Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Candygram For Mongo-The Red Pill

October 1, 2006

Band Name: Candygram For Mongo

Album Name: The Red Pill

Best Element: Catchy lyrics and rhythms

Genre: Old school rock/punk

Website: www.candygramformongo.com

Label Name: none

Band Email: gsharp@candygramformongo.com

Tearing their way out of one of America’s most diverse cities, Los Angeles-grown Candygram For Mongo combine elements of music just as diverse as their hometown. With influences ranging from the Ramones and Chuck Berry to Motorhead and Tom Petty, the old school rock trio has found a unique sound and image in a time filled with guys in girl pants and men singing higher than their female counterparts.

The first key to Candygram’s success comes from the fact that they recognize their independence from mainstream radio drones. Proclaiming themselves as the answer for those who are weary of low key music coming from the likes of popular artists Jack Johnson and James Blunt, Candygram kicks off their album with a kickass rock song that will have you singing along by the end.

“The Kids Have All Gone Crazy” speaks for Candygram’s debut album The Red Pill with its catchy guitar lines, memorable lyrics, and high energy. Drummer Gary Sharp hammers out a fill straight into a springy beat while guitarist and bassist Johnny D. lays down a toe tapping rhythm himself. Singer and co-guitarist Tony Shea comes out with hoarse yet pure vocals that give hope that good rock vocalists are not extinct. Exposing his softer side in a dynamically smooth bridge, Shea goes into each chorus with his hoarse yell that will have Motorhead fans begging for just one “Ace of Spades!” exclamation.

The back-up vocals are spot on in each song of the CD, adding dimension to songs such as “Bleed For It” and “Happy.” Shea shines through on his own, however, in arguably the best song on the CD, “Girlfriend.” Being the only ballad on a

CD filled with fast paced and aggressively charged tunes, “Girlfriend” stands alone as the most chill song offered by Candygram. Offering up a look at the bands softer side, Johnny D. strums gentle acoustic chords while a beautiful downward progression of piano tumbles gently over it. Shea sings softly, slowly, “begging on his hands and knees” for a lost lover that makes the listener go straight back to the time they went through the same experience.

Previously mentioned “Happy” stands out on the album as a straight up punk rock song. With a repetitive and easy-to-yell-along-to chorus, “Happy” gives off a same-titled energy to listeners, flaunting some of the more complex intertwining guitar work and ending with a bang.

Everyone in Candygram gets to show their talents in “Intermission”, the only instrumental song on the album. Thumping in softly with a funky bass line,

Johnny D. paves the way for a funk guitar, building drums, and in essence, a perfect jam song. Had Candygram no self control, who knows how long this song could have gone on.

All in all, Candygram come off as a refreshing taste in a world of blandness.

Their fun songs, catchy lyrics, obvious vocal and instrumental talent, and recognition of who they are and their mission in the music world make them a band to keep an eye on in the future.

-Erik Williams

–EndlessCreed@charter.net–

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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