Sister Sin – Switchblade Serenades

Band: Sister Sin
Album: Switchblade Serenades
Genre: Metal [Glam-like]
Label: Victory

1. Beat The Street
2. Death Will Greet Us
3. One Out of Ten
4. Breaking New Ground
5. On Parole
6. Make My Day
7. Hostile-Violent
8. Switchblade Serenades
9. Love/Hate
10. All Systems Go
11. Eye To Eye

Ah, the world of 80’s glam metal. With the upbeat swagger, sweet outfits, and the fun filled topics of sex, night life and partying in their songs, the metal scene looked so much brighter back then. Nowadays everyone is just really sad or really mad. Not Sister Sin, who debut with Switchblade Serenades. Based on their album title and the appearance of their gothic Myspace page, I assumed this could be another screamo-ish metalcore band, in which case I would have been relieved, based on the lack of bands in the genre. (Ha) But Sister Sin’s sound comes roaring out of the 80’s hey-day of fast glam metal, which should excite any classic metal listener reading this. (Read on, classic metal listener…that’s your cue)

The band name kind of gives away the fact that there is some kind of female presence in the band, in this case front-woman-ed by the name of just “Liv.” Knowing this, a girl singer band could be either good (i.e., Heart, Lacuna Coil) or really scary (Ahh, Kittie!!!) Liv is perfect for this modern edition of 80’s rock, an assertive, triumphant voice, not too feminine but enough roughness to give this music its badass edge.

Indeed, Serenades contain all the usual suspects of a badass glam 80’s band. When I saw “Motley Crue” written in bold letters under the “Influences” section of Sister Sin’s Myspace, the similarities were unmistakable. Power chord dominated, with chuggin’ riffs that flow with the lyrics and theme of the song, and an abundance of yelled (or chanted) background lyrics alongside of Liv’s leads, not to mention a bulk of the songs are fast paced, filled with energy and raw aggression that is fueled by Liv’s bold voice. While the music may remind one of the ‘Crue and Van Halen, the guitar solos sprinkled here and there aren’t as impressive, obviously. However, the way the guitars match the lyrics of the song make a lot of the songs recognizable from the get go.

Despite a few standout songs, there isn’t a lot of diversity in Sister Sin’s style. The band sticks to its brisk paced, chorus-verse style throughout much of the album. “Beat the Street” starts off the album at breakneck speed, with Liv’s vocals sailing over the riffs, an epic beginning not unlike the thrash stylings of 3 Inches of Blood. In terms of what songs stick out better than others, “Break New Ground” has a little more attitude, the best part the chorus, where between Liv’s lyrics, the background vocalists yell “Screw You!” and “F**k You!” “On Parole” slows the pace down and showcases Liv’s vocals, which results in a softer, radio-friendlier song. “Make My Day” is definitely one of the faster paced songs on the album, and really shows off the band’s ability to recreate the excitement of the glam rock days into a modern, almost heavier version.

No, this band is not Motley Crue. And yes, Serenades hurts its playback quality with its full commitment to run and gun 80’s music. But the important thing here is how Sister Sin is a refreshing look back on a glorious time for music, and how Liv’s vocal styles fit with the band and don’t become a distraction. Serenades is a best bet for vintage 80’s fan and worth a try for anyone interested in fast paced rock n’ roll.  

*Written By: Jacob Kanclerz*
GRADE: 7.5/10

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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