This is GREAT news. 3/4ths of Jellyfish have reunited! I wish Andy Sturmer would come out of hiding! Still, the first track from The Lickerish Quartet is a dandy! Here’s the press release:
March 13, 2020 — It’s the semi-reunion Jellyfish fans have been waiting for since 1993. After months of loud buzzing on social media, the time has come to give those fans what they’ve been dreaming of for over two decades. As they say, absence does make the collaborative heart grow fonder.
Ladies and gentlemen: THE LICKERISH QUARTET.
In 2017, three masterful musicians–Roger Joseph Manning Jr. (Beck, Air, Cheap Trick, Imperial Drag), Tim Smith (Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, The Finn Brothers, Sheryl Crow, Umajets) and Eric Dover (Imperial Drag, Slash’s Snakepit, Alice Cooper, Sextus)—reconnected the melodiously fruitful bond they formed in 1993 on Jellyfish’s second and last album, SPILT MILK. In the midst of supporting the visions of the other artists they’ve performed with since then, they’ve spent these last three years creating something they could truly call their own.
To that end, Manning, Smith, and Dover’s undeniable chemistry can now be found within every sonic pore of the four brand new songs that comprise THE LICKERISH QUARTET’s cheekily named THREESOME VOL. 1 EP, which is set for release on May 15 via The Lickerish Quartet/Label Logic, as distributed by INgrooves. Pre-orders are now available here.
The first single, “Lighthouse Spaceship,” recently premiered on Popmatters.com and can now be seen on the band’s official YouTube page.
From the mischievous harmonic invitation of “Fadoodle” to the folk-tinged uplift of “Bluebird’s Blues” to the twangy lamentation of “There Is a Magic Number” to the cosmic muscle of the EP’s first single, “Lighthouse Spaceship,” THREESOME VOL. 1 confirms the communal strengths of a trio of songwriters who have clearly retained an intuitive sense of knowing exactly how to elevate the sum of each other’s musical chops. A video for “Lighthouse Spaceship” was recently released (NEEDS INFO).
“While touring with Jellyfish, it was pretty clear to me that both Eric and Tim had plenty to say as writers in their own right,” Manning reports. “All these years later, it was like picking up where we left off in many ways. Ultimately, the songs go on their own journeys, but I also think our collective vocal sound puts a stamp on all of them, no matter who’s singing lead. That’s what really joins it all together.” Smith very much agrees with that assessment. “It’s a good feeling knowing we found a way to blend together again as the three of us, and then find new ways to explore our ideas,” he marvels. “I think all the songs we did make something magical out of the mundane aspects of daily life.”
THREESOME VOL. 1 opens with “Fadoodle,” a Dover-driven look at how to rekindle the fires of a long-entrenched relationship. “Well, I’m always looking for new ways to say dirty things,” Dover observes with a laugh. “I found a big list of naughty words from back in the day for what people used to denote fornication. It’s fascinating, because this has the distinction of being a pop song that has the world’s oldest slang yet is released in the 21st Century.” Adds Manning, “This one has that eighth-note driving thing that was a big part of the glitter sound of the early punk wave, so it’s got that kind of energy right out of the gate. Thankfully, once we had Eric’s lyric in place, it was just a free-for-all in having fun with the vocal interplay.”
Next comes Manning’s “Bluebird’s Blues,” which features Mellotron and a 3D feel born from a musical bed he initially came up with back in 1988. “That one was very much a guitar song,” explains Manning, “and after showing my idea on piano to Tim and Eric, they were able to run with it immediately to give it that folkie guitar feel that it needed, and was calling out for. All of our contributions, including those of our drummer Jeremy Stacey, show the intricacies and clever ways of how we were able to move through that folk chord progression.” Interjects Dover, “It was an instantaneous thing we did, from Note 1. It set the mood, and it’s a beautiful moment. Being able to do that is one of the things we have going on together musically.”
The third track is “There Is a Magic Number,” a Smith-penned rumination on how to deal with the sad circumstance of two people who have drifted apart after putting the blame for their dissolution on a number that signified the last straw — all buttressed by a signature trippy guitar line courtesy of Dover. “That just had to do with my favorite ’60s psychedelic garage records along with a little bit of surf music thrown in because I like some of those clean, twangy things,” Dover confirms. Adds Smith, “You never really hear any sad surfer music, do you? I just thought this was an interesting play on the idea of what could cause a relationship to end, without them really knowing why but blaming the circumstances on the final number you reach in your head after experiencing X amount of things, X amount of times.”
The EP concludes with the quite heady 6½-minute trip on a “Lighthouse Spaceship.” Manning reflects, “It was just a big experiment we were eager to conduct, and Eric’s genesis for the idea of the lyric really helped pull it all together. Once we had that very vivid imagery in hand, we could start expanding upon it in the arrangement to help paint the visual extension of his lyrics, which are wonderfully psychedelic.”
Given the inherent, aurally seductive nature of THREESOME VOL. 1, they have a feeling many fans both old and new will want much more of THE LICKERISH QUARTET music in their lives — and then some.