Sugar sounds familiar and looks familiar, with good reason: Guitarist Rose Khuel
-- pronounced "cool," and it fits -- played bass in Cherry Bomb, which you may recall from the Akron-Cleveland scene of the mid-'90s. After a few attempts at a new band failed to take flight, Khuel finally found chemistry with singer D. Cruise, a first-time frontwoman. The band's debut, 11 After, was produced by former Warrant frontman Jani Lane, who helped the band capture a sound that's the best of the '80s, '90s, and now. "We were all brought up in the '80s," says Khuel (pictured left). "So we're all into melodies. As a guitarist, I'm into Social Distortion and Joan Jett. And lyrically, I like to tell stories. So we're using that all to reinvent chick rock -- like Tom Petty meets Joan Jett."