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Big Sugar "Natty Dread Rock" video review - NightMair Creative

Article by Chris van Staalduinen


Big Sugar is back and they’ve brought their Big Sound with them. The Toronto-based quintet’s new video is funky and fun, but more of a sideshow to the real star - the classic Big Sugar song. ‘Natty Dread Rock’ , the first single off their new album, Calling All The Youth, brings the band’s blues-rock/reggae fusion to the forefront of Canadian music again, right where it belongs.


Big Sugar has been a Canadian mainstay since the early 1990s, but took a hiatus from 2003-2010. They appear to be back with a vengeance and plan to take it out on our ears. I, for one, am glad to have them back, as the rock scene has been sorely lacking a chunky, blues influenced hard rock. A colourful mix of pictures, animation and clip art don’t make for the most exciting video, but they don’t detract nor distract from the dynamite song. The video is what it is – something for the eyes to follow while the ears fall in love!


The main riff of “Natty Dread Rock” is absolutely crunchy and almost hypnotic – a thing of rock beauty. I just want to turn it up and smash an instrument! Overlaid in parts with the reggae styling of bassist Garry Lowe and his long-time reggae protégé, frontman Gordie Johnson makes for an amazing mix of thick sound and loose lyrics. The stuttering drum and driving bass are perfect for the island feel of the song. Add Gordie Johnson’s signature guitar and I sense an instant classic – in my playlist anyway. According to Gordie in the song – “This is the champion sound.” and it’s hard for me to disagree.

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