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CD Reviews:  Candy Butchers: Play With Your Head

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Frontman Mike Viola has dropped his given name from the band's name, but the signature songs are still there. Viola's voice and Elvis Costello-ish pop hooks are there as well. Rich with both melodies and lush harmonies, the Candy Butchers are one of the best unknown pop/rock acts out there. 

From the opening line of "Worry My Dome" (I wanna kiss a suburban girl/My lips wrapped around her snow white pearl) this CD is full of witty lyrical hooks and singalong choruses. There's a certain Costello-meets-Tom-Petty-meets- Oingo-Boingo-1980s-quality about it that's just plain catchy. It's not totally predictable, and yet the songs still stick in your head like peanut butter on the roof of your mouth. "You Belong to Me" is a perfectly crafted jangly-guitar pop tune. "Ruby's Got a Big Idea" is a funky number with a let's-get-drunk-and- sing-with-Mike chorus. "It's a Line" and "My Heart Isn't in it" experiment with some different sounds but still maintain the pop integrity of the album. The last two tracks, "Make No Mistake" and "Call Off the Dogs" are strictly acoustic, just Viola and his guitar, and are aptly left that way. I kept hoping the band wouldn't kick in and it didn't. 

How many artists this good can get lost in the shuffle of the big boyz at Clearchannel who are basically ruling the music industry? I'll tell you one thing -- if the Candy Butchers get dropped by their label I'm going to follow them wherever they go. The music is just that good.

Check out Mike's interview with Mike Viola here

~Mike Farley 

other Candy Butchers reviews:
Hang on Mike  (2004) : Feedback - Link to Us  - About B-E - FAQ - Advertise with Us

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