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Sorry - 925 (Album Review)

Monday, 30 March 2020 Written by James Lawson

Photo: Sam Hiscox

Sorry’s debut album, ‘925’, stands as their first foray into more established means of music delivery after initially making their presence known via songs and mixtapes trickling out of their North London bedrooms. But that may also be where their brief flirtation with the norm ends, because Sorry are not a conventional rock band.

The hip hop-inspired ‘925’ finds them moving further away from the sonic territories currently occupied by their London contemporaries such as Goat Girl or Shame. Off-kilter from the start, the tone of the album is established by the opening track, Right Around the Clock, as piano keys resembling drunken footsteps are chased by intermittent brass blasts.

It’s easy to become immersed in the dour atmosphere that Asha Lorenz’s voice croakily punctuates, but it soon becomes stale as it seeps through every moment on the album, creating a sense of monotony and repetition. 

Though many of the sounds here are refreshingly original, it’s hard to shake the feeling that the whole project is made up of the same building blocks.

This creeping suspicion collides with the fact that some of the material on ‘925’ has already been released. The decision to include it here comes across with the same low effort effect as Louis O’Bryen’s occasional mumbles under the music. 

But the parts of Sorry’s unorthodox writing practice that should inject a breath of fresh air to proceedings also fall short. When Tears For Fears and Louis Armstrong lyrics are ‘sampled’ on Right Around the Clock and As the Sun Sets, they are presented with a lack of guile that suggests empty borrowing over second hand inspiration.

It does have to be said that there are moments of brilliant light piercing ‘925’. The sudden rap of saxophone and snare on Rock ‘n’ Roll Star masterfully drills through the eardrums, and there’s a definite itch-scratching satisfaction to be found in the doom-laden riff at the heart of In Unison. This is not a bad album, but it disappointingly fails in its main objective of breaking free from formula.


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