Sorry are a bunch of snotty brats from north London who nick ideas from better bands (everyone from Tears For Fears to Oasis – they’re not picky), act like they’re too cool for the interviews they’ve agreed to do – as one poor NME writer recently found to his peril – and whose stage presence is best described as: mild. So it’s quietly devastating to report that the five of them have turned in one of the most incredible debut albums of the year so far.
A playful mix of indie, electro, jazz, pop and experimental music, ‘925’ has fun with the old maxim that there are no new ideas. Take lead single and signature song ‘Right Round The Clock’, which gleefully rips off aforementioned 1980s band Tears For Fears’ ‘Mad World’: “I’m feeling kinda crazy/I’m feeling kinda mad/The dreams in which we’re famous are the best I’ve ever had”, sighs Asha Lorenz with an almost audible eye roll. It’s so brazen that it’s actually exciting, the band helping themselves to boomer culture as though they’re slipping £20 notes from their parents’ purses.
Similarly ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll’ Star’, with its dissonant brass section and lazily intoned lyrics (“I stayed up all night with a washed-up rock’n’roll star”) doesn’t sound anything like the sparring Gallagher brothers, but does see Sorry making a mockery of the generation that preceded them. They know all too well that being in a band is a ludicrous cliché. Everything here is drenched in irony but the album is so brilliantly realised, the music so inventive and wildly unpredictable, that you’ll pretty much forgive them their exasperating stance.
There are backing vocals from a beautiful choir on ‘Ode To Boy’, while ‘Starstruck’ is punctuated by Lorenz spitting “Eurgh!” over a scything riff. These two moments are the push and pull of ‘925’; glimpses of sincerity betraying the Gen-Z band’s desire to sift through the rubble that they’ve inherited and make something new.
Given their sarcastic lyrics (from the pounding ‘More’: “I want drugs and drugs and drugs and drugs… I want love”), Sorry might remind you of The Kinky Wizards, the fictional band of teenage shoplifters in the movie High Fidelity. Yet ghostly closer ‘Lies (Refix)’ bows out with the moving admission: “Heaven’s waiting/That’s what I’ve been praying”. It’s the sound of a generation who are the heirs to fuck all, and – despite their feigned apathy – the frustration is straight from the heart.
Release date: March 27
Record label: Domino