Mice Parade Obrigado Saudade Review

BBC Review

More delicate acoustic post-rockery from the anagrammatically named Adam Pierce and...

Jamie Tetlow 2004

The brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Adam Pierce, the anagrammatic Mice Parade have consistently released genre-bending albums of hypnotic acoustic music. Initially a one-man-band, with Pierce playing all instruments, the outfit has since, with live performances under their belt, become more elastic and now features contributions from Doug Scharin (HiM), Rob Laakso (Swirlies), Rob King and Dylan Cristy (Dylan Group co-member).

The album opens with "Two, Three, Fall" and the gentle whispers of live collaborator Kristin Valtysdottir (múm) amongst brushed drums, plucked guitar and swirling synth; a stripped mix with the sense of a playground nursery rhyme. Pierce then presents a cover of Jim O'Rourke's remix of his own 'Mystery Brethren' (from the Collaborations EP) to intense effect, pulling the track back into live instrumentation with the addition of siren like guitars, reminiscent of 'Loveless' era My Bloody Valentine, and some of Pierce's most frenzied drumming.

The themes of recycle and layer are all there; what follows are nine sketches that grab, borrow, build and develop from Pierce's previous albums to present us with his most coherent and subtle work yet. He evolves his tracks into intense, dense crescendos.There's no muddying of the mix; each instrument can breathe while resurrected themes take on new life. There are constant nods to flamenco, folk, the orient, post-rock, jazz and electronica. It's hard to classify other than to say it retains a rich, live, acoustic feel throughout.

"Focus on a roller-coaster", the album's stand out track, continues with the flamenco-esque guitar. This time more vigorous, piano rolls, plucked double bass and the gentle voice of Pierce in a rare appearance.

Many of the remaining tracksadopt a delicate approach that resembles the minimalism of Steve Reich rather than any of Pierce's Post-Rock peers while towards the close, 'Out of the Freedom World' offers the flip to 2001's 'Into the Freedom World' but belies any assumptions of pessimism.

Most noticeably, as office ambience, it never fails to prick up someone's ear; above all Pierce has not lost touch with the emotionalpowerof his music, and as a result Obrigado Saudade has something to please all.

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