Originally published in Boston Heights issue #1
Hang On Mike — you have a hit on your hands. I have to admit I was skeptical of an album where the lead singer names the album and two tracks on it after himself, but after hearing the first two tracks you realize that Mike Viola is what makes this record shine. By invoking so much of his personality into his lyrics, the listener feels as if they have known him for years. Comparisons are inevitable to the band’s influences of Matthew Sweet and Fountains of Wayne, but the Candy Butchers have found a way to strike a balance between pop and rock. Upbeat songs like “Sparkle!” and “Let’s Have a Baby” make you want to stop what you’re doing and sing along, while tracks such as “Painkiller” and “Charlie” touch you immediately with their raw emotion. Recent appearances on Conan O’Brien and The Carson Daly Show have made audiences more aware that this is a band worth investing in.
(Sony Music, 550 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10022)