Mice Parade Mice Parade

Adam Pierce has done a lot in the last 20 years. Along with running Bubble Core Records, he’s drummed in such outfits as the Swirlies, múm and HiM, founded the Dylan Group and the tropicalia-influenced Igloo, as well as collaborated with the likes of Jim O’Rourke and Nobukazu Takemura. However, Pierce has spent most of his career overseeing his once solo project turned collaborative effort Mice Parade, which recently released album number seven. On the self-titled recording, Pierce and company drift further away from the instrumental post-rock leanings of their beginnings and instead explore more ethnic-based, song-driven structures. Flamenco-style guitar patterns, odd time signatures and various percussive devices dominate the record, while Pierce’s softly sung vocals and plaintive lyrics float below. Also, a few guests periodically lend a voice, such as Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier ("Tales of Las Negras”) and Múm’s Kristin Anna Valtysdottir ("Double Dolphins on the Nickel”). However, fans will be hard-pressed to find any striking differences between this album and Mice Parade’s last two. The songs may be a bit tighter and to the point but overall, Pierce sticks to familiar territory, fleshing out his sound rather than shifting any gears. But considering the strength of Mice Parade’s recent output, this self-titled record included, perhaps there’s no point fixing what’s not broken. (Fat Cat)