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Sugarcult - Lights Out Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 7
Musicianship 7
Lyrics 4.5
Production 7.75
Creativity 6.5
Lasting Value 3
Reviewer Tilt 6
Final Verdict: 60%
Member Ratings
Vocals 8.56
Musicianship 8.14
Lyrics 6.86
Production 7.94
Creativity 7.47
Lasting Value 7.22
Reviewer Tilt 7.86
Average: 77%
Inside AP.net

Sugarcult - Lights Out

Reviewed by: Tony Pascarella (11/18/06)
Sugarcult - Lights Out
Release Date: September 12, 2006
Record Label: V2/Fearless

Just about every band out there ends up with a song or two expressing a deep-held desire to spread their wings because they are jaded with the current state of affairs. Sugarcult’s third album, Lights Out, is jaded and yearning for more, which is ultimately what their fans may feel upon repeated listens.

Sugarcult have always relied on squealing instrumentals sure to get fans jumping around and singing along, even if the music falls squarely into the pop-punk category. Lights Out is no different, although the tones are just a little bit darker and Tim Pagnotta’s vocals just a little bit rougher than we have heard before. The title track is merely a shout-along intro to “Dead Living,” which will get you well acquainted with the overall sound of the new CD. Glossed production brings the manic-depressive “Los Angeles” to the forefront of the CD in all its shimmering glory and radio readiness. Sugarcult has always stood on the strength of their singles, and as the second single, “Los Angeles” will help them try to return to the mainstream. Following quickly is “Do It Alone” (the first single from Lights Out, conveniently), which provides a more upbeat song reminiscent of Start Static. The chorus repeats a bit too often, but it is certainly sugary and memorable.

There is a three-song lull in the album that will probably turn many listeners away from the “new” Sugarcult. “Explode” has some near-laughable lyrics, and frankly, it does nothing we have not heard before. “Out of Phase” and “Made a Mistake” follow a similar pattern, although they would probably both have fit well on Palm Trees & Power Lines. “Riot” is the closest that Sugarcult come to shredding, but they put together what would have been a compelling pop-punk song in 2001, picking the album up again from the simply average stage. They follow up with “Majoring in Minors,” which has become a personal favorite for its instrumental nuances and some of the best lyrics on the album. After the chugging guitars featured on “Shaking,” the album tails off to a close with the interminably boring “The Investigation” and the simply dull “Hiatus.”

Lights Out could have been Sugarcult’s repossession of former glory. It has all of the elements of a great rock album. There are the soaring hooks, gleaming production, and inherent catchiness staring back at you from the speakers. Unfortunately, they just cannot put it together for any length of time, and the album falls mostly on deaf ears. There are a few standout tracks, but the rest of it just seems like shiny filler. For a few more years, Sugarcult will remain a “singles” band.

Buy Sugarcult's Lights Out on iTunes

Track List01. Lights Out
02. Dead Living
03. Los Angeles
04. Do It Alone
05. Explode
06. Out of Phase
07. Made a Mistake
08. Riot
09. Majoring in Minors
10. Shaking
11. The Investigation
12. Hiatus
Listen to SugarcultMyspace | Official Site | AP.net Profile
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 21
12:12 AM on 11/18/06
#2
laxcrs
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good review
12:33 AM on 11/18/06
#3
Chris Fallon
Boom.
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I think you make some valid points, but I personally find it to be a strong release. I definitely think "Los Angeles" is one of the best songs they've written, and while I found it to be the best album of their catalog when I first got it, I think it is more powerful and meaningful than Palm Trees but not as catchy, upbeat and energetic as Start Static.

I enjoy Sugarcult, and I think it's nice that they are attempting to distance themselves from "Memory" and the rest of the current crop of pop-punk outfits. Very well-written review, Tony.
12:40 AM on 11/18/06
#4
Jason Tate
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I think you make some valid points, but I personally find it to be a strong release. I definitely think "Los Angeles" is one of the best songs they've written, and while I found it to be the best album of their catalog when I first got it, I think it is more powerful and meaningful than Palm Trees but not as catchy, upbeat and energetic as Start Static.

I enjoy Sugarcult, and I think it's nice that they are attempting to distance themselves from "Memory" and the rest of the current crop of pop-punk outfits. Very well-written review, Tony.
Well said.

