released August 24th, 2010

from the album - Giving It All Away

from all music

Dead Confederate take a post-grunge approach to their music, which also leans heavily on the group's psychedelic and Southern rock influences. Seeds for the band's formation were planted during the late-'90s, when future bandmates Hardy Morris (vocals, guitar), Brantley Senn (bass), Walker Howle (guitar), John Watkins (keyboards), and Jason Scarboro (drums) bonded over a shared affinity for Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath. Although hailing from Augusta, GA, the quintet relocated to Atlanta following college graduation. A second move quickly followed, this time to Athens, where the group doubled its touring efforts and caught the attention of former Capitol Records president Gary Gersh. Impressed with the band's haunting sound, Gersh signed Dead Confederate to his new label, The Artists Organization, and issued their debut EP in early 2008. A full-length album, Wrecking Ball, followed in September, and the group returned two years later to release their second record, Sugar.

album review

Although they billed themselves as psychedelic Southern rock revivalists, Dead Confederate sounded more like a holdover from the post-grunge days on their 2008 debut. Sugar doesn’t completely dispel the notion that Hardy Morris spent his childhood listening to Nirvana’s In Utero, but it does take its cues from a wider range of genres, including garage rock and swampy alt-country. The result is a solid sophomore album, with muddy guitars and loose arrangements that push the group closer to their intended sound. Producer John Agnello, who made his name recording albums for Dinosaur Jr., the Screaming Trees, and the Drive-By Truckers, keeps things appropriately hazy, particularly in the reverb and echo that coat Morris’ vocals. The biggest difference between Sugar and 2008’s Wrecking Ball is the speed, though; while Wrecking Ball occasionally lapsed into grubby, dirge-like tempos, Sugar keeps things moving along, with shorter song lengths and punchy choruses that lend a sense of urgency to the band’s guitar-driven sprawl. The guys still place more emphasis on mood than movement, but they’re learning how to create atmospheres without resorting to stoner rock, which makes Sugar a step in the right direction.

Track Listing

1 In the Dark Senn 3:48
2 Run From the Gun Morris 2:57
3 Father Figure Morris 3:19
4 Quiet Kid Senn 3:57
5 By Design Morris 3:43
6 Mob Scene Senn 2:04
7 Semi-Thought Senn 3:33
8 Giving It All Away Senn 4:50
9 Sugar Morris 3:44
10 Shocked to Realize Morris 4:09