Mouse Fire – Wooden Teeth

  • Keith Rosson posted
  • Reviews

Mouse Fire

Wooden Teeth - :Lujo Records

This one’s left me scratching my head for some time now. I’m totally at a loss. Absolutely floundering. Not because it’s so awful that it’s left me dry-mouthed and inert, simply unable to describe how shitty it is. And not because it’s so good that it utterly defies description, rendering me with trousers ruined in the caboose area and a mouth unable to form words; it’s just that there’s not a whole lot here. There’s just nothing solid for me to grab onto. Describing Wooden Teeth is like trying to describe the olfactory impact of a cloud formation on the horizon; how in the hell do you do it?

Their website kicks out references as varied as The Dismemberment Plan, The Beatles and Pavement. Having about zero interest in any of those bands, I have no idea how accurate said reference points are. To me, Mouse Fire sounds like… air. Like air moving around a room, inoffensive, unnoticeable. Seriously – there’s just nothing there, not one tangible hook to grab onto. I mean, it’s stunning – the production is exemplary, they’re using lots of studio tricks, they must have a bajillion effects pedals when they play, there’s vocal interplay galore and they can obviously fiddle around with their instruments like champs.

And yet there’s not one thing here to grab onto – if there were, it’d be like a goddamn life raft after listening to this album as many times as I have – to act as a buoy and pull Wooden Teeth out of a sea of mediocrity. It’s simply well executed, terribly bland indie pop. That’s it, and it’s incredibly frustrating as a listener.

Even an album that I hate would generally get a higher word count in a review than something like this; at least with a bad album, I’m able to riff off of it, to document what I believe said record is so woefully lacking in. With Mouse Fire, I can’t do that; it’s lacking nothing and everything all at once. I guess, ultimately, their name is apt: yeah, there’s fire, there’s flame, but it’s tiny and inconsequential enough to almost totally avoid notice.