The Candies – Leaving Our Homes

The Candies
Leaving Our Homes

The members of Candies seem to be suffering severely from a musical case of attention deficit disorder. The Italian indie rock band rapidly flings itself from one place to another, unable to decide whether it wants to display its emotion via furious punk songs or carefully arranged and ambient instrumentals. The instrumentals take the driver’s seat, as they make up the bulk of the album, causing you to wonder where the other tracks came from, and often wishing they would go back. One minute you think this is group of Tortoise protégés, and the next they are sounding more like Nirvana.
“We’re Trying” kicks things off as a grungy garage-rock instrumental, followed logically by the abstract “To Connect,” sounding like Sonic Youth being hit by a bus, complete with incomprehensible vocals, twisted rhythms, and guitars that sound as though they are in agony. From there you get the moody and lethargic instrumental, “Our System,” complete with horns and cello. It is one of the more touching moments on the album, but all sense of serenity is quickly obliterated by the frantic “To Heaven,” which takes the same path as “To Connect,” dirtying up some form of new wave punk in quirky and bizarre fashion. The bass-heavy “So That When” is a dark and sluggish instrumental that never really goes anywhere, followed by “Someone,” which is far more pleasant to the ears with its plodding rhythm backed by horns, cello, and vibraphone. “Dies” follows as a definite highlight, a downright dreary number, but uplifting in the fact that you have been waiting for it all along, like this is the song you knew deep down the band was capable of. Then, just when you think they have it all figured out, the band reverts back to the distorted and chaotic garage punk of “We Can Leave,” only to close things out with “A Message,” which is their attempt at synth-driven spacey techno.
The tracks seem to be tied together in one way only, which is by their names. If you read tracks one through nine one after the other, you end up with “we’re trying to connect our system to heaven so that when someone dies we can leave a message.” Some may say the wide variety of explorations here shows of the band’s range, and the diversity from track to track does fairly well in holding your attention, but the album as a whole remains unfulfilling due to all of the ups and downs. The more ambient instrumentals appear to be the band’s strength, and other songs serve as merely a distraction.