Former Santa Barbara Band’s Third Album Lights Out Show
Definitive Progress

Sugarcult%20file.jpgSugarcult, the four guys that were once
“bouncing off the walls again” back in 2003, are now back for the
third time with Lights Out, brandishing a far more seasoned
sound. Fresh off their tour with the punk superpower known as
Green Day, the stadium shows and transatlantic tours
have been just a slight change in scenery for the band that once
had to jam in music class at Santa Barbara City College where they first met.
Selling nearly 900,000 albums in three years could have some
dramatic effects on a band, but as frontman Tim
explained, sticking together and keeping their
feet on the ground has helped them endure the politics and evolve
both as people and musicians.

Sugarcult’s path has been a long and arduous one,
beginning in 1999 in the halls of the music department of SBCC as
Tim sat in a music theory class and passed a longing glance at the
test of their future bass player, Airin
. The two became fast friends, sneaking into the
music room between classes to jam out song ideas. Marko
, meanwhile, had been going through a period of
musical promiscuity as he played in and out of bands, hosted a
KJEE radio show,
wrote The Indy’s “Positively State Street” column, and
worked at Just Play Music. When he and Tim met at a
concert, Sugarcult became the focus that he had been searching

Since then, adaptation has been the name of the game, as their
first album, Start Static, incurred a whirlwind of tour
dates that lasted for almost three years. During that time, their
sophomore release, Palm Trees and Power Lines, managed to hit
shelves in 2004. And then in 2005, they released a film about the
band called Back to the Disaster. The incessant haste
of the business has been a disconcerting battle to say the least,
admitted Marko, often leaving the guys with feelings of alienation
as they struggled to stay close to family and friends. But, he
pointed out, their fight to stay centered has only brought them
closer as a band.

sugarcult2006.jpg However, it seems the inexorable
drudgeries of the industry have found their way under the skin of
the quartet, creating a distinct motif of frustration on Lights
. Right from the push of the play button, the timbre of the
album presents itself as immediately more hardened than previous
efforts, both lyrically and instrumentally. Tracks such as “Dead
Living,” “Los Angeles,” “Explode,” and “Riot” express a profound
frustration with society and the music industry, particularly the
pitfalls of radio and mainstream media.

In fact, the album seems to fire out a succession of frustrated
ballads right up until “Shaking,” a pensive respite that discusses,
with just a hint of self-deprecation, escape through sex. “Hiatus”
is undoubtedly the crescendo of Lights Out, a kinetic
track about the velocity of love and its impact on youth.

Though the lyrics may have some fire in them, the skillful
cadence of Tim’s songwriting has only gotten better. Sugarcult
certainly seperates themselves apart from the alternative scene
through their inspired lyrics. Lines such as “The distance between
the sheets when chemicals compete / The friction of skin is deathly
unbearable / The basics of war are near the coward’s in you and
me,” from “Hiatus,” speak poetic volumes of personal

Overall, it seems Sugarcult has emerged from their third release
a bit weathered and perhaps somewhat drained, but brandishing a
cathartic evolution as a band. Make sure to catch one of the shows
on the Lights Out tour, which hits San Diego on Tuesday, September
12 and San Francisco on September 13—and don’t forget to bring
Marko some Deano’s pizza.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.