Sugar Louise - Everything's Better with Sugar (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Sugar Louise

Everything's Better with Sugar (2011)

Naked Hollywood

Hmmm. Not everything is better with Sugar Louise. I've been struggling with how to begin this review: Should I comment on the fact that as staff reviewers for Punknews Corp. (!) we can choose what we review rather than have it imposed upon us, so it should be a case of picking something one likes to review (as I'm sure most of us, if not all, don't go out of our way to give a poor review unless it is deserved)? Or do I try and use up a large amount of the required (although not hard and fast I'd imagine) 250 words in confusing you poor readers before giving a little information about this release? (117 words down!).

Okay, here goes. I chose to review this based on hearing 30 seconds or so of what sounded like a decent punk-pop song. Well, I was duped. Totally taken in–hook, line and sinker. There are 12 tracks here, but to be honest, Sugar Louise would have been better off cutting them down to two songs and releasing a 7".

It's not as if they can't play, but the whole thing just feels so forced, from the opening track "Pair-A-Dice", which I think they're using as a play on words for "paradise," with its punk-pop stylings going straight into a cover of Herman's Hermits' "Henry VIII"–seriously guys, you think this is a song worth putting as the second track on your album? It's not, and did you get Dick Van Dyke to help with your Cockney accents?!

Up next comes the diamond in the rough–"Be My Demi Moore", an ode to the older woman which is catchy and has me singing along with gusto. Followed by the only other decent track, "Down by the Lake", the rest of the album just keeps annoying me as I listen to it. There is a song "U2 Sucks", as apparently Sugar Louise don't like U2, and I mean that they dislike U2 with a passion that seems somewhat excessive. Okay, it's no secret that U2 have not been much more than a bloated, overrated stadium rock band for many a year now (their recent Glastonbury set confirmed that); however, one cannot forget their first three albums, all of which I hold in high regard. Plus, the song isn't funny or amusing to any degree.

Sugar Louise probably have a high opinion of themselves (and I suppose all bands do feel that way towards themselves), but beyond playing some dive bars to a handful of drunken friends, I fail to see how their brand of pop-punk (with huge chunks of rock thrown in at times) will take them further than they already are.

As always, there is the caveat that some people might actually like this, so if you are still hellbent on discovering/hearing every band playing pop-punk, no matter how bad, then seek this out. It leaves me feeling cold, which is a shame as it does contain two pretty good songs that have a Ramones-y feel to them.