The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Alterna-la-L.A. Land

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 16, 2007 1:16PM

She’s Your Sister was formed in Chicago, but after logging in a bunch of shows and pretty much getting nowhere, they decided to hightail it to California. We know, we thought that was weird too. Why would a reasonably decent band willingly plunge into the morass that is the Hollywood/L.A. music scene, right?

2007_03_shesyoursister.gifWith hindsight being 20/20 and all that though, now the move makes sense. She’s Your Sister draws their influences from the deep waters of long-gone music history … way back to 1996 or so. They blatantly strive for a commercial sound reminiscent of The Smashing Pumpkins, or Foo Fighters, or even the more Zep-esque tendencies of Jane’s Addiction. With the rise of groups like The Oohlas it’s becoming apparent that there’s a market for music based on more recent influences. So why would we find something like that enjoyable, especially when we’re usually being crotchety indie snobs?

The primary reason is that, even though the Alternative Nation™ did solidify into something anonymous and monolithic, the bands on the breaking edge of its popular wave were happy as fuck to be there, and that ebullience carried through to give their music a life-affirming kick. She’s Your Sister doesn’t always hit that mark, but you can hear them strive for something bigger than them in every song.

They’re coming through town to support their brand new album onetwothreefour. While we could do with a little less of Joel Whitley’s sing-scream vocals and a little more of bassist Jenn Johnson’s sweet counter melodies, overall the disc is a success on its own terms. The group set out to create music that reminded them of the bands they loved in high school, and they succeeded. We can see why they still call Chicago home (they’re dubbing their show at Subterranean tonight as a dual CD-release / homecoming party) but felt they had to leave in order to succeed. The kind of music they play is more suited to eternally sun-stroked highways, beach boomboxes turned up to 11, and slacker rockers accidentally dipping their ponytails into puddles of PBR. It’s a land where Kurt is still alive, Lollapalooza never went mainstream, and Q101 never signed Mancow.

It’s not a bad place to be; we’re happy to let She’s Your Sister bring us there every once in a while, and we're looking forward to seeing them tonight while wearing our Sub Pop Loser T-shirt. It's gonna rule.

MP3: She's Your Sister, "Sweet Sorrow"