Dead Confederate’s “Sugar”

TBI staff writer, Michael Hall, offers a unique review of Dead Confederate’s new record, “Sugar.”

Michael Hall

out of 10

Dead Confederate
August 24, 2010
The Artist Organization

Dear Diary,
I listened to Sugar, the new album from Dead Confederate today. It was good, but I am starting feel like I don’t even know who they are anymore. I mean, I know I can always listen to Wrecking Ball, their first album, and get all of the heavy, sludgy, grungy, southern rock I need to accompany me when I am feeling angry and dark.
Now, they give me this new album, and the first song, “In the Dark” sounds almost happy. Then the second song, “Run From the Gun” sounds even lighter. What gives? How could they do this to me?
I think I am going to tell them we need a break.

Dear Diary,
I tried listening to Dead Confederate’s Sugar again today. I think I might have been too harsh on them. I started where I left off on Tuesday and cued up track three, “Father Figure.” I was immediately at home again. It was like I was being pulled in by the ominous, bone crunching tones and howling lyrics. I was then not disappointed when the next song, Quiet Kid, came out like a shotgun blast and climaxed in a fury, then just got plain angry. For the next few tracks, I could tell that Dead Confederate was trying to get me back, but not to the old band. They wanted me to just accept this new, more confident and refined version of themselves, well, I am just not ready. Who do they think they are, reinventing themselves like this, it is like they are trying to be the best young rock band out of Athens since The Drive By Truckers. I am not buying it. If it doesn’t make me feel like stormy skies are looming, then I just don’t know if I can get back together with Dead Confederate.

Dear Diary,
I am so mad at Dead Confederate, but I also can’t seem to get them out of my mind. Maybe I have been too harsh. It’s not like they cheated on me. I almost think they have just matured, honed their craft and made themselves better before I have been able to catch up. Maybe hard rock doesn’t always have to be dark and depressing. Maybe there can be some silver lining. I also think they might have written “Run from the Gun” about me. They sing, “You were sweet as poison.” I don’t think I was that bad. They then say, “It was loaded with the pressure/Too much pressure to be measured.” Was I that hard on them? I am beginning to rethink leaving Dead Confederate.

—- Next Tuesday
Dear Diary,
It has been a crazy week, but I am back with Dead Confederate. I heard “Giving it all Away” and fell back in love. It showed me how much they have changed, and reminded me that I might need to do the same. I was so mad because Sugar was something different, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still be with them. Their new sound is so much more than I was willing to admit, and I am sorry I was so harsh. When “Giving it all Away” hits full bore, it is unlike anything I have heard from a rock band in a long time. They have really figured out who they are, and I can only see good things in the future for them. This new album is actually better than their first, I just had to realize that I too needed to grow up with them. I will never doubt Dead Confederate again. Now I just wish the album were longer.