Rock Candy 2016
A boy band concept with all the right moves, NYC fugitives play it hard, if not heavy.
Just when you thought hair metal groups were gone for good, another young bunch arrives to prove there’s no shame in arena-sized choruses and hooks to match. Born past-’80s, these four New Yorkers warmly embrace that decade’s loud ‘n’ proud values on their debut LP, and if there’s too much sugar poured on the likes of “What Is Love” and the titular ballad, it only adds to the record’s charm.
Yet it’s when some edge is shown – as it is on the speedy, if still sweet, “Sapphire” where Harrison Marcello’s riffs support Zach Allen’s bluesy rasp and peel shredded licks onto Max McDonald’s bass – that the group become truly imposing. The quartet may let their hair down on heavy rock ‘n’ roll of “Paralyzed” or “Under My Skin” but the guys are as eager to show their sentimental side in “Time Won’t Heal” which unfurls from a delicate serenade to an anthem.
With all the stops pulled for “Fucked Up Beautiful” – a surefire hit laced with acoustic streak – and no escaping from the zip of “Love Terminator” and “Dirty One” that counts the band’s blessings, it’s a top-notch example of entertaining hard rock having no time constraints… or artists running away from any boundaries there seem to be. And not for nothing this album is a first release by a new band by reissue-oriented label.