By ROB DUGUAY
There’s no shortage of rock music in Rhode Island. It comes in a variety of styles too, there are punk bands who idolize the likes of The Ramones and The Clash, garage rock acts exuding psychedelic sounds, surf rock dynamos that get you excited for summer on the beach and hard rockers who aren’t afraid to pull of an Allman Brothers or Led Zeppelin cover during their set. Providence power trio Sugar Cones belong in this group with an approach that echoes early ‘90s brilliance and late ‘70s charisma. Imagine if the sounds of Nirvana, Sleater-Kinney and The Runaways came together to have a sonic baby and this band would be the result of it. Their second album, Road Soda, that came out on November 13 has amplification consistently coming through each track with guitarist & vocalist Malyssa BellaRosa, bassist Jeff Sullivan and drummer Alyson Hammond exhibiting stellar chemistry.
The fantastic production quality that’s present within the album is courtesy of George Dussault from Galilee Productions in Cumberland. It’s a great example of the meeting of the minds between the band and producer creating a wonderful work of rock & roll.
“I personally have always been infatuated with how music makes me feel,” BellaRosa talks about the making of the album. “How it heals me, fuels my fire and is a soundtrack for my Friday night. We wanted to take our driving sound and put it in your car, make an album that packed a punch but also made you want to sing-a-long, play air guitar, air drums, and just be in it. We wanted our passion and intensity to shine through and not sound watered down, that’s why we went to George [Dussault] at Galilee Productions to get this done. We’ve all worked with him before in various projects and he also recorded the first Sugar Cones eponymous album.”
“He has a great ear and helps keep you focused,” She adds. “We’re all a bit hyper in this band so it helps. Our initial release was supposed to be in May 2020, but like everything else it was shut down due to COVID-19. We decided to release it on Friday the 13th and we are very happy to finally share our Road Soda.”
Sullivan’s bass kicks off “Plastic Things” with BellaRosa bringing the shred with her guitar and Hammond’s drumming being incredibly rhythmic. If you can’t stand fake people who hide who they are with a porcelain smile, then this banger is ideal listening material. There’s a spooky vibe within “Dark Side” that reaches new heights in unbridled energy and maximum riffage. It kind of reminds me of music from The Misfits but a lot clearer sounding. “Ghost Dance” keeps up with the macabre while providing a gothic aesthetic.
For over a decade, Malyssa BellaRosa has been one of the best songwriters in The Ocean State and her collaborating with the likes of Jeff Sullivan and Alyson Hammond makes her talents shine that much more. “Road Soda” exemplifies this by being a rock record that’s a must have for anyone who likes to turn up the speakers and wake up the neighbors. With Christmas coming up, why not give it as a gift to your favorite music lover? Stream and purchase the album via BellaRosa’s website at malyssabellarosa.com/sugarconesband.