“It’s all better on the other side,” guitarist and lead singer Abisha Uhl cries on Anthem, the new EP by Twin Cities rockers Sick of Sarah. And for the band, who are self-releasing their material for the first time, after spending the majority of their decade-long career on Adamant Records, that certainly seems to be true.
It’s been a winding road to get here. Line-up changes, parting with their label, financial instability, Warped Tours, sanity — it’s all been on the table at some point. But Sick of Sarah (which includes Uhl, guitarist/vocalist Jessie Farmer, guitarist/vocalist Katie Murphy and drummer/vocalist Jessica Forsythe) have come out the other side the better for it, with a clearer artistic vision and a tight, punchy six-song EP. Anthem is an apt title, as the EP’s tracks are each a mini-anthem for the band itself. Winnowed down from dozens of songs written over the last four or five years, Anthem’s selection from Uhl’s pretty musings about being “trouble” on “Bars Full of Stangers” to the rousing, gotta-get-outta-this-town rallying cry of “Roof Tops.”
Evidence of the band’s cohesiveness, born out of ten years playing music together, is all over the album. In Sick of Sarah, everyone sings, keeping Uhl’s clear melodies afloat on a sea of “whoa’s” and “ahh’s.” Meanwhile, Forsythe moves her drums from thundering (“Contagious”) to stuttering (“Roof Tops”), Uhl and Murphy and Farmer keep their guitars set to “blistering,” peppering in rhythms that adds subtle sense of structure and urgency. Sick of Sarah will spend the next few months touring the East Coast with The Last Year, George Morris in the Midwest and with local support out West.