If I haven’t learnt anything else this week then Zach’s Bloodstock review has at least reminded me what it was that got me excited about music, life and metal in the first place. So with the arrival of Mouses’ debut album it could not have been any better timed as this is without the doubt the sound of youth with all its excitement, naivety and can do attitude. The Teeside duo have actually been around since 2014 and have so far delivered two critically acclaimed EP’s and with appearances due at the end of August at the Leeds and Reading Festivals there is a lot of anticipation for this their debut LP.
My first impressions are that this is grungy DIY Punk, lo-fi pop. There are 10 tracks in all delivered at breakneck speed and energy; with immediate comparisons to Car Seat Headrest and Pavement spring to mind. I think they also need to be applauded for being the first drum, guitar and vocal band in the last 15 years or so that haven’t either been a grunge band, The White Stripes or a rip off Black Keys.
From the Feedback and noise of opening track “Girl” it’s clear that these two guys can make a lot of noise. It’s not the fuzziness of the guitars or the enthusiasm of the way these songs are delivered that will enamour Mouses to the general public though, it is the style and delivery of the lyrics. “Girl” has an endearing melody, a clear narrative and some good choice of words, as well as the fuzz guitars and a pretty good mid guitar solo. There is almost a 1950’s innocence to this song, its lyrical content and overall feel, that is before the passion is increases from 1950’s to 1990’s style in the end crescendo.
I think that despite the DIYness of this record; the noise and fuzz; one of the reasons these songs work is because at the heart of this all it’s a great Rock and Roll record, early Rock and roll, where it wasn’t just about carrying a good melody and representing your generation but being able to tell a story as well. “Bloodlust” is another great example of this.
Mouses have already released two very well received EP’s and both of the lead tracks from those are included on the debut album. “Hollywood”’s strength lies in the instantly infectious barrage of words, right from the opening beat. We have an almost chant like list that combined with at times almost melancholy feel is as good as any of the punk Pavement songs you will have heard. “Poison” has a pace that I love in any song, with punctuated drums really emphasising the opening verse. This then leads into probably their most catchy of chorus reminding me in a way of “Swearin’”.
There’s an innocence to these guys I like as well. It’s even evident when they are singing “Psycho” with the “Psycho” refrain. It’s not full of menace quite as you would expect. Another highlight track for me is “Green”, this is a song that sounds a lot like 90’s grungy pop but with Mouses own modern twist. I love the range of influences on this album and how they pull it into their own sound and some pretty catchy pop songs.
A promising and fun debut full of energy and exuberance. Stick on this record and remind yourself what it means to love music, love life and be excited about what is to come. What is even more exciting is that this is British home grown talent and it’s nice to see. Be interesting to see how these guys develop. I think as a sound they are going to have to grow beyond the simple format employed on this record, its enjoyable as a blast but not sure how long they could employ the same method for the future. Whatever happens in the future this record leaves you feeling like it can be achieved.
Header image by Horneography.
The Mouses Album is out on September 23rd.