Four years after their self-titled debut album was released in 2004, Mouserocket is back with their sophomore effort, entitled Pretty Loud, which is set for release on Chicago’s Tic Tac Totally Records on April 29th. The band started as a collaboration between former Big Ass Truck and current Vending Machine member Robby Grant, and the ever-prolific Alicja Trout, who has put out records with Lost Sounds, Black Sunday, and River City Tanlines. Mouserocket’s new album will be a vinyl release with a CD of the music included in the packaging.
Backed by Hemant Gupta on bass, former Big Ass Truck drummer Robert Barnett on drums and Jonathan Kirkscey on cello, Mouserocket is a perfectly named outfit that blends the loud-quiet-loud melodies that made bands liken Nirvana and the Pixies all the rage back in the ‘90s. These days the band would probably be more comfortable with recent comparisons to bands like Television, Sonic Youth, and Yo La Tengo, while their Myspace page claims the band’s influences are home recordings, thrift store keyboards, Love, Devo, German Shepards, Claire, Fender amps and Motley Crue.
Motley Crue should be genuinely flattered.
On the new album, the band pads their punk rock pedigree by having Jay Reatard (who spent time with Alicja Trout as a band mate and paramour in Lost Sounds) remix “Missing Teeth,” an electro-pop gem from their first album. Reatard has been heavily stroked by the music industry after his stellar solo album, 2006’s Blood Visions. One must assume that Reatard was heavily influenced by Trout during his four-year tenure in the Lost Sounds and the two have worked out their differences after their bitter break-up in 2005.
Originally started as a side project by Trout while she was in the Lost Sounds, Mouserocket has served as an outlet for her more upbeat, indie-pop compositions – but the new album also delves into some pretty heavy rock and roll. That’s why Robby Grant, the other primary songwriter in the band, wanted to join in the first place – to rock out. Recorded at home by Trout and Grant, with a few extra sessions recorded by Chris Swenson at Memphis Independent Studios, the record mixes a few reworked songs from the first album and odds and ends from the member’s other projects, blending a smattering of styles almost seamlessly.
When Mouserocket plays their CD release show at The Hitone Café in Memphis, TN on April 25th it will be the first time many will have seen Trout play in public in easily a year (the band did play earlier this spring at a benefit show for local community radio station WEVL along with several other bands). She gave birth to a daughter, Valentine, at the end of 2007 and took time off during her pregnancy and after the birth from her almost constant schedule of touring. It could be said that this album is the beginning of a new chapter in her musical career. It will be interesting to see if motherhood has softened her intense performance style, or only fueled her fire.
Check out BTR’s “Thursdays with Rachelandthecity” this week to hear several choice tracks from the new album.