Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Ricked Wicky: "King Heavy Metal" (album review)

On July 24th the world will get King Heavy Metal, the second release from Guided By Voices' Robert Pollard under the moniker Ricked Wicky.

Give Pollard credit, rather than use the new pseudonym as yet another vehicle to release every half-contrived song snippet he's got floating around, he instead has used Ricked Wicky as a way to get some of his most different-sounding stuff out.

As the title would suggest, there is a definite heavy metal influence to many of the tracks.  "Earth Among Men" and "Tomfoole Terrific" show off the genres many styles.  Pollard goes as far as to assume an Ozzy-esque delivery to his vocals on the sludgy "Ogling Blarest".  He manages to hit on a near stadium anthem on "Weekend Worriers".

The fuzzed out vocals and wacky arrangements make "Come Into My Wig Shop" sound like an homage to Tom Waits.  "This Has Been My Picture" features experimental drone guitar.

Of course not everything is that novel.  "Jargon of Clones" and "I'll Let You In" are simple, solid guitar rock tunes.  "Too Strong for No One To See You" is a fairly standard acoustic GBV number.

The sonic diversity and the dalliance into new territory (for Pollard anyway) is to be commended.  However, the songs aren't really up to a quality that one would like when forking over cash for a record.

Best tracks: "Weekend Worries", "Jargon of Clones"

Track listing for King Heavy Metal:
  • Jargon of Clones
  • Come Into My Wig Shop
  • Too Strong for No One To See You
  • This Has Been My Picture
  • Ogling Blarest
  • Tomfoole Terrific
  • Earth Among Men
  • Weekend Worrier
  • Walk Through Glass
  • I'll Let You In 
  • Map And Key

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