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April 15, 2024

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Candy Butchers
Play With Your Head (RPM/Sony)

By: Cam Lindsay

Candy Butchers (a.k.a. Mike Viola) could have something good on their hands. On their second album, Play With Your Head, Candy Butchers display an impressive pop sensibility. The strangely-titled lead-off track, "Worry My Dome" has the type of talent seen in artists such as Elvis Costello and Paul Westerberg. With a good dose of singalong catchiness, the track is a short but very sweet throwback to writing good quality guitar pop songs. The only problem with Viola's project is that it doesn't stay on the road at all times. Instead of sticking with a winning songwriting formula, Viola swerves all over, bringing quirky sounds and unsuitable instruments into the music's equation. "My Monkey Made A Man Out Of Me" abuses a sitar that feels right out of place, while the drum machine and silly synths are spread all over the album, making the songs feel uncomfortable and a little awkward. Viola is obviously interested in exploring many different sounds for his music, but in the end, his experimenting hurts his songs instead of helping. If he can try to avoid sounding groundbreaking and enjoy a consistent and classic songwriting style he presents on half of the album's songs, he will definitely make a name for himself. C+
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