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Candy Wrapper and Twelve Other Songs

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Album Review

Don't let the frantic bash-and-crash opening of "California Sun," the first cut on the Makes Nice's debut album fool you — for all their outward scruffiness, these guys are popmeisters of the first order, and by the time the third track, "Enough Is Enough," has rolled around, they've pulled out their prettiest harmonies, and the title cut suggests what you'd get if you fused the Raspberries with the Who and transplanted their souls into three dudes jamming in a California garage. Josh Smith's melodic but elemental guitar runs definitely carry their share of rock & roll weight but don't overpower the hooks along the way, while drummer Jack Matthew and bassist Aaron Burnham fuse slightly teenage energy with a sense of musical discipline that never gets in the way of the fun. Cranking through 13 songs in less than 32 minutes, the Makes Nice clearly believe in the virtues of short and sweet, and can bring just enough smirk and swagger to keep things from getting too sweet (cue up "November Girls" or "Cop Killer" for evidence). The Makes Nice play forceful pop music with a punk rocker's lack of pretension, and Candy Wrapper & Twelve Other Songs is a debut that leaves the listener wanting more; let's hope they have another half-hour this impressive in them a year or so down the road.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Playing hot-wired power pop with the force and energy of punk rock, the Makes Nice were formed in 2005 by guitarist and vocalist Josh Smith after he left the hard rock-influenced indie rock outfit the Fucking Champs in 2005. Teaming with bassist Aaron Burnham (formerly of the Mothballs) and drummer Jack Matthew (ex-Harold Ray: Live in Concert), the band began making the rounds of San Francisco clubs and released its first album, Candy Wrapper & Twelve Other Songs, in February of 2007 on the local...
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Candy Wrapper and Twelve Other Songs, The Makes Nice
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