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[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » 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]


 » 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
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Bats & Mice
A Person Carrying a Handmade Bag is Considered as a Royal Person

Rating: 7.5/10 ?

October 1, 2004
While at first, I pictured some sort of cacophonous debacle of musical rodents when I heard their name, Bats and Mice are a well oiled, polished rock group playing songs that are not overpowering in any way, but are nevertheless effective at getting your attention.

A Person Carrying as a Handmade Bag is Considered a Royal Person is the third release from Bats and Mice, a trio formed by Ben Davis and David NeSmith - both of Sleepytime Trio - and drummer Luke Herbst. Herbst has a gentle jazzy drumming style that is warm and welcomes the listener to pull up a chair, relax and become entranced. Davis is the main vocalist and his sound is an engaging cross between the singer of Pink Floyd and the singer of Modest Mouse. His lyrics - occasionally stellar, always intelligent, but not always 100% intelligible - are delivered in a sort of pleading way.

Three of the four songs on this short EP (with an incredibly long name) have vocals, but the opening track, "The Royal Paper Bag," is an instrumental that begins with a driving bass line, and works to interject new changes and stay interesting. Davis' vocals kick in on the second track, "Military Smile," which, while slower, is hung on a nice bit of finger work from NeSmith. Davis lets out some dramatic yelps and the song is a satisfying kind of slow power/pop tune.

The slow work continues as NeSmith's guitar creeps along to begin the next song, "Even and then Some." With the low end in place, NeSmith shocks the system a bit with some power chords and Herbst brings the noise as the song finishes off. "Around What's Done," the best and final song, continues the aggression as Davis' voice crackles with all its boyish power. But Herbst owns the song with his drumming; he welcomes listeners in using the kick drum as an interpreter and allows everyone to understand and feel the song. Then he expands and blossoms his sounds to "ooohh" and "aaaww" the crowd, before settling back to the nice, warm, accepting beat that makes you smile at how he just showed off to amaze you.

Reviewed by Mike Hammer

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