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Loch Ness Mouse: Key West

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if you like this you'll like: Belle & Sebastian, Stereolab, Saint Etienne.

REVIEW: Loch Ness Mouse: Key West
3.27.2003 by Matthew

Loch Ness Mouse: Key West [Happy Happy Birthday To Me, 2002]

Three words? It's such B.(&)S.

After listening to Key West, I really wish I hadn't dropped science after grade 10. I'd always thought I'd never find any use for it in real life; the Loch Ness Mouse, however, raise several questions that could only properly be answered by someone with a knowledge of both physics and behavioural science. Or, to be more precise, they raise one question: what would happen if the Loch Ness Mouse were locked in a room with Belle & Sebastian?

The possibilities are numerous. Given how similar the bands sound, there could be an effect not unlike the one described in the Back To The Future trilogy, upon meeting the 'you' from another time and place. All it would take is for one of the bands to start playing for confusion to erupt, possibly even tearing into the space-time continuum and causing the end of the universe as we know it.

Similarly, the combination of the two bands in a confined space could create a critical mass of twee-ness, thereby inciting an explosion of sunshine, hearts and fluffy pink bunnies (the likes of which the world has never before seen). "Hanna & The Twins", "Salty Hair", and "In The City In The Morning" are fragile-but-happy pop songs from a market that, until today, B & S seemed to have cornered.

Another possibility is suggested by the fact that most of the elements present on Key West are the sorts of things on which The Boy With The Arab Strap and If You're Feeling Sinister were built: light boy-girl vocals; soft, jangly guitars; the odd blurt of horns. It's hardly a stretch, then, to think that the two bands might feel magnetically drawn to each other: they might attempt to merge into one. This, in turn, would either lead to an enormous fey indie-pop band walking the earth unimpeded [see: the Reindeer Section --Ed.], or, again, the sort of explosion that rocks the planet but not the Casbah.

The final, and perhaps most terrifying idea, is that the bands might engage in an apocalyptic battle for the title of Most Wussy Band in the World. After a brief flurry of slapping and mutual cowering in respective corners (undoubtedly, both would seek refuge under the cover of battle-strength cardigans), they would begin to play at one-other. For a while, it might seem that songs like "Adrift" and "Ceylon Sailor" would be enough to win Loch Ness Mouse the coveted title.

Soon enough, however, the group commits a horrible mistake: playing "Quay West." All seems well for the Norwegians until the song's quarter point: the drums kick in, the piano starts to get a little too uptempo, and then a slight garage-rock influence pokes through with a minute left in the song. The volume rises a bit too high... and the band is disqualified from consideration for the title. For a brief moment, however, "Quay West" breaks up the happy monotony that pervades Key West. As pleasant as Belle & Sebastian may be, the fact remains that they would probably never allow themselves to come anywhere near "rocking out"; if the Loch Ness Mouse aspire to Belle, Sebastian, and nothing but, they'll have to learn to control such tendencies.

Mind you, given that I don't actually know science, this is all mere conjecture, based on hunch and guesswork. With luck, however, one day an aspiring scientist will, for the good of mankind and fey indie pop, undertake the task. The world will be a better place for it.

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