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Review: Chaos, calm meld nicely on Maus Haus' EP

RON HARRIS
5 November 2012
This CD cover image released by Lavish Habits shows the latest release by Maus Haus, "Light Noise." (AP Photo/Lavish Habits)
This CD cover image released by Lavish Habits shows the latest release by Maus Haus, "Light Noise." (AP Photo/Lavish Habits)

Maus Haus, "Light Noise" (Lavish Habits)

San Francisco-based Maus Haus has winnowed itself down from seven band members to four, yet retains a collision of chaotic sound on the group's latest EP, "Light Noise."

Dour melodies battle for dominance with nearly tribal drum patterns to cast a gloomy pall over some tracks. Others, however, like "Hey Jean," benefit from a lighter approach, with a perked-up pace and smoothly sung vocals that give a nod to the band's acknowledged Beach Boys influence.

Things stay dreamy and fuzzy with "Mouth," which feels more like indie electronica than indie rock. But truth be told, there's no cubbyhole in which this unique sound will comfortably fit. "It's been a long time since I kissed your mouth, and I want it back, I want it back now," goes the hook, against a wall of everything deftly distorted.

There is simply no predicting the next sound from minute to minute of each track here. Just when you think you've caught a beat, Maus Haus throws it in a blender of guitar feedback and wraps the whole riddle up in curious drum patterns that make you throw up your hands and dance.

It's an honest and inventive approach that Maus Haus has arrived at with "Light Noise." They're doing what suits them, and doing it well.

CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: "You Made My Radar" is a stark and jangly track that comes off like an homage to late 1980s goth. Each instrument performs minimalist tasks, but the confluence of them all is well-meshed and haunting.

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