Album review: FISCHER’S FLICKER – Fornever And Never

FISCHER'S FLICKER – Fornever And Never

Lavender Kartydid Music [Release date 15.08.15]

‘Fornever And Never’ by Chicago Fisher’s Flicker is a bewildering musical journey that reflects its leader’s Scott Fischer’s eclectic musical background.

Described by his PR as a ‘a vast musical amusement park’, Scott Fischer does sounds like a guy who likes to have fun, on a stylistically diverse album that shifts from poppy melodies to retro rock, prog rock and even soulful r&b, but never really nails one style.

In an age of over formulated pap, you’d be tempted to embrace an album that at its most complex suggests Zappa – the title track also has a Steely Dan style vocal – but at its most mundane just sounds cluttered.

The problem is that Fischer’s jumble of musical ideas lack coherence and while there is a palpable suggestion of a musical journey, we’re never quite sure where it’s going.

That said, there are several enjoyable moments of which the jaunty ‘Dead To Me’ is a highlight. The vocal initially evokes Elvis Costello and Graham Parker and comes complete with handclaps and doowop vocals, before a layered wah-wah guitar line emphasizes the melody. His vocals shift again to nuance Todd Rundgren, an influence he returns to on the soulful r&b styled ‘Dancin’ Girl’.

He seems happiest on Alice Cooper’s sprawling ‘Halo of Flies’, which has proggy pretensions.  A familiar opening keyboard line and a dramatic tempo change ushers in moog sounding keyboards over which he phrases like a cross between Bowie and Cooper. It’s an interesting choice of cover which ultimately struggles to eschew a 70’s feel.

He rounds things off with ‘This Little Heart Of Mind, which starts out like The Band, but finishes with a mantra like repeat of the song title to suggest that he’s resolving a weighty piece of music.

The truth is that for all its clever twists and turns, the fleeting melodies, the confident instrumental breaks and its inherent ambition, ‘Fornever And Never’ is blighted by a lack of an inner structure and direction. It all sounds like a work in progress and there’s still a way to go.  ***

Review by Pete Feenstra

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