Hello and welcome to another edition of the Sorry State Records newsletter! This section is always the last part of the newsletter I write, so every week I end up commenting on the timing. Once in a while I’m on the ball and get it done super early, but this week is perhaps the latest I’ve ever turned it over to Rachel for formatting. Sorry Rachel! Everyone reading should give her a round of applause for burning the midnight oil every Thursday to make this happen. Looking at this week’s new arrivals, we’re all pretty excited about the new Agoni reissue and you can read about that in a few different parts of this week’s newsletter, but as always there’s plenty more than that to talk about. Dig in and enjoy!
March 17 2022
Agoni: En Röst För Fred 12” (De:Nihil Records) Sweden’s De:Nihil Records brings us the collected recordings of this early Stockholm d-beat / hardcore band. While Agoni later changed the spelling of their name to Agony and released a thrash metal record on the UK’s Under One Flag Records, they’re perhaps best known to punks for touring the UK with Anti-Cimex in 1986. I knew their name from flyers for that tour, but they released two demos in their earlier d-beat style and appeared on a couple of very hard to find cassette compilations. Actually, the second of these demos is so obscure they believed it lost, but a friend of the band turned up a copy and it appears here, where most people will hear it for the first time. If you’ve heard that first demo, you’ll be pleased to hear the second demo is just as ripping. In fact, the two sessions are so similar that it’s easy to miss when it switches from the first tape to the second on this LP. This is raw, Discharge-inspired hardcore in the vein of Agoni’s contemporaries like Mob 47, Anti-Cimex, and Shitlickers… the good shit. If you’re a Swedish d-beat fanatic, you’re going to want to hear this… I’ve had side A playing on repeat since this arrived earlier this week. The b-side features their third demo, where they transition toward their thrash metal style (I like these tracks, but they’re not the main draw here) and a live set from the d-beat era with a rough but listenable recording that captures the band sounding ferocious. The sound on the LP is great, and the gatefold features liner notes in Swedish. If you take the time to translate them (here is a link to an official translation the label provided us!), you’ll glean some interesting tidbits, like how they were frustrated with their drummer for not playing the d-beat exactly like Discharge, how they recruited their guitarist when they spotted him at a pub with Discharge painted on his leather jacket, and how the bass player (who writes the liner notes) turned up to the second demo session to find the guitarist had already recorded the bass tracks (he quit the band in protest). If you live for unearthed obscurities like this, you won’t want to miss En Röst För Fred.
Invertebrates Tape Coming Soon on Sorry State
That’s right, we have yet another new release for you! We’re stoked to bring you this demo tape from a new Richmond band called Invertebrates. Invertebrates features two members of Public Acid (as well as two members of much-loved North Carolina / Sorry State band Wriggle) and this demo tape knocked us out when the band released a small batch on their own a few months ago. Since that initial batch sold out so quickly, we asked the band to let us press up a new batch on Sorry State and they were down. Watch for this one to go up for sale next week!
Lasso: Amuo EP Up for Pre-Order
Tomorrow, March 18, is the release date for Amuo, the second EP from Brazil’s Lasso. We have the vinyl in stock now and the sleeves are en route to us, so preorders should ship next week. You can listen to a track on Sorry State’s Bandcamp site now and pre-order the record (we have copies on limited white vinyl) here.
Less than a year after their debut, Brazil’s Lasso returns with their second EP. While Lasso’s razor-sharp riffing and songwriting remain intact, this time around the sound is thicker and meaner, as if what was presaged in the first EP’s foreboding, ominous sound has finally come to pass. Indeed, as the world has slid into previously unthinkable depths of darkness and brutality, Lasso’s sound has evolved to match, a hard-won sense of steadiness now augmenting the anguish so palpable on their first record. Lasso also introduces a few new musical wrinkles here. A surf-y, Dead Kennedys-esque lead guitar elevates tracks like “Fechado Em Copas” and “Atarantado” to even higher levels of catchiness than their already-infectious debut, while “Mendaz” closes the record with an apocalyptic, mid-paced stomp. Desperate times call for desperate music, which makes Lasso the perfect soundtrack for 2022.
Lasso will be touring Europe in May 2022. Look for a full announcement with dates soon!
Headkicker’s Cassette Up for Pre-Order
We are stoked to launch a pre-order for the next release on Sorry State: the debut cassette EP from Raleigh’s Headkicker. While this is technically a pre-order because the tape doesn’t come out until March 25, the cassettes are in stock and shipping NOW with no wait. If you’re in the Raleigh area, Headkicker is playing a gig on March 26 at the Wicked Witch that will serve as the release show for the tape. Check the description below (and note the awesome packaging, which the band designed themselves) and head over to Sorry State’s Bandcamp site to hear a track.
