New Zealand export Mice on Stilts are back with “Hope for a Mourning,” a fine follow up to their debut EP “An Ocean Held Me.” The old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That’s exactly the approach that Mice on Stilts use for “Hope for a Mourning.”
The music is still piano driven in a chamber music way but unlike iamthemorning, Mice on Stilts are a true rock band first and foremost. Their arrangements range from sparse (“And We Saw His Needs Through the Casket”) to epic (“Funeral”) but always fit the mood and most of all the song. The band is often at their best when they blend the two. “Orca” is one of the album’s best tracks. Lush, sweeping melodies coupled with great harmonies make it a truly memorable track.
Another thing that’s great about Mice on Stilts is that they have seven members which allows the band a lot of weapons in their arsenal. “YHWH” is a good example. Strings and horns mixing perfectly with heavier guitar riffs which yield to beautiful keys. There’s a lot to each track and I don’t mean notes. Mice on Stilts are all about atmosphere and painting vivid pictures through sounds and words.
“Hope for a Mourning” is an album that delivers on the promise of the band’s debut EP. The only thing that might work against the band is they are from New Zealand and perhaps not as widely known as they should be because of that. Hope for the best. This is a band that deserves attention.
Release date: April 15, 2016