Sissy: All Under
Global Underground

Exploiting analogue gear and digital production techniques, Sissy duo David Trusz and Johanne Williams sculpt darkly emotive trip-house on their debut effort All Under. The core of the Toronto group's sound is, naturally, Williams' sultry rasp, sometimes mixed so prominently she might as well be whispering in your ear. Without question, Sissy trods territory already surveyed by bands like Curve and Portishead (especially on tormented torch cuts like “Start Again” and “Nothing”) but do so with such conviction and melodic gifts that, by album's end, you'll have forgotten entirely about that long-awaited third studio opus from Barrow and company. Regardless, what Sissy lacks in imaginative song titles it more than makes up for in the entrancing drama of its compositions, with heavily distorted vocals undulating over heavy machine pulses in “Anyone But You” and a nightmarish broil of trip-hop and shoegaze in “Imagination.” Throughout the disc, lurching breaks and bleeding synthesizers force their way through dense thickets of crackling grime while Williams' alternately angelic and demonic vocals coil and slither around the songs' sinister melodies. An occasional injection of soul and electro (“In the Dark”) adds variety but it's the incendiary throb the pair stokes on the fearless noise epic “Stuck On” you'll remember most.

June 2006