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Mrs. Kite: Flickering Lights

Mrs. Kite, whom I presume can be found floating high on a windy day, are a German outfit who have already been scooping up numerous rock and pop awards in their homeland. Those accolades may not quite allude to what this band are all about though, with a decidedly progressive bent being buried deep within their psyche. Numerous influences are stated within the band’s bio and while opening salvo “Just Some Flickering Lights” adds an angular aspect that takes us into the realms of Haken, in the end it is the spectre of Porcupine Tree which looms large over an album which almost but not quite takes on the same name as that opening number.

Arguably the album’s centre point is its longest track - “Old Man” finding singer (and keys player) Florian Schuch giving his best Yogi Lang (RPWL) voice treatment, but in terms of the vocal patterns he chooses, it’s undoubtedly an early era Steven Wilson that he relies on, while this track in general falls all too readily into the territory of homage, as the Porcupine Tree-isms become way too obvious to ignore. That said, the tom tumbles and bass bulges are wonderful, if all rather expected, while the guitar work from Ferdinand Schuch strums against the gentle vocal harmonies with a style that is immediately familiar. It’s beautifully executed stuff and yet, if the motivation here was to reveal Mrs. Kite’s identity, then in many ways that’s a mark that falls quite wide of intention.

“Kurschatten” (the band do sing in English) adds an aggressive edge to the melancholic sway but the same feeling of ‘I know where all of this is going’ remains decidedly difficult to shake off. As before, the execution is beyond reproach as it ebbs from crashing guitars to soothing keyboards, but in all honesty, here especially it’s possible to pull from many a Porcupine Tree track and almost sing passages from them over what’s playing out. Harsh though all of that may sound Flickering Lights is actually a hugely enjoyable run through of some modern progressive ideas, but the difficulty is that it’s more likely to make you hanker to hear Wilson, Barbieri, Edwin and Harrison than it is to implore you to lean over and hit the play button on this album again.

Flickering Lights has a lot about it to recommend but in the end the all too ready willingness to ape others hampers the enjoyment. I’ll be intrigued to hear where this band go from here but for me, that needs to be somewhere other than the obvious destinations currently being set.

Track Listing
1. Just Some Flickering Lights
2. Kurschatten
3. Man in a Shed, Part II
4. Clubbing
5. The Old Man
6. Some Time
7. Questions
8. By the Lake
9. Morning Hours
10. Hums

Added: July 11th 2020
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Mrs Kite online
Hits: 534
Language: english

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