Sugar & Gold



    Part of Sugar & Gold probably honestly, non-ironically digs smooth, late-disco-era quiet storm and all the silly vocodering and overripe production that follow hand-in-hand. But the added heat of the revisionist yacht-rock zeitgeist lends debut Creme the foul stench of insincerity and Johnny-come-lately shtick. Remember a few years back when Har Mar Superstar did this same thing and no one laughed? Now that dusting off your dad’s old Heatwave records is hipster approved, is Sugar & Gold poised to take over dollar-PBR night at brick-walled boho dives across the country?


    The answer is no, but it’s not because indie fans can be counted on to sniff out crass wave-riding. It’s just that Creme doesn’t have any songs or attitude to speak of. For a stab at smooth soul, the record is incredibly tame in its discussion of sex. I bet these guys think hot wax and chocolate equals no more than a night of hand-dipped candle-making and s’mores. The fourth track, “Sex in the City,” which has something vaguely to do with people having sex, misses a Prince-worthy chance to elaborate on a line about “dads and their daughters.”


    Otherwise, the music is mostly joyless. Between the overuse of drum machines, singer Phillip Minnig’s comatose delivery, and the watery mixing, the subtleties of good smooth disco are pretty much ignored. Occasional sparkling moments on songs such as “On Time” and “Workout” are overshadowed by unbelievable lyrics about pink champagne and casual encounters. The best track is “Neighborhood,” a metaphor about the overbearing love for the suburbs over the excitement of the city, spoiled only by a melismatic turn at the end of the chorus that’s short a couple syllables.