John Scott's 2022 Year in Review

What’s up Sorry State readers, I hope everyone has had a nice week. This year feels like it’s already flying by. I can’t believe it’s already the end of January. We’re doing our 2022 year end round ups here at Sorry State, so today I just wanted to list some of my favorite releases from ‘22 and also mention some of my favorite records I picked up last year. It was a great year for me, I started at Sorry State back in May and it’s been a blast working here and getting to discover so much different music. Me and Dominic listen to just about anything you can imagine in the store and he’s introduced me to so much amazing stuff. I think my love for bluegrass might’ve rubbed off a little bit on him too. Not to mention all the great punk and hardcore music I’ve been introduced to while I’ve been here. Anyways I’m gonna get on with my list now starting with my favorite new releases.


Favorite Releases of 2022

Personal Damage: Ambush 7”

Yambag: Strength in Nightmares 7”

Zanjeer: Parcham Buland Ast 7”

Scarecrow: Crisis 7”

Mock Execution: Killed By Mock Execution 12”

Savageheads: Service to Your Country 12”

Yleiset Syyt: Toisten Todellisuus 12”

Indre Krig: Destroyer 7”

Sirkka: Viivyttely 7”

Peace de Résistance: Bits and Pieces 12”


Favorite Records I Purchased in 2022

S.I.B: The Third World War 12”

I had never heard this album before till one day Daniel was in his office and was showing me how to do something on his computer. He had this album playing quietly while he was explaining something to me, but I kept catching little parts of the songs and thought to myself “man this is really good.” As luck would have it, a couple months later it received its first repressing ever and Sorry State got copies! I’ve been in love with this record ever since and anytime I’ve ever played it, someone who’s never heard it before inevitably asks what it is. I think there’s a song on this album for everybody.

Stereolab: Serene Velocity 12”

This is a great anthology album from 2006 containing some real choice cuts. I can throw this on anytime and listen to it and be happy. Definitely has become one of my go to’s to throw on for background music whenever I have people over.

Fela Kuti: Beasts of No Nation 12”

Not much to say about this one other than the music on here sounds amazing. This man knew how to make a 22 minute song the right way.

Doc Watson: Old Timey Concert 12”

I found this one just about a month or two ago over at this antique store here in Raleigh. Man, do I love me some Doc Watson. Listening to his music just makes me feel happy. This is a double LP of a live show and it’s got a bunch of my favorite tracks on here. It’s been heavily featured in my morning rotation since I picked it up.

Herbie Hancock: Sunlight 12”

I traveled out of the country over to Europe for the first time in my life this past year. It was probably the most fun two weeks I’ve ever had and I have so many great memories from it. When I was over there, I listened to the first two songs on this album on repeat, especially during my morning walks. Now whenever I hear this album it takes me back to Madrid and the feeling I had being over there for the first time and it puts a smile on my face.

Black Flag: Live at the On Broadway - 23 July 1982 12”

A great sounding bootleg of a live show from an awesome Black Flag era featuring some colorful commentary throughout the show.

Manu Dibango: Soul Makossa 12”

Best bargain bin find ever. I just threw this on one day randomly at the store and have loved it since. It instantly grabbed me with the opening song New Bell. You can’t fight the groove. Always a party pleaser.

Various: Risky Blues 12”

A compilation of the horniest blues songs you’ve ever heard, what else needs to be said? Featuring aptly named tracks such as Big 10 Inch Record, It Ain’t the Meat, Somethin’s Gone Wrong With My (Lovin’ Machine), Keep On Churnin’, and 60 Minute Man. What could be better.

Angela's 2022 Year in Review

Hi Sorry State fam! Hope you guys are doing well. This is an extra fun newsletter because we get to talk about our Top Ten releases from 2022 and other random favorites. And I get to read everyone else’s contributions!

So without further ado, because this is gonna be a long one, let’s get going. We’ll start with my top 10 releases of 2022, because that’s the point. And who knows where we’ll go after that.

Anyway, my criteria for determining my top 10 was simple: whatever I played the most. Although my list isn’t in order, the first five are my favorites. Oh, I had to add a picture of one of my picks separately because I forgot it at home.

My Top 10 2022 Releases

Yambag - Strength in Nightmares EP

Cleveland represent. Easily one of my top two favorite hardcore releases. It's chaotic and raw, with well-timed spit noises (blech!) We sold out before I could grab one, so I had to get one from the label, and they sent me a brown one! Standout tracks: Lowlife, Capture the Flag.

ISS Spikes+ (compilation)

The creativity of ISS impresses the hell outta me. So talented and so much fun to listen to. Having so many styles on one record is killer. Standout tracks: Spikes, c.h.u.d.f.r.e.a.k. swap meet, Too Punk for Heavy Metal.

Scarecrow - Crisis EP

This is easily my other favorite hardcore release. I think I was their first online customer when it dropped while they were on tour last summer. Two words: total ripper. This is the way EPs should be done. A super solid set of songs. Great chemistry, technically savvy, and they know how to write a fucking song. Standout tracks: Leeches, Abolition.

Cherry Cheeks LP

This is my “pick me up” album. If caffeine were an album, it would be this one. I love it. It’s weird and fun and totally addicting. I could have sworn it was released in 2022, but recently learned it was technically 2021. Just let me have this one. Standout tracks: Trickin’, Boxes.

No Knuckle S/T LP

The most underrated record on my list. I feel like a lot of you would like this record. Post-punk but with elements of 60s rock on a couple tracks. Normally the psychedelic sounds wouldn’t be my thing, but it works. It’s layered and it’s just very satisfying. Standout tracks: Advertisement, Halo.

Straw Man Army SOS LP

“Humankind can be hard to find.” A brilliant sign of the times record, and perfect way to summarize the giant pot of fucked up soup we were/are still swimming in. A post-punk record that’s hooky but not overly polished. It’s very focused and thoughtful. Is it probably the most important album released in 2022? Yeah.

Judy & the Jerks - Music to go Nuts LP

Referred to as basement punk but also garage punk. Does it sound different when a band moves from the garage to the basement? Seriously though, this record is an energetic mix of songs that are sometimes snotty and sometimes more aggressive and anthemic. The dichotomy is apparent in the two Standout tracks: California, Nothing to Prove.

Headkicker S/T EP

Raleigh’s own Headkicker gives you a mix of styles. It’s punk but certain parts remind me of Lou Reed/Velvet Underground. Their musical arrangements are really good, and I want them to make more stuff. Standout tracks: Crafty, Televise.

Indre Krig Destroyer EP

A female-fronted band hailing from Denmark playing speedy hardcore. Love at first listen. Never a dull moment. I also want to highlight the last 20 seconds or so of Pinball Eyes. It is just so sick. Standout tracks: Pinball Eyes, Loudhead.

Wet Leg S/T LP

Dude. I know. But the shit’s catchy as hell. I wasn’t impressed by many/almost any indie releases in 2022. There were plenty of indie girl releases, but they just didn’t hit. Then Wet Leg came strolling in with their funny, seemingly autobiographical lyrics, and catchy bass lines. A breath of fresh air. I saw this album posted on IG by people from all walks of music life. You know why? Because it’s a banger.

Here are some others I really liked

Girlsperm Muse Ascends LP

Liquids Life is Pain Idiot LP

Sniffany & the Nits The Unscratchable Itch LP

Personal Damage Ambush EP

Sluggo S/T

Let’s talk record collecting in 2022

I set a goal for myself to be very intentional and purchase only new releases and records on my Discogs want list. I thought I did pretty good cutting back, but all I did was spend more and buy less.

Anyway, I got a lot of cool stuff in 2022, but this was the year for buckling down and filling a few important gaps in my collection.


Favorite Record Scores in 2022

Wire - Pink Flag, UK first pressing

So I’ve always wanted a UK press of this record, and I was lucky enough to just trade a dude on IG for it. My US first press for his UK. Done deal.

The Cure - Wish, European first pressing.

Ive never seen this in the wild, nor have I heard of an OG Wish sighting in the last 10 years at least. I’ve been on the hunt for the right copy (UK or Europe, all original materials, a strong VG+/VG+ at minimum) for so long. Almost sealed the deal twice. I got my heart broken once in a sale that fell through, and then just shattered in a second attempt that came with the promo bag that they gave with purchase in 92’ at certain shops. I didn’t get one with a promo bag but finally, she’s mine!

The Wipers - Is this Real? US second pressing

Pressed in the same year as the OG (1980) but technically a second pressing. I don’t care. I wasn’t gonna wait around any longer.

Veruca Salt - American Thighs, UK first pressing.

Another very hard to find in the wild album. They finally did some reissues, so the price dropped some on the first pressings, but not by a lot. The nostalgic effects are strong on this one. It’s crazy how music can trigger memories you had long forgotten about.

As for the future, I have a want list a mile long. So I’m just including the records that I must have or I will forever feel incomplete.

