MOUSE ON THE KEYS - An Anxious Object

Mouse On The Key - An Anxious Object

9 songs
35:30 minutes
***** ***


Released in the summer of 2009, Mouse On The Key’s first longplayer An Anxious Object came two years after their EP Sezession. Back then it was really hard to get these records by the Japanese instrumental post rock jazz trio, which is why Denovali Records decided to license them for the European market. I won’t go into the musicians’ past, instead refer you to the EP review I wrote a few weeks back.

An Anxious Object is the logical successor of the EP. The band plays this time only original compositions, and apart from two tracks that feature guest artists on trumpet and soprano saxophone, all of the music is played exclusively on pianos and drums.

After the short intro Completed Nihilism, the CD starts dynamically with Spectres de Mouse, showing Mouse On The Keys from their most rocking side. They still embrace their (post) rock roots, but interpret them in a very jazzy fashion. The latter becomes even more obvious on the following Seiren that features trumpeter Daisuke Sasaki. From here on, the band switches between more laid back pieces and more upbeat ones, giving it all a very heady and intellectual feeling that may deter the more rock minded music lovers.

That doesn’t change the fact that Mouse On The Keys are one of the more inspiring bands of the current era. Alas, as with the EP, I once again feel somewhat let down by the short length of only thirty-five minutes. One could expect more of a band with jazz ambitions. Only the two last songs, Soil and Ouroboros, are slightly longer with nearly six minutes running time, otherwise Mouse On The Keys limit their talents on shorter songwriting. It would have made sense to put both records on one disc for the European market, as they don’t even total one hour. This way fans are forced to spend more money if they want it all, especially since the EP is sold for nearly the price of a regular album.

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