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Music review: Chaos, calm meld nicely on Maus Haus’ new EP

The latest release by Maus Haus, "Light Noise," delivers unpredictable and inventive music. (From The Associated Press)
The latest release by Maus Haus, "Light Noise," delivers unpredictable and inventive music. (From The Associated Press)
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Thursday, November 08, 2012 12:01 am
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.

“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.

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.

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