ROCK SUGAR (Jess Harnell of Loud & Clear) – Reinventinator (2021) *0dayrox Exclusive*

ROCK SUGAR (Jess Harnell of Loud & Clear) - Reinventinator (2021) *0dayrox Exclusive* full

It’s hard to believe that 11 years have passed since ROCK SUGAR shook the world with its debut album, Reimaginator. This band of wayward geniuses took mashups and tributes to new heights with that first record, and fans have been clamoring for more for the last decade.
The wait is over: ROCK SUGAR are releasing their 2nd album ”Reinventinator” (only available at the band’s website), with this motley troupe of rock and roll rebels fronted by the great Jess Harnell (ex melodic rockers Loud & Clear) combining parts of 50+ songs into 14 cohesive and brilliantly performed masterpieces.
Where else are you going to hear classic songs by Heart, Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue, Led Zeppelin, Queen alongside (or inside?) others by Survivor, Toto, Adele, Tears For Fears and Stevie Nicks.
This is the ultimate party album, perfectly recorded, mixed & produced with a million bucks quality.

Rock Sugar was formed by Hollywood voiceover legend Jess Harnell and his mad scientist producer and guitarist, Chuck Duran. The duo created a backstory for the band that saw them stranded on a desert island with only their own heavy metal love and their kid sister’s boombox loaded with a mixtape of old school pop anthems.
As their minds melted under the hot sun, sense of time and reality lost, their passion for playing rock and roll grew and soon classic songs began morphing into one another. Once the guys were rescued, they went straight into the studio to record these infectious new abominations, and the world rejoiced.

Back on dry land the boys began to try and re-assimilate, but a whole new generation of pop music had emerged in their absence. Like deranged audio junkies they returned to their lab, eh studio, to make more Frankenstein mashups. While two of their erstwhile bandmates got help for their desert island affliction and returned to a normal life, Jess and Chuck could not, would not, go back.
They indoctrinated two new members into their obsession in drummer Kevin Kapler and bassist Michael Christopher. The lunatic fringe became whole again, and after the world endured one of the darkest years in modern times, Rock Sugar reemerged with the headbanging panacea, Reinventinator. The new record features 14 tracks that combines 50+ songs. Yes, they are clearly out of their ever-loving minds.

For those less familiar with the band, you should know that you won’t be able to find this in stores. After the release of the debut album, one particular whiny rock star decided Jess’ ability to duplicate his vocals was simply too good and refused to let the band sell their record.
I won’t name names, and that diva may not be the only one at this point, because Jess and the crew are just that damn good at what they do.

With first album Reimaginator, the oldest song on the record was Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” from 1991. ”Reinventinator” includes newer songs from artists as varied as Linkin Park, Adele, Bruno Mars, Fall Out Boy, Nirvana, Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry mashed up with classics from the likes of Journey, AC/DC, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Aerosmith, Queen, Motley Crue, and many more.
As a whole, I believe that ”Reinventinator” is a larger, bolder record with more nuance and diversity.

The album opens with “Walk in Black for Centuries” which includes a combination of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way,” AC/DC’s “Back in Black,” and Fall Out Boy’s “Centuries”. It is a dynamic way to open the record, and while I am not a Fall Out Boy fan, they picked a great song, and this track works really well. Down the stretch they also side shuffle into Guns ‘n’ Roses’ “Paradise City” with a bit of Toto’s “Africa” tossed in. Jess’s lovely wife Cara Harnell even makes a brief cameo at the outset with a smidge of Suzanne Vega. I am not going to give away all they extra song choice tidbits for each track as I want fans to experience some of these nuances for themselves, but this is a hefty way to kickstart the record.

The opener is followed by “Crawling Numbly to Somebody Bohemian”. There is a lot of Linkin Park and Queen love on this one. Not being a Linkin Park fan, this one is perhaps my least favorite track on the record. That said, most listeners should love this. They manage to blend elements of 10 different songs into one track, which is mind-numbing to imagine.