Nirvana - original Love Buzz single


2022 Wrap up

Ya know, 2022 was a pretty good year. Infinitely better than the two years prior, which were incredibly rough for so many reasons. Even outside of the pandemic and modern day civil war. So in 2022, I was determined to find some sense of normalcy.

For one, I got an opportunity to work here at my favorite record store with rad people I really like, surrounded by my favorite thing (records!). I also started volunteering at a community center downtown, helping socially disadvantaged kids who struggle academically. I work as a consultant there too, and just finished up a research study to examine social and behavioral stuff with the kids. I won’t bore you with those details but it goes with the narrative.

In addition, I crammed in as many shows as I possibly could. That really helped make life feel more normal again. Seeing Pavement in DC at Warner Theatre was my highlight. They played all the deep cuts you could ask for. And Stephen Malkmus is still dreamy.

In closing, I’d like to thank 2022 for calming the fuck down for two seconds so we could do some stuff.

I’m not used to talking this much about myself this much, so I’m gonna stop that now and say thank you to our customers/friends for being the coolest.

Until we meet again.


Usman's 2022 Year in Review

Hello and thanks for reading! Today is Thursday, and I am just now piecing together my “Best of 2022” list. Please forgive me if I leave some bangers off, or write poorly, cos I am swamped with work haha. I don’t have a cool photo or collage of all the records either, but instead it is a photo of me about to embark on the time of my life on our European tour. 2022 was a great year for records. I remember feeling the same way coming out of 2021 and 2020 as well, and that is awesome! I bought a ton of new releases, but I am lucky to have Sorry State stock at my fingertips. I also bought a ton of 80s records from my want list... I am lucky to not have kids or a mortgage haha. Jeff and I released SCARECROW on our label alongside our “side project” FATAL. That was a really good feeling to get those out there. We should actually have the repress for Crisis EP in just a few days...and a little later we will be releasing an insane 4-way split 12", haha. Anyway, let me get to 2022...

To start off, STRAW MAN ARMY released a hell of an LP this year. I remember when we had their first LP, we sold like 100 before I finally decided to check it out. Neither the artwork nor name grabbed my attention, unfortunately. Both albums are so good. I can’t express what they do to me on the inside. (I’m sure some others can relate haha). I can never decide which is better, their first or second LP. It doesn’t really matter which is better though, cos you can have them both! I realize now this is probably the first time in my staff pick history where I suggest something that is not hardcore… hehe. I don’t really know how to describe the sound of STRAW MAN ARMY, but to sum it up, they sound like anarcho to me. Yeah, they have some aspects that are not in the realm of traditional 80s UK sound. The recordings are much more crisp than you’d usually hear on some old shit, but who cares. Anarcho is not boxed in by a certain sound. It is defined by politics. I listened to this album so much this year, there is something very special and genuine about it to me.

Moving SLAN! This EP just came out on Swedish label Flyktsoda Records. This has not been properly announced yet, but Jeff and I will be releasing a US version on BPDT! We’ve got the test presses in, hopefully not too much longer and everyone in North America can be enjoying this hot ass slab as much as we do. This is SLAN’s debut, straight to wax. Skiter I Allt is 5 tracks of urgent, absolutely blazing hardcore - this is the definition of fuckin’ mangel!!!! Check it out, and get excited for our pressing!

Alright, so I first heard of Flyktsoda Records when they released the self-titled LP from GEFYR. Holy shit. This shit RIPS. I wrote about them in my staff pick when we got these LPs in. The band is from Hudiksvall, Sweden. This is the same town Swedish legends NO SECURITY and TOTALITÄR were from. The sound of GEFYR is very reminiscent of both bands, leaning more towards the mean/thrashy sound of NO SECURITY. So fucking sick, so fucking good. This LP was an instant chart-topper for me.

Sticking with Sweden, NUKIES debut cassette was so excellent! I just wrote about it recently so I won’t say much. It’s funny these three bands are all from Sweden, but from very different areas. SLAN is from Göteborg, a pretty popular city in Sweden. They are probably most known in our world in reference to SKITSLICKERS. The town the GEFYR is from is a much further north than Göteborg, like an 8 hour drive. And NUKIES are from the most popular, and capital city of Sweden, Stockholm. On our European tour, we played two shows in Sweden, one was in Göteborg, and the other was in Uppsala. Playing in Uppsala was a dream to me. Why? Because some of the best ‘90s bands ever came from Uppsala, alongside Swedish d-beat legend Jan “Jutte” Jutila. I actually made a joke to the promoter of our show about Jan Jutila being there (Hi Martin!!!), he made some reply like “Oh, I can text him..” and I was like “Uh, no I was just kidding...I would die of anxiety.” I was already anxious enough with Jocke and Mattis in the room!! This show was funny cos we played totally alone, and Martin expected no one to come to the show… but in the end, it was one of the best crowds of our tour, haha! OK, getting on with it...

Richmond, Virginia’s finest, DESTRUCT released this powerhouse live recording in 2022. I can’t stress enough how good this band is live. They play insanely fast with such a pummeling intensity. It’s not so often you can hear a band play with such power(!!) and precision live. It was an honor to have done the artwork for this release as well. They have a new 12" coming out very soon, and soon after they will be featured on said 4-way split 12" hehe. I know they have another damn 7" recorded as well, coming later this year on Patrick’s (bassist of DESTRUCT) new label, Acute Noise Manufacture. His debut label release was a band that shares members of DESTRUCT as well, called HORRID PEACE. I gave this one a write-up as well earlier this year.

There were a bunch of killer releases I am not going to take the time to write about, unfortunately. K.O.S., AXE RASH, and CHAINSAW released some killer shit that I previously wrote about in a staff pick this year. NIGHTFEEDER was another release I had a lot of anticipation for. The LP stayed in heavy rotation for me, and it was also dubbed Record of the Week. We still have some copies of the restock actually, don’t sleep too long on that one.

It’s really exciting that Sorry State released my favorite record of the year, Viivyttely by SIRKKA. I can’t express how damn good I find this record. I mean maybe I just did by calling it my favorite record of the year! I was obsessed with their demo, and I cannot get enough of this EP. Some parts remind me so much of RIISTETYT, down to the tone, and that’s just insane to me. How do you do that? Haha. I feel like the sound of your recording is half the battle. You can forget about how good your songs are if the recording doesn’t bring them to life in the right way. Sorry State also released the 12" compilation of two previous EPs from YLEISET SYYT, and that shit rocked my world. The sound is similar to SIRKKA in a way, but mostly cos it’s Finnish lyrics. Their style is a bit more catchy or melodic, and much less raw than SIRKKA.

Before I go, I want to mention one more release that was also on Sorry State that really hit the spot for me, SHAVED APE. Five songs in just about five minutes... ahhhhh!!! This is that top-shelf hardcore shit right here. Vince recorded straight to tape too, so it has that sound that really gets me going. Drums always sound the best when they are recorded like that. I’m not sure if there will be more from SHAVED APE? If there is, I can’t wait to eat it up!! Alright, I guess that about wraps it up for my “Best of 2022”... I’m sure there is stuff I am completely spacing. Thanks to everyone for the constant support! It means the world to us all here at Sorry State. Punk the world!!!

Dominic's 2022 Year in Review

Greetings one and all, I hope you are doing well. The first month of the new year is done already, but it’s our time to look back at 2022 and pick out some of our favorite record releases and other cool stuff that brightened up our lives during what was a full and busy year for us all.

My record buying has been dialed back a little over the last couple of years or so due to a tight budget, but there has never been a week in my life, ever, when I haven’t bought at least one record. I’m a vinyl junkie, a black crack addict, I admit it. There are times when I absolutely must come home with a new (to me) record. A single, an album, a tape even, something. Luckily, that itch gets scratched consistently here at Sorry State and because I like a lot of old shit, I can stretch the purse further with a lot of the bargain bin stuff we get so much of. That’s not to say that I won’t splurge sometimes and blow next month’s grocery money on a record, but I do my best to be responsible.

Fortunately, I have been buying, selling, collecting records all my life, so have a decent collection and am not playing catch up on a lot of titles that are getting harder to find or cost a lot now. That being said, I have mostly bought ‘em as I find ‘em and you would probably be shocked at some of the obvious things that I don’t have or have only just recently acquired. Case in point, I used some of my Christmas bonus last year to finally get myself a nice copy of New Order’s Power, Corruption & Lies. A record I know backwards but for whatever reason have never owned other than a reissue on CD. There are many more examples of key catalogue titles missing from artists’ discographies in my collection, but that’s okay. I’m well over obsessing about what I don’t have and doing my best to enjoy and value what I do. I have sold major chunks of my collection over the years at different times for one reason or another, which is always hard to do at the time but has helped me to not get too precious about owning things. Plus, I would need an extra-large house to store them all if I had kept everything I had ever bought, so pruning and purging are essential. I won’t live long enough to listen to the stuff I do still have in their entirety, which used to give me anxiety but as long as I have the occasional DJ gig and a show to do I feel somewhat justified about having so many records. That’s how I try to rationalize it, anyway. Ha. I know I am not alone. Not amongst many of you, dear readers, I’m sure. Okay, enough of the rambling and on to the job in hand.

