Sugar – Sweet Nectar for Metal Fans

Fit For Rivals – Sugar EP Review

This album grabbed my attention from the very first spellbinding keyboard notes ushering in the opening track, the fantastic “Special Kind Of Crazy.”  I was hooked immediately and the quick four song journey just got progressively better.

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Riding the success of “Freak Machine,” one of RARA’s Farms Top 25 Rock Songs of 2014, Fit For Rivals is poised on the precipice of truly breaking through onto the national Active Rock scene. They are road warriors who tour incessantly, often opening for rock heavyweights, gaining new fans every grueling step of the way, and with this release, they have added a few more nuggets for this passionate group of fans.

The Jacksonville quintet is one of the most compelling rock acts in the state, and on Sugar, a creative four song sampler, we see the kind of hard-edged rock that radio listeners are craving for. Filthy guitar licks, frenetic drums and visceral evocative female vocals – it’s the perfect recipe for what is so lacking across the rock landscape today.

This EP includes the previously mentioned masterpiece “Freak Machine”, with a few slight twists from the 2014 version that actually improve the song a bit. It was the first time I heard Renee Phoenix’s vocals and I was instantly hooked. She sings with an urgent passion that captivates listeners and her gritty vocals are the perfect accompaniment to the rousing rock ‘n roll poured out by her band mates.

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The other three songs all stand strong on their own, and showcase the band’s depth. “Special Kind Of Crazy” is a rock opus that would make Ozzy Osbourne proud. Phoenix’s vocals stand out, but the ebb and flow of the guitar and keys is magical. “Light That Shines” boasts more of a mainstream rock feel, a song a little more ready-radio, but without the band sacrificing their hard-edged musical principles.

The final track, “Hit Me” is a thunderous rocker with tasty guitar hooks and angry lyrics. It’s Phoenix at her gritty, throaty best and she belts out a scream or two that evoke nice comparison’s to Blaine The Mono’s Randi Stickles.

Only four tracks, but four excellent offerings that only leave me thirsting for more.

Check the EP out now and let me know your thoughts.

Rock On!
Cretin

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