Any combo who has the imagination – and/or the nerve - to call themselves ‘Action Dead Mouse’ and issue an album called ‘Pets and Nerds Attack Planet Earth’ has to be made up of pretty bad musicians to fail to hit the spot with me. Happily, Action Dead Mouse seems only to consist of good musicians. And they play very good instrumental refreshing music into the bargain.
Their [French] publicity sheet trendily and unhelpfully coins phrases including indie and post rock to describe the current album. I’d personally place it in the same bag as some of the older Krautrock masters such as Amon Duul and Can or some British Prog-Rockers of the ilk of Egg or Hatfield and the North without doing any great disservice to anyone, I think. But this is no simple exercise in mere revivalist nostalgia. The edges are sharpened by the use of rather sparse modern noughties guitar-based pop stylee.
As I often say when I come across a mainly instrumental album, it’s great to hear real music that doesn’t have to rely on clever lyrics to raise its standard or set it apart. The qualities of fine composition, proficient instrumental and production techniques and tight group dynamics speak for themselves, marking this out as a release of very high quality and heralding the potential of a bright future for Action Dead Mouse.
My hope would be they widen their scope somewhat by addition of keyboards, horns and other orchestration – I feel the rather pared down sound they currently employ could become a little too familiar, even tedious – whereas an altogether heavier mix could allow them to really go to town. But for the time being, here’s a great start to what should be a glittering musical career.