Marriages - Kitsune (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Kitsune (2012)

Sargent House

Given that all of their members work together in the similar-sounding post-rock outfit Red Sparowes, it's hard to view Marriages as a side project, let alone a separate band altogether. The guitars are still swirling and atmospheric; the structures still dream-like and meandering. It's almost like the Boxcar Racer of post-rock bands. But there are two big differences on new release Kitsune that divide the groups: Marriages write more condensed, focused tunes, and they actually use vocals. While minor differences, they're enough to justify Kitsune, although the high quality certainly helps.

Of course, there's a certain point where you have to stop questioning Marriages' existence and just roll with the music anyway. This EP strikes the right balance between cavernous, monster rock and warm, insular shoegaze. Songs like "Body of Shade" ebb and flow, enveloping the listener in noise. Music of this hazy variety seems tailor-made for forming one 26-minute-long dream, but it helps that the band links the songs together to form a chain.

Striking a balance between Mogwai's muscle and Eisley's tunefulness, Marriages knocked out six tracks here, and there isn't a single dud among them. Granted, it helps if one is already down with this kind of mood music, but even as just background listening, Kitsune deserves a spin or two. Still, though, giving the record more attention is rewarding, yielding a lush collection of tunes that can be alternately ethereal and punishing, often within the confines of one track, as the three-minute "Pelt" demonstrates. Either way, Kitsune is a winner.