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Candy Salad

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Candy Salad

12" LP

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Quick Overview

Besides being a signature song for Suckers, ''It Gets Your Body Movin''' is a mission statement for the band as well. Ever since slowly coalescing in Brooklyn four years ago, they've been restless experimenters, thriving on creative momentum. And while the trio's just-completed sophomore album Candy Salad, due out in 2012 on Frenchkiss, is a remarkable progression from their auspiciously far-flung debut Wild Smile, it's every bit as indicative of how they're powered by the uncertainty of paradox. It's a more mature work than Wild Smile according to the band, yet mostly because of its directness and simplicity, a warmer record that's the result of intense studio work, the product of a lot of time and effort, while seeming almost effortless. And that's exentially the story of Suckers: instantaneous impact that can obsure the tremendous evolution that preceded it. Vocalists Austin Fisher and Quinn Walker grew up down the road from each other in the alternately enlightened and grim envirionment of New Haven, while enigmatic bassist/utility man Pan lived about twenty minutes away. Though raised in the shadow of Yale, the three were ispired to seek the kind of cultural stimulus one could only acquire hours away in New York City. Upon arrival, they soon immersed themselves fully in the city's unpredictable and volatile intersection of art and music - Fisher would spend off hours working at the Guggenheim and the Voodoo-Eros, the label run by influential avant-pop band CocoRosie. And while those early days of hashing out material previously written by Fisher and Walker were formative, it wasn't until they started composing from scratch as a trio that Suckers truly began to take shape. The first song they wrote together became ''It Gets Your Body Movin','' and infectuous singalong that detonated on contact in the blogosphere, a timeless song that began their incredible timely trajectory within the internet's hype cycle. It would become the linchpin of their 2009 self-titled EP, produced by Anand Wilder of Yeasayer and a crucial document of where the band was it in that still fetal stage. You could hear hints of the twitchy experimentalism of Talking Heads, David Bowie's flamboyant persona and vocal range that spanned from Kate Bush's spectral incantations to Bono's popularism, and though referential of Walker and Fischer's idols, it sounded like little else. As Fischer puts it, ''if we think something is starting to sound overtly like another band, we change direction.'' Indeed, the immensely tuneful and lyrically ambitious Candy Salad represents such a marked change in direction that even Sucker's older records aren't subject to the band's aversion to replication. Unlike Wild Smile, which featured songs from culled together from various studio sessions, the band hunkered down at Vacation Island in Williamsburg with Matt Boynton (Black Dice, MGMT). The intent was to formulate something more cohesive and warm and from the majestic Brit-pop of ''Lydia'' to the charging Eno-esque ''Figure It Out,'' to ''Going Nowhere,'' their most new straightforward song to date despite removing the bass ''When Doves Cry''-style, they've achieved something totally new for the band while maintaining the buoyancy and pop smarts of Wild Smile. Obviously, can't wait for their fans to hear it, partly because they want to share it - Walker hopes you live it, Fisher hopes you get the lyrics tatooed on your back and Pan hopes it's a ''future classic'' - and partly because they've already got their sights on what's next, perpectual bodies in motion.


Brooklyn art pop quartet Suckers exploded into critical renown with their untamed 2010 debut, Wild Smile. That record bore similarities to contemporaries of the band like MGMT and Yeasayer, as well as including some pretty discernable lines to the prototypical art-damaged funk of Talking Heads and Modest Mouse's wobbly guitar lines. Follow-up LP Candy Salad loses a lot of the "art" prefixes that were pinned onto Wild Smile, trading up in production values but ultimately losing some of the energy that the album got by on. While every bit as melodically charged and seemingly boisterous, the songs are somehow less catchy than their sprawling predecessors. MGMT producer Matt Boynton dials in a fully realized scope of production, adding gloss and precision to Suckers' sound and helping to distance them from their weirder past moments. "Charmaine" throws a busy synth-drum pattern at Prince-like guitar leads and slowly burning dynamics that culminate in a throaty wail on the chorus from singer Quinn Walker. All the elements for a full-on anthem are in place, but somehow the song fails to ever fully get off the ground. This is true of a good percentage of the album. Promising starts on tracks like "Turn on the Sunshine" and "Chinese Braille" suggest a series of hooks and fastball-style switchups, but both stall before any of their different elements congeal. Concurrently, album opener "Going Nowhere" jumps headfirst into dazzlingly catchy dual vocal harmonies and a drivingly catchy bassline. The song breaks down with a digitally manipulated guitar solo, upping the weirdness quotient, and injecting a little bit of the art rockery that characterized Wild Smile. Overall, the straighter approach just means the songs end up taking longer to really sink in. The accelerated move toward a more mature sound is a strange move for a band so reliant on experimentation, but looking at Candy Salad without the context of their former work, Suckers have turned in a respectable album of big sounds and strong melodies. Only every once in a while do the sounds therein tend to be so normal that they become ignorable.

Additional Information

Artist Suckers
Track Listing 1 Going Nowhere - 3:46 2 Figure It Out - 2:28 3 Bricks to the Bones - 4:26 4 Chinese Braille - 5:44 5 Leave the Light On - 3:49 6 Charmaine - 4:38 7 George - 5:29 8 Turn on the Sunshine - 3:24 9 Lydia - 5:30 10 Roses - 5:02

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