My favorite releases on Sorry State are rapidly becoming the ones that step outside their traditional hardcore boundaries. Brain F≠, Smart Cops, Whatever Brains, and now Hygiene — all bands that are definitively “punk,” but bring something extra to the genre rather than a straight three-chord attack.
Hygiene’s self-titled 7-inch features two songs, both self-titled. One’s a ponderous bit of a slog called “Hygiene.” The band’s Canadian, but this song is ever-so-British. The production’s left the song with rough edges, but “Hygiene” still manages to be completely free of distortion, fuzz, or echo. It’s fresh, not sloppy. Think the Modern Lovers’ calculated messiness.
“Hygéne,” the b-side is more jagged, more intense. It gives no cathartic release, and Hygiene cyclicly work through its two and a half minutes. It builds constantly, throughout the entire song, and then simply fades out at the end. No end at all — the song could theoretically go for hours on end, like Flipper’s “Sex Bomb.”
Both sides of the single seem like one-take recordings. Not piss takes, or throw-aways — just that the band’s played these songs enough times to walk into the studio, rock it live, pack up, and leave — done. Press it and get it out there, that sort of thing.
Vinyl’s limited to 500 copies, and is available from the Sorry State store.