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Evil Beaver
Lick It!
Four Alarm Records

You won’t notice immediately that only two (2) persons are creating the huge sound on this record. And if you were judging by the name of this band, album, and all the songs thinking it’s laden with sophomoric locker-room humor about cunning linguists, you would be mostly amiss. If that is the extent of your taste, best look for Elmer Fudpucker. If that wasn’t relief enough, the lyrics lean more toward poetry than the current rash of formless open diary ramblings. The arrangements weave patterns together that give more width to the sound, and make it more unbelievable that this is only a rhythm section. While the parts fit together, they aren’t mirroring the other side. Evil has a great voice and placement, and Beaver’s drumming is flawlessly exciting.

The creepy waltzes "Footmacist" and "Enter Beaver" are at once beautiful and frantically destructive. Evie switches bass tones from filthy fuzzed-out slashing, to picking out a dark old-world melodic strand. Likewise, her vocals are versatile and make use of unusual offset rhythms. Beaver splatters the tunes with spastically obsessive punctuation. There’s a purity to Evie’s no-frills delivery. "Cherry Master" is a gear shifting Motorhead styled vehicle with more than a taste of Wendy O Williams in the gruff singing. The drive is fierce and punctuated by occasional church bell clangs. What could have been an uncouth subject is elevated to a thing of beauty that swings at the hips. With the quiet vulnerable bits breaking into caustic assaults, "Superbird" begins to resemble Nirvana. The plodding bass-work and even Beaver’s fetching drum fills confirm this. The sleepiness of "Our Garden" gets a nagging wake-up like a ranting bed-partner with a sharp elbow who wants to talk to your dozing ass.

"Muff Control Unit" marks the first time the vocals really follow Evil’s own bass line. Somehow it sounds like a rushed British dream. The urgent melody is interrupted by a brutal Neolithic Plasmatics stomp. The slightly psychedelic "Chokin’ The Pearl" is darkly trippy like an Eric Burdon number. "Macho Man" has foreboding bass twiddling and a Pixies explosion. "The Ballad of Sandy Martino" is a delicate thing with piano and softly brushed drums. The lyrics, In a dark room standing by the closet, there’s a blind man looking out the window. In a panic he tells me that he sees her, but is it so? are delivered with an early Bowie bent. Part two turns deadly. Evil spits acid through the words and fuzz. The desperation on "Cracked Ass" is convincing as Evil pleads her case. Janis Joplin wishes she could have gotten away with "Burnin’ Beaver Blues." It’s a hilarious, tawdry lament with jaw harp, and distorted vocals for slide guitar.

The formula is pretty simple, but it hits a lot of bases. Metal, punk, riot grrl, indie, stoners, geeks, dweebies…they all think Evil Beaver is one righteous dude.

On a scale of rejected Evil Beaver band names: One being Black Box and ten being The Organ Grinder, Lick It gets an eight, Area 182.

Complaints Dept: You’ll notice immediately that the two (2) members of this combo have imitated our own Skid Upstart and Rux Pipsqueak in the names they have chosen. The Upstart Pipsqueaks have countered by changing their monikers to the more phallic, Peter O’Toole and Beaver Cleaver.

~Ewan Wadharmi

Track Listing:

  1. Footmacist
  2. Enter Beaver
  3. Cherry Master
  4. Superbird
  5. Our Garden
  6. Muff Control Unit
  7. Chokin' The Pearl
  8. Macho Man
  9. Year Of The Cookie
  10. Ballad Of Sandy D. Martino I
  11. Ballad Of Sandy D. Martino II
  12. Cracked Ass
  13. Burnin Beaver Blues

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