Monday, November 10, 2014
Sister Sin - Black Lotus (2014)
I will say, however, that Black Lotus is experimental--by Sister Sin's standards--and breathes new life into their brand of music, which has remained largely unchanged since their inception in 2002. Orchestral synths are thoughtfully sprinkled over at least one track, longer instrumental sections appear here and there, and the material feels more mature than it has in the past. Songwriting has steadily improved, despite being a bit underwhelming at first, and a handful of stunners surface--"The Jinx" is almost bluesy in its approach to balladry, while "Count Me Out" is more or less typical Sister Sin, though amplified by 10 on the epic scale.
What I find myself thinking about most is the production, which is warmer, more natural, and less sharp when placed next to previous records. The guitar still bites, the drums still pop, and the bass still rumbles, but the music needed to take a step back from the front lines to reevaluate itself and Sister Sin's future. At some point, the band's semi-success was going to crash and burn, especially with their formulaic take on songwriting, and new ideas were needed to keep the band from alienating their growing fan base. Of course, I may be exaggerating the level of experimentation, but it's undeniably there, and it's a joy to see the the four-piece step outside their comfort zone.
So -- I like the record. That much is clear. It's fun, it gets better with each listen, and it's still Sister Sin at the core. Will it climb into my top 10 for the year? Tough to say, but that hardly matters at the moment. We have two more months to enjoy new music and, right now, I'm digging Black Lotus.