White Sister - 'White Sister'

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White Sister - 'White Sister'

One of the very best of the genre.

A band most should be familiar with from their two show-stopping performances at our own Firefest, Californians White Sister were formed in the early 80s by guitarist Rick Chadock, keyboardist/singer Garri Brandon and bassist/singer Dennis Churchill-Dries, the band eventually finding drummer Richard Wright before recording this classic debut album with producer Gregg Giuffria in 1984.

Eschewing the solely guitar-based hard rock of their Sunset Strip contemporaries, White Sister mixed Chadock's powerful guitar with Brandon's towering synths on some bombastic tunes with big hooks and skilled musicianship. The high-energy opener 'Don't Say That You're Mine' has a strong Giuffria influence in the keyboard intro and staccato synth chords, with Churchill-Dries' powerful voice, Chadock's urgent guitar riff and Wright's mighty drums making up a song that forces you to sit up and take notice.



It's pretty much the blueprint for the whole album as Churchill-Dries and Brandon share the ten songs between them, Brandon's more subtle tones handling melodic gems with choruses that stick with you, like 'One More Night', 'Straight From The Heart', the brilliant 'Walk Away' and the hypnotic closer 'Just For You'. Churchill-Dries sings some of the best tracks in the hard rocking 'Can't Say No' and the 80s Angel demo 'Whips', whilst their most popular song is undoubtedly the wonderfully melodic 'Promises', complete with a chorus to die for and Brandon's classic keyboard solo.

As this album has been long out of print it'll no doubt be lapped up by a new generation of fans, but as someone who owns a Japanese original CD I'm afraid I can't hear any improvement on that. Also, Malcolm Dome's sleeve essay is taken from an interview with producer Gregg Giuffria who makes the whole story about him, with hardly any mention of the band members, their legendary shows in the UK or the fact that two of them are sadly no longer with us. It's still a wonderful album, one of the very best of the genre, but this was one screaming out for the remastering skills of Jon Astley and more personal story.

Phil Ashcroft

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