Self-confessed Glam Punk Queen Black Sugar Transmission releases his new album. Louder Than War’s Paul Scott-Bates reviews.
To me, either Sigue Sigue Sputnik were ahead of their time or Black Sugar Transmission are a little dated. Thankfully for Andee (that’s 2 e’s) Blacksugar, the inspiration and lead behind the group, the answer is the former.
The characteristic thumping synthesized bass of the 90s enigma is replicated to good effect by Black Sugar Transmission with some ripping guitars and reverb effects that often rise to a high pitched climax. Andee writes some effective catchy songs too. Think along the lines of 80s Prince before he was formerly known as, and maybe Bowie’s 90s wilderness years helped along by some high powered chords and you won’t go far wrong.
Accompanying the founder of Goth Rock, Peter Murphy, as lead guitarist on his recent tour Andee is clearly influenced by the man too. Some of the horror guitar is straight from Bauhaus days in a style that only Daniel Ash seemed to have owned up until now. There’s a hint of (British) Punk thrown into second track Violent too, and with a high powered backing it really does work.
Seemingly covering almost every genre with the exception of a Dean Martin ballad and a Slipknot car crash, Violent Muses is a mix of many styles all thrown in for good measure. Dance and disco make attempted appearances and Madonna must surely be an influence along the way. The World Is Yr Ashtray has a go at moonstomp as it tirelessly crawls through to a Blade Runner esque ending.
Hey Wildflower is probably as catchy as it gets, and whether you like it or not, it is a powerful and well-written song well worthy of further exposure. Crave sees a stop-off at Bowie’s Heathen period and Alex Café is like listening to Prince and Around The World In A Day. Andee is clearly influenced by his peers but his ability to mix with a style that is clearly his own is to be applauded.
Violent Muses is an album of racy, thundering, Glam/Punk/Pop and based on that alone is thoroughly entertaining.
All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog and you can follow him on Twitter here, and on Facebook here. You can also follow him on Twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news.