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Tuesday, July 1

Album Review: FiKus – Living Life Through Multicolored Scenery - 2014

FiKus
Living Life Through Multicolored Scenery
2014

Hailing from River Vale, New Jersey and citing influences such as Primus, The Beatles, Rush and The Doors, this breakout record is just the platform this band needed to make them a household name among the jam-heavy scene.  FiKus has been gradually gaining traction over the past few years. With two self-released EPs out on the market, the quintet is set for the release of their very first full length album, Living Life Through Multicolored Scenery. FiKus consists of Steve Malone (guitar, vocals), Travis Paparoski (bass, vocals), Jon Schmarak (keyboards, vocals), Pete Kozak (percussion, vocals) and Kito Bovenschulte (drums, vocals), and they are working constantly to establish themselves in the live music scene. Through catchy instrumental hooks and progressive jams, FiKus successfully expands upon their ever-growing imprint with their newest studio project. Living Life Through Multicolored Scenery, recorded at Black Jack Studios, will be released on July 1, 2014. “Living Life Through Multicolored Scenery Part 1” begins the album with a slight dissonance, eerie chords and wobbly vocals. A funky bass line rounds off this intro track. “Living Life Through Multicolored Scenery Part 2” sounds like creepy circus music. It is definitely Pink Floyd influenced, reminiscent of Dark Side of the Moon’s “Brain Damage.” This two-part intro series definitely shows some experimentation from the young group. “Something Stanky” begins the dance part of the album with a funky groove and broad sounding, electronica-like keys. Jazzy keyboard and guitar solos bring a much groovier feel to the bridge. “Tempest In A Teapot” has a ‘50s swing rock feel with some interesting syncopation in between verses. The solo section features Jerry Lee Lewis-style piano, followed by some bluesy rock guitar. Next, dreamy keys and guitar and four-to-the-floor drums make up the more structured, pop-oriented track “Moving Pictures.” “Dingo” has a 

New Deal/Particle jamtronica kind of feel to it. A four-to-the-floor, build-up leads into a massive, high-energy chorus on this completely instrumental track. “Nightwalker” is another instrumental with a very similar feel to the previous track. A less structured, progressive tune, the song features a wailing guitar solo and rolling bass in the middle, with half-time drums and grumbling electronics. “Cloudburst (From Jim)” features a swelling chorus, bursting into screaming keys. Fluffy, ringing keys lay behind a soft verse, while a beautiful piano segues a long build into a calming outro. “Space Cowboy Part 1” is basically one long stomach-churning build-up. I absolutely love the way the band moves through it together. “Space Cowboy Part 2” starts off with a spacey, instrumental intro, leading into a melodic, instrumental jam. The light-hearted dance beat ebbs and flows like the ocean shore, with one final wave led by quick, crafty drum work ending this two-part series beautifully. The minimalism intro of “Wafflestomp” is broken up by deep, jazzy chords from the keys. Another long, progressive, instrumental tune, this track keeps up a funky groove, with legato bass in the breaks to accent the deep, rolling feel. “Big Booty Bounce” is more of a heavy and dark song for the most part. A beautiful, uplifting piano interlude breaks up some of the tension, before building to an electronica dance beat with swelling, wompy bass. Finally, “Daycrawler” finishes off the album with a humorous, piano-based slow song, dedicated to past, current and future girlfriends. Living Life Through Multi Colored Scenery turned out to be an extremely diverse album, incorporating genres spanning rock, jazz, funk, soul and electronica. FiKus really seems to be finding their groove, and adding these new tracks to their repertoire should open up a whole new world of possibilities for this young, talented group of musicians. 
Words: Randy Harris
Six of out 5 Glowsticks
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