Stacy Hogan - AKA Sin Shake Sin - knows a thing or two about channelling paranoia, mistrust and despair into biting, apocalyptic lyrics. When those words are allied to a hard-hitting sound that comes off like a mix of Marilyn Manson and Creedence Clearwater Revival, you’ve got the formula for a sonic brew that perfectly captures the zeitgeist of the moment.
A perfect example is Can’t Go to Hell, a track released in 2014 that went on to be featured in several TV shows, including The Vampire Diaries and Netflix’s Little Evil.
The lyrics might not be about zombies and the undead, but they resonate with anyone with a fear of the dark side of humanity.
With an uncanny, Nostradamus-like vision of the future, Hogan’s current album, The Mess We’ve Made, recorded way back in January, amazingly foreshadowed the current pandemic disorder.
"The COVID situation has increased interest in my music due to the subject matter," Hogan says. "New fans are finding me because their friends are posting on social media, calling the album the soundtrack to the pandemic. The songs are focused on the anti-intellectual movement and sheep-like behavior of our citizens.
"Add to that the image of a little girl in a gas mask on the cover, plus artwork inside showing a quarantined town with a building that has the words ‘no jobs’ spray-painted on it, and it all eerily became reality just months later.
"I’m selling face masks that say, We Can't Go to Hell If We're Already There; they also include the lyric, ‘Divided by deception but together we must rise.’ The profits are going to the Feeding America COVID-19 Response Fund, which is helping to ensure food banks across the country can feed people in need right now, including the children who rely on school meals to eat."
Given the fact that Hogan has built his success without any support from major record labels, he clearly knows how to build a successful career in the digital age. The Mess We’ve Made has surpassed 40 million streams in the six months since its release.
From writing the songs to mastering the album, Hogan is responsible for every stage of the Sin Shake Sin process. There is plenty left for him to channel into material for future releases.
"You write an album hoping there would be no need to write another record about this stuff - hypocrisy, power and manipulation - but even after The Mess We’ve Made. it’s like I still have a crap load of issues to write about."
Sin Shake Sin's new album The Mess We've Made is available now (opens in new tab) via Bron Music Group.