Then Thickens – Colic

Album Review by Will Fitzpatrick | 02 Jan 2016
Album title: Colic
Artist: Then Thickens
Label: Hatch
Release date: 15 Jan

There’s plenty of drugs and death on Then Thickens’ second album, and it’s soaked in the damage done by both. My Sunday finds Jon-Lee Martin’s mournful narrator getting fucked up on dope to avoid dealing with the aftermath of tragedy: 'I saw the smack and the leather / I lost a lot of you that I never knew,' he sings over pristine chords, and it all feels darkly poignant. If only it didn’t follow Cum Summer’s gnarly sexual metaphors, because there’s nothing to make you go ‘eurgh’ quite like hearing an adult male singing porny juvenilia like, ‘Sip my juice until I’m dry, please.’

Musically, they veer from the near-sublime grandiosity of opener Heaven Alive to the less engaging bluster of My Amsterdam, where hand-me-down Smashing Pumpkins riffs collide with a plodding melody. Colic shoots for the majestically macabre and often comes heroically close, but it’s hard to give yourself to an album that contains the phrase ‘wizard’s sleeve.’ [Will Fitzpatrick]