Stand Up, Forward, March!
Metal Blade Records
Release date: November 25, 2016
As diverse as music is, there are still bands that stand out as breaking free of the cookie cutter sounds that define genres. Stockholm quartet Sister is definitely an example of a band that colors outside the lines. Their mix of sleazy, punk influenced metal has certainly been heard before, but few bands have been able to add the aggression and infectious songwriting to their formula that seems to come naturally to Sister. If you can imagine the Misfits jamming with Black Veil Brides playing Guns N’ Roses covers, Sister is probably pretty close to that sound. Their third full-length outing, Stand Up, Forward, March!, makes it clear that Sister is an evolving force, coming out both heavier, and catchier than ever.
Sister’s heavy as hell take on glam fits beside bands like their countrymen Crashdiet, but adds a level of aggression more akin to thrash. Jamie Anderson’s gravelly shriek is downright menacing, and along with Tim Tweak’s take no prisoners guitar riffing, the band creates a wall of sound that channels both darkness and melody into an edifice that brings to mind a heavier version of Motley Crue’s debut Too Fast For Love (1981). Songs like “Carved In Stone” match a Ratt inspired verse with a huge sing-along chorus. “Trail of Destruction” is heavy and bombastic from the start, mixing a chugging groove in the verses with a perfectly paced build into a Guns N’ Roses style chorus. Running through all of this is an uber-heavy delivery that at moments brings to mind bands like Venom.
It’s the mix of heavy and melody that makes a Sister album so damn hard to turn off. “Destination Dust” rages forward with a melodic chorus that employs huge vocal harmonies that are impossible to not sing along with. “Piece Of Shame” updates the glam/punk style of Star Star or Hanoi Rocks, and while being a heavier experience, Sister creates a hook that sinks into the listener’s brain. Without this, the band’s incessant full speed metal would probably be exhausting to listen to. Mixing it with unforgettable choruses and sing-along moments gives these songs an enduring quality. Sister has consistently released amazing albums, and Stand Up, Forward, March! Is no exception.
Reviewed by Jim1340