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Up On The Chair Beatrice

The Psycho Sisters

Rockbeat 2012

Review by David Bowling

Who would’ve thought that Barbara Cowsill’s little girl would grow up to become a Psycho Sister. But so it is for Susan Cowsill of the famous pop singing family of the 1960’s.

Vicki Peterson, a founding and current member of the Bangles, and Susan Cowsill have been friends, bandmates, and session singers for over 20 years. They were both members of the Continental Drifters and have toured extensively as a duo under the name Psycho Sisters. What they have not found time to do is enter a recording studio together; until now. Twenty-Two years in the making, Up On The Chair Beatrice will be released August 5th.

They took a unique approach with their new album. While they wrote or co-wrote seven of the ten tracks, none are brand new compositions. Instead they reached back into the early 1990’s for their material. This means that the release has a retro feel to many of the tracks. The songs have been honed by years of being performed live and now they form the foundation for their album.

The album travels in a number of musical directions and lacks a cohesive feel, but on the other hand, it is always interesting. “Never Never Boys” is a jangling pop piece that would fit nicely onto a Bangles album. “Numb” has strings but at heart is a crunching rock song. “This Painting” and “Gone Fishin’” have are Americana style and tone, which gives them a laid back rootsy feel. “Heather Says” is a song Cowsill sang as a teenager and her voice reverts back to that time.

At the heart of the album is their ability to combine their voices into wonderful harmonies. Their voices blend together so seamlessly that at times it is difficult to tell them apart.

The Psycho Sisters have produced an album that should resonate with their fan base and maybe earn them some new ones as well. An interesting album from two veterans of the American pop scene.

Rating: ***1/2