Self-released – 28.1.2013
I wonder, historically, how many really good albums have never been given the chance to shine or be commercially successful due to an opening track being so naff that most reviewers Frisbee the disc to the wastebasket without listening any further.
Flicker’s debut album certainly runs the risk of this occurring as the lead-off track ‘Intro’, although only one and a half minutes long, certainly tests the patience with its ‘soundscaping’ squeals, squonks and general thrashing about.
But this would be a real shame, as once you’ve fought your way through the opener, ‘How Much Are You Willing To Forget’ evolves into a rather fine piece of work peppered with more than a few outstanding moments.
Contemporary progressive rock is what’s on the menu here and Flicker’s take on the genre is both respectful and innovative.
Ironically, the second track ‘Go’ is one of the aforementioned highlights of the album – with its insistent guitar figure and pounding bassline it belies the messy opening and confirms that the album is well worth a listen after all.
‘Out There’ seems to be the track getting most airplay and Facebook plaudits and it is easy to see why with its plaintive piano opening, pounding middle section and almost pastoral guitar coda.
But I would point you in the direction of the eight minute plus delight of ‘Breathless’, where an almost jazzy acoustic intro gives way to a myriad of mood changes ranging from angelic piano to blistering guitar wig-outs and all points in between – all underpinned by exceptional vocals and intelligent lyrics.
Elsewhere the good stuff comes thick and fast – from the arpeggio riff of ‘Counting Time’ and the nagging insistency of ‘Everywhere Face’, to the moody, brooding ‘Falling Down’ and the emotive piano figures of closer ‘Is This Real Life?’
This is British neo-progressive rock at its very best and it will be a real shame if that dire opener results in the album not getting the critical acclaim it richly deserves.
Review by Alan Jones
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