The Sunshine Factory Sugar(Self-Released) Buy it from Insound
The Sunshine Factory really like one band. Granted, that band is wildly influential and by all means worthy of being a favourite, but there's a fine line between wearing your influences on your sleeve and coming off as overly derivative.
Sugar kicks off with Down, which sounds like AC/DC’s Hells Bells for about 20 seconds before morphing into a distant cousin of My Bloody Valentine's I Only Said. The MBV influence is audible elsewhere on Sugar, with Don’t Fall Asleep and the beginning of Twisted and Clover bringing to mind Sometimes and Only Shallow respectively.
My Sugar Cane and My Bon Ami are both pretty good songs, but to be fair the quality of the songwriting is not really The Sunshine Factory's problem. There are few original voices in the overpopulated shoegaze and dream-pop genres these days, and when I hear the tremulous guitars, buried vocals and chugging drumbeats of Sugar all I want to do is put on Loveless instead. They’d be better off just covering it. The excellent version of I Only Said on the band's MySpace suggests they’re already halfway to being the world’s best My Bloody Valentine cover band.
(Article amended on 13 March 2011)3 March, 2011 - 16:32 — Andrew Baer