Sugarcult - Lights Out (Cover Artwork)


Sugarcult: Lights OutLights Out (2006)

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)

iTunes StoreAmazon

Unlikely as it seems, it does happen on occasion. Pop-punk bands grow up. Blink-182 did it and met with great success, The Ataris did it and will likely be met with the realization that they should have stuck to their previous style. Now it's Sugarcult's turnā?¦and the results are in.

Mission impossible? Mission successful.

Trust me when I tell you it pains me in some respects to admit this, but what Sugarcult have done with Lights Out is create a solid and enjoyable pop-rock record. I've never been a fan of the band, but the infectious melodies and solid songs here are causing me to sit on the other side of the fence. It seems the entire band has gone through a real maturation process that shows up in just about every facet of their songwriting. First off, singer Tim Pagnotta has taken himself from the depths of pop-punk dredges to a sound that really becomes him. His voice has deepened, his inflection become more earnest, and overall approach is far more suited to this style than the vapid nonsense the previous two albums offered.

What we have now is a seasoned effort from the last band I'd have expected it from. These songs ooze energy and an extremely youthful honesty. "Dead Living" puts anyone listening on notice as to just how much this four-piece has truly grown. While the verses aren't the most memorable musical moments I've ever heard, the chorus is truly an engaging and exuberant display that bodes well for the other eleven songs on the album. Without reinventing the wheel, this one song proves they've saved a career formerly an inch from drowning. "Made a Mistake" is one of their forays into a slower tempo, and while it doesn't quite hold the infectious quality that many of the faster tracks do, it's still got its charm. Shimmering chord progressions and a simple beat are all it takes for Pagnotta to croon over, and the pace lends itself well to the chance for individual members to display their contributions to the overall fabric of the band.

This is a truly solid record from one of the last groups I'd have expected it from. There's still some silly lyrics and musical missteps, but the growth and maturity inherent in this four-piece is nothing if not a very pleasant surprise. They've come a long way since bouncing off the walls, and they've really settled into a comfort level that could very well see them develop into a band to watch for.


People who liked this also liked:
NOFX - The DeclineWeezer - WeezerWeezer - PinkertonAgainst Me! - Searching For A Former ClarityTegan And Sara - So JealousBrand New - The Devil and God Are Raging Inside MeThe Slackers - PeculiarBlink-182 - Blink 182At The Drive-In - Relationship Of CommandThe Decemberists - Picaresque

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
StartaRIOT (May 10, 2008)

This band has been around for a good time now and every album they release has ups and downs, but this is by far the best they have been. Lights Out has many unique and catchy songs, Riot and Los Angeles being my two favorites. Clever, sarcastic lyrics pull listeners in for the attitude but the songs themselves are good.

Anonymous (January 11, 2007)

this sucks ass

consolationprizefighter (January 9, 2007)

Score is for Lights Out Irvine

Adam_K (January 9, 2007)

I'm surprised this band is still around. They had like three really good singles.

My Clipse review should be posted.

coldwaffles (January 9, 2007)

this album is a pile of lifeless bullshit. this band needs to return to being the best radio-ready pop-punk band, that actually gets played on the radio. and what were they thinking with the GI-joe commercial-esque intro...

Anonymous (January 9, 2007)

i agree, this cd blew away my very low expectations. these guys have always bothered me for one reason or another but write damn good pop songs

Anonymous (January 9, 2007)

WAY better than their first 2 albums, sounds almost like a different band really. 'do it alone' 'los angelos' and 'shaking' are all kickass, and the album flows nicely from start to finish. exceeded my expectations.


Anonymous (January 9, 2007)

looks like the girl on the cover got her brains fucked out.

nocigar (January 9, 2007)

no thanks.

TheMarc (January 9, 2007)

I just got this the other day based on the insane catchiness of Do It Alone, and this review is pretty much spot on.

GlassPipeMurder (January 9, 2007)

I haven't heard this...but Sugarcult is one of the few bands that's made it to the mainstream that I really respect. and Marko is in Bad Astronaut. score is for that.

kozaihod (January 9, 2007)

Yeah, it is a good ROCK record. Not a pop-punk record anymore, but a rock record. Some songs are really catchy, some are instant hits, and some are even good. I pesonally like 'Los Angeles' and 'Dead Living' the best.

historypeats (January 9, 2007)

I feel way less harshly about this now than I did when it came out, but I still love Palm Trees way more than this one. There just isn't a lot outside of "Dead Living," "Majoring in Minors," and "Do It Alone" (which I hated at first) that sticks in your brain once it's over.

JKyle (January 9, 2007)

Back to the disaster, indeed. "Dead Living" is pretty good, but it ends there. Sugarcult's lyrics have never been great, but they're just insulting bad this time around. On top of that, the entire album reeks of over-production, right down to the unnecessarily pretty matte-finished, foil-embossed DigiPak case it's sold in.

Anonymous (January 9, 2007)

listend to most of the songs on their website, maybe their sound is more mature, but i still thought the songs sucked

Anonymous (January 9, 2007)

ever jack off so much veins start popping out of your dick the next time you try to get it hard? fucking FREAKS me out.

Exclusive Streams


Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Managing Editor

Adam White

Contributing Editors

Kira Wisniewski Brittany Strummer Armando Olivas John Flynn Chris Moran John Gentile Mark Little

Copy Editor

Adam Eisenberg Britt Reiser

Podcast Producer

Greg Simpson


Aubin Paul

ISSN 1710-5366

© Copyright 1999-2013 Punknews.org

Terms of Use Privacy Policy Contact Us About Punknews.org

Other Places to Go