The Grey Estates & Negative Fun Records Present: Sugar Rush

Album Artwork & Design: Claire Morales & Trey Wright

Album Artwork & Design: Claire Morales & Trey Wright

Almost three years ago, I (hi, I'm Lauren) founded The Grey Estates, and it was always a dream of mine to take our compilation series and turn it into something totally original and physical. Last year, a pair of our favorite songstresses released a cover of Patsy Cline's "Strange," and we talked of how cool it would be to get a bunch of dreamy female/gender-neutral artists together for a cover song compilation. Thus, Sugar Rush was born.

Today, I'm pleased to welcome my partner in release crime, Chris DeFusco of Negative Fun Records to talk about one of the tracks (which is kind of a NSFW cover). He has been such a valuable aid in this project, and supported all of my insane ideas, answered my million e-mails and guided me in all things tape release. Along with Chris, I would like to extend the biggest thank you to all of the bands who contributed to and supported this project. I can't ever begin to express how grateful I am and how much this means to me. It's a dream come true. 

Sugar Rush will be released February 29th (pre-orders are now available) on limited edition lavender (of course) tape through Negative Fun Records, think of it as something sweet for your extra day in February and features:

  • "Strange" (Patsy Cline) - Claire Morales & Jena Pyle
  • "Kiss Me" (Sixpence None the Richer) - Kississippi
  • "Everywhere" (Fleetwood Mac) - Boosegumps
  • "Unpretty" (TLC) - Sundae Crush
  • "Feelin' This" (Blink 182) - PONY
  • "I Held Her In My Arms" (Violent Femmes) - Susan
  • "Mongoloid" (Devo) - Pearl Earl
  • "People Ain't No Good" (The Cramps) - Mommy Long Legs
  • "Hopeless Romantic" (The Bouncing Souls) - Alright
  • "(I'm Not Your) Regular Woman" (Lucille Mathis) - The Pretty Greens
  • "Riot Grrl" (Keel Her) - Daddy Issues

Words: Chris DeFusco of Negative Fun Records

I’m staring down the barrel of my 40th birthday, but I still consider myself an old hardcore kid. I got into the scene in late 1992, a little later than most of my contemporaries. 1992 sat on a bit of a transition point in the hardcore scene. The sun had set on the “youth crew” era of the late 80s and a host of new influences were finding their way into the music. Yet for a relative youngster, like myself, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had just missed something. For a 15 year old in 1992, 1989 felt decades away.

It is an oversimplification, but the bands that tore through New York City in the late 80s were made up of about ten or so of the same circle of musicians, and for the most part bands like Judge, Gorilla Biscuits, Youth Of Today and Side By Side existed for a only a brief period of time. Very few recorded more than a 7” or two and an LP. Shining bright and burning hot for a couple of years before imploding and re-convening in another outfit. Of course, two or three years is a lifetime when you barely have your driver’s license.

Daddy Issues, of Greensboro N.C., followed a similar trajectory, right down to the sharing members with other bands conceit. Guitarist Lindsey Sprague was active in The Trashettes at the start of Daddy Issues’ run and Wahya’s (her current concern), towards the end. In fact, Daddy Issues shared drummers with each of those bands.

My label, Negative Fun Records, was fortunate enough to have a hand in the first physical release from Daddy Issues - a four song cassette titled Double Loser which we released on Valentine’s Day of 2015. It was our best and fastest selling release - 300 copies left the building in a matter of weeks. Yet by the time August rolled around, the band was no more - walking away from the band to travel, go back to school and pursue other ventures at the height of their buzz.

Daddy Issues released their Swan Song LP - Fuck, Marry, Kill last November on their Bandcamp page. The posthumous LP included a cover from the U.K artist Keel Her called “Riot Grrrl”, a staple of their live set, which fit so perfectly in the band’s repertoire that I didn’t even realize it wasn’t an original until we received the song as a submission for the Sugar Rush compilation. Again, I think back to my younger days, hearing hardcore bands cover songs that I mistook for originals - opening doors to new sounds.

I feel fortunate that Lauren asked Negative Fun to lend a hand with the Sugar Rush compilation. In this case, most of the originals are fairly well known, but it is our hope that those familiar sounds lead you to become invested in the artists performing the cover. Our current scene moves fast. Two or three years can feel like an eternity. Some of these bands will shine bright and burn hot, fleeting, but essential. As a record label, our mission statement is to document the sounds that we feel are important. Sugar Rush is as vital of a documentation of a place and time as some of the hardcore compilations that formed the road map to underground music that I followed as a teen. We hope you enjoy the ride.