Published Feb 27, 2015North American music fans are getting another chance to discover the Stones (no, not the Rolling ones). Three Blind Mice collects their studio recordings for Flying Nun Records, plus nine previously unreleased live recordings. The band formed in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1981 and broke up in 1983, releasing one EP, Another Disc, Another Dollar, and contributing four songs to the legendary Dunedin Double compilation.
Sonically, Three Blind Mice exists somewhere between Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures and New Model Army's Vengeance, but with a dash of Iggy and the Stooges thrown in for good measure. There's a youthful energy to it that is simultaneously buoyant and menacing. The vocals range from snotty to jubilant to brooding, while the guitars are distorted, (at times) dissonant and chock full of reverb. The bass and drums have a relentless urgency to them that never overwhelms or overshadows the more subtle elements, even on slower numbers.
The album feels slightly off-balance, but in a magnificent kind of way. There are little imperfections throughout that feel almost deliberate, as if the songs would be incomplete without them. Songs like "See Red," "Mother/Father" and "Funky Conversations" have an uneasy edge to them that's offset by poppier fare like "Gunner Ho," "Something New" and "Fad World."
Altogether, Three Blind Mice is a haunting, memorable record that will leave you wishing the Stones had stayed together long enough to record another. (Flying Nun)