Mouse Fire - Wooden Teeth (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Mouse Fire

Wooden Teeth (2007)


Bringing virtually no immediate comparisons to mind, Mouse Fire produce a fairly unique indie pop/rock effort in Wooden Teeth. Maybe Pavement, or even Pinback during their heavier moments, but sometimes even those associations seem a stretch at times.

Bound by influences as disparate as Dismemberment Plan, the Beatles and No Knife, that list only gives the listener a vague idea at best of Wooden Teeth's on-goings. Lead vocalist/guitarist Joey sings in a low, soothing tone, something like a pronounced whisper that's not far from the likes of a love child between Elliott Smith* and Discover America's Chris Staples. But with the musical base of Mouse Fire's songs, the proceedings range from lighter fare like opener "Culvaria" to the more pensive, noisy layers of the very next track, "Feel Good Drag." The tension that resonates in the latter makes it quite a bit of a standout on the record, actually.

This is often Mouse Fire's modus operandi on Wooden Teeth, transitioning from somewhat slower numbers to more uptempo material, but concocting pleasant, sing-along-crafted melodies all the way. "To Celebrate a Suicide" and "The Unknown" are another pair of good examples; the former is a bouncy, memorable piece while the latter is a brief little acoustic take. "Started a Fire" even adds some energetic gang vocals, making for one of the album's catchiest.

My one gripe with Mouse Fire's Wooden Teeth is that as strong of a debut it is, it's not entirely memorable. Much is hard to recall even after multiple listens, but there's a major saving grace, here: The act itself of listening is always an enjoyable one.

To Celebrate a Suicide
This Is How I Throw My Slider

Feel Good Drag
The Unknown
Started a Fire

* - This comparison materialized in my head well before I noticed the title of a certain song on the record; any offense that may be taken was surely not intended.