Reaching For The Dark Side Of The Moon
A side project from post-metal outfit Red Sparowes, Marriages is a modern take on psychedelic rock – a twenty-first century Pink Floyd wannabe.
Within two songs of Kitsune’s six track listing, it feels as though we might be traveling to the dark side of the moon but without the same compelling story arc and emotional range. Kitsune – the Japanese word for fox – ebbs and flows between the atmospheric and much more abrasive metal elements (most notably on the tracks, “Pelt” and “White Shape”), but it sounds like one twenty-five minute song as opposed to a cohesive album.
Album opener “Ride In My Park” features cascading guitar work that seems to float in the background of a mini-shoegaze orchestra. This motif continues over the next two songs, “Body of Shade” and “Ten Tiny Fingers,” before changing course to the explosive arrangements in “Pelt” and “White Shape.” Closing song, “Part The Dark Again,” features vocals that sound like whispers in a chamber before exploding into the wail of singer Emma Ruth Rundle. This leaves the listener wondering why the album is ending so soon – it is a climactic song with no closure.
Throughout the album, Rundle channels Kim Gordon with haunting vocals that blend into the music, instead of overpowering it. Rundle’s voice purrs androgynously and this quality gives the album a sound reminiscent of Mogwai.
Overall, Kitsune showcases a band with obvious talent. The problem therein is that the short length doesn’t allow for the band to fully explore and develop their material. Marriages have crafted an album that makes for great background music, but Kitsune lacks the punch and artistry needed to elevate Marriages past side project status.