Hello and welcome to another edition of the Sorry State Records newsletter! This is a great week for ripping hardcore if you ask me. We have the new Invertebrates demo tape on Sorry State (featuring members of the almighty Public Acid), a killer Record of the Week from Mercenary, a Featured Releases section packed with gems, and new arrivals from White Stains and Bombardement that we haven’t written up yet. If you’re in our part of the world where spring is springing, the move is to open all of your windows and crank this shit in the fresh air. But hardcore works whatever your environment, right? Feel free to test my theory with any of the rippers we delve into below.
March 24 2022
Mercenary: Demos Collection 12” (Beach Impediment Records) Beach Impediment Records brings us the collected works of Mercenary, an Atlanta hardcore band that existed briefly—according to the liner notes, not much more than a year—around 2013 and 2014. I knew Mercenary’s members from their previous bands (including Bukkake Boys, who released a couple of records on Sorry State) and the hardcore scene in the Southern US is small and pretty tight-knit, but even for someone like me who was paying attention, Mercenary felt like a blip on the radar, bubbling up and fizzling far too quickly. This collection adjusts my perspective, making me realize what a fully formed and powerful band Mercenary was. Listening to this collection in the year 2022, I’m struck by how ahead of their time Mercenary sounded. This sound—frantic and complex, Totalitär-style riffing with some extra Shitlickers / Cimex heft—is all over the place in today’s punk scene, and if you’re into bands like Public Acid, Scarecrow, and Extended Hell (guitarist Jesse’s band after Mercenary), you’re gonna love this. The LP collects Mercenary’s 2013 demo, their track from Beach Impediment’s Hardcore Gimme Some More compilation, and five songs from an aborted LP session. The 2013 demo sounds even better to me now than it did at the time. Vicious hardcore with some progressive, squealy noise bits that are a bit like what Public Acid has included on their recordings. However, the aborted LP tracks (which were released on cassette under the title Atlanta’s Burning) are the real treat here. These tracks strip away the noise elements and the riffs get more focused, more complex, and even meaner. It’s fucking killer. Mercenary’s vocalist Ruby (whom you almost certainly know if you were involved in the east coast DIY hardcore scene in the late 00s and 2010s) passed away in 2021, making this LP special for those of us who were lucky enough to know him. (The inserts feature a bunch of photos that make me laugh and cry at the same time.) Regardless of your personal connection with the band, this reissue makes a convincing case for Mercenary as one of the most underrated hardcore bands of the 2010s.
Invertebrates Demo Cassette Out Now on Sorry State
We promised this last week and we’re stoked to deliver today! The demo tape from Richmond’s Invertebrates is out now on Sorry State! Give it a listen on the Sorry State Bandcamp and then head to our website to order. The tape is in stock and shipping NOW!
Sorry State is proud to present the debut cassette from Richmond, Virginia’s Invertebrates. Featuring two members of Public Acid as well as North Carolina legends Wriggle (amongst numerous other groups over the years), Invertebrates’ punk rock bona fides make it no surprise the initial self-released version of this cassette sold out immediately. Sorry State offered to slap our logo on a new run of pro-printed tapes (the j-cards and inserts are still hand made by the band), and lucky for us they agreed! Invertebrates’ sound is pure hardcore punk that finds the perfect balance between catchiness and power. The bouncy rhythms and earworm riffing give off UK82 / oi! vibes, but the shredded vocals, blistering tempos, and jackhammer playing style are rooted in classic US hardcore. Four hardcore punk rippers for fans of Bloodkrow Butcher, Bootlicker, and the Fix.
Headkicker’s Self-titled Cassette Releases Tomorrow
March 25 is the release date for Headkicker’s self-titled cassette on Sorry State! Our copies are running low, so pick this up soon before you hit the website only to be greeted by the dreaded “OUT OF STOCK” notification. You can still listen to one track on Sorry State’s Bandcamp site and the rest will be streaming tomorrow.
