Pickwick – Can’t Talk Medicine [album review]

by Woody on March 11, 2013


Listening to Pickwick reminds me of why I hate the music industry. Last year, we caught Pickwick’s set at Antone’s and Oz commented that lead singer Galen Disston’s voice was one of the best he’s heard in all our years at SXSW. Combined with a phenomenal band consisting of Michael Parker, Garrett Parker, Alex Westcoat,Kory Kruckenberg and Cassady Lillstrom that plays a soulful, R&B sound; its easy to see a record exec getting their hands on, overproducing them and ruining their sound.

If that happened, we would be robbed of one of America’s top up and coming bands. The band recorded the album in their living room and it shows. It was recorded on 1/2 inch tape on an 8 track and incorporates found sounds. The album has some bumps and bruises, and that adds to the aesthetic of the band. The bass line in the mesmerizing Lady Luck is the antithesis of the gorgeous vocals, it is fuzzy and a little meaty. But it doesn’t get in the way of Disston’s and Sharon Van Etten’s stunning, beautiful vocals. Its the contrast that makes song burn into your brain.

My favorite tunes from my previous go-rounds with this band tended to be the up-beat numbers that lit a charge under you. Hacienda Motel and The Round were pure bliss and could get a corpse to sit up and tap their feet. Those two find their way on Can’t Talk Medicine after being on the Myths EP. But the tune that’s been kicking my ass is Brother Roland. It is a bluesy R&B track that has Disston stretching out his chops. It is a fiery number with some top-notch organ work. This tune exemplifies the band’s dedication to keeping their music raw and unfettered. It gets up under you and claws right into your soul.

I can’t wait to see these guys again. Their show at Antone’s last year was jaw-dropping. They are going to be all over Austin. If I have the pleasure to meet them, I will shake their hands and say, “job well done.” You can do the same here.

3/13 – KGSR Broadcast at W Hotel (200 Lavaca St.) – 7:00am
3/13 – C3 Party at Lambert’s (401 W 2nd St) – 12:50pm
3/13 – IFC Crossroads House at Vice Bar (302 E. 6th Street) – 12:00pm
3/14 – Paste Magazine at The Stage on Sixth (508 E 6th St ) – 3:00pm
3/14 – Virgin Mobile at 508 House (508 E. 8th St) – 6:00pm
3/14 – SXSW Showcase at Central Presbyterian Church (200 E. 8th St) – 10:00pm
3/15 – Public Radio Day Stage at Austin Convention Center (500 E Cesar Chavez St.) – 3:00pm

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Thomas Masaru March 26, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Saw Pickwick perform in Oregon. Great performance. Really nice guys too. If interested, you can check out their interview at: http://www.combustus.com/13/pickwick-seattle-indie-band/

john April 4, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Michael and Garrett’s last name is Parker, not “Tucker.”

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