Pity the lowbrow rock fan. When grunge and alternative rock overtook the mainstream, they raised the standards for all hard-guitar genres. Suddenly, the reliably dim-witted bands of metal seemed terribly out-of-date, losing their fans to the smarter breed of new guitar bands, from Soundgarden to Tool.
So where did that leave listeners with resiliently bad taste? As Candlebox fans, apparently. This Seattle band sold nearly 4 million albums to a market share eager for dumbed-down grunge — something that seems new but lumbers like the comforting metal of old.
Such fans should eat up Lucy, Candlebox’s second album. It’s every bit as appalling and derivative as their first, with the foursome once again hacking out the kind of generic grunge that works like some Hydrox knockoff of Pearl Jam’s genuine Oreo. With its dense guitars, blurry bass, and clunky drums, Lucy couldn’t be more fat-bottomed and lifeless. In fact, it’s encyclopedically bad. You won’t find a single melody, the singer can’t convey an ounce of emotion, and the lyrics make no sense at all.
At least Candlebox’s unadulterated terribleness offers the public a sad, necessary lesson. For those who believed the human race would never again endure anything as awful as Journey and Foreigner, Candlebox prove it can happen here. F