Wednesday, 9 July 2008

ALBUM: The Sugars - The Curse of the Sugars (Bad Sneakers Records)

Amid the swathes of indie bands who build their fan bases on their vintage look, here’s a band that’s walking as well as talking by sounding so retro it seemed like they were still using a double bass instead of a bass guitar.

Opener ‘Black Friday’ makes it impossible to resist a quick Zutons comparison, as it perfectly captures the 70s feel of their latest album. That’s about where the similarities end. Not content to just pick a decade and emulate the sound, every track on the album takes a different approach in sound, from the grungey guitars of ‘Unnamed Duet’ to the disarmingly charming doo-wop of ‘Mama’ to Jimi Hendrix references in lyrics and guitar work on ‘The Seamstress.’ The Sugars make it clear that they’re more ambitious and daring than The Zutons, eschewing their pop sensibilities to make something altogether more satisfying. Also unlike The Zutons, the girl in their crew, Anna Greenway, does more than adding more than the occasional backing vocals and building up a male fanbase, with her vulnerable and soulful vocals playing with Matt Bolton’s intense bluesy voice.

‘The Curse of the Sugars’ is a fresh debut, and the band’s talent and diverse influences make for a brilliant sound so convincing it could be a time-machine. And The Zutons suck.
Ollie Khakwani