The turnaround between Sugar and Wrecking Ball, Dead Confederate's first album has been just under a year. Sugar however, does not sound at all rushed, and with helpful lashings of discord and feedback coupled with radio friendly guitar melodies and enormous pop hooks. Sugar is, quite simply, an album of the year.
The album kicks off with the oddball anthem In the Dark; a fantastic slacker anthem released 15 years too late, packed with chiming, slow bends on a distorted guitar, and a simple mid-paced drum beat. It shows a band at their best and gives way to more anthemic post-grunge gems, like Mob Scene, a cacophonous stomp packed with dead notes, a jagged bluesy riff and heavily distorted vocals. It sits just on the edge of chaos and is a thrilling listen.
Dead Confederate aren't all just about noisy anthems though. Another of the album's strengths are the quieter and more restrained tracks, like Run From the Gun, with a guest appearance on lead vocals from Ben Wigler of the band Arizona. Run from the Gun has an almost insular, Country twang to it, of course mixed with those heavily distorted guitars synonymous with Dead Confederate. J Mascis, mastermind behind post-grunge pioneers Dinosaur Jr. also pops up for a cameo on the awesome pop sounds of Giving It All Away, another of the albums highlights, and perhaps its most 'pop' moment; coming across like a mix between Dinosaur Jr. and a noisier, more sensible Pavement. The album finishes with the slow burning Shocked to Realise, with angelic vocals not a million miles away from Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins. It leaves you ready for more.
Sugar does not contain even one filler song - from start to finish the album is packed with great songs and fantastic moments of glorious distorted chaos. This album is a great listen, and easily one of the best of the year.