Jan 2020 27

Album CoverBlack Sugar Transmission
Album: Wandering into the Bullseye
Category: Electro / Rock
Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2020-03-01


Under his solo moniker of Black Sugar Transmission, Andee Blacksugar has cultivated a distinct style of electrified rock that incorporates a wide array of genres. Following his 2018 tribute to Motörhead with his cover of the band’s Overkill album, along with writing and recording for KMFDM’s PARADISE album, he now offers up the first of three planned albums for 2020, Wandering into the Bullseye. With 14 tracks revolving around themes of the debilitating effects of living life through the lens of social media, the artist puts forth an assorted musical blend that simply must be heard to be believed, and even then, one might have to adjust their ears more than a few times. Indeed, listening to the majestic vocal harmonies sung in a classic ‘50s R&B fashion on the opening “Like Glass,” one might get the impression that Blacksugar was going full-Grease on the audience, if not for the sounds of cellphone rings and chatter that gradually end the track and introduce us to the pounding, insistent rhythms and shrill guitar effects of “You Are a Crime.” Seriously, this album is what would happen if Prince and Queen were fornicating on a bed of Nine Inch Nails, resulting in some mutant hybrid that is sure to confuse and enthrall in ways that The Fifth Element’s Ruby Rod would cream his leopard-print leotard over. Throughout the record, a great many tracks seem to possess a heavy funk element, from the strutting beats, fluid guitars, and sparse but vibrant synths that adorn such tracks as “Something Better,” “Lovely People,” and “Rescue Sirens,” with the falsetto vocal delivery of the latter track being particularly noteworthy. Other songs follow suit, but with other influences creeping in, like on “Deplorable” where rhythmic samples are arranged in a rhythm that reminds this listener of Pink Floyd’s “Money,” while its theremin-esque guitar solo evokes a ‘50s horror movie, while the saccharine but upbeat balladry of “Right Underneath Yr Nose” sounds like a mutated rendition of a ‘50s traditional pop or barbershop quartet, the multi-layered guitar solos a little reminiscent of Brian May. There’s “At the Filling Station” with its aggressive beats, descending arpeggio guitar licks, and gritty atmosphere with the chorus lyric of “Circus in town and we’re gonna die” sure to take many back to ‘70s punk or cock rock a la T-Rex. “Rotting In My Castle” sounds like something Quincy Jones would’ve loved to have on Michael Jackson’s Thriller, its excellent guitar solos and lyrics of “Better protect yourself from the people outside” making for one of the album’s most memorable tracks. Finally, “Across This Night” seems to blend aspects of ‘90s post-grunge alt. rock with the bouncy electro of the ‘80s, with a guitar solo that could’ve been an edgier David Gilmour. Listening to any Black Sugar Transmission album is a positively eargasmic experience as there is simply so much to unpack in Andee Blacksugar’s production and songwriting, and with this album, he’s managed to hone his abilities down to short, sharp songs that hit you with just enough shock to leave you panging for more… but more might send your ears into overdrive at the sheer force and complexity of it all. And Wandering into the Bullseye is just the first of three he’ll be releasing this year… are we prepared? Somehow, I doubt it.
Track list:

  1. Like Glass
  2. You Are a Crime
  3. Rescue Sirens
  4. Lovely People
  5. Our Time Won’t Come
  6. Don’t Blame the Horse
  7. Padlock’s On the Cage
  8. Something Better
  9. Deplorable
  10. At the Filling Station
  11. Rotting In My Castle
  12. Night of 1,000 Crimes
  13. Right Underneath Yr Nose
  14. Across This Night

Black Sugar Transmission
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Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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