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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.

Customer Reviews

The Makes Nice Explode with Music!!!

You may think The Makes Nice uses studio trickery to speed up the sound of their recordings but once you've seen them pummel it out live there's no doubt: they are the second coming. The best rock music was made in the Sixties and this is where our boys begin. Liberally looting the pop style of British invasioners like The Creation this trio punctuates the ruckus with emphatic harmonies and guitar breaks to make your legs quake. The directness of the rock trio is on full display as Josh , Aaron, and Jack smash through "Candy Wrapper & Twelve Other Songs!" They've made names for themselves playing with some of the sickest bands around like The F***ing Champs, Mothballs, and Harold Ray Live in Concert, respectively. The contributions that Josh and Aaron make to each other's songs is a true sign of the purity of this project. Hands-off production by Phil Manley (Trans-Am) lets the strong melodicism and wit shine through like the California Sun of the opening track. The Makes Nice have definitely spent some time in the garages of the Golden State. A compact burner like As Long As I Can might as well be added to the Nuggets tracklist. The point is: Rock and Roll needs records like this to exist. Barely a year old The Makes Nice are out there on tour and already finishing up their next record.


What a terrific album. This album keeps the irresistable spirit of the garage bands of the 1960's such as ? and the Mysterians, matching its killer energy with the sweet, catchy and unpretentious harmonies of The Beach Boys and The Beatles. Great stuff.


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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