It’s tough to be on top of everything that comes out in any given year as there is simply so much new music being made and naturally not all of it will be to our own personal tastes. Making a best of list is an impossible task and a futile one. Also, with so many sources for new music to come through these days, depending on who and what you follow it’s very easy to miss things. I’m fully aware that I am only hip to a fraction of what came out last year, but for what it’s worth here are some of my favorite releases of 2022.

Firstly, my top ten new releases for the year:

Scarecrow: Crisis EP 7” – you might have heard of these guys, and I’ll make no excuses for putting this first. An honest to God ripper from start to finish. I am honored and proud to be friends with and work with such cool people who can really kick ass when it comes down to it. The translucent blue vinyl was beautiful—thanks Usman. Fave track, Leeches.

The Hazmats: Empty Rooms 7” – a cool C-86 sounding two-sider from the UK featuring members of Chubby & The Gang. I heard elements of early Stone Roses, Teenage Fanclub mixed with a touch of JAMC on this one and give it a thumbs up. Looking forward to more.

Personal Damage: Ambush 7” – technically these recordings first came out on a cassette, but 2022 saw the vinyl debut of this cracking E.P. from L.A. punkers Personal Damage. We suggested that if you were a fan of Circle Jerks, then you would like this one. Catchy, melodic, with decent lyrics and ending on a cool cover of Peter Tosh’s Stepping Razor. Nice.

Flex TMG: Whisper Swish 12” – this leftfield disco twelve ticked a lot of my boxes. Sounding like it was lifted from the Disco Not Disco compilations and clearly in love with the sound of early 80s New York and bands like ESG, Liquid Liquid and Bush Tetras for example, this is a great vinyl debut from the Bay Area duo and beautifully packaged and presented by the terrific Domestic Departure label. Lead track Burn This Town will put the heat on any dancefloor. If you enjoyed the bands Fitness Woman and Cochonne with records on Sorry State, you should investigate.

The Gentle Cycle: Landslide Eyes LP – the sophomore album from these Californian 60s psych heads is a real grower and quite the beauty. Retro in their preferred method of recording and instruments used and taking inspiration from the golden era of 1960s west coast garage mixed with a little 80s Paisley Underground but still sounding contemporary. Main man Derek See knows his vintage guitars and records better than most and has toured and played with so many greats. This is a terrific album from start to finish, go check it out.

Peace De Resistance: Bits And Pieces LP – a huge favorite here at Sorry State Towers and one that we are proud to have helped promote. The solo brainchild of Moses Brown from Texas bands Institute and Glue that really hit the spot with its collage of 70s Art Rock, Glam and Krautrock influences. Our own Lord Daniel wrote brilliantly about it on release, so for more details check his review out in our Newsletter archives if you haven’t yet heard it and need more convincing. Or better yet, just listen yourself and revel in the DIY charm of this raw, groovy and infectious record.

Lady Wray: Piece Of Me LP – the follow up to her equally great Queen Alone album from 2016, this record came out right at the beginning of 2022 and is her second on the fab Big Crown Records label from Brooklyn. Top notch Neo-Soul with a nice balance of retro musicianship and modern R&B and Hip-Hop sensibilities. This sounded real nice going into the spring and summer of last year. Nicole Wray made a big impression when she hit the scene back in 1998 with Make It Hot and her experiences in the music business makes for quite a story. She brings this history and life experience into her songs, and you can hear it. Real soul music.

Danger Mouse & Black Thought: Cheat Codes LP – another instant classic from producer Danger Mouse who has a knack for great collaborations and mashing together of different influences. For Hip-Hop heads this might be album of the year. A return to the genre for DM and the fourth on the bounce for MC Black Thought. Fabulous atmospheric soundscapes, great beats and wonderful wordplay. I admit to falling off on keeping up with newer Hip-Hop, but this is one I am glad I caught. The album took quite a few years to complete from its inception apparently and features many other notable names guesting on tracks, including Raekwon and on my favorite track Belize, MF Doom. Top stuff.

Arctic Monkeys: The Car LP – potentially dividing the room with this pick, I realize that these guys aren’t everyone’s cup of proverbial tea, but I have a soft spot for the lads from Sheffield, having seen their rise from the very beginning. I haven’t loved all their records admittedly, but you can’t deny the unique wordsmithery of main man Alex Turner and live they put on a good show or certainly did on the occasions I saw them, including twice here in Raleigh. I honestly wasn’t expecting to like this new one as the last couple of albums, although big sellers, saw me lose some interest. However, we were sent a CD promo of the album and it ended up getting stuck in my car player for a week, and the tunes wormed their way inside my head. It’s a more melancholic sound than recent works and quite relaxing with emphasis on Alex Turner’s vocals and aforementioned clever word play over some tremendous arrangements. I really like the song Hello You if I had to pick a favorite.

Johnny Marr: Fever Dreams Pts. 1-4 LP – fourth “solo” album from one of the busiest guitar slingers in rock ‘n roll came out in February, and I am including it in my top ten not necessarily because it’s a killer record but because it’s Johnny Fucking Marr. For me, one of the best guitar players ever and easily the coolest yet nicest dudes to do so. Fever Dreams is a set of sixteen tunes broken down into four parts, hence the title, although I can’t remember what the reason for that was. The album took a few listens to grow on me, but soon enough the layers of the tunes began revealing themselves. Musically, it’s not a million miles away from a New Order record if you needed a reference point, and has a distinct British feel. Johnny has a good band that has grown with him, and they are making good music together. Raleigh missed having them perform here a few years back. It was supposed to be the opening of that current US tour, but visa issues prevented them from making it. Bummer, but I did see him on previous tours and with other bands that he played in too over the years, although sadly never got to see The Smiths. For a good read, check out his autobiography, Set The Boy Free.

So, there you have my clearly biased choices for top ten, but there were loads more great releases and I know that my colleagues here are going to be picking many of them but a few honorable mentions.

Ribbon Stage: Hit With The Most LP – another band mining the C-86 sound and with their album cover clearly displaying their influences–it looks exactly like the Shop Assistants debut in its layout. These guys are from New York and this their debut album is a fun listen with a good mix of pop and punk hooks. I liked the song Nothing Left. They have an E.P. on K from a couple of years back, and that’s worth seeking out also.

Adrian Carmine: That’s Why People Fall In Love LP – this West Coast retro sweet soul album came out last year and deserved more recognition I thought. The title track is beautiful and worth the price of admission alone. Perfect cruising music for all the lowriders out there.

Spiritualized: Everything Was Beautiful LP – there aren’t enough words to describe how great Spiritualized are here, but suffice to say that their Ladies And Gentleman We Are Floating In Space LP is a bona fide classic. This was their ninth studio album and was a companion piece to the previous album And Nothing Hurt, drawn from demos made during the making of that record. The world is lucky to still have Jason Pierce with us as he has survived quite the medical scares over the years. We, the listening public, are grateful.

Woodstock 99: Super Gremlin LP – my shipmates on board HMS Sorry State have all written about how much we loved this record and I do too. What’s not to like? Great name, cool crystal skull on the jacket cover, gong sounds between each rockin’ track. Heck yeah. This one sold out so fast here that I even missed getting a copy.

2022, like any other year, saw plenty of reissues of old classic albums and some cool collections and compilations. Way too many to list, but I did pick up a few and here are my favorites.

Charles Stepney: Step By Step LPI wrote about this release in an earlier newsletter when it came out and for me it was such a treat to hear these recordings. Charles Stepney produced these tracks in his home studio back in the late 1960s and early 1970s before his untimely death. Some tracks have never been heard before. Cool and funky stuff.

The Wayne Powell Octet: Plays Hallucination LP – a reissue of a very rare jazz album from the mid 1960s that I was turned on to by a fellow DJ. It could be described as Mod-Jazz and the single from the album, Tutzy, is popular amongst Mod deejays. Nicely reissued in a limited number by German label Mo-Jazz/Tramp. Powell was from Los Angeles and plays vibes. I love the sound of the vibes, so this was right up my strasse. Groovy and spiritual soul-jazz worth seeking out.

Sad Lovers And Giants: Epic Garden Music LP – this reissue came to us this year, and I was blown away by how much I liked it and also by the fact that I had never heard the record before. The band is from England and formed in the early 1980s and fit right in there with your Cure, Echo & The Bunnymen and Chameleons records. This version tacks on some singles from the period, which are also cool. Perfect music for that wet and grey February day.

ISS: Spikes+ LP – it would be impossible not to include this collection of local legends ISS’s hard to find single sides, compilation cuts and cassette recordings. The deluxe packaging with actual spiked mailer is one for the ages and we are proud here at Sorry State at how great it came out. A lot of effort went into this one, but that would all be for nothing if the music wasn’t worthy of it. It is.

