Sorry - '925' Album Review
Updated: Apr 12
By Seb Lloyd
Sorry are filled with a sarcastic bitterness that is refreshingly miserable. Tongue in cheek lyrical pickpocketing, ‘Then I think to myself, what a wonderful world,’ paired with a disregard for genre that has been carefully mixed to create a much more varied array of sounds compared with their earlier releases. Now on Domino records (Franz Ferdinand, Arctic Monkeys) and paired with co-producer James Dring, (Gorillaz, Jamie T, Loyle Carner) band leaders Asha Lorenz and Louis O’Bryan satisfyingly defy convention whilst retaining a heavily melodic thread throughout, perhaps explaining their own description of their music as ‘warped pop.’
There are subtle Jazz influences on songs like ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll star.’ The opening saxophone trills remind me a little of the Bojack Horseman opening theme, which is apt considering the content of the song, “I stayed up all night with a washed-up rock-n-roll star.’ ‘Wolf’ pairs grunge hooks and dynamics with distorted bass that evokes Broadcast. ‘Rosie’ has a Heart-shaped Box riff with moody sax and passive-aggressive lyrics, ‘Fuck you, Rosie’ murmurs Asha. There is even a lovely moment on the album in ‘More,’ where ‘Heather,’ a quaint bit of pop-folk is immediately followed by ‘I want drugs and drugs and drugs and drugs, I want love.’ These are good enough songs that there is potential for tangents and playfulness in places that varies the album and improves the overall sound of the band, pulling them closer to escape from the words ‘indie, guitar band’ with every ‘EEUUgggg!,’ Which replaces the obvious choice of a guitar turnaround on ‘Starstruck.’
There is a sense of rejection of the DIY punk chest-beating (Fat White Family, Shame) and indie forerunners (Goat Girl, Black Midi) of the south London troop that Sorry are commonly (and mistakenly) bundled into. Hailing from North London but regular fixtures at the South London scenes informal home, The Brixton Windmill, Sorry blend male and female vocal to great effect, creating a sense of the front pair responding in real time to what they’re saying. It is not a conventional dual frontwomen and man, apart from perhaps on ‘Perfect,’ which has all the charm of DIY indie rock with carefully selected production that elevates its catchy 3-minute charm. You can feel the constant pull to be more than a flat-edged guitar band, “We’re happy we took our time. The earlier singles we put out were more rocky, and that’s not what we want to do.” Said Lorenz in a Guardian interview. 4 years of slow construction and a decidedly glum view of human relations throughout the lyrics leaves the pair equally speculative and dismissive of their realities.
Other notable lyrical heists include ‘I’m feeling kinda crazy, I’m feeling kinda mad. The dreams in which we’re famous are the best I’ve ever had’ on headline single ‘Right Round the Clock’; taken straight from Tears for Fears’s hand bag, and the audacious ‘Play a note or two for me baby; say yes, say yes, not maybe,’ summoning the melody of Wheatus’s pop-punk career suicide ‘Teenage Dirtbag.’ I don’t think these references are solely for a giggle, they serve as an awareness of the rich music lineage Sorry join upon the release of their debut, while simultaneously helping to separate them from the huge amount of bands filtering through the London scene. They haven’t quite outrun genre: 'Indie, Rock' yet but this album brings them a step closer.
Listen to '925' below: