Happy Go Licky

Rutes Of Sprung

Will Play - Peterbilt/Dischord 1997
Rating = 6

Happy Go Licky was Rites Of Spring. Same exact members. Guy Picciotto and Brendan Canty (just DAYS before they joined Fugazi!), plus Edward Janney and Michael Fellows. Emosters Rites Of Spring busted up, 3/4ths of the band became One Last Wish for a piece and then all four rejoined under the name "Happy Go Licky." Theoretically, I should probably put this review on my Rites Of Spring page (for example, I didn't create separate pages for Ciccone Youth and Iommi), but if they feel SOOO strongly that this music should be judged outside of the Rites Of Spring career continuum, then I feel obliged to oblige. Plus Happy Go Licky doesn't sound a bit like Rites Of Spring, which makes their moniker decision all the more sensical.

Why does my penis itch so much? I mean, it really really itches. I put some moisturizer on it but that just seemed to make it tickle all the more. I guess I can only blame myself for all the damange I've done in my wife's absence during the past two weeks, but don't these things normally heal or something? But look, this is all beside the point. You didn't come here to read about my itchy penis and I didn't come here to review the Happy Go Licky CD, so maybe we should just agree to disagree.

How about a compromise? How about I review the Happy Go Licky CD - you know, for YOU. And then afterwards I'll write a short novella about my itchy penis? Does that work for you? Great! I'm assuming you said "yes"!

Alright here we go. Once upon a time in a small villa in Upper East Side Manhattan, a young virile man named Dave Prindle noticed that his penis was itchy. His first thought was "Ants in the vas deferens!" and a knitting needle was quickly heated and i

What? Oh! The review, yes. Happy Go Licky of Rites of Spring fame did not play very much punk or emo. Maybe one or two songs, but that's it. Mostly they played repetitive bass/drum pieces amplified with three-person shouted vocals, tape samples, and as many crankly weird echoey strange guitar noises as Guy and Edward could conjure up. Although they don't necessarily sound like any pre-existing band, I'd have to guess by the dancey drumbeats and non-musical guitarwork that they were influenced by PIL's Second Edition and Gang Of Four. Some of the guitar tones remind me of Killing Joke too, so count them as perhaps another precursor. I love the innovative noisescapes they're able to create on their six-string distorted beasts, and many of the tracks could pass for Fugazi songs with a bit more development. So congratulations everybody, on all the hard work you've done!

There are downers at the disc though, the main one being that 19 of these 21 tracks were recorded live. As you more than anybody else after all we've been through is well aware, my dick itches. In addition, you probably know that recordings of unsigned bands playing live in small, musty clubs generally suffer from bad sound. In the case of Happy Go Licky, the drums sound crisp and incredible, but a lot of the guitar noise is buried and it's really, really hard to make out exactly how the songs were intended to sound (this becomes disturbingly clear when the practice tape of "Casing" comes on near the end and reveals the composition to be about a billion times more layered and interplay-oriented than the live version demonstrated). My other major complaint is - and no offense to Michael Fellows here - but the bass lines suck. When your guitarists are creating soundscapes instead of hooks, the bassist MUST come up with some interesting riffs to drive the songs. Michael manages this on maybe three occasions (U2-pleasant "13 Months Of Sunshine," up-down finger flup "Pastel Blue Eyes" and neat slappy "Suzuki"). The rest of the time, he plays amateurish boring rock cliches of two or three basic notes. No offense to Michael Fellows though! This stuff was recorded in 1987 and 1988. I'm sure he's much better now. For all I know, Edward Jan Halen told him what to play the whole time. So the bass lines THEMSELVES may have sucked, but the odds on it being Michael Fellows' fault are so slim that I can only laugh at you for bringing it up in the first place. THERE! BEHIND THAT TREE! SEE IT? THAT'S MY SPINE!

Oh how I wish Happy Go Licky would have recorded a studio record. Their forward-thinking innovation would have benefitted immeasurably from a bit of audio clarity, plus they probably wouldn't have dragged the songs on for so damn interminably long in the studio environment. ("Don't Bone Me" is 5:27. FIVE:TWENTY-SEVEN!!!! Do you realize how many chicks I could nob in 5:27??)

I tell you what though. It's long. 16 different songs, four alternate takes and one silly avant-garde tape loop thingy featuring guest artists Led Zeppelin, Prince, Queen and The Barking Dogs. That's 73 minutes of pre-Fugazi Piccicantyotto!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to play Trivial Pursuit - Penus Edition. Oh hang on! No WONDER it itches! I accidentally left it inside this beehive and honey is dripping all over it! Well, that's what I get for trying to "piss" off a bunch of yellow jackets! Ha ha! Ah me.


But wait a second -- with all that swelling, is it not inconceivable that Martha "You Could Fit A House In There" Stewart might be impressed enough to finally let me thow tat shit all up her?

Sting away, beez! Sting away for love!

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