Okay, there you go. A few of the highlights of 2022 as far as music releases are concerned for me. Obviously loads more great stuff came out and I’m sure lots of those will be covered by the gang here in their picks, but that’s the great thing about music, isn’t it? There’s something for everyone’s individual tastes. I read other best of lists and am amazed at just how much music is being made and the wide variety of sounds. I work in a record store and can’t keep up with it all. Rather than be overwhelmed and worry about missing out, I just enjoy what I do have and keep myself open to hearing new stuff when it presents itself to me. I prefer getting recommendations from friends and people I trust and follow and so if by reading this or any of our other newsletters, you get a tip that works for you, then we are grateful and happy to share with you. It means so much to us that you take time to read our blurbs and we sincerely thank you for supporting us throughout the year. Let’s do it again in 2023.

Cheers - Dom

Jeff's 2022 Year in Review

What’s up Sorry Staters?

Welp, here we are again in January giving you our run down of the year we just got done with. Man, 2022… What a year it’s been! But now it’s time to say goodbye with a little reflection. Prepare for yet another year-end wrap up with lots of over-indulgent blabbing:

As the years keep whippin’ on by, I still think to myself things like, “Whatever, 2013 wasn’t that long ago.” And then I have to slap myself and realize like, WHOA, that was 10 YEARS AGO. How does that happen? Speaking of which, 2022 was kind of a blur for me. I don’t wanna seem crude, and I’m trying to tread lightly when I say this, but 2022 is kinda the first year since Covid happened that almost felt… normal? Which of course, normal for me meant doing the most traveling I’ve ever done in my life! But, I went back and read my year-end review from 2021 and you can tell I was still in a place of being excited at the prospect of punk gigs actually being able to happen. Kinda wild. But to review, my bands went to a couple fests here on the east coast, I flew overseas to Europe not 1.. not 2… but 3 times! And not to mention, played some amazing shows, met some great people, ate some killer food, and picked up a few records along the way. Not too shabby. Let’s hope 2023 has similar good times to offer.

Really, even in the midst of a pandemic, the last few years have been really great and exciting for new releases in hardcore & punk, and 2022 was no exception. There are so many great releases that came out in the past year, easily more than 10 worth mentioning. I wanna try to touch on everything I enjoyed this year, but I’m still going to fully commit to the “Top 10” format, and I’ve narrowed it down to these:

  1. The Annihilated: Submission To Annihilation 12” - The UK powerhouse. What a band. After that demo cassette (which I somehow didn’t manage to get a copy of goddammit!), this LP delivered on so many levels. The poster sleeve packaging and art is top notch. The recording is powerful, but raw. And I just feel like this band, particularly Bobby, the singer, embody the genuine spirit of true hardcore. Real as it gets.
  2. White Stains: Blood On The Beach 7” - Funny to include a record for 2022… in 2023.. that has a song called “2021.” The music was streamable online over a year ago, but Sorry State didn’t stock the actual 7” until like March or something, so I gotta include this bad boy. What a great record. Mean and snarling, but also tuneful and catchy in the style of the California punk these dudes are clearly influenced by. Now this band is over with, but great records came out while they lasted. Kills.
  3. The Wanted: Demo cassette - People might think I’m funny for including this cassette because I only discovered it recently, but man, I just love it. If you haven’t heard The Wanted from Salem, MA yet, then make sure you track down this cassette. Seriously one of my favorite hardcore recordings in recent memory. Great songwriting. Straight to the point. The singer to me is practically a dead ringer for Alec MacKaye, and the band even kinda sounds like early The Faith. The vocals feel intense and sincere. The drummer Nate was nice enough to mail me a couple cassettes with a hand-written note included pen-pal style. In the note, he said The Wanted has newer material coming soon that he thinks is better than this cassette. If that’s the case, I better buckle up.
  4. Long Knife: Curb Stomp Earth 12” - The Portland vets have done it yet again. I feel certain that with the buzz that was happening around this LP that this will make many other people’s year-end lists as well. From their first LP Wilderness, I’ve kept track of Long Knife’s releases through the years. But this new LP felt really ambitious and kinda out there with the song arrangements and production. It felt almost risky to me, which I like. Almost like when The Damned got super lush with the instrumentation on their later records. Maybe not exactly, but you get the idea. Definitely a fun listen that remained on my turntable for several weeks.
  5. Invertebrates: Summer Tour CS - My homies! This isn’t nepotism, I love this band. I liked the first cassette that Sorry State released, but the batch of songs on this cassette really knocked me out. Playing that ripping Career Suicide-style clean guitar kinda hardcore, which is what the world needs. If the amount of activity and attention this band has gotten within the last year or so is any indication, then they’re doing something right. Talk of the town is that Invertebrates are gonna release a 12”. These punks will lead us into the future.
  6. Warthog: 5th 7” - I would be remiss if I didn’t include my Warthog boiz. More than 10 years strong, and now a ripping 3-song EP in 2022. All crushers. When I look back at my summer in 2022 and think about the run of shows Warthog and Public Acid did together, it really was the time of my life. Hope I get to see my Hogz destroy more audiences in 2023.
  7. Indre Krig: Destroyer 7" - A band that snuck up on me in 2022 and now I feel like is going to murder it in 2023—especially after seeing them and hearing this 7”. I met most of the members of this band within just a few minutes of being at Ungdomshuset in Copenhagen when I was in Denmark for the K-Town Hardcore fest. All great people. But then, seeing them play later in the summer, I was like FUCK. When Scarecrow played with them, they covered “It’s OK” by Koro. Me and Daniel met eyes in the crowd and were like “hell yeah.”
  8. Vidro: Glöd 12” - I could go into depth about how great this record is again, but you should just read my staff pick from like a week ago.
  9. Gefyr: S/T 12" - A a sorta under-the-radar Swedish hardcore release this year. So stoked Sorry State was able to lock down a few copies for distro. Total No Security style. RIPS.
  10. Peace de Résistance: Bits and Pieces 12" - I debated whether or not to include this in my Top 10, just because this release was so closely knit with Sorry State happenings this year. But if I’m being honest with myself, I listened to this LP consistently and regularly throughout the year. I remember a friend of mine saying early on when this record first came out, “I guess Peace De Resistance is cool, but I’d rather have another Glue record.” I couldn’t disagree more. What Moses created in this project checks so many boxes for me. Like a creepy Bowie or Lou Reed with Eno-esque melodicism and an aloof yet poignant vocal performance like Mark E Smith or Howard Devoto. Tasteful and understated, yet full of rock’n’roll swagger. What a great record.

Weirdly, I always feel strange including Sorry State releases in these sorta things, almost like we’re patting ourselves on the back or something. But man, I gotta acknowledge Shaved Ape, Yleiset Syyt, and Sirkka that we released this year. This is kinda cheating I guess, but if I had decided to do things differently, then they would also absolutely appear in my “Best Of” list.

--- Honorable Mentions! ---- I just have to throw these on here, because honestly, most of these should be on my Top 10 list because of how much I listened to them. Most of my favorites from this past year were actually cassettes, and I know that most of them are just previews of the proper records that will surely make my “Best of 2023” list:

  • Electric Chair: Act of Aggression CS - Best of the best, as expected. Can’t wait for this record in LP format.
  • Gripe: Déjame Solo CS - Even though I loved that LP on Neon Taste that came out this year, Gripe’s 4-song cassette is what really grabbed my attention. A band from Chile playing in ferocious style that reminds of Amde Petersen’s Arme? Sign me up.
  • The Hell: Promo CS - This new band out of Cleveland gave me a stoke attack when I first heard it. I was almost hospitalized. Surely their LP coming on Not For The Weak will be a highlight next year.
  • Nukies: Can’t You Tell That This Is Hell CS - Ripping new band out of Sweden. Members of Axe Rash I believe? I think this same recording is going to be a 12” on Adult Crash.
  • Personal Damage: Violent Ritual CS - Another ripper from these LA punks. Do they have like 4? Maybe 5 releases now? This might be my favorite yet.
  • Save Our Children/Stunted Youth: Split Tour CS - 2 bands that absolutely destroyed when they played in NC. Texans playing fast hardcore. Absolutely killer. I don’t play cassettes on the regular, but if this recording was pressed onto a split 12” and I’d listened to it more, I’m sure I would’ve put it in my top 10.


