Dead Confederate’s debut was a raw, raging grunger of a record, riddled with dark psychedelic anger and Grohl-worthy kit smashing. The angry conviction of the music was compelling but the album itself was coming loose at the seams. ‘Sugar’ is a far more subtle, multifaceted take on the band’s brand of psych-grunge – the smouldering reflection after the tantrum. The disquiet and furious drive of its predecessor is more focused, sometimes just simmering under the surface, as on eerily nonchalant track ‘Run From The Gun’, but often manifesting in the crunchy, guttural guitar wails hurled across the album’s length. The real triumph here is the new found sense of dynamics, akin to ‘Mellon Collie’ era Pumpkins, which is most prominent on the enthrallingly slow-burn title track and sinister closer ‘Shocked to Realize’, which threatens but ultimately never boils over. Mesmerising stuff.

By Polly Rappaport

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