Sugarbug: Flutterbye (Powertool Records)

 |   |  <1 min read

Sugarbug: Shadows
Sugarbug: Flutterbye (Powertool Records)

As I understand it, this quietly fascinating collection by a Wellington four-piece is a reissue of songs previously unissued.

To backtrack then: Some of these 10 songs topped the capital's Radio Active charts in the 90s and others did well on bNet stations. Hardly surprising as they mine that profitable post-Flying Nun ethos (they do the Clean's Do Your Thing as an eloquent soundswell ballad) but also bring something of their own.

If the chug'n'strum of Bunny's On the Run recalls some big-bash Nun bands (with a vocal delivered with Keith Richards' languor), the more menacing and psychedelic Shadows could be the 3D's on Mogadon and you probably can't hear Lost in Space without thinking of Sneaky Feelings' command of a pop song. Sugarbug have that too in their own sweet way.

But for every reference like that, elsewhere they step well away from the obvious templates. As on the weary and slow Big Picture, the alt.pop of Flicker and the lo-range psychedelia of Dusk and Another Time and Place.

On the delightfully dreamy ballad Alien Pod Creature they bring a South Pacific sound to a song that lives up to the strangeness of its title.

Again, the past surprises the present. 

Share It

Your Comments

Michael Higgins - Jul 29, 2013

Looking forward to this. I was very taken with the horn playing on the tracks I heard from them.

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Various Artists: Bob Dylan, Constructing the Legend (BDA/Triton):

Various Artists: Bob Dylan, Constructing the Legend (BDA/Triton):

As songs from the Sixties come into public domain (after 50 years) we can expect to see more albums like this. Here, alternating, are Bob Dylan's songs from his debut album released in March... > Read more

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up releases by international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: The White Stripes; Elephant

THE BARGAIN BUY: The White Stripes; Elephant

For many people Elephant from '03 was the White Stripes' "break-out" album, the one which took them well out of cult status and into their living room. With material as strong as Seven... > Read more

Guy Davis: Skunkmello (Red House)

Guy Davis: Skunkmello (Red House)

Before you look at the title and the cover art -- Davis laughing and surrounded by smoke -- let's get it straight: this isn't a stoner album but (apparently) takes its title from a notorious... > Read more