Sorry State is proud to present the debut cassette EP from Raleigh, North Carolina’s Headkicker. Headkicker’s intense yet eclectic sound glides elegantly between several different punk styles and scenes. Opening track “The Law” is built around a sinister bass riff, the song’s punk rock snarl recalling Hank Wood & the Hammerheads’ garage bounce, while “Future” is a furious pogo tailor-made for Raleigh’s chaotic basement shows. Standout track “Televise” recalls classic 77 punk bands like the Saints and the Damned with its meaty, driving riff and infectious chorus hook, and the pop jangle of “Crafty” serves as a respite from the non-stop intensity. Through all the subtle variations in style, Headkicker’s confident playing and the EP’s crisp, warm production keep the energy level in the red, just where you want it to be. Like the best bands from Raleigh’s long tradition of punk and hardcore, Headkicker stitches the best parts of their inspirations into a sound that is classic yet wholly their own.
The Headkicker cassette is professionally duplicated with an imprinted silver cassette shell and features a lyric insert, full-color j-card, and an obi strip embossed with the band’s name in braille. Limited to 100 copies.
Peace de Résistance’s LP Up for Pre-Order
We are also very stoked to be handling distribution for the debut LP by Peace de Résistance, the solo project from Moses Brown of Institute and Glue. There’s one track streaming on PDR’s Bandcamp site now, but I’ve heard the entire record and it’s a total stunner… I have been listening to it constantly since Moses sent it to me and I am completely in love with it. Read the full description (written by me) below, and head to Sorry State’s site to place your pre-order. Vinyl should ship well before the official release date of April 13. Also, Sorry State is handling all distribution for the record, so if you have a shop or a distro please get in touch with us for wholesale copies.
Moses Brown of Texas punk bands Institute and Glue released his first cassette under the name Peace de Résistance - a solo project where he plays all the instruments - in October 2020. That cassette found Brown bouncing his growing songwriting chops off the fuzz-drenched Zamrock sound of Paul Ngozi, Witch, and Amanaz. However, Bits and Pieces - Peace de Résistance’s first full-length and first vinyl release - has a wider vista. Brown describes the sound as “demented glam rock,” and while you can hear remnants of the Zamrock influence in the sinuously melodic fuzz guitar, the more pertinent frames of reference are Diamond Dogs -era Bowie, 70s Lou Reed, and Iggy’s The Idiot and Lust for Life. Bits and Pieces recalls those records’ potent combination of artistic ambition, street-level rock and roll swagger, and pop charm, but filtered through the DIY punk aesthetics of Brown’s previous work. Lyrically, the album documents life on the fringes in a hyper-surveilled 2020s America, with songs like “Don’t 1099 Me,” “We Got the Right to Be Healthy,” and “Exploitation” wrenching plainspoken poetry from an existence that will be all too familiar to anyone at odds with capitalism. After nine timeless art-rock songs, Bits and Pieces lets us down gently with “Sitting in Disguise.” This motorik-inspired instrumental offers a rickety, dilapidated update of Neu!’s seamless futurism, implying that the only appropriate response to our predicament is to keep moving forward.
Sorry State Is Hiring
That’s right, Sorry State is hiring! We’re looking for a full-time employee to work primarily in our mail order department. Responsibilities will include:
- Packing and shipping online orders
- Responding to customer support requests
- Managing inventory at our warehouse and retail store
- Sharing your love of music through Sorry State’s social media and email newsletter
- Other duties as assigned (we’re a small company so everyone pitches in with everything)
Our ideal candidate will:
- Work 40 hours / 5 days per week (we’re somewhat flexible on the exact hours / days, though)
- Have strong attention to detail (this is VERY important for this position!)
- Have strong basic computer skills (email & office apps)
- Have strong communication skills (in person and electronic / written)
- Have reliable transportation
- Be able to lift 30 pounds
- Contribute to a positive, upbeat work environment
Since you’ll be working mostly in our mail order department, which primarily sells punk and hardcore, it would be great to find a candidate who is passionate about that music.
Starting pay is $12/hr.
To apply, email a resume and cover letter to email@example.com. Either in the cover letter or the body of the email, please tell us about some of your favorite music (of all time or just lately).
