swedish heavyweights Dissekerad! There are also new 7”s from Guerra Final and Fragment, a new tape from Hellish View, and we restocked a ton of older Desolate titles too.

Fuego a Las Fronteras is a new reissue label from Spain, and we have their first two releases in stock now. Both are discographies for classic 80s Mexican punk bands, Xenofobia and Desorden Publico.

Also in that package from Spain was the new release on Discos Enfermos, the debut 7” from Aihotz, as well as a restock of their reissue of the great Codigo Neurotico 7”.

Iron Lung just dropped a new promo cassette from Italian hardcore band Sect Mark, and we have copies in now.

California’s No Solution has a bunch of new cassette releases, including a Not Shit discography cassette, a Not Shit / Traitor split tape, as well as a couple of cool mix tapes, one compiling oi! from 77-85 and another featuring 80s music from California’s Inland Empire.

We have the two new reissues from one of my all-time favorite Japanese punk bands, Aburadako. One 12” collects all of their early material (their flexi, 12” EP, and live tracks), and the other 12” features a live set. Both have beautiful packaging including cool booklets and obis.

Puke N Vomit Records also just dropped a big round of new releases, including a bunch of cool reissues from Mexico, California, Denmark, Finland, and the UK.

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