Office Map SoCal rockers, Sugarcult have been steadily rising (and falling) under the radar for a few years now. The band started nibbling on stardom when their debut record, Start Static did impressively well overseas and was receiving great recognition. Their 2004 release of Palm Trees and Powerlines mothered the single �Memory,� which landed them massive radio and TV airplay on channels like Fuse and MTV. Increasing in popularity, Sugarcult found their music as the backdrop for MTV series soundtracks such as the mega-popular Laguna Beach. The band�s V2 Records debut, Lights Out, is sure to gain the band even more acknowledgment not only amongst their peers, but media outlets across the nation.

The album begins with the title track, �Lights Out." Though it's only 37 seconds long, it is in those 37 seconds where immediately, one will notice that this is no ordinary Sugarcult. �Lights Out,� launches with power chords and an army-like chant. It is apparent that the band has moved on from it�s quirky pop-punk sounds that were found on Start Static. Though the band kept the pop factor, the band also incorporated a grittier, much edgier feel.

The lyrics have gotten more sophisticated and gutsy, consisting of storylines ranging from drunken nights and one night stands to love and battling wars with oneself. It is also vividly clear that lead vocalist Tim Pagnotta�s voice is somewhat raspy (in a good way) and is much more raw, amplifying the impact of the lyrics on the listener. The music, which was once simple and playful, has been traded in for complicated, yet impressive hard-rock riffs, power chords, deep bass lines and hard hitting wails of the drums. The disenthralled tone will become the theme of this album.

Sugarcult has a great chance to score themselves a lot of commercial success with this album, however this a great collection of songs from a band that knows how to reinvent their signature emotive and explosive brand of artful pop-rock sounds time after time. The band manages to outdo themselves with each record, which is impressive because in this day and age, there aren�t many bands left who can do that. With that being said, it�s readily understood that this band still has a lot to say and are here to stay.


Review by: Amnesty Phillip

For more on Sugarcult: www.sugarcult.com or www.myspace.com/sugarcult.