Review | Pickwick - Can't Talk Medicine



[A]bout a year and a half ago we posted about Seattle’s Pickwick, a group of 6 guys with a whole lot of soul. Our post wasn’t about a new track, or an album review, just a video of the guys performing a few tracks in a basement, as part of Seattle-based music blog Sound on the Sound’s video series. Our plea? To check these guys out.

In the time since then, the band’s been selling out shows in the Pacific Northwest, and after a stellar showing at last year’s SXSW, they caught the eye of NPR as well as praise and attention nationwide. It feels like it’s been a long time coming, but their debut album, Can’t Talk Medicine, is finally out today.

Inspired by 60s and 70s soul that was heavy on the passion, groove and melodies, these songs capture that sound and deliver it with 100% dedication to their vocals and performances. Three of the tracks are re-recorded versions of songs from their three volumes

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of Myths EPs. The rest of the tracks are new, and show a bit more teeth. With tracks that talk of blood and pills and jumping out of window sills, Galen Disston’s signature soulful howl breathes life and an unexpected upbeat attitude into each song. Hacienda Motel is one of the best tracks you just have to dance to. But with lyrics like, “That whore she left you bloody, on the hotel lobby floor. Even though she took your money, oh you know she needed more,” this is no light affair.

Window Sill, is a track about losing your mind, inside your own head. The chorus of, “and I jump off the window sill,” followed by the flurry of whoa-oh-oh-ohs, is probably the best example of a track we’ll all dance to before the lyrics register. Every song has their signature rock n roll sound with beating drums, crazy electric guitar riffs and added depth provided by organ swells and throwback bass lines. How they manage to do this on Lady Luck and not drown out or out do Sharon Van Etten is a feat we may never fully understand.

Pickwick has been working on this album for years, and their work has managed to show progression from their first EPs while planting themselves firmly as a respected and talented band to keep your eyes on. Can’t Talk Medicine is a rocking a soulful set of tracks. And while their tunes show a lot of grit lyrically, every song captures enough soul and groove that it doesn’t even matter what you’re dancing about. These are sunny weather tunes, especially great for rolling down the windows and just rocking out.

Pickwick heads

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out on their first nationwide tour this month, in support of Can’t Talk Medicine. They’ll be in Boston at TT the Bear’s on April 25th, but for a full list of shows, visit