Mice On Stilts have created something rather special. Undoubtedly cut from the same cloth as the likes of Stephen Wilson/The Porcupine Tree – a true compliment rather than an accusation of any kind of plagiarism. Likewise, suggestions of early Pink Floyd etc., really just giving a bit of an idea as to pace, scope and musical vision. Call it prog rock or doom folk… if you know Wilson’s canon, this is all that and more.
The line up of the band has changed since the band’s 2013 debut EP ‘An Ocean Held Me’, and so has the sound. Of the original line up, apart from songwriter Benjamin Morley on guitar and vocals, only Tim Burrows (who produced and engineered ‘AOHM’, now on on bass) and Rob Sanders on drums remain. This is a cinematic-quality release, with layers that gradually reveal themselves – and without overstated bombast of any kind. More, gentle, introspective, intimate and honest. Overall though the album does lack dynamics, ups to contrast the downs – and while the linearity throughout makes for fantastic background-listening it doesn’t beg for radio play. ‘Hope For A Mourning’ is bleaker than its predecessor. Don’t look for pop here, rather the soundtrack of a dark art house movie that’s yet to be made. As a songwriter, Morley knows how to dip into the dark side of his mind, for both lyrics and melodies. A stalwart of Auckland’s live scene, he has the genre of ambient doom folk down to a t.