It has been a minute since my last blog post! Been a wild year for me between going on tour with Concussion, breaking my wrist in a car accident and finally putting out my first LP with Public Acid. Regardless, there have been a lot of killer releases this year and I am excited I get to share some of my favorite records from 2018 with all of you. Hope you enjoy!
(in no particular order...)
Fetish: S/T 7" - This is big one for me this year. Anyone who knows me knows I love Poison Idea (I mean, who doesn't I guess?), and this group straight up sounds like late 80s/ early 90s era Poison Idea. Featuring Thee Slayer Hippie and Vegetable (both of which were in the War All Time line-up of Poison Idea) and members of the band Long Knife, it is bound to turn some heads. The A-side has a ripping track titled "Take The Knife", and the B side features a cover of "A House Is Not A Motel" by Love (it took me a couple listens but I actually really enjoy it now). I can't wait to hear what this band does next. Very highly recommended!
Bootlicker: Who Do You Serve? 7" - Fuck yes! I love this shit. Super catchy cave man d-beat hardcore. I can tell this band takes influence from UK82 style groups, but more than that I hear influence from some more recent bands like Bloodkrow Butcher and Exit Order. Here's hoping they come to the states soon!
Mammoth Grinder: Cosmic Crypt - I'll be the first to say I'm a total metal poser. I like what I like, but have never explored any further than bands that intrigue me immediately. Mammoth Grinder has always held a special place for me though. After hearing one of their earlier releases, "Extinction Of Humanity", back in high school I have tried to keep up with what this band does. Cosmic Crypt delivers that classic Mammoth Grinder sound but you can hear how the writing style has matured into a pummeling riff machine. This record was their first record on legendary metal Label, Relapse Records, and it holds up to the hype. The primary songwriter for the group is Chris Ulsh, and he keeps himself busy playing in other heavy hitting bands like Power Trip and Impalers. I'm hoping he'll make time in his busy schedule for a Mammoth Grinder tour in 2019!
Kaleidoscope: 2017 7": Kaleidoscope are the most unique and exciting bands in punk right now if you ask me. With every release they seem to push the boundary a little further. It's really hard to pin down what their sound is or what they're going for. They have the intensity and heavy hitting delivery of a hardcore punk group and psychedelic riffs that make me want to try hallucinogens. I'd be bold enough to declare that the B-side track, "Scorched Earth" is my favorite song to be released in 2018.
Blood Pressure: Surrounded 12" - Yet another brilliant hardcore masterpiece from these Pittsburgh punks. Blood Pressure have always raised the bar with every release, reminding us all that they may not have created the genre but god damn they do it better than anyone else out there right now. Unfortunately they broke up about a week ago, but alas, all good things must come to an end. Can't wait to see what these folks do next.
Dark Thoughts: At Work 12" - Dark Thoughts play pop driven punk rock that is right up my alley. You can CERTAINLY hear influence from legendary groups like The Ramones and The Dickies, but with a modern punk twist. Even the artwork for this album is an abstract take on the Ramones second album, "Leave Home". Dark Thoughts rule, this record rules. Big hell ya!
Cadaver Dog: Dying Breed 12" - This is another record that caught me by surprise when it came through the store earlier this year. This is blazing fast, unrelenting hardcore. The snarling tone of the vocals was a bit of a turn off for me at first, but I can't imagine a better way to accompany this kind of blistering hardcore. Hope this band makes their way to the east coast soon!
Hank Wood and The Hammerheads: S/T 12" - I love this record! I was someone that wasn't completely convinced by the first two records ("Go Home" and "Stay Home"), which I'm aware is an unpopular opinion. But damn this is a jammer! Whenever I listen to this band I don't really hear song structure, just like a loose 2 minute punk jam track, and I'm into it.
Rata Negra: Justicia Cosmica 12" - I first checked out this band when I heard they were coming through Raleigh on tour. Their set that night blew me away. I love their brand of melodic punk similar to the styles of Masshysteri or The Vicious. If you haven't checked them out, you're missing out on one of the best catchy punk bands of our time.
