As we all know the world over, this pandemic business has changed life as we know it. One thing many of us are feeling is the loss of the live music scene, in every genre. Personally I’m not someone who can do the Livestream thing. Can’t watch a show on my tv or comp and get the same adrenaline (or so I thought). Nor can I do this drive up concert idea (I don’t have a license and no one likes me enough to drive me…lol). I need to be stage front, beer in hand, horns high, singing out of tune with one of my favourite bands surrounded by my friends and their fans. That’s how you enjoy a rock concert! That said, I did do a couple of Livestream things, one of which was Sister Sin – Raw & Mean (Live from Rehearsal).
Sister Sin vs. The Meister:
Sister Sin are absolutely one of my favourite bands. Since I discovered them (albeit late to the game in 2012), the band has never been far from my listening experiences. My discovery came thanks to performing some due diligence ahead of a Doro concert in Toronto. I like checking out the opening bands pre-show if I can. Quickly hooked on Sister Sin, I bought albums, cranked them up and wrote reviews and articles including an email interview with Liv Jagrell. Also sorted a personal interview with frontwoman Liv Jagrell during that 2013 tour stop in Toronto. Liv was absolutely fantastic to talk to and you can read that interview below.
I saw the band live once again in my first trip to Sweden Rock Festival. There were a crapton of factors driving me to travel from Toronto to Sweden for that festival, but definitely Sister Sin was a positive factor. That unfortunately served as my final live experience with Sister Sin. There was another engagement on the books in Toronto as part of the 2015 Mayhem Festival, but cursed border issues prevented their entry to the Great White North for that stop of the Monster Energy Tour. And then they announced their breakup. Truly disappointing, but I always held out hope of something again down the road. In the meantime frontwoman, Liv Jagrell carried on as Liv Sin with two albums (2017 & 2019).
Sister Sin announced a reunion. Not sure if it’s a proper full-on reunion or just back together for a few shows. I don’t really care, I about lost my shit on seeing the news! But COVID-19 had other plans and my dreams of seeing Sister Sin on stage once again quickly faded away (like a bunch of other things!). Not being a Livestream guy, I was apprehensive, but I was able to catch the Sister Sin one. I chilled some beers and sorted out my comp in readiness. Like a total geek/fanboy, I even put on one of my Sister Sin t-shirts FFS! I was blown away once again by this band. I never thought that could happen during a Livestream!
The performance featured all four original Sister Sin members, Dave Sundberg (drums), Jimmy Hitula (guitars), Strandh (bass) and of course Liv Jagrell (vocals). As well, for the first time to my knowledge Sister Sin became a 5 piece being joined by a second guitarist (Fredrik?). And now the audio is available under the guise of Sister Sin – Raw & Mean (Live from Rehearsals).
Sister Sin Raw & Mean (Live from Rehearsals)
The live recorded album opens with “24/7“. For those unaware, this is a cover of a song from Udo Dirkschneider‘s U.D.O. Make no mistake, as an U.D.O. fan, I love the original, but Sister Sin blows it away on their recorded cover which surfaces on the True Sound of the Underground album from 2010. Amazing choice to open proceedings! But, I did feel that Liv‘s vocals were a tad strained. Perhaps not warmed up enough as they simply rule further on in the show/album. Maybe I’m just crazy too, not the first time I’ve heard that.
From there it’s into “Sound of the Underground” and Liv is becoming more forceful, her vox gruff and venomous. After the song, she briefly speaks to the crowd watching/listening. “Welcome to the first show in five years for Sister fucking Sin!” Five years, has it really been that long. OMG, I didn’t know how much I needed this! The four-some rip into “Outrage” (an all-time personal fave), my fist was pumping and I’m singing along. What a fucking tune! This album is much like I recall the Livestream (can picture it in my head as I listen) and TBH, if you didn’t know, you might not pick this off as a live album. The band sounds amazing, all instruments are clear and precise in the mix and with the absence of crowd cheering it’s not really announceaeable as live.
“Chaos Royale” is next up in the list, but it’s after that that my heart soars! “Running Low” off 2012’s Now & Forever and “Heading for Hell” from True Sound of the Underground (2010) are the next on the setlist. Not the most talked about or “hits” from this band, but simply amazing songs both! By this point in the listen to the audio, I’m absolutely losing my shit (in this instance, I happened to be on the bus to work). Stares from strangers be damned, Sister Sin are back and ripping a new asshole to those listening! “Desert Queen” and “Hearts of Cold” bring us to “Better Than Them“. The energy on this track is unbelievable! One of my fave Sister Sin songs! Liv is simply forceful and full of venom, attacking on “Better Than Them“.
Wow, I’m exhausted just listening. I need to see this band live again ASAP (…ie: piss-off COVID)!
Nearing the end, Sister Sin pound through “One Out of Ten” (absolutely killer), “Sail North” and “Fight Song” before wrapping up with “Food For Worms“. Getting into it while listening at home, my arms are tired at the end of the album. I have to put back the shit I knocked off the desk during my flailing about in an energy-filled air-drumming fiasco! Fuck it, let the shit stay where it is, I’m getting a beer and going back for another round of Sister Sin – Raw & Mean (Live from Rehearsals)!