doa – Candle, album review

I’ve been meaning to get this out of my system for some time, and seeing as how I’ve already tackled their first album, I think now’s a great time to have a go at reviewing Candle, doa’s second album.

Now to be honest, it took me a very long time to warm to this album, mostly because I’m a grizzly rocker at heart, which made open_d a perfect album for me. Candle however, is pretty much the exact opposite of open_d.

Where that first album was a fine assortment of grinding folk rock with a punky-metal edge, Candle is chock-full of sweet, dreamy folk-pop tunes, with barely any of the downbeat yet intimate aggression that made open_d such an appealing listen.

Now when I first heard Candle, I used the above description as a reason for despising this album, and ultimately, doa themselves. How could these acoustic headbangers torment me with all this slushy schmaltz?

But now, I use the above description as my main reason for liking this album, a lot. And there are still some similarities between the two albums. Both feature Crosby, Stills and Nash harmonies over a mix of acoustic/electric guitar-heavy workouts, but on Candle these workouts are glazed in gliding strings that can barely get a third note in, and tinkering pianos, falling like tender snowflakes over these cute lil’ ditties.

Makes you sick, doesn’t it?

But hear me out, Candle is, in many ways, the perfect partner to open_d. One is an album full of chunky, clunky rockers while the other swooning ballads mix the two together and you’d probably get a damn fine album.

Plus, you have to admire these guys for stretching their sound it. It might have been far too easy to simply make open_d Mark 2, and the band handle rockers and ballads with equal aplomb. The tunes are actually decent as well. The opening title track, I wanna know your soul, and Sherry all display a sensitivity that open_d somewhat lacked.

And Candle isn’t completely devoid of speed or distortion either. The album’s only two rockers, Kiken na cave and Aoi Kaijitsu, are a fine pair of bloodrushers, with Aoi Kaijutsu especially so. It swings like a wrecking ball, almost sounding like Black Sabbath by way of the Stones.

But is it really possible to enjoy this album without the context of open_d? Well, if you prefer Lindsay Buckingham’s Fleetwood Mac to Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, then yes, because that’s how these two albums come across really, both of the same band and yet barely interchangeable with each other.

If you’re interested in hearing these guys, comment for a link to their songs!