Today, Sister Machine Gun:
The 90’s are something of a heyday for industrial music, due in no small part to the success of Trent Reznor during this period; when Nine Inch Nails took off and inspired a legion of disaffected kids who weren’t quite satisfied by the aesthetics of the grunge scene, it allowed for a number of artists, both new (Gravity Kills, God Lives Underwater) and established (KMFDM, Stabbing Westward) to rise up with NIN and create something of a notable public industrial movement for, like, five minutes in the 1990’s. It’s hard to say that industrial was ever truly popular in the strictest sense, as outside of a few major acts (Tool, NIN, Stabbing Westward), most industrial bands were decidedly underground sensations, but there was definitely enough interest such that, for a while, TVT records devoted a not insignificant amount of effort toward promoting such acts, including devoting a label to them (Wax Trax) and featuring songs from such bands on the Mortal Kombat soundtracks, both of which they produced.
Sister Machine Gun was one of the random bands that came from the Wax Trax label, and if I’m being honest, they’re one of my favorites.
Sister Machine Gun is basically the brainchild of musician Chris Randall, and while the name boasts eight records to its name, for the most part, you probably know of them (if you know of them at all) through one of two records: Burn, from which the song “Burn” comes (AKA the song featured on the Mortal Kombat soundtrack) and Metropolis, which is probably the best record ever released under this band name. It’s not that the other records are bad, but anything earlier than Burn is probably going to be hard to listen to due to lackluster equipment, and while later records deviate from the expected style a bit, they’re fine in their own way (though I’m still unsure how I feel about The Future Uninformed).
For my money, though, Metropolis is far and away the best record ever released by SMG, and for proof of that, I bring to you “Admit,” one of the best tracks from that record. It’s decidedly off-track from what people had come to expect from industrial at the time (well, mainstream industrial; God Lives Underwater was basically doing this sort of thing on the reg) but make no mistake, it’s pretty goddamn good. From the surprising violins in the intro to the exceptional composition of the track overall to Chris Randall’s unmistakable vocals and vocal effects, the song is representative of the aesthetic of SMG, without being really similar to anything else on the record.
Also I’m told that Randall used Metropolis as a proposal to his wife, so that’s cute.