Candy Claws

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In the Dream of the Sea Life (2009), 6.5/10
Hidden Lands (2010), 5/10
Ceres & Calypso in the Deep Time (2013), 5/10

Candy Claws, the Colorado trio of keyboardist Karen Hover, guitarist Kay Bertholf and synth-man Ryan Hover, embraced the dream-pop style of the Cocteau Twins on In the Dream of the Sea Life (2009). The chaotic and dense sweetness of Diving Knife (with hardly any singing) is the manifesto of their aesthetic. Simple melodies like Flashy Storm (reminiscent of county fairs and of Christmas carols) and Snowflake Eel Wish (reminiscent of Kevin Ayers' surreal cabaret) are wrapped in loud and aggressive noise. There is an almost punkish hysteria to songs such as Starry Fighter Kite and the galopping Catamaran. The grandiose sound is often a distraction rather than an attraction.

Hidden Lands (2010) open promising with the abstract and aquatic In the Deep Time, but the songs that follow simply repeat the tricks of the first album with less abrasive arrangements. For example, Warm Forest Floor sounds like a remix of Catamaran. Other songs are simply amateurish, as if they were unfinished drafts. The festive Silent Time of Earth, that echoes film soundtracks of the Sixties. Perfumes of that era also emanate from Sun Arrow and the closer A Strange Land Discovered (one of their best melodies), so that the second half of the album is a sort of separate EP, a group of retro-nostalgic songs. But it's all rather confused and watered down.

Their adventure ended with Ceres & Calypso in the Deep Time (2013), which includes the romantic White Seal , the tropical Pangaea Girls, and the sinister Fallen Tree Bridge. Again, it's a Sixties revival in disguise.

The Hover couple formed Sound of Ceres that released Nostalgia for Infinity (2016) and The Twin (2017).

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