Album cover for Sister Sandwich Friends

As a vegetarian, seeing the first track title “Meat Meat Meat” immediately creates an idea that this collection of music from Sister Sandwich is going to be an upfront and in your face collection of music. And yes, I wasn’t wrong. The first track, which is from Sister Sandwich themselves, is a visceral and upbeat tune, well put together and captures the attention straight away. Two minutes and thirty three seconds of intense garage rock that gives you the urge to mosh the hair you lost years ago. The guitar solo that jumps in around 1:30 makes you want to drive a car extremely fast or leap into some sort of high energy kung fu scene, defending yourself against loads of ninjas jumping out of the wood work hell bent on killing you, yet somehow you defeat them all.

It’s a great opener that sets the tone for the rest of this compilation of artists from the Wyre Forest and surrounding areas that have played at the multitude of ‘Sarnie’ gigs going back over the past (almost) 30 years. The album is going to be a winner for anyone involved in that scene as some really notable bands have been selected for inclusion, and for those who just like their music to get them moving there’s plenty to chose from here.

Standout tracks on the compilation are aplenty but a few of my personal favourites I’ll mention here. Capt Roswell and The lost Alien Tribe create a tripped out universe with “See Through My Alien Eye” that lands somewhere between the Ozrics and the Happy Mondays… I’m fairly sure I know what they were getting up to during the 90s. It’s almost 8 minutes of psychedelic rock with a heavy dose of FSOL style synths and delay pedals layered to create a track with huge depth. In the same vein, The Ornot deliver us “Moongate” which takes me back to the heady days of Ambient House legends The Orb and Sun Electric. You can crank up the volume and dance about to it, or drop it down and chill out and trip out in the living room reliving all those hedonistic weekends from your youth in your mind.

Tucked away in the middle is a lovely little number from The Pale Kings which is full of Motorhead style guitar riffs and uber-weird vocals which is captivating and energising in equal measure. Later in the album Charley Wilde creates an upbeat indie-pop vibe with “Sad Sad Sad” which is both lyrically interesting and subtly engaging. The use of what sounds like a simple drum machine, gentle guitar and haunting vocals creates a lovely old school 80s vibe which easily makes me think of the industrial areas of the city, walking home from a local underground club on a rainy street, hair gel running down your forehead.

And if you want to get your Ska on, you’re in luck as there’s a couple of treats here for you. Firstly, Garabaldies get on it with “Buddah King”, a deliciously dubby track which just keeps you gently bopping along with the funky rhythm guitar and melodramatic vocals. Finally the Sister Sandwich round things off with “Outta My Head” which again starts off with a very downtempo dub vibe that gives you that gentle groove but then almost out of nowhere slaps you in the face with a bouncing upbeat groove which will certainly get everyone jumping around the dance floor until everyone is drenched in sweat and cider.

I’ve never been to one of the Sister Sandwich gigs, but the impression given here is that they all know how to let loose and have a good time. If you were involved in that scene you’re going to love this compilation, but even if you weren’t you’ll most likely find some gems on here. And its free to download on Bandcamp (though you can furnish the Sarnies with a few quid should you choose to). Definitely worth a look.

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