Some honorable mentions (I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot):
-Hologram: S/T 7"
-Hot Snakes: Jericho Sirens 12"
-No Love: S/T 12"
-The Numbers Ones: Another Side Of 7"
-Peach Kelli Pop: Gentle Leader 12"
-The Guests: Popular Music 12"
-Warthog: S/T 7"
This might end up being my last blog for a long time. Thanks for reading. Here's to another year of hardcore punk!
Cya when I cya,
So, we’re talking about splits on this round of blog posts. I really enjoyed reading Jeff’s analysis of splits in punk and hardcore. I think it’s safe to say that for the most part split releases are not my favorite format (especially split 7”s) but there are always exceptions! Nothing beats the classics (Faith/Void, or Totalitar/Disclose as Jeff wrote about), but I found it to be a difficult task to write about a spilt that I particularly enjoy aside from the obvious. After some careful consideration, I have decided to write about probably my most spinned split that I own.
Pygmylush / Turboslut: This record might be (one of) the first record(s) I ever bought when I was 16. This split is different from most other spilts I’ve heard because both bands are so very different.
Pygmylush, featuring ex-members of Pg. 99 and other Virginia legends, has always offered a special brand of punk AND folk (esc?) tunes. They are known for their output of raging punk songs followed by slow, droney, and soothing acoustic songs. Seeing them live in the DC area was always exciting because you never really knew which set they were going to play that night; their spastic agrressive punk songs or their slow sentimental shit (which people affectionately referred to as their “loud” and “quiet” sets). This split has what I believe to be their best “quiet” material, but not my favorite “loud” stuff.
Turboslut, hailing from Washington, DC played a brand of slow droney punk. I feel like it might be easy to categorize them as a teetering on metal and/or doomy stuff, but I really don’t get that vibe from, they’re punk as fuck. This split has my favorite material of theirs by far. Extremely fuzzed out, melodic, and catchy. I believe Turboslut broke up not too long after the release of this split. I only got to see them a few times, but they also delivered a powerful live show.
Overall, a very influential record for me, as well as a very unique split in my opinion.
Some shit that fucking goes:
Hank Wood and the Hammerheads: S/T 12”: We just got the brand new Hank Wood LP in store! I’ve seen this band several times, and I know they are known for their explosive and high energy live performance. It took me a long time to come around to listening to this band on record. There is something very circular sounding about this band’s brand of punk, like sometimes I feel like there aren’t really any parts or structure; it’s more like every song is a two minute jam sesh. This band has aged well on me, and I haven’t stop listening since it’s been posted. Very Highly recommended, BABY!
Hot Snakes: Jericho Sirens 12”: Hot Snakes' first studio album in over 14 years, and it fucking slaps. Hot Snakes has a knack for song writing that I think is so unique. Riffy and suspenseful punk for true rockers, another highly recommended release!
Pick it up on Friday!
Casanovas In Heat: Twisted Steel Sex Appeal 12": Freaking awesome melodic punk from Massachusetts. This album has very distinct vibes of Bay Area style punk that is reminiscent of early Green Day, while also transcending into straight up power pop territory. This record was a very pleasant surprise, and right up my alley!
Jeff has a list of gigs coming up on his blog, check it out!
2017 has been a wild year for me. I moved from Greensboro to Raleigh to be closer to my girlfriend, worked as a butcher, started some new bands, did a lil bit of touring, smoked hella cigs, and got the sickest job here at Sorry State. Although 2017 was a chaotic, refreshing, and at times stressful there were also plenty of awesome releases in the midst of all this.
Some shit that I thought slapped the hardest (in no particular order):
Katasrof: S/T 7”- The finest Swedish hardcore you could ask for in the year 2017. Featuring the vocalist of Totalitar and the riff master of Heratys, we expected the best, and we got the best. So stoked to catch them at Damaged City Fest this year!
Machine Gun: 10 Hardcore Tracks 7”- Ever since I heard Machine Gun’s demo they’ve been on my radar, and they haven’t disappointed. Fast, no bullshit hardcore punk the way it should be from Philadelphia. “Everyone can Fuck off!”
