Sugarcult: Start Static: 20th Anniversary Edition (Craft) | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, December 7th, 2021  


Start Static: 20th Anniversary Edition


Oct 27, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Two decades after the fact, Sugarcult’s oft-overlooked classic Start Static still pulsates with the same defiantly youthful energy that earned “Stuck in America” and “Bouncing Off the Walls” slots on the American Wedding and American Pie Presents The Naked Mile soundtracks, respectively. This alone will likely elicit the expected rolling of eyes and prompt dismissals, but the veteran Santa Barbara pop punks’ knack for delivering some of their genre’s finest contributions cannot be denied—and their hook-laden 2001 debut laid the groundwork for such a legacy.

With the aforementioned soundtrack staples standing as two of the album’s most recognizable, the remainder of Start Static consists predominantly of exhilaratingly bratty guitar anthems with titles such as “Hate Every Beautiful Day” and “Daddy’s Little Defect.” In contrast, however, slow burners such as “Crashing Down” and “I Changed My Name” set aside many of the album’s pretensions to wallow awhile, boasting lines such as, “Every time I bleed/I make a fool of me” and “Best friends with the Boogeyman/I may be better off here dead.” The album’s highest point, and one of the group’s greatest achievements, arrives in the form of “Pretty Girl (The Way)”—a distinctly early ’00s pop punk power ballad that synthesizes the best of several subgenres.

While Start Static may not resonate entirely with the ’20s youth, it is certainly a refreshing throwback for those listening to Sugarcult 15 or 20 years ago. In this respect, Start Static retains its “classic” status, still packing a punch, its snarls underscored by a sweet, crystalline power pop sensibility. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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