I’m trying to summon the energy to get through this busy week, so let’s go with some hardcore punk. I picked this record up at Vinyl Conflict a while back when I was passing through Richmond. They always put a big dent in my wallet, but they really got me this time. As usual I came home with a stack of great stuff, including this original pressing of Willful Neglect’s first 12”.
Willful Neglect were from St. Paul, Minnesota. I think I first heard them on the We Got Power: Party or Go Home compilation LP (my favorite punk compilation), where the opening track on this record, “E.M.S. & D.” (aka “Eat My Shit and Die”) appears. That song is a standout on Party or Go Home’s stacked lineup. Like many of my favorite bands on that comp, Willful Neglect’s style seems to have one foot in song-oriented punk and the other in hardcore. They play as fast and as hard as bands that were influenced by Discharge, but they write songs with memorable—if somewhat spare—melodies, and “E.M.S. & D.” is a perfect example.
Other tracks on this short 12” EP show Willful Neglect’s collective ear for melody coming out even more. “5 Nice Guys” is a standout with its chiming guitars hinting that Hüsker Dü wasn’t the only Minneapolis-area band with a soft spot for the Byrds. The guitar playing throughout this record is great, with the 5-piece lineup giving Willful Neglect a denser, more textured sound that bands with one guitarist.
This week I’m going to talk about some exciting news—for me personally, but also for all you HCPMF’s everywhere. The legendary 1985 EP by Netherlands hardcore band Nog Watt is finally being reissued!! It’s been a long time coming, but especially because this record has become a bit of a rarity, I’m excited to see Fear back in print.
I remember I first heard Nog Watt at a party at Daniel’s house a number of years ago. I believe my homie Elizabeth was the one who requested we listen to it. She seemed flabbergasted when I asked, “Damn, what IS this?” I felt like a n00b, and rightfully so. The fact my baby punker ears had not yet been exposed to this greatness was a damn shame.
I uploaded a rip of my personal copy of this EP a few years back on YouTube (don’t sue me!), and I’m gonna lift some of my own words from that upload as to not totally paraphrase a repetition of myself. Sorry to be lazy, it’s been a busy week:
In my deep dive into more obscure 80s European hardcore, Fear has come to be one of my favorite punk records. Not unlike other bands from the Netherlands (BGK, Agent Orange, etc) the faster songs are played at a groovy, yet blazing pace. That said, in the slower moments of this record, particularly on songs like “Hunted” and the title track “Fear”, Nog Watt emanates a dark, moody vibe that is truly unique and powerful. I think it’s also worthwhile to mention that a band comprised of all female members playing this style of hardcore in the mid-80s is quite an anomaly. This record really captures a special moment in punk.
The 7” is being faithfully reproduced by Final Doomsday Records, a sub-label from the same great people who have been putting out all the great stuff on Meathouse Productions. Sorry State will be getting a big ol’ stack of copies, so don’t sleep on this amazing record!
That’s all from me. Thanks for reading, as always. Hope all you nerds get the picture disc your heart desires on Record Store Day.
‘Til next week,
Hey there Sorry State gang, how are we all doing this week? Good, I hope. Here at Sorry State mansions, we are busy gearing up for the first of this year’s Record Store Days this upcoming Saturday. We hope to see as many of you locals as possible stop in for a visit this weekend and those of you reading from far and wide, perhaps you will get the opportunity to support your local spot if you have one. I’ve long since stopped complaining about RSD and any of the down sides of such a day, if they even exist, and am fully looking forward to it. There are a ton of great releases this go around and should be something for everyone. I know I have my eye on a couple of things.
