Imagine a slow and rickety cart that picks up a little speed and transforms into a rusted pale red wagon, this how Mice Parade’s new album, Candela (Fat Cat Records) kicks off. You can actually feel the strain in some of the songs as the band strives to break out from the drudgery, but front-man and writer, Adam Pierce is just stuck in a rut. Coming so close to something that could be described as indie-pop, Mice Parade’s music is a wide mix of instruments and people all colliding together creating a semblance of an experimental indie band.
The female vocals of Caroline Lufkin shine through on a number of tracks (especially “Currents”) and are most definitely the strongest and cutest thing happening on this album. Adam’s vocals are those of an almost disinterested musician who knows that songs with vocals are usually more popular and so he feels obliged to include them. However, the idea of a slightly droning voice over upbeat indie sounds is hardly new and has been done a lot more successfully (I’m surprised at how similar the vocals are to the very fun band Throw Me the Statue).
It’s easy to hear the talent of the musicians throughout the album and the whole thing comes across as a carefully planned out science experiment. The problem with this complexity is that in order to really benefit from the album it is best read very carefully, several times through and in a comfortable environment (this is far from a road trip album). In the end you get the sense that Mice Parade is much more about people coming together and doing what makes them happy, and in this case it’s all sorts of experimentation, with a variety of instruments and different styles of music (check out the unexpected final rap track of the album).
With ten album releases under their belt, Mice Parade is keeping fans happy, their record label off their back, and having fun all at the same time, so for that I say congratulations. They are currently on tour, traveling the West coast of the States.