We have moments of clarity and realisation in really peculiar moments. The worst is when it happens when you’re stuck on train or whatever, and you cannot get out to do something about it. Or you have pen and paper near you to write anything down. I have a shit memory at times, so I just forget anything that could be of use to me. Sometimes though; I manage to cling. More people should learn to keep secrets, and keep their own. But sometimes we are given an insight into a world that’s a billion times better than our own. You know where you can find a better world? Right inside the depths of SISU’s debut record, Blood Tears.
SISU is fronted by Sandra Vu who is the excellent drummer in Dum Dum Girls. If I could drum, I’d want to have the talent she has. She adds something a bit aggressive to a band that are wonderfully delicate. So what kind of music does she make in SISU? Well, if you’re looking for a Dum Dum Girls clone don’t bother. SISU are quite synth focused which adds a really dark and reluctantly I say this, a “goth” vibe to it. If Bauhaus merged with say, Depeche Mode- this is what you’d get. SISU’s music has a wonderful New Romantic feel to it also. Blood Tears is a record you need to play whilst walking late at night with a heavy mist looming. There is something quite sinister about this record, and that’s why I love it. The song Electronic sounds like it should be featured in a horror or thriller film- as the bad guy approaches his next victim. The record is gorgeous and creepy; it makes you want to put a cape on and go deep into the night. Or you could just stay at home and play it. I’d go for the latter, it is much safer.
I’m not going to make any comparisons to Dum Dum Girls as I think that’s quite unfair. They are separate bands with completely different sounds. Different is always good, especially in music. The structure to this record is just perfect; every song flows perfectly into the other. It flows majestically even if it feels like a haunting soundtrack to a dream you once had. The darker the sound, the better. SISU’s music was made for those creepy basement bars where you are surrounded by people who just “get” you. Without words, but a knowing nod- they just get you. Blood Tears is a debut record that I know I am going to hold very close to my heart for some time. I think this is how my brilliant stepdad felt when he heard Siouxsie And The Banshees for the first time. You know you are hearing something incredibly inspiring here. I hope they play the UK, because there are some brilliant venues here that were made for bands like SISU.
I could happily praise this record for as long as words fall out of me. I’ve noticed something in the song Let Go that reminds me of Garbage’s debut record. There is an attitude to SISU’s music that is found in Garbage, and although I said I wouldn’t compare them earlier- you find this in Dum Dum Girls’ music too. But you probably knew that. Shirley Manson is an incredible force that has evidently influenced so many. I have no idea if Sandra is influenced by Shirley, but her voice has the same “I’m going to make you listen to me” feel to it. It’s bloody empowering.
I believe music is probably one of the few things in life that can give you a real sense of pleasure and freedom. Blood Tears feels like it could strengthen the weak ones. That it can find those who truly need to be found. The dark atmosphere that is in this record is nothing short of divine and you never want it to end. Ten songs just isn’t enough, but you can always hit repeat can’t you.
I sincerely hope Sandra and the band are proud of this record because it is honestly unlike anything else I’ve heard all year. SISU are on that Dirty Beaches level (who they are currently on tour with and I really wish I lived in America right now because of it!) They aren’t conventional with their sound and you can just sense a lot went into the music. I think when you pick up on that, you gain a different insight to the record. I’m not for conventional anyway, which is why bands such as SISU mean a lot to me.
A debut record can have a massive impact on the fan/listener; you fully get that with Blood Tears. It is a passionate and bold record that I cannot wait to have in my possession and play on a daily basis. That eerie bass-line in Sharp Teeth is enough to make The Cure go to the studio and make something as ethereal as Seventeen Seconds. It may be 2013, but SISU truly take you somewhere else. I don’t know where, but being found doesn’t matter.
Blood Tears is out on Mono Prism Records on 17th September. Even if you are on poverty row, go buy this record. I have so much more left to say about Blood Tears, but I’ll stop here….for now.