THE MICE For Almost Ever Scooter CD (scat64)


L to R: Ken Hall (bass, b. vox), Tommy Fox (drums), Bill Fox (gtr, vox).
photo: John Rodriguez

 

 

 

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The Mice were a young band active in Cleveland, Ohio during the mid 1980s. The group brought together a range of influences infrequently heard at the time, and their moniker itself distanced them from the sometimes testosterone-heavy punk scene. But whether the energy comes from early punk or Brit Invasion anthems, there's plenty of it in many of these songs, aided and abetted by a very young Moon-esque drummer in Tommy Fox. In this environment, Bill Fox presented songs of passion and subtlety with mad genius pop hooks.

Scooter even saw release in the UK in an altered version, but by the end of 1987 the members were heading in too many different directions musically and with work on a second album half completed and international tours on the horizon, the Mice split up. The records lived on of course, and were particularly influential throughout Ohio, and I even recall hearing Superchunk cover "Bye Bye Kitty Cat." Leader Bill Fox subsequently turned to folk music and coffee houses, and later began experimenting with home recordings, resulting in a fine pair of cds released on Spinart in the 90s (Shelter from the Smoke & Transit Byzantium) . Bill stopped writing and performing music a few years ago, but has plans to start back up again relatively soon.

Although the What Goes On label managed to lose the master tapes to most of these songs, Al McGinty of the Beat Farm located some tapes for six of the tracks. A couple of these are alternate mixes, which were preferable to mastering from the St. Valentine pressing of Scooter, which we have fortunately not had to employ in preparing this album for release. "Just Like Brick" is a standout, featuring an alternate guitar track by Doug Gillard and a more balanced mix.

Reviews:

  • David Bash, Shindig here
  • Jonathan Perry, Boston Phoenix here
  • Edward Burch, Pamphlet here
  • The Vertical Slum here
  • Daniel Dimaggio, Village Voice here
  • 75orless.com here

 track listing:

  1. Downtown
  2. Felicia
  3. Rescue You Too
  4. Not Proud of the USA
  5. Pharaoh
  6. Down in the Catacombs
  7. Little Rage
  8. Bye Bye Kitty Cat
  9. Second Best
  10. When Tiffany Cries
  11. Guarding You
  12. Just Like Brick
  13. Crystal Silence
  14. Ancient Mystery
  15. More Than I Can Talk About
  16. Carolina

1-6 For Almost Ever 12"EP (Herb Jackson, 1986),
7-16 Scooter LP (St. Valentine, 1987).

Produced by Chris Burgess.
(read his liner notes here)

Mastering by John Golden.


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