The summer tour season brings many curiosities to your doorstep, ghosts of music past sent to stir up emotions long unfelt — or at least buried beneath years of turned-over trends. When Candlebox plays "Far Behind" at Revolution Live this Saturday, will you tear up and hug your grunge-poetry-scribbling, flannel-clad high school inner self or immediately question the motivation behind your every ’90s cassette tape purchase? Wait, how old are you? Are your parents dragging you to this? Either way, strap on a pair of Dr. Martens and you'll be fine.
The mid-’90s Seattle band featured elements already familiar to the hungry alt-rock music fans of the day: the fun, strummy licks of Blind Melon, the pained vocals and distortion of a pop-softened Soundgarden, the color-washed music videos; they factored into the major-label equation and jumped promptly onto the airwaves. They stayed in their lane throughout their three-album, premillennial peak before undergoing a complicated split from Madonna's Maverick Records and disbanding. After re-forming to promote a greatest-hits album in 2006, the original members decided to have another go at it and again put pen to (assumedly) tattered canvas-bound notebook.
As one might expect, the band's most recent comeback album, 2012's Love Stories & Other Musings, went the way of many comeback albums — worn-out sounds, largely inconsequential — and generally could't hold a... uh, candle to its earlier material. Sure, the band wrote more than its share of generic rock songs the first go-round, but it had a certain upside. An album cut like "Butterfly" (from 1995's Lucy) is plain old not bad — adventurous, even — and radio cuts were inventive enough in their construction to distinguish Candlebox from its second-wave grunge peers (which at the time included much of the national rock mainstream).
The 'Box is currently touring with most of its original members on its roster, so aside from the notably shortened hair (judging by recent media photos), it should be a pretty authentic experience.