In addition to the RSD releases and general new releases, we are still working on processing all the great used collections, including making sure there is another good batch of records from the Veola McLean estate hitting the floor. This week I worked on a box that contained Jazz records featuring the sound of the vibraphone. Possibly my favorite instrument in jazz, it has such a pleasing tone. In particular there were a bunch of records by Cal Tjader, an artist that I love and whose records I have many. Alongside Roy Ayers, Milt Jackson, Dave Pike and Bobby Hutcherson, he is most people’s go to musician whenever they think of the sound of the vibes. So, for my pick this week I thought I would highlight some of my personal Cal Tjader faves. A couple of which were in that box I worked on and will be on the floor this weekend.
A quick run through of Cal’s bio for those new to him. He was an American born to Swedish American vaudevillian parents in 1925 and besides the vibraphone was accomplished on drums and percussion. The family settled in California and by sixteen Cal was good enough on drums to win a local Gene Krupa drum solo contest. A win that was overshadowed by the attack on Pearl Harbor that same day. Aged seventeen he enlisted in the Navy and saw action in the Pacific. After the war, Cal returned to California and ended up in San Francisco attending State College under the G.I. Bill. It was there that he met fellow musician Dave Brubeck and together they formed their first group. They only recorded one album together, and it didn’t sell too well but is notable for being the first outing for future jazz legends. When Brubeck had to take a break from touring and playing after a diving accident, Cal continued with the trio and also finished his college degree. In 1953 he was recruited by leader George Shearing for his band and played vibes and bongos for him. Whilst in New York he was able to meet and see play several notable names in the nascent Latin-Jazz field. Musicians such as Chico O’Farrill, Machito, Mongo Santamaria, and Willie Bobo, who were bringing the Afro-Cuban sound to the fore. The Mambo boom of the fifties was about to explode, and Tjader was right there to take full advantage. He left Shearing and formed his own combo in 1954 and never looked back. On the San Fran label Fantasy, he released a bunch of killer albums throughout the remainder of the 1950s and in 1959 headlined the second Monterey festival and helped save it as it had looked like after the first the festival might not survive. Thank goodness, as we all know how important that festival became just a few years later.
Later in the 60s Tjader joined Norman Granz’s Verve label and released some of his best selling and most popular records. 1964’s Soul Source was a huge hit. The title track being an update on the Dizzy Gillespie tune Guachi Guaro. Soul Burst from 1966 is almost the follow-up album and was also a hit. Around this time, he cut a couple of more upfront Latin albums with Eddie Palmieri that are both excellent, especially Bamboleate, which came out on the Tico label.
In 1968 Cal formed a new label, Skye Records, with fellow artists Gary McFarland and Gabor Szabo. The latter name should be one to remember if you are digging for records. I have written about my love for Hungarian guitarist Szabo in these pages before and can’t recommend his records more highly. Look out for him on some Chico Hamilton records too. Skye was a short-lived label, but both Tjader and Szabo released some their strongest sets whilst it existed. We got in copies of Tjader’s Sounds Out Bacharach and Solar Heat albums which will go out this week. I love his Plugs In album which was recorded live at The Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach, California. I got a real thrill when I stayed with a friend who lived there back in the late 80s and got to visit the club on Pier Avenue where so many fantastic jazz musicians had performed over the years.
Another great Skye release to look out for is the Wendy & Bonnie album. That album has achieved legendary status amongst collectors and lovers of psychedelic pop music. I highly recommend you looking into that one if you are not familiar. Their story is too long to get into here, but I will leave a link for you to jump over to and check out.
Tjader continued to release great records throughout the 1970s, delving into the prevailing jazz fusion style but still with a strong Latin influence. Some records he made during this period are quite adventurous and progressive. The last few he made in the late 70s and early 80s returned to a straight Latin jazz format and aren’t too bad either, featuring a new crop of young musicians eager to recapture the classic 50s mambo sound. Sadly, he suffered a premature death at aged 56 in 1982 whilst on tour in the Philippines. He died of heart failure.
His legacy however has and will live on for as long as people listen to music and like so many other great band leaders such as Herbie Mann, his importance won’t be forgotten.
