Stockholm glam metal punks Sister is one of those bands that regrettably gets opinions voiced about them before a note is heard, from their glam name through to the look they will be branded without a sound being entertained by metal heads and punks alike as Mötley Crüe/Twisted Sister wannabes. Theirs though is a dirty sleaze punk aggressive sound which hits hard and if given a chance will convert many doubters. The influence of the aforementioned bands is undeniable but even more heavily there is the filthy punk sound of The Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13 or basically any of the Wednesday 13 vehicles. There is nothing particularly original or new about the Swedes music but it is irrepressibly enjoyable.
Since formation in 2006, Sister has been working hard with notoriety for their great live shows going hand in hand with the positive response to released demos and now with their debut album “Hated” being released on Metal Blade Records expectation will be rife that the world will open up for them.
A 20 second intro, ‘Radioactive Misery’, opens the album, though the use of it or why bands feel the need to name and label such things as a separate track when so short and not even music, is confusing, cynically one might just say it is too pad out the listed number of tracks on a release but with ten songs here it is hard to really go with that. ‘Body Blow‘ properly starts things off and is a dark gritty stormer of a track, sounding very Murderdolls with Alice Cooper like gang vocals in support. Vocalist Jamie never strays too far from the Wednesday 13 school of attack but also has enough about himself to be acceptable doing so. The driving rhythm from Rikki and Carl on bass and drums respectively, is punishing and forceful, bolstering and giving solid substance to each song so the guitar of Lestat can play and craft.
Two tracks that contrast but also show the main source of the band’s sound come next, in the shape of outstanding glam punk thrasher ‘Bullshit & Backstabbing’ and the new single ‘Hated‘. The former rides on compulsive and agreeable punk chugging riffs and hooks and an anthemic chorus that is addictive whilst the second is a throwback to the Crüe days. It would not be everyone’s obvious choice as the single with the first of the two tracks here or a couple others elsewhere on the album being likelier candidates.
There is a strong and maybe surprising consistency to the release too which is only broken up by tracks being outstanding compared to the rest and not from anything showing real weakness. ‘Mother Fuckers (Like You)’ and the albums best track ‘The Unlucky Minority’ are an irresistible draw to the album, simple but honest slices of dirty rock ‘n’ roll that will not be denied, a statement that can be applied to the whole of the release. The bass on the second of the two tracks is especially excellent laying down a riff that leads one into the song with no escape.
Sister throws in a surprise with the piano led ballad of ‘Would You Love A Creature’, incorporating the full band’s vocals and it works well, showing a variety to the band and the confidence to throw in something to keep people on their toes.
“Hated” is great at what it does, which is to entertain with satisfying and extremely solid sleaze punk. It may not be pushing boundaries or delivering new ideas and up against the stirring quality music from newcomers such as The Defiled, will be second choice to most into the genre, but it does not let anyone down. The likes of Murderdolls and Wednesday 13 are what they are and whatever they release you know it will fit their formula without breaking down walls and most likely Sister will be the same but is it really that bad when it means some great rock ‘n’ roll is guaranteed.