In 2017, music lovers in the North East watched local heroes Mouses metamorphose from popular local favourites into talked up, national, ‘ones to watch’. It has been, to steal from old blue eyes, a very good year for the band.
Driven by a unique genre-crossing style of spiky guitar pop, Mouses have created a body of work which bristles with attitude, style and substance.
Melodic and catchy, their multi-layered songs shine with the extra power that comes when an artistic collective are overtly clear in their intent of their work; in Mouses case, spilling over and externalising into elements of thinly-veiled anger, strong idealisms and clear political sentiment.
For my mind, the beauty of the Mouses boys has always been demonstrated when they are in their natural habitat – the live show; as they create a show powerful enough to change the perceptions of what is possible from a live performance.
Closest in its performance to the anger, attitude and energy of the Detroit punk scene, Mouses blend tongue-in-cheek aphorisms with explosively charged energy.
Tonight, they create a show – the band’s last for 2017 – which is nuclear from start to finish.
The challenges of operating in the small(ish) Little Buildings venue are made redundant by the way they charge into the crowd and take over the full room. It’s the equivalent of shaking up the smallest can of pop and letting it explode over a tightly-packed crowd.
18 months ago, I referred to Mouses as “the bravest band I’d ever seen”; a feat they demonstrated by their ability to perform with a shocking level of honesty and intensity.
Tonight, it’s nice to see serious progress in the band, taking their show even further into territories which other bands simply wouldn’t do.
This is a rigorously committed duo with important messages to make and it’s likely that they’ll become as well known for their humour and their bravery as much as their music.