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Bats & Mice

Believe it Mammals (LOV027)

1. A Safe Bet
2. Undress Princess
3. I'm Not Surprised
4. Sliding Scale
5. Worst Comes to Worst
6. Hallway
7. A Polished Facade
8. Enough For You
9. Motel
10. Where's Ann Arbor
11. Easy
12. In Spite Of

Believe It Mammals, the debut full-length by Bats & Mice, is an ambitious work that eagerly explores a multiplicity of dynamics, moods, rhythms, and timbres. For those who like to keep score, Bats & Mice contains members of Four Hundred Years, Sleepytime Trio, Maximillian Colby, Milemarker, Rah Bras, Men's Recovery Project, and a whole cavalcade of outfits you read about in Punk Planet a few years ago. But this quartet out of Richmond, Virginia, forgets the brash, vitriolic excursions of their earlier projects and instead zeroes in on instrumental interplay and unforgettable hooks.

Because three members of Bats & Mice share lead and backing vocals, Believe It Mammals amply features a wide spectrum of deliveries and harmonies. From lazy and languid to towering and animated, Bats & Mice's interlaced voices appeal for repeated listens. But the album is no collection of Gregorian chants. The crisp, regimented percussion and determined guitar work provide the ideal complement to the haunting warmth of the vocalists.

Bats & Mice intends to dash the expectations of listeners who anticipate "ex-members of Band X" to fit the mold of Band X, version 2.0. Believe It Mammals is an avenue of expression intent on capturing moments both intriguing and resounding. Lush vocals and intricate instrumentation work in concert to create captivating musicianship that far and away escapes simply being called "pretty and loud."

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