Staff Picks: January 23, 2020

Staff Picks: Daniel

Eddie Hazel: Game, Dame, and Guitar Thangs 12” (Warner Bros)

Game, Dame, and Guitar Thangs is the sole solo album from Parliament / Funkadelic guitarist Eddie Hazel. I’m always up for a good acid-soaked guitar freakout, and that’s why I came to this album (and Hazel’s other key work, Funkadelic’s Maggot Brain). This record delivers on that front—the covers of the Mamas and the Papas’ “California Dreamin’” and the Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” both travel deeeeeeep into inner space—but this is more than a psych record. It occurred to me that the hazy, stoned vibe of this record was a big part of the 90s g-funk sound. I was 13 years old when The Chronic hit in 1992, and even a kid like me with a minimal interest in rap had a copy. Hearing that sound makes me think of long summer vacations when the heat seemed to stretch time into an endless, un-fillable ocean. I’m currently in the middle of a chilly January week with too much on my plate, so this masterpiece from Eddie Hazel provides the perfect antidote.

Staff Picks: Jeff

Anti-Metafor: S/T 7” (Adult Crash) 2nd EP from this band out of Sweden. I threw this platter on after I noticed a lot of people were ordering it from us at Sorry State. Now I think we’re sold out! Based on the artwork and descriptions I’ve read online, I expected this to be either heavy crust or super noisy. It’s actually much leaner, punchier and faster than I expected. While Victims-era Cimex is a good point of reference, I feel like Anti-Metafor sounds a lot like that band Diskonto. Anyway, a super solid EP.

Also, a friend recently turned me onto the demo by this old UK anarcho-punk band called A Touch of Hysteria. I’ve been listening to it on repeat. It was released only on cassette in 1983, but apparently was reissued as a single-sided 12” back in the mid-00s? I don’t know if a lot of people are aware of this band and I’m just late to the game, but I think it’s fucking great.

Staff Picks: Eric

Subversive Rite: Live In Japan cassette (Chaotic Uprising) What a great live set. Not only did Subversive Rite kill it this night, but the mix is really good for a live album, and the actual cassette dub is LOUD and powerful. Live albums usually aren't my jam, but I will definitely be taking a copy home with me.

Fuga: Sin Frontera Sin Nacion cassette (self-released) Great bonehead hardcore sung in Spanish from Santa Ana. Super nasty, in your face, and urgent. I'm loving the recording quality, which is just clear enough for my liking but still really raw. Hardcore lives!

Staff Picks: Dominic

Star Wars Original Soundtrack: John Williams & The London Symphony Orchestra. 1977 20th Century Records
I was nine years old when the first (or fourth) Star Wars movie came out back in 1977 and can remember seeing it in the cinema as if it was yesterday. One of the many great things about the film was the music and I have had a copy of the soundtrack since it was released. The music has become a part of popular culture and it may seem odd that I am picking this record as something to write about this week for a staff pick as there probably isn’t anyone reading this that is not aware of the movie and the iconic main theme. I have mentioned before that we get all kinds of awesome records coming through Sorry State and recently we bought a copy of this soundtrack that brought me right back to 1977 and the thrill of seeing the film and hearing the soundtrack for the first time. This particular copy was in amazing condition and had the information insert and the order form for a “May the Force be with you” T-shirt and even more amazingly still had the original poster that initial copies of the record came with. Wow! You never see these. In fact, you rarely see posters that came with records back in the day as people put them up on their walls and usually didn’t take them down and put them back in the record jackets anticipating resale years later. So, imagine my joy to open this copy and see that poster still inside. It even had pin holes, so someone did put it up and take it down again. Crazy. What a cool poster too, X-wing fighters attacking the Death Star. Heck yeah.

And the music? Do I need to describe it? The main theme is almost a part of our DNA at this point but it is still great. John Williams and The LSO were on top form when they created this one. The only thing better might be the follow up music to The Empire Strikes Back with Darth Vader’s Theme on it. The original still cuts the mustard though. The Imperial Attack piece of music is one of the best pieces of film music made and I can play that six minute and ten second track over and over.

So, if you have got your Disney subscription just to see baby Yoda like I did and are feeling all things Star Wars, I would highly recommend pulling out your copy of this soundtrack, sticking it on and transporting yourself to a Galaxy far, far away. If you don’t have one with a poster, then hurry on down to see us at the store and snag this gorgeous copy. May The Force Be With You.

Staff Picks: Ava

Evildead: Annihilation of Civilization (Steamhammer)

Came across this insane underground thrasher the other day and have not been able to stop jamming on it. Started by Juan Garcia of legendary AGENT STEEL and Mel Sanchez of ABATTOIR in 1986. Sounds like a cross between early King Diamond and Kill em All era Metallica (whom Sanchez actually auditioned for after the tragic death of Clif Burton). Hailing from Los Angeles, CA with lyrical themes of horror, death, and even social/political issues.

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