Ex-Swirlie Adam Pierce is on to album number seven with the eponymous Mice Parade. Like his previous efforts, it’s a set of vaguely post-rock tunes built on a base of acoustic guitars. And also like his previous efforts, it’s a mixed bag. At its best the record clomps along amiably, but there are moments of total anonymity when you could be listening to any neo-Sebadoh, lo-fi indie rock outfit.
Pierce doesn’t have the most engaging voice, more a stereotypical low key indie croon with all the soul of a call centre worker reading out their grocery list. He’s helped out here by two guest singers. Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier brings some welcome passion to the excellent “Tales Of Las Negras”, the best song on the record. Ex-Múm singer Kristin Anna Valtýsdóttir does her usual irritating ‘ickle girl’ routine on “Double Dolphins On The Nickel”. Is it just me that finds her ‘shy three-year-old’ schtick really, really annoying?
The thing is, there are some well crafted passages on this record. But the combination of the ubiquitous strummed acoustic guitars and Pierce’s bored vocals gets tiresome pretty quickly.