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Mice On Stilts - An Ocean Held Me CD (album) cover

AN OCEAN HELD ME

Mice On Stilts

 

Crossover Prog

4.04 | 86 ratings

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aapatsos
Special Collaborator
Heavy Prog Team
3 stars Short and sweet first release from Mice on Stilts, who seem to be wanting to make an emotional statement with "An Ocean Held Me". Indeed, the colourful sound of viola and especially those of the saxophone and trumpet play a dominant role in MoS's music.

Rather emotional, low-tempo, experimental, mellow progressive rock with a fairly dark atmosphere, full of (welcome) minor chords. Any - heavier - deviation from this norm is found in tiny doses (namely towards the end of "Binocular Bath" and "Vulnerable Vader"), revealing a slightly more eclectic side. The artists that came straight to mind listening to this album range from the more "alternative" scene - Nick Cave, Dead Can Dance, Airbag, Radiohead - to late Marillion and legendary figures such as Peter Hammill, David Sylvian and David Gilmour.

It is worth saying that the piano of Nick Wright is the basis on which every track develops and especially the platform for Aaron Longville to experiment with his trumpet and saxophone. Very touching and warm vocals dress the whole duration of the album. The compositions seem to be based on simple ideas that evolve on a constant motif and tend to become repetitive after a while, and that would be the main downside of this release. Similar to contemporary acts in the sphere of post-rock style, MoS rely quite a lot on ambience, which may result in "dead space" at the end of the songs ("Tuatara Lawn").

Overall, a worthy and interesting first effort; I think that if MoS escape from some "modern" cliches, then we would be looking at something memorable, given the genuine musicianship and professionalism found in this album. Friends of Dead Can Dance and Radiohead will enjoy.

Best moments: Syds Socks, Binocular Bath

aapatsos | 3/5 |

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