Drawing back old fans while perfecting their sound for new ones.
Sister Sonny is a band consisting of five members who began releasing music in 1999. Now, in 2022, they’ve returned with a re-recording of their album The Bandit Lab, which was initially released in 2001. They’ve kept their space rock sound but remixed and mastered the album with new technology. This rerelease is a present to their old fans, as well as a call for new ones.
“Sonnyology,” the album’s second track, is a haunting song that utilizes eerie electronic sounds and organic guitars and percussion. Additionally, the vocalist sings with a clear voice that sits at the forefront of the mix. Harmonies are used to create a spooky ambiance that floats through the mix. The lyrics are just as haunting, pertaining to a girl who has lost her siblings, and “torture from the clouds,” which could be alluding to God torturing people. This song sounds very similar to the original version recorded on the 2001 album, with only small differences that are almost impossible to spot.
“Superpurple,” the album’s fourth track, maintains the album’s eerie atmosphere. The song’s first half contains chiming sounds which are then followed by a creaking tone bound to make the listener feel uneasy. It slowly adds some depth to the sound, but the chiming and creaks remain prominent throughout the recording, creating a sound that could be used in a horror film.
Track five, “Stupid and the Silver,” takes on a different kind of rock sound. This track kicks off immediately with a wall of drums. The vocals that are added in are clean and robust, shining through the mix’s high end. It’s somewhat similar to a Muse song, with its prominent synthesizer section backed by heavy percussion and electric guitars. This song is by far one of the most impressive on the album as it shows off all the band members’ capabilities through solos and interesting melodies.
“Leonard in Drag” is also a rock track, but it’s more relaxed than track five, with catchy guitar riffs and storytelling lyrics. The synthesizer once again captures the listener’s attention as it follows the lyrics throughout the track. The lyrics are intriguing but do not take the spotlight from the rest of the band.
The ninth track, “Schlafen zie,” is primarily an instrumental until the final quarter of the song. It contains sounds reminiscent of many of the prior songs on the album, such as its haunting electric tones, enchanting guitar riffs and rhythmic keyboard. Once the lyrics begin, the vocalist tells the story of a trial and judge, utilizing a conversational timbre rather than a melodic one. The story ends without much explanation and leaves the listener thinking.
The eleventh track, “Watching a House Burn Down,” begins with a piano (this is the first time the instrument is featured), but it quickly fades into an electric keyboard sound with heavy percussion. A high-pitched harmony joins the lead singer’s low voice on this track, creating an expansive sound that has also not been heard up until this point.
“Watchman,” the final track of the album, encapsulates the quintessential Sister Sonny sound. The band combines the natural sounds of guitars with electronic piano and drums. The echoey vocals float through the mix and are occasionally hard to hear over the high-pitched sounds that pierce the listener’s ears.
Overall, Sister Sonny hasn’t changed much from their previous recording of The Bandit Lab. Keeping their electronic and organic mix of sounds in a rock style, they are able to communicate who they are as a band, and they use this rerelease to draw their fans back into their old sound while perfecting it for new listeners.