Palm Trees And Power Lines



by Rudd13 USER (61 Reviews)
August 22nd, 2005 | 24 replies

Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Sugarcult- Palm Trees And Power Lines

Sugarcult is a 70's-inspired 'power pop' band, formed in Santa Barbara, California in 1998. Funny story about the origin of the band name, as it used to be the name of a lesbian fraternity that lived across the street from lead singer Tim Pagnotta. Tim met ex-drummer, Ben Davis during a cigarette break at school. Ben, who at first played bass, and Tim started to play together on a regular basis until Tim invited Airin Older, another classmate, to join. Ben was moved to the position of drummer and Airin filled in for Ben on bass. Marko 72 was added into the band after meeting Tim back stage at a Superdrag concert. The pair apparently met because Tim was wearing a suit that looked like the one Marko wore to the show. Tim asked Marko to join the band before even hearing Marko play a single note on the guitar. Talk about wingin' it. Their debut album, Start Static, got them into the scene a bit, and got the chance to tour with bands such as Rancid, and Green Day on their first year. You could say they got big, fast. And with their second album, Palm Trees And Power Lines, they plan to come in bursting with new fresh and more complex material.

Tim Pagnotta - Vocals/Guitar
Marko 72 - Guitar
Airin Older- Bass
Kenny Livingston - Drums

She's The Blade
No foreplay. A sudden "ONE, TWO, THREE", sets off a fill and the explosive intro, getting Tim going on about some girl. A very 'special' girl. Lyrics are really stupid throughout this song and most of the album itself. Nothing special, but Tim's vocals themselves are perfect for the style of fast-paced, simple material these guys play. This was the first single off the album, and got recognition for the catchy cohrus that follows brilliant hand-to-hand set combat by drummer Kenny Livingston. Overall, the song does have a certain expariration date, depending on how annoying you think the lyrics may get. Good way to open with the perfect energy, but not meant to last.3.5/5

You would right away think of the word ballad. And although this track features some of the most emotional lyrics, it also shares some of the heavier guitar-work on the album. Starts out fooling you, then a quick roll by Kenny, and the they let you hear the introductory riff that tears the song open and readt for the rest to come. The vocals stick to you no matter who you may be, and wether thats good or bad, they do a great job. The verses share both rests and heavy material to let Tim let out his lyrics. The bridge has Tim mumbling the same lyrics over and over, but makes it sound good and flows well with the backround effects, or it may be keyboard. Better work here, but still not anywhere close to the best. 4/5

First single off the album and 'extremely' mainstream. Another one of MTV's favorite "Sit down and watch the video until your eyes pop out" singles. But it has it's reasons. Starts out with a simple, but catchy-enough drumbeat and in comes in Tim and then Marko and Airin. It rushes the chord-infested verses and gets to the chorus quite fast, which then switches to a different taste of verse, as it revolves more around the set, other than Marko. But the real highlight here is the solo right after the second rushed chorus. Although not 'very' impressive, it keeps the groove to the original melody of the song, while at the same time ripping it a new one. good stuff, and ending with another great chorus. 4.5/5

Worst December
Great drum-work on this little piece, mixing simple, 32nd fills and various effects from the hats to blend in with the simple but catchy guitar-work by Marko. Lyrics make another stupid re-run with Tim rambling about another girl and how all he wants to do is get her back in bed. Wow, way to ask back for the relationship. Anyways, this is one of the weaker songs, as it's only real potential is the mellow bridge and drum-work. Could have been expanded into something better, but got left as a pretty half-assed track. 3/5

Back To California
Although acoustic, this is one of the better songs on the album, and one of the best thought-out tracks as well. It revolves around some actual good lyrics. The first pre-chorus seems like its leading to something heavier, but winds up fooling you again into some more acoustics. But not the second time around. After the lyrically-powered verse gets to wrapping up, distortion on the guitars can be heard if not for a split 5 seconds, but still very effective, I'd say. Theres something about this track that makes the ablum progress, somehow. 4.5/5

Destination Anywhere
Fill, and cue the puzzle-piece bass-line that puts this great song together. Another single, this track made another big appearance on promos, shows, etc. Some of the highlights include very noticeable effects in the backround, and the bridge that leads the song into an awkward position that doesnt last long, but forces you into the last chorus like a battering ram. The drum-work is also highly noticeable on this track, as he deals with expanding the material on hats once again. The vocals also are meant to stick parts of the track together, and no failures here. 4.5/5

I love the title. Dont know why. It just makes me want to listen to the song. And that worked out pretty well. The intro consists of Tim and some hand-clapping revolving around a trusty simple bass-line, and eventually turns the verses into a chord-infested massacre. Sounds very good. Tim raises his voice, making it sound a tad better, compared to his other monotne *** from the verses, and it turns the song upside down, along with the ascending bridge that hurls it into a dead end with one last chorus. Good stuff. My instincts rock. 4/5

What You Say
Another glorious appearance of heavier riffs right up front. Flams to set it off. My favorite. Tim also comes in with some of the album's best vocals, and preparing the band for another great chorus that progresses well the farther the song moves forward. Drum-work is also superb here. Kenny shows off a new floortom no one apparently knew about and sounds great. The bridge makes Tim sound EXACTLY like The Offsprin'g Dexter Holland. Dont know why. Youll have to listen in ;) This is another of the album's very best and with all the effects put together, it gives it away instantly. 4.5/5

