Mouse on Mars
Idiology (Thrill Jockey)
By: Mikel Jollett
Disclaimer: The following review was completed by someone wholly unfamiliar with the brand of contemplative musical experimentation known as "electronica" (that's ee-leck-trohn-ick-ahh for those of you from the square states) and should therefore not be read by anyone who has ever owned an album by Kraftwerk, Neitzer Ebb, or Rabbit in the Moon. In the case of accidental consumption by such a knowledgeable music-god of a person, the victim should immediately attempt to gain some perspective by (in order): 1) getting off their fucking high horse, 2) learning to play the kazoo, and 3) proceeding to one of many examples of a magazine or writer covering a brand of music about which they are completely clueless. Suggestions: Urb on Salsa, The Nashville Reporter on techno, Spin on the lost art of the madrigal, or Rolling Stone on anything after 1973... It's just an opinion, people.
That being said:
Mouse on Mars are two Germans that play an experimental type of dance/pop/rock fusion that bounces about the room like your twelve year old brother when he forgot to take his 'special pills'. It scoffs at such notions as "verse" or "chorus" or "melody". Like the chaos theory mathematics which pre-dates it by about a decade, the point is to find meaning in all the noise. The enlightened ear, (I'm guessing here), hears something brilliant in all those pitch changes and syncopated bits of static.
Boy, it must suck to be German.
I never liked Wagner. I don't even care that the man hated my people, it's the whole lack of cadence that I find offensive. (that's a fancy-schmancy music-like term for that part in the song where the tune goes back to the starting point--Wagner never did it). It's like singing Row Your Boat and ending the song at "life is but a ____"). Try it. Right now, sing the song to yourself and see how pissed you get when you can't say "dream". That's what listening to Wagner is like. Cadence makes us feel better. Because despite all the dissonance and tragedy that may have occurred, we know we're going to be OK because darnit, we're back to good 'ol G. (the note, not the gangsta). Anyway, Wagner and Mouse on Mars hate cadence and (again, I'm only guessing), I bet they hate puppies too. Pizza, TV, "Friends", Michael Jordan, the U.S. Women's Soccer Team--I'm sure they hate all of it.
And, maybe I'm just a slack-eyed sucker for good ol' mom and apple pie and police brutality, but that's just plain un-friggin-American. There's a reason we won that war. And it wasn't because of land or freedom from tyranny or any of that big brother crap they try to cram down yer throat in school. It was music. We won that war so that no god-fearing American with snot on his sleeve, the smell of manure in his nostrils, and a dead baby deer strapped to the hood of his Pontiac would ever, ever have to listen to two "artsy" Germans with black wire-frame glasses, turtlenecks, and a propensity to quote the French (a bunch of pussies, them sheep-fuckers) make off-key techno music with their wussy little German computers.
So go ahead, buy the album. Discuss it's "mastery of amorphous precision", it's "creative use of juxtaposed musical genres", it's very "malleable, diaphanous structure that embodies the paradox of ephemeral perspicacity." YOU can do that. But, don't come crying to me when the krauts start invading Poland again. I'll be here, in the good 'ol U.S. of A., with a slab of jerky in my mouth, a sawed-off shotgun in my lap, and an honest-to-goodness Pavement record on the stereo.