Music Reviews
Rachel Taylor Brown

Rachel Taylor Brown

Susan Storm’s Ugly Sister and Other Saints and Superheroes

Cutthroat Pop Records

Rachel Taylor Brown’s music has been described as “creep rock.” There is no better way to say it. Her latest, Susan Storm’s Ugly Sister and Other Saints and Superheroes, is another in a growing catalog of albums that deals with different and often disturbing subjects from an atheistic point-of-view.

The opening track, “Susan Storm’s Ugly Sister,” has Brown and her frequent collaborator Chris Robley dissonantly singing the chorus “I could KILL you/ And you won’t notice me.” The emphasis on “kill” adds an additional nightmarish layer to an already very creepy song.

Rachel Taylor Brown is like a more defiant version of Dresden Dolls’ Amanda Palmer throughout the album, but especially on the kid-like “Ambush Bug/Reduviidae.”

Brown takes on Batman on the noir-ish “Bruce Wayne’s Bastard Son.” Her take on the absentee father is lyrically devastating and musically cynical when she playfully sings “Daddy’s got a super-secret awful souvenir/ Daddy doesn’t know it but I’m sitting over here/ Daddy got around/ Daddy got around to me.”

A self-proclaimed heathen, Brown’s take on religion is sarcastic at best, especially on “St. Fina (“God is pain and woe and dirt/ And Jesus loves you when you hurt/ Like He does.”)

She does however have a soft spot for St. Francis, as the gorgeous “Giovanni Bernardone” (St. Francis’s real name) suggests: “They saved a seat in heaven/ For Francis and his brethren/ God give you peace/ The world is sweet!/ The birds sing Alleluia.”

Susan Storm’s Ugly Sister and Other Saints and Superheroes is a 24-minute complex look at saints, sinners, and heroes in ways that most people either haven’t seen or choose not to see. Rachel Taylor Brown seems to revel in forcing people to see a side of people to which they intentionally turn a blind eye. By taking the viewpoint head-on, it makes you think and challenges your beliefs. This may be a difficult album to listen to, but in the end you will thank Brown for the thought-provoking entertainment.

Rachel Taylor Brown:

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