Guided By Robert Pollard

Ricked Wicky
King Heavy Metal

by Propellerless

“King Heavy Metal” starts off with the single, “Jargon of Clones”,
which is a brilliant piece of Pop/Rock that Bob has become quite skilled at.
It follows the classic pop structure of Verse/Chorus/Verse/Chorus/Middle Eighth/Verse.

Well, just when you think you know where this album is heading,
the next song, “Come into My Wig Shop” comes out of left field.

Starting with a pipe organ and the ace rhythm section of Todd Tobias on bass
and Kevin March on drums.
Nick Mitchell’s choppy guitar comes in with Bob’ megaphone sounding vocal.

Then it goes into a psychedelic section, back into the song and back again.
The song is a 70’s Prog/Psychedelic hybrid that delves into Circus Devils territory.

Which is the big difference between this album and the other two Ricked Wicky albums,
making it the stranger of the three records.

Being that I’m a big Circus Devils fan,
I find this album to be great, because of it’s weirdness.

But the next song which is Nick Mitchell’s “Imminent Fall from Grace”,
where he sings like Rush’s Geddy Lee, disrupts the flow of the album.

Kind of like the first two Queen albums,
where drummer Roger Taylor’s rock 'n roll songs
would be inserted between Freddy Mercury’s and Brian May’s other worldly songs.

But I will say this in defense of Nick Mitchell, I think he’s an excellent guitarist,
the four albums he made with Bob are among Bob’s best,
probably because of Nick’s musical contributions.

And I always hoped that Ricked Wicky would become a permanent band
that performed live.

“Too Strong For No One To See You” is a nice acoustic song with a horn solo
or is that a keyboard?
Perhaps this song was one of those short acoustic songs Bob writes
but was fleshed out for the album.

“This Has Been My Picture” takes us back to that weird Circus Devils territory,
which I love and the bands playing is excellent.
Love the Mellotron, very 70’s.
At almost 6 minutes the song whizzes by, at least for me.

“Ogling Blarest” is probably the most Circus Devils sounding song
with it’s Heavy Metalness (is that a word?) that was all over Circus Devils
album from the same year, “Stomping Grounds,”
which it could have easily fit on.
The next song, “Tomfoole Terrific” which is the albums second single
is just that, Terrific!
Bob is so skilled at writing these great rock songs and the band is so tight
behind him, damn great!

“Earth Among Men” sounds very 80’s/New Wave to me, except with much better guitar.
“Weekend Worriers” (see above “Imminent Fall from Grace”, sorry Nick.)

“Walk Through Glass” is a damaged beauty much like Circus Devils
“He Had All Day” and “When The Beast Falls Down.”

“I’ll Let You In” is another excellent rocker.

“Map and Key” is a great album closer and like “A Real Stab” the last song on
the prior album, “I Sell The Circus”, “Map and Key” ends with a two minute plus
guitar solo by Nick Mitchell, very seventies.

Like all three of the Ricked Wicky albums, “King Heavy Metal” is Great.
Part of what makes these albums so great is that they really don’t sound
anything like one another, even though they were released in the same year.

Where lesser but more successful rock bands would spend their careers
making the same album over and over, Ricked Wicky doesn’t fall into that trap.

A+ Excellent !

P.S. Bob, Please, more Ricked Wicky albums!