Sugarcult’s third album Lights Out is diced up with strands of melodic pop chained to hammering hard rock; a thoroughly modern record, though it ropes in many of the classic rock giant sounds of the Pacific Northwest, such as those of Queensryche and Heart. However, the four members of Sugarcult are from southern California. So how did Seattle’s hard rock salvos penetrate four musicians from So-Cal? Hard to say, but maybe Sugarcult just set out on making a streamlined modern rock album, while taking the best of what came before.
Lights Out, produced by Gavin MacKillop, offers strong vibrating guitars wafting furiously while bound by chunky rhythms. The sound storm of flashing arcs and thick atmospheric buildup on the opening title track create excitement and inflammatory conditions. This track burns exhaustively with flashy guitar turns and thumping drumbeats. The breaks and chord dynamics are stirring with a molten rush. There is an Academy Is-style crank in “Los Angeles,” with wild guitar streaks and infectious toe tapping beats. The instrumental parts are explosive, ascending and toppling over each other with a feverish rotation.
The guitar flourishes on “Out Of Phase” are eager and careen across pounding rhythms with the vocals exuding pure thrills. The off-the-charts volume of the choruses on “Made A Mistake” are tensed up and emotional and shudder the scaffolds of guitar tremolos and twisting rhythms. The transitions are tight and the chord progressions are bound with vigorous cycles like on “Riot.” “Majoring In Minor” pulses gregariously and easily pulls the listener into the infectious motions. The melodies are active, rushing and pulsing while peppered with chunky intervals and energetic moves. The soft tempos of “The Investigation” contrasts the taut guitar belts on “Hiatus” with a massive flux of soundwaves, bass pumps, and sweet elevations loaded up with glam facets.
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