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Flicker: How Much Are You Willing To Forget

The wonderfully titled How Much Are You Willing To Forget is the debut album from "Neoteric" rockers Flicker and finds a band who sound far more assured than any debutants really should. Bringing together touches of early Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Marillion (they hail from the same town as Marillion, Aylesbury in England), RPWL and Steven Wilson (solo, not Porcy Tree), Flicker somehow create music that sounds vital, forceful and energetic. In reality the basis for most of the nine songs on this release is a slow steady beat, dreamy guitars and quality clean vocals. However for its languid outlook, HMAYWTF possesses a real sense of urgency, something achieved more through quality song writing and delivery, than technical flash. Although the band are no slouches in that direction either. Comprised of Ellis Mordecai on vocals and guitar, Andrew Day (guitar), Peter Coussens (bass) and Vaughan Aubrey on drums, what makes Flicker the effective unit they are is the lack of ego coming from the main instrumentalists, with neither guitar player feeling the need to tread on songs in an effort to prove their virtuosity. Instead this is a band always aware that the song is king and that Flicker are all the better for their lack of pretensions.

Slide in at any point, and you'll discover an album capable of gently persuading you to pay complete attention to every detail. "Everywhere Face" ebbs and flows between staccato keyboard stabs (although whoever is playing them, the CD booklet doesn't want to let on), surging, almost Eastern flavoured guitars, punchy drums and vocals which seduce and bite - Mordecai giving his most energetic performance in earshot. However when he tones down his delivery, the results are no less involving, with "My Empty Head" proving to be almost commercial in an off kilter kind of way. A bit like how Porcupine Tree used to meld sweet melodies, unsettling vocal delivery and surging, yet smooth synth strings together to memorable effect. "Out There" strips things back further, gentle strings, piano and guitar strums slowly building into a sparse, yet ever evolving main theme, distorted guitars eventually breaking the calm, although never obtrusively. While "Falling Down" is a burst of emotional, dreamy, yet unnerving restraint that The Pineapple Thief would be proud to call their own.

Sometimes it is the initially understated and unfussy albums that make the longest, lasting impressions. How Much Are You Willing To Forget falls firmly into that category, with first encounters proving interesting and rewarding, however stick with it and the inner depth and beauty reveals an album and band who really have a sense of where their strengths lie and how best to employ them, uncovering little nuances and tricks with each subsequent revisit.

No matter how much you are willing to forget, Flicker live long in the memory.

Track Listing
1. Intro
2. Go
3. Out There
4. My Empty Head
5. Counting Time
6. Everywhere Face
7. Falling Down
8. Breathless
9. Is This Real Life

Added: June 21st 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Flicker on BandCamp
Hits: 2481
Language: english

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