Released in North America for the first time, Flying Nun is now reissuing Sugar Mouth, tacking on two unreleased tracks from the original recording sessions, along with demo versions of eight of the album's 12 songs. Despite Kilgour's aesthetic conversion, Sugar Mouth stands to be not only one Kilgour's strongest releases but also one of the best indie rock albums to come out of the New Zealand music scene. Tracks like "No No No" and "Fallaway" are perky, poppy and anthemic, driven by Kilgour's full-bodied acoustic strumming, while "Beached" and "Crazy" find influences from groups that the Clean had originally influenced (Superchunk and Yo La Tengo, respectively). Moody tracks like "Nail in My Foot" and "Never End," meanwhile, show the singer's newfound growth.
The album's two outtakes ("Winter" and "Look at It (El Speedo)") are nearly essential, and while the demos are less so, Flying Nun's reissue of Sugar Mouth is a nonetheless a long-overdue addition to any serious indie rock fan's collection. (Flying Nun)