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Album Review // NIC CESTER ‘Sugar Rush’

Jet frontman Nic Cester returns with his debut solo album titled Sugar Rush.

Luckily, we have a sweet tooth for the Jet frontman’s electric vocals and bombastic aesthetic. Nic Cester and his band, who dominated not only the Australia’s music scene and beyond for many years, also continues to rock the dance floor of any wedding, christening and birthday party with their most iconic Are You Gonna Be My Girl. Now on his own, he is showing us that he’s more than just a leather jacket indie rocker and has twelve tracks to prove it.

Nic Cester isn’t holding back as he offers up plenty in the first cab off the ranks and titled track, Sugar Rush. Big brass sections and sultry keys transport you into the haze of Las Vegas lounge. And his distinctive vocals make the perfect entrance adding a sense of familiarity, like an old friend you haven’t caught up with in a while.

Cester doesn’t take long to catch you up and then pulls on those heart strings with Eyes On The Horizon. The perfect example of what we wanted and needed. With a nostalgic nod throughout the album, a defiant 70’s treatment is consistently changing, yet on point.

On a similar tone, Hard Times is wooing us with some sexy bass and layered vocals. Keeping things a bit more simplistic in this track allows him to force forward of his gigantic tone to rise and soar. Psychedelic moments in Strange Dreams are a true highlight that adds a little something to the album that we didn’t get before. In contrast, we need to get into those dancing shoes and limbering up with a belter of a track that is full of sass, Who Do You Think You Are.

There is definitely a point on the album where the gears shift. It starts with On Top Of The World and the track that follows God Knows. Energy is taken to another level and pushed to the absolute max. We get some Arctic Monkeys vibes with Not Fooling Anyone which is the track that keeps on giving. Once you think you understand what’s going on you are taken down this journey of characteristic keys and building guitars that reach Everest heights. It glides effortlessly into Little Things which takes the same stride but maybe up a couple of notches.

A full band is brought in to finish this beast off with Neon Lights and then seducing us with Walk On cementing that Cester is signing off in true style. These would be a highlight in the live format, just to see how it all comes together. “It’s over now, I must move on” he sings over the broody bass. You can feel the risk and guts that went into the collection throughout every verse and chorus. It feels well mastered yet at moments raw. If he wants to get your attention, Cester has defiantly done that here and for all the right reasons.