Mouse On The Keys are three Japanese piano players who also play some drums on Flowers Of Romance. They create driving jazz pieces which often has some frantic drumming along with some guest musicians with horns and strings. The whole album was recorded in a live, collaborative manner and you get the sense of experimentation with these tracks. For fans of BadBadNotGood.
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- Flowers Of Romance by Mouse On The Keys
7/10 Robin Staff review, 23 September 2015
This afternoon at the top of my review pile: an album that would once upon a time have blown my underdeveloped 15 year-old brain asunder, but now just sounds, as they say, “niceeeeeeee”. Mouse on Keys have been this way for a minute, the Japanese keys-drum combo on their latest adventure into sounds on the spectrum of the self-serious post-jazz of Jaga Jazzist, the thick instrumental workouts of BadBadNotGood and the endless drum-fill wonderland of Do Make Say Think. This work sees them in typically fine live form, creating a mostly bright, major key slab of honest-to-god entertainment.
Mouse On Keys’ work has always been a great contradiction to me, sampling moments of urgency in the frenetic way these artists respond to each other (piano chords chosen sharply and precisely as drums talk and talk, as if delivering a filibuster) but also a waiting-room lounge aesthetic. Here, the band toy with programmed drums that suddenly mute the record’s workouts (“Reflexion”), also bringing in blaring sax that wouldn’t be amiss on Destroyer’s ‘Kaputt’. These little nuggets of sound keep Mouse on Keys’ by now chrome rock refreshing, chill and above all silly, which is welcome turnabout from a band this technical.
'The Flowers of Romance’ won’t blow you away, but it winks more than any MoK record before it, and it plays at a speed faster than the one you think at. So there’s that.
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