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Shades of Streamers

Licorice Roots

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Album Review

Nearly a decade-and-a-half after their original debut as a Kramer-produced Shimmy Disc act called Raymond Listen, the Licorice Roots stay true to their peculiar mix of lo-fi folk, homemade psychedelia and quirky pop hooks on their third proper album. There are some genuinely peculiar moments on Shades of Streamers, most notably the extended, Galaxie 500-like re-imagination of the Isley Brothers' "Shout" into placid eddies of narcotic haze. If anything, this album may be slightly less polished than the Licorice Roots' previous efforts: for some reason, Edward Moyse's vocals on all 15 songs have been sent through the exact same form of processed distortion (think of a crackly version of John Lennon's lead vocal on his solo single "Mind Games"), which has the frustrating effect of making the tunes sound much more alike than they really are. That distraction aside, the expansive, double-album-length Shades of Streamers recalls the D.I.Y. neo-prog of vintage Olivia Tremor Control. Concise and playful psych-pop tunes like "Silver Hill" and the amazingly catchy "Mystifying You" sit comfortably next to willfully experimental wig outs and trippy, oddball tunes like "Yarrow Narrows," which sounds like what would have happened if "Wear Your Love Like Heaven"-era Donovan had been tapped to write the Sesame Street theme song. Those fans of the old Elephant 6 bands who have not yet been hipped to the Licorice Roots will find much to enjoy here.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s

What if, instead of splitting off to form Neutral Milk Hotel, the Olivia Tremor Control, and the Apples in Stereo, the original core members of the Elephant 6 collective had formed one band that incorporated Jeff Mangum's scratchy lo-fi folk, Will Cullen Hart and Bill Doss' trippy experimental tendencies, and Robert Schneider's knack for clever pop hooks? The results would have sounded very much like the Delaware psych-pop trio the Licorice Roots. In fact, the Licorice Roots pre-date the recording...
Full Bio
Shades of Streamers, Licorice Roots
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