Sick of Sarah: Anthem

by AJ Sugar

Fuck, this write up is going to get me all sorts of emotional… Sick of Sarah is an awesome chick-rock band from Minneapolis that is very near and dear to my heart. One of the reasons I ended up in Minneapolis was that I interned on their first music video; honestly, without that, I could very well be somewhere else entirely. Add in the fact that I lived with their former bassist for a while and became good friends with her, my obvious appreciation for the LGBTQIA (XYZ-ETC… hope I didn’t leave any of this ever-growing acronym out…) associations, and playing shows with these ladies. They have been a strangely relevant part of my life in very random ways over the last several years.

This latest disc and the events currently taking place in the band, are also hitting close to home. Sick of Sarah has been going through various member changes as of late, some of the founding members are no longer a part of this project for reasons that will only be known within the band itself. I myself have left two bands in the last year, one of which I was bordering on 5 years with. I had my reasoning, and I am sure Sick of Sarah does as well, but it really is a heartbreaking ordeal. I am still not entirely sure where my life is headed now that I am not doing the only thing I’ve known how to do for years and I am sure the girls in this band are feeling similar — this disc certainly makes it sound like it….

Anthem is the latest disc from this quintet, and straight away, I am blown away with how it sounds. Not that any of the former albums sounded bad necessarily, but this one immediately stands out sonically. You can’t help but hear the influences that brought this band to where they are — it’s Joan Jett to Tegan and Sara, then back again; an amazing mesh of straight-up rock and toned down singer-songwriter feelings. The band holds their own incredibly well while singer Abisha Uhl’s vocals soar over the top creating a sound that can only be Sick of Sarah.

Lyrically is where this disc is truly shining for me right now. You can feel the emotion pouring out of every word. It’s indescribable really without listening to it, but you can hear the impending changes that were going on with the band, the indecision, the anxiety, the hope. It’s incredible when emotion is truly captured by a microphone, but Anthem has done just that.

Maybe it’s my personal connection and the cheap wine I’ve been drinking talking, but this disc — this band — has blown me away. It’s so rare when a band can feel this real and have the music to back it up. These ladies have been working hard for years and deserve 20 minutes from your ears. Give this album a listen and get an inside feeling to what being in a band is really all about. It’s not all the shiny glam that you’re promised, in fact, I would say all that is by far the exception; but fuck, it’s still worth every minute of it.


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