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Chikinki - Lick Your Ticket


Review: Jack Foley

THEY'RE being hailed as the new leaders of electro-punk rock, so it is little wonder that Chikinki have attracted some heavyweight talent to help them out on their second album, Lick Your Ticket.

Most of the album was recorded in Bath, with renowned producer, Steve Osborne (of U2/New Order fame), and then mixed, in London, by the equally well-respected Alan Moulder (of Depeche Mode/ Smashing Pumpkins).

And it's a fairly accomplished affair, which is more of a long-term grower than an instant success.

Recent single, Ether Radio, is easily the most accessible track, courtesy of its guitar rift, which evokes memories of Blue Oyster Cult's Don't Fear The Reaper, and Rupert Browne's edgy vocals, which also stand up to comparison with the Super Furry Animals.

The rest of the album, however, is pretty much the same blend of infectious cheek and raw energy, played out against the electro-punk backdrop of Boris Ecton and Trevor Wensley's raw keyboards, and Ed East's edgy guitars.

The best that can be said for it is that it avoids the trap of falling into the same sort of post-punk retro rock that a lot of bands seem to be producing at the moment - although there are times, during the headier numbers, that their music also hints at The Rapture's style of music.

But, for the most part, this maintains an energy and enthusiasm of its own, and there are several tracks to savour.

The brooding, slow-building Staple Nation, for instance, introduces some strings early on, which neatly offsets the heavier guitars later on, while Drink, with its cute guitar riffs, and cool keyboards, is a really cracking workout.

As one reviewer stated, after seeing them live, Chikinki's drum beats are more beat box in style, while their electronic add-ons subtle, without being too kitsch. It's an appropriate description.

The package is a simple one - tight, measured and mostly fun - but, for the majority of the time, it works.

The guitar riffs, especially, enliven many a track, weaving their way in and out of them with simple, but memorable, bursts of energy.

All Eyes is a great example of the band getting the blend right, while the emotive Bombs ('I could make your head turn, with just one word/I don't need no bombs to make my voice heard') demonstrates a real maturity that is occasionally missing from some of the more cheeky moments.

Chikinki's Lick Your Ticket isn't without its faults, and there is the odd dud track, but it does mark a major step forward, and comes recommended for anyone with their eye on the electro-punk rock genre.

Track listing:
1. Assassinator 13
2. Ether Radio
3. Drink
4. Hate TV
5. Staple Nation
6. All Eyes
7. Scissors Paper Stone
8. To Sacrifice A Child
9. Bombs
10. Like It Or Leave It
11. Time
12. Forever

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