Track 3, “Faithful Child O’ Mine” harks back to the feel of the debut album, a perfect blend of Journey’s “Faithfully” and GNR’s “Sweet Child O’ Mine”. Sweet perfection is what it is. In that same vein they tap into Motley Crue, Tears for Fears, Slaughter, and a bit of Led Zeppelin for the album’s first single/video, “Shout at the Devil Dog All Night”. They guys even got Mark Slaughter to lend some vocal talents to the track as well.

Billy Idol sidles up to Bruno Mars for “Rebel Out of Heaven” while Don Henley trips Motley Crue’s “Live Wire” on “Wires of Summer”. Continuing to lean into Crue, the band mashes up “Home Sweet Home” with Adele’s “Someone Like You” on “Someone Like Home”.
There is also a little nod to Night Ranger down the stretch, but I’ll let you discover which track on your own.

Another monsterpiece comes in the form of “Smells Like Teen Romance of the Night”. If you’re guessing Nirvana, Lady Gaga, and Whitesnake, you’d be correct. The angsty vibe of Nirvana’s seminal grunge anthem should not work with the upbeat histrionics of “Bad Romance” or the fervor of “Still of the Night,” but somehow it does. Maybe that’s because Kurt Cobain was trying to write a pop song when he created it. Either way, the guys crush it here.

Bon Jovi teams up with The Outfield for “You Give Your Love a Bad Name”. A perfect collision of songs to keep you awake in the wee hours of the morning when your brain just won’t shut down. This pairs nicely with “Since Ur Barracuda’s Been an Immigrant”. This is one of the album’s older tracks, released to fans a decade ago to keep us wanting more. Kelly Clarkson is fermented with Heart and Zeppelin on this track.

What do Stevie Nicks, Phil Collins, Survivor, and Pink Floyd have in common? They’ve been sugarcoated. “Another Edge of the Tiger in the Air” brings them all together for one walloping aural punch. This leads us into two more tracks that Rock Sugar has released over the last decade for their ardent supports; “Roll You in the Hurricane” and “Any Highway You Want”. The former mixes Adele and the Scorpions with a bit of Cyndi Lauper, while the latter pairs Journey and AC/DC.

This takes us to the album closer, “Countdown to Fireworks” which combines Europe’s iconic hit “The Final Countdown” with Katy Perry’s “Fireworks”. This was initially the track I was most critical of because I love both songs and Rock Sugar has made the match up work, but to my ear it felt/sounded a bit forced. You have a bold epic anthem that drops into a huge pop beast. That said, the more I listen to it, the more I appreciate it. That is perhaps part of why Rock Sugar works so well, they can surprise us with songs that seem like they have no chance of success and then BOOM, they prove you wrong.

We love the classic feel of first album, but we also appreciate all the EXTRA the band fortified ”Reinventinator” with. The best part is, it doesn’t matter, because they are both packed with ear worms that will never leave my brain or my various audio players.
With Reimaginator Rock Sugar told us that “Pop Rocks”, well, with ”Reinventinator” its only become that much sweeter and heavier.
Now that we have two albums the party can go even longer. Here’s to hoping we won’t have to wait another decade for album number three.

Only at 0dayrox


01 – Walk In Black For Centuries
02 – Crawling Numbly To Somebody Bohemian
03 – Faithful Child O’ Mine
04 – Shout At The Devil Dog All Night
05 – Rebels Out Of Heaven
06 – Wires Of Summer
07 – Someone Like Home
08 – Smells Like Teen Romance Of The Night
09 – You Give Your Love A Bad Name
10 – Since Ur BarracudaS Been An Immigrant
11 – Another Edge Of The Tiger In The Air
12 – Roll You In The Hurricane
13 – Any Highway You Want
14 – Countdown To Fireworks

Jess Harnell – Lead Vocals
Chuck Duran – Guitars, Vocals
Michael Christopher – Bass, Vocals
Kevin Kapler – Drums
Mark Slaughter – Vocals on 4



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1 Response

  1. Jayman says:

    Awsome!!! You are the greaest


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