Sister Switchblade – ‘Best Served Cold’ (Self-Released) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Mark Ashby   
Monday, 14 August 2017 04:30

Sister SwitchbladeIt’s amazing how music comes your way. In these days of the superfast interweb, it’s often instantaneous: a click of mouse, a depression of a ‘send’ button and a bunch of files are in the inbox of an über cool rock ‘n’ roll website editor within seconds… and, then, gone again as quickly as it has arrived. That’s how quickly things move…


But, sometimes, things actually do move a little more slowly, and some people do things the old fashioned away. Those people are called Australians. Or, more accurately, they’re a band called – yes, you guessed it, ‘cos their name is right there, smack at the top of this review – Sister Switchblade, who sent this, their debut album, via snail mail all the way from their home town of Perth to URHQ on the other side of the world. Now, they made one near fatal mistake: that is all they sent. Just a CD. In a plain plastic cover. Nothing else. Note even a cover note (their Facebook page is just as helpless). It was going straight in the bin – but… I liked the name of the band, and was intrigued enough to slip it into my battered CD deck instead…


And I’m glad I did… Now, I’m going to admit that this wee album has been kicking around my man cave for quite a while now, and has been stuck on in the background when I’ve been doing other things, like answering the hundreds of emails we get every hour, downloading the mp3s the record companies entrust to our care weeks in advance of release – or even just dusting off the piles of stuff I haven’t even had the chance to listen to yet! But, every time I have done so my head has started nodding, my feet have started tapping and my fingers have involuntarily moved into full on air guitar mode. Hell, it has made enough of an impression that a couple of the tracks have featured on our Sunday Brunch radio show!


Sister Switchblade draw very firmly on the Sunset Strip sound of the late Eighties/early Nineties, but add a hard rock edge which adds enough depth to their sound to give it the grunt and gristle I crave and love in this style of music. The guitars cut and weave around the main melodies, while the riffs contain plenty of potato-growing muck below their finger nails, while the rhythms are thick and groovy – and, fuck me, there’s a cowbell right in the middle of the drums: instant win right there, as far as I’m concerned.


The production is a bit rough and ready, especially on the vocals, and the guitars are a bit too low in the mix in places, but it reflects the undoubted energy that is evident from the first note to the last. Despite its inauspicious arrival, this turned out to be a surprisingly pleasurable album [not in that way, Mrs A], and one which I would thoroughly recommend trying to track down if you’re fan of retro sleaziness. And, yes, it’s best listened to with a cold one to hand.


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