FLICKER – How Much Are You Willing To Forget? (2013)
FLICKER are a group of not quite middle-aged friends/relatives/musicians from Aylesbury, UK, that have been working together for more than fifteen years and now finally debuted with their self-managed album “How Much Are You Willing To Forget?”. This is one of these CDs you can easily guess the music inside judging the cover (created by Mel Walker).
Yes, Flicker is a Prog band, and the suggestive, surreal imagery of the artwork blends nicely with the subject matter of the album.
“How Much Are You Willing to Forget?” is a lush, haunting recording. Flicker stands in the best tradition of classic English melodic progressive, channeling at places the early greats like Genesis or Pink Floyd (which band in this genre does not?) but definitively they own a distinctive style infusing creative ideas to the music, with some modern developments that would fit nicely alongside Steven Wilson latter works to give you an idea.
Vocalist, songwriter, driving force Ellis Mordecai’s honeyed croon is constantly giving rise to an organic chemistry that pulls on every sense. There’s plenty of space for the instruments to breathe within this delicious and pulsing album. Every sonic square inch is a moment of such transcendent beauty you’ll feel like you’ve crossed a threshold into another world.
The CD opens with “Intro”, a stacatto short instrumental heralding the excellent “Go”, one of the highlights. This almost catchy, fine-tuned mechanically calibrated groove-fest sets an electrifying pace with its insistent guitar figure and pounding bassline and Mordecai’s unstrained vocals.
What follows is a hugely engaging and genuinely moving collection of songs that ebb and flow between minimal intricate meanders and stadium-sized atmospherics. This band have the whole proggin’ lot; pin-drop poignancy, euphoric rush and lyrical flair, it’s all here.
“Out There” begins with a sublime little piano intro and slowly grows with a change of pace which sees the rest of the instruments appearing. Even on the first hearing, there are little hooks that get into your head. The track changes several times and the guitar riffs build up throughout, but always maintain the melodic nature of the track.
While most of the material here is smooth, melodic and wistful, Flicker can get a bit heavier as in the beginning of “My Empty Head”, later injecting an equally hunting guitar line to make the arrangement even more delightful.
“Counting Time” has a great intro with a beautiful guitar melody prior to the appearance of the double-tracked vocals, clear and pristine, delivering an excellent lyrical content. By the halfway point, the melody has again managed to get a foothold in your head.
“Everywhere Face” is just a rocking song and probably the most radio friendly song on the album. It’s melodic, dynamic and it does fit in nicely with the storyline.
Another highlight arrives with “Breathless”. A simply stunning Spanish flamenco style guitar passage starts the song and continues until an electric guitar picks up the melody. When the voice of Ellis appears, it is so clear and unforced that transports you to an incredible aural sensation. Around the 3 minute mark, there is a harder, harsher sound, which drops to give room to an extended acoustic passage with excellent bass/drums underpinning the track. Another switch around the end allows the re-entry of heavy guitars rounding a rather bombastic finale.
Flicker are a treasure to be discovered by the discerning lover of Prog rock and beyond. “How Much Are You Willing To Forget” is an ever-shifting, immersive musical delight from the off that resonates from the first note to the last.
Their subtle and gloriously melodic style is plenty of imagination, emotion, with all the hallmarks of a British classic. The whole feel of the album is excellent. Each track is like unearthing another little nugget of gold. The four members should be applauded for producing a debut album that simply oozes class.
Flicker may be a new, and little known band at the moment, but I do not feel that will be the case for very long. Frankly, if this is the future of modern English progressive rock, to take cues from the past to make terrific music in the present, then the future is bright and Flicker is at the forefront.
Strongly Recommended for all audiences.
01 – Intro
02 – Go
03 – Out There
04 – My Empty Head
05 – Counting Time
06 – Everywhere Face
07 – Falling Down
08 – Breathless
09 – Is This Real Life
Ellis Mordecai – vocals, guitars
Andrew Day – guitars
Peter Coussens – bass
Vaughan Abrey – drums
BUY IT !