Over is what most people are asking from the album at this point, unless youre a huge fan of the band. This is another track with a mellow verses and much dramatically heavier chorus. As you would have thought, Tim's vocals tell of breaking up with some girl. Hah. Good for her. All he ever wants is to get her in bed, But away from Tim's failure at relationship's, the song itself is pretty generic as a whole, unless you actually coun that chorus as catchy, as we have heard the same sound over and over from the others on the album. Quite weak. Probably filler. Move on. 2.5/5

Head Up
Back to my kind of ***. Starts out with a confusing enough intro as the distortion starts out very low, and then Tim breaks in with great echoing vocals, and with great back-up guitars. The vocals are the main highlight on this one, as it leads every portion of the song. And overlloking at the "Hey, get up" guitar-work, and the down-to-earth lyrics, I like the message of the song a lot. The bridge once again brings it where it first started, and gives you one last dose of their stuff. Bad side are the drums on this track. A "tiny" dip in effort, but thats me and my dumb sarcasm. 4/5

Counting Stars
Very slow. But quite nice at it's roots. Tim is the most noticeable on this track, as his vocals make and impact over everything else, and overpower most of the other material. Another failure at the set for Kenny, but I guess it wasnt meant to be a song where the set stood out. Theres some weird effect which I think is Marko soloing, and halts the song right there, on the spot. Hard to get used to, but youll get to it eventually. 3.5/5

Sign Off
Another acoustic, and a decent way to end one confusing-ass album. The lyrics "Sign Off" get repetitive and somewhat annoying, and Tim's lyrics let you know that the song actually means that someone signed off an instant messenger on him. Very ridiculous lyrics, but for the music portion, very well-built. Not much left to say, other than it can pass as a pretty good way to end the album, and that this is how Tim and the guys chose to leave everyone's mind. In the air, waiting for more. 3/5


+Great drum-work from Kenny
+The album's middle portion
+Heavier guitar-work

-out of proportion


I really was expecting better from from Sugarcult, as Start Static made a big impact on the audience. That one had to be about 5 times better, and more focused on anger and frustration, while this one gets all softie on you. I preferred to review this one to alert which album not to buy instead of which to buy. Sugarcult seems to be getting to work on a new one, and is scheduled for a release in spring 2006. Although some tarcks stand out, the album's potential just doesnt compare to how much it needed to progress. Maybe next time.


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Comments:Add a Comment 
August 22nd 2005


Rudd is on a HOT STREAK!

Keep it up pal, I think you finally made Top15 and passed Ent.This Message Edited On 08.22.05

August 22nd 2005


This Band isn't the best, But I love some of the songs on here... Specifically; Destination Anywhere, Counting Stars, And Champange.

Great Review man, You're on my favorites.

August 22nd 2005


Nice review!

August 22nd 2005


[quote=FauxApathy]Great Review man, You're on my favorites.[/quote]

That really means a lot, dude.
Thanks This Message Edited On 08.22.05

August 22nd 2005


mehh, i wanna be on someones favorites.

August 22nd 2005


[quote=beyondtheblueprint] Keep it up pal, I think you finally kicked :Entwistle: off the list... [/quote]

I know, I mean that Entwistle fellow is a real jerk. He should really get a life. :rolleyes:

This Message Edited On 08.22.05

August 22nd 2005


you're not a jerk. Rudd just wants to be on the list like he wants to get blown by Jennifer Anniston. I was just making him feel good.

August 22nd 2005


ehhh, it's okay. Just don't do it again.

August 22nd 2005


Album Rating: 2.0

One of the biggest disappointments for me ever. They made the same mistake that every other pop-punk band did and is still doing, they tried to go slow. What came out was an uncatchy and weak album. There are some excellent tracks, "Counting Stars" is one of my favorite songs ever, let alone Sugarcult songs and She's The Blade is incredibly catchy and a great way to start the album. But Jesus Christ, "Sign Off." Is it supposed to be a joke song? I hate that song. Nevertheless, spectacular review.

August 27th 2005


Album Rating: 4.0

great review, can't wait to see what the band brings out next year

September 3rd 2005


good review but i wouldnt say great drum work cuz he uses the same beat in almost every song and most ppl would have no trouble playing his stuff but there singer makes up for it

Electric City
October 16th 2005


Album Rating: 2.5

Great review, but I would have given it a 4/5. I think sign off is one of the best if not the best song on the album, you're not taking it seriously enough or youre taking it too seriously, or something like that. I also agree with kolzig about the drumming.

Very descriptive and detailed however, very good job reviewing it.

October 17th 2005


i've only heard memory, not on mtv, But in burnout takedown that's how i heard of motion city soundtrack

thank god for game soundtracks coz THPS3 introduced me to CkY

January 18th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

awesome album good review

and yea, what happened to MxTabs?

December 16th 2006


It got shut down because a bunch of idiots think that writing out tab is stealing the composers music.
Hate this band.

December 16th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

album is good

December 16th 2006


The two songs I've heard from this (the singles) were pretty awesome, not sure on whether or not to get this though.

March 28th 2007


it's ok

November 13th 2009


Album Rating: 3.0


March 6th 2012


Album Rating: 2.0

too bad that the only good song is memory

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