Sugarcult: Palm Trees and Power Lines

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Sugarcult fans have cause for rejoice today. The band has released its second baby, "Palm Trees and Power Lines" into the world to play.

Angst-ridden and rebellious, Sugarcult's sophomore album bears a stunning resemblance to its older sibling, "Start Static," released in 2001.

With wailing guitar rifts and vocals to match, Sugarcult stays true to its style in its sophomore album. Sticking close to its teen rock roots, the band perfects the art of setting emo lyrics to rock n' roll that is at once familiar but refreshing and edgy.

But don't be fooled by the emo lyrics, as the band refuses to fall into the trap of happy-go-lucky goofing off that the genre would imply. Instead, their respect for old school rock gives their music a darker edge.

Desperation, heartbreak, and yearning are the staple emotions of the album, delivered with what seems to be effortless energy. Every track screams an emotion, quite literally. "What You Say" is dark and rebellious, so that it can only fully communicate its essence when played at the top volume on your stereo.

Meanwhile, Sugarcult tries to show off its maturity with "Champagne." Yes folks, they have graduated from the beer of college men to the adult tastes of champagne. Well, sort of-songs about champagne are only weak clues to their growth.

Never fear, "Counting Stars" makes up for the statement failure. It is darker than anything they have done before, a departure from their trademark youthful sound. The track is depressing but in a beautiful, poetic way.

Also incredibly enjoyable are catchy tracks like "Crying" and "Memory," which remind the listener they have a heart that can broken. That is part of the fun of Sugarcult.

"Back to California" best describes the condition of band's somewhat maturing sound: "I guess we're getting older-we couldn't win in the end." A truer statement has never been sung. However, who's complaining?

Christine Szeto


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