Tic Tic Boom!

Reasons & Rhymes

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It's getting all too easy to dismiss bands that take the mid-'80s as their musical touchstone; sometimes they're being bratty and ironic, sometimes they're simply being unoriginal, but in a few rare and wonderful cases they're taking basic ideas that have inspired them and using those ideas as a springboard to push them in a direction all their own. Mike DeLay and Leilani Francisco (aka Tic Tic Boom!) are in the latter category, and their debut EP finds them already approaching greatness. The only thing keeping them from tipping over into pure pop perfection is a slight dryness to their melodic hooks: on "The Floodgate," heavily reverbed vocals build up to a chorus that never quite pays off, though it sure sounds great all the way through. "Just Friends," the lead track and single, has a more voluptuous melodic shape to it, and "The Pattern" slyly lifts the synth part of some of the sung melody from Blondie's "Dreaming." But the EP's finest track is "The Open," which also boasts the strongest melodic hook of the program. All the elements are here, and Tic Tic Boom! is just a few sharper tunes away from being well on the road to greatness.

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