Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Review: Mouse Fire - Wooden Teeth

Label: Lujo Records

Released: November 6, 2007

If I tell you that a band reminds me of ELO in any way and you're turned off, it's understandable. When I say it this time though, don't tune out, because you'll miss something very cool. Here I go. Mouse Fire reminds me of ELO. Now let me allay your fears a bit. There's nothing on here that sounds like "Evil Woman." What Mouse Fire really learned from ELO was how to make slick pop, but they made that their own by maintaining an intimacy that often eludes even the most down-to-earth bands. In other words, Mouse Fire is slick without being bloated, fake or light. The music ranges from low-key ballads to guitar-driven rock to angular post-punk. They even take a few lessons, not from disco, but from disco's effect on rock music at times when their pop perfection becomes vaguely funky and danceable.

Mouse Fire builds lush layers that never become overbearing, because nothing, not even its synthiest moment, ever gets detached. They fit right in with the resurgence of post-punk's sharp corners, yet they even those corners out into something far easier to digest. "Slick" is so often a derogatory term that implies a style over substance approach is hiding something. Not on Wooden Teeth though. This slickness is a strength. Rather than hiding shortcomings, it enhances everything else that they do right. Mixed with the album's angularity, these hooks aren't the sort that let you know you're being hooked. They come from all sides too. Any layer is easy to get caught up in while another makes its move for attention. The album wraps its smooth and rough sides into a package that is at once more palatable and more satisfying.

Satriani: 7/10
Zappa: 6/10
Dylan: 9/10
Aretha: 7/10
Overall: 8/10



If you're curious about my rating categories, read the description.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home