The Lickets: Journey in Caldecott
International Corporation

Recorded in Chicago during 2006-07, Lickets' Journey In Caldecott collects fifteen hallucinatory forays into multiple genres, with haunted psych-folk the most prominent. Mitch Greer and Rachel Smith deploy a mini-orchestra—violin, cello, guitar, double bass, flute, Farfisa, mellotron, vibraphone, Theremin, Mini-moog, chimes, xylophone, and percussion—to create their thoroughly trippy travelogue. Often it's a challenge to identify the instruments within a given piece when they're so wholly subsumed within Lickets' densely layered mix; some instruments manage to stay at the surface, while others blend into the overall hazy fabric. The material sometimes calls to mind the image of a mushroom-addled escapee from the ‘60s (e.g., the hazy drone “Pollen” with its Doors-like organ warble, and “Eye of Horus Computer Repair Shop,” where sitars blaze over its swirling masses); leaving nothing to chance, the mere title of “Smoking Hippie” gives the game away.

The mix of vibes and lazy head-nod in “Children's Magical Death” could pass for crate-diggin' instrumental hip-hop but generally Lickets opts for hypnotic, aggressively thrusting streams of acoustic guitars, whispered vocals, vibes, and cellos. Standouts include “Crowd of Pimps in the Rain,” a meandering, sleepy flow of willowy acoustic sounds, “Tears Into Leaves,” a vertiginous psych-folk drone filled with haunted voices and swirling harp strums, and “Costa del Concrete,” whose harmonium-like wheeze is generated by a mix of organ smears, string sawing, and xylophone percussion. Melodically, one of the most distinguished pieces is “It's All at the Co-op Now” whose wistful melodies elevate it above the rest. The perfect gift for both your resident ‘60s survivor and fellow psych-folk fanatic.

October 2007