10 years & 10 reasons: The Sugarrush

If you red the first chapter of this 10 years & 10 reasons thing, you already know that The Sugarrush from Vaasa is the dearest band in the world to me (along with Bridget).  The love affair started once again thanks to Miettinen who started a guitar pop / power pop label called Popatak, signed The Sugarrush, Cartoon Tree & Ben’s Diapers and released a seven inch single from each of them back in 1998 (and a Popatak CD compilation with 2 songs from each band).  A year earlier I had fallen in love with power pop and I was in the process of getting to know all these great 90’s power pop groups. Yeah, even though I often talk about 90’s power pop in a nostalgic way, I wasn’t really there when most of it happened (maybe that sounds too much like 90’s power pop was a huge thing in the world, it wasn’t). I didn’t buy Amazing Disgrace, Grand Prix, Girlfriend or Lacquer the day they hit the record stores. In fact I didn’t knew they even existed at that point in time. I found all this great pop music in early 1997 thanks to Miettinen (Räkärodeo), Jukka Väänänen (Rumba), Lasse Kurki (Lemonator) and Mikko Lappalainen (Elysium zine, Ben’s Diapers). Without those four guys my music taste could be very different and onechord.net probably wouldn’t exist. Especially finding Miettinen & Räkärodeo in the spring of 1997 pretty much changed everything and I bought all the The Posies, Popsicle, Teenage Fanclub, Matthew Sweet, The Jayhawks, Sloan, Jellyfish etc back catalogues between 1997-2000. So 1998 was definitely the right time for the Popatak bands to find a place in my heart and they all succeeded in it. So even though The Sugarrush became my biggest favourite, all of them are very important to me.

The Sugarrush: Blackie’s Wig (Popatak, 1999)

The Sugarrush’s debut album Blackie’s Wig was produced by swedish Kjell Nästen (who had produced plenty of swedish guitar pop classics during the 90’s) and it was released in 1999. It was just the kind of music I had fallen in love with during the last couple of years. Full of catchy songs, power chords and gorgeous singing. I was so extremely excited about it when it arrived and I’m sure that the excitement also reached stupid heights. For example I remember writing to Miettinen that it’s the best pop album ever released. But hey that’s me and hey, I still almost agree with my past self. After all, I think Amazing Disgrace by The Posies is the only album I’ve listened to more in my life than Blackie’s Wig. Sure all those Pet Sounds and Odessey & Oracles are technically better (even The Sugarrush’s second album Mirrorball Ballerinas might be), but no matter how much I adore  them, they’ve never been even half as influential in my life as Blackie’s Wig and The Sugarrush. I still know every song and every chord by heart. Therefore Blackie’s Wig still hold a place in my all stars line up and Rubber Soul and Pet Sounds has to settle for a place on the substitute bench.

Why do I love The Sugarrush so much? Well basicly they make me happy. I know that some of the readers might think that I mostly enjoy sad whining and it’s true that I enjoy all kind of sad country and pop songs and being miserable is one of the few things I’m really good at. But that’s only a part of the truth.. and maybe part of the reason that power pop is so dear to me. I love power pop and I love The Sugarrush because they make the world so damn bright and enjoyable. Listen to Blackie’s Wig and you can feel the summer in your heart even during the darkest november days. Here’s one onechord.net description of the band:

“Hardest rockin’ pop band in the world and one of my huge favourites. Want some power chords, killer hooks and bunch of great pop tunes. It doesn’t get much better than this if you are lookin’ for pop that actually rocks. They just make you smile, they might even make you shake your booty. It’s like power pop for the masses. Dynamic songs. Powerful melodies, strong vocals and wonderful harmonies. It is catchy as hell. They are like the boy band with guitars and better songs and have been influenced by The Posies, Matthew Sweet, Lemonheads, Teenage Fanclub. Not forgetting those swedish bands like Popsicle and Wannadies. Looking for sing-along pop anthems or gorgeous rockin’ pop music. Well look no further.

Blackie’s Wig isn’t the only wonderful The Sugarrush release. I love pretty much everything they’ve done. The follow-up Mirrorball Ballerinas is equally wonderful and We Rock Heavy and Useless Information are killer EPs. There’s also a new excellent The Sugarrush album coming up at some point. Hopefully during 2011, but maybe it’s not yet advisable to go camping outside a record store because this pretty baby has been in the working state for quite some time. Anyway, if you are not yet familiar with The Sugarrush, get started with these two videos. The first one Stereo is the opening track of Mirrorball Ballerinas (2001) and 90’s Salute is an outtake from their latest release, Useless Information EP (2005).

The Sugarrush at myspace

The Soft Rabbit

The Sugarrush boys Andy J. Prinkkilä, Coma Silvennoinen and Paati Wägar have featured in lots of great bands and I won’t go through all of them, because this post is already longer than anyone wants to read. But I have to mention The Soft Rabbit in every possible situation. The Soft Rabbit is Coma from The Sugarrush and he delivers some of the finest pop singer-songwriter stuff this country of ours has to offer. The real crime is that none of it has ever been officially released, but the songs have been on his myspace for a couple of years and they are so beautiful (or I’m not sure can you say that Your Street is beautiful, that’s pretty fucked up stuff but so damn brilliant nevertheless). I demand at least a digital release. I want to write a review and I want to give full five hearts. Absolutely wonderful material.

The Soft Rabbit at myspace

(The reason why I started making One Chord To Another was the fact that I had totally fallen in love with Finnish guitar pop / power pop bands and wanted to make them better known. Nowadays onechord.net seem to cover a lot of obscure country bands from all over the globe, but Finnish pop was the starting point and still is the main reason this website/blog exists. One Chord To Another becomes 10 years old on 17th of september, 2011. It’s been a long journey and therefore I think I’m allowed to feel a little nostalgic. This not-so-cleverly named 10 years & 10 reasons writing series is meant to select 10 albums/releases that were a huge reason why I either started making One Chord To Another or why I’m still making it. So basicly just 10 finnish releases that will always have a huge place in my heart. One every month I think, so it will be december until the nostalgia is over. Bear with me

Next month: well it’s difficult to see that far ahead, because I see only shadows).

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