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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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apps79
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Kiwi Prog Rock by this band from Auckland, New Zealand, which emerged in 2012 out of a more atmospheric approach on music by singer/guitarist Benjamin Morley, who had been already working with Prog Metallers Look To Windward.The band featured an original, 7-piece core with Morley surrounded by Aaron Longville on sax/trumpet, Sam Hennessy on viola, Joseph Jujnovich on backing vocals/samples, Rob Sanders on drums, Nick Wright on piano/backing vocals and Sam Nash on bass.After two singles they worked for a number of months on their debut EP ''An ocean held me'', which surfaced on bandcamp at the fall of 2013, offered as a digital download, digipack CD and in vinyl edition.

The sound is pretty hard to be described with accuracy, even if some light Post Rock ambiences, PORCUPINE TREE-like contemporary vibes and strong PINK FLOYD influences become obvious at first listening.Generally Mice On Stilts focus on tight songwriting, compact arrangements and atmospheric soundscapes more than anything else, technique has been left behind and the intense lyricism, the elaborate passages and the occasional heavy explosions appear to be the leading forces of this album.There is a feeling you are transmitted back to mid-70's and to the music of PINK FLOYD circa-''Wish you were here'' and there are a number of reasons for this: the sensitive but expressive vocals of Morley, the laid-back melodies, the light organ/piano backgrounds and the slight psychedelic atmosphere, while the band dares to throw in some strings and saxes in the process, heading for an even deeper and versatile sound.PINK FLOYD copies they are not and the powerful guitar scratches are there to remind you that Mice On Stilts are a band of the millenium.One of the presented tracks, ''Tuatara lawn'', clocks at over 12 minutes, I do not like the overstretched, psychedelic outro at the end, but I do like the rest, which is dramatic, modern Prog Rock with the fascinating, sinister strings and the orchestral depth going along with the beautiful, lyrical parts and the keyboard/piano-driven lines.The guitars are shining in this piece, which the band should use as a guide, over some minimalistic explorations, that are heard throughout the EP.

PINK FLOYD reincarnated?Sort of, but not exactly.Touches of the 70's go on to meet with modern distortions and effects in a well-composed Prog/Art Rock offering, good enough to keep an eye on this band.Warmly recommended, no matter the edition you will choose.

apps79 | 3/5 |

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