  • Slan: Skiter I Allt 7” - Killer Swedish hardcore. US press coming soon ;)
  • Stray Bullet: Factory 7” - My Sheffield hardcore punk boiz. They absolutely wrecked K-town. Hope to see my boy Crawford sooner than later.
  • Straw Man Army: SOS 12” - I wish my tastes were refined enough to rank this in my top 10. It’s really that good. Adventurous and ambitious outer space kinda take on punk.
  • Chainsaw: When Will We Die? 7" - A Boston ripper that came in right toward the end of the year. So fucking good.
  • Ammo: Web of Lies 12" - NJ hardcore played mean, fast and tough the way it should be. Nuff said. Hope this band has more releases in the oven.
  • Warchild: A Question For Today 12" - I know this band has other releases from years prior, but this LP really caught my attention. Swedish style riffing at its finest.
  • Innocent: Architects of Despair 12" - Kinda crusty hardcore from Boston with high-pitched banshee vocals. Definitely killer. I think some of the same people are also in Lifeless Dark. Can’t wait to hear that new LP later this year.
  • Savageheads: Service To Your Country 12” - Duh.

Another Top 10 of 2022 that has nothing to do with new records (more or less):

  1. Best food. Damn, I ate so much so food in so many different places this year. But, it’s pretty hard to compete with a vegan full English breakfast with the company of Tom Ellis. We hit the same spot each time I visited London—once in the summer with Scarecrow, and the second when Public Acid went over for Damage Is Done fest. I’m craving some bubble just thinking about it.
  2. Best record store visited. Really, I didn’t visit quite as many record stores in my travels this year as you might expect. If it were up to me, I would’ve hit a different record store in every city I visited this year. One of my favorites I did get to visit while in London was probably Lee Dorian’s store Rise Above Records. It was just cool to hang out in there, cool flyers all over the walls. But the punk section record bins were just stuffed full of og bangers in great shape for really good prices. I probably bought like every single Damned record I didn’t have. Another shop in London we went to was also great, simply called The Little Record Shop. Tiny little place, but cool and collectible records everywhere. Punk, but also reggae, psych, you name it. The owner was super friendly, just handing me and the gang huge stacks of punk singles he hadn’t priced yet. Okay, one more. I also had a great time visiting Second Beat Records in Copenhagen. I walked there from the venue in Copenhagen with no internet service haha. But I found it! Another pretty small shop, but they had a bunch of great rare punk 7”s for sale when I visited. I had to spring for one record, so I got my og Electric Deads at that shop. I had to buy something Danish, right?
  3. Best record score. As far as collecting goes, 2022 really wasn’t my biggest year for scoring crazy rare or expensive records. Seriously! Of course, I grabbed a few records here and there, but I tried to watch my spending with all the traveling I did this year. I did manage one pretty big score. A special version of a record I wanted so badly that finally actually getting my hands on one… let’s just say it quelled my need to constantly hunt for records for quite a while. Most of my friends know I love Poison Idea. I may consider them my favorite band on any given day. This year, after many years of hunting, I finally locked down an original Portland Edition of Kings of Punk with all the posters, inserts, sticker, etc. A holy grail for me! Funny enough, 2022 also ended up being the year the Portland Edition was reissued with faithful reproductions of all the posters and everything. Who knew? While a copy with repro- posters probably would’ve satiated my hunger temporarily, I got the real deal on Pusmort, so I’m happy.
  4. Favorite live band. Man, I don’t think I can narrow it down to just one. I saw so many great bands play this year. Seeing Warthog destroy crowds several nights in a row was pretty amazing. Uzi from Bogota was so killer. I got to see Electric Chair in Copenhagen AND New York, always a pleasure. Both Rat Cage and Stray Bullet annihilated at K-Town. Speaking of which, The Annihilated in Sheffield was raging. The whole gig at the new Lughole in Sheffield was a highlight of the year. Seeing Golpe like 10 times in a row (with Daniel on guitar!) touring with Scarecrow was awesome. Indre Krig in Copenhagen. I got to see Vidro twice, and they were totally killer. SHIT played the best set I’ve ever seen them play when I was in Toronto. They covered Crucifix and Blitz (mwah, chef’s kiss). I could go on and on, but I’ll leave it there.
  5. Public Acid / Warthog. This trip was so fucking great. My first time in Europe! It was only 4 shows. Public Acid and Warthog played together at 3 of them, one show in Amsterdam and 2 shows in Germany, and then we made our way to K-town. A couple of these gigs were the best shows I’ve ever played. Even so, looking back the main thing I remember is just hanging out in the van and goofing off with everybody. At first, I definitely felt a little shy on the trip. But within a day or 2 I was having a blast. Those Warthog dudes are some of the funniest motherfuckers out there. I was laughing the whole time. Hope me and my dudes grab an Aperol Spritz and “do one” by a river real soon. Acid-Hog forever.
  6. Scarecrow euro tour. What an adventure. My first full European tour, which is something I’ve always wanted to do playing in hardcore punk bands all these years. So many places, so many cool people. There’s so many details I could get into, but it would be a whole other full-length write-up. With the exception of breaking down in France and being stuck there for a few days, it was a life-affirming experience.
  7. New band. My buddy Eric moved back to NC this year. Before too long, Meat House started. We recruited Alex who plays drums in Mutant Strain, and we got Keith who sang in White Stains to do vocals. I play bass, which is a nice change of pace from my other bands. I’m really excited about this band. We recorded in October, so hopefully we’ll have something coming out this year. Hell yeah!
  8. Bunker Punks stuff. Me n’ Usman’s label put out 2 releases this year: The 2nd 7” by our band Scarecrow and a 7” by our other project Fatal. We’re stoked on how they both turned out. We’ve got some exciting plans for 2023. More news on all that coming soon!
  9. New Year’s weekend. I’d never been to Canada before. Public Acid played a “SHITmas” showcase in association with Not Dead Yet. That ruled. Also, our show in Cleveland was absolutely amazing. You gotta check out Prototype Collective, it was the first show at this new spot and Cleveland is lucky to have it. But then, who would’ve thought I’d spend New Year’s Eve in Montreal? We were all wasted and went to get poutine at 4am. Pretty rad. Then, when trying to re-enter the country I got harassed at the border because apparently there’s a murderous criminal who has my same name? That was pretty wild. Then our show in Boston on New Year’s Day was killer. The show was over by 10pm, and 4 of 5 Acidz drove straight through the night back to Richmond. Woohoo!
  10. Seeing old friends and making new ones. I don’t wanna get too mushy right at the end here, but one of the best things about this year was all the people I encountered. I mean, the last couple years before 2022, I felt lucky to get to see anyone at all. I don’t mean to sound cheesy, but one of the amazing things about all this punk nonsense is that it brings you to places you’ve never been and people you barely know are waiting with open arms and hospitality. Some of these people I got to see more than once in a single year. I feel so lucky. Some folks I only spent a little bit of time with, but now I feel like we’ll be friends for life. I was happy to see Jim and Amy from Philly several times this year. Richard and Lia in Cleveland. Christina hosting Public Acid and Scarecrow while we were in Copenhagen. Going to Sweden and having Mattis from Dissekerad just hop in the van and tag along on tour for a few days. Meeting Jocke from D-Takt and Poffen while we were in Uppsala. All the dudes in Golpe. Bry and Crawford in Sheffield. Paco and Tom Ellis. Nils and Monika carting around Warthog and Public Acid. Scarecrow’s tour driver Liese <3. I could go on and on. Puts a smile on my face thinking about everybody.

Alright all ya crazy punk-ass mofos, that’s all I’ve got. Here’s hoping 2023 is another good one. As always, thanks for reading, and being patient in indulging me and my incoherent ramblings.

‘Til next week,


Daniel's 2022 Year in Review

Another year is behind us, and it’s time to take stock. As always, there is so much great music out there for anyone who cares to pay attention to it. I know it’s nerdy, but I relish composing my year-end list. It’s sort of like those gratitude journals that people do nowadays, forcing you to give attention and acknowledgement to moments of joy you experienced over the previous year. And the hope is that, as a reader, maybe you’ll get turned on to something you didn’t already know about. I know that happened to me as the Sorry State staff worked out our lists behind the scenes over the past couple of weeks.

A note about my top 10: in the past, I have excluded Sorry State releases from my year-end lists. I thought this was important both to maintain some semblance of objectivity and because I try as much as possible to treat my children with equal love and attention. However, this year there were two releases on Sorry State that I think made significant contributions to punk and hardcore, and it felt wrong not to include them in my top 10. However, I haven’t included any Sorry State releases in my list of honorable mentions, but our other nine releases from 2022 all deserve a place there.

Also, note that none of these lists are in any order. It’s hard enough to narrow these things down, much less rank each item.

So yeah, here’s what moved me this year…

Daniel’s Top 10 of 2022

Straw Man Army: SOS 12” (D4MT Labs)

If you’re reading this, hopefully you already know about Straw Man Army. If you don’t, stop what you’re doing and listen to the two albums they’ve put out so far. Their music is thoughtful and earnest and beautiful in a way I rarely associate with punk, particularly hardcore punk… they’re one of those rare bands that is unmistakably punk while challenging punk’s philosophical and aesthetic norms and expectations. Most of all, though, they’re just a great band who writes great songs, and SOS finds their anarcho-punk sound evolving to embrace elements of psychedelia and pure pop. While their sound is more akin to bands like Zounds and Crisis, being a Straw Man Army fan today reminds me of being a Fugazi fan in the 90s, when you knew you were watching something special happening in real time.

