Review: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks

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Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
“Pig Lib”
(Matador)

Former frontman for nineties indie rock royalty Pavement, Stephen Malkmus seems to have found a new group of musicians from around his adopted hometown of Portland, Oregon that have just as much talent to offer. The Jicks (Joanna Bolme on bass, Mike Clark on guitar and keyboards and John Moen on drums) have certainly come into their own since Malkmus’ solo debut a couple of years ago.

On their sophomore effort “Pig Lib”, Steve and The Jicks take their brand of prog rock to the next level. ┬áHis guitar solos have taken on a much more mature nature, which seems fitting as Steve finds himself in the midst of his thirties.

From the opening track, “Water And A Seat” to the sing-along closer “US”, the album is chalked full pop-able treats. Track # 4 “Vanessa From Queens” is sure to be a hit amongst young girls named “Vanessa”, and perhaps within the community of Queens, New York as well.

With eleven guitar driven songs in all, the eager fans who’ve been waiting for the follow up to his critically acclaimed debut will not be disappointed with “Pig Lib”.

As soon as you hit track # 8 “Witch Mountain Brigade”, you’ll know you’ve made a proper purchase or, have made a well informed decision prior to your shoplifting spree.