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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

(the) Daddy Licks Band - I Got Wheels EP

Name: (the) Daddy Licks Band
Album: I Got Wheels (EP)
Year: 1981
Style: New Wave/Rock
Similar Bands: A's, Knack, Code Blue, Elvis Costello
"One-Word" Review: Jittery-Power-Pop
Based Out Of: Allentown, Pa
Label: Emotional Records
I Got Wheels - Cover & Insert
I Got Wheels - Back & Insert
I Got Wheels - Promo Pic & Record
I Got Wheels (1981)
  1. We'll Show 'Em 3:25
  2. Just A Little (Goes A Long Way) 3:20
  3. They Might Be Giants 3:28
  4. Lolita 3:12/
  5. I Got Wheels 3:26
  6. Tragic Flaw 4:33
  7. Kids Out Lookin' For The Real Thing 3:40
Album Rating:

Members & Other Bands:
Dave Goddess - Lead Vox, Guitars, Synthesizers
Scott Hot - Guitars, Slide, Synthesizers, Vox
Kevin Goddess - Drums, Art Direction & Design, Photos
Blaine McWilliams - Bass
Tom Brobst - Sax, Keyboards
John Melaney - Piano, Farfisa
Bil Villa - Inspiration & Backing Vox & Managment
Kevin Curry - Inspiration & Backing Vox
Michael Paul - Recorded
Jim McGee - Mixed
Dona L Jones - Photos
Andrea Weiss - Photos

Unknown-ness: I had never heard of the band. But as soon as I picked up the record, I was intrigued by two things. One, they were from the closest big town to where I grew up: Allentown, PA. And Two, they had a song called They Might Be Giants, predating the band TMBG, but definitely after the movie. Of course it was an EP since it was only a 10 inch, but I was OK with that, especially after inspecting the packaging, and enjoying the new wave art design. The final clinching characteristic about this purchase was the promo band photo inside the record. It has tack hole in the four corners, so it was obviously up in someone's home or office.

Album Review: This album is a little different than the rest of the records I’ve been reviewing. Since purchasing this unknown album, I have listened to it many, many times, and I already know I love it. I even went to the Croc. Roc in Allentown to see one of their reunion shows last year, and they put on one superbly energetic live show, especially by a band previously gone for 25 years or so. The music presented her is one of my particular favorite genres (only second to “Evil Carnival” music ala Oingo Boingo & Man Man): the youthful, jittery bridge from the late 70’s, early 80’s joining punk and new wave. This album’s content is why I continue to look for unknown records, hoping that other bands’ sounds will be similar to this.

Track One, “We’ll Show Em” is a catchy guitar driven pop song that floats back and forth between radio-hit and ballad. Forgive me if I compare this to the A’s too much, but these bands are perfectly interchangeable. The singing is nasally, but deep, and has all the jittery urgency of youthful dilemma present in the best New Wave Rock bands. “Just A Little” livens up the pace a little more, and presents great anticipation in the first verse, and follows heavier on the second verse, and hooks you into the chorus. This formula is repeated a few times, composing the song, and it is such a fun memorable song. There is a superb alternate melody in the breakdown before the typical 80’s synth keyboard sound solo before it returns to the verse/chorus format. And there is a classic arena rock guitar & drum ending. The “Watching the Detectives” parody on the album, “They Might Be Giants,” is a slow, meandering, building song that only comes together in the bold chorus. But that build to the chorus is the beauty of the song. Like “Just A Little,” there is a catchy alternate melody breakdown before the instrumental break that just shows another layer and dimension to this band’s song writing skills. “Lolita” is a poppy, bouncy song that is exciting and fun to follow along in melody. You can hear the strain and angst in his vocals pleading to the young girl during the chorus. But this song would not be out of place on Elvis Costello’s Armed Forces with its bouncy, jittery piano and similar vocal execution. We are first introduced to the sax stylings that the band uses more often live here.

I Got Wheels is the dark song on the album, featuring the Space-Surf/B-52’s style synthesizer as the first main ingredient. Then the quick played, twinkling lead guitar picks up, and the two instruments play back and for the through out the song, taking center stage one at a time. Of all the songs, this is perhaps the weakest, as the chorus is not that catchy or memorable. But the instrumentation around it would make it an outstanding song on any other album. “Tragic Flaw” begins like a waltz, piano only, counting out one-two three, one-two-three. The sax is added, and the song becomes a drunken, staggering, couples-only dance. The bass holds the song together, and features the best hook. The final and best song on the album “Kids Out Lookin’ For the Real Thing” has all the urgency and jitteryness of the A’s Teenage Jerkoff. It starts out with a winding up, off timed guitar and drums section, which just builds the anticipation of the catchy, school-yard mockery melody after you’re familiar with the song. His words are barely distinguishable from a gruff, stuttering mumble, just following the melody at times. It features a call and response uttering of the title for the chorus. And the sax fits in and is featured so well with the song. The repetitive nature of the chorus leads to head nodding along with the music. The end is a typical arena rock build-up, with crashing drums and slow winding down guitars.

Stand Out Track:
Kids Out Looking For The Real Thing

Daddy Licks - web page
Daddy Licks - Reunion Show comments
Daddy Licks Reunion Show Article
The Villas - webpage
DBLITY - Myspace
DBLITY - webpage
DBLITY - history
Daddy Licks Article - 4/28/82 (Pg20)


  1. It's funny, I have been searching through my old junk trying to find this EP. I used to play it when I lived in NYC, and everyone was "Wow, who IS that? I used to see them at PSU. They never seemed to make it in Y though.

  2. they are now rebranded as The Dave Goddess group with a new cd and songs available on iTunes, still catchy but of course, without the youthful edge