|Following on from their Nothings
Ever Quite Enough 2001 EP, Candycaine
have created their latest release with the help of the impressive Mark Williams at the
Criterion Studios in London. All My Friends Are Strangers takes a new
approach to their music and has a core sound that remnants the more mainstream US rock
from 10-15 years ago.
Charging in on the InME, Fallen To, Oleander or Nickleback hard rock territory, their sound is very much like a heavier version of Live. This is particularly the case with the vocals, which have a vibe akin to that of Ed Kowalczyk (Live) and also a guitar feel which presents a similar layered and almost ominous atmosphere.
The EP contains four very similar sounding songs, similar in structure and character that lean significantly on American influenced AOR, albeit on the heavier and more creative side. There are some quite exquisite and emotive vocals that are only spoilt a fraction by trying too hard to sound like the archetypal US rock star. The vocals along with delightfully textured guitars and disjointed riffs gives them a distinctive but not particularly unique sound, and the songs all feature a hook or chorus that lodges itself in your mind.
Despite being less than inspirational and giving you a slight feeling of deja-vu, theres plenty of well-performed and admirable musicianship on this fine recording, which has been very nicely produced. Candycaine definitely have potential to make something of themselves commercially and if they dont, it wouldnt be through lack of talent or a sound that could sell. Itll be quite interesting to see Oh, I nearly forgot to mention that these blokes arent actually from the USA but are in fact from good old Yeovil in Somerset (UK). Oooharrr they are!
Rigsby (31st March, 2003)