The great thing is that because he cut so many records and was popular you can find something by him easily and without breaking the bank. We have some here right now for you.
Okay, enjoy yourselves on Record Store Day and I hope you score something cool. Don’t forget, it’s the music and community that is important so try not to fetishize the physical object too much. If you don’t score the record you wanted, don’t worry, just stick something else on. See you back here next time. Peace and love - Dom
I’m back again with another brief write-up. Is it even a surprise I would pick Totalitär? When we get the repress of Sin Egen Motståndare, I will give a more in-depth Staff Pick on Totalitär, but for now I will just talk about this amazing LP Ni Måste Bort! This is their second full-length release, released in 1997. Like all their LPs, this album was originally released on CD format. Prank picked it up in 2000 and released it on vinyl with an alternate cover, and repressed it sometime after on red vinyl. Those copies are now going for upwards of 50 bones so this re-issue is well needed! When I first heard this LP the dry, compressed sound caught me off-guard. The overall tone is drastically different than all their other releases. While this took some time to grow on me, I absolutely love this LP. I think this one is Jeff’s favorite. Usually you see the one of like three recording studios on the back of a Totalitär record, but this one actually was recorded at a place I don’t recognize off-hand. I think that this could’ve been their only release recorded at this studio. To break this LP down, I enjoy the B side a lot more than the A side. I think the songs are catchier. They are mostly slower than the A side though, with a fair amount of straight up mid-tempo songs. Totalitär brings you the speed and the riffs, but most importantly they bring you the fuckin groove. If for some insane reason you don’t know this LP listen to it and buy it right now. Thanks for reading. ‘Til next week...
I mentioned last week I’ve been buying way too many records and it’s making it hard to figure out what to write about each week! I decided that this week I’m just going to share some of my most recent acquisitions and why I had to have them.
1. Jeannie C. Riley: The World of Country
I learned about Jeannie on Cocaine and Rhinestone’s FASCINATING three-part series on the song ‘Harper Valley PTA’. Riley sang that song and didn’t have much else in the way of country hits, but I fell in love with her voice and now try to pick up anything of hers. This is just an early 70s compilation but has some great songs on it! Found it at the flea market, which is slowly becoming one of my favorite places to dig.
2. Sydney Omarr: Taurus
I’m not really one for astrology but I fit my Taurus sign to a tee so stuff like this always entertains me. I’ve seen these records at various stars but never for a Taurus so I finally bit the bullet and grabbed this copy off Discogs. I just put it on for the first time last night and it’s so so so good. I know nothing about Sydney Omarr but he talks like what he’s saying is the most important piece of information ever. It’s hard to describe but I’ve never heard someone speak so intensely about fucking star signs. It’s so funny.
3. Savage & Spies: Human Centipede OST
Say what you want, but this movie is fantastic. I will defend it to the end so fight me. I definitely fell trap to the packaging on this because the actual score is pretty nondescript without the movie to back it up. BUT THE PACKAGING! Like, come on. IKEA x Human Centipede is the collab I never knew I needed.
4. Donald J. Borror: Common Bird Songs
Another flea market find. Just throwing it in here because I love field recordings and rarely find stuff like this in the wild. I was stoked to grab this for $1!
5. Divine: Made in England
IT’S PRIDE MONTH, GOTTA GIVE IT UP TO MOTHER DIVINE DUH. One of Jeff’s used record posts got me and I’m so glad none of our Friday appointments grabbed this before I could get my hands on it. I honestly had no idea Divine made music, so this was really fun to discover.
6. Vincent Price: Witchcraft & Magic- An Adventure in Demonology
I’m predictable. Apparently before this was even priced, Dominic knew I’d buy this. And he was right. I cannot stress to you how amazing this record is. From demonic spells to the history of occultism in the Nazi party, this record has it all. And it’s narrated by the velvety voice of Vincent Price. Honestly, this record might get its own write up one day after I’ve absorbed both LPs in this release a bit more.