Live Review: Sugar Army - Kings Cross Hotel

2 July 2012 | 6:31 pm | Danielle O'Donohue

In the two years the band have been away the older songs have changed a little, making the set a very cohesive whole with new single Hooks For Hands and Summertime Heavy the stand outs of the new bunch.

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There were a lot of very fancy shoes heading up on stage when 1929Indian began their set and their indie disco beats were almost as shiny as their shoes. Drummer Patrick Sullivan was rock solid at the back, giving the band plenty of impetus to play around with the dancey beats. Guitarist Brendy Cann layered some impressive sounds over the rhythm section but vocalist Tyler Gibbs needs to be a more powerful force up front to give this band that extra edge.

Tom Ugly moved the drums down the front and was the focus of his band. Ugly was wearing a mask and giving it a bit of the Phil Collins drumming/singing action and putting a lot of bounce into his beats. There was a distinct Presets vibe to a lot of the set, but when the band headed more into Jack White territory, there seemed to be a lot more potential and the band's cover of Radiohead's Creep was definitely a highlight.

It's been a long time since Perth band Sugar Army played a show in Sydney. They've been hard at work recording a new album and several new songs dropped into this set. More dramatically though, since the band last played in Sydney bassist Ian Berney has joined Birds Of Tokyo and been replaced by Chris Simmons, while the band has added Ben Pooley on keys and guitar. Throwing shimmering keys or an extra guitar layer on top of the dark and brooding melodies this band writes, gave songs like No Need For Lovers, …And Now You're Old Enough, I Think That You Should Know and Tongues In Cheeks an especially beguiling and epic air.

In the two years the band have been away the older songs have changed a little, making the set a very cohesive whole with new single Hooks For Hands and Summertime Heavy the stand outs of the new bunch. Encore song and oldie Greed Is Good gave guitarist Todd Honey and drummer Jamie Sher a chance to show off, while the whole set was grounded by frontman Pat McLaughlin's no bullshit demeanour.

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