Ricked Wicky is the new band from Guided By Voices frontman Robert Pollard: well I suppose you can’t have a well-named band twice in your life can you? King Heavy Metal is fairly heavy metal, but also quite a bit prog, and substantial parts pop-rock. Good fun all the way on Guided By Voices Inc.
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- King Heavy Metal by Ricked Wicky
6/10 Clinton Staff review, 23 July 2015
There’s some amazing You Tube footage of Robert Pollard teaching the song ‘Jar of Cardinals’ to a grizzled and reformed ‘classic line up’ of Guided By Voices. You realise more than ever how the guy really does have some special abilities - the result is simple yet so effective. Problem is, as we all know, the guy doesn’t know when to stop.
I’m not actually sure what the difference is between the dreadfully named Ricked Wicky, Robert Pollard solo and Teenage Guitar or whatever other moniker he is using these days, but the results here are typically spotty. Within the first three tracks we get the good, bad and ugly of Pollard. Opener ‘Jargon of Clones’ (‘Jar Of Cardinals’?) is a nice melodic mid-paced Guided By Voices type effort that would have fitted onto ‘Universal Truth and Cycles’ or some such latter day work -- then we get ‘Come Into My Wig Shop’, which is a terribly collaged freak out. Pollard, a noted lyricist, hollers “come into my wig shop, it’s so groovy now”. Even worse is ‘Imminent Fall From Grace’ where Pollard hands over lead vocals to Nick Mitchell (no relation to Mitch we’re told) -- his throaty American Rock vocal is more Bryan Adams than Tobin Sprout. Compared to that minor travesty, the post-‘Postal Blowfish’ riff of ‘This Has Been My Picture’ comes as welcome relief.
Elsewhere it’s business as usual -- a grey trudge through grey sludge with the occasional highlight. ‘Earth Among Men’ is an interesting synth pop style opus with some great chord changes and although ‘Weekend Worriers’ is a Journey-like mess, ‘Walk Through Glass’ is really lovely with stream of consciousness lyrics over a beautiful dreamy melody. So more of the same then -- a load of stuff you’ll never want to play again interspersed with some really inspired and surprising tracks. Whenever will he learn?
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