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Shmat's Reviews
For more reviews, please visit Palebear which is where all future Shmat reviews will appear (as of March 2006).

Basil The Mouse
Untitled Demo (CD-R)

Well, tie the Shmat up and tickle his nose with basil! Basil the Mouse that is. Some of the demo CD-Rs the Shmat gets in the mail are fine, others are not. But a select few are pretty fantastic and interesting right off the back and this demo by the 18 year old Mat from Texas really scores high on the nifty-meter.

If the Shmat needed to scientifically classify Basil the Mouse he would give him the name Tweeitus Synthipop Drum Machineicus. The songs are extremely cute with titles like "She Smells Like Fruity Pebbles", "That Boy's A Trout", and "Milk Chocolate Heart" (some extremely tweety bird sounds abound on this one). That isn't to say that they aren't drippy saccharin sweet or not well put together.

"My Favorite Candy" is a tasty little tune treat in the style of Casino Ashtrays and a few other Popgun bands that the Shmat has heard before. He might also mention that this CD came "zip-locked and loaded" (patent pend. by Popgun). Hehe.

As a whole these are quite excellent tracks. Although the flavor of the songs is the usual slightly self-aggrandizing angst, it's not shoved down your throat or anything which makes me want to listen rather than cringe. On certain songs Mat tweaks a musical whisker or two like Tullycraft might and on others he sounds like Tulsa's arcade popsters Elliott The Letter Ostrich mixed with The Field Mice. Weird tweaky synth noises and are the order of the day. Distorted instruments and squirrel hiss replace guitar muscle and might. "Golden Coins" sounds a bit like a Weezer track but with Rivers Cuomo singing and playing through a Speak 'N Spell.

Mat includes an amazing lo-fi rendition of "Falling Out Of Love With You" by the 6ths (Stephen Merritt's "everyone and the kitchen sink vehicle"). This is one of the Shmat's favorite CDs of all time so he can only say he was pleased as punch!

Peoples often ask the Shmat why he continues to encourage bands like this. Why not? Anyway, you don't need a degree at Julliard to make great indie pop. Just a casio and some heart.

- review by SHMAT (5.31.05)        

Basil The Mouse

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