Album Review: Sister Sonny – The Bandit Lab


Album Review: Sister Sonny - The Bandit's Lab

Rolling back old fans while perfecting their sound for new ones.

Sister Sonny is a five-member band that started releasing music in 1999. Now, in 2022, they have returned with a re-recording of their album. The bandit lab, originally released in 2001. They retained their space rock sound but remixed and mastered the album with new technologies. This reissue is a gift to their old fans, as well as a call to new ones.

“Sonnyology”, the album’s second track, is a haunting song that uses eerie electronic sounds and organic guitars and percussion. Additionally, the singer sings with a clear voice that sits at the forefront of the mix. The harmonies are used to create a spooky vibe that floats through the mix. The lyrics are equally haunting, relating to a girl who lost her siblings and “cloud torture”, which could allude to God torturing people. This song is very similar to the original version recorded on the 2001 album, with only small differences that are almost impossible to spot.

“Superpurple”, the album’s fourth track, maintains the eerie atmosphere of the album. The first half of the song contains chimes which are then followed by a squeal intended to make the listener uncomfortable. This slowly adds depth to the sound, but the chime and squeal remains prominent throughout the recording, creating a sound that could be used in a horror movie.

The fifth track, “Stupid and the Silver”, adopts a different type of rock sound. This track kicks off immediately with a wall of drums. The vocals that are added are clean and robust, shining through the high end of the mix. It’s somewhat similar to a Muse song, with its prominent synthesizer section backed by heavy percussion and electric guitars. This song is by far one of the most impressive on the album as it shows all the abilities of the band members through interesting solos and melodies.

“Leonard in Drag” is also a rock track, but it’s more relaxed than the fifth track, with catchy guitar riffs and storytelling lyrics. The synthesizer again captures the listener’s attention by following the lyrics throughout the song. The lyrics are intriguing but don’t distract from the rest of the band.

The ninth track, “Schlafen zie”, is mostly instrumental until the last quarter of the song. It contains sounds reminiscent of many previous songs on the album, such as its haunting electric tones, enchanting guitar riffs and rhythmic keyboard. Once the lyrics begin, the singer tells the story of a trial and a judge, using a conversational timbre rather than a melodic timbre. The story ends without much explanation and leaves the listener thinking.

The eleventh track, “Watching a House Burn Down”, begins with a piano (this is the first time the instrument has been featured), but quickly fades into an electric keyboard sound with heavy percussion. A high-pitched harmony joins the lead singer‘s low voice on this track, creating an expansive sound that has also gone unheard until now.

“Watchman”, the last track on the album, encapsulates the quintessence of Sister Sonny’s sound. The band combines the natural sounds of guitars with electronic piano and drums. Echoing vocals float through the mix and are sometimes hard to hear over the high-pitched sounds that pierce the listener’s ears.

Overall, Sister Sonny does not have changed a lot since their previous recording of The bandit lab. By keeping their blend of electronic and organic sounds in a rock style, they’re able to communicate who they are as a band, and they’re using this reissue to bring their fans back to their old sound while perfecting it for new listeners.



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