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coverpic flag US - Florida - Full Moon 250 - 01/12/17

rickoLus
Smaller Heart EP
Bear Machine Records

'I've landed on a planet I don't understand...' (Rick Colado)

Rick Colado, b.k.a. rickoLus (a.k.a. Broken Tusk) for sure is one creative and indeed busy artist. Last year (2016, remember...?) he launched a number of old and new recordings through his Bandcamp site. Smaller Heart EP was his last musical offering before Xmas, as it was released on 20th December 2016. This EP is another three-song-EP by Jacksonville Beach, FL's rickoLus. The opening title track sees Colado returning to his 'band vibe' with electric guitar, drums, bass, and keyboards. The EP cover art shows Colado (in sunglassed eyewear) in front of a space rocket on a planet somewhere, with a futuristic city in the background. Despite the 'space themed' cover art, the first song doesn't sound that far off/out. It's a rather laidback song. Colado's high pitch vocals make me somehow think of Robert Wyatt, while Colado's asking for a smaller heart: 'I want a smaller heart / [...] / I'm in love with everyone...' A lot of his songs circle the theme of troubled relations and love - well, it's quite a universal theme for pop music, right?

"Flying Carpet" captures Colado when longing for home and his beloved when traveling, or/and, again he's touching the troubles of love when singing '...girl your trying to hard / flying the carpet all over my heart...'. Maybe this is a song about another girl, another planet? Hence the spaced cover. The song is the EP's catchiest moment, but it's far from being an immediate pop song. The vocals (and parts of the melody, the instrumentation and the arrangement) makes me at times think of the late David Bowie. Or, Jarvis Cocker - leaning towards Bowie. Maybe this explains the 'spaceman' cover. I mean, Bowie. And Cocker.

The closing "Low" is the EP's most low-toned track, as it describes the vacuum feeling of being low. The emptying, maybe confusing feeling of lowness and slowness at the same time. rickoLus still is a starman, a spaceman, and possibly some sand-dune-man. According to himself, his background story goes: 'Rickolus was born in a sand dune and raised in the sparse pines of Jacksonville Beach, Florida. His father, an Army brat who lived in 22 states and 5 foreign countries before the age of 11, was the waiter at a beach side taco stand that was shaped like a sombrero when he met a dark haired Cajun Gypsy from the outskirts of New Orleans. Two weeks later, they were married. Eight and half months later, Rickolus came out feet first into the world, almost dying in the process, saved by the life guard's quick thinking and quicker scapulae. He still wears the scar to remind him of the day he'd never forget, if it were a day he was old enough to remember.' Is the 'starman' a possible 'scarman'?

Smaller Heart EP is a good 'tripod' EP and I really like all three songs, but "Low" might be my favourite one after all. To quote (or re-quote) rickoLus once more: 'I've landed on a planet I don't undersatnd' [sic]. I'm not sure if this is a misspelling or what, but 'undersatnding' is even more difficult and complex than regular 'understanding'... Happy new year, Rick!

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