Sorry State's Weekly Newsletter: May 19, 2022

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Hello and welcome to another edition of the Sorry State Records newsletter! Once again this week, I’m scrambling to finish the newsletter before rushing off to a gig. Tonight Fried E/M is rolling through North Carolina and playing with hot locals DE()T and Bug E.M.S., then tomorrow Scarecrow is traveling to Virginia Beach to play with Fried E/M and Reckoning Force there. Hologram and Fashion Change came through on Sunday and crushed… if you love Hologram’s records like I do, they will not disappoint you live. North Carolina’s Tetanus and Image of Man also did our home state proud by ripping it up at that gig. I hope you’ve been seeing some good bands live if that’s your thing, but if you’re still sticking to homebound rage-outs, we have some items that may interest you below.

Rigorous Institution: Cainsmarsh 12” (Black Water Records) I make no bones about loving Portland’s Rigorous Institution. I loved all three of their singles, and two of them were Record of the Week here at Sorry State. For me, Rigorous Institution is one of the most exciting and original-sounding bands in contemporary punk, and my expectations were sky high for Cainsmarsh. On the first listen, it was clear Rigorous Institution had not only met, but exceeded those expectations. Cainsmarsh does precisely what you want a band’s debut LP to do after you’ve loved their singles: it gives you a little of what you expect but expands their sound and challenges their listeners. Tracks like “Fever (City)” and “Laughter” are in line with Amebix-influenced post-apocalyptic punk of their three singles, but other songs caught me off guard. “Criminal Betrayers” channels the heavy industrial clatter of early Swans, while “Feral Dogs III (The Feral Hunt)” sounds like harsh noise or power electronics, yet still somehow carries forward Rigorous Institution’s grandiose, medieval-sounding aesthetic. Even the album’s shortest non-instrumental song, “Tempt Fate… and Win!” feels like something new and unexpected, an upbeat and triumphant punk anthem that no one but Rigorous Institution could make. My favorite track on the album, though, is “Nuclear Horses.” This song floored me the first time I listened to the album, and subsequent listens have not dulled its impact. The song’s lyrics address the domestication of horses, and the originality of the topic and the vividness with which the lyrics explore it hit so hard for me… I’m not sure if they intended “Nuclear Horses” as an animal rights song, but I’ve heard a thousand of those and few have stirred the emotions I feel when I listen to “Nuclear Horses.” During the song’s outro, where they sample sounds of horses whinnying uncomfortably, it’s all I can do not to cry. While “Nuclear Horses” is the standout for me, Rigorous Institution’s lyrics are fascinating throughout. They established their aesthetic early in their tenure as a band, channeling some period of history that might be before or after the collapse of our current civilization… or maybe that’s not what they’re doing… whatever it is, their lyrics and music have an utterly distinctive and immersive vibe that I can’t get enough of. Every lyrical topic gets filtered through this aesthetic, so a song like “Ergot,” which seems to be about heroin, feels like it’s written from the perspective of the gods scoffing at humanity’s folly. Maybe some of you won’t want to visit the world Rigorous Institution’s music transports you to—it’s fucking bleak and frightening—but few bands can send you somewhere else as effectively as Rigorous Institution can.

Listen here!

3 New Releases on Sorry State Shipping Soon

Thanks to everyone who picked up the preorders for the three new Sorry State releases we announced last week! As I write this, there is one copy of the Hüstler LP on pink vinyl left, and after that the limited color versions for all three releases will be sold out. The good news is that there’s plenty of black vinyl available, and hopefully you’ll see these popping up on the shelves at your local haunts soon as well. Speaking of which, the jackets for all three records are scheduled to arrive on Monday. Hopefully the remaining inserts aren’t far behind and many or most of you see your order ship before the release date.

Woodstock 99: Super Gremlin LP Up for Pre-Order

Everyone has to swallow the world’s shit, but Cleveland’s Woodstock 99 regurgitates it in technicolor. Their nihilistic and antagonistic take on hardcore punk can recall the Kings of Punk in their prime, but this band is too fucked up to focus on their rage… sometimes they’d rather wander away after a psychedelic riff or poke around in the trash for scraps of 90s pop culture. On Super Gremlin, Woodstock 99 examines the void from all angles, and while it might look frightening or intimidating from some vantage points, from other angles all you can do is laugh. One pill turns you into Jerry A (“La Casa De Fuck You”), and one pill lands you at the denouement of a French noir film (“Budget Inn”), and another one summons DJ Lethal to lay down some sick scratches (“Beatboxing in Viet… Nam!!”). Down them all, chase them with a couple shots of cheap whiskey, and follow Woodstock 99 down the rabbit hole.

The first pressing of Super Gremlin is 500 copies with a full-color jacket, black-and-white inner sleeve, and an 8”x10” color photo print of the band. 150 copies are on clear vinyl.

Invalid: S/T LP Up for Pre-Order

Invalid’s cassette-only debut, Do Not Resuscitate, came out on their hometown label Cruel Noise Records early in 2020 and, for me, it was love at first listen. Invalid plays hardcore in the tradition of Black Flag’s Damaged, deploying sophistication and craft not to show off, but as tools that allow them to go further and deeper as they exorcise their demons. Invalid’s bulldozer intensity is the first thing that grabs you, but the great riffs and songs keep you coming back, every track containing an improbable hook like the martial chant of “Wake up / eat / shit” in “This Life,” the primal howl of “wasting away” in the chorus to “Escape,” or the instant-classic intro riff to “Stupid Pills.” Fans of records like Direct Control’s first 7”, C.O.C.’s Eye for an Eye, and Unseen Force’s In Search of the Truth are perhaps best primed to appreciate Invalid’s punishing yet catchy and energetic style of hardcore. This self-titled LP contains all eight tracks from Do Not Resuscitate plus six new ones cast from the same mold.

