First Review Of Candlebox’s New Record ‘Disappearing in Airports’

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“As musicians you can get lost in all the meandering that’s happening. There are so many songs that are floating around in the world. Keith Richard’s described it as – songs are just kind of floating in front of you, if you can grab them, they make themselves known. I try to use that concept when it comes to what I am creating. The five of us are so in tune right now and to bring two new guys in that fit perfectly into that painting, they’re just the right colors. That’s what’s happening here. We all had this vision of the record and I can’t believe we actually made the record that we envisioned.” – Kevin Martin (Alternative Nation interview)

2016 marks 25 years since Candlebox first formed. It’s only fitting they have designed quite an active year as their new record, Disappearing in Airports, will be released on April 22nd. The band kicks off the first run of their North American tour today in Louisville, KY. Though Candlebox has stayed true to their roots, they are very in tune with modern times. The new record contains front and center subject matters such as; society’s reliance on self-absorbency, being so submersed in social media you forget to feel, the power of being love-struck, and gun control.

Candlebox started in 1991 and stormed onto the scene with their quadruple platinum 1993 self-titled debut on Madonna’s Maverick Records. They released two more acclaimed and top-selling albums (1995’s Lucy and 1998’s Happy Pills) before going on a hiatus in 2000. The band regrouped with a 2006 tour, and followed up with Into the Sun in 2008, and Love Stories & Other Musings in 2012.

Led by frontman Kevin Martin, Candlebox now includes a rhythm section of – drummer Dave Krusen and Adam Kury on bass, and a fierce combo of Mike Leslie and Brian Quinn on guitar. The album was recorded in York, PA at Chad Gracey’s (from rock band – Live) studio. In a recent interview with Alternative Nation, Martin described the bands new approach to recording by saying, “The process this time was – get in there and knock it out. There was never a moment where we beat up a part because it wasn’t feeling right. If it didn’t feel right we just threw it away and tried approaching it from a different point.”

The drum pounding first single, “Vexatious,” is a raucous yet rhythmic rocker. In the band’s latest press release via Pavement Entertainment, Martin give a peak behind the curtain of the song explaining, ““Vexatious” is about this emotionally destitute, social networking-obsessed society we live in. People come off as insecure, yet still so entitled with unlimited bragging rights.”

The record opens with the soothing, mood-setting “Only Because of You,” before the boots stomp the distortion pedal, blasting into the “Vexatious” and the undeniable “Supernova.” Upon my first listen of Disappearing in Airports, “Supernova” was the song that stopped me dead in my tracks, thinking – wow, wait a second, what is this? It’s the first song I listened to over and over and over again. It’s that good.

Not far behind (See what I did there? It was unintentional at first I swear!) is track number five, “I’ve Got A Gun.” Before listening intently, you may have the initial reaction I did, which is – this a statement about disorderly gun use in America. The song actually encapsulates the big picture. Martin explains the song is “inspired by the constant small mindedness of people who think you’re trying to take their guns away from them. If you know anything about me as a person, you know that I’m highly political; you know that I’m a firm believer in people’s rights 100% and I don’t believe that anyone should take your guns from you. I’m saying – gun control is an issue and these mass shootings need to stop and that’s the approach of the song.”

As a whole, the music is fun and the lyrics are unapologetic as demonstrated in second-half standout, “Spotlights.” The song opens with the gut-punching line, “prison bars inside our home has gone way to far this time,” sung gently over an equally vulnerable guitar riff. Finally, the song explodes towards the end as if Martin’s expressing a feeling of getting comfortable letting it out after three and half minutes of being considerate.

In addition to taking the band in a more exploratory direction, Martin dug deep into his sole lyrically, “I’m saying a lot of things that I’ve never said before, and that’s little bit of a challenge for me. I remember telling Carson (Slovak – Producer) that I wasn’t comfortable singing some things, but he said, ‘That’s good, be uncomfortable.’”

The curtains close with a punk rock tune, “God’s Gift” that leaves you with an appropriate, “we’ll see you at the shows feeling” and Martin screaming “yeah.”

This record holds a ton of sentimental value to Martin as well, starting with the title and album cover. It was a painting done by Scott Fisher, a close friend of Martins who recently passed away. Disappearing in Airports was the name of the painting you see on the cover of this Candlebox record.

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Overall, Candlebox’s sixth studio record is a sweet balance between letting loose and holding on. You can get lost in the lyrics and you can groove with the music. Martin’s signature run of the spectrum, incredible vocal range, is ever-present in the new tunes. Krusen’s drumming is Grohl-esque – thunderous and hard driving. As a group, the new Candlebox lineup mirrors the truths embodied in the lyrics as all five members bring their strengths to the party, resulting in a unique artistic mix. In a world of over-produced, non-instrumental “music,” Disappearing in Airports is a refreshing burst of rock music with a sincere core.

“We made it through. We know who we are, only because of you.” – Kevin Martin, “Only Because of You,” Disappearing in Airports

Standout tracks include: “Supernova,” “I’ve Got a Gun,” “Spotlights,” and “Vexatious”

Official Track Listing:
1. Only Because Of You
02. Vexatious
03. Supernova
04. Alive At Last
05. I’ve Got A Gun
06. I Want It Back
07. The Bridge
08. Spotlights
09. Crazy
10. God’s Gift
11. Keep on Waiting * *digital only bonus track

See Candlebox on tour:
4/01 – Louisville, KY @ Mercury Ballroom
4/02 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s
4/03 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue
4/05 – Dallas, TX @ Trees
4/07 – Houston, TX @ Scout Bar
4/08 – San Antonio, TX @ Fitzgerald’s
4/09 – Tyler, TX @ Click’s
4/10 – Lubbock, TX @ Jake’s Backroom
4/13 – Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre
4/16 – San Francisco, CA @ Slims
4/19 – Butte, MT @ Butte Depot
4/20 – Billings, MT @ Pub Station
4/22 – Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
4/23 – Pueblo, CO @ Pueblo Memorial Hall
4/26 – Little Rock, AR @ Metroplex
4/27 – Monroe, LA @ Live Oaks
4/28 – Baton Rouge, LA @ Varsity Theatre
4/29 – Panama City Beach @ Club La Vela
4/30 – Jacksonville, FL @ Welcome to Rockville
5/03 – Annapolis, MD @ Rams Head Tavern
5/05 – Nashville, TN @ 12th and Porter
5/06 – Charlotte, NC @ Carolina Rebellion
5/07 – Marietta, OH @ The Adelphia Music Hall
5/28 – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun – Wolf Den (free show)

Go VIP, including – meet and greets, a photo with the band, autograph, early entry into the venue and exclusive merch

Pre-order Disappearing in Airports and receive an instant download of “Vexatious”

“Vexatious”

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