Edinburgh indie/alternative band ‘Quiet as a Mouse’ debut album ‘Is it funny when it hurts?’, released late April, is the sound of a guitar band playing with a mixture of sounds and atmospheres.
Built around the creative foundations of singer songwriter Alex Moran, the Mouse men have created an interesting collection of tracks; almost perfectly split between what Pixies reference to their own sound, ‘quiet’ and ‘loud’.
Debut singles ‘Modern Belle’ and ‘Northern Rain’ introduced the band as an outfit with a gentle (‘quiet’), sentimental, sound. Dreamy, distant, guitar riffs and emotive backing vocals combined to showcase the Quiets as a contemplative, thoughtful, collective of musicians. Similar musical themes are apparent on the album with ‘Air conditioning’ and ‘Sweet little girl’, both wistful contemplations on unrelated themes (old movie stars, the stupidity of pursuing consumer led ideals, and the distance between being the hero and the villain). Both are driven by a strong acoustic, Crowded-house styled, playing.
‘Instant crush’ follows this pattern to it’s niche, and is the prettiest track on the album with it’s use of strong melodies, higher vocals and gentle pop sensibilities. Building up to a forceful crescendo, it’s the centre piece of the album.
Elsewhere on the album we are introduced to the other side of the Quiet men; loud, aggressive, indie guitars with dark undertones. ‘Accident waiting to happen’ is dark and demonising in the spirit of the Mary Chain, ‘Control Freak’ kicks hard with it’s pummelling chorus, ‘Modern technology’ brings in Talking Heads style funk and syncopated guitar lines and ‘Dear LA’ is a forceful reminder to get out there and dream big.
Of the louder tracks ‘Suicide shuffle’ is the most effecting. Loose, Exile on main street era Stones guitar playing pops against a blues undercurrent and off the beat guitar playing. God only knows what a Suicide Shuffle is, but it feels pretty exciting.
Quiet as a Mouse have produced an interesting album, showcasing their ability to play different styles and access different emotions.
There’s some gems on the album.