May 14, 2002

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After recording That's Your Fire with Drew Peters at 40 oz. Sound Studios in Ann Arbor, Aloha returned to 40 oz. in Winter 2002 to record Sugar.

Aloha re-charted their grandiose signature style of looping guitars over dynamic rhythm tracks accompanied by the experimentation of a vibraphone. From the mind-clearing percussion romp that begins the album to the persuasive anthemic swing of its closer, Aloha is willing to turn any musical corner for the sake of songcraft.

Aloha's friend, Zachary Buchner did the paintings for Sugar's cover, while the album artwork was designed and produced by Gregg Bernstein at Hydrafuse.


  • 1
    Fractures (part one) (2:27)
  • 2
    They See Rocks (4:20)
  • 3
    Let Your Head Hang Low (4:44)
  • 4
    Balling Phase (6:26)
  • 5
    It Won't Be Long (3:04)
  • 6
    Protest Song (3:22)
  • 7
    Thieves All Around Us (5:01)
  • 8
    Dissolving (5:06)
  • 9
    I Wish No Chains Upon You (4:26)
  • 10
    We Get Down (6:05)


It has the lurching, exhilarating feel of Aloha's first albums, but this time the arrangement is bigger: Eric Koltnow's signature vibraphone mixes with electric piano and distorted guitar into molten rock candy.

Aloha has stirred up their pretty melodies into sprawling jazz-rock symphonies, and this time around, the technically ambitious band has created a spiritually inspiring and arguably danceable post-rock opus.


The vocals entrance, the rhythms hypnotize, and the music stimulates your mind while moving your body. Say hello to Aloha.

Sugar is not just a musician's wet dream come true, it's a breathing pop album with the contours of pure originality.


This complexity will earn Aloha admirers, but it's the bands still-developing sense of pop that will ultimately distinguish them from their predecessors.

Alternative Press

It takes a concentrated, sensitive ear to catch all that makes this a deeper album than the average slop too many listeners are inoculated with. Many bands seek to reinvent themselves with each release, and Aloha has certainly accomplished as much with Sugar.

All Music Guide

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