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.
This is not merely a studio mash-up record. This is four top-notch musician’s recording and playing the material live. Last month the band performed several live dates in cluding the world famous Download festival in England.
From the opening track,”Don’t Stop the Sandman” listeners are carted away by the blazing guitar work of Chuck Duran, powerhouse vocals of Jess Harnell, and locked and loaded rhythm section of drummer Alex Track, and bassist Johnny Five. 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!
And how’s this for an album closer? Aerosmith‘s “Dream On” blended with Supertramp’s “Breakfast In America” and Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.” Trust me when I say it’s diabolical brilliance, and harmonious heaven.
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.
DON’T STOP THE SANDMAN
WE WILL KICKSTART YOUR RHAPSODY
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