Dead Confederate - Sugar
Critic Score
Based on 11 reviews
2010 Ratings: #737 / 859
User Score
Based on 2 ratings
August 24, 2010 / Release Date
LP / Format
Razor & Tie / Label
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Drowned in Sound

Yet Dead Confederate have possibly made the best record out of all their contemporaries this year, which surely beckons the question 'How much longer can they be ignored?'


Best known as a spirited live band, Dead Confederate have grown and developed the old-fashioned way: They toured with some veteran acts and took copious notes. After releasing their debut in 2008, the Athens group did a stint opening for Dinosaur Jr. and the Meat Puppets, an apprenticeship that, for better or for worse, is evident on their sophomore album, Sugar. The guitars sound both sharper and muddier, the rhythm section condensed into a thunderous union, the vocals of Hardy Morris and Brantley Senn more prominent. In general, they sound more purposeful than ever, thanks to producer John Agnello, who has worked with Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, and the Hold Steady.


On Sugar, the group’s second album, they’ve apparently decided that once was plenty. Now, they’re trying to pare their sound down to tight, efficient three-minute songs. While the urge to evolve and economize is admirable, it’s important to note that in order to be good at music, you don’t have to be good at every kind of music. In consciously tampering with their original style, which one assumes arose naturally with the development of the band, Dead Confederate have lost sight of what made them special in the first place.

No Ripcord

As a music writer doing reviews weekly, occasionally on groups he might not be intimately acquainted with, it's nice when a band chooses a name that sheds at least some light on the their sound. With a name like Dead Confederate, you're almost certainly going to get a very dark, Southern-tinged rock music. But if you listen even not-so closely to Sugar, the band's sophomore album, you hear the band's more profound influences: a synthesis between the overly dramatic alternative rock of the Smashing Pumpkins and the grimy blues-grunge of Toadies. Sadly, though, this album gets bogged down in paying homage to said influences and not in giving enough space for the more organic odes to really stand out.

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Track List

  1. In the Dark
  2. Run From the Gun (w/Ben Wigler)
  3. Father Figure
  4. Quiet Kid
  5. By Design
  6. Mob Scene
  7. Semi-Thought
  8. Giving It All Away (w/ J Mascis)
  9. Sugar 
  10. Shocked to Realize

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