The Sort Ofs | Anxiety on Parade

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Anxiety on Parade

by The Sort Ofs

agitprop-prog-POPulism for the Individual
Genre: Pop: Quirky
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Anxiety
5:01 $0.99
2. The Soldier's Bride
4:36 $0.99
3. XMAS Card from NYC to Anyone Who'll Read It, 1946
4:42 $0.99
4. Terror-ism
3:58 $0.99
5. Sitting Inside a Sinking Submarine
4:50 $0.99
6. Youth in Vogue
4:02 $0.99
7. Our Bed's an Angry Ocean
2:31 $0.99
8. War, Thank You
3:26 $0.99
9. Head to Head with the Smarts of Our Leisure Pt. 2
4:08 $0.99
10. Fascist Freedom
11:30 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Summer Soldiers and Sunshine Patriots,
When in the course of human events....

The Sort Ofs are Portland duo Chris Robley and John Stewart, augmented by a cast of method actors and showmen (drew norman, rob stroup, and rachel taylor brown), bashing away at their unique breed of "agitprop-prog-POPulism for the individual".
1. exposed nerves
2. jagged shine
3. polished to perfection

Their debut LP "Anxiety on Parade", on Cutthroat Pop Records, is set for official release in early Spring, 2006. It was recorded at the Type Foundry studios with Adam Selzer (Norfolk and Western) and 8 Ball Studios with Rob Stroup (Baseboard Heaters, The Imprints). Its eclectic. Its electric. Enlist Now!

The Bustle of a nation at War.
Taking the T out of "Treason".
The thump of hearts beating in a stiff indie-world.
Peace is Hell. Dance, friends, dance!



to write a review

Grant Morris-Portland Mercury

Thursday 06/08/06
Why aren't the Sorts Ofs, like, the hugest, biggest, most famous-est indiepop band in PDX? Have you heard their newer songs? Have you heard the tight, magnificently perfect pop wizardry they wield? Totally. It's some sweet harmony tossing, smartly produced, futuristic (sorta Nintendo-y sometimes), hard smacking power pop. I guess they're getting a heap of college radio play right now. Here's to all that and more, yo.

Barbara Mitchell-Portland Tribune

If this is one band’s ‘Anxiety,’ let’s have more.
It’s rare for a band to come out of the gate with a debut as impressive and confident as “Anxiety on Parade,” the soon-to-be released album by the Sort Ofs.
The band wastes no time getting to the good stuff — opening track “Anxiety” is a jaunty, classic gem of a pop song that pulls you in immediately, and the hits don’t stop until the album ends.
Singer-songwriter Chris Robley’s melodic sensibilities aren’t the only thing that puts him above the vast majority of his peers. While the songs are guaranteed to stick in your head, they also have a brilliant, subtle way of getting under your skin.
Robley’s got an eye for detail, and when the protagonist in “Xmas Card From NYC to Anyone Who’ll Read It, 1946” ends her tale of life in New York with the lines “Don’t write back for I’ll be leaving/’Cause this city smothers dreams,” it’s affecting enough. It’s downright heartbreaking with the addition “ —just like my mom.”
Live, Robley and drummer John Stewart are joined by a crack team of Portland musicians who help flesh out the sound.
Tonight’s show is a warm-up of sorts: The band will celebrate its record release officially at the end of March. Catch the show now — you’ll be glad you did.

