Album: Ricky

You Set the Scene, Bod the Mod
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The Independent Culture

The young Portsmouth quartet Ricky brandish their influences on this debut mini-album with an enthusiasm that older, wiser heads might have eschewed. Their album title comes from Love's Forever Changes; their band logo apes the psychedelic typeface of the Byrds' Fifth Dimension; and, unless I'm being presumptuous, their name surely derives from the Rickenbacker guitar so intrinsic to their sound. Even before hearing a note, you can predict what they sound like: close-harmony vocals, jangly arpeggios and maybe a sliver of psychedelic lead guitar. What's surprising, though, is how assured a command they display of their chosen style on these half-dozen songs, which boast something of the fresh, appealing innocence of their influences' youthful work. "Mise-En-Scene" features some glorious falsetto "ooh-wee-ooh"s and descant harmonies, along with an enthusiastic invitation to "Let's eat some energy/ Remind ourselves we belong", while "Summer Almanac" (a prequel, presumably, to the Kinks' "Autumn Almanac") and "Morning Sunshine" offer an ingenuous folk-rock pastoralism recently equalled only by Gorky's Zygotic Mynci. Less welcome is the singer James Lines's lapse into Gallagherism on "Maybe Together" – his inflection comes a little too close to "Wonderwall" for comfort – but that's a lone gripe about an otherwise impressive debut effort. Whether the indie community is ready for another return to Byrdsy jangle-rock remains to be seen – if so, Ricky are ready for the fray.

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