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Kyd, Ani: Evil Needs Candy Too

Ani Kyd has supposedly been in the music business for nearly two decades singing for bands like Rumblefish, Spanking Machine, Kyd Monopoli, and Fuel-Injected 45, none of which I've heard before. Evil Needs Candy Too is her first ever solo work which could roughly be described as a grunge-inspired post-punk rock album that occasionally borders on gothic rock and even some metal here and there. Songs get their elements from all kinds of genres, including blues, thrash metal, and even sludgecore. Diversity is sure a good thing, but blending all those elements is another matter. This disc has me confused to say the least.

I never thought I'd be bored with an album that has the mighty Gene Hoglan of Death, Testament and Devin Townsend fame on drums. Well, there's a first for everything I suppose. Complementing Hoglan on the rhythm section is none other than his band mate from Strapping Young Lad, Byron Stroud. However, unless I'd looked in the CD booklet, I'd have never believed either Hoglan or Stroud actually played on this disc. The drumming is very straightforward going for the 4/4 beats with little to no variation. The bass isn't too different either, considering Stroud's amazing work on Fear Factory and SYL discs. He still does shine on some tunes though. On a sixteen-track album, twelve of which are within the 2-minute mark, Stroud manages to add in some of his trademark grooves on "Left Holding the Bag", which features a killer bass solo at the beginning before Gene Hoglan graces our ears with one of his rare performances where he lays down several complex rhythms along with a guitar solo that is built around snarling vocals. Though Ani Kyd herself plays the guitar and there's another player, the songs are generally devoid of any interesting riffs, let alone solos. The songs are very short reminiscent of the post-punk movement with grungy guitars and Danzig-like vocals. "The Californian Dollars" and "13" are exceptions, not in the way they are filled with head-spinning leads, but in the way they are very hard-edged rock'n'roll pieces with sing-along choruses and catchy melodies. The latter even contains a brief solo. The rest of the songs remind me of garage rock bands trying to combine grunge with modern rock. However, towards the end of the album, the songs become more engaging. Beautiful violin pieces can be traced on "So Far", which except the aggressive male vocals, features Ani Kyd's smooth voice at its best. Similarly, "Lost" is one of the more interesting pieces marked by a deep cello motif, growling bass lines and dark, gothic vocals. This is the best song, obviously inspired by sludge gods Neurosis, and it allows both Hoglan and Stroud to do it justice by mighty rhythm work accompanied by wailing guitars. The album closes with a boring 30-second answering machine echoing the message of a drunk lady trying to sing what seems to be an awful song.

Fans of SYL and Fear Factory shouldn't expect to hear anything similar to Hoglan and Byron's projects. Otherwise they might be terribly disappointed. This is one of those albums I just find bland, despite the great production work and ambitious musicianship. There must be people out there who enjoy this release, but it just doesn't do it for me.

Track Listing

  1. Rejoyce
  2. Creepy Feeling
  3. Taste My Lips
  4. My 1st Kill
  5. Fingerpainting
  6. Six Californian Dollars
  7. 13
  8. Left Holding the Bag
  9. Erase
  10. Left Right Left
  11. So Far
  12. Lost
  13. Stranger Things
  14. Silver Cage
  15. Hard Way Home
  16. The Involuntary Admitance of Jack Ryd

Added: December 17th 2005
Reviewer: Murat Batmaz
Score:
Related Link: Ani Kyd website
Hits: 2299
Language: english

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