Beyond Peace: S/T 7”-Who knew Iowa had riffs? I saw this band a few months ago in Raleigh and was blown away, and the recordings live up to what I saw. Self released, fast, and punk as fuck, definitely very excited to see what this band does next.
Exit Order: Seed Of Hysteria 12”- If nothing else, this was one of the most highly anticipated releases for me this past year. I absolutely loved Exit Order’s first 7”. There is something inherently suspenseful and exciting about their unique brand of hardcore. I feel like I am sitting at the edge of my seat listening to it, and I love it. Exit Order’s debut LP lives up to the hype; a modern hardcore classic.
Sheer Mag: Need To Feel Your Love 12”- This band has been a force in my life in so many ways. Ever since I heard the demo almost 4 years ago, I have played every release they put out until I couldn’t listen to it anymore and then waited patiently for the next one. Their debut LP took a step in slightly redefining what their sound is. It took a few spins of this album to truly appreciate it, those disco(y) tracks were hard to adjust to for me. I eventually came around, but still tracks like Expect The Bayonet and Milk And Honey have been my go-tos on the album. Need To Feel Your Love has without a doubt been my most-spinned record of 2017, and now I patiently wait for what they have for us next.
Bugg: S/T 12”-Released just in the nick of time, Bugg’s debut LP has made my best of list. Their demo cassette was raw and had a sort of cult following surrounding it. And although the LP has a very professional studio sound, I think it really shines on how this band was supposed to sound. For fans of classics like Dinosaur Jr., Smashing Pumpkins, Lemonheads, etc.
Glue: S/T 12”- If you don’t like Glue, fuck you! By far my favorite release of theirs yet. This band got more mature while also maintaining their classic bouncy, fuzzy, greasy sound. Another modern classic imo.
Dream Probe: Demo 2 CS- I had never heard Dream Probe until we got their cassette in the store a few months ago. Awesome and powerful hardcore punk sang in Spanish from Illinois. This band definitely got me excited, and if you haven’t listened yet you’re missing out.
Mind Dweller: Demo CS- Taking influence from heavy rockers Annihilation Time (among others), Mind Dweller are a local favorite here in the triangle, and rightfully so. Their tight, groovy, and viciously loud sound grabs the attention of denim vest bar rockers as well as basement dwelling leather clad punx. I heard they just recorded some new tracks, and if it sounds anything like the demo I’m on board.
ISS: Endless Pussy Footing 12”- Regular Sorry State customer and Raleigh local, Rich (don’t know his last name) played a part in putting out this freakin’ masterpiece. This two piece takes samples from classic punk albums and turns them into awesome dancey original punk tunes. Super bass driven (and when I say bass, I mean bass guitar…) and catchy as fuck. Can’t believe it has taken me as long as it has to come around to this band.
Haram: When You Have Won, You Have Lost 12"
Impalers: Cellar Dweller 12”
Vittna: Demo CS
Cankro: Demo CS
Smoke Break: Everything Is Wrong CS
Deviant: Demo CS
Kaleidoscope: Volume 3 12”
The Bug: Humbug 7”
Radiation Risks: Headless Horseman Flexi
Memory Loss: Exiled CS
Kombat: In Death We Are All The Same 7”
Uniform: No Trending 12”
Some things that came out recently that I fuck with:
The Guests: Red Scare 12”- Excellent Smiths style pop featuring the Seely brothers of Sheer Mag. Self-described as “Communist Propaganda in pop music”, the Philadelphia group plays some catchy ass shit. I’ve found myself listening to this a lot recently.
Cement Shoes: Demo CS- Excellent USA hardcore from Richmond, VA. Featuring members of Firing Squad (ex), Brown Sugar, Fried Egg... Pummeling hardcore with that classic VA flavor.
Fury: Promo CS- To be perfectly honest I really never cared for this band, never understood the hype, thought they were boring. But that was then! With two original tracks and a cover on this cassette, it honestly has me excited for their next LP. Classic youth crew-esc, USHC style shit that makes me feel alive. Plus, all proceeds from this tape are being donated to Planned Parenthood, which is awesome.
That's it for me.
