Marriages - Kitsune [EP]
The debut release from Marriages sounds like the soundtrack to a tense, broody, action drama and I mean that in best possible way. You can imagine this is what would be playing as story builds towards an edgy climax, the hero racing towards what will be the final showdown between him and the big bad boss. When I listen to this I picture it as the score to the remake of the 1994 modern classic film, The Crow.
Kitsune is made up of six thickly textured tracks, consisting of heavy, swirling guitars, thrashing drums and ethereal vocals, all of which melt into each other to produce an arresting listening experience. Marriages – a splinter group of Red Sparowes, comprises Emma Ruth Rundle (vocals/guitar), Greg Burns (bass/synth) and David Clifford (drums) and draw obvious influence from their former band, following in their post-rock tradition.
The opener 'Ride In My Place', kicks off the record with a heavy guitar riff and thrashing drums that grips you from the first listen. The haunting vocals create a lucid, dreamy exploit that adds another layer to the song, all of which blends seamlessly into the beautiful following track, 'Body of Shade'. This brings us to arguably the EPs best attribute, the songs bleed beautifully into each other to the point that is difficult to know where one ends and the other begins without listening for it. While at the same time each track is uniquely different, and able to stand on its own merits.
Sticking to the post-rock roots of Red Sparowes, the biggest point of divergence between them and Marriages is that Kitsune features vocals on almost every song and while post-rock purists might find this unsettling (as the vocals are fairly prominent) Rundle's voice is more of an instrument than it is a way of conveying meaning and understanding. The lyrics are, for the most part, incomprehensible and the vocals give the songs a depth that would be hard to acquire without them.
Marriages have produced an EP with grace and tone, air and drama, its six songs offer a cohesive array of sounds that are both haunting and captivating. The closing track 'Part The Dark Again' crystallizes the components that make Kitsune such a great listen. Peace and tranquillity evolve into nightmares and pleas. Soft guitar lines slowly become infected with dischord and grow into dark, despairing anthems. The vocals lull this process along, soft and low before soaring over the burning power chords. It's here you realise the EPs true flaw: It's too damn short.