In the Raw
If I told you that Sugar Mountain has fashioned one of the coolest roots rock records of the year, you may not be too surprised. Why? Well, first of all, In the Raw is released on Walter Clevenger's Brewery Records imprint, and WC is a pretty damned talented roots rocker hisownself. Secondly, the disc is produced by Eric "Roscoe" Ambel, who has played some pretty mean gee-tar for bands such as The Yayhoos, The Del-Lords and Steve Earle and the Dukes. Finally, the band thanks Dan "Georgia Satellites" Baird in the liner notes. It doesn't get more rootsy (rootsier?) than that, does it? What may surprise you, though, is the fact that Sugar Mountain does not hail from South Carolina, Texas or Georgia - nope, this talented quintet calls Pontevedra, Spain home. You'd never know it from the way Javier Ruano's sneering vocals blast from the speakers on cuts such as the swaggering "Not Your Business" and "Back on Track," or the way that Ruano and Yago Carreno's guitars cut to the quick on Georgia Satellites-inspired tunes such as "Let it Shine" (the slide guitar bits here will bring tears to your eyes) and "Queen of the Blues." Anyway, you get the picture - this is in-your-face, insistently rockin' stuff (with a twangy, straight-up country detour on "Good Thing's Gone") that owes a huge debt to spiritual and musical forbearers such as the aforementioned Georgia Satellites, The Faces and any other kick-ass band that's ever sweated up a storm and drank themselves silly at a bar gig on a Saturday night. Turn it up! ~John M. Borack, Amplifier Magazine.