This week we're discussing songs about partying. I’d like to say I’m no stranger to partying, but choosing specific tracks that I feel encompass what makes a good time to me is hard. As Daniel pointed out in his blog, partying can mean a multitude of things, and when choosing the right tunes to get you hyped it’s important to be able to read the vibe of what you’re getting into. Here goes nothing!
Steppenwolf: Magic Carpet Ride
While on tour, or even on any fun trip, this is my go to track to get hyped for the journey. This sets the tone for me to get out there and cause some trouble. Listening to this track brings back great memories of smoking cigs and drinking van beers.
Mean Jeans: Born on a Saturday Night
This was the first song I thought of when we decided on this prompt, and for obvious reasons. Most of Mean Jeans' catalog is filled with songs about partying and rock n’ roll, however I feel like this song is the epitome of a party animal’s anthem. Featuring such sentiments as, “I was born with a beer in my hand” and “I was born in a leather jacket” and “I ain’t never gunna cut my hair”, this song goes down as one of my all-time favorite party anthems.
David Peel and The Lower East Side: Legalize Marijuana
Let the record show, I don’t smoke weed (no one believes me when I say that). When my old band Menthol was on tour with our friends in Laffing Gas we jammed this track several times a day. Although I don’t indulge in the jazz cabbage I identify with this song. I love a good anthem song about unity and getting messed up for the better. “Grass is not an alibi, let’s get together and get high!” (RIP David Peel)
Green Day: Geek Stink Breath
Most of these folks around here know I am unashamedly a huge Green Day fan. I try not to write about them that much for these blog posts because I feel like that’s too expected of me or has been played out before, but I feel like now is the perfect time to let loose and be able to talk about it. As far as I’m concerned, all Green Day songs (well, almost all) are party songs for me, but very few of them actually dive into partying very hard. Insomniac is by far my favorite album by them, and the general theme of this record is pretty depressing and melancholy, but Geek Stink Breath is a heavy hitting track about drug use that personifies losing control and not caring. I’m no drug addict, but songs about letting loose and not giving a fuck really get me going. “I’m on a roll, no self control, I’m blowing off steam with methamphetamine!”.
Pinhead Gunpowder: At Your Funeral
At Your Funeral is kind of a morbid song. The song is about celebrating the death of someone you hate and laughing at their family… Not necessarily the exact circumstances I would find myself partying in but hey, this song goes. “I’ll pass out cigars, bring a big ol’ cake, and a keg, yes!”.
Honorable mention: I couldn't find a good link for it, but check out the track "Porch" by Pinhead Gunpowder. It's just a 30 second song about getting drunk on a porch. My kinda tune!
Some shit that fucking goes:
Machine Gun: S/T 7”
The best thing to happen to Philly since YDI. Incredible no bullshit US hardcore in the vein of Poison Idea, Minor Threat, SSD, etc. Featuring members of Dark Thoughts and Blood Pressure, this is what hardcore means to me.
Pobreza Mental: Demo Cassette
Noisy/heavy sounding hardcore from New York City. It reminds me of Rudimentary Peni. All songs except for one are sung in Spanish. Definitely one of my favorite new arrivals in the store!
My band Concussion just dropped our demo, give it a listen! Hopefully there will be some cassettes for sale via the Sorry State web store in the next few weeks.
My other band Public Acid (formerly known as, Holder's Scar) is doing a short tour before Christmas. Cya soon, Florida!
That's it for me.
What's up everyone?
Sorry about the horrible selfie for the blog image...
