Album: Lights Out
Purchase: Smart Punk
Release Date: September 12, 2006
SugarcultÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s continued (or perhaps continuing is a better word) progression as a band is evident on their latest release, Lights Out. Crashing drums and power chords highlight the bandÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s pop punk roots, but more complex guitar interludes and scruffier vocals signal a departure. Unfortunately creating vocals that sound like Tim PagnottaÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s been smoking two packs a day since the release of Palm Trees and Powerlines is a bit much.
ValidaÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s Editorial Note: To me, the change in vocal style is a blatant announcement (put out by the band itself) that the band has matured. Sadly, it translates more like the imagery at the end of the third Matrix movie, which is so in-your-face that it forces the viewer into understanding the film exactly as the directors intended instead of allowing him/her to explore and find meaning on his/her own. In creating art Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ be it music, film, or painting – itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s important to remember that art is a form of expression and that its beauty is in the myriad interpretations that arise from that expression.
But perhaps Pagnotta truly has upped the intensity of his smoking and the vocal changes arenÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t as superficial as I find them to be. So let me continue. Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”Lights OutÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? and Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”Dead LivingÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? which kick off the album are extremely reminiscent of Palm Trees, as are a few other tracks including Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”Majoring in MinorsÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? and the mildly depressing lullaby Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”The InvestigationÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬?. Further, while some of the experimentation and growth displayed on this album are still a bit rough, Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”ShakingÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? does piece itself together to be a successful pop song and thereÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s a lot of promise elsewhere.
1. Lights Out
2. Dead Living
3. Los Angeles
4. Do It Alone
6. Out Of Phase
7. Made A Mistake
9. Majoring In Minors
11. The Investigation
They didn’t even write a some of the songs on this record. Lame.
Katie Arsenault says
I haven’t even heard this CD yet. Which is surprising because sugarcult was one of my all time favorite bands. Palm Trees was an utter disapointment to me. I saw them premiere a few songs live back in april. Riot is pretty good. I do NOT like Do It Alone. at all. It still pisses me off that they chose a song that they DIDN’T write to release as the first single off the cd. ugh. anyway nice review Valida.
Valida Prentice says
Palm Trees grew on me, so who knows, maybe Lights Out will too. Doubt it. And yes, the whole business of not writing the songs, yea that’s lame. Songwriting is very important, especially in a genre that relies heavily on powerchords and simple bass lines (which require little technical skill to play).