With large parts of our planet covered by a cloud of doom and gloom right now (and for very valid reasons I might add) I’m feeling somewhat moved to be able to dip my first (metaphorical) toe into the 2021 review pool and come out with a smile right across my face.


That’s because this second EP from American power poppers The Lickerish Quartet is quite possibly the most joyous record you will hear anywhere in the world right now.


Following hard on the heels of 2020’s excellent ‘Threesome Volume 1’ release the initial thing that hits me about this new release from Messrs Dover, Smith and Manning Jnr (I mean c’mon, do really need to explain who these guys are) is just how much more immediate the songs feel than those on its’ predecessor. Don’t get me wrong, I loved that first EP, it’s just that from the very first acoustic guitar strums of ‘Do You Feel Better?’ it actually feels like I’m welcoming back an old friend, and having recently played catch up on YouTube with the engrossing interviews Roger did with Warren Huart I now totally get what he means about XTC being one of his go-to bands for inspiration. This is quirky angular pop music that is sugary sweet with just the required amount of introspection and if the ‘Go With The Flow’ segment doesn’t get any Jellyfish fans out there all dewy eyed, then you’re certainly a tougher human being than I.


‘Sovereignty Blues’ pops up next, driven by a drummer throwing his kit down the stairs kind of rhythm that is equal parts Ringo and Jeremy Stacey (for it is he who actually makes up the mythical quartet status for this release) and this beauty is the type of social commentary The Dowling Poole did oh so well on their stunning 2020 LP ‘See You See Me’. Firmly rooted in the widescreen world of 60s psych-pop culture you’ll have this song stuck in your mind for days after.


Moving matters very much into the world of 80s pop we then have ‘The Dream That Took Me Over’, which is without question my favourite song on this EP. Initially reminding me of Scritti Politti at their very best this song soars like a Top Gun (Uma)jet and feels like it would not have been out of place on say a George Michael or Go West album at the peak of their popularity.


Closing things out with ‘Snollygoster Goon’ (Google it – it’s much deeper than you might think) we return to the world of Sid and Marty Krofft inspired power pop where the guys’ previous bands lived most of their lives, and here if anything they come as close as possible to recreating those magnificent ‘Spilt Milk’ days of yore. Glorious stuff!


Already available to buy via Lojinx on CD/download and on streaming worldwide it might be worth your while also pre-ordering a copy of the vinyl, which is due around April time, as that (just like with ‘Volume 1’) adds four instrumental versions of the tracks on the B side, and trust me on this -you can never have enough Lickerish Quartet in your lives.

This is truly wonderful life affirming music and if we did do ratings here at RPM it would be an instant 5 star review. Now (Imperial) drag your mouse over the links below and go BUY IT!


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Author: Johnny Hayward