Nightfeeder: Cut All of Your Face Off 12” (self-released)

Cut All of Your Face Off is 2022’s windows-down, fists in the air, volume at max, everyone screaming along album. While embedded in the thriving world of dirty, Discharge-descended hardcore, Nightfeeder injects that sound with a hooky sensibility I find irresistible.

Rigorous Institution: Cainsmarsh 12” (Black Water Records)

Cainsmarsh was my most anticipated record of 2022… the one I knew was coming and couldn’t wait to hear. I remember the day it came in, taking it home, putting it on the turntable and thinking, “FUCK YES!” Cainsmarsh gives us more of the stomping, anthemic punk and incredible lyrics I loved on their earlier singles, but fleshes it out with a sense of dark musical abstraction that reminds me of early Swans, a sound tailor-made for their dystopian lyrical themes. Another of contemporary punk’s most essential bands.

Peace de Résistance: Bits and Pieces 12” (Peace de Records)

Peace de Résistance’s debut LP blindsided me. Maybe it shouldn’t have, since I already loved Moses’s other band Institute and Peace de Résistance had already released a strong demo tape, but I don’t think too many people had “singer for Institute makes a glam rock masterpiece” on their 2022 bingo card. While you can hear Moses’s punk background in his lyrics and in the seedy rawness of the production, this record has its sights set on something bigger than punk. I’m here for it.

Sniffany & the Nits: The Unscratchable Itch 12” (Prah Recordings)

On the first night of Scarecrow’s European tour, my friend Flo asked me if I’d heard the Sniffany & the Nits album yet. I hadn’t, and while he talked it up that night, I didn’t get to hear it for another month and a half. It lived up to the hype. It sounds like the people who made this record have musical interests and knowledge beyond hardcore punk, but appreciate the genre’s intensity (not to mention its blistering tempos). Sniffany’s singer is also an ultra-charismatic frontperson, which makes for a gripping album.

Reckoning Force: Broken State 12” (Not for the Weak Records)

Being just a couple hours away in Raleigh, we knew there was a wave of killer young bands forming in eastern Virginia, but Reckoning Force’s Broken State made a lot more people sit up and take notice. A total powerhouse of a record, its big hooks, blistering speed, and wall of sound intensity bring to mind the best bands of the No Way Records years.

Rat Cage: In the Shadow of the Bomb 7” (La Vida Es Un Mus)

Man, I love Rat Cage. Every time they put out a record I play it to death, and this new single is no exception. While always a fast, raw, and in-your-face hardcore band, each Rat Cage record sounds a little different from the others. The lyrics for “In the Shadow of the Bomb” were inspired by a trip to Hiroshima, and the music gives a nod to the heavy and anthemic tradition of Japanese hardcore.

Shaved Ape: demo cassette (Sorry State Records)

For me, Shaved Ape’s demo is the most exhilarating piece of hardcore punk that came out this year. It is raw intensity personified, and whenever I play it I have a distinctive visceral reaction that I don’t get from any other record. It’s a similar kick to 7-inch bursts of intensity by DRI, YDI, Genetic Control, Negative Approach, or Deep Wound, but has enough personality to stand alongside those records rather than in their shadow.

Woodstock 99: Super Gremlin 12” (Sorry State Records)

Super Gremlin is another record that floored me when I first heard it. I remember that first listen, feeling surprised and delighted as each new song went in a direction I never could have expected. While it’s certainly episodic, the snarl of nihilistic hardcore runs through the entire record (well, most of it anyway), as does a Ramones-esque fusion of the dumb and the arty. One of those records that sounds like nothing before it.

Alienator: demo cassette (self-released)

I haven't stopped listening to Alienator's demo tape since it came out in January 2020. Alienator channels the moment when punk and metal first crossed over, when bands like Corrosion of Conformity, early DRI, and post-Discharge bands like Broken Bones and English Dogs exploded with the unpredictable intensity of water splashing into hot oil. Alienator references Siege’s speed, Slayer’s technicality, Sabbath’s heaviness, and YDI’s raw anger, arriving at a blistering sound you can’t hear anywhere else.

2022 Honorable mentions

Indre Krig, Ignorantes, Horrendous 3D, Verdict, Fatal, Long Knife, Delco MFs, White Stains, Personal Damage, Dissekerad, Vidro, Gefyr, Primer Regimen, Inferno Personale, Fuera de Sektor, Savageheads, Axe Rash, Neutrals, L.O.T.I.O.N., Gauze, the Prize, A.I.D.S., Cherry Cheeks, Judy & the Jerks, Ammo, the Drin, Yambag


Favorite Reissues

Pohjasakka: Kidutusta Ja Pelkoa 12” (Finnish HC)

Totalitär: 1998-2002 12” (Skrammel Records)

Agoni: En Röst För Fred 12” (De:Nihil Records)

Mercenary: Demos Collection 12” (Beach Impediment Records)

Sluggo: S/T 12” (4Q Records)

Aunt Sally: 1979 12” (Mesh Key Records)

Varaus: Tuomittu Elämään E.P. 7” (Larmattacke Records)

These are 2022’s reissues I was most excited about. It excludes some like Sealed’s reissue of Rudimentary Peni’s Death Church and TKO’s recreation of the Portland edition of Poison Idea’s Kings of Punk because I already had original copies and thus the reissues weren’t as important to me (though the music on them is). The reissues that are on the list presented music that was new to me and/or brought together material I already knew in a way that felt exciting and fresh.


Best Live Sets I Saw in 2022

Axe Rash, Inferno Personale, Vidro, Tower 7, Ammo, Golpe, Public Acid, Fried E/M, Mujeres Podridas, Suck Lords, Electric Chair, Woodstock 99, Indre Krig

After a few years without venturing too far from home, in 2022 I got to go on tour and to go to a few fests. I’d love to write about each of these experiences, but in the interests of keeping this to a semi-reasonable length, I’ll just say that if you have the opportunity to see any of these bands, take it.


2022 in Record Collecting

I feel like I’ve calmed down on buying collectible records, but these pictures tell a different story. That being said, I remain a bargain hunter, and as in my score photos of years past, a lot of the records you see here have sub-optimal covers or other flaws that kept their prices down. However, some were just plain bargains, like my biggest dawgs, Swankys’ Very Best of Hero LP and Anti-Cimex’s second EP. The latter is extra special because my pal Anders sold it to me the day after Scarecrow played an incredible couple of gigs in Cimex’s (and Anders’) home country of Sweden.

This year I’ve been trying to get my collection organized. I’ve been putting new polybags on everything, adding the several hundred LPs I’ve bought over the past 5+ years to my Discogs collection (I’ve been good about cataloging my 7”s), and trying to get digital copies of everything I have on vinyl. It’s an ongoing process. A lot of my record-buying filled gaps this process exposed, so I bought a lot of things this year that I should have owned already. If I posted them here, you’d say, “you’re 43 years old… why didn’t you own that already?” That being said, I think these Dead Kennedys OGs with posters elevate them to “score” status.

It’s funny, the Scarecrow European tour was not the orgy of record shopping you might expect it to be… we were all watching our finances and more interested in absorbing the unique facets of punk culture we encountered than looting these places for their cool stuff. Even so, I picked up most of the things in these pictures on tour. I’m a sucker for records I can associate with a memory, and epic out-of-town gigs with my buds have always provided some of the best ones.

Most Wanted Records

Every year I think about what records I want the most and figure, “I’ll never own those.” However, when I look back at a similar want list I wrote about a few years ago, I now have every record on it, including the Chicken Bowels 7” I got this year. So maybe one has to will these things into existence? Universe, if you’re listening, I’d love to lay my hands on:

Appendix: EP 7”

Confuse: Stupid Life 12”

Joe Henderson: The Elements LP

Negative Trend 7”

Nico: The Marble Index LP

Svart Framtid 7” (I’ve taken so many swings at this one that it’s approaching white whale status)


Other 2022 Highlights

I got married!

I toured Europe!

Scarecrow released our second EP!

Went to some sick fests

Got two great new employees at Sorry State

Sorry State put out 11 releases on our label

Collaborating with Paranoid on their 10th Anniversary reissue series

Getting to do Sorry State exclusive colors of a few sick records

That’s all, folks. Here’s hoping 2023 brings plenty of good news alongside the inevitable bad.

John Scott's Staff Pick: January 19, 2023

What’s up Sorry Staters? I hope everyone has had a nice week. Last week in the store, we put out a bunch of 60s-70s garage singles in our 7” section. Naturally, me and Dom gave them all a listen, but the one that really stood out to me was Undecided by The Masters Apprentices, which also featured “Wars, Or Hands Of Time” on the B-side. Originally released on Astor Records in 1966, this was the first single released by the Australian group under their new name. The title comes from when the studio owner asked for a name for the track. No one had a solid answer, so they went with “Undecided.” It has that psychedelic garage sound that I really love mixed in with a bit of the blues. The band’s rhythm guitarist, Mick Bower, stated that the band’s sound was very influenced by blues artists like Bo Diddley, Jimmy Reed, and Robert Johnson. I really love the B-side on here. The fuzz, the drums, everything about it just sounds so amazing and it demands to be played multiple times in a row. It always blows my mind when music can stand the test of time so well and still sound so fresh today, and this is no exception.

