Released: 2014, Metal Blade Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
We don't get the full names of Sister's members. Probably because we're all like 'sisters' and no-one calls their family by their full name. Unless they want to make fun of them that is. The other thing about families is that you can always be yourself around them. And Sister are very much themselves on DISGUISED VULTURES. They're a band that inspire strong feelings, whether that's love or hate, but damn it they do what they want and you never get the feeling they're presenting an image just cause they think you'll buy into it.
For example there's no aspirational shit in the video for lead single “Sick” unless you're looking to acquire a naked pigman. It's literally a sick video for a song called “Sick” - which is imaginative in its own literal way. And there's a chantable chorus which you can join in with. Once you've finished talking about the pigman.
Controversially the second half of DISGUISED VULTURES is stronger than the first. Which is weird as the trend is to front-load. That's not to say songs like the title track aren't worth a mention, just that they all fill much the same space in terms of punky/sleazy metal. Full-speed, and easy to headbang along to, but not necessarily offering anything much beyond. The whole way through Jamie's rough 'n' ready vocals rasps as though he's been at it all night, and you almost worry it'll run out before the end. Almost.
And then we come to “Naked”. The blueprints are the same, but its slower pace gives it the feeling of a ballad. Suddenly the vocals become painful, like there's other emotions at work. It's definitely the disguised part of the album, an unexpected fragile moment hiding amongst its brothers. Or sisters.
Of course it doesn't last - “DMN” starts with an 80's style echoed vocal, before striding into the room and throwing its shit everywhere. Yours too. It just seems to have more vitality than some of the earlier tracks, although maybe that's because of its placing behind “Naked”. And the 80s vibe returns for the chorus because it's not sleaze/glam without the 80s. Closing is “Please Kill Me”. A song that seems to revel in its weird semi-acousticness, applause overlay, and a group chorus that almost sounds like they invited some kids along. It's utterly bizarre, and you assume it's tongue-in-cheek but who knows with Sister.
DISGUISED VULTURES isn't some seminal work. It won't change your musical life to date. It will give you something fun and fast to play when you feel like tearing it up. It will remind you that doing things your own way is best. And it will disperse any vultures that were hanging around hoping to pick over Sister's carcass. There'll be no dying today, so shut up, sit down, and join the family. They're not the prettiest bunch but they'll always have an eyeliner handy and a riff in their pocket. And what more could you want from a Sister?
Review by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs