(Sandy) Alex G - House of Sugar

Sandy Alex G
House of Sugar

When I write a review I like to have some what of a thesis on where I want the review to go. As I listen I formulate ideas and try to get them out, but that makes for a difficult start. If I don't have the idea I can't get the pen on the paper and I listen aimlessly sort of letting the music wash over me rather than dealing with it head on. That's kinda how I feel about this album. I thought I knew (Sandy) Alex G, but really I don't. He's firmly planted in the indie rock of the 2010's. This new album House of Sugar is a blend of sweet acoustic strumming and unbridled fuzz. Tones come seemingly out of nowhere a combination of Bright Eyes and ambient noise. This album toes this odd line between melodic indie rock and something a bit more sinister lying just under the surface. You hear it on on songs like "Gretel" where the electric guitar hitting one note in the distance signals something scary on the horizon. Sometimes the repetition on the album is too much, like on "Near" where the word "You" is repeated over and over again. It feels like an attempt at something Animal Collective like, but far less experimental. On "Bad Man" he plays with a Country Western accent which if you get pass the cringe actually becomes sort of endearing.

You can really sense how this music could mean something big to someone. "Cow" feels like the kind of song that people call their favorite and discuss the secret meanings behind it, but as a casual listener it just feels a bit silly. The album does really come together on "Crime" a song that feels the most honest and unfiddled with of the bunch. "Sugarhouse (live)" is like Bright Eyes again but this time He meets Bruce Springsteen. The album sounds like something, but it's something I just can't put my finger on.

6.0 out of 10


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