Thursday 7 June 2012

Dancing Mice - 13 Difficult Lessons

Album review by KevW

Brilliant albums; they're great to review, waxing lyrical about a new found passion for some exceptional tunes that you simply want to force the whole world to listen to, so they too can be as excited as you. Awful albums; while you may feel a little cruel writing nasty things about people's hard work you can usually find plenty to say, plenty to deride and plenty of reasons to warn others from casting their ears over the monstrosities on offer. But distinctly average albums? Your stereotypical C- grade or five-out-of-ten records where nothing is particularly wrong yet nothing is particularly worth mentioning? Well, there's just little to say.

This fifth collection by Edinburgh's Dancing Mice is just... there. It starts with the mildly promising shuffle of 'The Tall Blonde' and then continues along the same path for another dozen entirely uneventful tracks. You can hear bits of The Cure, bits of Sparks and bits the B-sides of a few generations of indie bands. It doesn't bode well when even the press release uses the word "patchy" in its description of the record. As it happens '13 Difficult Lessons' isn't patchy, it's unbelievably consistent in being average. The 'Difficult' part of its title is apt. It's difficult to concentrate on and difficult to scrutinize.

The annoying thing is that this isn't a bad album, it just has no notable moments or interesting taking points, and at 13 tracks it's simply far too much. Dancing Mice are obviously competent songwriters but they need to find some gold dust from somewhere and sprinkle it over their work. As it stands, the most interesting thing about this record is that the dog on the cover is called Bernardo, and even that's a fact that's barely worth mentioning. Ho hum.

Dancing Mice's website

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