“The Parallels Amongst Ourselves” – ‘Sugar Army’ [Joint Review]

We’re just chugging along through all these albums and reviews, and I must admit that the monthly harvest has been prosperous and forgiving. Although about half of my crop has failed miserably, there’s been some hopeful bands, some fantastic music nonetheless, and a wide range of potential-oozing artists. For the past month solid, I think, the decisions for the ‘Joint Reviews’ have been unanimous – even for “Skyscraper…”:

“… All in favour?”

[crickets sound]

“All against?”

[frogs leap]

“Okay, so ‘Sugar Army’ it is then.

The parallels between this, and one “Escape From The Sun”, by the soon-to-be-regulars ‘Operahouse’, are uncanny – perhaps not necessarily 100% music-wise, but certainly with at least one delectable, epic+ masterpiece-track lurking in the album-shadows. And it’s these that make a somewhat simplistic album make it through the doors of Highly Evolved. And here it is:

"The Parallels Amongst Ourselves" - 'Sugar ARmy'

"The Parallels Amongst Ourselves" - 'Sugar Army'

I’ve got a rhythm going down in my reviews that seems to work appropriately – back in the early days, I just used to hope for the best and wish things well. Slowly, over a number of albums and reviews, I managed to pick apart an album’s genre, then it’s failings, and then finally moved on to specific tracks of notable mention. And it seems to be working, thus far; any complaints?

“Yes… dude, what the hell did you do to us, man?” Foolish Dude One interrupts

My god.

[head in palm]

“Hey, crazy, guys, we’re back – wow! ‘Sugar Army’, such a fan!” Foolish Dude Two adds.

“… Umm,” a Hitchhiker lands himself on the three-seater, “… Wow, man – I’ve never been in an imagination before. Cool!”

“Geez, guys, shut-the-hell-up! He’s trying to write his Sunday-BS. Give the guy some peace, would you?”


Well, when I think about genre for ‘Sugar Army’, I’m spent on descriptive metaphor. It’s casual, it’s laid-back, and it’s what I’d expect from the typical-Australian forefront at the moment. Unsurprisingly, all the good stuff’s happening back in quiet old Perth, and the kids over there, oppressed by the suffocating-Sydney and the Melbourne-madmen, have been busy working on their musical-web, catching bigger fish. Hell, ‘Sugar Army’ is just another battalion to the ever-growing Perth scene army, as my partner will probably discuss, and it’s why we love them. Home-grown music isn’t dead, it’s giving birth to a new generation of rock, indie and alternative. And that’s where it likes to sit around, those three-genres – you could toss some post-punk in there for spice, but I won’t go there today.

“Dammit, I dropped it… where’s it gone?” Foolish Dude Two fumbles about, the carpet singed.

Stop smoking in my brain:


“We ain’t smokin’, we’re hanging, dude:” the Hitchhiker gesutres awkwardly.

Hey! Hey, is that a bong? What, O, come on – that’s it, you’re gone.


“… NOOOOOOOO. You Son of a…….. FATHER!!!!!!!!!”

[the abysmal pit shrieks as Satan stirs and laughs]

“… I’ll be good, I’ll be good,” Foolish Dude One answers.

Moan all you like.

Guitar, bass, drums and a voice – that’s it, that’s how “TPAO” powers through. When it isn’t soft, or what constitutes soft on their behalf, it’s loud and strong and emphatic. You’ll find it’s those classic layers of a lead, followed by another lead, followed by some strength-drumming and icing-vocals. There’s not much to go wax-lyrical about here, the ingredients are simple – more often than not, we just get the pancake, on the odd occasion, maybe syrup too, and in “Tongues And Cheeks”, the full-blown crepe with hot coffee, a steaming pile of scones and a whole dollop of jam.

“He Knows, he knows, he knows, he knows, he know-ow-ow-ow-ows…”

Are the soon-to-be infamous lyrics that sound the arrival of one of this year’s greatest songs ever composed. We finally see a break-away from the classic rock, and we see an interesting key-and-tempo shift throughout. The lyrics are like listening to the voices of demons, the guitar, the bass, are the divine instruments of gods, and the voice – O, the strength of mere mortals!

When you hear the phrase:

“… And she knows that if she doesn’t do the things her body asks her to, she’ll waste away, she’s paralyzed, her parts will split and multiply…*” [Second Incarnation]

There’s a sudden explosion of guitar, a fast-paced strumming, and quick-smart lyrics that are as effective as they are memorable. I know for a week-solid after first encountering “Tongues In Cheeks”, I was dumbfounded by it’s epic-nature. I half-expect tracks like these to top on maybe the second album, or even a third, but ‘Sugar Army’ have made damn-well sure that they’re going to be heard with this wailing-cry of a song, and banshee of an album. “Tongues In Cheeks”; if it doesn’t seal them a place in the glorification of Australian-music, will certainly earn them a one-hit-wonder. When this creeps onto mainstream, I’m sure I’m going to find each and every radio-station begging for more, it is INFECTIOUS.

“… Shit, you didn’t say anything about infections when you asked us to come…” Foolish Dude One intervenes.

[nudges shoulder]

“… What the hell was that, a big shoulder, wow man, this IS good stuff…” Foolish Dude Two watches on uncaring.

Tracks like “Detach” have this epic-nature dumbed-down a bit, and with the opening pick, and then the boom, followed by some lyrics, it’s another song that examples ‘Sugar Army’s’ distinctive key-and-tempo shift when it comes to vocal genius. I almost want to suggest they sound like somebody, but if they do, I don’t know who – they sound so familiar, that it’s like I’ve heard them before.

“… Of course you’ve heard them before, you’ve played the album a ba-gillion times already…” Foolish Dude Three appears.

“Wow, we’re triplets!” Foolish Dudes One and Two high-five Three.

[And Four, and Five…]

“Oh my god! PARTY!”

Just below this, and we find the track “Acute”, which is another favourite. The tickle of guitar is interesting, almost like a trip-hop backing, and it balances out, again, that lyrical/vocal key and tempo shift. When it gets to the:

“… And we are all the same, and we are…”

… Bit, there’s nice musical juxtaposition between this and the guitar-backing.

And after this?

Well, it’s hard, I know, to top an epic+ track, because all those that follow are just hanging in the sidelines. I’m not too interested in the rest of the album, and it’s probably why I won’t buy it for anything less than $10, because there’s no point spending anything above for the equivalent of a single-want. When it comes down to rating, I’m torn between a four, and a three, but because the other tracks that follow just aren’t sticking in my brain, I’ll have to give it a disappointed 3. Definitely go out and listen, though.

Until when,

The Enantiomorphic God


~ by enantiomorphicgod on August 2, 2009.

One Response to ““The Parallels Amongst Ourselves” – ‘Sugar Army’ [Joint Review]”

  1. yessss…. the terrible review. I shake my fist at myself.

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