Jeff's Staff Pick: February 2, 2023

What’s up Sorry Staters?

It’s been wet and cold as a freezer in Raleigh the last couple days. Good time to sit inside and write about punk. Things have been extra busy around Sorry State HQ lately. We’re holding off on announcing anything just yet, but expect some news from Sorry State, but also some exciting news from me ‘n’ Usman’s label Bunker Punks next week:)

Anyway, time to talk about records:

Thanks to the good people at Lärmattacke Records, Sorry State has been able to stock a killer batch of European punk reissues. Some of these titles have been out of print since the 80s. And while everyone is freaking out about Varaus (rightfully so), I gotta say that these Indirekt reissues got me excited. Indirekt is one of those bands that I can’t even remember how I first discovered. Their LP Op Oorlogspad is one of those records that I had on my iPod back when I had one of those, so I feel like it’s in my DNA after hearing it sporadically over the years. Probably a random addition when on my nerdy voyages into trying to discover more and more international hardcore.

Indirekt is from the Netherlands and was active as far back as 1982. Most notably what stands out about Indirekt’s sound is that they had a girl singer and her vocals are super tuneful and melodic. For a long time, I didn’t realize that the band had 2 different eras with 2 different women singing. The band’s first 7” from 1984 was when they had a singer named Marjolein, and then as of 1985 Anneke took over vocal duties, which is honestly the era I’m more familiar with. I mainly wanna talk about Op Oorlogspad, their sole full-length. Musically, the band plays that umpa-umpa 1-2-1-2 drum beat at ripping fast tempos with soaring, energetic melodies. The guitar sound is perfect in my book. It sounds like a cranked Marshall, and just great, anthemic sounding riffs. I love songs like “Nomen Scio,” which is like a total ’77 style classic punk tune, almost sounds like The Avengers or something. But then interspersed within the hardcore, every few songs or so, the songwriting gets quirky—and I mean like SUPER quirky. When it’s straight hardcore, then it’s great, but sometimes, the vocals are sing-songy to the point of almost sounding folky. It’s almost like a speeded out, Dutch take on Trallpunk, kinda like Asta Kask or something. But don’t let that put you off. I remember the first time I heard this record I was almost put off by the strange, goofy moments. Operatic vocal outros, rockabilly yee-hoos, reggae breakdowns… So yeah, it gets kinda wild. But upon further analysis, I get the impression that Indirekt was more light-hearted and had a real sense of humor. These unexpected musical ideas that kinda make you go “huh?” actually function like brief and welcomed moments of levity. I mean, really the cover art is pretty silly. But the hardcore contained within is killer.

This reissue has awesome goodies with the packaging, and all our copies are on green/yellow/blue mix vinyl. Each copy looks totally unique. The record comes with a poster, stickers and a nice full color booklet with photos, scans of flyers, a biography and interviews with the band. Whereas you might see photos of the Dutch Agent Orange wearing leather jackets, the photos in this booklet indicate that Indirekt’s vibe was more like Minor Threat t-shirt over a hoodie, lookin’ like a member of 7 Seconds or some shit. Not that Indirekt sound totally USHC or anything. They definitely exhibit musical influences that sound distinctly European. But they definitely sound more like Sin 34 than they do like Sacrilege. In my nerdy research, I tried to figure out if Indirekt played with other bands from the Netherlands like Nog Watt or BGK. Looks like Indirekt was from a town called Hoorn, which is many miles north of the Holland/Amsterdam region. And where Nog Watt and BGK sang in English, Indirekt actually sings in Dutch. Interesting distinction.

So yeah, there’s a little write-up about me re-experiencing Indirekt. Really, it’s my first time getting to check it out in a physical format, which was super fun for me. I highly recommend you give this record (or their 1986 7” Nacht Und Nebel) a shot if you’re feeling froggy.

That’s all I’ve got this week. As always, thanks for reading.

‘Til next week,


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