Collaborative instrumentalists Gabe Ruschival and Jeremy Lutito are no strangers to their native Nashville's music scene. Supporting local up-and-comers like Brooke Waggoner is par for the course. But national exposure is no more foreign- whether appearing on Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman's solo EPs, or taking their posts in the touring band for Jars of Clay- the duo have lent their talents to some of music's best acts. So what do a pair of classically trained percussionists do with the tunes in their head when not backing others? They put out their own music- full of various inspirations, otherworldly tones, and nuanced experimentalism.
With an odd moniker that smacks of 'inside joke'- Disappointed By Candy arrives to a musical arena flavored by either the overtly saccharine, or the dark and sulky. Perhaps intentionally, Candy's self-titled album comes off bittersweet. Soaking through the layered samples and lo-fi guitar crunch are a peculiar collection of pensive minimalism, followed by epic swells and toe-tap-inducing drum fills. It's a strange-tasting Candy indeed- swinging both tonally and lyrically from lament to the best of modern hipster explorative grooves. The pair obviously takes their approach from collective percussive experience, as each beat provides a deeply layered backdrop from which the melodious compositions flow. There's a constant depth of the sound, with Ruschival's subdued vocals often getting lost within the ambience.
Lyrically, there's an anxious desperation attached to almost every song- from the opening "Not Lived Out" with its proclamation, "Waiting for the sky to fall / Always wait for something to be / Dreamt of but not lived out"… to the final, minimalistic "Lullaby" and its forlorn "Show us that we're beautiful / Because we don't want to believe it." Introspective melancholy seems the prevailing flavor, with hints of hope for rescue sprinkled within. Some songs seem to be trying a little too hard to exist within that tension between dreams and despair, but the lyrics still manage to evoke the sense of honest self-examination and spiritual upheaval they're obviously going for. There's a decent amount of sonic variety, but one gets the sense there could be so much more to it. Take this collection of songs as an indicator of what Candy's future will taste like… But still- I doubt fans of experimental rock will be disappointed.- Review date: 4/1/08, written by David Goodman
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