Adrian and the Sickness
Adrian For President
Adrian and the Sickness = energy + fun + a rocking, dreadlocked front woman
Adrian Conner, the woman behind Adrian and the Sickness, almost came close to hitting a roadblock on the way to putting out the group’s third album Adrian for President. They began recording in Seattle, but after difficulties the band decided to move shop to Austin. With money running low and a producer leaving the band high and dry, Adrian and the Sickness were left a grand in the hole. Needing cash to finish the record, fans rallied and raised enough funds to make the record possible. Enough about how the record came to be. Adrian played the role of Angus Young in the popular female AC/DC tribute band Hell’s Belles. Dropping out of the group, Adrian wanted to pursue a more lucrative career writing and recording her own material. The AC/DC influence shows through on the record, though it does not overbear it. The singer/guitarist has compiled an album of diverse high-energy tunes that should turn on any hard-rock fan. The vocal performance is fierce emotionally and lyrically, coming off with a bit of country twang. Adrian and the Sickness is an homage and inspiration to any band working with a DIY ethic; despite difficulties, the music will prevail if the heart is in the right place. –Bryer Wharton
Adrian and the Sickness – Adrian For President / 2006 Self / 8 Tracks / http://www.adrianrocks.com / Reviewed 25 September 2006
What actually comes to bear on “Adrian For President” is something that is unseen to those purchasers of the CD based on the cover art alone. The disc starts off with “Loser”, a track that looks back to the seventies type of rock (Ted Nugent, ZZ Top) for primary influence, while throwing Adrian’s vocals into a role that is only slightly different from those provided by the vocalist from acts like Veruca Salt and Letters to Cleo. “Friends and Liars” changes this dynamic slightly, to bring Adrian’s vocals into a Switchblade Kittens meets Flight 180 type of sound.
The more punk arrangements of the rest of the band during this track allows for a larger subset of listeners to find something that they like about Adrian and the Sickness. For those individuals that want too have a good idea of what Adrian and the Sickness can give to their listeners, “Adrian For President” is a good sampling of what the band can do. However, the disc still ends at a mere fraction (about half) of what a normal disc would run time-wise. The disc has a strong replay value, but not to the point that listeners can put the disc on repeat.
Adrian and the Sickness reach a new plateau during “By Myself”. The track continues with the slightly punky sound of “Friends and Liars”, but adds a heavy dollop of emotion to the track, allowing or that facet of the band to be shown. It would not be hard for Adrian and the Sickness to break it big here in the next few years, but the production value of the disc needs to be increased before that can happen. A number of times, it sounds as if certain defaults for guitar distortion are used where a slightly modified or clarified sound would sound better. Going back to the rock style for “Birthday” keeps things fresh for Adrian and the Sickness, and fuels listeners and allows them to stick with the second half of the disc. I would like to hear the band in the future, when they can diversify the range of sounds that they can build these tracks on. This is a welcome departure from the trend of female-led acts that provide listeners with the same bland type of American Idol or Michelle Branch brand of music. Give this act a go if yo like Bif Naked, the aforementioned Letters to Cleo, or the Josie and the Pussycats movie.
Top Track: Garbage