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Friday, 6 January 2012

Record Review - Mouse Deer

Mouse Deer EP
Mouse Deer download

If you’re familiar – as you bloody well ought to be – with the highly-evolved melodies and scything gallows wit of Schnauser, it will come as no surprise that any offshoot with shared DNA will fair glow with similarly innate class.

So it amply proves with Mouse Deer, pet project of Schnauser bassist Holly McIntosh. However, if we take the seamless musicianship and immaculate pop smarts as a given, Mouse Deer music nevertheless boasts a decidedly distinct identity. Holly, who plays every instrument bar the drums, writes songs that balance a vulnerable, pensive candour with a contrastingly clear-eyed delivery – like Dory Previn channelling the Nico of ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’.

Better still, Holly overlays her compositions with ambrosial Surf’s Up-era Beach Boys textures (‘The Warning’) and Rundgren-esque chord suspensions (‘Nothing’) to devastating effect. ‘Foreground’ above all is a left-field hit in anyone’s book, with a melody as keen and blissful as a dog’s face out a car window.

Marco Rossi

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