As much as we are soothed by music with a familiar feel to it, surely the whole point is to break down barricades and explore new, interesting territory. You could never accuse Carey Mercer of following a template, not even his own, and Pickpocket’s Locket is no exception. More straight forward that some of the previous conceptual albums; we still find the band following him down a very unique and idiosyncratic route.
Just through the nature and delivery of the songs there is a pent up energy at the heart of the album that at times becomes claustrophobic and heightened to a point where the tensions are clearly palpable. Skittering drums and staccato piano set up a mechanical rhythm whilst strings sweep across at right angles, seemingly at odds but somehow providing the perfect counterpoint and Bowie-esque vocals jump around on top of these precarious creations.
It’s Nick Cave playing skewed pop, it’s Aladdin Sane as a lounge act, and it’s Tom Waits songs re-invented as a modern indie band. I’ll be honest, the songs take some getting into, but if it was easy we’d all be smug music elitists, but given a bit of time to immerse yourself in the Mercer’s approach you will find hidden depths to the songs, musical gems hidden in the corners of these often challenging songs. Like most of the music that lasts, thrives and often ends up being hailed as important works Frog Eyes definitely come with the label “it’s not for everyone” as for the future legacy, only time will tell.