The Lickerish Quartet: Return of the Sugar High

Those who know me best know that I wander the earth searching for the next song to soothe my soul. Most of the time it’s right in front of me, just like the pint of chocolate peanut butter ice cream that stares every time I open the freezer. This is the case with The Lickerish Quartet and their new EP Threesome, Vol. 3. 

The Lickerish Quartet is the combined effort of ex-Jellyfish members Roger Joseph Manning Jr. (Beck, Air, Cheap Trick, Imperial Drag), Tim Smith (Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds,The Finn Brothers, Sheryl Crow, Umajets), and Eric Dover (Imperial Drag, Slash’s Snakepit, Alice Cooper, Sextus). The band’s moniker was inspired by the erotic film of the same name. Smith, Dover, and Manning Jr. reunited in 2017 and set the foundation for what would be a series of EPs. 

They released Threesome Vol. 1 on May 15, 2020 and Threesome Vol. 2 on January 8, 2021 respectively with gems such as, “Fadoodle,” “Lighthouse Spaceship,” “Do You Feel Better,” and “The Dream That Took Me Over.” Threesome Vol. 3 , out a month ago today, completes the trilogy with the same power pop perfection. Threesome, Vol. 3 is comparable to the Return of the Jedi in ways because it’s the final story of an epic soap opera filled with compelling stories and faraway places. The EP was recorded via remote writing, recording, and mixing. COVID-19 challenges forced them to complete it via Zoom sessions, emails, and phone calls. Although these obstacles stood in the way, the end result is magical.

“Fortunately” leads off with The Lickerish Quartet’s signature sound. The EP’s first single is sticky sweet, but dive deeper and you’ll find a sea of philosophy. The lyrics (I have a secret that I have learned / Although some may not take it so well/Fortunately for all involved, no one really goes to hell) remind me of the classic XTC song “Dear God” with harmonies and handclaps. Tim Smith provides the vocals to this bouncy tune with finesse.

“New Days” is a cinematic landscape sung by Roger Manning Jr. It’s a psychedelic tale of remembering the past with the longing for a brighter future. The lavish guitars and groovy bass lines enhance Eric Dover’s idealistic vision portrayed in his words. “You All Alone” follows with Dover on vocal duties and posing the question “Who is the hunter and who is the hunted?”. The string arrangement is particularly riveting.

“In The Meantime” rounds out the EP. Smith provides fearless vocals with a timely message. The song ponders where we go when the world around us isn’t recognizable. I’ll tell you where. It’s by turning off the chatter and turning on the music. Threesome, Vol. 3 is the salve we all need, especially now.

Star Wars was supposed to conclude after its third movie and Threesome, Vol. 3 is supposed to conclude the trilogy with this talented trio. But, you know what happened with the former. Granted, Roger, Tim, and Eric are busy with other projects, but it’s too good to end. We’ll see if the force will awaken with prequels or sequels to fill our ears. It’s given me the sugar high I’ve been looking for and left me wanting more.

Threesome, Vol. 3 is Available Now via Stranger Danger Records and Tapes!