Saddle Creek | Icky Blossoms | Reviews


Icky Blossoms

Author: Dorian S. Ham
07/20/2012 | The Agit Reader | | Album Review
Most bands, even the ones you like, tend to be slightly one-dimensional. That's not to say that they're boring, but you kind of know what to expect. Lamb of God isn't going to break into an Al Jarreau-iinfluenced scat moment, and Barbara Streisand isn't going to spit a hot 16 bars. As a result, when a band is able to rustle up some legitimate surprises, you better sit up and take notice. Such is the case with Omaha's Icky Blossoms. The trio, comprised of vocalist and keyboardist Sarah Bohling, Tilly and the Wall guitarist and vocalist Derek Pressnall, and lead guitarist and vocalist Nik Fackler, are dropping their self-titled, surprise-filled debut on Saddle Creak Records.

It's a record that keeps the listener on his toes. The group trades vocalists and styles like a tilt-a-whirl version of musical chairs. One track they're reminiscent of latter-era New Order, while on the next they pull out a moody indie rock number with insistent synths, and yet on the next one they create a pulsating dark dubby cut appropriate for the dankest warehouse club. But the band doesn't tip the balance by trying to do too much in one song. Each song is a self-contained universe. In theory, it should sound like a scattershot mess. Instead, it all hangs together remarkably well. Even amongst the various elements, there's a sense of unity.

Part of the reason behind the cohesion may be the steady hand of Dave Sitek (TV on the Radio) on the production board. Or perhaps it's the fact that the record has a moody, dry undercurrent. However, it may just be that each member plays his or her position extremely well. So if Bohling needs to channel Kim Gordon in "Kool Thing" mode for "Babies," she's going to sell it like the rent is due tomorrow. Pressnal knows just how much and when to use his guitar and when to lay back and let the rest of the band do the work. It's the type of self-awareness and restraint that other bands still struggle with on their fourth and fifth albums, so it's astounding that Icky Blossoms have hit the mark on their debut. It will be exciting to see where they go next, but Icky Blossoms has enough nooks and crannies to dig into for awhile.
Icky Blossoms

Icky Blossoms

LP / CD / MP3