The MiCKS are a three-piece garage roots rock band based out of Jersey City, N.J. and founded by brothers Matt (singer/songwriter/guitarist) and Sam McMickle (drums), joined by Hank Prol (bass). During December they released their self-titled album The MiCKS. The EP was recorded, mixed and mastered in analog, and mostly tracked at Dreamland Studios, an old converted church in West Hurley, NY.
Energy is one thing The MiCKS decidedly do not lack. From the opening, bustling bar-band vibe of “The Dry Splash,” to the hypnotic slow-grinder “Cry Every Time” and singer Matt McMickle’s unique, soulful vocal chords, The MiCKS demonstrate that they are a band that care about making impressively inspired music. Showing a natural predilection for American roots rock and classic British rock from the past, that isn’t quite so apparent in modern rock music anymore.
This album succeeds largely because of the band’s unquestionable passion for a truly original and organic rock sound, the creative arrangements and undoubted musicianship, plus Matt’s alluringly warm voice. The MiCKS cleverly play to those strengths on all their songs, leaving you the listener totally caught-up in awe.
Checkout the cascading vigor on the track “Useless,” to fully understand the band’s previously cited, creative arrangements. The song also relies heavily on Matt’s powerful vocals to support it. Even more so than the previous two tracks, but he steps up to the plate admirably and delivers like a star player.
The band shifts down a gear or two on the slow strummer “Different Walls,” a song that succeeds on a beautifully dirty guitar rhythm, some heartfelt lyrics and powerful chorus lines. This is classic 60’s Brit-rock. A sound that relied on substance, not flash.
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“Dancing For The Smokers,” is quite possibly the standout track on the EP. A devastatingly wicked rock n’ roll tune, that is nothing short of brilliant. It rolls modern and classic rock into one epic arrangement, that ranks among one of the 5 best songs I have heard this entire 2012. The rhythm section is tight and the climbing choruses are what makes this band so admirable. A dirty guitar and Matt cathartically wailing “I don’t dance for anybody but me,” does the rest. If you ever needed a more fitting definition of authentic roots rock n’ roll, you have one now.
“Finish Me,” a solid mid-tempo rocker with a shuffling beat and some fine drum work, close the EP down, proving that this is a band which sounds on the verge of being huge!
The MiCKS are both old-school and new school. The music they put together is wondrous and hits you right in the middle of the heart. Fresh musical ideas roll-out one after another, on just about every song on this EP, thanks also to the songwriting of Matt McMickle, who to me, is pure genius.
You’ll love this album whether you’re by yourself or with a group of friends. It’s feel good, yet it rocks and it broods. It will make you want to shake your body to the beat and sing-a-long to the soaring melodies.
The self-titled “The MiCKS” Ep, is great songwriting, arrangements and deliveries, together with an amazing sense of creative anticipation for what brings a song together. Perfectly balancing urgency and intelligent sensitivity. These guys really deliver, always looking for ways to take a tune to the next level. Its hard to believe that they haven’t hit mainstream success already. All in all this is a superbly recorded Ep, revealing The MiCKS, in all their raw glory. Not to be missed!