For this round of blog posts we are discussing where, and how, we listen to music. I like this topic because this can be different for everyone and/or completely circumstantial. For instance: if you have a car (or maybe a long commute), a designated area in your house, do you have roommates, access to wifi, etc. I believe all of those factors play a role in, if nothing else, how attentive we are when we’re listening. Here's how I do most of my jammin':
In the whip: I had been moving a lot in the past couple months, so finding intentional time to sit down and listen to records or explore new tunes has been difficult. During this time I would almost exclusively listen to my jams in the car. Thankfully my van has a tape deck, which gave me an excuse to jam some of the cassettes that I’ve collected over the past couple years that had just been sitting in a box. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely the kind of person that finds something they like and I jam it over and over until I can’t stand it anymore like a toddler. A go-to cassette I listen to is a Steppenwolf’s Greatest Hits cassette. I have little rituals, like every time I’m getting on the highway, specifically for a longer drive, I cue up Magic Carpet Ride, crack the window, and light a cigarette. Which leads me to a slight deviation from our topic, but I feel like that is a big thing for me:
Cig smokin’ music: For my fellow smokers out there, you ever driving down the road and a gem like Drain You comes on the radio so you just crank it up and light a cigarette? Or you’re listening to an album and you specifically wait to smoke until your favorite song comes on? I feel like I often associate these little pleasures with each other, and I have developed little rituals that bring me comfort-like listening to my favorite tunes and indulging in a nicotine fix. Maybe I'm the only one who does that...
At home: Now that I’m all settled in living in a house with my girlfriend, we have a designated room in the house where we have the record player set up, which I feel like is the way it should be. Having an intentional space for listening to records has been very relaxing for me because for the past couple years I haven’t really had that kind of space or honestly, a functioning player. Now that I have a place to be in solitude and just jam, it really changes the way I listen. I’m way more attentive now, and I listen and pay attention to things that I used to ignore.
However, I generally do most of my listening while doing a different task. I’ve noticed that I am usually more inclined to listen to something new while I’m cleaning. I’ll put a record on, crank it so it can be heard throughout the house, and try to be productive. Usually doing dishes, laundry, y’ know, something relatively monotonous. Funnily enough, the other thing I’ve learned about myself is that if I really need to focus on something, I really shouldn’t listen to music while doing so. I’m a horrible multitasker and it is very easy for me to get carried away in the rhythm and lose concentration. Even as I’m writing this in a coffee shop, the stupid indie rock Pandora station has me losing focus (and also pissing me off in the process).
At the gig: And in conclusion, I obviously do most of my new exploration of bands at local shows. For me, a band on a recording could not do the trick for me, but after seeing them live sometimes a light bulb flickers and I go “Aha! Now this band makes sense to me”. On occasion this has the opposite effect though; I might have set really high expectations for a band based on recordings and end up feeling disappointed.
Anyway, here’s some new shit that slaps:
Nasti-Big Achievements LP: I saw Nasti at Everything Is Not Okay fest a couple years ago and thought they were incredible. Another year or two went by and I hadn’t really kept up with this band. This LP holds up to my memory of them bringing the heat. Great mid-tempo hardcore that fits in well with some contemporary midwest punk while still maintaining a heavy and groove centric feel. Funny enough, when I first popped this on the turntable I listened to the whole thing at 45 rpm and thought “this is some of the wildest shit I’ve EVER heard” until I finally realized it’s a 33… Anyway, it sounds great at both speeds, so if you’re feeling feisty give it a whirl at 45.
Dream Probe-Demo II: 5 tracks of perfectly executed hardcore punk hailing from Champaign, Illinois. Hands down one of my favorite new releases I’ve heard in a minute. Ripping anti-colonial hardcore with all lyrics sang in spanish. Another thing that grabs me is the fact that they’re a 3 piece, which is always something I love in a fast punk band. Don’t sleep on this!
Das Drip-Demo: Brand new cassette from right here in the triangle area. Featuring members of Whatever Brains, Body Kit, etc, Das Drip plays spastic and wild punk for true freaks. Very excited to see how this band develops!
Hey, everyone! Happy (almost) Halloween! Now that we have finally started to get some fall weather I can say – it is my favorite season – bonfires, cheesy sweaters, delicious carb loaded food (trying to lay off the carbs, am I projecting?), and alas, the time of feeling nostalgic with music. Following this prompt – great albums that have a glaring flaw.
