When asked to review the multi-platinum rock band Candlebox “Wolves” album, I couldn’t say “Hell Yea” fast enough! “Wolves” is the seventh album for Candlebox, a follow-up from their 2016 album, “Disappearing in Airports” and will release on September 17th.
Let’s get started…
“All Down Hill From Here Now” is the first track on “Wolves” and comes in dirty. It’s got a slower groove, not too slow, but slow-ish – sort of like how you feel late at night after a kickass show, you’re exhausted from the road, but still have the adrenaline rush from the stage. THAT sort of feeling – reflective – yet triumphant. It’s got a bluesy backbone and lyrics that hit you on a soul-deep level. This song is sure to become every serious musician’s anthem.
I was stuck in the vibes from “All Down Hill From Here Now” for a long time, but getting back to the review…
The next track, “Let Me Down Easy”, beckoned with my favorite “old western” meets urban honky-tonk sound and took me away to that place where only the best songs go and I can’t believe I’m just getting started in this album. This song is so powerful that no one will be able to listen to it while sitting still.
“Riptide” comes in with powerfully haunting vocals and a crying guitar that raises the hair on the back of my neck (a good thing!). This is a cross-over song that every music fan is going to want to listen to over, and over, and on and on for years to come. It’s a Saturday afternoon with your lover song, light, yet poignant, and seriously, tears are running down my face this song is just that gorgeous. The acoustic coming in at the end was genius too.
Next up, “Sunshine” gets buzzy with the guitars to sprinkle a little alternative into the mix. If “Riptide” had a Saturday afternoon vibe, “Sunshine” has more of a late-night vibe when you’re missing someone you said good-bye to, but still think about them from time to time. Maybe you miss them and maybe you’re happy their gone, and maybe it’s both at the same time.
“My Weakness” is a little poppy, in a refreshing way, I’m diggin’ it! This is a song to have around for those happy go’ lucky days when you’re in love and just want to indulge in the happy feelings. It slides into the middle 8 and I think it’s going to get sludgy or dark, but it comes back around to the brighter side again and that’s how love can be, can’t it? Mostly bright and happy, with moments of cloudiness? You can experience it yourself in the video at the end of this review.
The vibrato swell intro of “We” loses the pop vibe, and what is that? A little Wah action? This is a trippy little ditty! It’s slow, but not ballad-slow, rather, more like a Sunday stroll after a long weekend. It’s definitely a statement song, one of several in this album (Listen to them yourself and tell me what messages you get!).
The seventh track, “Nothing Left To Lose” cuts in strongly and is more aggressive than previous tracks. The vocals are insidious, and the guitar solo is sublime. There is a dirtiness and grit to this song that will put a stank face on the most jaded music critic. Crank this one loud at those times that you have to kick-ass!
“Lost Angeline” intros with guitars that take me straight back to Seattle, in the early days. It doesn’t sound retro though. It sounds new and totally rocks out with a delicious nuance of those crazy days. I want to move, dance, and celebrate – it just has that groove to it. Keep this one on your party play list to kick up the feel-good vibes!
“Trip” has more feel-good vibes, but this one is more of a party for two sort of song. It’s approachable rock n’ roll that will appeal to rockers of all types. If jam boxes were still a thing, I would want to stand under my man’s window with this tune cranked up loud. This one goes on the date-night playlist, and I could see it showing up at weddings as a favorite too!
“Don’t Count Me Out” gets back to the gritty, dirtier tones with some super cool radio effects. It’s both heavy and playful all at the same time. This song really tells me how Candlebox has come full circle, not only as one of the most creative icons in alternative/rock, but in the ability to keep up with the times and even be two steps ahead of that.
“Criminals” is the last track on the album. It ties together the variety of genre’s highlighted in this album and has alternative, rock, and blues vibes, blended in a way that only songwriting geniuses can accomplish. This song is huge with a break-down that I can only imagine is going to whip fans into a frenzy in the life shows. The extended outro with the drums was the cherry on top!
I’ve heard so many bands water down or just wash out – not all – just too many. Admittedly, I was a little afraid to start listening to Candlebox’s new stuff, because their old stuff means the world to me. But I had no need to fear, “Wolves” is a masterpiece! Thank you, guys, from the bottom of this little old’ fan’s heart for continuing to grow and create and offer such an impactful new album!
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Official Website: http://www.candleboxrocks.com/
Check Out the “My Weakness” Video