I can't remember the last time that I actually wrote a review. With that understanding I picked an EP to help me ease back into the swing of things. As the NHL lockout continues to stretch on and as Nashville continues to be devoid of anything to bridge high school and NHL hockey I needed a pick-me-up. Conveniently Candy Hearts released a new EP today.
I’ve long been a fan of Candy Hearts. The band simply features a lot of elements that go towards making the kind of songs that I love: adorable singing and cutsey, often clever, lyrics all backed by musicians that are more talented then they often get credit for. They also have shown an ability and desire to improve and evolve from album to album without sacrificing their core sound that I touched on briefly. The band’s recently released EP is definitely their big step out from behind the curtain and it is an excellent calling card to leave with new and old fans. If this EP is an advertisement for a future full length or motivation to see the band live then I feel it is a sublime temptation. There is a certain punchiness to the guitars and depth to the rhythm section that simply wasn’t on previous albums “Everything’s Amazing & Nobody’s Happy” or “Ripped Up Jeans & Silly Dreams.” Credit here is due to producer Chad Gilbert for drawing out the sound that was always there and putting it on display. One area where I will knock Gilbert is his choices in vocal production. A lot of people have praised the vocal production on this EP so I’ll chalk this up to personal preference, but I do not like the double tracking of singer Mariel Loveland. It instantly reminded me of the production on Strung Out’s “Blackhawks Over Los Angeles.” While it served Jason Cruz well, he doesn’t have the texture that Mariel has demonstrated. The overdubbing does add some depth sure, but it just bugs me. That is likely why Sick Of It” stands out to me. The down tempo (well, until the end) number doesn’t feature the double tracking (until the end) and just sounds more natural. Another track that I really loved was the bouncy fun of Miles & Interstates, but really what Candy Hearts deliver on “The Best Way to Disappear” are six tracks of pop punk wonderfulness. I’ve talked about an EP for a long time, so I’ll finish by recommending that you immediately go and listen to the album and form your own delightful little opinion babies.
Normally I post a little sample down here for you to listen to, but the embeddable song available is stuck on autoplay. Instead just go to Alt Press and listen to the stream of the entire EP.