Since when we decided we were going to do this prompt I’ve have been wracking my brain trying to think of what albums I believe to be solid, but have an almost fatal flaw. For some reason this was incredibly difficult for me. Over the past week or so while I’ve been thinking about this prompt one record keeps coming back to me, and I have been resisting the urge to write about this record because I think I have a very unpopular opinion. So, I’ve had some wine and now I am ready to tell if you about a record I believe to be very solid, with one (well, maybe a couple) exception(s):
Bad Religion’s The Process of Belief, has always held a special place in my heart. The Process of Belief was Bad Religion’s 12th studio album, and to the average Bad Religion fan probably not their finest work. However, I believe this record holds merit in several ways. For one, this album marked the return of Brett Gurewitz, a founding member of Bad Religion, who had been on a 7 year hiatus from the band. Moreover, this was also the band’s comeback to Epitaph records after leaving their major label. Another distinguishing feature of this album is the addition of drummer Brooks Wackerman (former drummer for Suicidal Tendencies and The Vandals). So, needless to say, there were high hopes for this album, and overall I don’t think they disappointed.
This album was one of the first CDs I ever bought when I was 9 or 10 (showing my age a lil bit…). So, arguably you could say I’m writing this from a place of nostalgia, or some sort of sentimental value, because I understand that if you’re not familiar with the band’s work this album kind of sucks. However, I think it’s a cohesive album and a refreshing release after their two previous albums, No Substance and New America, which were kind of duds all things considered. Tracks like Supersonic, Destined for Nothing, Epiphany, and Bored and Extremely dangerous were tracks that I would blare on repeat as a kid (and still do today).
Here’s the thing: There a couple songs on this record that just flat out fucking suck. For instance, the fourth track on the album, “Broken” makes me want to bash my head against a wall. The main riff sounds like a radio rock anthem, and the lyrics are written about teenage love or something? It just makes me wanna fucking spew. Don’t even get me started on those cheesy acoustic guitars in the verse. I have always skipped that song on my CD player since I was kid. The funny thing is is that “Broken” as well as a few other songs on this record including, “Sorrow” (another bunk song I think), both received a good amount of radio play at the time. It's clear that this track was an attempt to write a song that would be accessible to a wider audience, and perhaps land on the billboard charts. It’s really hard to describe why this song rubs me the wrong way, just gotta listen for yourself.
With age I have also grown to dislike Greg Graffin’s lyrics sometimes. As a kid part of what drew me to this band was the very poetic and seemingly intelligent lyrical content, but now I see it as a little over exaggerated, and sometimes maybe trying too hard. However, I do believe that the that Greg Graffin’s voice and lyrical content is what separates Bad Religion from other long lived punk bands.
So in conclusion: The Process of Belief has always been one of my favorite Bad Religion records. This record, I believe, is a very cohesive punk record with the exception of "Broken" and maybe one or two others. But hey, I think the other tracks make up for it.
Alright, lets talk about stuff that's not Bad Religion:
Haram-When You Have Won, You Have Lost: Talk about a freakin' slam dunk. Haram's debut full length is shaping to be my favorite release so far this year. Deadly hardcore punk sang in Arabic. Haram takes their time using perfectly executed build-ups and fade-outs on this record, which I believe adds to this being not only a great punk record, but also a more in depth listening experience. For instance, the last track "Road to Liberation" has no vocals and presents itself as an outro on the album. Haram is arguably one of most unique, politically driven, and influential bands in contemporary punk and hardcore. Don't mess up, pick up a copy before they sell out!
Gen Pop- S/T 7": Like if Surburban Lawns was really into Minor Threat. Very solid release on Lumpy records! It has a very midwest sound distinctive of bands like CCTV, and I really dig it!