We will accept applications through Sunday, March 20. Sorry, you must be in the Raleigh area to do this job!
We’re back in Finland again for this week’s edition of Hardcore Knockouts. I voted for Kolla Kestää because I love them, but I must admit I haven’t spent enough time with 013. Based on the votes, it seems like I should rectify that.
Cast your vote in the next edition of Hardcore Knockouts on our Instagram stories next Tuesday!
My pick from Sorry State’s Discogs listings this week is Ugly Pop’s repress of a Canadian punk classic, the Fits’ Bored of Education EP. This one is right up there with the Viletones for ripping first-gen Canadian punk.
Remember, you can always combine your order from Sorry State’s Discogs site with your order from our webstore and save on shipping!
INVERTEBRATES IN RICHMOND - MARCH 24
HEADKICKER IN RALEIGH - MARCH 26
ZORN IN PHILLY - APRIL 1
SCARECROW IN CHAPEL HILL - APRIL 4
SCALPLE IN NYC - APRIL 20
MUTANT STRAIN IN LEXINGTON - APRIL 30
SCARECROW IN PHILLY - JUNE 16-18
MUTANT STRAIN IN ATLANTA - MARCH 25
GOLPE IN ATHENS - APRIL 1
MUTANT STRAIN IN CHARLOTTE - APRIL 20
MUTANT STRAIN IN BIRMINGHAM - APRIL 28
LASSO IN ANTWERP - MAY 14
LASSO IN ERICA - MAY 12-14
LASSO TOUR - MAY 12-29
- Rudimentary Peni: Death Church 12” (Sealed Records)
- Golpe: La Colpa É Solo Tua 12” (Sorry State Records)
- Torso: Sono Pronto A Morire 12” (Sorry State Records)
- The Chisel: Retaliation 12” (La Vida Es Un Mus)
- Lasso: Amuo 7” (Sorry State Records)
- Terveet Kadet: 1980-1984 photo book (Finnish Hardcore)
- Agoni: En Röst För Fred 12” (De:Nihil Records)
- Headkicker: Headkicker cassette (Sorry State Records)
- Reckoning Force: Broken State 12” (Not for the Weak Records)
- Peace Decay: Death Is Only… 12” (Beach Impediment)
This week’s chart of the best selling releases at Sorry State is dominated by our own label releases. I’m glad y’all are digging the new stuff we have coming out!
This week Beach Impediment Records released two brand new hardcore smashers. We have the demos collection from Atlanta’s Mercenary and the debut from Texas’s Peace Decay. More on these next week!
I know Usman has been waiting for the US pressing of Warchild’s new LP, A Question for Today… Not Tomorrow to drop, and the time has finally come! This comes to us courtesy of Portland’s esteemed Black Water Records, and it’s a ripper that fans of classic Swedish mängel will love.
Speaking of esteemed labels of the Pacific Northwest, Iron Lung dropped FOUR new ones on us this week. We have a new EP from DC power violence kings Brain Tourniquet, a new promo cassette from Innumerable Forms, a killer hardcore demo from Australia’s Gaoled, and a split cassette Iceland’s Daudyflin and Sweden’s X2000.
Last week I told you we would restock copies of the Rapsodie En France compilation reissue that sold out super quick, and we have made good on that promise. In the meantime, World Gone Mad also released a new demo from Philly band Soft Torture, so we grabbed copies of that too. Soft Torture features YDI bassist Chuck Meehan and they play some wild and spastic, stop on a dime hardcore for fans of Die Kreuzen.
After months in postal purgatory, Erste Theke Tonträger’s new release from Dramachine has arrived! We also restocked the excellent Powerplant LP on Erste Theke and some older titles, too.
Also in the restocks department, we got in another batch of the second single from BOSS, the glam supergroup featuring Maxime from Rixe and Jonah Falco from a million great bands. Our first batch sold out instantly, so get this while it’s hot!
Another key restock: Barren Soil’s demo tape, which we named Record of the Week a few weeks back. FFO Amebix and Axegrinder. Killer shit.
I know we mentioned this last week, but it’s worth reiterating the new Star Party LP is out now on Feel It, and as of right now we still have copies of the orange/white swirl colored vinyl in stock.
We give them a full write-up in the Featured Releases section, so please consult that for more details, but we’re stoked to have the debut 7” from New York’s Church Clothes in now.
If any of you were intrigued by the Mandy, Indiana record I wrote about in my staff pick a few weeks ago, we have copies of that in stock now. It’s on nice-looking seaglass colored vinyl too.