"Diva" was the debut full-length from Seattle grunge act My Sister’s Machine, released by Caroline Records in 1992. I never really got much into the grunge thing, though. I mean, I still love Alice in Chains, but I barely ever considered them to be "grunge", so… besides a couple of Soundgarden and Nirvana albums or whatever, My Sister’s Machine might be the only other Seattle band from that whole niche that I ever got into. (I’d probably appreciate more of that stuff these days, but I’ve never taken the time to re-investigate, so let me know if you have any recommendations!) I think the 15-year-old me saw My Sister’s Machine’s video for "I’m Sorry" on Headbanger’s Ball at one point and the song at least caught my attention. I didn’t buy the album until much later, though, ‘cause I remember it was one of those songs that I only heard once or twice as a kid, but it would periodically get stuck in my head over the years. Until one day I was finally like, "Shit, I should buy that album!"
So eventually I did, and it’s just a solid, grungy hard rock album. I never followed the band in great detail, and I haven’t listened to this album very regularly, to be honest, but… lately a track or two from "Diva" keeps popping up on my iPod and reminding me that I dig this stuff more now than I did when I first picked it up. There’s a shitload of fuzzy, wah’d out guitar; a killer bass tone; and I love the vocals. I don’t know, there’s just something about the gruffness of the singing that really gels with this style. And they’re just cool songs, man! I don’t think I’ve ever listened to this album as closely as I have in the last week, and I’m surprised it never fully clicked with me before, because there’s some really catchy shit going on here. It just perfectly employs that grungy heaviness to amplify rockin’, memorable tracks. Here are a few of the best tunes from "Diva" (there are other great songs on the album—especially my personal favorite, "Sunday", but I couldn’t find that one on YouTube):
The band released one more album in 1993 ("Wallflower"), then broke up sometime in 1994. They actually reunited last year for a Layne Staley tribute benefit concert, too (My Sister’s Machine vocalist/guitarist Nick Pollock was actually in an early incarnation of Alice in Chains, back when they went by the slightly "glammier" Alice ‘n’ Chains).
If you want a copy of this CD, buy it now while you can still get one used for a reasonable price. There are only a few listings out there that aren’t well into the "bullshit" price range, and it’s not on iTunes or anything. You’d think the fact that you can download almost any damn album for free from 20 different blogs would keep the prices down on collectible CD’s, but apparently that’s just not the case. So damn frustrating…