For me, it's not an album of "great songs" but it's an album of "good songs." They're fun to listen to, they're enjoyable, and I get what I need from them. It's a good disc for me to play between listening to a few of my other favorites.
01:42 AM on 11/18/06
#5
Tony Pascarella
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I think you make some valid points, but I personally find it to be a strong release. I definitely think "Los Angeles" is one of the best songs they've written, and while I found it to be the best album of their catalog when I first got it, I think it is more powerful and meaningful than Palm Trees but not as catchy, upbeat and energetic as Start Static.

I enjoy Sugarcult, and I think it's nice that they are attempting to distance themselves from "Memory" and the rest of the current crop of pop-punk outfits. Very well-written review, Tony.
I could agree with that. I still spin Start Static pretty regularly--Palm Trees not so much so. This there's four or five songs I'd listen to repeatedly.

I also think that if "Los Angeles" had been the lead single pushed to radio, the album would have sold better. It only did 15k first week and seems to have died since then.
07:19 AM on 11/18/06
#6
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I really like this band's prior releases, and they are one of my biggest guilty pleasures.

This, however, is a wretched pile of shit.
07:57 AM on 11/18/06
#7
Mitch
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I think this album is their most solid to date, I love it. Good review, although I do disagree with it .
08:52 AM on 11/18/06
#8
invincibleXL
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I think they're only getting better. I take each album as a seperate era and just appreciate how they can infuse their styles into each song to bring new life into the music. That sounded really gay I bet but i'm high lol. i love the new album though, as well as the last one. start static was good but not my favorite. and their even older stuff was great too.
10:18 AM on 11/18/06
#9
mybreakingpoint
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I think you make some valid points, but I personally find it to be a strong release. I definitely think "Los Angeles" is one of the best songs they've written, and while I found it to be the best album of their catalog when I first got it, I think it is more powerful and meaningful than Palm Trees but not as catchy, upbeat and energetic as Start Static.

I enjoy Sugarcult, and I think it's nice that they are attempting to distance themselves from "Memory" and the rest of the current crop of pop-punk outfits. Very well-written review, Tony.

what you said.
10:19 AM on 11/18/06
PlunketChris
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Well said.

For me, it's not an album of "great songs" but it's an album of "good songs." They're fun to listen to, they're enjoyable, and I get what I need from them. It's a good disc for me to play between listening to a few of my other favorites.

My thoughts exactly. I adore Sugarcult. This album didn't disappoint me.. it's different, but different is okay, and it's got it's stand outs.
10:47 AM on 11/18/06
sidewacker
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I personally didn't like Los Angeles the first time I heard it, then it grew on me. I think it's a pretty catchy tune now.
11:28 AM on 11/18/06
crit
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Nice review, Tony.
I enjoyed their previous releases, but this one let me down. A few good songs, but no lasting value at all, and it's a shame that they bought their single.

Just curious, in the liner notes...who is credited for the songwriting of "Do It Alone?"
11:38 AM on 11/18/06
permanentdan
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i really like this album. i disagree on a few of the songs you found dull though
. i personally realy like hiatus the investigation, but i do agree with you on los angeles and majoring in minors. both awesome tracks. i have more of a connection though
with los angeles. i really dig that track.
12:56 PM on 11/18/06
Bbyhazel
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I think you make some valid points, but I personally find it to be a strong release. I definitely think "Los Angeles" is one of the best songs they've written, and while I found it to be the best album of their catalog when I first got it, I think it is more powerful and meaningful than Palm Trees but not as catchy, upbeat and energetic as Start Static.

I enjoy Sugarcult, and I think it's nice that they are attempting to distance themselves from "Memory" and the rest of the current crop of pop-punk outfits. Very well-written review, Tony.

exactly.
03:26 PM on 11/18/06
GoodTimes
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Nice review, Tony.
I enjoyed their previous releases, but this one let me down. A few good songs, but no lasting value at all, and it's a shame that they bought their single.

Just curious, in the liner notes...who is credited for the songwriting of "Do It Alone?"

T. Pagnotta, B. Mulligan, S. Mulligan, N. Herrick
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