Kicksville - The Singles Season 6
Kicksville: Madison’s very own avant-prog-weirdo-almost-too-smart-for-their-own-good musical collective. I personally appreciate the unabashed esoterica, but accept that it’s an acquired taste. Thankfully, this time the twisted tunes are balanced by selections nearly approaching accessibility. Nearly!
Immediately following “press play”, Beefheart-type vocalizations mix with suspense-movie-theme-soundtrack stylings. The following cut, “Nameless Jack”, features Andy Ewen’s singing filtered through a warbling effect, over a more bluesy-pop composition complimented by organ and harmonica. But then, on “Bread Knife Bill”, the Beefheart-isms return, tastefully intertwined with Randal Harrison’s violin. I had to wrestle with the impulse to call out, “The blimp! It’s the blimp, Frank, the blimp!”
Since Kicksville are purveyors of multi-media stage presentations, I also felt the desire to experience this CD in other ways besides hearing it. Not that I recommend covering the disc with warming oils and rubbing it all over your body or anything, but visuals were certainly present in this writer’s mind’s eye. Unusual visions, of course, although not altogether unpleasant. Incidentally, on Kicksville’s bandcamp page you may enjoy artwork created especially for each track on this CD.
One moment that caught me off guard was a fairly straightforward version of the Toots Hibbert classic “Monkey Man”, although it was still “Kicksvilled-up” with a crazed Frisell-type guitar solo and ample liberties taken with the lyrics.