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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Bats & Mice
Believe It Mammals
Lovitt

Rating: 8/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Damn, I'd might as well come out and say it- Believe It Mammals makes Bats & Mice sound a lot like Sunny Day Real Estate. I'm just putting it out there and getting it over with because the reference will undoubtedly dog this band. Believe It Mammals is smart, introspective, well played, beautiful, a bit haunting, and pretty poignant. My guess is that Bats & Mice will be disemboweled in the indie press by the same people who think it's okay for the Strokes and the White Stripes to generally stink at recreating the moments of rock's past that we should all be pretty embarrassed about. But shouldn't we all be past that stage where we crucify bands who sound like Sunny Day Real Estate? The second Mineral full-length dropped off the radar the day it was released; can't we all be happy with that?

I guess we'll find out when the Gallup polls come in from the Bats & Mice reception dinner. My guess is that the initial numbers will indicated "chilly" while later tallies signal a warming trend. Believe It Mammals may be a bit hard to really focus on (it does really make great background music) but it is very competent and somewhat refreshing, considering the band's pedigree. The album starts off as good albums should- spectacularly. "A Safe Bet" really is a great early key to the band's sound, with the multi-faceted vocal chorus standing out immediately. The Richmondites stumble a bit with the overly hokey "I'm Not Surprised" which is, surprisingly or not, a pretty lame track with an overly lame chorus. But by the time the tempo shifts and the buttery chorus swirls about in "Worst Comes to Worst," the infraction is forgotten and you're in love again. While there are a few similarities to other bands throughout (such as Camden on "Hallway"), none of them really smack of the band's abrasive roots (with members doing time in Milemarker, Men's Recovery Project, Sleepytime Trio, Maximillian Colby, Four Hundred Years, Rah Brahs). Truth be told Bats & Mice really excel at the mopey indie-core sound, maybe a bit more soul- and jam-influenced with less of a dusty nostalgia than Death Cab For Cutie.

Believe It Mammals is polished, credible, and best of all it is consistent, stumbling only a few times and generally holding the listener's attention for the duration. Think of Bats & Mice as another example of punks growing up but staying relevant, or as a mid-tempo post-rock album that you could actually imagine playing on the radio.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth

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