The initial release from Leonid Soybelman's next group project after Kletka Red, the eponymous 3" CD EP Lick Machine gives a very nice first taste of the new venture. Quite remote from the punk energy of Kletka Red and Ne Zhdali, the music here sounds like bedroom indie produced with better means -- and written by a better songwriter! The singer/guitarist is backed by Kletka bassist Joe Williamson and cellist Nicholas Bussmann. Guests Hanno Leichtmann and Dylan van der Schyff provide the rhythm tracks. A cheesy organ, simple guitar lines, and long cello notes should add up to melancholy post-rock, but when you throw Soybelman's lyrics into the equation, along with what sounds like a fondness for the naïve pop of Felix Kubin (in "Shopping" and "Girls in Rome"), what you get is yet another engaging outing. Don't let change scare you off. Packaged in a wallet cardboard sleeve slipped into a rice paper bag.
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