Can You Re-imagine? (album
highlight & review)
Some of you may have already seen/
heard/ bought/ avoided (depending on taste) the intentionally re-imagined
sounds of 'Rock Sugar' but it certainly hits a spot with me...
Their album 'Reimaginator' does a
bit more than it says on the cover, as not only do they re-imagine classic
eighties rock and pop, they merge (or 'mashup' as the term goes) them in the
same song, and produce something that, for me, is clever, fun, and eminently
Rock Sugar are, in effect, three
quarters of 'Loud & Clear', the American Rock/ power-pop band, and Chuck
Duran (all guitars, vocals), Alex Track (drums, keyboards, vocals) and vocalist
Jess Harnell all play their part, and play all the parts (they have since been
joined by Johnny Five on bass guitar & vocals).
Harnell has a great ability to
'voice mimic' the necessary husky tenors and purer high tenor notes required to
make these musical mash-ups work so well, but then Harnell isn't just a very
good vocalist, he is also a renowned voice actor, and has contributed to many a
project, particularly animated series and films.
'Don't Stop The Sandman' sums it
all up nicely, and the more bizarre the re-imagined mix the better the song -
Rick Springfield's 'Jessie's Girl' and Ozzy's 'Crazy Train' anybody? Or how
about 'You Shook Me all Night Long' by AC/DC sharing musical space with
Madonna's 'Say a Prayer'...
I find it highly ironic and not a
little funny that in this re-imagined retro rock day and age of ours, where
most bands are producing the same or similar product for a market that both
accepts and supports such, Rock Sugar are reinventing the genre, performing
versions of songs that are primarily twenty years old or more (some go back to
the mid/ late seventies) and have produced something... new.
And very listenable.So thanks Rock
Sugar - You cost me 20 bucks or so to have a copy of the album sent over (I
refuse to use the non-sanctioned download services available on this or any
official product), and as it was released in January 2010 it's the early leader
for Muirsical Album of the Year award - and I honestly think it will be hard to
And thanks, Rock Sugar - for
providing a version of 'Don't Stop Believing' (complete with Metallic(a) sheen) that I can appreciate, and
thoroughly enjoy, other than the original (and Kevin Chalfant's cover of the
Even their 'background story' and
'bio's as featured on their website are re-imagined tongue in cheek pieces, and
for those still not convinced, you could do worse than check out the audio
clips from the album and hear what you think for yourselves...
In fact, you know what, just go
buy the damn album - but from their site, thanks very much - not the
'alternative' sites that shaft the band.