By Lane Oliver
Formed by three members of instrumental rock outfit, Red Sparowes, Marriages is here to please the senses with their densely textured experimental rock. Emma Ruth Rundle, Greg Burns and Dave Clifford have created something that most artists influenced by the slowly becoming stagnant post-rock genre wish they could forge with their instruments. Marriage’s debut record, Kitsune, features six sensational tracks that raise the bar for similar bands the world over.
Marriages’ onslaught of aurally satisfying tune begins with “Ride in My Place”. Layer upon layer of downward spiraling, floating guitar riffs reverberate over a dense wall of euphoric sound and crunchy bass lines. The song floats along like a feather in a gust of wind while Emma Rundle’s sultry voice distantly calls out to the listener in a siren like fashion. Her vocals on this record are put through a double-pitched effect that ultimately makes her vocals sound slightly dissonant and haunting. The vocal effects are cool but to be honest they are little over done since they are everywhere on this record. But I digress. “Ride in My Place” bleeds perfectly into “Body of Shade”, which is a very subtle, controlled track that rides along a basic groove throughout its duration. The gorgeous, echoing guitar parts melt into each other and pull apart to create new, majestic swells of sound. Each and every track segues flawlessly into the next much like the blending of water colors. And with each track that progresses, Marriages engorge themselves with as much musical complexity as they can and release it upon the listener in the form of tranquil, thickly layered walls of sound.
“Ten Tiny Fingers” begins with bright, synthesized chimes that give way to soft, fragile guitar lines that build into huge cries of passion in the form of soaring guitar swells and the inevitable bombastic chord chugs that signal the end of a sonic struggle. A sonic struggle would be the best way to describe the songs on Kitsune. The songs float along only to ascend gracefully and vice versa as if the many textures and musical lines are fighting each other for dominance. A perfect song to exhibit these qualities would be the amazing closer, “Part the Dark Again”. The track opens with an absolutely gorgeous, soft section that invokes a feeling of tranquility in the listener while simultaneously building tension. The song eventually escalates into a huge, down trodden climax that features thundering guitar chords and the calls of layered guitar leads. The many guitar leads that soar over the top of “Part the Dark Again” engage in the sonic struggle I speak of in which the grandiose riffs entwine and separate from each other in a metaphorical race to the top of the song’s climax. But in the end the song melts into a soft, ambient closing moment that brings this album full circle.
Kitsune is an outstanding debut for Marriages. The album is a powerful display of outstanding musicianship and song writing and puts Marriages ten steps ahead of the throng of generic post-rock inspired groups. Marriages have created something unique and incredibly enthralling with Kitsune and you would be a fool to miss out on it.
Label: Sargent House
Release Date: May 1st, 2012
Favorite Tracks: “Ride in My Place, “Ten Tiny Fingers” and “Part the Dark Again”
For fans of: Red Sparowes, Caspian, Russian Circles, Chelsea Wolfe and Set Fire to Flames.