The other day I was in a bit of a funk. One of those days when you just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Everything and everyone just seemed to irritate me. I decided that maybe I needed some new music to break this mental fog. So, I went diving into the latest pile of CGCM Rock Radio submissions. Admittedly, even this took a little while as I test-drove a number of albums before something finally made me smile. I suppose taken out of context this next sentence could be misunderstood but who cares? “Sister Morphine got me out of my funk!”
SISTER MORPHINE – Ghosts Of Heartbreak City
Just to be sure there is no confusion. I am not talking about the opiate but instead a band with the name Sister Morphine. No, I had never heard of them either but I dropped the virtual needle (or should that be syringe?) on this new album (released February 14th on Big Egg Records) titled Ghosts Of Heartbreak City. What followed was somewhat euphoric.
Before I dive into the review of their music, they have quite the interesting back story. Formed in South Wales in the late ’80s, Sister Morphine were regulars on the club circuit. Apparently (if my research is correct) they recorded a 4 song EP that for some reason or another was never released. The band consisting of Gaz Tidey (vocals), Jamesy and Jonesy (guitars), Mike DeSouza (bass) and Denley Slade (drums) called it quits in the early ’90s. This pretty much ensured that I would most likely be deprived of ever hearing their musical creation.
Fast forward 30 odd years as the world was in a pandemic lockdown. Apparently, although not widely known Covid symptoms included “getting the band back together“. The boys spent their downtime uncovering tapes of songs and shaking off the rust of the last 30 years. Thirty years in the making and recorded at RedRock Studios, Ghosts Of Heartbreak City might just be the longest debut album delay in rock history but it was worth the wait.
Love At First Listen…
I normally have a rule that any album I review I must listen to at least 3 times before gathering my thoughts. Absolutely not required with this record. Ghosts Of Heartbreak City is 15 tracks of no-nonsense, low-slung, whiskey-soaked, dirty rock n roll. Nothing earth-shattering or revolutionary just some great songs played with attitude. I hear the Quireboys, Hanoi Rocks, Faster Pussycat and certainly some Rolling Stones. It’s a bluesy, blast of fun and a must-have record for 2023!
Hard to pick a favourite from this one so I won’t. I am loving pretty much all of them but there are some highlights, The title track is a high-energy rocker, “Cry The Rain” is a lush mid-tempo song along gem of a track. “Ain’t No Love Song”, “Waiting On Salvation”, “Seven Long Years” too much fun! Ok fuck it, this album gets better with every listen. If you are tired of the ultra-glossed, overproduced and often flaccid hard rock that seems to be the norm right now then listen up. Ghosts Of Heartbreak City might get you out of that funk but be warned it won’t wash off easily.
BUY: Big Egg Records
Ghosts Of Heartbreak City
Provided to YouTube by Amuseio AB Ghosts Of Heartbreak City · Sister Morphine Ghosts Of Heartbreak City ℗ Big Egg Records Released on: 2022-12-16 Composer: Lloyd James Composer: Nick James Composer: Denley Slade Composer: Mike DeSouza Composer: Gareth Tidey Auto-generated by YouTube.
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