Angela's Staff Pick: January 19, 2023

Hi Sorry State readers! Hope everyone is doing well. Things are busy as usual around here, so thanks so much for your continued support! I’ve been in a new wave mood for the last week or so, and enjoying the nostalgia. The other day I played a ‘Til Tuesday radio mix on Spotify, and needless to say, there were some bangers in there.

So I finally decided to check out Home Front’s debut EP, Think of the Lie, released by the always excellent La Vida Es Un Mus. Home Front is a Canadian duo, and a lot of you seem to really like the record. Ya’ll have great taste, so I trust you. I had no idea what to expect, but I knew it was a new wavey pop kind of record. It is. It’s reminiscent of the Cure or New Order. And if it was playing during an 80s prom scene in a John Hughes film, it wouldn’t sound out of place.

Graeme MacKinnon, the singer, sounds a bit like Robert Smith, but more charged up and anthemic in his delivery. He sings, sometimes shouts, with a bit of attitude. Like he has something to say, and he’s gonna make sure you hear it. But still, if he dialed it down a few notches, you’d definitely hear the Robert Smith in his voice.

This EP is melodic, and it’s an easy listen. There is a really cool interplay of synthesizers and guitar, which gives the record an indie pop feel. And the darker bass lines and drum beats give it a new wave vibe. Collectively, it all works. It makes you feel nostalgic without leaving you in the past. I think Home Front’s more aggressive attitude helps pull the listener toward the future. The title track, Flaw in the Design, best exemplifies the fusion of old and new. It’s my favorite track on the album.

The second track, a Bit of Dust, totally reminds me of the Pornography era of the Cure. The intro is haunting with weird screechy and creaky noises, and a build up that keeps you interested in what’s around the corner. But when the vocals kick in, they go off and do their own thing. I know I’ve made a couple Cure comparisons, but their sound is probably more in line with New Order.

I think one of the main differences between Home Front and their predecessors is that their songs feel very centered around the chorus, and making the chorus sound big and anthemic, and something you can sing along to. It’s pretty much a full-on pop record. While the EP is sonically interesting, the band keeps things pretty tight and focused.

It’s definitely worth a listen if you’re up for some new wave pop nostalgia that’s still fresh, and with a little bit more attitude.

Thanks for reading! Until next time!


Usman's Staff Pick: January 19, 2023

Hello and thanks for reading! Surprise, Finnish Hardcore is back with a new release and I am writing about it! I feel like DACHAU is pretty obscure when it comes to Finnish hardcore bands. Most people probably know them through the Russia Bombs Finland compilation released by legendary Propaganda Records in 1982. At least that’s where I first heard them. Their tracks on the compilation stuck out in my head, probably cos the LP closes out with a mid-tempo DACHAU song called Huomena Haudassa. The song is a stomper that somehow grooves simultaneously, so sick. The Finnish Hardcore label has previously re-issued their 1983 cassette, Ballaadeja, which came out after Russia Bombs Finland. Now, they have brought us this 7” reissue of their “debut” 1982 cassette, Tuomiopäivä!! Two tracks from this session were used on Russia Bombs Finland, and you can actually find different recordings of all four songs on the Ballaadeja tape. But still, nothing beats being able to hear the complete recordings! These 4 tracks were intended to be a 7" initially, but unfortunately the recordings only circulated on some impossibly rare cassettes... until now! Finnish Hardcore has pressed this session onto a single-sided 7", housed in a 12-page booklet packed with photos and zine clippings! As always, I can’t wait for what Finnish Hardcore brings us next! Alright back to work it is then, but before I go, I do have one fun fact. I recently learned that Pera of DACHAU, was also in PYHÄKOULU! I don’t think anyone else in the band had other projects, but I could be wrong. This was particularly exciting to learn cos I am a huge fan of PYHÄKOULU! If for some reason you don’t have one of these beautiful reissues, you need to pick one up, thanks for reading!

Dominic's Staff Pick: January 19, 2023

Hello everyone. How’s it going?

As this past Monday was MLK day here in the United States and the radio show I do falls on a Monday, we naturally did a show that reflected that and tried to honor the great man with the selections we chose. In preparation for the show, I found myself auditioning lots of records and quickly realized that I had several records by The Impressions and Curtis Mayfield in the stack of possible contenders. My DJ partner Matt ended up spinning the song “Preacher Man” by them, and I played a Curtis penned tune, “Mighty Mighty”, performed by the legendary Baby Huey. His record came out on the Curtom label, which was of course Curtis Mayfield’s label. Whichever song or songs we chose, there is no doubt that when it came to writing and producing songs that related to civil rights and the state of the country, Curtis Mayfield was the man. His compositions were topical, political, soulful, funky, reflected true life and just damn good. Even though Curtis had the voice of God, The Impressions with or without him never lacked for vocal talent. When he left the group in 1970 to concentrate on his solo work and producing for other artists, his spot was taken by the fabulous Leroy Hutson, who himself only stayed with the group for one album before going solo. That album from 1972 is Times Have Changed and is my pick to steer you towards this week.

When talking about The Impressions, it really is hard to pick a favorite song or album. They existed as a group for close to sixty years, albeit with multiple lineup changes, but their golden period was certainly the time during the 1960s when Curtis Mayfield was in the group writing songs. Their records combined love songs, party tunes and right on social commentary in equal measure. Beginning in 1964 with “Keep On Pushing”, Curtis had a supreme talent for writing what are considered black pride anthems. I could list them all, but you surely must be aware of songs like “People Get Ready”, “Choice Of Colors”, “This Is My Country” and “Amen”. That’s just the songs he wrote for the group. After 1970’s Check Out Your Mind album, another winner, he went solo and continued creating gold. If he had only just written “Move On Up” or “Superfly” and nothing else, he would still be a legend. Anyway, Times Have Changed is the first post-Curtis Impressions album but his presence is all over it. Six of the eight songs are written by him and the other two are by his replacement, Leroy Hutson and Marvin Gaye. Mayfield handles the production and most of the arrangements, although Hutson helps on his track and old collaborator Johnny Pate lends his talents on a number too.

The album begins with “Stop The War,” a plea to end the conflict in Vietnam, but sadly a song that could apply to our times today or at several other points in recent history. It’s a classic Mayfield production, instantly recognizable. Tight bass and beats, propelling percussion, psychedelic and funky guitar leads and tasteful use of strings. Title track “Times Have Changed” is more of a gospel influenced slow burner that has wind sound effects layered underneath the intro and outro. Money track for most people is the cover of “Inner City Blues,” the Marvin Gaye anthem from his classic What’s Going On album, which had been released the previous year. The Impressions provide a powerful and faithful version of the original.

Next up the group sing “Our Love Goes On And On,” a nice love song with a great percussive break and an almost disco feel that Gladys Knight & The Pips would cover a couple of years later on the soundtrack to the film Claudine. Another fine Curtis Mayfield written and produced set. The man did not stop during the 1970s I tell you.

The remainder of the album stays in love mode with songs related to matters of the heart. I really like the song “Potent Love.” It’s a textbook Mayfield production and shows off the great musicianship from the players he used, particularly that of Master Henry Gibson on percussion duties. The album finishes strongly with the song “Love Me,” a great soulful mid-tempo head-nodder that again benefits from some fine musicianship and a strong arrangement.

Although Leroy Hutson replaced Mayfield in the group, his vocals are not lead throughout, and in fact you hear just as much of Sam Gooden and Fred Cash as you do Hutson. That’s not a complaint. The Impressions were always a vocal group. Just like their contemporaries over at Motown, The Temptations and The Four Tops, for example, they had great harmonies and shared lead amongst the members depending on the song’s needs. Every cut on this record has terrific vocals, just outstanding. These kids today call themselves singers, yeah right.

Perhaps the only criticism of this set is that it’s a little short at just over thirty minutes and possibly too heavy on the love songs. Maybe one more song like the first three would have evened it out more, but who the hell am I to second guess genius fifty years later?

I think the album is a fine addition to the group’s discography and worthy of investigation for all the soul lovers out there. There are several versions and pressings available, but be prepared to pay a little for a first with the embossed gatefold cover, and look out for copies that came with a small poster included with the initial run that has the group standing solemnly in a cemetery with the text “Too Late For Equality” above them. The same shot without text is used inside the gatefold.