Magrudergrind-S/T 12”: When I was 15 I was way into skramz and screamo, and I was just starting to get my feet wet with hardcore punk. Around this time I went with some friends to see Leftover Crack at St. Stephen’s church in Washington D.C.. As much as I was excited to see Leftover Crack (a band that I had really been digging at the time) I was also excited to see the Max Levine Ensemble, a local pop punk outfit that opened the show and that seemed to be loved by the locals (just trying to paint a picture of what I was into at the time). One of the other opening bands was Magrudergrind, who I had never heard before. The 3-piece group (vocalist, guitarist, and drummer) ripped through their set and I remember my friend Paul saying, “Dude, they were so good”, to which I believe I replied with, “Really? I thought that sucked!”. My 15 year old music taste hadn’t expanded enough to include that kind of raw and chaotic sound. Paul always had a way of being ahead of the curve…
Fast forward about a year a later and I’m at a New Year’s Eve party at a punk house in D.C. and my buddy put on the new Magrudergrind record. I remember being absolutely floored, and after discovering it was Magrudergrind I felt like a total idiot. I feel like this album is extremely accessible. The recording quality is top notch, the riffs are heavy, and it’s extremely catchy. It was just the right record I needed to hear at that age, and it opened my mind up to exploring metal, grind and powerviolence (which before this point, I hadn’t really listened to at all). Now, I would not say that I am by any means a metal head now, but this album is what opened me up to exploring things outside of my limited taste at the time. This record quickly became one of my most listened to throughout my high school years. Tracks like “Lyrical Ammunition For Scene Warfare” and “Bridge Burner” were the jams I blare out of car speakers as I was leaving my school parking lot. After this album dropped Magrudergrind played locally a lot, and I took every opportunity I could get to see them play.
I’d be lying if I said that I have been keeping up much of what this band is up to now, but looking back on it was just what I was craving at that time. Even as I give this album another listen while writing, I find myself punching the air and head-banging.
Things that rock:
Sow: Demo Cassette- In the wake of Kommunion, Sow busts out a sick demo (which I would expect seeing as these two groups share 3 members). This relatively new group based out of Charlottesville and Richmond, VA doesn’t disappoint. Marina has always been one of my favorite hardcore vocalists drawing back to her days playing in Last Words (an old Raleigh band from about 5 years ago). The vocal delivery is ferocious, and when accompanied by solid/tight hardcore riffs makes for one of my favorite releases so far this year.
Rashomon: Demo 7”- You may have heard this demo on cassette earlier this year, and if you heard what I heard I think it was only fair that these tracks got pressed on vinyl. Hailing from Washington, D.C. and featuring members from other notable bands such as Sick Fix, Pure Disgust, Kombat, and many more, this 5 piece blazes through 6 perfectly executed punk bangers. I can hear that this band seems to pay homage to other DC bands that predate them such as Void. Something that I really like about this band is the use of leads, which I think might be a product of guitarist Daniel’s writing style, seeing as it reminds me a lot of Kombat. Very excited to see what Rashomon does next!
Oxidant: Deconstruct 7”- Hailing from right here in Raleigh, Oxidant’s debut 7” features 12 tracks of ripping powerviolence. In the year 2017, it is rare that I hear too many new bands in this vein that really grab me. Oxidant is the exception. Clearly you can hear influence from the pioneers of the genre such as No Comment, Crossed out, and Infest. What really brings this band home for me is their live performance. I’m not sure if they have any plans to tour, but if you ever have an opportunity to see them I wouldn’t sleep on it.
Sup, everyone? My name is Eric Chubb, and I'm thrilled to join the Sorry State team. Getting an opportunity to work at my favorite store is extremely humbling (to say the least). But enough of the sappy stuff, here's a little about me:
I recently moved to Raleigh from Greensboro where I had been living for about 6 years. However, I was born and raised in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Falls Church, VA. It was during my time in Greensboro that I played in my first touring bands, started booking shows, and put out too many cassettes to count. It was also during this time that I met Daniel, Jeff and Seth. Our bands would play together often and Sorry State put out my band's demo back in 2013 (or something like that).
There were a few reasons for my departure from Greensboro, however the biggest reason was to be closer to my partner here in Raleigh. Love is wild! So, for the past few months I have been bouncing around working different jobs (one of which was as a butcher, which I soon discovered was not the trade for me), exploring the town and finding ways to make Raleigh my new home. Don't get me wrong, I end up driving my ass down 40 west to Greensboro at least once a week for band practice or to see friends or whatever, but I'm definitely getting my sea legs here in Raleigh.
