Freshly Wrapped Candies

  • Freshly Wrapped Candies
  • I Like You (T.E.C. Tones/Ralph) 1989 

Mental health professionals know that it’s healthy to let the child inside you come out and play every now and then. California’s Freshly Wrapped Candies do it in the recording studio. Most of I Like You sounds either like a polite juvenile version of the Butthole Surfers or kindergarten teachers on acid; even when the musical style is avant-rock vignettes, it gets topped with nonsense lyrics sung in goofball voices. Most of the songs (ranging from just over ten seconds to almost ten minutes) feature only guitars and vocals, but others actually get their titles from their instrumentation, like “Flute(s)” and “Majestic Popular Keyboarding.” (Unfortunately, “Voltage Regulator” doesn’t fit into that category.) On the down side, several tracks annoyingly emulate a Walkman with dying batteries. Freshly Wrapped Candies’ collective elevator might not make it all the way to the top floor, but they do provide goofy, mildly irritating fun in a nicely art-damaged kind of way. But don’t play it for your therapist. (The CD contains seven bonus tracks.)

[David Sheridan]