Dusted Reviews

Candida Pax - Day

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Candida Pax

Album: Day

Label: Shadoks

Review date: Nov. 8, 2005

Taking symbolic cues from the burnt-down candle ends of loner blues-psych, and also the soul searching rasp of post-hippie Christian salvation, Northern English group Candida Pax released Day in 1971 on the obscure Deroy Sound Service label (a studio and manufacturing facility that specialized in private-press deals for independent artists), and that was the last anyone heard of them. In the artwork, there’s a photo of the band where one member is not so subtly concealing a copy of the first Fleetwood Mac LP in his arms. The sight of a band literally wearing an influence as close to the sleeve as possible might worry more discerning listeners, but there’s enough earnest playing and haunted passages here to call it a very minor lost classic.

Day is a moody affair, filled with guilt-wracked lyrics and slow-paced, shadowy arrangements that smolder with repentance in the knowledge that the men behind it will sin again, or will possibly never be saved. This bleak mood works to the band’s advantage, as there’s none of the hotdoggin’ that taints so many white British blues albums of their time. The riffage is tasteful and soulful, a la fallen Mac leader Peter Green, and the arrangements spare and lean, with the occasional sound of a wooden recorder brightening the dual guitar and rhythm section ambience. At their most active (“Darkness”), those twin guitars engage in some low-level yet tense interplay; the leads circle each other, not so much answering the licks that come before them so much as punctuating them with subtle stabs, like bringing knives to a fistfight.

Gospel influences, particularly on how they merged with the search of certain early rock ‘n’ roll and R&B records, are the prevalent overtone here; they’re heard in the shuffle of “Dark Clouds” with its wearily soaring chorus, and particularly in the minimal four-chord hymn vamp of “My Life,” recalling a bluesier, less-histrionic Van Morrison circa Astral Weeks, or a Joe Cocker type really trying to hold back. With so many sounds in their collective palette, it’s not a surprise that Candida Pax didn’t make more noise than they did in their day, but listening to this fine album, that seems almost beside the point; this music of theirs has only improved with age and the hopes for rediscovery.

By Doug Mosurock

Read More

View all articles by Doug Mosurock

Find out more about Shadoks

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.