SISTER “FUCKING” SIN ARE BACK!
Date: June 14, 2020
Venue: Sister Sin’s Rehearsal Studio
Back on November 7, 2015, I remember reading the shocking news that one of my favourite bands of all-time was suddenly calling it quits. It was heartbreaking to think that one of the bands that had rekindled my love of hard rock / heavy metal only eight years ago would not be along for the ride as I embarked on a new chapter as the new Sleaze Roxx editor-in-chief. Sadly, I hadn’t even posted one article about Sister Sin since the “new” Sleaze Roxx website had been unveiled only four months earlier. I tried to get some answers and interviewed Sister Sin lead vocalist Liv Jagrell a few weeks later but the wounds were still fresh for the female singer who wasn’t quite ready to divulge exactly what happened. It became apparent that Jagrell wanted to continue playing music and that she was not the catalyst for the band disbanding. Jagrell stayed true to her word and formed Liv Sin who went on to release a number of albums — Follow Me (2017), Inverted EP (2018) and Burning Sermons (2019) — while adopting a heavier more modern heavy metal sound.
There was a little hope for Sister Sin‘s future less than two months later when drummer Dave Sundberg revealed that the band had opted to at least keep its rehearsal space. About seven months after Sister Sin first announced that it was disbanding, Legendary Rock Interviews got the opportunity to interview all four band members to find out what really happened. To make a long story short, it seems that bassist Strandh quit, guitarist Jimmy Hitula wanted a break and the duo didn’t even want to do a farewell tour, which prompted Sundberg to shut everything down leaving Jagrell stunned and understandably disappointed. While things might have felt bleak for some of the Sister Sin band members and bad enough to cause the group to disband, Jagrell advised in an interview with XS Rock in April 2017 that there were actually five record labels that wanted to sign the band when it broke up. Fast forward to December 2019 and there were hints that Sister Sin might be reforming again with an announcement pending for December 23rd and two members of Liv Sin leaving that band. I couldn’t resist so reached out to Sister Sin to find out more and got the opportunity to interview Sundberg which coincided with the anticipated announcement that Sister Sin had been resurrected from the dead!
Sister Sin were scheduled to play the Glefe Metal Festival and Helgeafestivalen in Sweden in July 2020 but alas the world pretty much shut down due to the continuing Cover-19 pandemic. It became obvious that Sister Sin‘s first live performance in five years was not going to be happening this July. Luckily, the band decided to do a live stream concert from their rehearsal studio dubbed as “Raw, mean and unleashed” on June 13th. Unfortunately, there were some technical difficulties on June 13th and so many of them that Sister Sin decided to pull the plug on showing their performance after likely a few hours of extreme frustration. The internet vultures quickly posted some links for people to click on and oddly enough, credit card information was requested despite the live stream being a free one. Given my excitement to see Sister Sin perform again, I was of the unlucky (or stupid) ones that put down their credit card information. Of course, it did not work, I quickly learned that the links were not from Sister Sin and I then proceeded to cancel my credit cards because of course I tried more than one time. Good times…
Eventually, Sister Sin advised that they would be posting their “live” set the next day since it had already been recorded. Although I wasn’t available when Sister Sin‘s live footage eventually was able for viewing, I was pleased to see that I could view the footage at my own convenience, which is exactly what I ended up doing last night. I think that this was the first time that Sister Sin were performing as a five-piece with Fredrik Jordanius joining the band as rhythm guitarist back in February. At that time, it was announced that Jordanius would be joining the group for the upcoming festival gigs. Whatever the case, I found that Jordanius‘ addition (I am assuming that was Jordanius in the line-up) was a good one since Sister Sin‘s songs sounded a lot fuller with that second guitar.
The star of the show was undeniably Jagrell whose smiles throughout the performance showed how much that she was enjoying performing “live” with her long-time bandmates and one new one. When I had seen Sister Sin perform live back in 2011 and 2013, Jagrell was quite intense on stage but she looked relaxed this time out and just enjoying the moment. It’s worth noting that the Sister Sin band members stayed friends after disbanding the group back in November 2015, which says a lot of their character and friendship that they forged over all those years and throughout the intense touring schedule that they kept. Both Strandh and Sundberg had new looks with the tall bassist sporting a moustache while the drummer now showing off a shaved head. Hitula and Jagrell looked pretty much the same as the photos from five years ago. In fact, Jagrell looks a lot younger than her 40 years of age and this is likely due to having kept herself in great shape. Back in the day, Jagrell was a personal trainer and I don’t know whether she is still training people these days but seemingly, she has continued training on her own.
I have to confess having goose bumps when I heard / saw Sister Sin launch through the first notes of “24/7.” There were so many great songs that the band could have played and I really didn’t care what songs that they played. Whatever they decided to play was “A okay” with me. As it turns out, the 13-song set was understandably heavy (with five songs) from their album True Sound of The Underground (2010) which landed the #5 spot on the Sleaze Roxx’s Top 12 Albums of The Decade (2010-2019). That album is probably one of my most played records in the last ten years. You simply can’t go wrong with any of the songs on that album. The rest of the set consisted of one track from Switchblade Serenades (2008), three from Now And Forever (2012) including the live premiere of “Running Low” and four from Black Lotus (2014). While True Sound of The Underground has always been in my album rotation, I hadn’t heard Black Lotus in quite some time so actually didn’t recognize the tracks “Food For Worms” and “Sail North.” Clearly, this is an album that I need to revisit!
Sister Sin sounded very tight and the sound was really good for a live stream. This was probably the first live stream where I did not see any request for any “tips” of any kind. I can’t say enough how great it is to have Sister Sin back in action again. Although Jagrell released some good material with her new band Liv Sin, the Sister Sin material is a few notches above in my view. At least, Jagrell had the smarts not to try to re-create Sister Sin after the group disbanded but instead forge ahead with a new musical identity with Liv Sin. Obviously, the more modern sounds from Liv Sin would be harder for a guy like me (who loves the ’80s era) to get into and Sister Sin seem to have the ultimate package when it comes to great songs, musicianship, aggressiveness and one fantastic female lead vocalist. At this point, it’s really unknown what Sister Sin have in store for everyone in the future but I really hope that the band members eventually feel inspired to write some new material under the Sister Sin banner because this band is simply too good to rest on its laurels. An extra bonus would be if the band released its “Let’s Try This Again” live stream as a live CD because I would buy it in a heartbeat.
Sister Sin’s setlist:
02. Sound of The Underground
04. Chaos Royale
05. Running Low
06. Heading For Hell
07. Desert Queen
08. Hearts of Cold
09. Better Than Me
10. One Out of Ten
11. Sail North
12. Fight Song
13. Food For Worms
Sister Sin‘s “Let’s Try This Again” live stream: