"Lick Your Ticket" is Chikinki's major label debut but is by the letter of the law their difficult second album. Something that perhaps puts this ambitious but ultimately a "little short on tunes" release into perspective.
Any reviewer's feathers are ruffled by the sort of opening line used on Chikinki's press release: "And they sound like nothing else on the earth" - crikey here's a challenge, let's get stuck in! The truth is Chikinki sound like a lot of other people but their choice of weaponry is different, supplanting a lead guitar and bass with a couple of synths and beep beep machines. Yes it does create a rather unique sound but there is still a guitar and real drums for back-up and the rhythms and melodies are just the same as any other post-brit-pop act of the last 10 years.
It's not bad though and some standout tracks carry the formula above the average. Opener and first single "Assassinator 13" is a catchy angular guitar number while "Ether Radio" is an electro-pop summer affair and "Scissors Paper Stone" is a big electro-stomp meets Radiohead rock epic. Yet for the main part the paired down sine wave, saw wave and frequency knob-ramming accompaniment is interesting but missing a hook. The classic "where does one track end and another one start" scenario plays a big part in providing a fairly aimless journey. There is no denying there are lots of moments of creative spark where the band thrash out some great sounds, but great sounds don't make great songs!
Whether the ruthless industry will afford Chikinki a third album is unclear but it's easy to imagine a bright future with the twiddling honed into tunes.