Kicks N Licks have carved out a reputation as one of SoCal’s premier bass music groups over the last year by not only producing tracks at the highest quality, but entertaining and captivating crowds at their shows as well. It’s rare to see such maturity and awareness out of such young musicians, but Andy and Jerrod exhibit the know-how and chemistry to cause major waves in the scene, and they’ve already started.
After releasing their Infusion EP earlier this year, which showed off their knowledge across all bass music spectrums, Kicks N Licks are back with their first album Lost Dream. The 7 song journey through a bass music dream is absolutely stunning. Their ability to create uplifting vibes and appeal to the real roots of UK Bass music is impressive to say the least, and we’d imagine that if they lived in the UK they’d be garnering alot of praise within the community. Alas, they’re stationed in Southern California for the time being, so we’ll enjoy the fruits of their labor out here until they reach the true big time.
The album starts out with In The Air – a dramatic, cinematic opening that conjures images of clouds, blue skies, and the earth’s surface far below. the title track Lost Dream follows, as it grabs attention from the get-go with it’s flute melody and unleashes the listener into a fury of escalating pitch and blasts of synth until it reaches a perfect balance of elements. The next track, Problems, really showcases how versatile Kicks N Licks are as producers. You could stick Problems on a Hospital Records release easily, as it features amazing vocal, synth work, and background undertones that set the stage perfectly. It Isn’t Over follows up with a heavy dose of dubplate style bass intertwined with those KnL melodies that absolutely get stuck in your head. Lucid is reminiscent of.. dare I say.. NERO, with it’s spacious intro and repetitive yet mind-boggling synth and drum work. Rounding up the album are You and Fire Riddim. You is a KnL special, great tones and melodies featured throughout with some great breakdowns to add some variety. Fire Riddim may be the heaviest track on the album, with machine-gun like stabs and pitch changes throughout.
Overall, it’s hard not to give it up to Kicks N Licks for some great work on the album. Although some parts felt a tad repetitive, most of it is a welcome sign of great things to come for these producers. We’ll give it an extremely solid B+, as they’ve got tons of room for improvement and will only get better as time goes on.
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