Listen Up: Wednesday, April 25, 2002
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Patrice Pike and the Black Box Rebellion

Fencing Under Fire (ZainWayne Records)

By Paula Felps

It seemed that almost from the moment Little Sister formed in Dallas in 1991, the band had the kind of buzz that would bounce it into the big leagues. Relocating to Austin in ’93, and re-christening itself Sister 7 three years later, the band, driven by the impassioned guitar of Wayne Sutton and soulful vocals of Patrice Pike, was an electrifying funk-rock-soul concoction. But when their record deal with Arista disintegrated three years ago, Patrice Pike and the Black Box Rebellion was born — sort of a Sister 7 sans funk and loaded with extra soul.

After making its debut last year at SXSW, the foursome — which includes Sutton — released the e.p. Flat 13, a tasty musical hors d’oeuvre to prepare palates for this year’s full-length disc, Fencing Under Fire. Snagging a couple of tracks from that e.p. (“The Wreckage,” “All the Pieces”), Fencing is a bluesy, gutsy, beautiful piece of work. From start to finish, it showcases the range of Pike’s ever-maturing talents, from her jazz inclinations to the kind of throaty growls that have earned her favorable comparisons to Tina Turner and Janis Joplin. There’s a groove to this disc that is familiar but never predictable — like hearing new stories from an old friend. More than a decade after Pike first launched her musical journey, it’s clear that this Little Sister is all grown up.


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