Words by Callum Sheppard
Excellent debuts have been in abundance so far this year and it’s only the end of May. Not one for wanting to lessen their own brilliance is the debut effort, a collection of two EPs, from Bristol’s own LICE. They just so happen to be the first signing at the record label belonging to Joe Talbot of IDLES fame and having recently toured with the band, this stunning 19-minute powerhouse should be enough to send their name skywards towards something much bigger.
One of the most interesting aspects of LICE’s debut is just how brutally daunting all the songs appear, enclosing you within them for their brief span. Even with the short nature of the 8-song album, none of the tracks are ever forgettable, regardless of how much you have to take in so suddenly.
Only ‘Little John Waynes’ falls over the 3-minute mark and is bigger and better than anything else on the album. LICE produce a greater capacity of weirdness through Alastair Shuttleworth’s vocals and an accompanying cacophony of sound, but trust me, it’s the good kind.
There always seems to be a hilarity to everything, however subtle, but never veering to sarcasm, and the band embrace this tenfold. Whether it be Shuttleworth’s vocal ability that pulls you in, or keeps you away depending on how much you actually like the album, or the prominent instrumental brutality of the surrounding crew, there really is something for everyone. Just don’t expect a band like them to stop with the chaos anytime soon.
IT ALL WORKED OUT GREAT (VOL. I & II) IS OUT NOW VIA BALLEY RECORDS.