Review: The Mad Sugars – Amateur Hour EP

Artist: The Mad Sugars
Release: Amateur Hour EP (LISTEN)
Genre: Rock and/or Roll
Release Date: Jun. 23, 2015

When we last left The Mad Sugars, they had just come out with a three-track EP appropriately titled Just a Taste. Indeed, it was just a taste of what Adam Gruss and company would find themselves capable. Their latest effort, the “Amateur Hour EP,” signals a sonic evolution for the New York-based dance rock outfit.

Opening with the hooky “Matchmaker,” and featuring enhanced versions of Just a Taste holdovers “Just Keep Dancing” and “How She Likes It,” the record’s sound is fuller and more complex than its predecessor. Backing vocalists Sarah Golden and Anna Ritter – featured for quite some time during live performances – make their recording debut and find themselves providing well-balanced support for Gruss, who seems to have found a confident voice as a singer and lyricist on this six-track offering.

It’s fair to note that, even through the travails of nightlife that recur in Gruss’ lyrics, this record is meant to get you dancing. Even “The More You Spill,” surely the EP’s most overtly dark track, has a Franz Ferdinand-esque beat and bass groove that will get the staunchest of wallflowers nodding along. The track also features some stellar guitar work from longtime Gruss collaborator Dan Callas, which is hazy in all the right ways as it tells the tale of a night gone awry.

All in all, The Mad Sugars have a fun, mostly tongue-in-cheek record that pushes them beyond “Amateur Hour” and into the big leagues. Bring your dancing shoes and sense of humor, and you’ll find yourself going back for “Another,” again and again.

Track listing:
1. Matchmaker
2. Queen of the Club
3. Just Keep Dancing
4. Another
5. The More You Spill
6. How She Likes It

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