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SSR Picks: Jeff - April 7 2022

What’s up Sorry Staters?

Recently, Sorry State purchased a handful of records from this dude’s collection. Flipping through his 7”s, it became immediately clear to me that this dude was buying records during what I affectionately refer to as the “No Way-era”. Basically, that period in the early-to-mid-2000’s when a flood of bands came out trying to emulate classic 80s hardcore. One of the bands heavily featured in the stack of records that this dude sold to us was Career Suicide. Bringing back memories, I decided to revisit and basically listen to all of Career Suicide’s records, which I thankfully still have at home. And DAMN, I gotta say these records still rip hard as fuck and hold up so well. The records maybe even make more of an impression on me now that I’m older, because over the years, I’ve heard so many bands trying to ape this style.

I was a little young to hear the first few records by Career Suicide when they first came out. By the time I was a teenager getting super into hardcore and discovering local shows, it was probably right before Attempted Suicide came out. Career Suicide is of course from Canada, but the band clearly was destined to link up with the Richmond (by way of NC) scene and the No Way Records crew. On Attempted Suicide, the band recruited Brandon from Direct Control to play drums on the record, and for my money, it remains one of the most mind-blowingly great drum performances on any punk record—like EVER. That said, all the early records are killer too and have some of my favorite songs. “Jonzo’s Leaking Radiation” from the first 7” still gives me goosebumps. Funny how their song “Quarantine” found new meaning in 2020 (yikes). It’s funny, I didn’t realize I had doubles of the Sars 7” and both the standard AND pic disc version of the Signals EP. I don’t have a few of the records from the later-00’s, like Cherry Beach. I also listened to Machine Response the other day and regret not grabbing a copy of that when we stocked it here at Sorry State. I’ve seen Career Suicide play shows a few times, but it was definitely after their heyday. I could talk about regrets all day, but I also somehow managed to never attend any of the No Ways Fests when they happened. I also was a dumb teenager with no car at the time… shrug emoji

But seriously, Career Suicide had so much special going for them. Martin’s higher pitch, snotty, sneering, throat-shredding vocals had so much personality. And for all the ripping riffs and intense fast drumming, the band had so many huge choruses and vocal hooks. And of course there are some Jonah riffs that sound like the gold standard for classic-sounding hardcore punk guitar playing. If you ask me, the first few releases by Career Suicide were super early to the game and pre-dated the surge of 80s hardcore obsession that would explode a few years later. The band had that perfect blend of song-oriented writing in the lyrics and vocals mixed with super intense and powerful playing. It’s like simultaneously loose and off the rails, but also military tight at the same time. The band seems kinda snarky, funny and unpretentious, but also dead serious. I dunno, maybe I’m having a nostalgic moment over here, but these records still sound incredible to my ears. But if you’re referencing the period when I got into all this punk madness, these records are stone-cold classics.

I’ll be putting out a bunch of used Career Suicide records from that dude’s collection in the bins at the shop this weekend. So if you’re local and you’re reading this and have slept on this band, do yourself a favor and add a few of these slabs to your collection. They’re also pretty inexpensive, but who knows? One day they might be hard to get.

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

‘Til next week,

-Jeff


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