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A case of The Icks

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The Icks - SUBMITTED PHOTO
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  • The Icks

An icky crunch oozes into the Fountain Square streets as Jon Caldwell, Joe Ferguson, Cameron Holloway and their trusty beat machine prepare for an upcoming show at Radio Radio. Packed into a living room corner, the band works through several densely structured rock creations, filling the premises with a force field of noisy vibrations.

On Dec. 14, The Icks will perform at Fountain Square's General Public Collective in celebration of the release of their debut album Little Rotten. Recorded at Indy's Queensize Studios in the spring, the band's first studio recordings perfectly showcase their experimental mindset as a band — something they take heart in.

"As far as the recording process, we just laid down the cake. We made the song, we put it down," Ferguson says, comfortably seated on a couch across the room from the band's practice nook. "We knew the bare bones when we went in, and after we had all of that done, we added our fucking icing or whatever. We got experimental and had fun with it."

The band made the most of their time at Queensize, transforming their foundational ideas into new creations.

"We knew what we had, and then the process defined it I would say," Caldwell says. "A lot of the songs changed."

There's no drummer in The Icks. Instead, the trio relies on carefully pieced electronic backing beats to hold down their tunes. Initially, The Icks' reliance on their drum machine came out of necessity. The Icks made the most of their situation, collectively crafting beats that fit each song.

"Now it's just part of the process, [although] we're not opposed to having a drummer," Caldwell says. "We literally just sit here and bang on ourselves and talk about what we think might work."

The band has a classically trained ear manning the organ. Holloway, who Ferguson refers to as The Icks' "mad scientist," is still committed to his more traditional music studies, despite he receives for his rock and roll extracurriculars.

"I have a piano teacher but she just has me play classical music, like Chopin," he says. "I'll show her a song that I wrote and she'll be like, 'Yeah that doesn't sound like Beethoven so let's get back to the music.'"

Since recording Little Rotten, the group has written nearly another album's worth of material, progressively phasing out the soon-to-be-released tunes with even newer ones.

"If we are tired of hearing something, most likely the people listening to us have heard enough for a little bit," Ferguson says. "And we can always bring it back out. It's not that we don't like the songs."

With Little Rotten being the group's first album since their birthing last October, The Icks are anticipating the release just as much as fans. They have a goal of ultimately getting the album distributed, but the trio from Fountain Square will bask in the glow of this milestone for the time being.

"We're just excited about having a solid copy, and then we'll figure out what to do with it once we have it in our hands," Holloway says.

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