Sugarmen: Local Freaks

review local freaks x1 cong

A good title for this; as their name suggests they’re from Liverpool and we guess popular in their home city. They may indeed be local freaks, Liverpudlians who sing (mostly) without a noticeable accent and don’t try to sound like any of that city’s other famous bands, which is good. We don’t even have to mention The C*r*l.

They’re a quality indie band although, if you want a failing, that’s all they are. If you like melodic guitar-led indie you’ll love this, and you can probably get to see your new favourite band in a small and sweaty venue, and buy merch from them after the gig. It’s got a nice live feel and the band is tight. We don’t know if the appeal will spread much beyond Liverpool (though Courteeners make a nice living from Manchester).

Still, as indie goes it’s good. It’s cheerful, upbeat and they have some decent tunes. They load the good ones on first: opener AC launches with space noises and thudding tom toms. Sold starts with quickfire guitar and keeps up the pace. Also good are Push Button Age and the excellent Golden One, even if it does reference the famous beat of My Sharona a little, though the vocals are sufficiently sneering to banish thoughts of cheesy rock. It’s got a nice slow section, too.

Thunder in the Foothills is such a good name for a tune that it’s slightly better than the song. The title track comes late in the album, and frontman Luke Fenlon ramps up the accent a little; we guess this might be a band anthem.

There’s a bit of filler before closer This Is My Life, again which we guess is a moshpit pleaser, with its fast high-hat work and sing-along lyrics. “This is my life and it’s all right”, Fenlon closes, complete with Big Ending.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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