Bats and Mice's full-length debut, Believe It Mammals, begins with "A Safe Bet," a song so gently melodic that Death Cab for Cutie seems the only other indie band that could have written it. But Bats and Mice's music tends to be more dynamic than Death Cab's, and when the song switches to a driving crunch the listener is reminded that the group is descended from Sleepytime Trio and shares a member with Milemarker. The vocalist switches for "I'm Not Surprised" (three of the four members cover vocals), and the result is otherworldly. "Worst Comes to Worst" employs a fuzzy groove that simply makes it an amazing rock & roll song, one that transcends genre and is not only catchy, but completely catches you. Bats and Mice is at the forefront of the movement by former hardcore bandmembers toward more diverse musical forms. Believe It Mammals is a fully realized work that is shockingly good in its subversively quiet approach. But the lapsing, dreamy sound of songs like "Sliding Scale" and the angular guitar noise at the end of "A Polished Façade" suggest the possibility of something more out there, and pushing the limits is never a bad thing.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Charles Spano