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Monday, February 22, 2010


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 listenable.


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 beat.


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 song).


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.


Ross Muir



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