• James Booton

Sugarmen - Local Freaks


Well this album has certainty taken us back to an era that we have been missing lately. Local Freaks is packed full of the slightly melancholic swagger of the early 00's and is reminiscent of the feeling behind the indie movement at the time, 'Thunder In The Foothills' (our personal favourite on the album) being a prime example. The message that came out of that time was basically , 'life may seem a bit shit sometimes, but it ain't that bad, and we're getting through. So you may as well get pissed and have a bit of a laugh.' I don't think there are many who would argue with this philosophy. This is all captured perfectly in the lyrics, most notably, the line "We found our place and that's just fine" in 'Central Line'. The album even ends with the chorus "This is my life and it's alright".

Speaking of finding their place, the Liverpool Four-piece are a band entrenched in their city's culture. Although the album does vary in style from song to song, the album's Liverpool heritage can be felt throughout. Even though it may seem an obvious connection , 'Central Line' does show a clear Beatles influence. The simplistic, yet uplifting melodies characterized by The Beatles and more recently, The Coral provide the bedrock of the album. Sugarmen also tick another necessity for any scouse band... Creating a true sense of atmosphere. As the psych/garage movement has slowly seeped into the heart of the city, it has become one of the most prevalent and lively scenes in Liverpool, with bands such as Ohmns and Strange Collective dominating the underground circuit. Some of the sounds from this genre have definitely crept into the album in tracks such as 'Sold' and 'Golden One' . With the reverb whacked up and the darker synth provided the backdrop, there is more of an arrogance behind these tracks that will create some special live nights.

Liverpool is a very tough city to breakthrough in, so after slaving away here for as long as they have, Sugarmen should be incredibly proud of their debut album. Local Freaks gives you everything you could ask for from both ends of the indie-rock scale. Infectious dance-worthy chorus' , sing-a-long melodies and darker , more atmospheric tracks perfect for moshing. They have captured the current feeling of their beloved town and are pulsating it to the rest of the country whether they like it or not. So whether your from Liverpool or Ahsby-de-la-zouch, let this one slip into your ears cos' its a cracker! You can keep up to date with the Album and any Sugarmen gigs via their Facebook.