Best Of 2005

BEST NEW LOCAL BAND: Candy Bars

Tampa’s Candy Bars are a bit of an enigma. There’s no official band website, and the band’s not playing out too much these days, AND you don’t know what you’re going to get when you do see them. Will it be guitarist/vocalist Daniel Martinez and drummer Ryan Hastings, or Martinez and cellist Melissa Castellano, or all three, or just Martinez? There’s nothing puzzling about the usually-a-duo’s dynamic, hauntingly original, intelligently poppy sound, though — listen to one of Candy Bars’ effects-assisted live sets or more lushly arranged recordings, and it’s obvious that this is an ambitious project that’s already reached, and maybe surpassed, national-scene caliber. www.myspace.com/candybars.

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