Daniel Lupton didn't mean for Sorry State Records to be a "local label." The imprint has always maintained a broader-than-home focus, signing international acts such as the UK's Love Triangle and Ireland's #1s, Japan's Louder and Sweden's Instängd. Still, Sorry State has also become a linchpin for area punk bands, from short-lived outfits like Crossed Eyes and Cross Laws to the much longer-running and more foundational Whatever Brains and Double Negative. Like punk itself, Sorry State couldn't keep itself from having a regionalist bent.
Sorry State's recently minted North Carolina Singles Series continues the grand tradition of This is Boston, Not L.A. or North Carolina's own Why Are We Here?, compilations that espouse regional identity by showcasing up-and-coming bands. Two new songs from Raleigh's Davidians launch the series. With moody guitar leads and a throbbing rhythm section, Davidians continue their sidewinding nods to late-era hardcore bands like Articles of Faith and noise-rock pioneers The Birthday Party. Singer Cameron Craig's vocals offer a hoarse, harsh head for a clash of propulsive riffs and dissonant accents.
No Love's contribution, meanwhile, pulls from the sessions for their acclaimed Tape #2. "Dogs//Wolves" is as close to a punk-rock ideal as No Love has captured. "Do you hate me? Do you love me? Do you think you're miles above me?" Elizabeth Lynch sneers. Notes of Screeching Weasel's snide pop-punk, Wire's more spartan stuff and the Avengers' proto-hardcore clash, becoming catchy and severe at once. "Bad Things" ups the ante with a jagged introductory riff from Lupton himself and streamlined full-band momentum.
As much as these singles provide a showcase for the area's ascendants, they aren't meant solely for in-crowd cheerleading, either. Fitting the label's longtime role within an international punk community, these make for ready exports.
Label: Sorry State