Also, if you’re in the Raleigh area, Headkicker’s release show for the tape is Saturday night at the Wicked Witch in Raleigh.
Lasso’s Amuo 7” on Sorry State Shipping Next Week
Last Friday was the release date for Lasso’s second EP, Amuo, a co-release between Sorry State and Static Shock Records from the UK. The printer screwed up the jackets so we didn’t have the vinyl in time for the release date, but they assured us they’ll be in our hands next week. The limited white vinyl version is already running low, so grab it soon if you want one.
Usman serves up another Japanese conundrum for this week’s edition of Hardcore Knockouts. Which one did you choose? I was so tempted to choose the Execute, but in the end I went for G.I.S.M. I miss G.I.S.M. feeling more like a secret, but even now that it’s more accessible, it’s still the wildest shit ever.
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 the 12” from Atlanta’s Hyena. This pick ties into this week’s Record of the Week, since Hyena was the band that Ruby sang in after Mercenary. This record was limited to only 300 copies and I remember Sorry State sold out of them instantly.
Remember, you can always combine your order from Sorry State’s Discogs site with your order from our webstore and save on shipping!
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
LASSO TOUR - MAY 5 - 29
LASSO IN ERICA - MAY 12-14
SCARECROW IN PHILLY - JUNE 16-18
MUTANT STRAIN IN ATLANTA - MARCH 25
GOLPE IN ATHENS - APRIL 1
HUSTLER IN PHILLY - APRIL 3
MUTANT STRAIN & HEADKICKER IN CHARLOTTE - APRIL 3
MUTANT STRAIN IN CHARLOTTE - APRIL 20
MUTANT STRAIN IN BIRMINGHAM - APRIL 28
HUSTLER IN PHILLY - APRIL 30
LASSO IN ANTWERP - MAY 14
ILLITERATES - JUNE 4
- Golpe: La Colpa É Solo Tua 12” (Sorry State Records)
- Lasso: Amuo 7” (Sorry State Records)
- The Chisel: Retaliation 12” (La Vida Es Un Mus)
- Rudimentary Peni: Death Church 12” (Sealed Records)
- Torso: Sono Pronto A Morire 12” (Sorry State Records)
- White Stains: Blood on the Beach 7” (Neon Taste Records)
- Agoni: En Röst För Fred 12” (De:Nihil Records)
- Peace Decay: Death Is Only... 12” (Beach Impediment Records)
- Headkicker: Headkicker cassette (Sorry State Records)
- Mercenary: Demos Collection 12” (Beach Impediment Records)
Here are the best sellers for the past month at Sorry State. Death Church is finally dethroned from the top spot, but comes in at a respectable #4. The White Stains 7” unsurprisingly shows a strong debut and we continue to be thankful to all of the people picking up the releases on our label.
The big news this week is the much-anticipated new 7” from Pittsburgh’s White Stains is in stock now! This has been streaming for a while, so you know how killer it is already, but now you can spin the vinyl. More on this one next week.
We have three new releases on Spain’s Discos Enfermos this week. Many people have been waiting on this new LP from South American (Chile / Argentina) punks Inyeccion. Sadly, their US tour that was meant to coincide with the release has been postponed due to visa issues. We also have the debut 7” from Mexico’s Electrika and another debut 7” from Spain’s Total Nada (this is a split release with Sin Temores).
The new releases from France’s Symphony of Destruction Records just landed today! I am very stoked that there’s a new LP from Bombardement… their previous 7” was one of my favorite records of 2020. We also have a killer new full-length from Portland’s Destripados and a ripping, crusty demo from Portland’s Hope?
I haven’t heard Gasmiasma’s name in a minute, but we just got in this new cassette release from the New Orleans crust band and it is a crusher.
We got in the demo tape from new Philly punk band the Dissidents, which features Bill from Caustic Christ and the Pist. We also restocked the demo tape from Bill’s old 90s band Devastation.