Review Summary: Remember when pop-punk was good?
The genre is basically dead to the masses, dissolved into pseudo-political tomfoolery and overhyped reuinion tours. And Fall Out Boy. Pop-Punk was once a pool of confessional emotions and sweet summer tunes that you could really skateboard to, or kiss a girl to. I'll admit, I had my first kiss after I stopped listening to Pop-Punk, but it still served as a great tension reliever. I used to listen to the likes of Green Day, Blink-182, Millencolin, Saves The Day, etc. Anything that could make a teenager feel better about his lonely libido and other elementary school drama, and it truly, truly did.
I heard Sugarcult in depth for the first time a couple of months ago. Of course I'd heard the songs "Pretty Girl", "Memory", and "Bouncing Off The Walls" (the latter of which sparked quite an interest in cocaine) but I'd never paid much attention to them at all. There isn't much to say. Such an average record this is, so plain it is I had to write something about it to tell you all how this genre has gone from All Killer to just...filler. There are literally three
songs on this record that are worth listening to, two are radio singles, and one of them is nearly indiscriminate from every other piece of empty wadding adorning this boring album. Creativity breaks out of the mold but once throughout this entire yawn-fest, and its for the classic ballad "Pretty Girl (The Way)", that song that made you think about that cute blonde girl with the blue eyes and colorful selection of hoodies that gave you a longing eye in Creative Writing last week, or so you think, or so you wish. It really is a wonderful song. "Bouncing Off The Walls" the obligatory mention is also fun as hell, but it's hardly enough to save "Start Static."
While it does redeem itself with the catchy "Crashing Down" later on, "Crashing Down" duplicates itself in it's twin "I Changed My Name", a lyrical embarassment. That third good track I mentioned is the closing "Untitled Track", which employs soft-rock tendencies and a snazzy saxophone, and it works surprisingly, it could take over the airwaves at New York's own CD101.9 smooth jazz station that my mom rocks all day running errands for the PTA and stuff. Thankfully, the song is brief so I can go on to hear something else, anything will do. Now don't get me wrong, I don't think this band is incapable of writing good music. "Pretty Girl" is just so damn fine, and I don't care how old you are or how long ago you gave up this dying genre, listen to it, although you probably have already. "It's the WAY that he makes you feel, it's the WAY that he kisses you it's the WAY that he makes you fall in loo-ooo-oove..." sound familiar? It should, it was on all of your girlfriend's playlists in seventh grade, and it's still as devilishly catchy as it always was.
To me this record is like birth in nature - churns out a bunch of delinquent losers that the mother has for dinner and a few stunningly athletic animal jocks, ready to pounce on the first thing they see move. I wouldn't even recommend this to a fan of pop-punk, or a fan of Sugarcult for that matter. They are a radio single band, a "one-hit-per-album-wonder" for lack of a better term. Look up "Pretty Girl (The Way)" on YouTube for some good old fashioned nostalgia and forget about the rest.