CD Review

Eye Kandy - Demo

By Marcus Pan

Eye KandyI hadn't heard of Eye Kandy until a recent outing to club QXTs in Newark, NJ (July 17, 1999). I had gone originally to see a performance by Machine In The Garden that night, but also there, closing the night's live performances, were these folks. Just coming up out of obscurity and based in Hillside, NJ, Eye Kandy is a synthcore/industrial band with complicated synth/guitar rhythms and, get this, even a live drummer. Originally formed in 1994, EK's frontman Kaliss and first guitarist James first put together what will become a musical quintet that New Jersey could be proud of. Tom is the live drummer I mentioned and joined the core members shortly thereafter. Years later, in 1997, an additional guitarist, Chris, was added to the line-up to provide a stronger guitar-driven industrial sound both on and off stage and then they added one of the most beautiful bassists I've seen in years - Jen (who happens to be from my home town - awww yeah!).

EPSince 1997 EK have been touring various NJ clubs in promotion of their self-titled debut EP/demo which was produced by members of band Neuroplague, another somewhat local act. EK are hoping to get their first full length CD out this year. They have put down more tracks than was originally available on their demo EP, so one hopes that the process of coming out with a full length wouldn't be too difficult. Originally planned for release in July, 1999, they're a little behind schedule - but still hoping to have it out no more than a month or two afterwards.

Eye Kandy's musical style is a complicated melange of synth, guitar and bass riffs. Vocals are tinged with electronic experimenting that gives it a strong and slightly electrical feel. They combine elements of synth-pop, industrial dance and tinge that with just enough guitar-ridden thrashiness to keep it interesting, They have a strong stage presence and powerful sound with an overwhelming quality - much like what I've said of Noxious Emotion in a recent review. If you don't move something during this show you're probably post-mortem.

DemoOn the demo that EK's manager, Jeff, was pleasant enough to send me are five tracks. Four of them, Taken, Mental, Eternal and Confusion are originals with lyrical credits to Kaliss/James. Also here is The Metro, a well-played Berlin cover which was, at least to my colleague and I, one of the highlights of their live performance. I also quite enjoy Mental for its keyboard melodies which are bright and moving with subtle chord progressions and a pop-style sound. Eternal must also be mentioned for its excellent bass line.

Eye Kandy is industrial dance done with a synthcore flair. Lyrics are simplistic and therefore enjoyable to most and they tread a comfortable line between industrial dance and trashy guitars. Here's one for the home team, baby!

Contact Information:
Post: 825 Winchester Ave., Hillside, NJ, 07205
Phone: (973) 491-5263