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Staff Picks: June 11, 2020

Staff Picks: Daniel

Romero: Honey 7” (Cool Death)

This past week we restocked one of my favorite records of recent memory, the debut single from Australia’s Romero. Last time we stocked this single, we sold all of our copies in a few days. In fact, I didn’t even have time to grab a copy for myself, but even without a vinyl copy I played the digital release repeatedly. These two tracks are perfect pop songs that build and ebb and flow and feel like complete journeys in and of themselves. When I wrote a description a few months ago, I compared Romero to Sheer Mag and Royal Headache, which makes sense given the contrast between the rough recording and lofty pop songwriting chops. However, nowadays I’m more inclined to compare this single to a classic like the Buzzcocks’ “Ever Fallen in Love” or “What Do I Get?” I love singles, but it’s rare that one feels like a complete and coherent world unto itself, that two songs on two sides of vinyl seem to have everything you need without pointing to an album or some other part of a band’s discography. Honey has that, and it’s a single I can flip again and again without getting bored. In fact, when I listen I get addicted, finding it difficult to break the feedback loop and move to something else. I’m not sure why, but this one hits me HARD.

Staff Picks: Jeff

Skitklass: Sekaino Byoudou Sayonara 7" (Distort Reality)

It’s always funny to me when a band’s aesthetic doesn’t match the way they come across musically. While I think I’ve heard some of their previous releases, based solely on presentation, I always go into listening to Skitklass expecting noisy mayhem… like random chainsaw revving sounds to be happening in the background or some other weird shit. Reading other musings about the band, it seems like people really try to accentuate the mystery and enigmatic quality of the band’s emergence. All pretty silly. They’re often tagged with “raw punk”, and the label’s description on this new record refers to their songs as 1 minute blasts of violence. On this new record, Tokyo’s leather-clad, mask-wearing Skitklass have pretty clean guitars and not very blown out production, so to me they kinda sound more like early Smart Cops or something. Daniel even described them as “The Hives playing d-beat.” All that said -- this record totally rips!

Sorry, couldn't find a streaming link for this!

Staff Picks: Eric

CB Radio Gorgeous: S/T 7" (Thrilling Living / Not Normal)

Great debut wax from some of the people that brought you Forced Into Femininity, Negative Scanner, and CCTV (believe it or not the first thought I had while listening to this was, "Damn, this reminds me a lot of CCTV"). Very dry, hooky and punchy; total telecaster punk. The obvious influences that come to mind are Suburban Lawns and Devo, but it feels less corny and more punk. I saw this group in Oklahoma City last year and thought they kicked ass. I'll be bringing a copy home for sure!

Staff Picks: Dominic

Hello everyone. Thanks for checking in with us. We missed doing a newsletter last week although I think we all can agree that it was obvious why. Although 2020 still has plenty more in store we are back again doing what we know, bringing people together through music. For this week’s Dom’s Digs we have a good cross section of music, some classics and pretty much all in very nice condition. There’s thirty going up today but here are a dozen keepers.
$3 Spencer Davis: Greatest Hits. Post Stevie Winwood era tracks. So many good tunes in a blues/R&B vein. Standouts being I’m A Man, Gimme Some Lovin’ and Keep On Running. Great stuff.

$5 The Ventures: A Go-Go. Maybe one of the most prolific instrumental combos of the 60’s, they literally have a ton of records, mostly in the surf/go-go mold and covering hits of the day. Their psych albums are worth looking for and on all their records there is always a couple of tasty originals. This one is still in the shrink and looks great and sounds groovy. Chock full of hits.

$5 Deep Purple: Shades of Deep Purple. Early era Purple and more pop than heavy but with some great tunes on here. Hush was the hit and they even cover Help. Also, with the obligatory cover of Hey Joe.

$5 Eddie Cochran: The Very Best Of. The cornerstone of any decent rock n’ roll record collection needs some Eddie Cochran. A great guitar slinger and a life cut short. Here are sixteen great sides he cut in the late 50’s.

$5 Gene Vincent: Greatest. You can’t have Eddie with out Gene. Two of the greatest original rockers. Gene was in the car crash in England that killed Eddie on that fateful night back in 1960. If you are a fan of rock music, you need these sides in your life.

$5 Lulu: To Sir With Love. A great movie but this album is not really the soundtrack, although it features the title song. Rather a cash in LP that gathers up a lot of singles and other Mickie Most produced sides and is totally great. Worth it for the song Love Loves To Love Love alone.

$5 Various Artists: Phil Spector/ Echoes of the 60’s. Back to Mono with the Wall of Sound and these twenty awesome Spector produced cuts. Prime Brill Building Girl Group sounds featuring The Crystals, The Ronettes, Darlene Love and Ike & Tina. A must have for any self-respecting household.

$4 Jose Feliciano: A Bag Full of Soul. A little Folk, Rock and Blues with this early album from Jose. First cut If I Really Bug You has been a DJ fave of mine for years.

$5 Laura Nyro & Labelle: Gonna Take A Miracle. Another personal favorite of mine and continuing with the Girl Group theme of the Spector collection. This is such a good and fun record where Laura joins Labelle to sing a collection of Motown and other 60’s pop hits. Produced by Gamble & Huff.

$4 Pointer Sisters: Break Out. Sad to hear of the passing of Bonnie Pointer this week. Perhaps an opportunity to celebrate her life with this 80’s classic.

$4 The Pretenders: Pretenders II. Talking of an 80’s classic, you can’t get much better than this. Just a great album from start to finish. Plus, a great Kinks cover on I Go To Sleep.

$5 The Ponys: Laced with Romance. Something a little more recent, 2003 and a mostly solid indie rock garage album from this Chicago band. Some good tunes on this, I liked Let’s Kill Ourselves.

Remember, you can see what's currently available in Sorry State's online bargain bin here.

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