Not many new bands can hold the crown of supporting some of Britain’s most prolific artists so early on in their musical career. But, for Liverpudlian four-piece, Sugarmen, their slot supporting Blur at London’s Hyde Park a few summers ago was just the start of something special. Since then, the band have been collecting accolades as easily as picking up bruises in a mosh pit.
Since first hitting the music scene back in 2013, the band have grown a loyal following of fans all eagerly awaiting their debut album, which has just landed. Local Freaks consists of 13 tracks of indie bliss. Whipping together the talents of frontman Luke Fenlon, guitarist Chay Heney, bassist Tom Shields, and drummer Sam McVann, Sugarmen’s debut is a fusion of musical influences.
There’s something inherently American about the overall feel of the album with its breezy self-assurance and charisma, but the nods to great British bands like The Clash, Arctic Monkeys, and The Libertines can’t be ignored either.
Standout tracks on the album include ‘Our Gallows’, ‘Golden One’, ‘Rabbit Hole’ and ‘This Is My Life’. Three tracks in, ‘Our Gallows’ is a swaggering addition, full of confidence and an experimental mix of musical styles where the guitarists’ talents shine through.
‘Golden One’ is slightly mellower, with Fenlon cooing the lyrics amid the rapidly building instrumentals. By the end of the song, the lyrics become a breathless clamour, rolling off the singer’s tongue.
‘Local Freaks’, the album’s title track, is a jangling anthem that’s sure to catch on quickly when the band play live. ‘When I get on the streets, I’m among the local freaks…listening out for the broken beats’ is brash poetry, reminiscent of Britain’s golden age of rock.
‘Rabbit Hole’ takes the band in a slightly different direction with the twang of guitars and the drifting chorus of ‘I tried to keep hold of the things I believe…but I keep falling down the rabbit hole’. The track is one of the more bleak ones, but nonetheless triumphant due to the catchy lyrics.
In stark contrast, closing track ‘This Is My Life’ showcases the band’s optimistic side as Fenlon belts out the lyrics ‘I’d rather stay in the city, this is my life, and it’s alright’. It’s a jubilant ending to an impressive first album, which ties the band back to their Liverpool roots.
The band are supporting Girl Ray at the end of this month on Monday 30th October for the DIY Presents: Breaking Out event at Liverpool Music Week.
Stream Local Freaks through Spotify or Apple Music, and pick yourself up a copy online. Follow the band on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the latest updates and behind-the-scenes shenanigans.