Aloha - Sugar (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Sugar (2002)


I'll be damned if Polyvinyl didn't do it again. They seem to have this knack for signing amazing bands and putting out amazing records - Braid, Rainer Maria, American Football, Mates of State, and now Aloha.

Now, I know Aloha has been around for a few years and they've put out a few releases on Polyvinyl, but this is the first one that really grabbed my attention, and it's obvious why. This band is making music no one else is right now. They incorporate the unique sound of a vibraphone into their instrumentation, which adds a dreamy effect to a lot of the album. Auxillary percussion such as conga drums are experimented with on the album as well, and make songs like "Let Your Head Hang Low" soar to new heights. Think of the Dismemberment Plan, only more hyperactive.

Singer Tony's voice posesses an otherworldly falsetto, it seems, as he lets it swoop in and out of songs, adding it at just the right moments. Drummer Cale and vibraphonist Eric lock in with each other so much on the album that it's almost impossible to find a flaw. This group is very rhythm oriented, and it shows. Tracks like the driving "Balling Phase" wouldn't be the same without the vibes noodling over the repetitive guitar chord changes.

This band has really stumbled onto something unique and original that actually works, a rarity in today's music scene. The vocals entrance, the rhythms hypotize, and the music stimulates your mind while moving your body. Say hello to Aloha.

Protest Song