By Ben Opipari
Friday, November 30, 2012
Nebraska may not be the flashpoint of high-energy dance pop, but don’t tell that to Icky Blossoms. The Omaha-based trio’s self-titled debut is full of pulsating rhythms, driven by pounding bass and mesmerizing synths that shake the foundations of middle America.
“Icky Blossoms” was produced by TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek on the indie label Saddle Creek, home to such bands as Bright Eyes and the Rural Alberta Advantage -- not exactly dance acts. The band members have diverse backgrounds: Guitarist-vocalist Derek Pressnall is a visual artist and guitarist Nik Fackler is a filmmaker. The resulting album is an impressive variety of electroclash, with songs that are either up-tempo and frenetic or decadent. The latter tracks, with Sarah Bohling on vocals, are the strongest. Her hypnotic delivery on such songs as “Babes,” an irresistibly seductive ode to the “killer babes” at the club, powers over deep bass lines and synths.
“Icky Blossoms” is an intense dance album with a debauched edge. But the band channels its inner Henry Miller too often, resulting in an overwrought emphasis on decadence. The cliches add up on “Sex to the Devil,” with references to church, God, the universe, art, drugs, sex and the devil on top of “dirty dreams and corner tricks.”
Think of Icky Blossoms as a Human League for a new generation, with a little more beat and a lot more nasty.