When you’ve played in as many bands and performed as many different styles of music as California native Robert Vickers has, there’s bound to be some confusion along the way. Somewhere down the line he became ‘Rob’ to some and ‘Bob’ to others. This helped contribute to a musical split-personality which allowed him to be bassist in the late 1980’s for psych-rock outfit Cerebral Corps then by the 90’s morph into his role as drummer for jangly West Coast popsters, The Orange Peels.
In between, he kept himself busy in a variety of one-off theatrical activities that included writing the stage play ‘A Night at the Supermarket’ and writing/performing with well-loved Santa Cruz sketch comedy troupe ‘Dangerous Neighbors’.
When Vickers decided to finally focus his attention on recording some of the many songs he’d written over the years, Orange Peels main man Allen Clapp offered to produce what eventually became ‘Gallimaufry’.
Released by the Bus Stop Label in 2008, ‘Gallimaufry’ allowed Vickers to create a multi-instrumentalist brother act that reveled in British flavored ‘60’s pop-rock while also conjuring modern roots based Folk-Americana with stops at Surf City and the Brill Building along the way. The record garnered high praise from critics upon release but was met with near unanimous commercial apathy.
In the 10 years since the record’s release, life brought the big ‘D’ triumvirate of Death, Divorce and Depression resulting in a return to songwriting and recording. Now, nearly a full decade later, The Incredible Vickers Brothers return with Torch Songs for Swingers, a new collection of music addressing loss, longing, memory and mid-life crisis.
Glide is proud to premiere The Incredible Vickers Brothers full-length Torch Songs for Swingers (below), a song collection full of The Beatles’ tart emotional tone, Big Star’s effortless power pop and enough overall musical diversity to demand repeat listens. Robert Vickers has proven to be an unsung songwriting star, where no topic is untouched and no sound too ordinary.
There’s a poetic logic to the Incredible Vickers Brothers, and Torch Songs for Swingers is a roadmap to that answer. Written in Scotts Valley, California, where the Redwoods dominate local skylines, the album is a classic break-up or even mid-life crisis escape. Clapp’s production is an uninterrupted complement to Vickers’ flow. The classic “boy meets girl” story is drenched in relatable and familiar musical roots. Vickers jokes, “I haven’t bothered listening to much new stuff over this last decade but that’s the rule for people when they get older, isn’t it? I’m just following the rules.”