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TAZ, 13.03.2021

  Berliner Zeitung, 07.03.2021

Sicker Man – Off The Trail [Album Review]

Sicker ManIf you love cello with your noise, you’ll want Sicker Man in your collection.
Although opening with anti-melodic heavy overdrive, there is a lot more to Off The Trail. A steady blend of static rumblings and orchestral pieces create a harsh sound full of character. This one half of Slutty Clowns has a highly personal, fairly stripped back sound with strong focus on the lead elements within each song.
If you took filthy industrial electronics, the most obnoxious of noise rock guitars and lots of cello, you will almost have Sicker Man. Though this is not simply a case of wild genres thrown together, this is an album created with passion and personality and somehow, despite how on paper this all sounds like an unnatural spawn from someone wanting to induce as many headaches as possible, the result is something quite magically unique.
Although Open Up does sound like the soundtrack of a seedy nightmare, for the most part Off The Trail is surprisingly soothing, despite the dark drones that creep in. This is obviously not going to be to the taste of many out there, but for lovers of experimental music and something you can close your eyes and become entranced by, Sicker Man are well worth your time.
For a solo artist, this is incredible, and being able to blend such contrasting sounds into something that works so well is beyond admirable. Off The Trail is a rollercoaster of ambience, and although it is a nice piece to stick on while you work, it deserves some undivided attention to appreciate all that it has to offer. And the blue vinyl looks pretty tasty too, and adds that little bit of extra charm to the audio.
Rating: 8.0/10
Jake Hancke – 18/11/2018


WESTZEIT Juni / 2016

Es gibt Menschen, die das Schicksal auserkoren hat, die Welt mit Lieder zu fluten. Diese Menschen können nicht anders, sie müssen Songs schreiben, arrangieren, singen. Vielleicht gibt es (bald) einen medizinischen Fachbegriff dafür (und eine ICD-Nummer). Leider sind die Patienten aber oft mehr penetrant als talentiert. Anders bei Tobias Vethake, der zwar um sein Leiden zu wissen scheint (würde er sich sonst Sicker Man nennen?), den Songschreibzwang aber regelmäßig in "gelungen" zu nennenden Platten auslebt. Auf "The Missing" (das man als Konzeptalbum zu Kafkas zunächst unter dem Namen "Der Verschollene" erschienenen Romanfragment "Amerika" verstehen muss) hebt sich das Lied aus dem Sanften zu metaphysischen (oder psychedelischen?) Orgien, durchbrochen immer wieder von schillernden Momenten purer PopSchönheit. Melodien, die in unwiderstehlichen hooklines kulminieren (ganz groß z.B. in "Well Detected Cell") und der wirkungsmächtige Kontrast von Stille und Brachialität prägen dieses Album, das durchaus Potential für mehr als einen kurzen Sommer hat.


Musikexpress, November 2013

Saarbrücker Zeitung, 21.11.2013

Sicker Man: Flower my Decay 

"(...) possible references for Flower My Decay, the songs' melodic qualities and elaborate arrangements more naturally invite comparison to Coldplay, The Smashing Pumpkins, and The Beatles. Adding music boxes, strings, and electronics to the songs proved to be a wise move on Vethake's part as they extend their already melodically rich sound worlds in compelling sonic manner, too (all of the material was played by Vethake with the exception of percussion on one song by Michael Vethake and additional vocals on three songs by Kiki Bohemia). Bowed strings help render the heavy, Beatles-esque opener “Liquid Soul” memorable, while the folk-styled presentation of “Heaven's a Machine” makes it one of the disc's standouts. “Bold Morning” and “Tide” could pass for classic ballads by The Smashing Pumpkins, given how easy it would be to imagine Billy Corgan's snarl in place of Vethake's. His songwriting talents are well-documented in the title song, where hypnotic melodies exude a sadness that's amplified by lyrics like “I will be found way underground / Where you can never hear me,” and in his ability to repeatedly elevate the album with strong hooks. It's an eclectic and rewarding collection that ranges from the noisy ramshackle shuffle of “Useless Ticks” and the cryptic balladry of the title track to the dark electro-funk of “Lazy Bone.” Put simply, Flower My Decay is the relatively rare example of a recording that exceeds expectations rather than falls short of them.

TEXTURA / September 2012