Album Review: Mouse Rat – The Awesome Album (2021 Cassette)

This week is Cassette Week. Why not Cassette Store Day? Cassette Store Day was the worldwide response to Record Store Day but it has unfortunately ended, for an even more unfortunate reason explained below (copied from HIfi Choice).

‘Cassette Store Day, the annual co-ordinated release of music on collectable tapes that was inspired by the success of Record Store Day, has cancelled its 2020 event in the light of sexual misconduct claims made against one of its principal participants, Burger Records.

The event was planned for 17 October worldwide and would have been a boon to the resurgent industry re-emerging after difficult times under lockdown. It was immediately cancelled when news broke that Burger, based in Fullerton, California and the fount of many of the events’ tape releases, was accused of “normalising a culture of sexual assault” at its shows and within its catalogue of artists.

Despite an attempt to rebrand and launch a separate imprint for female artists in response to the claims, Burger has been forced to shut down entirely, prompting organisers to announce the cancellation.

In a statement on its Twitter and Facebook pages, CSD, which was launched in 2013, said of Burger: “We find this behaviour to be not only abhorrent, but completely unacceptable. We stand in solidarity with those who have come forward and those who have yet to.” ‘

It seems unfair to harm everyone because of the bad actions of a few, but I guess if that is what it takes to end this type of awful behaviour then maybe that is a small price to pay.

I wanted to review some cassettes to celebrate this week properly. Maybe some old, some new, some borrowed and some blue.

For the new I will review Mouse Rat – The Awesome Album. I will forgive you if you don’t know who Mouse Rat is. You may not have ever watched the network television show Parks & Recreation. Long before Chris Pratt was a big time movie star he played homeless, lovable goofball Andy Dwyer. Previously you would have had to buy a copy of a Mouse Rat (previously known as A.D. and the D Bags, The Andy Andy Andies, Department of Homeland Obscurity, Everything Rhymes With Orange, Fiveskin, Fleetwood Mac Sexpants, Fourskin, God Hates Figs, Just The Tip, Malice In Chains, Ninjadick, Threeskin, Two Doors Down, Penis Pendulum among others) album from Andy’s shoe shine stand at the Pawnee City Hall. Now I just had to make a couple mouse (rat?) clicks on Amazon Canada and it magically arrived a few days later.

5,000 candles in the wind – An ode to the mini horse Little Sebastian that died on the Harvest Festival episode. Bye Bye Little Sebastian. Miss you in the saddest fashion.

the pit – A mix between Boston -Amanda, Alice In Chains and Hootie and the Blowfish about the pit a homeless Andy lived in so he could be close to his ex-girlfriend Ann (Rashida Jones).

sex hair – More Hootie sounding 90’s goodness. Such a beautiful mess.

catch your dream (feat. Duke Silver) – Duke Silver is the stage name of Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman). Not is he really good at woodworking, he is pretty damn good on the sax.

two birds holding hands – I know. Birds don’t have hands. The ridiculous lyrics are actually part of the appeal of this song. I’m getting a bit of a Tenacious D vibe here, and that is always a good thing.

ann song – “La di da di da…ann……she’s not in my pocket, she’s not on the driveway, she’s not even in my hand.. Thank You”

the way you you look tonight – This would fit perfectly into one of those cheeseball Christmas specials on US network television by some past prime singer. The whistling is pretty cool but the guitar work is the ace for me.

menace ball – More Hootie. I actually would think this an old Hootie song from back in the day if I didn’t know better.

Time to Flip the tape over.

remember – Some more mix of 90’s grunge and alternative. “..You and me together forever..”

i get a kick of you (bonus) – The only song that never made it onto the show. It was recorded back in the day, but never made the cut. It was probably too short.

let’s call the whole thing off – Another short little fun ditty.

lovely tonight – Andy doing a little Elvis-like crooning makes for a nice change of pace, and the guitar work is subtle but really good.

i’ve got you under my skin – Andy needs to get some more celebrities and start the mouse rat pack.

i only have eyes for you – The jangly guitar is ace here but Chris Pratt’s vocals are pretty good too.

pickled ginger (by Land Ho!) – Andy got the band Land Ho! to get back together and Scott Tanner (Jeff Tweedy from Wilco, Uncle Tupelo) gives this song merit and it has a sort of Eagles Of Death Metal/Queens Of The Stone Age feel to it. It really sounds like the Wilco song of the same name (wink wink).

cold water by Scott Tanner (feat. Duke Silver) – Andy’s buddy Scott Tanner (Jeff Tweedy) from the band Land Ho! is great on this one, as is the guitar work, but the star is Duke Silver ((Ron Swanson) (Nick Offerman)) on the sax.

A really fun album. It made me smile. I really wasn’t feeling that great today and this album picked me up. If you like 90’s grunge, alternative, Hootie & The Blowfish, Jack Black, Queens Of The Stone Age, Eagles Of Death Metal and funny people that don’t take themselves too seriously, then check this out.

8/10

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