The opening hodgepodge of sounds on Ticonderoga's self-titled disc quickly draws listeners in with its offbeat sensibilities. That untitled first track leads effortlessly into the second track, the casual and intricate "Northshore." The band's roots are in Iowa, though the band had transplanted itself in Raleigh, North Carolina by the time their debut was recorded. The old saying that "you have a lifetime to record your first album, but just a few years to record your second" is true, as the bandmembers have been friends since childhood, playing in various bands for nearly ten years before recording their debut for Fifty-Four Forty or Fight Records. The trio is comprised of Mark Paulson, Wes Phillips and Phil Moore. Violin adds fuel to "Kim & Kelly," and clarinet, accordion, keyboards and contrabass all find their way into the guitar-bass-drum formula. "Locked in the Back Freezer" creates the eeriness that the song title suggests. "Drunkmare" features more minimalist guitar and blues lyrics, creating a nice caught-in-the-moment feeling. The volume is turned up on "Arrowhead," and back down again on "A Welt." The rise and fall pace of the disc, which at times could be disconcerting, seems natural on this disc. Songs like "Two Old Witches" and "High Score" create a casual and inward-thinking atmosphere, seeming familiar without getting predictable.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cramer