As a group, The Impressions carried on for many more years, creating some good music. Following Times Have Changed came the albums Preacher Man, Finally Got Myself Together and Three The Hard Way (a soundtrack) which are all solid. Curtis Mayfield, as we mentioned, kept himself very busy with his own records and the many others that he wrote, arranged and produced for other artists. It goes without saying that if you see his name on a record, it’s worth checking out. I mean, Curtis and The Impressions were one of the biggest influences on Bob Marley and The Wailers, and you can’t get a better endorsement than that.

You can click here for a link to listen to the album if you feel so inclined, and I’ll see you here next time.

Cheers - Dom

Jeff's Staff Pick: January 19, 2023

What’s up Sorry Staters?

How’s everyone doing? Lately, I’ve been feeling alright. I go through bouts where my spirits are up and down, but for whatever reason maybe 2023 is off to a good start. Last week’s shows that Scarecrow played along with Flower and Destruct were really great. I’m not sure if any of them would be reading this or are even aware of Sorry State, but there was a whole new crop of kids that came to the show at The Fruit here in NC. Tall, skinny teenage dudes with foot-tall mohicans. I love to see it. I was them once. I loved street punk and bands like A Global Threat (honestly, I still like AGT haha). Gives me hope that more younger people will start coming out to punk gigs in town. Maybe they’ll even start a killer band! Who knows?

Speaking of it now being 2023, we’re almost 3 weeks into the year and Sorry State is finally talking about “year-end lists” for 2022. It’s so hard for me to pick favorites. Shit, it’s hard enough to even remember what records came out in the last year. A record that I’ve seen appear on many people’s “Best of 2022” lists is the latest LP from Long Knife, Curb Stomp Earth. And I would agree! I definitely spun that record a lot this year.

Probably planned to coincide with the release of their new LP, Black Water just reissued the first 2 LPs by Long Knife. With all the people of the internets hyping Curb Stomp Earth, I wonder how many people are familiar with their earlier material. I will admit that it’s been many years since I’ve revisited those records. I bought both of them when they came out. I was thinking back, and I remember I bought Wilderness around the time my old band Mercy Killings played with Long Knife. If I remember correctly, I think we played their shows in NC and in Richmond on that tour. Maybe I’m wrong about that, but Richmond for sure. I had to check back and see when Wilderness came out, and I was shocked to see that it came out in 2013. 10 YEARS AGO! I was trippin’ on that. I had a brief moment of feeling like an old man and that I’ve been doing this punk shit for too long. But I then I threw on this LP and that feeling subsided pretty quickly haha.

This first LP holds up super well. Before I’d heard Long Knife back those many years ago, they were billed to me as, “Dude, they sound like Poison Idea.” Which, sure, I get it. They’re from Portland. They got those riffs. And yeah, the singer Colin’s snarling vocals do kinda recall Jerry A. But I think simply calling them a Poison Idea rip off is selling them short. Clear influence or not, I think Long Knife has their own stamp with the way they write songs. I would say when comparing it to Curb Stomp Earth, the first record is definitely less dense and ambitious with the arrangements and whacky instrumentation. Wilderness is obviously a more straight ahead hardcore record. That said, it’s clear within just a couple minutes that these dudes are seasoned and can really play. The record starts off a bit slow, with this pounding intro heavy on the toms on the drums. Then the first song “Artificial Heart Recall” is like this frantic, octane-driven mid-paced song. But then a song like “Ghost in the Hall” really stands out, kicking off with this sort of moody, minor chord style riff and sing-along chorus. It really caught me off guard. But I remember even back in the day when I first got this record, I was totally just blown away by the B-side. The one-two punch of “Reptile Smile” into “Back To Blackout” is like hardcore mastery to me. The B-side is just heater after heater. The last track “Move It Creep” comes in with this drum intro that has a kinda like phaser or flange effect. So really, even on the first record, they were experimenting with some cool ideas in the production. There’s like blazing harmonized guitar leads, ripping bass fills… some good musicianship sneaks its way into Long Knife’s songwriting. My only complaint about this record is that it feels short. It’s basically 9 songs played on a 45 RPM 12”, but it flies right by. As I’m writing this, I flipped the disc like 6 times. I guess it’s clear that I still like it!

So yeah, I’ve been gushing about Wilderness the whole time, but Long Knife’s 2nd 12”, Meditations on Self Destruction, is also back in print. Sorry State just stocked a bunch of copies of each record. So, if you missed out on these earlier releases in the Long Knife catalog, make sure you remedy that ASAP.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got this week. As always, thanks for reading.

‘Til next week,


Daniel's Staff Pick: January 19, 2023

The Breeders: Title TK LP (2001, 4AD Records)

A problem one runs into when your record collection gets to be a certain size is making sure you give adequate attention to everything. I have enough records that I can’t store them all on easy-to-browse, eye-level shelving. The letters T through W of my LPs are behind a chair in my living room. If I know I want to listen to Total Control or Wire, it’s easy enough to reach behind the chair and grab one of their records, but it’s difficult to flip through those records and see what’s there. Consequently, Tarnfarbe or Univers Zero don’t get played as much because they’re just not as accessible and those artists’ names aren’t often at the front of my mind.

I’ve always been aware of this problem, and for years I refused to alphabetize my records, reasoning that if I kept my records in that order I would only play records that start with certain letters that were more accessible on my shelves. Eventually, though, that chaotic organizational system outlived its usefulness… I just couldn’t remember what I had or didn’t have, and I’d often want to listen to something and couldn’t find it. My latest solution is that I alphabetize my records, but I get help from technology when it’s time to decide what to listen to. While records are great at providing an immersive listening experience for the album you’ve chosen, digital libraries are more convenient to browse. So, I’ve been trying to get digital copies of everything I own in a physical format. As this process comes together, I’ve browsing my digital library to help me select what record I want to listen to.

I love this app called Albums, where the default view of your digital library is a grid of album artwork in random order. It only takes a few seconds of scrolling to find something I want to listen to, and then I go over to my shelves and pick out the record and play it. This method has prompted me to play records I hadn’t played in years. That’s what happened the other day with Title TK. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to listen to that evening, and when I scrolled past the album’s cover, I thought, “that’s exactly what I want to listen to.” It may have been ten years since I last listened to Title TK—who knows—but I’ve been having a lot of fun with it since I pulled it out.

Title TK is kind of a weird, under-appreciated album in the Breeders’ discography. It’s their third album, but it came out eight years after their breakout second album Last Splash. Those eight years were chaotic, with many line-up changes and expensive aborted recording sessions. Apparently, Kim Deal was a brutal taskmaster in the studio, alienating many of the musicians who contributed to the sessions. At one point, unsatisfied with the drum performances she was getting from every musician she tried, Deal decided to learn drums herself, moving back to her native Ohio to woodshed. (Deal, indeed, provides some of the drum tracks on Title TK.) After years of false starts, a new version of the Breeders coalesced in 2000 with three members of Fear (!?!?!?!) joining the fray, as well as Kim’s twin sister Kelley returning to the band after a hiatus.

If you get two Breeders fans together, they’re probably going to argue about whether the first album, Pod, or the second album, Last Splash, is the group’s high-water mark, but I think Title TK is their catalog’s quiet masterpiece. Maybe it just hit me at the right time, but there are so many things I love about this record that are unique to it. The biggest ones are the senses of space and rhythm that characterize these songs. I always thought I heard a distinct dub reggae influence on Title TK, not only in the heavy bass on tracks like “The She,” but also in the mix’s sense of wide-open space. So much of my listening diet around the time Title TK came out was punk and hardcore, and I found it refreshing to hear a record that sounded so light and airy. Plus, all that space in the mix provides the perfect setup for blindsiding the listener with a weird sound coming out of nowhere, like the synth burst that interrupts the otherwise gentle “Off You.” Also, while the album is as full of great guitar and vocal parts like you would expect, many of the songs get their mojo from unexpected rhythms. The first track, “Little Fury,” is a perfect example, where a minimal yet distinctive drumbeat provides the song’s most important hooks.

Those are the parts of Title TK that are unique, but it also has all the things I love about the Breeders’ other records. There’s Kim and Kelley’s harmony singing… there’s almost always something special about siblings singing in harmony, and the sound of Kim and Kelley singing together is just pleasing to my ears, syrupy but with a haunting quality. And then there are Kim’s lyrics. They’re imagistic, full of apparent non sequiturs, but always alive with potential meaning. They’re like Stephen Malkmus’s lyrics, but without the self-conscious erudition (some might say pretension). As with the lyrics, Kim’s songwriting seems to follow an idiosyncratic internal logic, never doing what you expect but always sounding natural and intuitive. I just love the way Kim’s brain works.

So yeah… Title TK… an under-appreciated gem. Check it out, or if it doesn’t sound like something that would appeal to you, give some love to one of the lesser-accessed corners of your collection.

Oh, and if you’re familiar with this album and you’re wondering why I’m holding it up backwards, it’s because I like the back cover better than the front, so that’s how I have it shelved. There are quite a few records I have shelved that way. This one has been that way so long I almost forgot what I know as the front cover isn’t actually the real album cover.