All Your Sisters’ post-punk misery delivered in overcast pain on ‘Uncomfortable Skin’

All Your SistersI’m not so certain I buy into the theory that we’re living in the end times, mostly because that assertion always comes from the frothing mouths of religious kooks. But shit’s pretty bad and getting worse, and at a time when humanity should be expanding its thinking and intelligence, the exact opposite is happening. One of the world’s great intentions, the internet, sure is pushing that along.

So dark music goes mighty well with dark times, and the work of All Your Sisters sure seems like a fitting way to celebrate watching the world decay away. The two-headed beast that’s charging in out of San Francisco would also have sounded fitting in the Reagan era, especially due to their sound, but instead their dark post-punk, darkwave, and just a little bit of doom is here to usher in dirges for today’s misery. Founding member Jordan Morrison (vocals, synth, guitars) initially created the band as a solo outfit for him after the dissolution of his past band, and along the way, he brought in like-minded musician Mario Armando Ruiz (drums, synth) to round out the project and begin creating shadowy misery together, and they’ve landed with sinewy second record “Uncomfortable Skin.” Morrison cites his years working as a EMT in Las Vegas and seeing some of the worst, most disturbing things of his life, events that could turn anyone’s outlook into a morbid, ashy thing. In turn, those experiences colored in his lyrics over the life of this project, and they sure bring a dour outlook to these 10 cuts.

All Your Sisters coverThe record starts with “Nothing Is Sacred,” which has noise ringing out, sounds rumbling and twisting, and an overcast feel rolling over and into “Open Wide” that kicks off with dark guitars and drums pummeling.  The whole thing feels dreary, like a rain-soaked day without a prayer on sunlight, which actually is the vibe of the whole record, now that I think of it. Morrison’s singing warbles coldly, while the guitars fire up, and the track ends in a whirlpool. “Black God” jabs you in the ribs at the start, with echo-rich singing smeared over the track, and the tempo getting punchy and loud. The elements pile up on top of each other, and the song ends in a vibrating soundscape that manages a few seconds of glow. “Heater” has spacey synth before the burst comes. The cloud cover gets thick, as Morrison dreams of “ashen and suicide,” and just as you’re feeling like you’ll be swallowed whole, the song comes to an abrupt end. “Loss” is the lengthiest one at 6:56, and its programmed beats and sound swirls grab you right from the start, pushing you into frosty singing, chilling sentiment, and guitars lighting the only fires. Toward the end, riffs spit static, and the cut explodes into dust.

“Remains” lets the basslines drive hard before the guitars begin churning, and a gazey assault gets ramped up. The vocals sound aggravated and pissy, as the volume level rises, and the band lands their meatiest punches yet. “Filled With Waste” has bass plodding along, with deep, dreary singing adding even more depth to the piece, and the dank sentiment getting so thick, you practically can dig into it with a spoon. “Shame” has an early Depeche Mode feel to it, with the pain boring a hole in you, and the guitars cutting everything down. “Why won’t you return?” Morrison prods, as the song ends in a blinding flash. “No Hope” is as gloomy as its title indicates, moving slowly and dragging you wounds-first through the rocks. “He won’t be there when you’re gone,” Morrison pokes, as the final moment sink in its teeth and drag out the pain. Closer “Reconcile” pops with noise, with the bass driving into space, and the intensity building as the song goes along. The tempo also gains momentum, with Morrison continually wailing, “Reconcile!” amid an oppressive wall of sound that takes your inner worst and amplifies it for you and the entire world to see.

All Your Sisters are as dark and doom-ridden as the gnarliest metal band going on about death and misery, though this duo’s songs are dressed by real-life horrors one cannot unsee. “Uncomfortable Skin” should help them expand their reach into more people’s psyches, and perhaps some listeners can find some solace along the way. If you feel pain on a regular basis, you’re not alone. These two are more than willing to take you by the hand and let you in on their experiences, against which yours might pale in comparison.

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