Big Sugar – Yardstyle

“Yardstyle” is the latest release from Big Sugar. After taking a lengthy hiatus while bandleader Gordie Johnson was in Texas with Grady focusing on the his heavy blues persona, the band reformed in 2010 and released the heavily reggaefied “Revolutions Per Minute”. A live album titled “Eliminate Ya!” followed in 2012.

“Yardstyle” continues to explore the bands reggae roots with Johnson fully embracing the role both in tone and appearance. In addition, the recording is dominated by acoustic guitars rather than the electric variety. Featured on the record are re-recorded versions of old songs, covers and a handful of new originals.

There’s plenty of guest appearances which mesh with the album’s laid back, patio party feel. It’s interesting to hear new takes on old tracks like “100 Cigarettes” or “Turn The Lights On”. But for the most part I prefer the more energetic original recordings rendering “Yardstyle” an enjoyable curiosity, but hardly essential Big Sugar.