As for my introduction to punk, I owe most of my musical upbringing to my older brother, Cory. I have a very distinct memory of Cory listening to Green Day's Warning on CD when I was about 7, and I thought it was the coolest thing in the world that they said "fuck" in the song "Minority." That's my go-to story when people ask me about how I got into punk (and Green Day is still my favorite band tbh). During my early teenage years, I'd always tag along with my brother (in our parents Dodge Ram conversion van that they would let Cory use) to his band's gigs around town at community centers or in someone's mom's basement. Moving forward, I'm not sure how it happened, but it was this time that I became obsessed with street punk. I think for my 11th birthday I had requested a Casualties CD (if I remember correctly it was Die Hards?), which Cory reluctantly got for me even though he thought it was some street punk BS. I jammed that freakin' CD almost every day of middle school!
As I got older and Cory moved away for college, I began to dive a little deeper into punk and hardcore. As you can imagine being from a D.C. suburb, bands like Minor Threat and Bad Brains were huge for me. Cory had burned me a copy of Bad Brains S/T on CD that soon became one of my most listened to albums. Once I was old enough for my parents to let me take the metro into the city I started getting more into the local scene, where (at the time) bands like Coke Bust and Sick Fix reigned supreme. Punk houses like The Corpse Fortress and the 3rd St. Co-op were where I spent a lot of time smoking cigarettes and getting into trouble.
Me drumming for the Feed in 2009(?).
Throughout my high school years I was playing in a kinda screamy punk band (we were once described as Pg. Ninety-Nirvana, if that paints a picture...). Once some of us got drivers licenses we were able to drive into the city to play shows and met a lot of my friends who I'm still close with today. Below is a link to our tape that we put out in 2010:
I think I was very lucky that my parents had a strange trust in punk and understood it as a good influence on me (for better or worse). For instance, my friend Paul and I would take the metro into the city on a school night when we were 15 to go see a basement show somewhere in northeast and my parents generally had the attitude of, "as long as you wake up for school tomorrow we don't care." So, I was able to get away with more than a lot of other punks my age did. My parents were so supportive of my love of music that on occasion I would lie to my parents and say I was going to a show, but instead go to some dumb high school party around the corner because I knew they would ask WAY more questions about that (sorry, Ma!). I still feel kinda guilty about that...
After graduating from high school in 2011, almost all of my friends moved to Richmond (it was just the thing you did if you were into punk and wanted to get away from NOVA) and I made a bold decision to move to Greensboro to attend Guilford College. In my first year or two of college I spent most of my time on campus. I would go to a show here and there, but it took a while for me to finally put myself out there and start a new band. At the time there was show house in Greensboro called the Buttery Day Ranch where most of the DIY gigs happened in town (or at least the ones I was interested in). After a while of meeting people and pestering them to play music with me, I played in my first band since moving called Holder's Scar. It was also around this time that I began booking shows for my friends' bands when they would come through town in an attempt to recreate the thriving hardcore punk scene I grew up in. Not too long after Holder's Scar had put out our demo, I got together with some new friends in town to start a band called Wriggle. Wriggle was a fun band for me because it sounded way different than anything I had ever played before and opened up a lot of avenues to explore new music.
As the years went by, my friends and I started a DIY space in Greensboro where we would practice and host shows. Moreover, my roommates and I would host shows in our TINY living room that could hardly fit twenty people. I started more bands (ie. Bad Eric, Menthol, Louse, and too many other short lived projects to count) and was able to book tours by cashing in on favors from out of town bands that I booked in Greensboro. Looking back on it, it feels like I was on tour for about half of the year in 2016 (wild times). Recently, I have been taking a breather from booking and touring to focus on other facets of my life, but dang I miss traveling around and playing gigs with my friends. Here's hoping to get back on the road in 2018!
Bad Eric live at The Neo Tokyo Command Center (my living room) in May of 2015. Photo by Kyra Collins.
Most of those old Greensboro bands broke up, but I have a few new projects in the works that I'm sure I'll share with y'all in future posts :)
Thanks for reading! Seeing as this is my first blog post with Sorry State, I wanted to keep it relatively brief and just share a little about who I am and where I come from. When reading over this post before I publish it, I feel like there is so much room to expand, but perhaps I'll share more stories another time.
Next time I'll include some record reviews and anecdotes about gigs and other events coming up.