Review: Mouse on Mars – WOW
Published on November 12th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Jan St. Werner and Andi Toma could have been forgiven for taking a bit of time off having released one of 2012’s most monumental albums in Parastrophics, but here they are again with a half-hour suite of technicolour bass music that could conceivably have emanated from the same sessions.
Mouse on Mars have always altered their sound to varying degrees from one album to the next, but WOW works effectively as an accompaniment to Parastrophics, or even an alternative for those seeking a more uniform sonic experience than that LP’s relentless eclecticism. The whole thing starts with an impressed-sounding exclamation of “wow!”, perhaps in response to what went before, followed by a sinister wilderness (punctuated by some frankly ridiculous screams) that leads into the pounding, popping ‘n’ clicking Game Boy wobble-funk of “DOG”; it’s the kind of kaleidoscopic madcappery that coursed through Parastrophics, and it asserts its authority with a cacophonic climax of a breakdown section. Mouse on Mars are in the house, of that there is no doubt.
From then on the tracks flow seamlessly into each other, taking on piles of pupil-dilating synthpads, architecturally crafted rhythm sections and electronic sounds that for the synaesthetic amongst you might bring to mind such adjectives as ‘rubbery’, ‘bubbly’ and ‘gloopy’. “HYM” in particular sounds like early Prodigy testing the effects of acid on a pilled-up palette, while “CAN” features a voice that sounds as if it’s saying “looks a bit bait” over and over, a nod to modern English language patois to follow “Facebook’s a cock-blocker” from Parastrophics‘s “Chordblocker, Cinnamon Toasted” (albeit Rocksucker might’ve been hearing that one wrongly, too).
WOW ends with what sounds like a dying cow, which is probably more worthy of isolated mention than any kind of attempt at analysis. This keeps Mouse on Mars’s Monkeytown activity ticking along nicely, but a recorded version of last year’s wonderful Paeanumnion shows would make for an even more welcome next chapter to what has become one of the most enviable back catalogues in electronic music history.
Rocksucker says: Three and a Half out of Five!