Eye Kandy - Demo
By Marcus Pan
I 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!).
Since 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.
On 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!
Winchester Ave., Hillside, NJ, 07205
Phone: (973) 491-5263