Wednesday 19 May 2021

Little Pop Rock by Sister Vanilla

I keep intending to write more blogs about albums I enjoy and love. What holds me back is that I tend to go feature length and write about every song. That can take a while!

So, I'm going to hold back a little in length, but make up for that in terms of quantity and quality. Here is a blog on an album I only discovered recently.

Sister Vanilla is a band formed by Linda Reid and her two big brothers; William and Jim of The Jesus and Mary Chain. They released their only album, Little Pop Rock, back in 2005.

I remember reading about the project, but I wasn't aware an album came out, only discovering it after recently reading Zoe Howe's excellent book Barbed Wire Kisses on The Mary Chain.

I love it! Scuzzy fuzzy guitars, hooks, grooves, urgency, fun and a glorious sense of don't give a f**k, like they were just doing it for themselves and no-one else. 

Opening with the gentle acoustic lullaby that is Pastel Blue, listeners are easily lured into a Velvets'y world where Linda Reid has crashed a car due to listening to The Pastels. It's as beautiful as it is barmy.

i didn't listen to a word  that was said

I got The Pastels playing in my head

I play guitar and write a tune or two

I do what it takes to get me through

Can't Stop The Rock is a brilliant duet with brother Jim, dripping pure Mary Chain melodies, guitars and beats. It sounds gloriously pure and raw, like the Reid clan are having fun, you can almost feel the smiles. Linda even sings of being happy. Check the video HERE

And I'm falling

And I'm happy

Stumbling through the dark

I've been stumbling through your heart

K To Be Lost has a playful keyboard melody over a scuzzy rhythm, which really gets going and Linda singing almost tongue in cheek - from a fan perspective? The vocal melody is as delicious as William Reid's guitar sounds. 

Honey's Dead and Psychocandy

I listened to them all the time

They make songs sound like heaven

Drives me out of my mind

Of course The Mary Chain love a good ballad too, Jim Reid's Angel has that lovely Velvets-y feel that JAMC conjure up at times throughout their career. After that Totp just drips with cool, a long intro, menacing lyrics, glorious guitar, space at all the right times, going beautifully with the flow for most of it though. 

Reid duets with Stephen Pastel on the closing The Two Of UsI met a boy, he was crazy about me

The fuzzy guitar sounds wonderful, Reid's vocal sounds so innocent and pure, Pastel sounds as cool as he might ever have sounded, their voices collide beautifully on the chorus;

The two of us are getting high

We don't need drugs cause we know how to fly

The two of us are getting high

We don't need drugs, just the two of us

The two of us are getting high

Little Pop Rock oozes with a sense of laid back fun. Siblings getting together to create music they love with people they love. 

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