The first pressing of Invalid’s self-titled LP is 500 copies with a black and white jacket, two-sided lyric insert, and 24”x36” poster insert. 400 copies are on black vinyl and 100 clear red vinyl copies include an additional screen printed cover.

Hüstler: S/T LP Up for Pre-Order

Both of Hüstler’s cassette releases for Sorry State Records sold out almost instantly, so compiling those two cassettes for Hüstler’s first vinyl record was a no-brainer. Hüstler burst through the gate on their first tape with one of the most distinctive voices in the contemporary underground, smashing together elements of punk, death rock, and metal into a sound that is both anthemic and intense. Their second tape only upped the ante, widening their stylistic scope while leaning into the crowd-pleasing choruses and mosh parts. We’re very proud to present Hüstler’s early years on the format that matters.

The first pressing of Hüstler’s self-titled LP is 500 copies with a full-color jacket, full-color insert, and 24”x36” poster insert. 150 copies are on clear pink vinyl.

Lasso Touring Europe Right Now!

Lasso’s European tour starts TONIGHT in Frankfurt, Germany! They’re in Europe for a couple of weeks (see the poster above for dates), so go see them if you have the chance.

This week’s edition of Hardcore Knockouts matches up two more 80s Japanese flexis. While I’ve contributed a few photos to Hardcore Knockouts, most of the records pictured belong to Usman. Whenever I own both of the records in a Hardcore Knockouts, I give myself a little mental high five. I got one this week.

Cast your vote in the next edition of Hardcore Knockouts on our Instagram stories next Tuesday!

  1. Rudimentary Peni: S/T 7” (Sealed Records)
  2. Woodstock 99: Super Gremlin 12” (Sorry State Records)
  3. Hüstler: S/T 12” (Sorry State Records)
  4. Invalid: S/T 12” (Sorry State Records)
  5. Peace de Résistance: Bits and Pieces 12” (Peace de Records)
  6. Valtatyhjio: Lukko cassette (Sorry State Records)
  7. Straw Man Army: SOS 12” (La Vida Es Un Mus)
  8. Torso: Sono Pronto A Morire 12” (Sorry State Records)
  9. Rigorous Institution: Cainsmarsh 12” (Black Water Records)
  10. Violent Apathy: 11/29/81 7” (Radio Raheem Records)

Here’s your weekly roundup of the best selling releases of the past 30 days at Sorry State. Not a lot of changes from last week… thanks again to everyone who is picking up all the new Sorry State titles!

If you’ve checked the site over the past few days, you might have noticed that we got in a huge shipment of classic punk and hardcore reissues from Puke N Vomit Records and their associated labels. I’m stoked to have Sin 34 records on the shelves, can’t wait to check out the Sado Nation stuff, and there’s plenty more including classics from Blitz, Appendix, and Reagan Youth and reissues from lesser-known bands like the Yaps from Mexico and Kumikristus from Finland.

Venas Rotas Discos from Mexico just reissued Los Monjo’s discography as a beautifully packaged double album. Los Monjo was a band from Guadalajara, Mexico made up of four brothers (Monjo is their surname!). They formed in 2003 and put out several releases between 2008 and 2015. I was head over heels for their anthemic sound and I’m so stoked for this reissue. The price on these is quite high, but it’s very expensive to make records in Mexico, and the packaging is lavish and beautiful. When you hold the record in your hands, it feels well worth the price tag.

Roach Leg Records brings us two new tapes, a new demo from SØRDÏD and a repress of the People’s Temple tape, whose original run sold out in a flash before we could get copies.

Germany’s Erste Theke Tonträger also has two new releases, a split 7” between Australian punks Mini Skirt and C.O.F.F.I.N. and a massive double LP compilation called Good Times Rock and Roll Compilation Vol 3 that features a mass of contemporary punk bands doing cover songs, ranging from straightforward takes on punk classics to wild reinterpretations of contemporary pop nuggets.

Not to be outdone, we also have two new releases from Buffalo’s famed Feral Kid Records: a reissue of a Florida KBD obscurity by Antler Joe & the Accidents and a new split 7” between Mononegatives and Mystery Girls.

After a long wait, Supreme Echo’s reissue of the Neos’ discography, Three Teens Hellbent on Speed, is back in stock! This sold out so quickly we didn’t have time to write a description last time, but this release has excellent packaging and essential music… a mandatory pickup for any hardcore punk nerd.

Sonarize Records continues its vinyl reissues of the entire Doom catalog with three more albums: Re-Viled, World of Shit, and Doom’s split 12” with Cress.

Prank Records just reissued the Grimple / Logical Nonsense split 12” with upgraded packaging, and while we were picking up those, we also restocked a bunch of other classics from Prank, including Christ on Parade’s Sounds of Nature, which I was just listening to the other day.

Phobia Records has four new releases this week, including new 12”s from Vancouver’s Phane and Sweden’s Parasit and Utrota, and a new 7” from Komplex Viny from the Czech Republic.

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