Complex rhythms and innovative melodies give the debut collection a playful, abstract feel. Laidback West Coast alt guitars meet nimble jazz horns, and electronic blips brighten bluesy keyboards, creating an experimental vibe held together by intuitive composition, snappy pacing and airtight instrumentals.
Group vocals add a laidback big-band dimension to some numbers, and solos soar in places—including the higher reaches of the quirky, spacey Analog Soul. But in others, a more agile, precise soloist might have better matched the group’s impressive instrumental polish, and we’d love to have heard a few numbers with the cool overlay of a female jazz vocalist.
That said, the biggest problem you’ll probably have with this musical family is that it’s impossible to pick a favorite child…the hooky, fresh Head Swivel? The catchy, funny One Eyed? The fast-paced, horn-driven Wet Handshake—which somehow leaves you feeling like you got super-lucky and the go-kart you picked just topped 90?
Bottom line, Lick It Ticket is a must-hear by a talented group with the chops to go places—a true find that will hold its place in your CD queue (and maybe even raise your IQ!) with its brainy beats and irresistible creative energy.
Lick It Ticket is:
Ryan Pearson: guitar, lead vocals
Andrew Thoreen: bass guitar, trombone, percussion, vocals
Robert Espe: tenor sax, soprano sax, violin, keyboard, Hammond B3, melodica, vocals
Collin Braley: drums, percussion, vocals
Purchase the CD at live shows now and through iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby after March 23.
Catch the band live (wear your dancing shoes):
Feb. 9, Vaudeville Mews, Des Moines Battle of the bands for the Wakarusa Music Festival
Feb. 11, DG’s Tap House, Ames
Feb. 19 and April 8, el Bait Shop, Des Moines