Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Patrick Stolley
The other day, while walking through a surprisingly humid early October afternoon and passing by a home with an adult-sized golden retriever sitting still on an old couple's front sidewalk, the dog's owner came over to the dog as we approached and said, "She likes to lick babies' faces." It wasn't a joke and he said it without even a smidgeon of a chuckle or cracked smile. It was just a point he was making and there it was: the doggie would approach our two-year-old daughter and slobber her to death. We thanked him for his diligence in knowing his dog and making sure that such a horrific turn of events never even had the opportunity to play itself out.
He will be getting a Christmas card or a plate of cookies come this holiday season. This is the dog - which we never saw in the heat of the moment, letting those natural proclivities kick into gear that would make her temporarily insane, slapping and slurping her tongue over the surface of any little face that met her at snoot-level, leaving behind a sheet of froth and stickiness - that is guided by the same impulse that guides Bloomington, Indiana, band The Delicious. They just act, shooting from the hips and getting dizzy on the process, or letting the process dizzy them. They don't show their work, but instead go free-form, forcing their jingling pop songs to live up to only one single, battered question: Was it good for you cause, believe us, all the pleasure was on this side of the table? There are no tethers or restrictions and there's no fear of getting too close to their idols and sharing some of the same intricacies.
The Delicious bring it on thick and sloppily, just as that golden retriever would if a tiny face or some little hands got too close to its trap. They take their abnormally long and wide tongue (figuratively, of course, as we don't know them well enough yet to know anything substantial about their tongue parameters) and just spread that wet love all over the place, throwing off splashes of numerous flavors of ramshackle pop. It's a world of the kind of music that is brawny in a lot of different spots, but still just barely keeps itself together with loose tendons and streamers. It's as if the verses pull out those tiny champagne popper party favors, shooting streams of wavy confetti toward the bridges and choruses, tying them all together with some random associations. They stick together with the gumminess of the kind of runaway train effervescence of The Teeth and the enticement of words and imagery that follow no itinerary or code of conduct. There is a respectful smirking underneath the band's laidback current that let's you know that hell yeah they care.
Everything you hear comes at you in a playful way that marries the idea of getting together with the chums to just bang out some songs that take on a conversation that they would have been having if there was no music moving things along (just like in musicals when people break out into song and even though the song was spontaneous, everyone already knows all the words) and also of being maniacally attentive of the effects that all of the jubilance and smart-talking could have on the outsiders. For some reason, the Delicious give off a feeling of the madcap hijinx of JJ McClure and Captain Chaos (Burt Reynolds and Don DeLuise) were making nipple jokes around Farrah Fawcett and Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. were drunkenly cussing in "Cannonball Run" and the thesis paper or a scientific survey that feeds us data that tells us that one in every six Americans worries about being hit by a semi tractor or a school bus once every two weeks. They serve it all up in a cake that's absolutely smothered with the richest frosting and covered in sprinkles.