Live Review: Slick and Wicked at The Whiskey

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Material: The spirit of ‘80s metal and rock & 
roll is alive in the energetic, distorted songs of Slick and Wicked. Hollow sounding drums and rich bass tone epitomize the arena rock feeling, but the material lacks the strength to propel Slick and Wicked into the limelight. Songs like “Garbage” or “Pulling Teeth” seem lackluster and could use musical and lyrical revision. Most of the lyrics are empty and repetitive, and the guitar parts are a tad sloppy. Cleaning up the picking, refining the vocals and changing up song structure could drastically change this band’s material.

Musicianship: Simon Steele plays his parts straight up the middle, but weaves in and out of time with the drummer, Mike Edwards. Edwards, who has solid time, hammers the skins, which gives the material a sturdy foundation. His drum fills, however, could be more assertive and varied. Johnny Tee competently strums his axe, achieving a grizzly yet melodic tone. His raspy vocals add grit to the genre, which is something Steele should take note of.

Performance: There’s nothing more rock & roll than watching a group of sweaty guys jam on stage having a blast. Tee crouched down in his solos, violently caressing his guitar, while Steele plucked his bass, which had a deep, solid tone emitting from his Mark Bass amp, and maintained the power stance. “Lost Souls of Hollywood,” a song played halfway through the set, had a haunting, minor-chord riff and a vibrato filled guitar solo. The song broke down into a jazzy section, which didn’t fit the mood or flow of the song.

Steele and Tee traded off vocals, but Tee’s rasp and overall energy proved stronger. Steele’s vocals also started wavering midway through the set, and his harmonies suffered. “One More for the Road” was the climax of the show: a balls-out, testosterone filled rocker with with a gritty riff. The other songs such as “Fractured Skull” or “Go for the Throat” just didn’t stand out.

Summary: It is evident that the guys in Slick and Wicked enjoy playing rock music. The thrill of performing is admirable and entertaining, but that only gets a band so far. Polishing musical chops, reworking the songwriting and composing more meaningful lyrics will set Slick and Wicked in a positive direction.

The Players: Johnny Tee, guitar, vocals; Simon Steele, bass and vocals; Mike “Metal Mike” Edwards, drums.

– Vincent Stevens