Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sugar - Besides


This is a request. Enjoy!

Few bands released as many smokin' B-sides as Sugar, and here are 12 of those songs, plus some of the live versions and solo versions that also appeared on the EPs. If you've never heard such ashen cuts as "Mind Is an Island," "And You Tell Me," the live cover of the Who's "Armenia City in the Sky," and Barbe's "Anyone," you have them all served up on a single platter for you. It's fair to consider this a fourth Sugar LP, as without a doubt it is commensurate with the quality and greatness of the other three. The first 25,000 or so of this compilation came with a bonus CD recorded on the File Under: Easy Listening tour. Far from being just some ho-hum nicety, the live CD is ungodly. What a punishing trio! The opening "Gift" alone is enough to stop the heart stone-still dead; Bob Mould's opening guitar squeals are so revved up you feel like someone put his amp against your ear. "Changes" is almost unrecognizable and takes on an entirely new dimension as a speed-burner. "Gee Angel" sounds as if the entire stage will explode at its rocket launch. "Going Home" seems twice the speed of the original, and twice as cruel too -- it feels like being thrown from a car! Barbe's McCartney-ish booming bass is the perfect, supple support. Drummer Malcolm Travis' thunder-slam of a snare drum and anvil-dropping 16th-note rolls are as devastating as a 400-pound weight dropped on your head, whipping so furiously. After 100 to 150 plays, this recording still captivates like the Kennedy-assassination Zapruder film, only the gore here is the broken down and painful human relationships that come spilling out of Mould's mouth and the viciousness of the band's tight playing and air raid attack. (AMG)


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