Marty Hughley-Oregonian

Sort Of Dark and Angry
Everyone loves a parade. Or at least that's the cliche. The parade issuing from the mind and mouth of songwriter Chris Robley on the new album by his band, the Sort Ofs, however, includes hand grenades and hurricanes, frostbitten soldiers and faithless lovers, drownings at sea and bombings on TV.
As the album title, "Anxiety on Parade," suggests, Robley's worldview isn't exactly rosy these days.
"Oh, like sleeping with a hand grenade," Robley coos to open the album, and it's just the start of the tension and dread -- which arguably peaks halfway through with the track "Sitting Inside a Sinking Submarine (Watching and Waiting While . . ."). That title is as long as the lyric: "Cold water rising now. What are we gonna do?" A minor, minimal piano motif sets the dire and daunting mood.
Robley uses such brevity effectively again in "Our Bed's an Angry Ocean" but he's also adept at period storytelling after the manner of the Decemberists' Colin Meloy.
Meloy, a mostly a Brit-pop-influenced melodist, let some prog-rock affinities show through on an EP called "The Tain." Robley and his bandmate, drummer John Stewart, let their arty impulses run wild. There's a pop appeal to the tunes but broad instrumental flourishes and an almost arena-rock sense of drama break out frequently, as in the guitar break to "Head to Head With the Smarts of Our Leisure, Pt. 2." Or on "War, Thank You," on which Robley's voice rises to a Freddie Mercury-like wail as he gives thanks to CNN for lighting the lamp of a love affair with nightlong telecasts of "shock and awe" bombings.
Thankfully, Robley and Stewart put it all across with confidence and panache, aided by such Portland stalwarts as engineer Adam Selzer and the Imprints' Rob Stroup, both of whom help on production chores, as well as cellist Skip Von Kuske and singer Rachel Taylor Brown.
The current war in Iraq and the American political scene are the album's obvious thematic bed, a point the Sort Ofs hammer in at the end with "The Army of Democracy Is on the March," a bitter rewrite of "My Country 'Tis of Thee." Under the circumstances, it might be awhile before Robley can expect any sort of parade he'd really want to march along with. But at least he can be happy about his band's new album.

Karla Starr-Willamette Week

Sweet, Yet Schizo
Portland duo the Sort Ofs' debut, Anxiety on Parade, speaks volumes of its schizoid genesis. Recorded with Adam Selzer of fuzz-folkies Norfolk and Western and Rob Stroup of bliss-pop outfit the Imprints, Parade is an assured, well-crafted debut. Singer-songwriter Chris Robley's knack for hook-laden melodies finds a perfect companion in John Stewart's drumming, and the songs veer from lush soundscapes to heavier neo-punk pop fare.

Portland Mercury

The Sort Ofs
The Sort Ofs' new record, Anxiety on Parade, has the coolest Blue Note Records-esque album cover. Inside it's some fun, fun, fun Radioheady, old-school U2y (pre Bono's Jesus of Rock fixation) pop rock kicked out by two very talented Portland guys. Tonight's their CD release party. Go forth and support that noise. @ holocene w/Mike Coykendall, Quiet Countries

Lisa Lepine-Promotion Queen

CD Release Party!
The Sort Ofs have mutated into a pop-rock-army of epic proportions. Maestro-General Chris Robley and Drum Corp Captain John Stewart are still the nuclear epicenter. But with the addition of Rachel Taylor Brown's wild auburn abandon, the ballast of multi-genius Rob Stroup, and the steady guitar trigger of Drew Norman, the five-pice bores in on the big stories of our times, juxtaposing sober WWII imagery with a performance that earns them a Homeland Security red alert as "Most Dangerous Act in America." May their march to musical victory continue unabated!


I really enjoyed the CD. I never heard them before till I listened to samples after considering tickets from an e-mail announcement.

Couldn't make the concert, but I have the music in my head...


love you guys
I am so excited for this album!
I have seen you live a few times and wanted to take the music home with me..
see you at your upcoming release, but I will get the CD in advance :P

John Bruce

hear it out and enjoy
this is an album that, if you listen to it all the way through, you can put it in after not having listened to it for a while and then pop it back in and it will remind you of a certain time of your life. i think that this is what a good album should do, and this album does it. check out chris robley and the fear of heights, too, that is the other project of some members of this group.


very good
This is one of the better releases I have heard. Sortof Radiohead like with a little bit of something else. Great harmonies. Well produced. Simply good music. Would be sad if this one went unnoticed.