Lick Lick

Lick Lick

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AllMusic Review by

There comes a point at which "uncategorizable" becomes its own category, which is the neatest possible summation of Lick Lick's debut album. This Austin-based quintet has four lead singers and five songwriters, and the band's press materials claim influences ranging from Black Sabbath to Devo. The album cover features garish psychedelic colors, a giant lotus blossom, and what appears to be either a raccoon or a badger. And then there's the band name, alongside song titles like "Male Pattern Drunkassness" and "Team Thong." All of this combines into a group that seems to be trying very, very hard to appear weird and experimental. The funny thing is, Lick Lick sounds oddly safe and derivative, like a late-era Butthole Surfers record that's had any remaining lysergic madness transmuted into a by-the-numbers form of herky-jerky indie noise. The best songs are those sung by Mo Perce, whose sing-speak delivery strongly recalls the withering sarcasm of the Waitresses' Patty Donohue and gives an extra sardonic spin to the largely meaningless lyrics. Other vocalists, including primary frontman Matt Kelly, are less distinctive. Similarly, the songs themselves tend to blur into a parade of clanking guitars, new wave keyboards, and chuddering, disjointed rhythms. Lick Lick is a textbook case of an album that tries so hard to be unique that it forgets to be interesting.

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