This week, visceral Rock 'n' Roll in the shape of Sissy and the Blisters. No bassists, no messing about, just raw, edgy punk and black leather. Studio engineer, Chris McManus tells us about the day...
This week's session was powered by four people trying to repair a vintage 60's organ, discussing 'near-death-by-pint-glass' stage jumps and making life decisions with the aid of a tuning peg. Taking an afternoon out from their tour with Dinosaur Pile-Up to join us were Ed (drums), James (vocals/organ), Jack (Guitar/organ) and Nick (guitar/organ).
It's fair to say that after setup and sound checking, I realised that Sissy and the Blisters are very much a 'Jekyll and Hyde' band. When they arrived they were welcoming, polite and just a nice, calm bunch of chaps. Fast forward to when I hit record on the first track and it was as if their mellow state was incubating what can only be described as... well fierce attitude. Coming across straight away as a band who live to perform their material, I was excited for the rest of the session.
The track we filmed was the band's latest single and Amazing Radio favourite, We Are The Others. Kicking off with a lush mess of feedback and staccato organ before diving into driving punk guitars and chanted vocals, it already sounds like a classic.
Following up with Gangs of Three and Sleeping Around, the band show that they have both the attitude and grit of punk/grunge as well as the distinct ability to write a great pop song at the same time. The dynamics in James' voice take you all the way from The Strokes to 80's Matchbox B-Line Disaster. You might think that the lack of a bass player would give the tracks an empty feel, but it just adds to the raw nature of their sound.
Next was Let Her Go which to me was the lightest track of the session but worked so well in between the others and created a nice shift in dynamic and pace.
Lastly we were treated to a performance of Got No Home. As you can see, there's something very real about their sound. There's no pretence or fakery, it's just four lads with guitars, a drum kit and an organ, loving what they do.
Currently on tour with Dinosaur Pile-Up, they will be performing at The Great Escape on the 12th May. We'll be heading down, make sure you are too! Sissy and the Blisters will also be playing a Huw Stephens Presents show at The Social in London on the 11th May.