August 14, 2013 - 3:22 pm
Their sound is as eclectic as the room in which they sit, where a Christmas tree topped by a gas mask in a Santa hat sits adjacent to a large piece of framed art and a wooden bookshelf stuffed with everything from Clive Barker novels to Leonard Cohen’s biography.
On a recent Wednesday evening, the members of Vegas art rock quartet Candy Warpop are gathered around a table topped with a box full of copies of their debut CD, “Transdecadence,” whose release they’ll celebrate with a show Thursday night at Backstage Bar & Billiards.
Everything about this band, from their look to their songs to the equally gorgeous and garish artwork that adorns the CD booklet, is a collision of contrasts that somehow congeals into a cohesive whole despite their seemingly incongruous parts.
Even the way the group was formed underscores their different identities: drummer Anisa Marie put an ad on Craigslist looking to form an all-girl industrial band when she was contacted by bassist Jonas Woolverton; singer Amy Pate, who entered the fold a year ago also through a posting on Craigslist, was trying to get a downtempo folk troupe together.
“I’ve always been kind of a campfire-type musician,” Pate says. “I’ve never been in the front, screaming my lungs out.”
This she does, at least in places, on “Transdecadence.” The record’s all over the place — sometimes within the confines of a single tune, such as album opener “Extermination Angel,” which begins as something you might hear in a smoky cabaret with Pate singing longingly before it corkscrews into a headlong rush where both Pate and the guitars are snarling by song’s end.
From here, there’s howling, open throttle rock ’n’ roll (“Locusts & Birds”), sitar-enhanced come-ons (“Darjeeling Darling”), extended explorations of atmosphere and mood (“Severe Weather Warning”) and plenty more.
“We experimented a lot in the studio, recorded many, many parts,” guitarist Joshua Chevere Cohen says.
For those who’ve gotten hip to Candy Warpop via their live shows, the record, which was crowd-funded by the band’s fans, will reveal a different, much more nuanced side of the band.
“We were interested in texture,” Woolverton says. “We really wanted this record to be accessible and have those pop hooks, but also push people’s boundaries a little bit and make things that people weren’t expecting to hear.”
Said people include themselves.
“That’s what we’re all about, just trying something new. Maybe we’ll fall flat on our face,” Woolverton says, “but maybe we’ll come up with something really cool.”
Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at email@example.com or 702-383-0476.