Forgotten series: The Candy Skins – Space I’m In (1991)

Founded in 1989, the Candy Skins specialized in a stirring stripe of psychedelic salted pop rock that was actually a few years ahead of the times.

Although the Oxford, England band never attempted to camouflage their influences, which touched base on the tasty tones of Revolver-era Beatles, the Hollies, the Move and Nazz, a clean, fresh and modern presentation steered the ship. By the mid-1990s, a greatly similar genre dubbed Brit Pop was all the rage, with bands like Oasis, Suede and Blur leading the pack. So therefore, the Candy Skins have rightfully been regarded as forefathers of the scene.

Released on Geffen Records in 1991, Space I’m In proved to be a wildly promising debut album. A moody rocker, bathed in waves of engaging chord changes and chains of incisive melodies, “Submarine Song” garnered a good deal of airplay and MTV exposure. But this catchy tune really only skirted the edges of the iceberg, as Space I’m In included a glut of comparably fabulous numbers.

Aflame with gleaming harmonies and hearty hooks, “So Easy” and the big and bouncy “Black and Blue” check in as other highlights on the record, not to exclude “Freedom Bus” and “Without You.” The title cut of the album, constructed of fuzzy atmospherics and warm and soaring vocals, is a blinding jewel as well. An interesting cover of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth,” which is performed at a sleepy pace and curiously superimposes the tribal chants of “Sympathy For The Devil” by the Rolling Stones onto the screen, also appears on the disc.

Many bands have appropriated the psychedelic pop-rock bag, but what sets the Candy Skins apart from the flurry of emulators lies in the reality they were such disciplined songwriters and were extra creative when it came to arranging and executing their material. Placed in a contemporary context, Space I’m In adds a whole new layer to the style of music the Candy Skins mined.

Again and again, the album demonstrates how the band delivered their clingy songs in a sure and steady manner. Rife with clear and vibrant singing, aided by guitars that crunch, crackle and jangle, the record contains a nice blend of power and precision. The Candy Skins were quite the kingpins of psychedelic informed pop rock, and Space I’m In is indeed a keeper.

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson