You’ve GOT to Hear This: Sugar & the Hi Lows – “High Roller”

Sugar & The Hi Lows
In this hectic life we lead when there are a million things clamouring for our attention, it can become very difficult to find the time to do what we really love. In this case, I’m referring to our endless search for quality new bands to fall in love with. This is obviously where AMBY comes in and I would like to take this opportunity to pay a recent recommendation forward to our wonderful readers out there. The band are called Sugar & the Hi Lows and the fact that I am approximately six months behind the release of their most recent single and sophomore album is an indication of how hectic my life actually is. Despite this delay, I hope this brief introduction to High Roller manages to save you all just a little bit of time during your own musical adventures.

Nashville is currently synonymous with a certain brand of American music that oozes quality and sophistication. The distinguishing feature of Nashville, the brand, is its musical integrity and into this melting pot of authenticity has emerged a duo who appear to have really found their feet with their latest album and in particular its title track High Roller.

The song explodes with Trent Dabb’s gloriously fuzzy guitar riff before a killer battle rap ensues, introducing us all to Amy Stroup’s seductive vocals that are the perfect foil to Dabb’s dangerously smooth delivery. The pair eventually link up and the jagged rhythms are complimented by tight harmonies enhancing the sleazy qualities of the track. By now, your feet are probably tapping and your body has developed an uncontrollable desire to move to this… garage rock… power pop… whatever label you feel inclined to pin on Trent and Amy, there is no denying the effect is contagious. The record was produced live in the studio and this certainly contributes a raw immediacy to this track, which swells with a raucous attitude that is hard to dismiss.

The first half of the album is full of these seductive, rockabilly moments and if at times you feel like you’re listening to the record on the car stereo of a hotrod cruising down the main drag in American Graffiti, this was probably intentional. The songs possess a timeless quality and even though the innate energy of these earlier songs dissipates slightly in favour of a more soulful angle as the album progresses, the potent cocktail that Trent and Amy have shaken and stirred for us remains throughout.


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Review by Iain Fox | @IainFoxPhoto

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