Lick Lick, Good Touch/Bad Touch
I used to be able to complete an entire thought. That is, until a coworker gave me a copy of Lick Lick’s Good Touch/Bad Touch to write about. The second effort by Matt Kelly (Sprawl, Middlefinger) and Eric Roach (Baby Got Bacteria) has the ability to scramble your senses and cause anxiety attacks. But don’t shy away. Right below the hard-driving and slightly spastic front, you’ll hear the subtle fusion of five battle-tested Texas musicians.
With each member bringing to the table decades of experience and a wide variety of musical influences, Good Touch/Bad Touch‘s sound incorporates funk/blues melodies and prog-styled vocals by Mo Perce. Now put jarring punk beats and hardcore breaks in there, and you get why your brain is melting, and yet, you don’t care. It’s actually pretty soothing.
The album starts with what sounds like some hoodlums getting into Grandpa’s whiskey and record stash, a bluesy waltz that degenerates with the sound of empty bottles hitting the floor and growls of what’s to come. From that point on, the album throws you between punk-driven verses, choruses resembling Styx, and funky, front-loaded breaks that would make George Clinton proud. Or confused.
Just slightly beneath the music’s aggressiveness, you’ll hear Lick Lick’s fine-tuned qualities. My favorite track, “Money, Murder, Sleep,” uses syncopated rhythms and eerie background vocals to show just how deep their influences and experience go.
The album as a whole might be a little edgier than Matt Kelly’s previous work, but don’t fret. He’s done a great job at sticking to his roots while still making something completely different. (And Lick Lick fans can rejoice at the news that the band’s already working on their next album, even though this one just came out…)
(Feature photo by Max Spitzenberger.)