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Listen: Bristol’s LICE Share New Single ‘Mown In Circles’ via AD 93

After announcing the release of their sophomore album, ‘Third Time At The Beach’ with the release of ‘Red Fibres’; LICE are back with the subsequent single ‘Mown In Circles’, released via AD93. Once again casting convention to the periphery and placing a continued importance on striving towards both lyrical and melodic extremity. Where others may feel understandably overwhelmed, a dizzying nausea in the versatile sonic somersaults; LICE truly have made their nest and are thriving, assaulting those whom dare to be their host. 

LICE were able to escape the constant categorisation and compartmentalisation that is abundant in music, created and vigorously maintained by the hegemonic triad of labels, critics and consumers with their debut album, ‘WASTELAND: What Ails Our People Is Clear’. Although still predominantly a guitar-band, they continue with this latest single to escape limitations, vye for spaces unknown. Such a position makes it difficult to decipher to deliberate decisions found in the music, hard to follow a path of literary analysis when the music of LICE belongs as much to the realm of sensations and feelings as it does to merely melodic construction. The task, therefore, is to determine openly with a personalised approach what arises when delving into LICE, to take what is given and from there create your vision of the purpose of this collage of sounds. The collage an effective mode of thinking through the music of LICE, and especially ‘Mown In Circles’. The almost schizophrenic developments and deranged range that make up the song, requires a non-linear piecing together. 

The complexities available in a concept album appear to once again suit LICE. ‘Mown In Circles’ belongs to the second of the three movements that make up ‘Third Time At The Beach’. Here, in the centre of the album, disorientated by what came before, and what will come. LICE are attempting to revaluate fundamental concepts, a dialectical process of learning and unlearning through a continual, eternally necessary, work-in-progress. Such as ‘Mown In Circles’ sonically shapeshifts, encompassing a variety of sounds and musical histories, returning but changed by the lesson and instruction of the previous notes, opening up horizons that were imperceptible before. Through the use of digitally altered vocal manipulation, piano arpeggios and a disjointed circularity of the percussion section. 

‘Mown In Circles’ has the lyrics, “talking about rings, and rings, and rings…” relating to the Dante’s eighth circle of hell, Malebolge, the layer of the liars; those whom falsify with cunning deceit for their own personal gain. In depths of Hell LICE discover a pertinent topic to aid in understanding these times of media misinformation, post-truth populism and AI generated deep fakes. LICE are undertaking a musical epic to understand the world and the processes that shape it with the plethora of modes available to them. The way through the clashing claustrophobia, the violent vertigo of ‘Mown in Circles’ is onwards, where at the end one can melodically meditate aided by temporary respite, whilst we wait to hear what follows. Two provoking singles released, LICE have provided the initial layers of the foundation for ‘Third Time At The Beach’, with it set to be a constructive lesson of learning, and a part of the journey to deconstructing the complexities of our times. 

Photo by Dani Bolton

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