Chicago four-piece The Dead Licks take us on a journey through their twenties on debut album In Disguise, a 13-track collection of layered sounds that infuse us with plenty of nostalgia and maturity. At its core, the album which was written across several years, delivers a snapshot of thoughts and feelings of youth within breezy instrumentals.
From the slow-burn indie rock stylings of “Towers,” which pays homes to Chicago, the city they call home, to the soulful and catchy lead single “With a Bottle of Whatever You’re Having,” the album flows with an airy vibe, unhurried in pace even as it captures the intense swirl of emotions felt by most people in their twenties.
Recorded during the pandemic, the record was a cathartic route of creativity for the quartet who had to put their planned spring tour on hold. Stood still alongside the rest of the world, allowed The Dead Licks to cup time in the warm, textured hands of their rock soundscapes – moving from their university life between 2014-2018, into the pandemic and beyond in time.
With evolving maturity in their lyrical and sonic content, best showcased in the brooding touches of “My Wish,” which introduces a drum machine to the band’s mostly acoustic guitar led music, the band delivers up a body of work that’s pleasing to the ears and soul equally.
Thoughtful in messaging and groovy in sound, In Disguise, reintroduces us to a mature Dead Licks, honing their craft and pushing them towards a new era of music.