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Record of the Week: Rigorous Institution: The Coming of the Terror 7" + Staff Picks

Rigorous Institution: The Coming of the Terror 7” (Whispers in Darkness) We’ve carried a few releases from Portland’s Rigorous Institution (including a demo tape and a 7” on Black Water), but this is the first time I’m giving them a close listen. It looks like I need to secure copies of both of the previous releases, because I’m flipping out over The Coming of the Terror. Rigorous Institution takes a lot of inspiration from Amebix (which may be the reason I didn’t check them out before; while I like the Spiderleg-era stuff, I’m not the biggest Amebix fan), but that’s akin to saying the Sex Pistols took a lot of inspiration from the New York Dolls. You can hear the connection, but Rigorous Institution goes so much further. They stress the thudding weight of Amebix’s riffing and production, wielding their instruments like primitive medieval weaponry. But while much of Amebix’s music sounds airy and wide open, Rigorous Institution drapes everything in a menacing, nigh-impenetrable fog. The two songs on the a-side could have soundtracked the final battle against the army of the dead on Game of Thrones, as these tracks are similarly grim, heavy, chaotic, and brutal. The b-side is the real treat, though. While the song at the core mines a similar metal-punk style as the two tracks on the a-side, the band gets drowned out by a psychedelic swirl of chanting monks, clanking chains, and what sounds to me like one long trumpet note announcing the coming of the apocalypse (but I assume is the same symphonic synth sound they use on the rest of the record). It’s one of those tracks where you stare at the speakers, asking yourself what exactly the fuck it is that you’re hearing. Recommended if you think blasting Bathory's Blood Fire Death while doing peyote in the Scottish highlands sounds like a cool time.


Staff Picks: Jeff

Physique: The Rhythm of Brutality 10” - Well first off, I really wish this wasn’t a 10”, but I gotta say I was totally taken aback by this record.  I feel like Physique has taken elements that are common in a lot of “raw punk” these days and synthesized them tactfully and flawlessly. It’s just good: It’s the perfect length, the production is noisy but not too noisy; also I appreciate that it’s not stupid fast the whole time. You can really feel the swing and groove of the drums.  Love the guitar playing. Also, sneaky little Framtid cover. Physique’s not reinventing the wheel, because a lot of bands do this style, but I just feel like this record does it better than most.

Also, might as well grab Pick Your King on yet another format. Now I personally have 3 copies. Whatever!

Staff Picks: Eric

Poison Idea - Pick Your King 12": A no brainer right? I already own this record on a couple different formats (unfortunately, not an original Fatal Erection press... sigh) but you better believe I'm picking up this most recent press. A must own for any hardcore enthusiast.

Staff Picks: Dominic

In addition to all the essential new Punk records that we specialize in here at Sorry State, we also have a deep selection of back catalogue used records. We try to curate a broad selection and always have interesting titles going out every week. With that in mind, my recommendations for this week are plucked from our used rock section and can be purchased in store but you should be able to find them at your other favorite record vendor as they have been reissued once or twice. Originals are tough to find and expensive but if you do and can afford them, congratulations to you.

The rock ‘n’ roll explosion sent shockwaves across the planet and when The Beatles and the rest of the British Invasion happened, it seemed that kids all around the world were picking up guitars and forming bands. Ireland had Them, Holland had The Outsiders and Q65, Sweden had The Namelosers, New Zealand had Chants R&B, Australia had The Easybeats, The US had The Remains and Shadows Of Knight and in Canada they had The Ugly Ducklings, the first of our picks today and from Iceland we have our second pick, Thor’s Hammer.

The Ugly Ducklings-Somewhere Outside LP originally came out on Yorktown Records in 1967. It has been reissued on LP and CD, although licensing issues have kept it somewhat unavailable but copies of the excellent Sundazed version in mono should be around along with the version we have in the store which is simply credited to Yorktown. The band formed in 1965 and between 1966 and 1967 released a handful of singles and the album. One of those singles begins the LP. To say the song Nothin’ is a garage rock classic would be an understatement and it is worth the price of admission alone. However, you not only get that great tune (one that secured the group a support slot for The Stones) but also the great “Just In Case You Wonder” and put down classic “She Ain’t No Use To Me”, the latter almost breaking the Canadian Top 50.

But those three singles are not the only highlights. They tackle the Pam Sawyer/Lori Burton song given to The Young Rascals, “Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Any More” and do a better job in my opinion. Side two opens with the Bo Diddley song “Hey Mama (Keep Your Big Mouth Shut) and is another great cover version, rivalling The Pretty Things take. After a couple of jangly poppy tunes, we get to album closer “Windy City (Noise At The North End)” which channels The Yardbirds and is a nice slab of blues psych in all its six minutes and two seconds.

All in all, a great record and one that should sit comfortably with all your other cool sixties R’n B ravers.

And so, to Thor’s Hammer from Iceland. This group has an interesting story and their career and recording legacy has been preserved by some excellent reissues over the past few years. Here at Sorry State we have an LP called If You Knew on the Ugly Pop Records label that contains the singles that built their reputation. The group recorded songs in English, in London for the Parlophone label and released several singles and an EP Umbarumbamba that commands big sums in collector circles. Originally released as a tie-in with a movie of the same name that the group appears in, the tunes are top drawer freakbeat pounders. Imagine if The Beatles got to the Fuzz Box before Keith. Songs “My Life”, “Better Days” and “I Don’t Care” capture the energy of the sixties perfectly and it’s hard to think these guys came from an island in the North Atlantic with a population of less than half a million and not from swinging London. The rest of the collection has some fine more poppy beat numbers including several in their native language. Perhaps not as essential and immediate as the Umbarumbamba material but still pleasant and worthy of investigation. Recommended for fans of sixties beat music that thought they had heard it all.


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