Review Summary: Strange. Sexy. Surreal.925
is a syrupy, drug riddled alt-rock debut. Groovy basslines zoom us in and out of focus, while Asha Lorenz’s deep, seductive vocals intertwine with Louis O’Bryen’s in a most incongruous yet highly addictive fashion. The album thrives in its murky little world, where experimentation is just as common as brazen, “too-cool-to-care” plagiarism – such as the direct rip-off of Tears For Fears' ‘Mad World’ on the swaggering opener ‘Right Round the Clock’. 925
often drifts to-and-fro in a manner that dangerously approaches monotonous repetition, but it almost always curves at exactly
the right point to drive us somewhere new and interesting. It’s about as strange of a debut as you can imagine; one that is layered and hypnotic yet also very tuneful and immediate.
Sorry’s first album confidently pits genres against one another: electronic vibrations are nestled in-between gritty rock ‘n’ roll and flourishes of jazz, while the entire palette finds itself awash in a glaze of indie-stylings and modern production. It’s a concoction that is both deliriously off-kilter and remarkably in-touch – it plays heavily to the notion that “all music has been done before” by showing reckless abandon with its ambitious pursuit of sounds both old and new. The entire experience is also very moody, bitter, and sarcastic – the ruminations of two lifelong friends (Lorenz, O’Bryen) who find themselves navigating this very confusing, very fucked up world. The lyrics follow suit – most often showing a very tongue-in-cheek sense of awareness and using it for purposes of self-deprecation: “You're an eager fool to love this fox”, Asha sings on the eerie “Wolf”, before expressing doubt about the very foundation of the relationship, “These knots are tied with feeble hands / The slightest tug pulls them apart.” These sort of passages course throughout 925
’s veins, providing solid depth and a profound backbone to all of the addictive, harmonic dreariness that swirls around and engulfs each word.
For as removed from reality as 925
can become through its fearless whims and meandering exploration, it is still very rooted in the present. “Snakes” espouses feelings of regretful lust (“I never thought about you in your underwear, ‘cause I didn't wanna think what was under there / Still when I get a little drunk, ‘wanna tell you that I think about you very much (Think about you, fuck
)” all while taking the track’s gentler beginnings and evolving into something far more acrimonious and cryptic – for example, there’s a mirroring effect that mimics the sound of a rattlesnake as she sings, “snakes didn't even scare me quite like you did.” It’s this kind of emotional willingness that, when paired with the record’s appetite for hazy, gritty rock, makes Sorry’s debut quite the unexpected blend of sexy and surreal. When you throw in the hooks and melodies that the band sprinkles throughout every single track, you have a recipe for something truly special.
The magic that Lorenz and O’Bryen make together is a strange one, but it’s highly effective. 925
keeps your ears glued to the stereo even through the penultimate ‘Ode to Boy’ – replete with trippy, psychedelic vocal samples and a haunting choir – as well as the epic closer ‘Lies (Refix)’, which sees Lorenz’s shouts approach screaming during select junctures as the entire album fades into a beefy electric guitar solo that masks her chants of “heaven’s waiting…”. 925
is a bold and enthralling work whose ambition borders on arrogance. Somehow, all of the moving pieces fit and sound like perfect complements to each other. It’s a highly dissonant, sweetly melodic, and intensely emotional debut that brings a fiery, mysterious demeanor to the table. Sorry is exactly the shot in the arm that indie-rock has been missing lately – a fearless band that has set out to make its mark on the new decade, and with 925
, already has.