Sister Rose will soon be celebrating their 40th Anniversary having been formed back in 1978 by three musicians from Ramsbottom. Pete Nicolson on vocals/bass, Craig (Clanger) Fearnley on guitar and Johnny Jackson on drums. Despite having gone through various line up changes, and a 15 year hiatus the band is back with a new line-up and three have become four, with only Clanger remaining from the original three. Sister Rose’s current line-up released their debut self titled album last month. They got their name when they were driving through Manchester City Centre after a gig one night and saw a brothel called Sister Rose, or so they say. Sounds more like a nun’s name to me! Anyway their motto is “Trying to bring 80’s rock back into today’s music” and they played SOS Festival in 2015 where our reviewer Jo Crobsy was suitably impressed (see here) and said ‘The vocals were high and Halford-y, the guitar was strong and the rhythm was solid. I liked them.’
I listened to the CD and I was suitably impressed too. On first listen, I thought of Tower of Crows and Welsh singer and Sex Bomb, Tom Jones, which may sound strange, but It’s Not Unusual, he has done a few ‘rocking’ numbers in his time! First track City Of Thieves starts with a dog barking, helicopters and sirens and with its powerful riffs and chugging rhythm it actually reminded me of London based hard rock band City Of Thieves. King of Cabaret was more Reckless Love meets Van Halen. Under My Skin is a funky number. The Devils Hand starts with thunder and a bell tolling then a spoken intro which put me in mind of Jesus Built My Hotrod by Ministry before becoming something more akin to Metallica, I’m thinking For Whom The Bell Tolls meets Nothing Else Matters. More bells start Wasting Time, a song with a Queensrÿche vibe say Eyes Of A Stranger. In Shame On You I thought of Van Halen again and Unchained. Hear What I’m Saying has some interesting vocals, a chugging beat and soaring riffs. You Got My Love, a catchy song with more of the 80’s vibe which had me wanting to dance along. Rattlin’ Bones has a sexy Love In An Elevator by Aerosmith start. Then last but not least Shake Your Snake which finishes the album in the same vein as the others and with the shouts of ‘More, More, More’ towards the end it does indeed leave you wanting to hear ‘more’ from Sister Rose.
I don’t know why it’s taken them so long to bring out an album but it’s been worth the wait. A sound debut album which should appeal to fans of 80’s style rock and bands like Tower of Crows, City of Thieves, Van Halen and Queensrÿche.
Highlight Track: You Got My Love
City of Theives
King of Cabaret
Under My Skin
The Devils Hand
Shame On You
Hear What I’m Saying
You Got My Love
Shake Your Snake