Candlebox - Into the Sun
Record Label: Silent Majority Recordings
Release Date: July 22, 2008
One of the biggest surprises of the past few years was the declaration that Seattle rockers Candlebox were reuniting and releasing a new album in 2008. What were music fans to expect? After all, it had been 10 years since the band's last studio effort Happy Pills. More importantly, what kind of music would be brought forward? The band was always dogged for being labeled a grunge band, when in fact their music veered more towards classic-rock inspired hard rock.
The band themselves preferred the label of rock, but being from Seattle couldn't help but be touted as grunge. Sharing the bill with bands like Alice in Chains and Soundgarden on tours, didn't help the cause either. More importantly than what music would be brought forward is how the band would sound? Would the music feel cohesive, sharp, and focused? The answer to the first question is: classic rock and new wave, and the second is a resounding yes. This disc moves along with such effortless ease and such a ballsy swagger, it's like it was 1995 all over again.
Beginning with lead single "Stand," the quartet proves that its back with a bang as hard-hitting guitars meet with Kevin Martin's gritty vocals. A seering guitar solo checks in at the three-minute mark and the band proves immediately that 10 years is no big thing. It's a solid song that has the typical Candlebox sound, i.e. Kevin Martin's distinctive howling vocals, and a dose of classic rock. Second song "Bitches Brewin'" is an attempt at attitude and ferocity more so than say, a catchy, radio-ready hook. Then the album settles in and meanders through standard rock fare buoyed by solid musicianship. While Kevin Martin is indeed the band's heart and soul, he is anchored by Peter Klett's stylized guitar riffs and Scott Mercado's frenetic drumming. Of the discs more memorable tracks, the standouts are the bombastic title track, the sensitive "Miss You," the biting kiss off "How Does it Feel," and the razor-sharp "A Kiss Before Dying."
When the new wave organ of tenth track "Breathe Me In," rolls around though, the album begins to get heavy-handed and leaves the listener weary. All that being said, this is a band who once had the world in the palm of its hand and has found the strength and resilience to reform. Unlike contemporaries Soundgarden and Stone Temple Pilots, the band's core of Mercado, Klett and Martin have not let egos or creative differences disrupt their goal of recording music.
No, Into the Sun is not as brilliant as their groundbreaking self-titled and its certainly not as captivating as the underappreciated and mis-marketed Happy Pills, but it's a good disc and it's a great story. If only more bands found the strength and desire to regroup after ten years. Yeah, that'd be perfect.
Wow i can't believe this was reviewed. I was so suprised by the consistency they held with this album. Not as nostalgic or heavy hitting as the self titled, and not as memorable as a few of the tracks off of happy pills, but better as an album on the whole I thought. And leaps and bounds better than Lucy. I was overly-satisfied with the final product here, complete with those soulful guitar solos I've been missing