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ROCK SUGAR "REIMAGINATOR" BY: RUSTYN ROSE
Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rock Sugar ~ Reimaginator

I wasn’t originally going to review this CD here. We are after all, Home of all things metal. So I wrote the following review for Mojo Radio, where I DJ and we run our Metalholic Mondays program. Then it occurred to me, that Rock Sugar take many elements of hard rock and metal and mash them up with pop classics that most denim and leather tattooed metalheads would probably love, whether they’d admit it or not. But more than that, Rock Sugar is not only good pop-metal, their addictive mash-ups are done with fun and style, reminding us we don’t have to take it all so seriously. They keep it, tongue-in-chic.

So, what happens to a band of hard partying 80’s metal misfits who get shipwrecked on a lonely island with nothing to entertain themselves other than a teen girl’s boombox loaded with 80’s pop? They become victims of Popholm Syndrome.

Held hostage to the sacchryne call of syrupy pop since 1989, late 80’s metallers, Rock Sugar, were slowly brainwashed and drawn over to the light side. They began to identify with their captors, Journey, Paula Abdul, even Rick Springfield.

For 20 long years, the band tried to block it out, but even the most hardened of rockers were bound to cave. Upon finding themselves rescued last year, the band spent months being inundated with classic hard rock and metal in a somewhat vain attempt to rehabilitate their pop damaged psyches. But in the end, the doctors found no cure, and offered no hope.

The band locked themselves into their studio and begin attempts to resurrect their once promising career, but they constantly found their hammering metal blunted by the joyous pop confections they gave themselves over to for two long decades.

This year the band has emerged ready to rock the world once again, their guitars still ripping, drums still pounding, but they have now embraced the lightness that they sought to rid their souls of. They have given themselves over to their addiction, and one listen to Rock Sugar and you’ll do the same, because, as the band discovered, Pop Rocks!

Their debut CD, Reimaginator, takes 34 classic pop and hard rock classics and blends them down into 13 cohesive and infectious pop-metal doses of ear candy.

From the opening track, ”Don’t Stop the Sandman” listeners are carted away by the blazing guitar work of, powerhouse vocals of and locked and loaded rhythm section of drummer and bassist. The Frankenstein mash-up of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” is at once, twisted and beautiful.

Queen meets Motley Crue? “We Will Kickstart Your Rhapsody” is a sickly sweet combination that must be heard. In fact, I suggest you rush to their website (AFTER you finish reading this review) and take a look/listen for yourselves.

I won’t give away all the sugar coma secrets to this CD, but how diabolically twisted have these guys become? Try KISS meets Paula Abdul, straight up, now tell can you really not die to get a listen?

Madonna meets AC/DC? Are you serious? Like a prayer, baby!

The full track list is below. Put your thinking caps on. Half the fun is in the mystery of it all. You may guess some, but you won’t figure them all out. This album is a most own, whether you’re a hardcore metal fan or a pop music junkie. Call it blissful pop-metal or a guilty pleasure, but indulge yourself.

Look for an upcoming interview with the band for Metalholic.com and Mojo Radio in the coming weeks!

DON’T STOP THE SANDMAN

Jess Harnell

WE WILL KICKSTART YOUR RHAPSODY

CRAZY GIRL

VOICES IN THE JUNGLE

HERE COMES THE FOOL YOU WANTED

SHOOK ME LIKE A PRAYER

STRAIGHT TO ROCK CITY

PRAYIN’ FOR A SWEET WEEKEND

HEAVEN AND HEAVEN

BREAKIN’ THE LOVE

I LOVE SUGAR ON ME

ROUND AND SEPARATED

DREAMING OF A WHOLE LOTTA BREAKFAST

By: Rustyn Rose
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