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


Mice On Stilts


Crossover Prog

4.04 | 86 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Great Song Crafting. Bad Band Name.

Some bands throw everything (plus the kitchen sink) into writing a song. Technique for days and days. Countless chord changes over 5/4 polyrhythms. Finger flailing with 130db guitars that can skin you from 50 yards out. Sometimes the mood calls for that motivation. But, sometimes 3 million notes in a song can come across as... well, trite. [sigh] Vacuous.

For those times that emotion, mood, atmosphere and introspection command attention Mice on Stilts provides an overabundance of all those things. The swells of various instruments and well planned dynamics paint a sonic landscape one can willingly lose oneself in for a hefty duration. The lyrics are discerning and the musicians are astute in providing ample, cohesive support to the mood that is strongly consistent (but never dull) throughout the entire album.

The production of the album parallels the gravity of this landscape. Nothing sounds overly compressed, with modern recording tricks or in-the-box computer music. It's modern and hip, but the engineers captured the essence of something old, vintage... respected. The vocals are uncanny, spacey, dreamlike. Full of reverb and mystery. The instruments are balanced and blend masterfully. It's timeless.

There is one possible hesitation with the body of work which demands brief attention. One could find themselves in question of the band's propensity for titling songs and the band name itself. It's a conundrum. One can admire the creative play of dialect, but for so many prog bands, this reviewer always finds it difficult to communicate with musical-minded friends about the prog genre as a whole. With fingers on their smartphones, dialed to Spotify "Who are you listening to?" Eagerly awaiting a response I respond: "Oh, I've just heard this great new band... [pause] I can't remember their name, though. [longer pause with brow scrunched] ...Or the names of any of their songs." Awkward silence. This scene has reoccurred so many times it has given this reviewer hesitation with eclectic band names -- to the point that one could say the glam metal bands of the 80's may have perfected the model for band brand identification. (i.e. Dream The Electric Sleep vs. ...Poison. The Twenty Committee vs. ...White Lion. Days Between Stations vs. ...Ratt.)

That aside, this is a really captivating album of Doom Folk Prog (how's that for genre splicing)! An exemplary and rewarding listen. Give it time when you want to slow things down and escape the demands of this world. You may begin to see that all the demands of the real world are as trite as 3 million notes in one song.

buddyblueyes | 4/5 |


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