The Lickerish Quartet | Threesome Vol. 1 (The Lickerish Quartet/Label Logic/INgrooves)

Photo of The Lickerish Quartet by Jay Gilbert, courtesy of ABC Public Relations.

There’s a scene in High Fidelity where Jack Black’s record store clerk is trying to give Jesus and Mary Chain records to a customer bemoaning the lack of new Echo and the Bunnymen albums. In the same way, fans of the late, great early 1990s psychedelic power pop heroes Jellyfish have long been searching for something to scratch their own itch.

Enter The Lickerish Quartet, the new project from former Jellyfish members Roger Joseph Manning Jr., Tim Smith, and Eric Dover. Their debut EP Threesome Vol. 1 is the first of three that will be released over the next 18 months. Many of the songs on the three releases are the fruits of ideas that have been bouncing around the band members’ heads for a quarter century.

Opening track “Fadoodle” starts off promising, sounding like the intro to LCD Soundsystem’s “All My Friends” crossed with Thin White Duke-era Bowie, but tries a bit too hard to be jaunty and winking. The overall results are a little more irritating than enjoyable. But thankfully, it’s the only quibble with an otherwise delightful EP. On the dreamy “Magic Number,” a George Harrison solo track, post-Roger Waters Pink Floyd, and Semisonic converge on a billowing cloud of slide guitar and analog synths. “Bluebird’s Blues” infuses ELO’s arty immediacy with sprightly Magical Mystery Tour-era Beatles flourishes.

Highlight “Lighthouse Spaceship” is a dynamic mini-epic overflowing with melody and, with its dizzying arrangement, a natural choice to close out the EP. Big harmony vocals are dressed up with Mellotron, piano, and Brian May guitars, and laced with sticky power pop goodness, a little bit of progressive rock, and, weirdly enough, stadium-era Green Day. It’s irresistibly joyful, and not difficult to imagine this is what Jellyfish would have sounded like had they stuck around through the 1990s and into the Aughts.

Threesome Vol. 1 is well written, impeccably produced, and played with gusto by Manning, Dover and Smith—and immediately whets the appetite for the other installments in the series. It will appeal to Jellyfish fans who have spent almost 30 years clamoring for more, as well as any fan of hooky, glam-inflected power pop. | Mike Rengel

Check out the video to “Lighthouse Spaceship” below, courtesy of the band’s YouTube channel.

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