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Various - Sugar Shack Greatest Hits Vol. 1

  by Mark Rowland

published: 5 / 6 / 2002

Various - Sugar Shack Greatest Hits Vol. 1
Label: Sugar Shack
Format: CD


Eclectic budget-priced compilation from the increasingly "promising looking " Bristol based label Sugar Shack Records

Sugar Shack Records is one of Britain's most promising looking new(ish) indie labels and is dedicated to helping Bristol's diverse artists reach a larger audience. First conceived by founder Mike Darby in the early nineties as a way of getting  ultra-rare classic albums and singles from Bristol's music scene out to non-Bristolian ears, Sugar Shack records slowly evolved into the fully-fledged indie label it is today, with a new intent of opening the gates for music of the future , rather than simply digging up music from the past. It seems that only recently that this label's efforts are being noted through the hype surrounding Redefine, Two Day Rule, and Bluebottle Kiss, all of whom have , of course, contributed tracks to this compilation. Redefine's effort, 'Jennifer Cried' kicks off the compilation nicely, and is a surging rocker that takes the American rock stylings of Incubus and makes it sound surprisingly British, rather than finding its members simply putting on dodgy American accents (Stand up, Lostprophets). Most importantly, the band have also written a good tune. Two Day Rule's offering, 'Had a Good Thing', isn't quite so strong, being a so-so pop-punk song with questionable 'comedy' lyrics. Then again, it's nice to see a band every now and again that doesn't take itself too seriously, and for fans of pop-punk in general, this is likely to sound great. Bluebottle Kiss' 'Ounce of your Cruelty' is rather brilliant, a breezy acoustic indie tune that sounds like 'Bends' era Radiohead with a slight emo fixation, and definitely snatchs up the award for best song on the album. Elsewhere, the styles go off in such diverse directions as Happy Mondays style baggy indie (Action Spectacular's  neo-funk clatter 'The Roxy Music'), PJ Harvey-esque string-led ballads (Rita Lynch's delicate 'Delight), and retro 60's guitar-pop ( the so-un-now stylings of Apache Dropout ). Most unexpected of all, however, is Madnomad's 'Thanx', a clattering rush of Rephlex beats and weird vocals, spliced together with some 50's crooner samples and scratches, all of which are over in the space of a minute and a half. This compilation is a nice way of checking out what Sugar Shack has to offer in terms of it's bands, as well as a way of discovering a load of new bands. There's some great stuff on here, and what isn't quite there yet definitely shows a lot of promise. It's just a question of watching how Sugar Shack develops.  Hopefully for Sugar Shack, the only way is up.

Track Listing:-
1 Redefine - Jennifer Cried
2 Action Spectacular - The Roxy Music
3 Madnomad - Thanx
4 Clean - Walking
5 Moosha - Super Massive Black Holes
6 Bluebottle Kiss - Ounce Of Your Cruelty
7 Two Day Rule - Had A Good Thing
8 Rita Lynch - Delight
9 Steve Bush - Lady In the Lake
10 Apache Dropout - Yellow Fever

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