I listened to a couple of tracks from Sugareen several weeks before it was released, and thought there must have been some mistake. The songs felt like another band’s hits (Weezer? Foo Fighters?). They were just that polished and catchy. To push the limits of the CD-title puns, which the band’s been utilizing since the record was released — it is damned sweet.

There’s a cover of BTO’s “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” (a long-time favorite in the band’s live shows) plus nine original tracks. Several seem ready-made for radio greatness. It’s crystalline pop-rock at its best, with big hooks and sing-along choruses.

Sugar’s grainy by nature, so there’s still a little grit in the mix — loud, grungy guitars, quirky sound effects and cynical lyrics, which bust the whole rock-star mythos wide open: “We’re in it for money, guitars and tattoos … baby, don’t you think that’s cool?”

This stuff is addictive. After only one or two plays, Sugareen’s songs will be stuck in your head for good, and you’ll find yourself humming in the shower, then hopping out to pop the CD back in for another listen. Diabetics, beware.

19 Wheels performs Saturday, March 10 at Holbrook Café.

Karen Fisher is MT's information coordinator. E-mail her at kjfisher@metrotimes.com.

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