Release Date: Dec 12, 2011
Record label: Saint Marie
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
There's no getting away from the fact that Alabama trio the Sunshine Factory's second album, Sugar, sounds a lot like My Bloody Valentine. From the layers of fuzz and dreamy buried harmonies on the atmospheric opener, "Down," to the Kevin Shields-inspired jagged guitar hooks that dominate the likes of the reverb-drenched "Deeper Look" and the slow-building "My Sugar Cane," to the thunderous "Only Shallow"-esque beats that kick-start the swirling angular rock of "Twisted and Clover," the follow-up to 2009's one-man-show Vintage Revolution at times sounds like a blatant pastiche of the seminal Loveless. But the Irish shoegazers aren't the only recognizable influence from across the Atlantic.
The Sunshine Factory really like one band. Granted, that band is wildly influential and by all means worthy of being a favourite, but there's a fine line between wearing your influences on your sleeve and coming off as overly derivative. Sugar kicks off with Down, which sounds like AC/DC’s Hells Bells for about 20 seconds before morphing into a distant cousin of My Bloody Valentine's I Only Said.
When faced with a daunting challenge, such as writing an album review for a genre that you are generally not a fan of, what do you do? Do you simply bash the album because of your lack of fondness for the style (the easy way)? Or do you try your damnedest to gut through it (the arduous way)? Well, to be honest, the whole shoegaze, dream pop genre is not my favorite. But I have plowed forward with the Sunshine Factory’s Sugar, and been rewarded. There is no doubt in my mind that the Sunshine Factory have made a killer shoegaze album with Sugar.