Could there be a title more suitable for a new record by our beloved SUGAR STEMS than "Can't Wait"? This is exactly how most of us - i.e. people with a soft spot for a well-crafted, non-pretentious pop-song - felt constantly while we have been eagerly awaiting a new album by Milwaukee's finest. Granted, there have been two singles released on Certified PR a little earlier this year which ripped every powerpop-aficionado apart, but in a cultural realm that is filled with flavorless white bread, possibly not even a SUGAR STEMS single could fill your belly. So we digested that charmingly poppy gems pretty soon and have been hungry for more of their artistic handcraft since.
And here we are, the probably best contemporary powerpop-outfit once again has put superhuman power in its creative genius and will hit your taste with a hit load of bullets, each and everyone of which would make up for a potential single's a-side and chart-stormer if this was a better world. Shout it from the top of a roof, The Wisconsin Sugar Rush rampants without restraint; it will get you hooked on an overall buzzing sound and insanely catchy vocals as sweet as cotton candy, on pumping basslines and cracking drums – driven by a firecracker lead guitar. Their sound is enriched with tons of brilliant melodies and euphoric harmonies to the maximum; Drew and Betsy's two-part singing chimes together as perfectly as you might expect from a band that we put faith in as the saving grace of rock'n'roll. And by rock'n'roll I mean that kind of music that you feel familiar with, that you hear for the first time and wish you had listen to while growing up. Certainly, it would have carried you through all the hardships as well as all the emotional high points of adolescence.
Weeping yourself to sleep, giving your first love a peck, waiting for the bus on a sunny September day – THE SUGAR STEMS deliver the proper soundtrack for any romanticized image of teenage, but still they should not and cannot be reducible to the naive idea of bubblegummy, empty pop-suit bought off the peg. It's the serious approach to a feel-good-sound that is alive in the here and now, that will make you wanna canoodle your beloved no matter what age you are, and, above all, that stood the test of time. They are like a bubblegum that would never lose its taste, they are the re-embodiment of twangy, infectious Midwest-powerpop soaked in deliriously sweet melodies, they epitomize the glory your favorite '50s and '60s nuggets established decades ago, they deliver lyrics that oscillate between edgy, sneering smartness and lovelorn rhapsody and which are of a kind that everybody can relate to. Yet again, to put it in one term, the SUGAR STEMS are splendid! Big time! You will dig this record, unless you are a Martian. Well, perhaps even most Martians will dig "Can't Wait".
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