REVIEW: Mouses - The Mouses Album

Mouses - The Mouses Album (Sister 9 Recordings)

Mouses - The Mouses Album (Sister 9 Recordings)

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Over the past year or so, Billingham duo Steven Bardgett and Nathan Duff have built a reputation as one of our region's most exciting live acts.

Built solely from the former's scuzzed-up guitar/vocals the latter's relentless drumming, Mouses have won admirers everywhere from tiny DIY venues to the BBC Introducing Stage or Reading and Leeds Festivals with their raw, fiercely energetic indie-punk clatter.

Teesside duo Mouses.

Teesside duo Mouses.

And that primitive rush is captured gleefully on The Mouses Album, which is released through Sister 9 Recordings on 23 September

Determinedly lo-fi, it's a debut which packs all their thrills, spills and glorious imperfections into 10 almost uniformly excellent cuts, clocking in at a grand total of 28 minutes.

What's more, that ramshackle charm is backed by some serious melodic chops - witness, for instance, the irresistible curtainraiser Girl, or the instantly memorable, hook-laden choruses on the likes of Algebra, Poison and Green.

Perhaps what's most satisfying, however, is that it's an honest, unashamed representation of what Mouses are.

There's no pseudo ambition or seven-minute curveballs here, just a two-piece racing through their repertoire with typical relish and the bare minimum of fuss.

Loud, rugged and utterly unpretentious, it's just about the best DIY record you'll hear this year - local or otherwise. Recommended! 8/10

Mouses - The Mouses Album (Sister 9 Recordings)