When you first get into the game, it’s loud and proud. Somewhere along the line, we tend to grow up and mellow out, even stars.

Apr 22, 2016 is going to be a treat for Candlebox fans wondering about the prospect of new music. Kevin Martin (vocals), Dave Krusen (drums), Mike Leslie (guitar), Brian Quinn (guitar), and Adam Kury (bass) belong to the new, and some would say re-energized, line-up of the band. And the new, and sixth studio album, they are bringing with them is Disappearing In Airports which can be found on the Pavement Entertainment label.

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Track Listing for Disappearing In Airports
01. Only Because Of You
02. Vexacious
03. Supernova
04. Alive At Last
05. I’ve Got A Gun
06. I Want It Back
07. The Bridge
08. Spotlights
09. Crazy
10. God’s Gift
11. Keep On Waiting *digital bonus track*

If you get the digital download, it includes eleven tracks for a total of about forty-five minutes. The guys worked with producers Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland of August Burns Red, Everclear, and Rivers of Nihil experience, while they cut the record at Think Loud Studios in York, Pensylvania. The new release follows Into the Sun in 2008 and by 2012’s Love Stories & Other Musings.

As for the album cover, it is by an artist-friend of Martin’s, Scott Fisher, who passed away during the album process. “I had asked him to paint the artwork for the album, and the painting he did for us is titled Disappearing In Airports, hence the album title. The painting represented the songs that he’d hear from our album, so it’s really about what his emotions were how the songs had affected him, so that’s how it represents the record.”

This album is a collection of songs that each seems to have a personal connection to Kevin and the guys. “Vexatious” is about this impersonal, social media society in which we live. “People come off as insecure, yet still so entitled with unlimited bragging rights,” says Martin. “Whether it’s a pop star feuding senselessly with another pop star, or the girls and boys who can’t help but to take 50 different selfies in under a minute and miss everything that’s happening around them, we can’t escape it. It’s everywhere, and it’s destroying us. Dating apps, bitching apps, secret sharing apps, apps they all operate outside of any real or authentic human connection. No one cares what anyone else thinks or feels. It’s all me, me, me and, if you ask me, it’s fucking sad.”

“God’s Gift” was inspired by Kanye West. “It’s a total slap at him. When does someone say ‘You actually aren’t that good?’ Somehow the world just seems to keep blowing smoke up his ass,” explains Kevin. “I’ve Got A Gun,” was “inspired by the constant small-mindedness of people who think you’re trying to take their guns away from them. If you know anything about me as a person, you know that I’m highly political; you know that I’m a firm believer in people’s rights 100%, and I don’t believe that anyone should take your guns from you. I’m saying is gun control is an issue, and these mass shootings need to stop, and that’s the approach of the song.”

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Disappearing In Airports is a good work by the band. It is, however, a different sound from the beginning of Candlebox’s career. The album has a bluesy vibe which Kevin addressed with the following, “Mike’s got so much B.B. King in his style, of blues it’s insane, and spontaneity to his playing and songwriting that’s enriching to me.” While Brian has a metal and classic rock side, he also boasts a big blues influence “and is an incredible slide player. Mike and Brian play entirely differently, but it fits so well.”

The vocals of Kevin’s are bright and stand out; his voice sounds spectacular on the entire album. The guitar work of both Brian and Mike do give a more mellow, grown-up feel to the songs, and it works brilliantly in its entirety of each track, especially with Adam’s play on bass only enhancing the richness of the tones on the album. There are still solos, and the guitar sound is still big and aggressive at times. Dave does a fantastic job of playing his kit up to the song’s level of need without going over the cliff trying to make the songs something they were never written to be. His ability to add the different percussion sounds, styles, and speeds while keeping the train from running off the tracks is superb.

Martin observes that the record, compared to its predecessor is “banked right turn; I don’t think it’s 90 degrees, but we are taking chances. You’ve got to push yourself outside of that comfort zone. You have to do that as a musician, or in any creative element of your life,” Martin believes. “That’s what we did with this record, and I knew these guys would go with me and would take me where I wanted to go musically. We can reach as far as we want.”

We, at the National Rock Review command center, enjoyed the record and the attitude we got from the band. There is still some gas in the tank; it’s just now in the body of a classic car that has a monster engine under the hood that you won’t know is there until it’s too late. Pick up the CD when it drops and hear the evolution of Candlebox’s sound for yourself.

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Candlebox
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