Well, it seems something good DID come out of the infamous Capitol Riots. The chaotic fracas in Washington on 6 January sparked major inspiration in Captain Wendy Stonehenge (Glitter Wizards), mastermind of Oakland glam outfit Candy Whips, to pen a satirical response to the devolution of the American dream. Ditching rock riffs and plunging straight into the terrors of the dark web, Days Like These is a gonzo cyberpunk daydream.
“Days Like These almost didn’t happen,” Stonehenge muses. “By late December, I considered the writing and recording for Automaton to be finished. Then the Capitol Riots happened. I was pissed. Pissed that we’ve become so inundated with gullible idiots. The song started with the sarcastic opening line, It’s days like these [that] make me proud to be an American, and just grew from there. I probably wrote the whole thing in 15 minutes and recorded that night.”
The delightful video, looking straight out of a low-budget B-movie, is at once hilarious and poignant. There are heavy cues from Devo in both the sound of the song itself as well as the video clip; you can hear elements of Trevor Horn, Oingo Boingo, Wall of Voodoo, and Sparks as well. Candy Whips is as challenging as it is danceable: this is a very serious political protest song wrapped up in gossamer, glam and glee.
“When I presented the album to Greg Downing, he picked this song as the single and wrote out a concept for the video. The idea is that an advanced race of space people have come to Earth to mock us for being so primitive. The whole thing was filmed in a single day and Greg spent the better part of a month putting it all together with some help from animator Ruben Diaz.
I couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out. *Pop-up Video fun fact: our caveman is played by Ryan Allbaugh, who also mixed the album!* I’ve already recorded a couple of new songs so don’t be surprised to see more releases from Candy Whips in the future.”
So what’s the story behind Candy Whips? This was the info brought forth in ancient cuneiform to the world, on a golden tablet dropped from a spinning cardboard UFO:
When mankind entered the plague times, the Glitter Wizards went underground. During his time below the surface, singer Wendy Stonehenge went to work on a new project. Inspired by the imminent apocalypse, he enlisted the help of Arthur Tea (ex-Glitter Wizard) and Phil Becker (Terry Gross, Pins of Light) to construct a selection of songs, fusing elements of punk, electronic, and synthpop.
The new sound ran the gamut of post-punk aesthetics, even including an italo-disco inspired cover of the Electric Prunes’ “I Happen to Love You,” penned by Carole King and Gerry Goffin! The songs quickly became self-aware and worked their way into the mind of their creator, driving him into madness and fusing his flesh with the machines. Thus, the Automaton was born…
The full Automaton LP, out July 27 via Kitten Robot Records, includes a variety of pulsating electronic communiques. It awakens the dozing listener with the Motorik drive of opener Scent of Leather, stopping along the way to call out the evil Slumlord, note the impending Environmental Genocide, and confirming that, until further notice, there’s No Future in Music.