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Sister Sin - Now & Forever (Victory Records)

By: David E. Gehlke

[8/10] A former bandmate of yours truly used to subscribe to Revolver magazine, often leaving back issues of the 'rag lying about his house. Never one to miss out on Cristina Scabbia's advice column, scantily-clad metal chicks, or rousing features on the same five bands, Blistering used to peruse its contents quite frequently when visiting. The occasional interesting bit of information was gleamed (e.g. Ministry's Al Jourgensen getting herpes from a Spanish school teacher - yikes!), but for the most part, the magazine keeps things entirely too high-level, like in one minimal interview asking Sweden's Sister Sin about Sweden and chicks from Sweden. Nothing about the music, or back story, just Sweden and the fact they have a Swedish female lead singer. Inventive journalism 101.

The above notions are what is typically on most people's minds when dealing with Sister Sin. Countrywomen Crucified Barbara have the same problem, due in large part to the world's fascination with Swedish women. They're good looking, absolutely, yet it overlooks the major facets for both bands, especially Sister Sin, who on their fourth album Now & Forever continue to make large gains in the nasty 80's rock, nasty punk field. The follow-up to 2010's underrated True Sound of the Underground, Now & Forever punctuates a lot of what the Swedes do right...and it's a lot.

Like its predecessor, Now & Forever follows the same anthemic rock formula, which is carried about by singer Liv's tuneful, but very angry vocals. Like we said in a previous review of the band, Liv is very much the main draw here, and that's not even counting her appearance. She leads the charge on lead single "End of the Line" and the Motley Crue-esque "Fight Song," which is the album's standout number. From there, we're treated to quick, jam-packed numbers, not unlike Motorhead's simplistic, but effective approach to songwriting. With Sister Sin, there's very little mucking about, as these songs get to the point early and often, culminating with the violin-driven closer "Morning After."

Because we're in dire need of an arena metal high-flyer, Sister Sin fits the bill better than most. Able to draw a straight line to the 80's without resorting to clichés or a shtick, the Swedes have produced another album that battles hard, outdueling Crucified Barbara's The Midnight Chase (we gave both albums the same rating, but Now & Forever is better) and in the process, sustaining a career that is way too underrated. Excellent (and rocking) stuff. 

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