When singer and lyricist Amy Pate talks about Vegas band Candy Warpop’s latest EP, it’s clear Sunday in Hell is more than an evolution from last year’s Transdecadence; it’s an emotional release. “People are isolated and alienated” by technology and social media, Pate says, and her passion for an intimate reality—rather than a virtual one—is woven through nearly every song on the record.
Sunday in Hell is about “embracing one’s identity, being free and being who you are,” Pate explains. That may not be obvious from the album’s satirical artwork (also by Pate)—Mother Mary holding a carton of McDonald’s French fries in one of her six hands, an automatic rifle, cigarette and wad of cash in others—but one listen and the imagery makes sense. “Sanctuary” opens the seven-song EP with sneering guitars and battlefield-ready drums, meeting in a thick, crashing climax.
Beginning where their 2013 LP left off, Pate and her bandmates—Joshua Chévere Cohen (guitar), Jonas Woolverton (bass) and Anisa Marie (drums)—dissect and tackle the world’s problems one by one, fast culture to fast food and everything in between. Pate attacks each issue with emotional purity, intent on changing the world with cutting guitars and vulnerable poetry. “People build cocoons around themselves,” Pate says. “The church tells us what to believe. We eat toxic food. These are all things that define us. Your car defines you. Your Facebook. As animals, we’ve become very out of touch.”
Even when they aren’t raising their sociopolitical flag, Candy Warpop’s angry, revolutionary energy is consistent. Having returned from their spring tour with three covers polished and ready to record, the four-piece laid down the tracks to three iconic gems: The Smith’s “How Soon Is Now?”, The Velvet Underground’s “Venus in Furs” and Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit.” “The album is an extension of the set we played on tour,” says Cohen—and each cover is representative of Candy Warpop’s shadowy, thunderous live presence. Like most of their sets, Sunday in Hell is loud, sweet and packed with purpose. It’s available for pre-order now, with an official Halloween-themed release party planned for October 30 at the Bunkhouse.