Sorry’s first album, “925” (Domino), was one of those that had the guts to come out at the beginning of the pandemic, when those promises of two or three weeks seemed very real and that a tap on the brake would bring the whole world to its feet very quickly. That didn’t interfere with the success of “925,” great reviews almost everywhere. Proof of that is that we are talking about “925” and Sorry right now. But it did affect the experience of a young band that was getting ready to start a North American tour with the Sleaford Mods. They played a concert before everything was cancelled, they went from an absolutely vibrant New York to a deserted city. It had an impact on the group of kids who grew up in London and started gaining notoriety at the Windmill in Brixton, the hall-of-reference of the last decade, which saw Black Midi, Shame and Goat Girl grow up. This was channeled into “Anywhere But Here”, the album where they turn to rock and sound like a fusion of Blur with Young Marble Giants and Slint. Strangely enough this all makes sense.
Great name for a band. Sometimes it’s worth dwelling on that idea, how it took reaching the 2020s to talk about a band called Sorry (there are others, but none have entered the popular realm as they have). Friends since they were teenagers, Asha Lorenz and Louis O’Bryen started making music as a way to spike each other, creating songs that they would post on Soundcloud and compete for the most listens. Part of the result of this is in the two wonderful volumes of “Home Demo/ns”, an unformalized introduction to the real chart-topper, “925”, there already in a quintet format with Lincoln Barrett, Campbell Baum and Marco Pini. “925” made no apologies – inevitable meeting with the joke. It brought a direct sound that worked in the new rock language and was simultaneously, but with a generational refresh, a set of hits to be heard in the club context (more in the British/American context than in the European one). Seemingly not, it’s an approach that is sometimes refused by bands climbing through more artistic/underground means. Sorry have embraced and consolidated a type of sound that, no matter how much you fish for direct references, is unique to them. And then you get to the Blur+Young Marble Giants+Slint combo, to which you could add Tortoise, Pavement, or to set a 2000s tone, the Dirty Projectors (still remember how they sounded like so much and there was nothing like them? Sorry is like that too).
Coming to ZDB comes with an album – “Anywhere But Here” – in their luggage that finally gives them the road and the freshness of ideas that this brings. Something immensely beneficial for a new band, which has already proved to be in constant renewal and doesn’t get lost in this thing of formulas that work. They are here for the constant surprise. AS