Dead Confederate, Sugar
Transforming '70s-style Southern blues-rock swagger with something a whole lot artier
There's a reason why this Athens, Georgia, quintet is called Dead Confederate. They want you to know they're Southern boys, which means they've got a deep love for that special brand of blues-rock that once thrived below the Mason-Dixon line. But their name also implies that Southern rock as we know it might be dead, so they're free to transform its '70s-style swagger with something a whole lot artier.
Grunge is a major touchstone on their second album, which was helmed by veteran producer John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Screaming Trees) and inspired by the years Dead Confederate spent touring with Meat Puppets and Dinosaur Jr. J Mascis even makes a cameo on "Giving It All Away," a song that transitions seamlessly between reverb-soaked dream-pop and a killer Lynyrd Skynyrd-style outro. Even with such divergent influences, no single element sounds out of place, from the slide guitars to the military drums to Hardy Morris's ethereal howl. Dead Confederate have somehow found common ground between the Allman Brothers fans and My Bloody Valentine devotees. Add 'em to the growing list of ambitious Southern genre-exploders from My Morning Jacket and Band of Horses, and let the country-fried shoegaze revolution begin.