Ricky - High Speed Silence (Beat Crazy Records)
By Nick Quantrill
Released 10th October 2005
Ricky were undoubtedly one of the music industry's success stories of 2004.
Sheer determination, effort and no little talent saw the band's self-released single
hit the national charts and the accompanying debut album receive a four-star
review in 'Q' magazine.
Now signed to Beat Crazy Records, their debut release for the label,
Stop Knocking The Walls Down, saw the band crash into the Top Forty.
Following on from this, Ricky's second album promises to
further cement their position as one of the UK's most promising guitar bands.
High Speed Silence is undoubtedly a major step-forward from that debut album.
Recorded on a shoestring budget, the album focused primarily on Ricky's
love of 1960's West Coast Americana through its glorious three-part harmonies,
12 string guitars and catchy hooks.
By comparison, High Speed Silence reveals a band intent on broadening their musical horizons.
Although the trademark three-part harmonies are still easily detectable, they have
been mixed with the more contemporary sounds of the Brit-pop era.
Easy On You and The Kick Inside are prime examples of this subtle, but important
shift as they set anthemic choruses and melodies to an Oasis-like wall of guitar sound.
Particularly successful is the album's second single, That Extra Mile, as it
distils all Ricky's influences and blends them together with their
own modern take on them.
With its uplifting brass section and huge chorus, it is the most perfect summer
single since The Boo Radley's Wake Up Boo.
High Speed Silence is a record that aims to challenge any lingering notions that
the band can be written off as being one-dimensional.
The results are a little mixed as although the ballad Windblown Alley and the
string-laden Speculation are spectacular successes, Pretend falls just short
of conjuring up a Neil Young inspired country-tinged number.
Ricky's weakness is that by wearing their influences on their sleeves,
they occasionally tread a fine line between originality and predictability.
Although Sonny Barger demonstrates the effortless ease with which the band
can turn out a stunning melody, it's a song that is a little too much in debt to
The Thrills, and frankly, Ricky are better than that.
With its confident swagger and potent mix of catchy pop tunes, High Speed Silence is
the sound of a band that is able to take many classic influences and blend them
together to create a sound that is refreshing and unique.
Their ability to tap into the sort of sound and feeling that has catapulted bands
like Oasis to huge success, while retaining a certain distinctiveness is what
marks the band out as one to watch out for.
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